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HEAD-DIRECT HiFiMan RE-262

Posted

Pros: Warm and fluid midrange, delicate highs, large soundstage, excellent vocal reproduction, exceptional detailing

Cons: Heavily microphonic cable,

Introduction

First, I’d like to thank Fang at Head-Direct once again for generously providing me with a RE-262 review sample.

 

HiFiMan has come a long way in just a few short years. Priding themselves on offering exceptional sound quality for a relatively low price, Their RE line of in ear monitors has been a perennial favorite at forums such as Head-Fi for their very high price to performance ratio. The RE0 was my first entry into the world of higher end audio and has remained one of my favorite IEMs in the time I’ve owned it, even after trying several other IEMs throughout the past year. It’s a great all-rounder that can hang with the big boys.

 

Enter the RE-262, the spiritual successor to the RE-252, another high end IEM from HiFiMan. While I haven’t heard this IEM personally, I’ve heard very good things about it so when I heard that the RE-262 was going to be released, I was understandably excited. Having listened to these IEMs for a considerable length of time now, these are something special. A considerable departure from the HiFiMan “house sound” that I’ve heard in the RE0 and RE-ZERO, the RE-262 are undoubtedly a new bang for the buck heavyweight. To see why, just read on.

 

Packaging and Accessories

I didn’t receive these in the typical retail packaging so I can’t comment on that but I wouldn’t be surprised if the RE-262s were shipped in a package similar to those the RE0 and RE-ZERO were shipped in. The accessory pack is identical, featuring the same large and small bi-flange tips, the same array of small, medium and large single flange eartips, a shirt clip and a set of replacement mesh filters.

 

Design and Build Quality

The RE-262, like the RE-252s before them, features a very unconventional design though not nearly as much so as the RE-252. The RE-262s are made out of a hard, glossy plastic and feature a rubberized coating on the end of the protrusions jutting out from the sides. The nozzles appear to be metal (or merely chrome painted plastic) and strain reliefs are identical to previous designs and just as effective. The cable itself is a good deal thicker and less flexible than that of previous HiFiMan products which gives it a slightly more durable feel and terminates in a very beefy and well relieved angled plug.

 

Comfort and Fit

The RE-262s are actually rather comfortable during regular usage, despite their unusual housing design and fits securely and comfortably in my ears with the stock small single flange tips. Wearing them over the ear is rather difficult unless you use the bi-flange tips and since neither size of those felt right for my ears, this effectively ruled out that wearing style for me but as usual, your mileage may vary. Being vented dynamic IEMs, the isolation provided by the RE-262 is about average at best.

 

The thicker cable I mentioned prior, as you’ve probably guessed, ends up being even more microphonic than the RE0 and RE-ZERO which rules them out for much active listening. The microphonics aren’t the worst I’ve ever heard from an IEM (that crown is still worn by the Altec Lansing Backbeat Plus IEMs and their awful cloth covered cable) but they are pretty bad overall. Personally, this is not much of an issue because I find the RE-262s better suited for home use than on-the-go listening but I’m aware that my tastes are likely far from typical.

 

Sound Quality

Burn in: These IEMs were given upwards of 200 hours’ worth of burn in time prior to review but settled into their final sound signature after about 50 hours.

 

Having much experience with previous HiFiMan products, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the RE-262…or so I thought. Upon the first listen, I knew these were something different, something special. The RE-262 is a big departure from the tonally neutral and analytical sound signatures delivered by both the RE0 and RE-ZERO. The RE-262 has a very warm, inviting and musical sound signature. To explain why, let’s start at the bottom.

