RHA has been making a big splash in the audiophile world. And since I love most of their high-end models, I was curious to see what they could deliver for 40 bucks. Does the RHA S500 Universal live up to the company’s reputation for producing a super punchy and fun sound signature? Let’s find out in this RHA S500 Universal Review.
RHA S500 Universal Review
IN the BOX
6 different sized pairs of silicone tips
1 pair of double flange tips
FIT & DESIGN
These buds have a great minimalist design, and they’re as light as a feather. The S500 are easy to pop in and are very comfortable. With a large variety of ear tips, even those with difficult ears should find the right fit. They also do a good job of isolating sound.
The housing is made from aluminum, and should, therefore, be very durable. In fact, with a 3 year warranty, RHA seems confident that these earphones will last a long time.
The cable is mostly made from a woven material, making it very flexible and easy to store. It also has a very solid looking 3.5mm plug, adding to the sturdy feel of the earphones. The cable comes with a 1-button remote and microphone that works for both, iPhone and Android devices. It allows you to play/pause, accept calls and activate whichever voice assistant you use.
In true RHA fashion, the S500 produces a warm and punchy bass. The speed of these buds is really impressive, making pop music super snappy. The bass also gets nice and subby in the lowest registers, so hip-hop is also a lot of fun to listen to.
Because of the warm lows, rock music has a rich feel. The mid range is quite well balanced, but there’s slight emphasis in the upper mid range, making vocals a little harsh if you listen at louder volumes. But as long as you don’t crank it up too high (careful, kids!) it shouldn’t be a problem.
Listening to folk music, I was impressed by the clarity and separation of sound. Acoustic guitar strums and picks were nicely delineated and detailed. With a very present bass, you’d expect a muddy sound at this price point. But the S500 effectively balances warmth and transparency.
One thing that some people don’t like about RHA is the slightly tinny sound that it produces in the higher registers. I heard a bit of this on the S500, but along with this characteristic comes a very crisp feel, which is fun when listening to tight percussion instruments. At the same time, when I played some jazz, the very highest frequencies were a tad piercing at times. But strings generally sounded smooth and reasonably detailed for earphones in this price range.
The S500 are versatile earphones that work especially well for pop. Fast, balanced and detailed with a 3 year warranty, these buds are definitely worth the price tag.
You can find these earphones for the best price at:
Audio 46 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
(For warranty fulfillment, make sure you buy from an authorized dealer)
Drivers: Micro Dynamic
Frequency Range: 16 – 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Cable Length: 1.35m
Warrant: 3 years