First impressions of the RHA T20, a high fidelity DualCoil in-ear earphones
First impressions of the T20, a high fidelity DualCoil in-ear earphones
We were gathered in a private room at the back of AV One to get our first looks at RHA’s new flagship earphones, the T20, and Gavin Muir, Business Development for RHA was on hand to give us a quick presentation on their latest product.
As you can see, the new unit takes its design cues from the T10i. It also features an over-the-ear hook design and the same injection molding process to create an ergonomic stainless steel housing that gives it the characteristic RHA T-series look. During the process, stainless steel is superheated to about 1,200 degrees Celsius for up to ten hours in order to allow the housing to be forged to their unique shape. Besides aesthetics, the design allows for great airflow properties, allowing the T20 to generate true-to-life, high-resolution sound.
Within the stainless steel housing lies RHA’s DualCoil system, which features an additional voice coil situated within an angular magnet. The inner coil handles bass and lower mid tones, while the outer coil gives you the higher mid and treble frequencies. This allows the T20 to produce a full range of sound with dynamic drivers, allowing for improved clarity, resolution and detail, while maintaining a neutral tonal balance.
That’s something that’s reflected in the T20’s stated frequency response of 16Hz-40kHz, but one other thing that’s quite unique with the T20 is that it comes with three sets of user-replaceable drivers so that you can tweak the sound to your personal preference. The reference drivers are installed by default, but there are also a set each of drivers that cater to bass and treble-heavy listening preferences.
Of course, we had to try switching out the drivers for ourselves to see how easy the process was, and we can safely say it’s quite easy to do as long as you can keep a hold on to the drivers, as they are obviously on the small side. We do like how you can screw them into the metal holder provided for storage as that makes it easier to keep track of all your drivers.
That brings us to the overall package of accessories that are included with the T20s. There’s a nice soft carrying pouch provided, and a selection of ten pairs of silicone and memory foam ear tips in multiple shapes and sizes that fit into a custom metal holder provided.
We managed to get a bit of time with the T20s, and were quite impressed by the amount of detail you got from the reference drivers. The T20s have great dynamics and clarity, and this was evidenced from a recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partitas (from the Tacet Audiophile Sampler CD). The strings in this piece rang out with great detail, and the surround imaging the earphones provided truly left us feeling enveloped in sound.
Switching tracks completely to a recording of Take Me to Church by Hozier, and we were impressed by the T20’s ability to handle a somewhat darker, grittier track. Hozier-Byrne’s vocals easily stand out against the dark lower mid-tones of the synthesizer track laid over it, and there’s a real sense of depth with the recording.
We tried the same track again after we switched the default drivers to the Bass drivers provided, and were pleasantly surprised at how much more bass extension the T20 got. We do feel there was more detail in the low end too, thus providing a significant change in the sound signature of the headset.
All in, we’d say the T20 is an impressive set of flagship earphones that have both the audio and the build quality to justify their S$398 price tag.
The RHA T20 will be available in July at all major authorized RHA distributors.