 

The low end response is deep and textured but rather soft in impact and tone. Much unlike the RE0 and RE-ZERO, there’s plenty of bass to go around. By no means do I think these will satisfy the cravings of your average basshead but the low end presence should be adequate for the majority of users. When I listen to the RE-262, I often don’t feel the need to add a bit more bass presence via equalization, something I did regularly when using the RE0 and RE-ZERO. There’s a warm, roundedness to the lower end that doesn’t sacrifice detail and is more in line with my tastes in regards to the amount of bass I want to hear. In addition, contrary to the slightly rolled off bass response of its siblings, the RE-262 maintains composure all the way down into the lowest of frequencies audible to the human ear and rumbles pleasantly down as far as 20Hz.

 

The midrange is where the RE-262 truly differentiates itself from its predecessors, taking on a warm fullness that wasn’t present in either the RE0 or, to a lesser extent, the RE-ZERO. The midrange presentation is liquid smooth and full of energy without sounding edgy and not so smooth that it sounds sloppy or thick. In fact, comparing these side by side with the RE-ZERO, an IEM I personally lauded for their liquid smooth midrange, the RE-262s are lush, full and smooth in a way that almost makes the RE-ZERO sound a bit dry. Despite this smoothness, there’s no shortage of detail present in the midrange presentation and while these aren’t the most analytical ‘phones in the strictest sense, I’m sure detail freaks will love the RE-262s just the same.

 

 

Vocal performances and the presentation of stringed instruments are particularly noteworthy as well as this IEM is the best I’ve heard in both regards. Female vocals, such as the unique vocal delivery style of Diana Krall, are amazingly well presented and sound more natural through the RE-262 than any other IEM I’ve tried. This natural quality carries over to every aspect of the midrange presentation and imparts a sonic character unlike any other IEM I’ve heard to date.

 

The treble presentation is great as well. Once again, the smooth character of every other aspect of the presentation is present here in the way treble is reproduced and, personally, I find it very enjoyable. There’s a nice bit of sparkle to keep things from sounding too dark but the treble overall is rather relaxed in relation to the midrange. This also means that the RE-262s never sound harsh or strident in their presentation, even on treble-happy tracks.

 

In comparison to the RE0, an IEM with a treble presentation unlike any other I’ve heard with their boundless energy and bright but never too bright sound, the RE-262s are almost antithetical in the way they present treble. The RE-262 is relaxed without sounding recessed while the RE0 is anything but. In comparison, the RE-ZERO are much closer to the presentation of the RE-262 than the RE0 in that they are slightly relaxed but not as much so as the RE-262.

 

 

The overall presentation of the RE-262 is rather surprising in that it’s the single most spacious-sounding IEM I’ve heard. The soundstage is actually quite large, which gives the RE-262s a very out-of-head sound and stage presence. This makes it exceptionally easy to pick out the locations of individual instruments and performers on the sonic stage. At the same time, the stage never sounds too big or too open, actually, quite the opposite as the RE-262s are very good at portraying intimacy as well as space, as vocal performances sound very close to the listener (but not too close!).

 

It’s worth noting that these IEMs feature a 150 ohm impedance rating and they do benefit quite a bit from a good amp. These are certainly listenable and still quite good out of a decent source unamped but they improve noticeably with the extra juice a dedicated amp provides.

 

Conclusion

The HiFiMan RE-262s are currently unavailable from the Head-Direct website at the present time but are likely to retail for $249 when they are officially released. While this may sound rather steep, it’s actually rather low in comparison to the retail prices of other high end IEMs, such as the Westone 3 at $359, Earsonics SM3 at $379 and Shure SE535 at $499 (!). For the price, you’re getting a mid-centric and exceptionally detailed and well-presented IEM in the RE-262, one that likely compares very well with the above earphones.

 

Before you ask, no, I haven’t heard any of the above IEMs so I won’t make any definitive statements in regards to the technical proficiency of the RE-262 in relation to them but great sound is hard not to take note of and these are unquestionably the best IEMs I’ve heard, period.

