RHA are an audio brand known for making some very well designed earphones that also produce some great sounding audio. Over the years, the Scottish company has made a number of high quality in-ear wired earphones but, with their new RHA TrueConnect Wireless Earbuds, this is their first attempt at truly wireless earphones. These new earbuds are going up against the likes of Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds so they need to be pretty impressive to dethrone these two.
Coming in at €179, the RHA TrueConnects are in the upper end of the wireless earbuds price range and, at this price, RHA are aiming to delivery a comfortable in-ear experience along with impressive battery life and sound quality. After spending some time with the TrueConnects, here is our review.
Design and comfort
Right from the get-go, you can tell the TrueConnect wireless earbuds are a premium product. Their matt, rubberised finish, on both the earbuds and the carry case adds a level of quality over more plastic feeling competitors, their shape is quite unique and, for those of you with smaller ears, they may stick out of your ear canals more than you would like but the nozzle is nicely angled to try and reduce this as much as possible.
They also come with a small stem that sticks out the bottom of both earbuds which not only house the microphones for calls but also makes it easier to put in and remove the earbuds as well. In the box, RHA has included an extensive range of ear tips to choose from. I went with the largest version of the foam comply tips (like earplug foam that expands in your ear) and these really created a tight, custom seal in my ears, adding to an even better level of noise isolation than the silicon tips can offer.
You’ll find a button on the outside of each bud which allows you to pause and play your music, control the volume and enable your voice assistant of choice. Even though we like how large and easy to reach these buttons are, they’re a small bit on the mushy side so I ended up pushing each of the earbuds into my ears when pressing them more than I would like. The earbuds are also IPX5 rated for sweat and water resistance.
Now, if we go back to the charging case, this really is the most impressive part of the earphones, from a design point of view. It’s an extremely well built piece of kit with a unique swivel design to open and close it. There’s an industrial styled piece of aluminum that wraps around 3/4 of the each of the device and adds a nice weight to the case. It’s when you swivel this aluminium strip out of the way that you see the housing for the earbuds. Inside, there are two slits to fit the stems of each bud into with a little red dot beside the slit for the right earbud, to help you but the right bud in the right place.
On the outside of the case, you’ll see the USB Type C port which is great to see along with 3 small white LED’s that let you know the battery level of the case. Overall, we’re really impressed with the overall design and functionality of the case and its unique swivel design almost acts like a fidget spinner for our idle hands!
Sound and performance
On a whole, the RHA TrueConnect offer more than respectable sound. It’s well balance and decently punchy when it needs to be. The soundstage itself is surprisingly wide which allows you to hear more instruments in a piece than expected, given their size. The bass is hearty and warm but never too overpowering and the vocals come across clear and crisp. When it comes to the highs, sometimes, they can come across slightly pitchy but this really depends on the kind of music you listen to.
Testing the bass response with Beyonce’s ‘Partition’ definitely exposes how good, if slightly limited it can be but, in fairness, I’ve yet to try a pair of wireless earbuds that can accurately recreate the sheer level of bass this song delivers.
The earphones support Bluetooth 5.0, which is a great addition to any wireless earbuds but, unfortunately, I suffered from a few too many dropouts and wobbles during my testing. As part of daily commute, I walk through Dublin city centre and, around the more pedestrianised areas, I experienced quite a few dropouts on the earbuds. Now, even though there were days were the buds just weren’t playing ball, other days I wouldn’t have a single issue so your own personal experience might vary. We also wish the earphones supported either, AptX, LDAC or AAC but hopefully this is something RHA include in their next model.
Audio quality for voice calls is respectable with both myself and my friend on the other end of the line saying they could hear me pretty clearly and without too much background noise.
On paper, RHA claim the TrueConnect offers 5 hours of charge which is very impressive for anyone with long commutes or planning on using the buds for extended periods of time. In our time testing the buds, we definitely came close to this 5 hour mark and, with the case, you can get an additional 20 hours of listening time. There’s also a fantastic quick charge feature that will charge the buds up to full in just 30mins and the case itself takes around two hours to charge.
In the end, we really enjoyed our time with the RHA TrueConnect Wireless Earbuds. Their sleek, premium design is eye-catching and their audio capabilities also live up to their aesthetics. The charging case is extremely well built, the buds offer great in-ear comfort and I’m a big fan of their long battery life.
You can pick up a pair of RHA TrueConnect Wireless Earbuds at HarveyNorman.ie for €179. Also, just last month, RHA launched their TrueConnect wireless earbuds in two new colours, Cloud White and Navy Blue so now you’ve two different styles to choose from if the ‘Carbon Black’ isn’t your thing.