RHA has a fame for creating headphones that not solely sound phenomenal, however provide nice design and high-quality construct. We have been impressed by the corporate’s entry-level RHA TrueConnect 2 earbuds after they have been launched final 12 months, however we have been left wanting a little bit extra – particularly when in comparison with high-end wi-fi earbuds like Apple’s AirPods Professional.
RHA’s reply? The RHA TrueControl ANC, a pair of premium wi-fi earbuds that look to tackle the competitors from Apple, Sennheiser and Bose utilizing the corporate’s signature method to audio and design – however has it been profitable in doing so? Sadly, it’s not a clean-cut reply – learn on to seek out out why.
Design and construct
Usually talking, wi-fi earbuds have shrunk over time – simply take a look at how a lot smaller Apple’s AirPods Professional are than the usual AirPods – however each once in a while, an organization will go in opposition to the grain. That firm, within the wi-fi earbud world, appears to be RHA, with the TrueControl ANC earbuds greatest described as ‘chonky bois’.
The earbuds themselves are bigger than many of the competitors, however they’re designed that means. RHA took the choice to form and contour the earbuds to make them basically fill your complete ear. It’s a danger, given the truth that ears aren’t dissimilar to fingerprints in that they range from individual to individual, however the goal is to offer earbuds that gained’t twist or transfer as soon as put in place.
It’s definitely an odd sensation placing them in for the primary time, particularly coming from AirPods Professional, that are a lot smaller. You’re initially conscious of simply how huge the earbuds are in your ears, and also you’ll even be capable of really feel them once you transfer your jaw. However as with most issues, when you get your tunes enjoying and also you’re going about your day, it’s seemingly you’ll quickly neglect about it.
It’s definitely worth the adjustment interval as a result of, for me, the TrueControl ANC buds are among the many most safe wi-fi earbuds I’ve ever tried – even staying securely in place when going for a 5K run, attainable within the drizzly winter months because of the buds IPX4 water resistance ranking.
That’s primarily right down to the contoured form that permit the buds wholly match within the ear, nevertheless it’s additionally improved by the grippy matte plastic that covers them. The draw back to the fabric is that they will get fingerprint-y and usually a little bit soiled fairly shortly, and it’s not a straightforward materials to maintain mark-free.
When not sat snuggly in your ears, the TrueControl ANC buds stay within the accompanying carry case. It’s basically the identical design as that utilised by the cheaper TrueConnect earbuds, however with one key distinction – wi-fi charging is now obtainable.
For these unaware, the case encompasses a rotating barrel and an aluminium body, and it’s definitely a premium, well-built case, nevertheless it’s additionally a lot greater than different wi-fi earbud instances I’ve seen, and it’s not with out situation – though that’s one thing I’m going into element about a little bit in a while.
In the case of wi-fi earbuds, controls range from producer to producer. You’ve obtained corporations like Apple utilising squeeze and faucet controls, whereas others, like Google and RHA, have gone down the contact management route.
I reviewed the Google Pixel Buds 2 a number of months in the past and whereas the contact controls have been in depth, I simply couldn’t get on with them – particularly with so many false activations adjusting the earbud place in my ears. That mentioned, I used to be a little bit bit gutted after I noticed that RHA had gone down the identical route with the TrueControl ANC buds, postpone from my expertise with the Pixel Buds, however fortunately, the implementation is near-flawless.
That’s partly right down to the inclusion of an precise capacitive contact floor instead of a movement sensor like with many alternate options, which means you don’t need to faucet fairly so onerous to activate the buds – only a gentle contact is sufficient to play or pause music. However Google’s buds additionally use capacitive contact surfaces on its buds, so why doesn’t RHA’s buds undergo from the identical false activations?
The button-esque touch-sensitive floor on every bud sits in barely from the perimeters, whereas Google’s Pixel Buds lengthen utterly over the floor. Merely put, the TrueControl ANC buds provide you with a little bit of room to regulate the match with out unintentionally skipping tracks or toggling the ANC off. That’s to not say it gained’t register real faucets and swipes although; there have been only a few instances when the buds didn’t choose up on a swipe or faucet in my expertise.
There are totally different mixtures of faucets and swipes to regulate numerous options, all of that are utterly customisable, together with the EQ of the buds, through the RHA Join app for iOS and Android.
Contact management system apart, you’ve obtained all of the staples of high-end wi-fi earbuds, together with auto play/pause know-how once you take away the buds out of your ears, together with ANC, which I’ll go into under, and an ambient mode that funnels environmental noise into the earbuds to make you extra conscious of your environment – good for runners and cyclists.
Audio high quality
Audio high quality with in-ear buds is essentially depending on the match, which is why the TrueControl ANC buds include a whopping 10 pairs of eartips within the field to ensure they’re comfortable in your ears.
It’s a giant step ahead from different producers that usually solely embrace commonplace small, medium and huge units of eartips as commonplace, though it is a staple of RHA merchandise basically reasonably than being unique to the brand new buds. It might appear a bit overwhelming to check out 10 totally different eartips, however imagine me after I say that an ideal seal makes all of the distinction, particularly with regards to bass and noise cancellation.