 

Back to the comparison with the RE0 and RE-ZERO, the RE-262 is certainly superior to those ‘phones but is it worth the $150 - $170 premium over the two of them? Personally, I would say yes. These are a noticeable step up from both IEMs in overall quality and “musicality”. They’re not analytical or focused on neutrality; rather, they feature an unabashedly colored and warm tonality that is irresistible to me. Listening to them is a pleasure unlike everything I’ve heard in an IEM thus far. If you’re in the market for a high end mid-centric pair of IEMs, check out the RE-262, it may be the last IEM you'll ever buy.

 

Re-posted from my site, Musical Musings

Posted

Pros: Well detailed, never harsh, sweet midrange

Cons: Rolled off treble, not an all-rounder, not as engaging

I liked them much with instrumental music or whatever that does not require a large soundstage.

Others mentioned that it has a large soundstage for an IEM, i agree. It doesn't have the crisp, lively sound my most of music requires so i sold them.

Posted

Pros: Great forward mids, tight, controlled base, smooth treble

Cons: Right channel does not work out of iPod Classic on these headphones ony

I was really looking forward to enjoying these. After plugging them in, I quickly realized that there was very little sound coming from the right IEM. I plugged them into my Fiio E11, and wow. These are far better in each and every respect than my B&W C5s, which were far too bass heavy for my tastes.

Posted

Pros: Lush and inviting midrange; Very musical

Cons: Bulky modular cable; requires and amp to shine

 

I’m a little late to the Hifiman RE series party but I thought it was time to get this party started and I did with the RE262.  Wow!  This level of musicality and refinement was not expected.

 

The RE262 is an odd shaped phone.  It is made to wear down or up.  The housings are plastic with rubber end pieces on the strange elbow shape and metal around the nozzles.  The cable is pretty supple and pretty thick.  It is also a modular cable and Hifiman supplies 3 different extensions.  One is a balanced extension and for wearing the IEM down.  The second is the standard mini connection and for wearing down and the third is also a standard mini connection but reverses the channels for wearing over the ear.  Due to the shape of the housings, wearing them up is really designed to put the left housing in the right ear and vice versa.  I’m not a big fan of modular cables, as the connectors add bulk and weight but the options HIfiman is giving you are very nice.

 

The RE262 comes with a very nice, large storage box but sadly no small carrying case.  Also supplied are a standard set of single flange silicone tips, plus two pair of Hifiman’s great bi-flange tips, replacement paper filters and a shirt clip.

 

hifi.jpg

 

One thing to note is that they are rated at 150 ohm with a sensitivity of 95 db, so they are not the most efficient of phones.  An amp is recommended.  My iPhone and Nano 6g will drive them loud enough but punch and authority are missing without the extra power.  I used both the Fiio E6 and the Digizoid ZO with the RE262 and I’ll offer some differences between the two later in the review.  Since these require the use of an amp and do not come with a case, I’ve picked up a nice Klipsch case that’s big enough for the phones, amp, cables and extra tips while still remaining portable.

 

ClieOS defines the sound signature best as warm and sweet.  I’ve read from plenty that burn-in is required (particularly for treble expansion) with these but I have to say I’ve been amazed since I first turned them on.  I don’t know how many hours I have and frankly don’t care.  The RE262’s are lush, liquid, silky smooth, very rich and superbly textured.

 

Timbre is excellent.  Instrument realism is something the RE262 excel with and vocals sound simply amazing, intimate and effortless.  Soundstage is surprisingly expansive and deep, with excellent layering, considering the focus on the midrange, and dynamic range is very good as well.  Distortion guitars do not quite have the crisp bite of the GR07 or FXT90 but still sound very realistic.  Piano sounds believable and involving.  Acoustic guitars are full and resonate.  Transparency is on par with my memory of the EX1000 but doesn’t have the Sony’s magical air.

 

e6 2.jpg

 

The midrange is where it’s at; it’s sophisticated and beautiful.  Vocals carry amazing intimacy that are very addicting, engrossing and full of emotion.  The entire midrange is velvety smooth with excellent clarity and detail.  Every little detail of the midrange is easily discovered.  Singer’s lips parting, the inhaling of breath, inflections from the throat are beautifully rendered.  Radney Foster never sounded so good.

