1. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    Review: S500i in-ear headphones by RHA Audio

    S500i in-ear headphones by RHA Audio Review!-img_0424_sm.jpg

    Are you looking for a pair of headphones that offers a superior sound experience than Apple’s EarPods at an affordable price? Look no further than RHA’s S500i in-ear headphones. RHA prides itself in offering high-quality headphones at low prices, and the S500i is no exception. I recently had an opportunity to test a pair of these bad boys and was blown away. At $49.95, these headphones are a tough competitor in the $100 or less price category.

    S500i in-ear headphones by RHA Audio Review!-img_0436.jpg

    Features & Design
    Made out of a lightweight aluminum alloy, the S500i offers design queues from much more expensive audio products. The S500i is packed with features, like its compact, noise isolating design, 3-button remote and microphone that integrates seamlessly with your iOS devices, and seven—yes, SEVEN— different types of earpieces to choose from. The S500i’s build quality is impressive. The lower section of cable is made of a durable braided material with an aluminum alloy 3.5mm connector. The 3-button remote features rubberized buttons that mimic the functionality of Apple’s EarPods. Despite the S500i’s heavy duty construction, these headphones are surprisingly lightweight. They fit comfortably in my ears, even after a few hours of constant wear.

    S500i in-ear headphones by RHA Audio Review!-img_0428.jpg

    Performance
    Performance is truly where the S500i separates itself from similarly-priced competitors. Once I found an earpiece that fit, I fired up Apple Music and was extremely impressed with sound quality. The S500i packs quite a punch for such a small package. Compared to my EarPods, the S500i has deeper lows and much crisper highs. The S500i offered up a nice, deep sound at low volume while maintaining clarity at higher volume levels. While the lows were impressive, especially for such a small package, I was unimpressed by the midrange sounds these headphones produced. Highs also had a tendency to be overbearing at high volumes and during phone calls.

    While the S500i doesn’t have active noise cancelation I didn’t miss it in my tests. The earpieces do a great job blocking outside noise, and the included flange earpieces offer even greater noise isolation. Of course, finding the best earpieces is crucial so I highly recommend trying out multiple sets until you find the right fit.

    S500i in-ear headphones by RHA Audio Review!-img_0434.jpg

    Bottom Line
    The S500i by RHA offers a durable yet sophisticated design. Despite its small package, these headphones pack quite a punch. Great noise isolation combined with a variety of earpieces to fit a wide range of ear shapes and sizes offer an immersive user experience. While the lows produced by the S500i are impressive, the mids and highs leave something to be desired.

    PROS
    Sophisticated Design
    Great noise isolation
    Seamless iOS integration

    CONS
    Unimpressive midrange performance
    Overbearing highs at high volume levels

    Audiophiles beware: The S500i is not for you. RHA’s high-end offerings, like the T20i, are a better option. Those looking for a low cost alternative to Apple’s EarPods, on the other hand, will love these headphones. At $49.95 you can’t go wrong. These headphones are a tremendous value.

    The S500i, along with RHA’s other product offerings, is available at www.rha-audio.com.
    Last edited by Rob Phillips; 06-28-2016 at 08:17 PM.
    RumoredNow, Ry and Spencerdl like this.
    06-27-2016 08:35 PM
  2. Spencerdl's Avatar
    Thanks for an excellent review Rob. Hummm, it makes me want to buy them..LOL . Just what I need another pair of earbuds. Because of YOU.
    07-28-2016 10:06 AM
  3. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    Thanks for an excellent review Rob. Hummm, it makes me want to buy them..LOL . Just what I need another pair of earbuds. Because of YOU.
    You can never have too many earbuds! These are a great step up from Apple's EarPods.
    Spencerdl likes this.
    07-28-2016 10:25 AM
  4. Ledsteplin's Avatar
    Earbuds and earpods don't stay in my ears. So I use over the head headphones. Nice review though.
    07-28-2016 11:14 AM

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