At a quick glance, the RHA SA950i on ear headphones look like they want to accomplish everything a headset can possibly do. Priced at $59.99, the headphones qualify as an entry-level model, yet their maker boasts that they deliver professional grade audio quality and superb ergonomics. To top things off, the RHA SA950i come with a pretty sweet three-year warranty.
Founded in 2008, the British audio company Reid Heath Acoustics’ (RHA) team spent three years in product research and development before releasing a product to the market. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, the young company has already established a name for itself by offering affordable, high-quality products and superb customer service – enough to make me plenty curious to put the RHA SA950i headset through its paces.
The RHA SA950i headphones come in a relatively large retail box. Inside it, however, there’s nothing but the headset and its cable.
The retail package
While a carrying case would have certainly been welcome sight in the headphones’ box, its lack is certainly not a reason for frowning – at least not at the price point which the SA950i inhibits.
Design and build quality
The RHA SA950i is certainly a nice-looking headset, even if slightly resembling some of the high-end Skull Candy offerings. Wearing an all-black color scheme, and sporting a fashionable blend of modern and retro elements, the headphones have plenty of character to show.
RHA SA950i live photos
Build quality is solid – the three year warranty which the SA950i offers is certainly a strong statement. Don’t expect an overly premium feel from the headphones, though – in order to hit the price point, RHA has used mostly plastic and faux leather in the construction of the headset.
The ergonomics of the RHA SA950i headphones are nothing short of superb. With a weight of only 105 grams, the headset is the lightest on-ear model I have tested – long hours of continuous use are never an issue and this is a big deal in my book. The light weight achieved by RHA is a great trade-off for the use of the relatively non-premium materials I mentioned above.
Along with being light, the headphones offer an extremely slim profile when worn. This means that there’s less chance of the user looking a bit over the top when wearing them in public.
The headphones’ cable is fabric braided, completely detachable, and tangle-free. The three-button remote works like a charm – the most often used middle button sits lower than the volume one, hence it is easy to access when on the go.
The RHA SA950i headphones come equipped with a 40mm titanium driver whose sensitivity ranges between 16 and 22,000Hz. Impedance is 32ohms, while the sensitivity maxes out at 113dB.
The sonic experience with the SA950i at full blast is truly memorable. The headphones’ high output, combined with their light weight, makes them feel like they are bouncing off one’s head. Bass is extremely powerful, though sometimes at a price – when certain music styles are playing, the lows tend to slightly eat into the high and mid tones of the track.
Overall however, the SA950i are capable of dealing with any style of music, so long as the EQ settings are tweaked properly. Considering their price point, the overall sonic ability of the headphones is simply uncanny.
Priced at $59.99 on Amazon and in Apple retail stores, the RHA SA950i headphones are easily among the most capable sub-$100 cans money can buy. There certainly are some Sennheiser and Sony offerings which might beg to differ about the RHA credentials. The British offering however trumps each and every one of its competitors in terms of ergonomics. The SA950i is therefore easy to recommend to everyone on the market for on-ear headphones which are affordable without sacrificing audio quality.