When you’ve discovered the proper mixture of eartips, you’ll be capable of respect the spectacular sound signature on provide from the high-end buds. There’s punchy bass with out muddying the nice and cozy mids and detailed highs, vocals sound crisp and there’s first rate stereo rendering too. The well-rounded efficiency means they will deal with bass-heavy tracks like Imanbek’s Roses Remix and classical numbers like La Traviata with ease, and that’s additional customisable through the RHA app.
When linked to the buds, you’ll be capable of change between 5 presets – Impartial, Heat, Brilliant, Vocal and Vitality – to tweak the output to your liking. It’s far more user-friendly than an EQ for audio novices, though the entire lack of customized EQ settings is a little bit of a shock contemplating it’s obtainable on many equally priced buds. Nonetheless, it’s seemingly solely true audiophiles will mourn the omission – I discovered the presets, Vitality specifically, actually enhanced the listening expertise.
There could also be a slight discrepancy in audio high quality relying on in the event you’re streaming from an iPhone or Android, with the aptX Bluetooth codec obtainable for the latter, nevertheless it’s unlikely you’ll discover a lot of a distinction until streaming high-res tracks from the likes of Tidal.
Because the title implies, the TrueControl ANC options energetic noise cancellation to assist block out intrusive environmental sounds, and it really works fairly effectively. The buds are in a position to cancel out low-pitched hums from followers and the prefer to a negligible degree, making them a good choice for flights – every time they occur once more – and noisy commutes, however with regards to higher-pitched frequencies like voices and automotive horns, sound can leak in.
This does develop into much less noticeable as you flip up the amount, however you may wrestle to obviously hear your favorite podcasts in loud environments at decrease volumes.
General, although, the TrueControl ANC buds sound spectacular and provide a tempting improve in comparison with many earbuds obtainable proper now.
RHA’s premium wi-fi earbuds ought to final round 5 hours per cost, with the charging case offering an extra 20 hours of playback earlier than needing a top-up. That’s about common for a pair of ANC-enabled wi-fi earbuds – though non-ANC buds can last more – however there’s a much bigger situation afoot.
The larger downside is that the case doesn’t maintain cost for too lengthy. I totally charged the buds and case, left them for little over every week or so and after I went to make use of them once more, each the buds and case have been utterly useless. I reached out to RHA for clarification and the corporate confirmed what I suspected: that the case is consistently charging the earbuds, even as soon as they attain 100% cost.
That’s one thing I haven’t seen on wi-fi earbuds since first-gen buds have been available on the market 3-Four years in the past, and it signifies that no matter use, the wi-fi earbuds and case will have to be charged roughly as soon as every week.
It’s not solely an inconvenience in comparison with different earbuds that may maintain cost for weeks, nevertheless it additionally signifies that it’ll seemingly have a knock-on impact on the general battery lifetime of the earbuds. It’s frequent information that consistently charging a battery will cut back its total battery life, and with solely 5 hours obtainable out of the case at launch, it’ll solely worsen from right here.
Whenever you do come to top-up the charging case, you are able to do so through the USB-C port on the rear or through wi-fi charging, a function unique to RHA’s high-end wi-fi earbuds.
Pricing and availability
The RHA TrueControl ANC wi-fi earbuds aren’t low-cost, coming in at £249.95 within the UK and $299.95 within the US, placing them firmly up in opposition to established high-end buds together with Apple’s AirPods Professional, the Sennheiser True Momentum 2 and Bose QC Earbuds.
The spectacular audio efficiency, nice match and first rate ANC efficiency imply it’s definitely worth the money, however you may need to be ready to cost it typically – and that is not normally a concession you must make on the premium finish of the market.
You should purchase the RHA TrueControl ANC buds straight from RHA itself within the UK, and the US too. For extra inspiration, I might advocate having a look at our collection of the very best wi-fi earbuds.
The RHA TrueControl ANC buds are the following evolution in RHA’s audio providing. Whereas the full-ear design did take some getting used to, the advantages – together with a near-perfect match and passive noise discount – are definitely worth the adjustment interval. The contact controls are literally touch-based, reasonably than counting on a movement sensor, and because of some design smarts, you gained’t undergo from the unintentional activations prevalent on different touch-based earbuds.
You’ll get the identical high-end signature RHA sound you’re used to from RHA merchandise, with a balanced output suited to a spread of musical tastes, and you may select from presets inside the RHA app to tailor the expertise, though the dearth of a devoted customized EQ might disappoint some – particularly at such a excessive value level.
The one actual disappointment is within the battery life division; whereas a complete of 25 hours cost is about common for ANC earbuds, the issue is that the case regularly gives cost – even as soon as the buds hit full cost – which means that the case should be topped up as soon as every week no matter whether or not you’ve used them or not, and there’s a danger they could be useless once you want them most.
No less than you’ll be able to cost the case wirelessly when it does want a top-up, a primary for RHA earbuds.
RHA TrueControl ANC: Specs
Noise Cancellation: Suggestions Lively Noise Cancellation
Driver: 6mm customized dynamic
Frequency Vary: 10-20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 100 dB
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Battery life (Earbuds + Case): 5hr + 20hr
AAC & aptX codec help
Weight (earbuds): 8g
Weight (case): 94g exc. earbuds
RHA Join app