RHA SA950i On-ear Headphones

RHA SA950i On-ear Headphones

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In order to test the headphones we dug up our usual portable test headphones: the Rosewill RHTS-11004 ($14) and the Sennheiser PX-200 IIs ($60). The SA950is are the most expensive of the pack, but also those with the most features if you disregard the folding feature on the PX-200 IIs. The RHA headphones are quite close to the Sennheiser PX-200 IIs sonically, and since they feature a remote, they are quite interesting for iPhone users. The interchangeable cable is an added bonus feature, but even the very cheap Rosewill's have that. The Rosewill RHTS-11004s are somewhat outclassed by both due to their more natural midrange and slightly fuller bass.

The RHA SA950is are, sound wise, good all-rounders. The bass is pretty good, although not quite on level with that of the PX-200 IIs in terms of detail, which might be due to the better fit one can achieve with Sennheiser's memory foam pads and ball-type ear cup joint. The midrange of the SA950is is pleasant. They sound great just out of an iPhone or basically any other phone on today's market. We tested them with an iPhone 4, Samsung SGS 3, Sunrise DA-P1, and JDSLabs O2+ODAC, and they sounded full and lively on all solutions. They are very efficient, which makes them good on-the-go headphones.

The bass of the RHA SA950is is clearly tuned to a different house sound than the Sennheisers. They have a good chunk more bass and sub bass, but it is not quite as taught as that of the Sennheisers. The midrange is where the Sennheiser PX-200 IIs win big time; it is simply more defined and has a greater linearity. The Sennheisers come out on top yet again treble-wise. We cannot help but get the feeling that the SHA950is could be really good if they either had asymmetrical ear cup pads from back to front or a ball-type joint, since there would be huge gains to be had in terms of sound quality by inserting more foam and taping it to the underside of any pre-existing pad material.

Wearing comfort is always my primary concern with on-ear or supra aural headphones. The RHA SA950is are alright, but the PX-200 IIs are in a different league. The pad material on the Sennheisers is actually firmer while also conforming to your ear shape better, which allows for better long-term wearing comfort. Clamping force is about the same for the Sennheisers and SA950is—the Rosewills have slightly less. One would think that the bigger pad area on the SA950is would make them more comfortable, but they come up lacking because the ear cup joints are not articulated, which is a shame. The sound quality is more than good enough for use on the go, but comfort is lacking.
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