Phone manufacturers used to ship wired earbuds in the box, but the removal of the headphone jack has resulted in some including USB-C or Lightning headphones instead. These are generally not very good quality and since we use our phones for music and podcasts it is worth paying a bit for a better set of headphones.
Bluetooth headphones work with your smartphone whether you have a 3.5mm headphone jack or not. The sound quality usually suffers a bit, but they have improved significantly over the years and I have been enjoying wireless audio without music skipping or hearing much difference in music quality.
I've spent a couple of weeks commuting and working with the RHA MA390 Wireless earbuds draped over my neck and have been quite satisified. I actually had to look at the price a couple of times during my review to confirm they were truly only $69.95.
Retail package and earphone fit
The RHA MA390 retail package includes 12 total silicone ear tips, four each for small, medium, and large ear canals. With this many in the package, you can lose a few and still enjoy the headphones.
There is also a short USB-A to USB-C cable to charge up the headphones and I was ecstatic to see the move to USB-C for charging. So many other headphones and accessories still use microUSB while most phones have since moved to USB-C so it is wonderful to see a reasonably priced headphone package support USB-C.
A small draw-string mesh carrying pouch is included so you can safely carry the headset around in your gear bag when not in use.
The housing for each earbud is constructed of aluminum with RHA's Aerophonic design and a custom model 130.8 driver. The aluminum material is 6063 for durability and comfort.
Specifications of the RHA MA390 include:
- Codecs: AAC, aptX, SBC
- Frequency range: 16-22,000 Hz
- Wireless: Bluetooth 4.1
- Water resistance: IPX4 rating
- Battery life: 8 hours
- Weight: 24 grams
- Warranty: 3 years
Hardware and design
The MA390 is an over-the-neck design with a flexible cable connecting two large ends that house the battery and wireless radio. The earbuds are at the end of a cable, about nine inches long, coming out of each end. The cables do not retract, but there is a magnet between the two earbuds so they connect when you are not wearing them and keep things from tangling up. This is one of my favorite features of RHA headphones and lets you wear them throughout the day in comfort.
The right cable has a universal three button remote to control playback and also initiate voice assistants. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, and Siri are all compatible with the center activation button. Where the flexible thicker cable transitions into the earbud cable, there is a cylindrical part that houses the power button, indicator light, and USB-C port for charging. There is nothing found in the left side cylinder or along the earbud cable, making it easy to know which side is the right side when you place the headphones around your neck.
Daily usage experiences
While I personally did not run with these earbuds, they would work nicely on the elliptical or other gym machine where you are not bouncing around for the entire exercise. The IPX4 rating means they are sweatproof and have limited water resistance. I used them during my commute and while working at my desk for my evaluation period.
One of the first things I noticed about the MA390 was the light weight, only 24 grams, so you won't even know you are wearing them during the day. I never once had them slip out of my ears using the silicone tips. The cable tends to rest against my cheeks when I turn my head, but the headphones are light weight so I quickly great accustomed to this fit. Each person has a different shaped head so your experience may vary too.
The real-world battery life matches closely to the advertised 8 hours. The MA390 Wireless is very comfortable and I often listened for two to three hours at a time without any discomfort.
Volume and sound clarity was great on all of the various phones I tested, including the Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, HTC U12+, OnePlus 6, and Huawei P20 Pro.
The MA390 headset is available for $69.95 online, at the Apple Store, and at other retail locations. RHA stands behind their well-made products with a unique three (3) year warranty so you can trust these headphones will not let you down.