Positives

IPX5 water resistance rating
Effective isolation
Secure fit
Bluetooth 5.0 support
Comprehensive controls
Fast charge via USB-C

Negatives

Expensive price
SBC only, no aptX

Bottom Line

If you're hesitant about the AirPods because you're not sure about the fit and want something with a strong bass response, the RHA TrueConnect is a great alternative. It's IPX5-certified — making it great for working out — and boasts a sophisticated design.

8.5
8.5
TrueConnect
by RHA

If you're hesitant about the AirPods because you're not sure about the fit and want something with a strong bass response, the RHA TrueConnect is a great alternative. It's IPX5-certified — making it great for working out — and boasts a sophisticated design.

It’s more common every day to round a street corner and see a pair of  true wireless dangling from a stranger’s ears especially since the earbuds are more affordable than ever. Do the RHA TrueConnect hold up against cheaper alternatives? Let’s dig in and see if these earbuds have held up through 2019.

Read the in-depth RHA TrueConnect review at SoundGuys

What is the RHA TrueConnect like?

Angled downward image of the RHA TrueConnect open charging case with the earbuds facing the lens in different directions; the closer 'bud shows the RHA logo.

The RHA TrueConnect is available now for $169.95. The earbuds feature IPX5 water-resistance, operate via Bluetooth 5.0, and fast charge via the included case.

Like other RHA products, the TrueConnect boasts a sophisticated design contrary to the earbuds’ plastic builds. The metal-reinforced charging case is gorgeous and can fast charge the earbuds to 50 percent after just 15 minutes. When the case itself runs out of juice, listeners can connect via the included USB Type-C cable.

Editor's Pick

Although the RHA TrueConnect mimics the AirPods’ stems, RHA’s earbuds include something that Apple’s don’t: angled nozzles. By engineering the earbuds to actually fit in the ear — unlike the AirPods — a cogent seal is created, isolating the listener from external noise. This improves clarity and bass response, and means you’re less likely to crank up the volume and inadvertently damage your hearing.

For those who equate audio purchases to investments, the RHA TrueConnect operates on Bluetooth 5.0, future-proofing them for the foreseeable future. What’s more, the IPX5 water resistance served me well during several runs and workouts, just make sure they air out before placing them in the case.

Related: Don’t use AirPods with Android

Sound quality

The earbuds’ bass frequencies are emphasized but not to a gross, unbearable extent. This lends itself well to environments like exercising and commuting but makes it difficult to discern harmonic detail like resonant frequencies from a guitar.

The effective isolation improves audio quality and bass response, beating out the AirPods.

Unfortunately, these earbuds don’t support AAC or any of the aptX variants, though chances are your ears are too damaged to notice a discernible difference. For a full rundown of isolation and frequency test results, read the full RHA TrueConnect review over at SoundGuys.

How do the RHA TrueConnect compare to the competition?

Master Dynamic MW07 Plus noise canceling true wireless charging case

SoundGuys The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus are a gorgeous pair of noise-cancelling earbuds, designed to catch the aesthete’s eye.

The RHA TrueConnect remains one of the best looking true wireless packages available, save for the more recent Master & Dynamic MW07 Go and MW07 Plus earbuds, the latter of which includes noise-cancelling. Appearances aside, though, and the TrueConnect earbuds have a hard time stacking up against cheaper alternatives. The lack of high-quality Bluetooth codec support isn’t doing the headset any favors, and we’ve yet to see them take a long-term price cut.

Android users looking for a stem-like alternative may want to save nearly $100 by getting the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air. These earbuds have a comparable standalone battery life and support AAC for high-quality, consistent streaming stability on iPhones. Another option: the Mobvoi TicPods Free, which are also stemmed and filter out ambient noise.

If you’re an iPhone user, your dollar goes a lot further with the Apple AirPods Pro than with the RHA TrueConnect. The AirPods Pro have great noise cancellation a comfortable fit and longer battery life. Plus, they’re packed to the gills with sensor technology which enables automatic ear detection and voice isolation when speaking through the microphones.

Should you buy the RHA TrueConnect?

The left RHA TrueConnect earbud being worn by a woman, it protrudes a bit from the ear with the stem angled downward.

The earbuds fit securely in the ear but don’t lay flush with the ear.

Yes, the RHA TrueConnect demonstrates how to properly manufacture true wireless earbuds. The seal is effective, and the earbuds are water-resistant. Of course, the lack of high-quality codec support is mind-boggling for the $169.95 price. For some, though, the sleek design and comprehensive on-board controls are compensatory enough.

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