Review: RHA T20i (Built like a Tank)

Introduction

Reid Heath Acoustics (RHA) was founded by Reid Heath in 2011. Since then, they have been making high quality audio products and one of them is the RHA T20i. T20i is one of the top-tier models in the RHA’s lineup of IEMs. But does it have a sound which is beyond its price point? Let’s find out in this review for the RHA T20i.

Unboxing the RHA T20i

Now, this I must say at first. The unboxing experience of these were just one of a kind for me. I never thought someone could showcase their iems like this! This makes for a very good first impression. These iems contain everything that a man needs to fit them in their ears (but the sad thing is, even with that, it was kind of itchy inside my ears). The box contains 6 pairs of single flange eartips (s,m,l), 2 pairs of double-flange eartips (s,l) and 2 pairs of Comply foam eartips. They also include a carrying case, a shirt clip, a manual and of course the three tuning filters for the bass, mids and treble.

Build Quality

These pair of iems have an outstanding build quality. They are built like a tank and are built to last. I think that there are hardly any iem manufacturer who uses injection moulded steel for their iems as it is a long and tedious process and also not much cost-effective. But these iems do not come with detachable cables which is quite a letdown considering the price of the iem. Should anything happen to the cable, you have to send it to RHA for RMA! But still, all jokes aside, this really is a major omission from such an expensive pair of iems. The cable is made of OFC and the outer covering is made of silicon.Also the cable feels rubbery and sticky to the touch which I don’t like much. But the cable is quite sturdy and should survive quite a while if handled properly. Also, I have never seen such a highly protected y-split and headphone jack. RHA has really taken it to the next level in the headphone jack department; the strain relief on the jack is the best i have seen and it feels really durable and premium

RHA T20i Box
All accessories of T20i

Comfort

Now this is one of those areas where YMMV. For me even after trying out all the tips including the foam tips, i could not find something that is both comfortable and isolating. The only one that at least was the least irritating to my ears were the small double-flange tips. They maintained a good seal but it still was uncomfortable for me. Also the shell of the iem often made contact with my inner ear and it was painful. But eventually, I adjusted with it and now, they don’t bug me no more.

RHA T20i itself

Filters

Now, I am making a separate section for the filters as it is one of the main features of the iem. Now, I have read in some forums that people are telling that the filters are a gimmick so let me clear this once and for all – they are not a gimmick, they really do change the sound signature a bit which can be felt by any listener. Now, about the filters, there are 3 types of them included. The black one is for bass, the white one is for reference and the gold one is for treble. Now all of them changes the sound signature subtly without changing the actual sound signature of the iems.

Filters of RHA T20i

Sound

I am going to be using the bass filter for this sound review as I mostly listen to edm, rap, and also some acoustic songs. The sound signature on these iems is slightly v-shaped which means that there is more emphasis on the bass and the treble than the mids. The audio is going to be flac and they will be output from my pc via fiio q1.

Bass

Now obviously with the bass filter, the bass really pops out in most of the songs. At moderate volumes, the bass is quite punchy and enjoyable and most people will enjoy it. The bass is really tight and dynamic and it never bleeds into the lower mids. The sub-bass digs really deep and the the mid-bass is quite present in them. There is a bit of a peak near the 100Hz which gives it that “thump”. All the edm and pop songs sound really nice with the bass filter on. But at times, it becomes a little harsh at higher volumes, But that’s about the only con I could find at the bass department.

Mids

The mids are clear and forward on these iem. Both male vocalists and female vocalists sound good on these earphones. Idina Menzel’s ‘Let It Go’ sounds really good on them. Also vocals sound natural and intimate (That means that it seems as if they are singing just to you due to a narrow sound stage). You should give it a try!

Treble

The treble is quite strong on this iem and you can literally feel the strings if the guitar in Stairway to Heaven. There is a  slight peak at the 1 kHz range which provides a nice bite to guitars and other string instruments. Also the treble is not harsh at high volumes which is nice.

Soundstage

Now, the sound stage is not that wide on this iem. It has depth but not width. Also, the instrument separation and detail is extremely good. The amount of detail this iem can replicate is simply amazing. You can listen to some of the tracks you hear almost on a daily basis and you can find something that you have never heard of in your songs!

Pros and Cons

Pros:

(i) Well built
(ii) Great Sound
(iii) Good Instrument Separation

Cons:

(i) No removable cable
(ii) Bass can be a bit harsh at high volumes
(iii) May take some time getting the fit right
(iv) Average soundstage

Conclusion:

These are a great pair of iem but they do come at a cost of $200 which is not inexpensive for an iem,  but still if anyone who has a budget of $200 for an iem, I would highly recommend them to at least give these iem a try, they won’t disappoint you.

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