RHA CL2 Planar in-Ear Monitor Headphones Review

RHA CL2 Planar in-Ear Monitor Headphones Review

RHA leads the planar charge with these technically groundbreaking earphones. The audio is stunningly tuneful and rich in detail, even if the assembly of the earbuds themselves could be more straightforward. If you can afford them, the RHA CL2 Planar is among the best-sounding in-ear headphones out there. Now, let’s Travelsyear.com review.

RHA CL2 Planar in-Ear Monitor Headphones Review

Design

RHA CL2 Planar - Design

This is a super comfortable monitor to slip into your ear. The tips will do most of the sealing work but given the small size of the RHA CL2 that is not an issue as you can get this real close to your canal without any undue pressure on your outer ear.

We did find the girth of the memory wire system at times put a little outward pressure on the ear. Often it would inadvertently pull out the CL2 from the ear if not shaped fairly tight. The CL2s are quite small so sometimes the balance of the weight is transferred more to the cable. Just make sure the cable is tightly shaped and you should be fine.

If you are coming from the CL1 the design of the CL2 is remarkably similar in terms of finishing, materials, and dimensions. The weight does seem marginally lighter by 4g but very hard to tell side by side. The only physical differences We can spot are the little venting port on the CL1 faceplate for the driver to breathe and the stronger-looking raised MMCX connectors.

The materials are a super tough Zirconium dioxide injection molding shell with plenty of shine to the gunmetal or shimmering black finish. This is a 3-piece ensemble with 2 for the body and a silver-finished short nozzle for the 3rd. They look gorgeous, to be honest, and certainly nothing DIY or boutique about the build quality.

Sound Quality

RHA CL2 Planar - Sound Quality

The RHA CL2 Planar has a thick rich sound with emphasis on the lower mids and mid-bass. Instrument placement is generally on the right plane of the stage, but the mids sound a bit congested due to the emphasis on lower mids and midbass and the lack of a counterbalance in the treble to provide air. The RHA CL2’s technical performance is hampered by restrained treble as much or more as previous generation RHA products were hampered (for many) by over-emphasis in the treble. This is a different sounding RHA product that seems to be aiming more at what I’ve been told is a classic British HiFi sound: warmed up and smooth. The lack of treble extension leads to loss of speed and smoothing over cymbals and other percussion instruments. The low mid and midbass emphasis also makes the soundstage sound more compressed width-wise, even though the edges seem to get as wide as other IEMs. It’s an odd feeling.

Comparison

RHA CL2 Planar - Comparison

There are many competitors at or near the price point of the RHA CL2 Planar. As mentioned previously, the two that I compared the CL2 to include the Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered custom fit IEMs and the Westone W60 universal fit IEMs (reviewed here). The Weston W60 consistently presented a darker sound signature, especially in the upper-frequency range. The UE Reference Remastered was much closer to the balanced sound signature of the CL2 Planar, although it was still a bit veiled sounding in the upper-frequency range and produced slightly less bass at the lower end when compared to the CL2 Planar.

Connectivity

RHA CL2 Planar - Connectivity

Bluetooth performance is excellent. We get between 9 and 10 hours of battery and the range extends to between 50 and 60 feet depending on obstacles and electrical interference. Like other Bluetooth headphones, it does get interference from tram lines but not to the level of the Flares Pro. The performance of the Bluetooth is equivalent to the MA750 Wireless, We expect they have the same Bluetooth chip but may have different power in their amplification.

RHA CL2 Planar

In conclusion, the RHA CL2 Planar is an outstanding in-ear monitor which won’t be grasped by everybody since its price tag is on the higher end of the range. Nonetheless, unlike any other headphones, the CL2’s most enthralling feature is for sure the energetic yet vibrant sound which has unreal dynamics and excellent reaction, thus providing impeccable stereo imaging. It has clarity, fulfilling spatialization with enough height, broad width, and depth never disappoints.

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