RHA S500i Quick Review
Thanks to RHA for the sample.
Brief: They sound even better than they look.
Price: £30 for the S500, £40 for the S500i (about US$45 and US$60 respectively)
Specification: Drivers Micro dynamic (model 140.1), Frequency range 16-22,000Hz, Impedance 16ohm, Sensitivity 100dB, Rated/max power 1/5mW, Weight 14g, Cable 1.35m two part material, Connections 3.5mm, gold plated
Accessories: 7 pairs of tips, a tip holder, a shirt clip and lastly the little baggy for storing them. While it’s super nice baggy I’d have preferred a little case.
Build Quality: First rate. Okay it’s maybe not as nice as the T10 or T20, the cable isn’t super amazing and the jack’s much smaller but it’s still all first class. For the price it’s exemplary.
Isolation: It’s fine. It’s about middling for a dynamic I found so a little less than some others out there. It is fine for normal uses like walking about or on a bus but very high noise places like the Tube or flights, not so much. Easily enough to get you run over though if you forget to look where your going with them in.
Comfort/Fit: Both were good. The mic as mics usually do liked to catch my collar if worn down but worn up it was high enough to not. I prefer wearing up anyway. Plus they are so small and light they should be good for most I’d think.
Aesthetics: They are lookers. I’m sure there is someone out there who thinks their ugly but it’s certainly not me. Visually they look beautiful. RHA are proving to be masters of making good lookers.
Sound: Wow. They are simply fantastic. Okay it’s maybe not the bombastic adventure some way expect at this price, they are also much tamer than their 350 and 450 siblings. These are flatter, much more a mellow V shaped sound. The bass though is the side that dominates most readily however, oh noes, bass is above neutral. Lol and what isn’t, its good bass too mind. Not the deepest but what’s there stays clean, a hint of softness on top a layer of steel that stays firmly solid. Depth suffers a little touch but so what. It’s inclined to punch and cleanly rounded articulation. Sculpted. Mids are a touch dryish, cool and they do open breathy so well, a hint of delicacy to them with a faintly ethereal wisp. Very creamy vocals get pushed towards openness which shows off how dynamics best do vocals. It pleases me greatly. Highs, they are inclined to go just like the mids, cool dryish and they meant to give that hard metallic, resonant metal enclosure hardness. Feed them from a cold hard DAP, with crappy, brittle, abundant treble and on your own head be it. They want either oodles of power and some additional impedance or they want a smoothly mellow and mediocre output, just like on an Iphone. I was very surprised how well they complement my Iphone 5. Very very surprised but there is no disputing the S500 play to their weaknesses and eek out every last drip the can from the phone.
Value: I suggest not buying one but at least two pairs. One for you and one for whoever needs the joy of music in their lives.
Pro’s: Sooooo pretty. Sound phenomenal. Crazy long warranty.
Con’s: They are going to sell out before Christmas.