Bluetooth headphones work with your smartphone whether you have a 3.5mm headphone jack or not. The sound quality usually suffers a bit, but you can find some models with aptX support and other features so that you have a decent audio experience.
I’ve spent a couple of weeks with the RHA MA650 wireless earbuds and have been very impressed. One benefit of having an around-the-neck design is that you can provide a larger capacity battery than you can with completely wireless earbuds. Another benefit over traditional wired headphones is that you avoid tangling cables.
The RHA MA650 retail package includes eight pairs of eartips for the earbuds, including Comply foam, silicone, and tri-level silicone in different sizes to fit your ear. The housing for each earbud is constructed of aluminum with RHA’s Aerophonic design and a custom model 380.1 driver. The aluminum material is 6063 for durability and comfort.
Specifications of the RHA MA650 include:
- Codecs: AAC, aptX, SBC
- Frequency range: 16-22,000 Hz
- Wireless: Bluetooth and NFC
- Water resistance: IPX4 rating
- Battery life: 12 hours
- Weight: 33 grams
- Warranty: 3 years
The MA650 is an over-the-neck design with a flexible cable connecting two large ends that house the battery and wireless radios. The earbuds are at the end of a cable, about six inches long, coming out of each end. The cables do not retract, but there is a magnet between the two earbuds so they connect when you are not wearing them and keep things from tangling up.
The right cable has a universal three button remote to control playback and also initiate voice assistants. The right side end has an open USB Type-C port for charging, I’m very pleased to finally see this being used on headphones, and the on/off button that is also used to initiate pairing. A LED indicator light shows battery level too.
The NFC radio is on the left side so you can use this technology to facilitate pairing as well.
While I personally did not run with these earbuds, they would work nicely on the elliptical or other gym machine where you are not bouncing around for the entire exercise. I used them during my commute and while working at my desk though.
The MA650 headset is very comfortable and the sound was excellent. I never once had them slip out of my ears using the silicone tips. I did notice the cable sometimes rest against my cheek when I turned my head, but having the weight of the headphones taken up by the neck mount made the earbuds in my ear excellent for long periods of listening.
On my iPad I actually had to keep the volume level down to 50 percent or lower as the sound would get too loud above that. It is rare that Bluetooth headsets are not at maximum volume levels, in my experiences.
The MA650 headset is available for $99.95 online, at the Apple Store, and at other retail locations.