 

Treble is extended and detailed but entirely non-fatiguing.  While not sounding the same as the treble in the Westone 4, it is reminiscent of the W4 in its ability to retrieve details in a most inoffensive way.  I have no problem picking out rides, cymbal crashes and other high end details.

 

Bass is very extended (with more power) and completely satisfying even though it is taking a backseat to the liquid midrange.  There is no midrange hump to overcome and sub bass is nicely textured with a tasteful, subdued rumble.  Every part of the drum kit is easily discernable and separated.

 

zo.jpg

 

Both the Fiio E6 and Digizoid ZO work very well amping the RE262.  Due to the E6 size, it is perfect for mobility, especially being the same size as the 6th gen and current gen Nano.  The Fiio amp is pretty transparent to my ears and doesn’t change the sound from the headphone out of my iPhone 4 (I tested from HO since that’s how the ZO v1 must be used).  EQ2 on the E6 sounds the best of its settings, adding just a small amount of bass punch and richness, without affecting the midrange and treble of the RE262.  The ZO on the other hand is just a very small amount less transparent in comparison; midrange is unaffected but treble doesn’t seem quite a bright, however the bass sculpting with the RE262 is fabulous.  The ZO has excellent synergy and is able to extract copious amounts of sub bass texture and rumble by a much larger margin over the E6.  The extra bass settings on these amps really bring life the bottom end extension the RE262 is capable of.

 

As you can tell, the RE262 is neither neutral nor analytical; rather it is tastefully colored and very musical.  Those looking for a departure from the standard approach to earphone tuning should look no further than the RE262.

Posted

Pros: Lush, Articulate, Well-Extended, Very Reasonably priced

Cons: Comes out of the box with forward mids, should be carefully amped (Though an amp isn't really necessary).

Packaging


These IEM's come in a pleather casing with a mount for the earpieces as well as 3 adapter plugs (balanced, unbalanced regular polarity, unbalanced reversed polarity), 5 sets of replacement filters and 5 sets of earpieces (1 large bi-flange, 1 small bi-flange, Small olives, medium olives, large olives). The packaging is tasteful and more importantly, durable.

 

Build Quality

The IEM's are made of a hard plastic, where the plastic housing terminates in a metal output nozzle. I have several friends who own RE0 and REZero and the cable and earphone in the case of the RE262 feel much sturdier and well-built. As others have said, the cable sleeve collar is rather stubborn at first, so don't force it.

 

Audio

These IEM's were quite a surprise to me. I have owned IE8's and UM1, so I feel as though I've experienced the far ranges of warmth and analysis in IEM's. Little did I know that just over the horizon was an IEM that would "Goldilocks" its way into my favorite spot.

 

The RE262 does not, to my tastes, require nearly as much burn in as has been advertised here on head-fi, but it DOES NEED BURN-IN. It comes out of the box with very forward mids. The treble feels rolled off, while the bass is well-extended, and articulate, but not very well textured. After about 10 hours burn-in though, these bad boys shine. The treble begins to sparkle, but stays smooth. The mids drop back a bit and you can hear the effortless warmth and precision the 262's produce. The bass begins to kick and thump, to encompass the other frequencies, but not overwhelm them. Suddenly I feel as though I really had wasted several hundred dollars on my previous IEM endeavors.

 

Now those were the characteristics that really change with burn-in. One that does not change, and is quite amazing from the get go is the staging. The staging on this IEM is brilliant. It's an out-of-head experience. Truly engrossing.

 

Now one very important thing to mention here is that you will not get the best out of RE262's from, for example, an iPhone HPO. Though, the sensitivity and impedance ratings are quite deceiving. You can achieve more than adequate volume from an iPod out, it just isn't the best quality audio you can get. 

