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RBH Sound EP1 Recommendations

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You need to experiment with the variety of cushions in order to achieve the best sound to your ears with the RBH EP1 in-ear headphones.  I achieved the best bass results using the Comply foam cushions but at times it was almost too powerful.  The large silicon cushions worked the best for my ears.  The smaller sizes just didn’t couple well with my ears and resulted in very poor bass response, verifying that achieving proper fit is very important.  I also found that they way you insert the earphones into your ear made the world of difference as to how they would perform.  I achieved the best results with the speaker driver oriented below the ear cushion when inserting them into my ears.  When I did a first listen, I didn’t pay attention to how I was installing them in my ears and I was very underwhelmed with their bass performance as a result.  Use care when installing the EP1’s in your ears.  Most importantly, since the EP1’s can play extremely loud with low distortion, listen responsibly.

EP1 Foam EP1 Silicon

RBH EP1 Comply Foam Tips(left) & Silicone Tips (right)

Conclusion

EP1 & GeneThe RBH EP1s lack some of the features of competitor products such as volume control and a microphone which for pure music listening shouldn’t be a show stopper.  As far as in-ear headphones, the EP1’s are about the best set I’ve ever listened to.  They produced excellent bass response (assuming you pick the right ear cushions and positioning for your ears) and were able to play cleanly at much louder than safe listening levels.  Their overall tonal characteristics seemed to be pretty well balanced though the midrange was a tad thin at times depending on source material.  Anyone looking for respectably good performance from a pair of portable earphones would be remiss not to check these babies out.  While I still adore my over-the-ear open-air Sennheiser HD 600 headphones, I wouldn’t dream of bringing them on an airplane or to the gym.  The RBH EP1 in-ear headphones give you portability and good fidelity so you can enjoy music on the go.  They are comfortable to wear, provide effective noise isolation and the woven cloth cable prevents tangling, something I’ve always wrestled with when dealing with conventional earbuds.  Best of all, RBH sells these babies direct for $149 (including shipping).  They even come with a 10% off coupon redeemable for a second pair purchase.  This is the first RBH product available for online sale and we certainly hope it won’t be the last.  Recommended!

 

RBH Sound EP1 In-Ear Headphones
MSRP: $149/pr (free shipping)

RBH Sound
382 Marshall Way
Layton, Utah 84041

General phone & FAX
Toll-free: (800) 543-2205
Local: (801) 543-2200
FAX: (801) 543-3300

 

About RBH Sound

RBH Sound, one of the older speaker companies in the USA, is still run and operated by the original founder - Roger Hassing.  In 1976, RBH Sound produced its first loudspeaker.   RBH soon began to OEM for McIntosh, (back in the days of Gordon J. Gow), providing cabinets for their speakers.  This set the stage for doing a superb job since McIntosh didn’t worry about how to cheapen the product, but to make it better and, at least at the time, lead the class in performance.   Later, RBH Sound began producing loudspeakers for a retailer in Los Angeles called Northridge Audio.   They didn’t advertise or market these products to avoid a conflict of interest with their other OEM customers (i.e. McIntosh, Parasound, Fosgate, etc). People nonetheless sought them out because of their high performance, which lead to a good success story and response for their products.  Over the years, RBH Sound was successful at helping other companies in achieving their goals. Based on their strong engineering background and sourcing ability, they took it upon themselves to enter the market under their own banner.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarhalf-star
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

jp_over posts on May 04, 2013 10:21
Kew - I think I'll always have a spot in my bag for “on ear” headphones that cancel noise. However, now that I have a pair of in-ear noise isolating earphones that are comfortable, these might just turn out to be a final solution. Here's that other thread for any who are curious: http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/headphones-earphones/84760-bose%AE-quietcomfort%AE-15-acoustic-noise-cancelling%AE-headphones.html
KEW posts on May 04, 2013 10:07
jp_over, post: 967025
OK - finally got the EP1s in the mail. Excellent product!

Very accurate and articulate. Dialogue is clear. Bass is well defined and plays low with authority. Here's the surprise, I typically despise in-ear phones and find them very uncomfortable after any length of time. With the Comply T400 ‘medium’ earphone tips installed (shipped with the EP1s) these are very comfortable.

Further, the noise isolation is so good I have to leave at least one half way out so I can hear if we have “incoming”. Overall, excellent product and the sound quality/accuracy puts my Audio Technica ANC7b headphones to shame which are currently being shipped back to AT since one side is cutting out. Don't get me wrong, the ATs are a good product that I'll keep but they're just not as accurate (especially in the lower frequencies) as the EP1s.

Caveat: My laptop requires about 60% volume to really get them rocking. So, they're not as sensitive as other in-ear headphones I've had (a set of Ultimate Ears that I bought in 2009 - I think the UE 1 / $99).

So, will these work as a final solution?
For the benefit of readers who did not see your other thread, you felt you needed noise cancelling and these noise insulating were a stop-gap measure.
jp_over posts on May 04, 2013 09:35
jp_over, post: 959107
I've ordered a pair of the EP1s and should receive them in about 2 weeks. Can't wait to get them as these will be the highest end “in-ear” phones that I've tried. Ah, the waiting game!

OK - finally got the EP1s in the mail. Excellent product!

Very accurate and articulate. Dialogue is clear. Bass is well defined and plays low with authority. Here's the surprise, I typically despise in-ear phones and find them very uncomfortable after any length of time. With the Comply T400 ‘medium’ earphone tips installed (shipped with the EP1s) these are very comfortable.

Further, the noise isolation is so good I have to leave at least one half way out so I can hear if we have “incoming”. Overall, excellent product and the sound quality/accuracy puts my Audio Technica ANC7b headphones to shame which are currently being shipped back to AT since one side is cutting out. Don't get me wrong, the ATs are a good product that I'll keep but they're just not as accurate (especially in the lower frequencies) as the EP1s.

Caveats: My laptop requires about 60% volume to really get them rocking. So, they're not as sensitive as other in-ear headphones I've had (a set of Ultimate Ears that I bought in 2009 - I think the UE 1 / $99). Also, I'd personally prefer a right angle plug.
jp_over posts on March 26, 2013 02:06
I've ordered a pair of the EP1s and should receive them in about 2 weeks. Can't wait to get them as these will be the highest end “in-ear” phones that I've tried. Ah, the waiting game!
GranteedEV posts on August 26, 2012 20:06
I'd be interested in hearing how these RBHs compare to the JH Audio JH5s
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