Review: RHA T20 in-earphones

Scottish audio brand RHA has given us a taste of customisable earphones before, and in the T20, it’s all about refinement and improvement.

Seriously, these may just about be the best in-earphones we’ve ever heard.

Features and performance

One of the more high-grade pairs of in-earphones you’re ever likely to come across, RHA’s T20 are made from stainless steel and rely on a proprietary design that features a “DualCoil” dynamic driver.

This technology is unusual because it relies on two voice coils inside a magnet to work separately from each other, resulting in what RHA claims is an “ultra-efficient performance”.

Adding to the unusual twin coil system inside the each earphone body, you’ll find a small assortment of tuning filters to change the very definition of the sound.

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These include a reference tuning filter, which is what arrives pre-installed to the T20 earphones, as well as one emphasising treble while the other handles bass, and these allow you to tweak the sound not only for your preferred style but for what your ears may or may not prefer.

The tuning filters sit on a metal carrying block, screwing into place with a key to remind you what each filter represents based on the colour of the filter — bronze, silver, and black — while another metal holder providing a selection of tips for the earphones, and the selection here is quite generous, including two pairs of memory foam tips, two pairs of double flange (small and large), and six pairs of standard silicone ear tips with two sets of small, two sets of medium, and two sets of large.

A carrying case is also included which is made to be fairly durable, similar to the cable which is a multi-core cable with a relatively strong and thick cord, even to the point of wrapping around your ears using RHA’s patent pending mouldable over-ear hooks.

Looking at what is included in the package, it’s pretty clear just how premium the T20 earphones aim to be, and taking them out, that feeling continues.

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Simply put, the package you get is just so friendly, with plenty of customisation in a product type that normally doesn’t offer any at all.

That’s the thing about earphones: changing sizes of tips isn’t customisation, but can be viewed as such.

But modifying the tuning of a sound product? That’s akin to changing the very personality of the headphone or speaker, and to be afforded this chance whenever music tastes demand it is very cool.

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This isn’t the first time we’ve had this opportunity, mind you, because the company first let customers have a taste of this idea in the T10, a model that made Aussie landfall last year offering a set of tuning filters for reference sound, heightened treble, and then heightened bass.

The T20 continue this trend and even keep the tuning filters screwed into a full metal holder which gives off the feeling that these earphones are very premium, which they certainly are.

When you’ve picked the right filter, you just need to install the right tip, and fortunately, there are a bunch of those to choose from. Small aural cavities, big aural cavities, foam, silicone, bi-flange; it’s all here, and ready for those little nubs on the side of your head.

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Fitting them to your head can be a little interesting, that said, not just because the RHA T20 earphones are a little heavier (you can thank the metal bodies for that), but also because the cable needs to wrap around the ear.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s a comfy and firm fit that can survive a bit of head movement, meaning running is a distinct possibility, as we found non-stop walking barely nudged them from their spot. Goodo.

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Getting stuck into the earphones with the 2016 GadgetGuy Sound Test, electronica starts this thing off, and there’s a nice deep warmth on the reference tuning filters for Imogen Heap’s “Headlock”, the bottom end covering you like a warm blanket while Heap’s voice barely takes a step back from the lows of the instruments.

And there’s balance; oh sweet mercy, is there balance.

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