 

I pair my RE262's with a cmoyBB 2.03, which is known as a great, spacious, warm amp. The bass boost raises the quantity of bass, but the RE262's do all the polish work, making for a bass experience that is articulate, textured, and visceral all at the same time. This portable rig is a wonder to behold. This is just testament to the fact that amp pairing should be very carefully considered with this IEM. Find something warm and spacious to accentuate its character.

 

What I will warn is that these headphones are musical. Now that may sound great to most, but it is no reference IEM. It is ridiculously detailed and crisp, but not as analytical as, for example a balanced-armature IEM. Now, I've never been a fan of cold sound, nor have I ever been a fan of bloated sound, so this IEM is just down my alley. It's like a tiny version of my wooded, recabled sr225i that I can enjoy anywhere. Truly fantastic.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The HiFiMan RE262's are a fantastic mid-range IEM that can really hang with the big boys. It's warm character doesn't undermine the brilliance of its mids, ample (though not bass-head status), articulate bass, slightly sparkly highs (post burn-in), and ridiculously large soundstage. Oh yeah, and there's that ridiculously low price.This IEM gets a Kojaku 4.7/5.

 

 

 

Posted

Pros: Warm, euphonic, and fun.

Cons: Much better with amplification.

Fang (Head-Direct, HiFiMan) was kind enough to donate some door prizes for our recent Bay Area meet.  I was pretty happy to win, but at the time I really had no idea what exactly was in the nice little black box I had won.  Turns out it was the RE-262.  I had heard the buzz about the HE-x line up, but I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the IEM offerings.  I’ve been happy with my Shure 530’s for travel and portable use for years.  When I hit the gym I’ve got some well (ab)used Superfi 5 pros that fill in.  I simply wasn’t looking for an IEM so I was blissfully ignorant, a good way to keep from opening the wallet!

 

 

 

RE-262 details:

 

Frequency response: 20 - 22Khz

 

Weight: 0.6 Oz

 

Sensitivity: 95 db

 

Impedance: 150 ohm

 

 

 

 

After a quick listen I came away with good initial impressions.  So much so that when I recently had a short trip to Europe I decided I’d listen to the 262’s for the entire trip.  Use included the typical chores for an IEM including time on the plane, on the move, at the coffee shop, and in the hotel room.  Let’s just say that the RE’s were not to blame for not getting an audition in the gym, that was all me!!  I had a little over a week to try living with them. As a “seasoned traveler” I always bring back ups, but I never used them.  This should be an indicator that my impressions are going to be on the good side.

 

 

 

 

While I do have a few IEM’s that I could try and make comparisons to, I clearly don’t have the experience to go down that road.  I might make mention of one or two since they are my reference, but I don’t intend to compare the 262’s directly here to any other IEM.  Instead I hope to offer a simple impression from my experience living with them full time for a week or so.

 

 

 

I wanted to add that I decided not to read any other reviews or impressions prior to listening and assembling my opinions.  This turned out to be a fun challenge, and a refreshing approach, as I was able to evaluate what I was hearing without trying to compare to what others had reported or listening to find something specific that another listener heard.  No golden ear here, no great experience to make detailed comparisons, just some real world impressions by a regular guy who likes music. 

 

 

 

 

So, after getting home from the meet I had a chance to open the nice little box and see what was inside.  The box itself is pretty nice, but like many others it’s not what you’d likely consider carrying for travel.  I opted to choose the accessories that I thought I might need and put them into one of my extra Shure 530 zippered pouches. 

 

 

 

 

Accessories included (I did not carry them all, of course):

 

5 flanges, 3 “olive” style of various sizes, 2 “bi-flange” large and small

 

Balanced 4-pin mini (female) to regular mini (male) adapter

 

Reversed phase (L/R) balanced 4-pin mini (female) to regular mini (male) adapter

 

Reversed phase (L/R) balanced 4-pin mini (female) to balanced 4-pin mini (male) adapter

 

1/8" Female to Stereo 1/4" Male adapter

 

10 replacement screens for driver tubes

 

Cable shirt clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took some photos to give a general ideal of what you get:

 

DSC_4060.jpg

 

The IEM’s themselves are plastic, and had me a little suspect upon first inspection.  After roughing them up a little changing flanges I quickly gained some confidence and wasn’t that concerned when I had to simply throw them into my bag in a rush instead of properly protecting them in a pouch.  They held up fine.

