When Raina got a job that required her to commute to the city I bought her a pair of AirPods. She loves them; I’m not a fan. I don’t like their fit, and I think they sound like crap. The RHA TrueConnect True Wireless Earbuds have the same design but, unlike the AirPods, I’m a fan!
Inside the box, you get the TrueConnect True Wireless Earbuds, a charging case, an impressive selection of ear tip that include a collection of RHA TrueConnect silicone ear tips (2xS, 3xM, 2xL) and Comply Foam TrueGrip Plus ear tips in small, medium and large.
Finally, there is a nifty stainless steel ear tip holder and a USB-C cable for charging. Yes, RHA uses a USB-C connection!
The battery case is a bit larger than the one that ships with the AirPods but it isn’t so large as to make it cumbersome. The top swings partially open to reveal the earbuds and, when it is opened, the LEDs turn on to show you how much charge is left in the battery case. The earbuds alone get up to five hours of playback, and the battery case provides an additional twenty hours. From empty, the quick charge built into the case will get you up to 50% charged in fifteen minutes.
The earbuds are made from a black plastic covered in a soft touch material. It looks and feels great but it does show fingerprints. With a design similar to the AirPods, the TrueConnect earbuds have a tail that provides the excellent battery life and brings the microphones a bit closer to your mouth for conversations.
Sure, the tails, which RHA refers to as a “stem” look as dorky as the ones on the AirPods, but they work well and, since you are the one wearing the earbuds, you don’t have to see how dorky you look! As RHA explains:
The innovative stem design of TrueConnect earbuds – combined with high-quality Bluetooth 5 streaming – improves connection quality. The result is peerless true wireless audio and call quality.
As noted, the TrueConnect earbuds get five hours of use per charge and the battery case offers four additional charges. That means you get up to twenty-five hours of use before ending to charge the case again.
In addition, the TrueConnect earbuds have IPX5 for sweat, splash and weather protection. That’s something the AirPods don’t offer.
The left and right earbuds look pretty much the same, so it can be hard to know which goes into which ear. It can also be a challenge figuring out which earbud goes into which side of the case. Thankfully, RHA offers a simple but effective way to tell left from right. The right earbud has a small red dot. Similarly, the same small red dot can be found next to the slot in the case for stowing and changing the right earbud. Some might think this approach is too basic or primitive, but it gets the job done.
The main design difference between the TrueConnect earbud and Raina’s AirPods is the portion of the earbuds that sit inside your ear. The AirPods are a hard plastic that sits in the ear. For many people, this works but there are those for whom the design simply doesn’t allow them to stay in place. By contrast, the RHA TrueConnect earbuds use a more traditional approach where flexible ear tips sit inside the outer portion of the ear canal.
The result, once you find the right tip for your ears, is a far better seal. That, in turn, translates into better sound and a tighter fit. Sure, it can take a few additional seconds to properly seat the earbuds properly as compared to the AirPods which you simply “hang” inside your ear. And sure, the tight seal of the TrueConnect earbuds means you don’t hear as much ambient sound which, if you are walking in the city is a potential safety issue. But the better seal provided by the TrueConnect translates to good sound and a fit that will keep the earbuds in place regardless of how much you are moving.
The TrueConnect combines stylish, subtle design, excellent call and streaming quality, IPX5 sweat and weather resistance, and intuitive device and call control in earpieces.
Controls on the TrueConnect earbuds are rather simple, but they get the job done. With a simple tap, you can start, stop and skip tracks, adjust the volume, take and reject calls, and even activate your phone’s digital assistant. It’s not the most abundant of control options, but it gets the job done and, not for nothing, doesn’t require a college degree to learn.
That’s one aspect of the TrueConnect that caught my attention. They are simple, streamlined true wireless earbuds but their streamlined design doesn’t translate into stripped down performance or features. Here’s RHA’S rundown of those features:
- Stay connected: Any track, any app, any contact – just a button press away. Compatible with all phone OS and digital assistants.
- All day – and more: 5 hours playback, with 20 hours charge and fast charging in the flip storage case.
- Connect anywhere: IPX5 sweat, splash, and weather resistance for serious exercise or serious exploration.
- Superior stem design: Innovative stem design and high-quality Bluetooth 5 streaming improve call, music and transmission quality
- Twenty-five hours with fast charging: The TrueConnect earphones carry 5 hours of charge; with another 20 hours in the metal-reinforced, flip charging case. From empty, the earphones can be charged to 50% in just 15 minutes.
- Outstanding connection quality: The signature stem design of RHA’s TrueConnect – and high-bitrate Bluetooth 5 streaming – maximizes signal strength between headphone and phone, delivering crystal clear calls and uninterrupted audio.
- Easy Controls: Simple tap controls on the right and left earphones starts, stops, and skips any audio playback, changes volume, controls calls and activates your digital assistant for advanced device and connected smart functions.
- Stylish, subtle design: Low-profile, lightweight, and compact, the headphone is secure but unobtrusive; and physical noise isolation blocks ambient noise to let your audio sing. The perfect fit is ensured with provided Comply Foam ear tips, and RHA’s custom TrueConnect silicone tips.
So the earbuds get a total of 25 hours of playback time, have IPX5 sweat, splash and weather resistance, offer a secure, comfortable fit, a “stem” for enhanced call quality and put your voice assistance just a touch away. In other words, the RHA TrueConnect tue wireless earbuds have pretty much everything you want in a pair of true wireless earbuds for about the same price as Apple’s AirPods. Also, though, their black color makes them a bit more subtle, and their earbud design offers far more stability and better sound. And that’s why the RHA TrueConnect true wireless earbuds have finally put my lingering doubt as to whether or not I should get a pair of AirPods to rest. RHA’s offering has the same stem/tail as the AirPods but offers more in-ear stability, protection from the elements, and better sound. There are, of course, countless other true wireless earbuds on the market but if you have been lusting after a pair of AirPods but don’t want to shell out serious money on a pair of hard plastic, poor-fitting, not-so-great sounding true wireless earphones RHA’s $169.95 offering, which is just $10 more than AirPods, may be perfect for you. Add in the fact that Apple only offers a one year warranty on AirPods (which are known to see serious degradation in battery life shortly after the warranty expires) while RHA offers an impressive three year warranty and you can feel confident you are purchasing earbuds from a company that believes in and stands by, their product.
- Sweat/splash resistance: IPX5
- Driver: 6mm dynamic
- Frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz
- Range (unobstructed): 10m
- Weight (earbuds): 13g
- Charging (from 0%): 15m to 50%; 1h40 to 100%
- Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years
I’m impressed by the RHA TrueConnect true wireless earbuds and I think you will be too! Check them out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the RHA TrueConnect earbuds
What I Like: Black rather than Apple white; Great battery life and fast charging to keep the music going; Secure, comfortable fit thanks to a nice assortment of ear tips; Good sound; Case charges via USB-C
What Needs Improvement: Stem/Tail looks as silly in black as it does in white; Very good sound but not the best I’ve heard from true wireless earbuds (that distinction goes to the far pricier Master and Dynamic’s true wireless earbuds)