Inline remotes have long been an integral feature for earphones and headphones, allowing the user to control music playback or manage phone calls with a few quick button presses. It can be rather frustrating, though, if your device won’t work with the remote, rendering it a useless plastic decoration on your cable.
English audio manufacturer RHA recognizes this and decided to do something about it. The new RHA MA390 Universal and S500 Universal earphones are — as the name suggests — uniformly compatible with mobile devices, so you can complete control no matter what kind of phone you’re using.
Based out of Glasgow, Scotland, RHA has cultivated a reputation for crafting quality earbuds with a subtle, understated aesthetic, and the newest additions to its collection are no different. Both the MA390 and the S500 are primarily black, featuring gold-plated connections and aluminum housings with clear silicone ear tips.
The MA390, outfitted with dynamic model 130.8 drivers tucked within Aerophonic rounded silver housings, will most likely replace RHA’s currently available MA350 earphones at the $30 level (the company’s cheapest price point).
Meanwhile, the S500 — built with micro dynamic model 140.1 drivers and compact, ergonomic housings in space gray — will take the place of the S500i (which are identical, but whose remote only works with Apple devices). The S500 are designed to fit comfortably in any ear canal.
Both pairs of earphones come with seven sets of replacement tips in differing sizes and styles; while this is fairly standard for earbud purchases today, it’s nice to see, given the modest price point of the Universal series. The name “Universal” is derived from the inline remote you find on both the MA390 and the S500.
The past couple of years have been quite productive for RHA. In August 2016, it announced its high-end CL earphone series (alongside its first headphone amp/DAC, the Dacamp L1), and its flagship CL1 Ceramic was named a CES Best of Innovation Honoree this January.
RHA currently only offers in-ear headphones, along with a number of different accessory options. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds, try perusing our top picks.