 

 

A closer view showing off the bi-flanges.

 

DSC_4049.jpg

 

 

 

The cable is well put together.  Length is reasonable for a portable rig, not so long that you have a lot of extra cable hanging around.  It’s not too thick and fairly flexible.  I opted to use the included shirt clip since I ended up mostly listening with the wires straight down from my ears instead of looping back over the tops.  When you do want to go over the top the design of the buds requires you to reverse them in your ears so left becomes right, and right left… this is when you use the adapter.  It’s kind of neat the way it works.  Without some memory cable  I didn’t care for the way that they laid over my ears, so I stuck with the standard straight down arrangement.  Like most IEM’s with the flanges sealed well they are quite microphonic.  I didn’t notice it much unless the volume was all the way down or very low.  Over the ear or use of the shirt clip reduced it to acceptable levels.  The mini plugs (I had two since I was using the balanced to regular adapter)  have 60 degree bends.  They never got in the way, but of course you end up with a little extra clutter because of this extra gear.

 

 

 

 

I ended up doing a lot of flange testing on the 10+ hour flight.  I wanted to be sure that I picked something comfortable with a good seal.  Isolation was very good.  The large olives fit me well but I found them a bit uncomfortable after any length of time.  The larger bi-flange turned out to fit well, sealed easily, and was all day comfortable for me.  The thing that surprised me was the major impact on sound that flange selection had.  Flanges for my other IEM’s have been tools for getting a good seal and providing comfort.  By design the drivers of the 262’s end up close to the end of the olives with essentially no cavity.  This provided a very intimate sound with more low end impact.  The bi-flanges end up offering a pretty large cavity.  The result was a much more open and airy sound with less impact, especially from the lows.  I’ll touch on this a bit more when commenting on sound quality.  Isolation seemed slightly reduced with the bi-flanges.

 

 

 

 

The earpieces themselves were comfortable in either the over ear or straight down configuration.  If I noticed anything in my ears it was the flanges, the earpiece disappeared for me.

 

 

 

 

Overall if I had to sum up the sound of the 262’s I’d use the slightly overused and perhaps too generic description of musical.  The sound was smooth and euphonic but managed to maintain a decent amount of detail.  I found them warm, without approaching dark.  Highs never approached harsh, and I noticed no sibilance.  Here is where I will offer a comparison; I did not find them as technically orientated as either the Shure E3 or 530’s.  That’s not to say they don’t provide details, but they are definitely not biased in this direction.  I want to mention the choice of flanges again.  If you want to maintain the impact of the lows from the 262’s I’d consider sticking with the olives.  However, when I wanted to let the soundstage open up and to let the mids and highs start to sing the bi-flanges really shined.  With the olives I felt that the mids and highs got a bit muddied.  With the bi-flanges the sound was more balanced and refined.  The trade off in loosing a bit of low end grunt was well worth it for me.  With the bi-flanges details became clear, I could pick out and follow along with single instruments.

 

 

 

 

When listening today I had a thought that if I had to compare the sound signature to any of my full sized headphones I think it would be my HD-600’s.  I am finding that I lean towards a warmer sound signature in general, and the 262’s fit right into that category, so perhaps this accounts for my general appreciation.

