Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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Review:RHA Earphones and Comply Isolation Earphone Tips

Recently I found that my much-loved earphones ( Sony MDR-EX90LP ) had an unplanned overnight soaking in cup of coffee (the details still bring tears to my eyes) and I’ve been looking for replacement. As I said on Twitter I looked the receipts and was much surprised to find that I purchased them in January 2008. Alas, Sony no longer makes earphones with 13.5 mm drums and I’m forced to look around for new set of quality earphones.

I was much excited to find some for sale on eBay and purchased them, however they turned out to be cheap chinese knockoffs and had to bin them. -much sadness-

The Search

First, earphones not headphones. Headphones are for people with a total lack of fashion sense and other medical conditions.Earphones isolates you from the world around you which can be important when concentrating on something new.

My earphone “plan” is to have a two different types in regular use. I have a low cost, everyday use and typically use Sennheiser CX300 or Sony MDX300 earphones for general, particularly when travelling. They are priced reasonably at about £15 each and quality is OK.Both Sony and Sennheiser tend to be heavy on the bass but mostly I’m listening to audio podcasts so this works out pretty well. Because they get crumpled in my bag or pocket and constantly used the fail through use. I’m not bothered for a cheap pair.

When I’m at a desk or travelling “safe” I have used the much more expensive Sony MDR-EX90 to appreciate the finer qualities of the music since they had a much larger 13.5mm drums that really made the audio that much better.

The range of earphones is baffling. Some people have recommended paying up to £200 for a single pair but that seems out of control to me. Earphones are basically expendable / consumable items and I don’t want to get overly attached because I paid too much for them ( I’d be afraid to use them or lose them ).

This week I stumbled over RHA MSA350 headphones in the Amazon store 1 and took a gamble based on the reviews. Long story short, I’m well pleased with the result. Moderate priced earphones with great sound that I might almost be able to use everyday.

Good Stuff:

  • great sound with clear base and balanced overall sound.
  • The cables are braided with cloth so they don't tend to catch on clothing.
  • Small size so that I don't look like an alien with oversized ears or helmet.

Bad Stuff:

  • When the cable rubs against something that sound is transmitted to the earpieces.
  • Equal length cables - I prefer to one long/one short cabling so I can loop the long side behind my neck).

Comply Foam Tips

Following a recommendation I also impulse- purchased a set of Comply isolation tips for my this model. These are the same memory foam that I use for ear plugs when studying but replaces the tips on my ear pieces. The result is major reduction in external noise - useful for concentrating at the office desk when working.

Affiliate Links :

I'll make pittance if you buy through these links if you don't mind :)

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Comply T-200 Isolation Earphone Tips Medium Black 3 Pairs

RHA MA-350 Aluminium Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones - 3 year warranty

  1. shopping for earphones on the Amazon website is awful because there are so many cheap knockoffs from China that flood the listing. Loathe 'shopping' at Amazon although the buying experience is OK.