If you're familiar with Scottish audio brand RHA, you'll know that its products are for purists, audiophiles, and anymore looking for insightfulness and detail, rather than bass and attack. Unlike many other purist brands, RHA has adapted to the needs of consumers, and it launched its first true wireless earphones last year. The RHA TrueConnect is among the nicest-looking and best built true wireless headsets you can buy, but falls a bit short when it comes to sound quality.
The successor to those earphones is now here. The RHA TrueConnect 2 is priced at Rs. 12,999, and offers the same excellent design and build quality as before, but there are also improvements in the specifications and features. Does all of this translate to better sound quality and an improved overall experience? Find out in our review of the RHA TrueConnect 2.
I've always liked how RHA's earphones have looked, and the RHA TrueConnect 2 is no different. The aesthetic hasn't changed much when compared to the RHA TrueConnect, and that's a good thing. The headset is available in two colour options – blue and black – and both have a dull matte finish that looks sophisticated and understated, in my opinion.
As before, there are stems extending downwards from the earpieces for the microphones, and the earpieces didn't extend too far out of my ears. I quite like the discreet look. The earphones are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance, and seven pairs of ear tips are included in the sales package. Unlike with the original TrueConnect, these are all silicone ear tips, with no foam options. A USB Type-C charging cable is also included.
A big difference in the design of the RHA TrueConnect 2 is that the button on each earpiece has been replaced with a capacitive touch sensor. A single tap on either side plays or pauses music; a double-tap skips to the next track; a triple-tap skips to the previous track; and a long-press invokes the default voice assistant on your smartphone. The controls are easy to use and work well, but there's no way to control volume, no hear-through mode, and no app for customisation – RHA has gone for simplicity here.
The charging case of the RHA TrueConnect 2 is as impressive as the one on its predecessor, with a metal lid, matching matte finish on the body, precise cutouts for the earpieces, and a USB Type-C port at the bottom. Usefully, the charging contacts on the earpieces aren't on the stems, which makes for a proper latch with few chances of issues with charging. This is quite easily among the best-looking charging cases for true wireless earphones that you can buy today, but RHA's simplicity-driven approach means there's nothing fancy like wireless charging here.
The RHA TrueConnect 2 features 6mm dynamic drivers with a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz and a sensitivity rating of 98dB. These true wireless earphones use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, with support for the SBC and AAC codecs. This is an improvement over the original TrueConnect which only worked with SBC, but I was still a bit disappointed about the lack of support for more advanced Bluetooth codecs such as Qualcomm aptX.
Battery life is significantly improved with the RHA TrueConnect 2, for both the earpieces and the case. I was able to get a little over 8 hours of listening time on the earphones on average, with the charging case adding another four full charges, for a total of around 40 hours of listening per charge cycle. This is quite impressive, and among the best you can expect from true wireless earphones.
The RHA TrueConnect might have been a great-looking pair of true wireless earphones, but sound quality was a bit disappointing for me. The RHA TrueConnect 2 sees some improvements in this department, with better tuning and support for the AAC Bluetooth codec. The sonic signature is more refined, pleasant, and entertaining, and is suitably helped along by good design and effective passive noise isolation.
Although tuning can go a long way in making up for the lack of support for advanced Bluetooth codecs, the RHA TrueConnect 2 does still fall just a bit short of the benchmark set by the Jabra Elite 75t which offers a more entertaining sonic signature. However, the RHA TrueConnect 2 does very well in one department: connectivity. The connection was always stable, and I was able to use the earphones at up to 15 feet away from the source device with no sound issues.
Starting with a high-resolution version of The Weeknd's Party Monster, the RHA TrueConnect 2 made for a very clean, sharp sound that sticks to the somewhat neutral and balanced signature that the brand is known for, while giving an ever-so-slight boost to the lows and highs. The Weeknd's vocals pushed through admirably, with just a bit of reverb and echo, giving his voice character and feel.
The bass and treble aren't quite as impactful as on the Jabra Elite 75t, but RHA makes up for this with a hint more detail and cohesiveness. Although the earphones weren't receiving as much data due to the limitations of the AAC Bluetooth codec, the tuning and drivers were able to make for a well put-together sound that didn't falter much.
The RHA TrueConnect 2 is particularly impressive when it comes to detail and soundstage; there's a lot that can be heard in all kinds of tracks, regardless of whether you're listening to high-resolution music or regular compressed streaming audio. Listening to Michael Jackson's History on YouTube Music, the RHA TrueConnect 2 offered up a beautiful soundstage that managed to effectively simulate direction, depth, and realism in the sound.
This was also held together well by the earphones' ability to relay faint details in the track. High-resolution audio sounded just a bit better, suggesting that advanced codec support might have made a more significant difference here, and that the RHA TrueConnect 2's hardware is let down just a bit by the inability to receive more data.
As mentioned, the RHA TrueConnect 2 handles connectivity very well, and this has some benefit for call quality. The earphones were excellent for phone conversations, working well even some distance away from the paired smartphone. Voices were sharp and clear, making this among the better options available for up to Rs. 15,000 when it comes to call quality.
The original RHA TrueConnect is still among the nicest-looking and best built true wireless earphones you can buy, but sadly falls a bit short when it comes to sound. With its successor, RHA has built a pair of earphones that you can seriously get behind, even in the Rs. 15,000 segment, which sees strong competition from brands such as Jabra, Samsung, and Apple.
At Rs. 12,999, the RHA TrueConnect 2 still features excellent design and build quality, but now also delivers detailed, enjoyable sound, very good battery life, and class-leading connectivity and voice quality. Let down only by the lack of support for advanced Bluetooth codecs, the RHA TrueConnect 2 is a good pair of true wireless earphones to consider for the price. That said, with the Jabra Elite 75t set to get active noise cancellation through a software update it would definitely be worth considering that as well.
Price: Rs. 12,999
Ratings (out of 5)
Which are the best truly wireless earphones under Rs. 10,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.