Headphones never last longer than a month with me. They’re like sunglasses—I know I’m going to beat them up over the course of the day and I’d rather not spend good money on a really good pair.
At the same point, I really, really rely on my headphones. I play games and watch shows from my TiVo regularly on my iPhone, so I need a good set. (That lasts at least a month.) I tend to buy headphones based on price, knowing that I’ll have to throw them out within a month or so after one of the ears goes dead from the insane wear and tear I put them through.
But recently, I had a chance to test the RHA MA450i noise isolating in-ear headphones with mic and found maybe I should spend a bit more money in the future.
The ears are made from aluminum, so they’re pretty sturdy. But what impressed me most was the cable was covered by a fabric braiding. It sounds meaningless, but in practice, it meant tangling was less likely to happen and I felt the wires were up for a bit more of the beating I typically give my headphones when I shove them in my pockets four or five times a day.
The remote for volume control and play/pause worked seamlessly with my iPhone, though I did feel it was quite easy to sometimes hit play/pause when you meant to adjust the volume. The mic was fine, though I tend to avoid them since no mic on headphones can be better than just holding the phone to your face.
Sure enough, one of the ears did go dead, but I got many more months use from this set than I have from cheaper sets. Maybe the lesson isn’t that manufacturers should make their wires sturdier and more bendable—maybe I should just stop shoving them in my pocket.
The RHA MA450i ships with seven interchangeable silicone tips—I tend to always put on the small ones since they fit the best.
* Disclosure: A sample pair of headphones was provided by the company for the purposes of this review. *