I was fortunate enough to have grown up during an American music period typically referred to as the “British Invasion”. Spearheaded by the Beatles in 1964, it completely changed the landscape of popular music in the United States forever. As a kid, I can clearly remember bands such as Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Searchers and, of course, the Kinks, the Who and the Rolling Stones being commercial radio staples. Quite a drastic change from just a few years earlier when watered down Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry recordings were still considered far too risqué and harsh for the average audience. My first record acquisition of choice was “White Light/White Heat” by the Velvet Underground, an US based band, but one that never would have been were it not for the door that the Invasion had opened.
Many years later, the iPod was introduced. It is generally believed that the iPod did as much to change the way music was listened to as the British Invasion did to the music itself. It was really a case of “right place, right time” and a good interface, but it became the first mp3 player with wide reaching mass appeal. Large quantities of music became completely portable, no more decisions on what to take with you, you could simply take your whole collection in one small device. Unfortunately, it also lowered the expectations of sonic quality for an entire generation. Lossy audio is distinctly lo-fi to begin with and the iPod’s audio handling wasn’t helping any. Thankfully, in the last few years, we have seen an upswing in consumers calling for sound quality. Was it due to Dr. Dre introducing beats Audio and essentially saying “your portable music doesn’t actually have to sound awful”? Or is it that people suddenly started hearing better audio systems somewhere? Either way, it’s certainly a change for the better. In this invasion of more audiophile friendly products happens to be RHA. Somehow quite fitting that a British company would be mixed up in this “invasion”…..
RHA introduces the MA-350 Aluminum Noise Isolating Earphones, which are distinctly aimed at those looking for improved sound quality. The RHA-MA350 Earphones feature aluminum buds that use aerophonic design to naturally deliver enhanced audio to the listener’s ear. Each bud of the RHA MA-350 contains a 10mm mylar driver capable of delivering 16-22,000Hz frequency range. Noise isolation is provided by the soft silicone tips, which are included in S/M/L sizes for extra comfort, and a convenient carrying and storage case is included. The MA-350 features a 1.2m cable with fabric braided sleeving, which goes a long way in preventing tangling, and ends with a gold plated 3.5mm stereo connector. Sensitivity of 103dB allows for effective volume on lower powered devices, while 3/10mW power handling allows almost universal usage. The RHA MA-350 Earphones weigh in at only 11g, providing effortless wearing and fantastic portability.