RHA  - RHA MA390 Universal


RHA MA390 Universal: pretty intras that lack subtlety

Aprox. 29€ - see price -

The MA390 Universal is one of RHA's most accessible intras, even more so than the S500. Placed under the € 30 mark, they promise one of the best quality / price ratios on the market. The reality is quite different.

Our review


Like the S500i, the MA390 Universal benefit from good manufacturing quality, especially with regard to their pricing positioning. Each interior is adorned with an aluminum chassis that is robust, compact and light. Even if no certification is specified by the manufacturer, these intras did not show any sign of fatigue during our trial period (sport, rain ...).

The thickness of the cable is correct. The braided design of the main part seems to offer a little welcome extra protection. It also prevents tangling the cable at all times, even when it is quickly stored in the pocket without paying particular attention. The manufacturer still provides a pouch to protect these intras.

If we appreciate the quality / price ratio of MA390 Universal, it is however less the case of the remote control. The plastic shell that protects it is very thin, it sounds hollow and its assembly does not seem to be done with great care; we hear a little click between the two plastic parts when we move the cable.

The comfort provided by the MA390 Universal is very honorable. The great lightness and compactness have a lot to do with it. In addition, they fit fairly naturally into the duct without being particularly intrusive. Three pairs of silicone tips are delivered to find the right shoe. We would almost forget about them after a few minutes of use. However, the sensitivity of the cable to solid-state transmissions, especially friction, reminds us of the presence of intras. These noises can be significantly reduced by passing the cable under a garment or by using the clamp provided, for example, but it can happen to perceive still some repercussions when one moves a lot.

On the control side, the simplicity is absolute. The MA390 Universal, so-called universal, therefore only offer a single multifunction button to manage music playback, calls and navigate between tracks. We can forget about the volume control, but, at least, they can be used without worry on both Android and iOS. The performance of the microphone - housed in the remote control - is good. It detaches the voice well from the surrounding sounds in fairly noisy environments, even when speaking discreetly.



The RHA MA390 Universal sign a very average sound performance with a V signature far from subtle.

They show a very wide preference for the extreme low / low and the high-midrange, which also marks a fairly clear break with what the manufacturer is used to offering. Unfortunately, the membranes quickly get carried away in the first part of the spectrum. We get bass certainly deep, but very compact and imprecise. It is difficult to differentiate between the sources that operate in this register.

The peak in the high mids strongly boosts the impression of clarity, the scenic presence and the attack of certain sources. This also helps to limit the slightly invasive nature of the bass. However, at a sustained listening volume, and on certain sources (typically, saturated guitars), this coloring tends to become aggressive. In addition, we are far from being overwhelmed by the finesse of the restitution, especially since the withdrawal in the treble does not necessarily allow to enjoy an airy restitution of the scene. Fortunately, there is no sibilance to report and the voices are naturally placed well ahead. The RHA MA390 Universal offer a very correct passive isolation, which allows you to cut off significantly from the surrounding sounds. We are very far from what memory foam tips or some active noise reduction can offer, but the effect is sufficient for use in an urban environment.

The distortion is fairly contained over the entire audible spectrum and is therefore not a problem. By asking 210 mVrms to reach 94 dB SPL, the RHA MA390 Universal are not the easiest to propel on the market. Very weak smartphones and portable players will therefore have to be pushed to their limits to reach a good level of listening. However, this remains lower than their cousins S500i, which require no less than 315 mVrms to reach this same threshold.



Sold at low prices, well manufactured and comfortable, the MA390u offer only passable sound performance. A use as a hands-free kit is however widely conceivable, especially in view of what some intras supplied with smartphones can offer.