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RHA SA950i Portable Headphones E-mail
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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Thursday, 01 November 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
RHA SA950i Portable Headphones
Closer Look: RHA SA950i Headphones
RHA SA950i Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

On-Ear Headphones Final Thoughts

The RHA SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones are very good but to get the most out of them they need to be amplified, the volume level afforded by your mobile device well be enough for your needs but I felt they were a bit tame compared to the less expensive little brother - the CA-200 Noise isolating Over-Ear Headphones - which are half the price of the SA950i On-Ear Headphones. All products from RHA come with a standard 3 year warranty which adds value and peace of mind.

They do have other up sides too, they are small, light and compact so you won't look like a goon walking the street with massive cans on the sides of your head. They are also much better looking and use higher quality materials than the CA-200's which are all factors that go into the price consideration. There is no horizontal adjustment in the ear cups and that affects the comfort experience. As I write this I am wearing the SA950i Headphones and the pressure is not evenly distributed on my ears, there is more pressure on the back of my ears than on the front and this could be simply remedied if the front of the ear cups pointed inwards slightly.


RHA SA950i Conclusion

Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the RHA SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that they are better or worse than a similar set of headphones that have been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones are good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

The performance of the RHA SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones is very good but to get the most out of them they need to be amplified, your mileage may vary, you may well be content with the performance under mobile conditions but I felt they were a bit tame compared to the less expensive little brother - the CA-200 Noise isolating Over-Ear Headphones - which are half the price of the SA950i On-Ear Headphones. Get the SA950i On-ear Headphones hooked up to your PC or home studio and you will see what they are really capable of.

The SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones are small, light, compact and look good. Many people refuse to wear full size headphones in public because the massive headphone look isn't desirable, they instead prefer to wear in-ears, and I think RHA may have found a nice balance.

The aesthetical construction of the RHA SA950i Headphones is very good and there are some nice design touches incorporated into the headphones. The chrome sliders insert into the ear cups and allow them to tilt up and down, the problem is that they are not secured into the ear cups and it doesn't require much effort to pull them out. They will lose a point for not having horizontal adjustment (pivot) of the ear cups which affects the comfort and long use wearing experience.

As far as functionality is concerned the SA950i On-ear Headphones almost deliver on all their marketing promise. The fabric braided detachable 3.5mm stereo cable with inline control and mic adds a unique touch that you won't find in all headphones at this price point. The range of adjustment means that these headphones will fit most sizes of head. The ear pads are comfortable but there isn't enough cushion to compensate for the lack of horizontal pivot in the ear cups. The microphone is very clear during calls and voice recording and is comparable to a high quality computer headset microphone.

Presently available for £49.95 (Amazon UK) / $59.95 ( The RHA SA950i On-Ear Portable Headphones will also be available in Apple Retail Stores from October 30th 2012 (MSRP $59.95).

They are by no means overly expensive, and comparing the SA950i On-Ears to the CA-200 Over-Ears may be like comparing apples to pears but the lower priced CA-200 Over-Ear Headphones gave a better overall experience for me so my recommendation would lie there. If you prefer the look of the SA950i On-Ear Headphones and you intend to also use them for voice calls etc then you should attempt to see if you can try before you buy.


+ Detachable braided cable
+ Inline Remote and Microphone
+ Good design
+ Excellent bass response
+ Reasonable value
+ Small and lightweight and compact
+ Bass doesn't cloud high and mid range
+ Sound leakage kept to a minimum


- Lack of horizontal pivot adjustment
- Not as comfortable as they could be
- Need amplifying to really shine
- Ear pads don't appear to be replaceable


  • Performance: 8.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.00
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.40 out of 10.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.

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# RE: RHA SA950i Portable Headphoneskzinti1 2013-02-06 11:37
I just had an idea.
It would be helpful if you could place headphones you're testing on a full-sized mannequins head and show a pic of it. That would give a nice perspective of the relative sizes of such products.
Why a mannequin rather than a real person? People vary in size. Mannequins are of standardized sizes and everyone has seen mannequins in stores. So, such an image should be relevant to a review.
Of course, we'd still need your excellent descriptions of the comfort level and quality of these items in fit, finish and operation.
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# RE: RE: RHA SA950i Portable HeadphonesOlin Coles 2013-02-06 11:41
That's not a bad suggestion, but outfitting all of our staff with mannequin heads could be costly. What if measurements were given, instead?
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# MrMalcolm Shakesheff 2013-06-14 03:55
I bought these & use them with Poweramp on my Sony Experia J. The result is fantastic over a wide range of different types of music from Mozart to White Stripes.Plenty of noise,even though I am bound to be a bit deaf after
60 years of ear bashing. For some one who dreamed of owning a Ferrograph reel to reel in my teenage years this is a miracle combination of wonderful sound unimaginable back then,2nd half of the 1950's.Ok they could be more comfortable but at 50 an excellent buy.

Retired in Brittany, france
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