Wired earphones are easy to use and you'll find one for every budget, however, dealing with cables can be messy and storing them often feels like a chore. To tackle with the cable issue, specifically, RichBean has come up with a solution with its new pair of wired earphones. The RichBean Retract is a standard pair of earphones priced at Rs. 649 with a retracting mechanism that lets you wind its cable up into a small plastic housing. That definitely sounds convenient, but is that enough to make this pair of earphones worth buying? We put it to the test to find out.
The RichBean Retract looks like a regular pair of earphones with the plastic housing between its two ends. The cable below the Y-splitter can be wound up within it, making the earphones easy to store. You just have to tug the wires lightly to unwind them from the mechanism, and this also lets you alter the length of the cable.
The RichBean Retract has metal earbuds which look premium but get cold to the touch in an air-conditioned room. There's an in-line remote just below the Y-Splitter. This feels plasticky and has only one button on it. The 3.5mm headphone plug isn't angled.
In order to make the earphones retractable, RichBean has used thin cables for the Retract. Even the cables after the Y-splitter are thin and feel flimsy. We were careful with the unit during our review, fearing that these cables might snap. The retraction mechanism has a clip which you can use to attach onto your clothes to prevent the earphones from dangling. You can change the position of the plastic housing on the wire but it's meant to stay in the centre so that the wire can be wrapped up properly. We also found the housing to be a bit big which can cause it to snag when you are moving about.
RichBean supplies three pairs of ear tips in different sizes, and the medium-sized ones are attached. You also get a velvet pouch to store the earphones which is a good addition, considering these earphones cost just Rs. 649.
While RichBean does not mention the specifications of the product on their website, the box does tell us a few things. The RichBean Retract has 10mm drivers with an impedance of 32Ohms. These earphones are said to have a frequency response range of 20Hz-20,000Hz.
In order to test the performance of the RichBean Retract, we used a MacBook Air and a Google Pixel 3a XL (Review) as the source devices. We streamed music using JioSaavn and YouTube on both these devices and also used our own high-quality test files to check audio quality.
We weren't impressed with the sound quality of the RichBean Retract when we first started using it but there was a minor improvement as we wore it in. The RichBean Retract can get really loud but the sound starts to crack at higher volumes. This pair of earphones has a standard V-shaped audio signature which is focused on bass and the treble while the mids tend to get lost.
While listening to Old Town Road by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, these earphones suppressed the mids quite a bit at lower volumes. Bumping the volume up got the mids up, only for them to be overpowered by the bass. Sound imaging isn't all that great; you get basic stereo separation but it is hard to focus on any instrument easily.
We made a couple of calls using the RichBean Retract as a headset. It does a decent job for calls and we could hear our callers without any issues. Our callers could also hear us and did not complain about audio quality.
The RichBean Retract is made to address the frustration of cable tangles. It is successful at, to an extent, but that doesn't make it a good pair of earphones. The audio quality isn't as good as that of many other products available at this price point such as the Boat Bassheads 225 and the Realme Buds.
If you are looking for a good pair of earphones on a tight budget, we would recommend that you skip the RichBean Retract in favour of either of these options. The Bassheads 225 is tangle-resistant as well and delivers better audio quality than the RichBean Retract.
Ratings (out of 5)