 

 

 

 

Typically when I select IEM’s it’s for one of three reasons.  I need good sound isolation (either from or to the outside world).  I am traveling and want to set up a portable listening rig.  I need to be portable, on the move.  In all of these cases I don’t like to restrict my selection of music genre because a particular IEM is biased in some way.  The 262 is capable of letting me enjoy my music, any of it, in any situation.  This is exactly what I require from an IEM.  Certain genres may have showcased the 262 (vocals, blues, classic rock) but I never found any genre that I simply thought was lacking to the point of not wanting to listen.  I will add that during this audition I listened to very little classical, so I made it a point to select a few tracks to specifically make sure I could make this statement without exception.  It still holds true.  From my limited listen I found that I was quite impressed with the sound staging of classical from this IEM.  Take that for what it’s worth, as I don’t listen to that much classical, it’s something I am trying to get a better ear for.

 

 

 

 

Since the 262’s are 150 ohm I was expecting to find them demanding amplification.  They are harder to drive than any other IEM I’ve used.  Here are a few notes on how they faired with different sources I used during my week plus of listening in varying conditions:

 

 

 

 

On the plane I was able to connect my Pico DAC/AMP to my iPad with the camera connection kit and a USB cable.  I always ended up selecting high gain.  The Pico was up to the task and clearly I found that it really helped to keep these IEM’s up to speed and provided the clearest details compared to any other configuration (more on this when I talk about un-amped operation).  This was also my hotel set up and provided me with great quality listening while on the road.  Using the iPad also allowed me to mix FLAC playback, iTunes, and some streaming audio.  The combo provided fast, dynamic, and detailed sound.

 

 

 

 

I tried the iPad HPO and was a bit disappointed.  While I often find that the SQ difference between an external amp and portable devices can be marginal, in this case the iPad just did not seem up to the job and left the 262’s sounding thinner and struggling with the speed of any complex music.  Without the Pico I’d probably have chalked the 262’s up as being a bit slow.

 

 

 

For moving through the airport and walking the streets of Glasgow I tried an iPod classic to keep things portable.  After the iPad HPO I was not expecting much, but the iPod HPO turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  It required some pretty high volume settings yet the results were pretty good.  Details were not quite on the same level as they were with the Pico, but overall the listening experience was quite acceptable.  Adding the Pico fed by the LOD made little difference in the sound quality, although it did of course provide some additional gain.  I found that I was happier to go fully portable and leave the little Pico behind in favor of a small package.

 

 

 

 

I never really consider home amps much when talking about IEM’s, however since I do sometimes set up in my office I did take the time to do some listening with a few of my home amps.  First up was the Little Dot I+, often an amp I take to the office, with music being delivered from an airport express and Headroom Micro Dac.  I found the amp revealed even more details and as expected drove them with aplomb.  I was expecting more bass impact, but the lows didn’t strike me as any more apparent than they did on the portable rig.  Rolling some tubes might have changed this impression.  Next up was the WA-6SE.  Yeah, complete overkill for IEM’s, but it sure made them sound good.  I have to say that the 262’s step up nicely with amplification.  For those keeping track of the details, and to throw even more inconsistency into these impressions, I used an iMac to Stello DA100 to provide tunes to the Woo.  The mids and highs really came to life and the deep, tight bass had full on impact and thump.  I’m not sure how often, if ever, these IEM’s will get head time with this amp, but as I write I am rocking out with this combination and loving every minute of it.  I didn’t try any home SS amps, I should.   I’ll add some impressions if I do, but I doubt most are considering these IEM’s for significant use with these types of amps anyway.

 

 

 

 

Major bass heads, you’re likely not to find the RE-262 to be your new choice for a club in your head.  Detail junkies, you’re likely to find another IEM to monitor the heart rate of the cellist in the fifth row.  For the rest of us the RE-262 is a good IEM that will have you enjoying your music, all of it. 

 

 

 

 

I want to thank Fang, Head-Direct, and HiFiMan again for the great door prize. 

 

 

My Shure 530’s have been the only IEM I grab when hitting the road since 2007.  The RE-262 will definitely be stealing some of that head time!


 

HEAD-DIRECT HiFiMan RE-262
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An in-ear, universal fit headphone

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