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HiFiMAN RE-600


Pros: Sound quality, its practically perfection.

Cons: Rather flavoured and if you want this quality you have to pay for i

HiFiMAN RE-600 Quick Review


Thanks to Head Direct for the sample.


Full review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/678638/hifiman-re-600-review


Brief:  HiFiMAN’s finest IEM to date.


Price:  US$400 so about £255 or £302 if HMRC spot it


Specification:  3.5mm mini plug, Mini adapter for regular earphone jack, Frequency Response: 15Hz-22KHz, Impedance: 16 Ohms, Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW, Weight: 0.48Oz (13.7g)


Accessories:  13 pairs of tips, 10 filters, balanced to normal adapter, cable wrappy thing and a little case.


Build Quality:  The best so far for HiFiMAN, the cable is supposedly all Kevlar coated and what not.  Still it’s a bit stiff for my liking.  The woven outer is nice to the touch but overall this doesn’t scream awesome build quality, its very ordinary visually.


Isolation:  For a dynamic very good.  Rather better than its predecessors too.  Still it’s not up there with the BA stuff but this I’d be relatively happy with a short flight.  Naturally more than enough for typical usage and to get yourself run over if you aren’t used to looking where you’re going.


Comfort/Fit:  Excellent.  This was one area where HiFiMAN had issues previously.  The 252 in particular was a nightmare for fit but the 600 has gone back to an old fashioned straight in the ear design.  Yey!  Just stuck in ears and that was it.


Aesthetics:  These in comparison to the 400 look fancy but compared to other things out there these look very pedestrian.  Not unattractive by any means but these don’t make me have much of an opinion on the matter.  They are glossy black.


Sound:  This is the bit where HiFiMAN stuff tends to shine and here is no different.  The 600 is possibly the best IEM I’ve ever heard.  It does everything exquisitely.  Everything thing on it is tremendously good.  The bass is spacious, offers scale and power yet fabulous clarity and agility.  It rather shows up what other high enders can do as this is a dynamic and that oft make bass more vigorous low down.  The quality is so outstanding and yet it can dial up enough to really power a bass line when its called for.  Then the mids, well they are like an improved 262 and they were about the best mids in existence already.  Here they are a little warm and a little liquid over perfectly neutral but by Christ they sound good.  They are so phenomenally enjoyable, even more enjoyable than they are technically proficient.  They are masterfully brilliant.  The highs too are staggeringly good.  They don’t appear in the abundance some may like but the clarity, detail and ability to that most difficult of things, produce a natural decay, is first rate.  Again of the high enders which are normally BA, it’s just not something a BA driver does well.  I’ve never thought a BA driver can ever truly do that shimmery decay of a cymbal perfectly in the way an excellent dynamic can.  It’s amazingly good stuff.  The downs now, the bass is rather bigger than neutral so purists may not be pleased but also it’s no IE8 to please bass heads.  The mids like all the best middy IEM’s out there are a bit over beautified and not strictly neutrally accurate.  The highs which may be stunningly good but haven’t the abundance some want and they are not so in your face apparent.  The 272 sounds immediately hyper detailed because it’s so much brighter.  Treble heads will crave greater abundance.


Other things, its soundscape is tremendous for an IEM. Its dynamic capabilities are outstanding.  Its detail levels are such that despite being a relatively friendly sound sig to poor recordings and sources are so high that if you feed it cack it will let you know.  So no 128k mp3’s!


Value:  Debateable.  Is any IEM really worth US$400?  Actually its biggest obstacle is its sibling the RE-400.  Side by side the 600 may smash it but the 400 is super good and super cheap.  Still if you want one of the best sounding IEM’s money can buy then arguably “value” doesn’t really matter anyway. 


Pro’s:   Sound quality, its practically perfection.


Con’s:  Rather flavoured and if you want this quality you have to pay for it.


Pros: Flat frequency respose, not agressive, detailed and natural sounding.

Cons: Not enough deep bass and air. Fancy package not useful.

I bought the S version that has standard 3.5mm TRS unbalanced plug. I didn't want to use the balanced-to-unbalanced adaptor that comes with the non-S version because my players would not have balanced output I thought it was a problem less and avoids more connectors deteriorating the signal path.


First impression when receiving the box is that it is fancy looking with leather and mirror, but on second thought not very practical. Stored the box and will never look at it again, so what for? I would have liked a small pouch or hard case for taking it on the road instead of the fancy leather case (plus saving some ~$50 off the price). Comes with various tips and I used the one that came pre-installed (small double flange), which suits me fine. Also the tips come in the box within holes in a hard foam and is hard to take them off these holes.


Confort is excellent since it is so small. Isolation is also quite good. Build quality of the cable and the phones is very good, although I am a little worried with the connection of the cable to the phone since there have been complaints that it is very fragile. I am definitively going to take good care and always remove by pulling the phone out of the ear instead of pulling from the cable (the manual says that too).


Sound quality is very good. Initial impression of the signature is the same as long term: the tonality is even and flat, although there is not much deep bass or airy highs. I feel a slow roll-off in the sub-bass, and a fast roll-off in the treble. I am not a "bass head" or used to "V curve sound" but still. This creates a more mid-bass to mid-highs extremely flat response which is somewhat more intimate to listen to. Definitively won't play well energic pop and electronic modern music. The resolution is very high, nice textures and details. The soundstage is very well presented and wide. I found low sibilance in the highs even in recordings that I know they are a little on the hot side, which is a consequence of the somewhat rolled-off highs.


So overall very good and I recommend it!



Pros: Great dynamics, punchy, very good bass, good midrange, smooth highs

Cons: too much energy in high mids !

Amp: Metric Halo ULN-8


compared with my Sennheiser HD800 and Ultrasone ED10 (the re600 really can be compared with some good full size headphones),

the RE-600 is not that revealing in the midrange and not that fast,

but still rich and punchy with clear midrange.



HD800 has very good stage reproduction. (yes we all know that)

But when you listen to big orchestra (like Mahler, Wagner) you hear an exaggerated

instrument separation and a huge (... again exaggerated) room (not a fair comparison but : compared with my studio monitors PSI A21-m)


ED10 is for me the best in this department.

But RE-600 is also 3D! Stage is not big, but is there.


RE-600 has great Bass. I like it very much. i would say linear. not overemphasizing anything. 

Midrange : is not extremely detailed, but still there. I like it. you hear almost anything you need to hear when enjoying music.

Highs: are smooth. The smooth highs "could" be the reason that the RE-600 is a little slow.

ED10 has too much highs.

HD800 is bright, but is OKAY for me. I use it as a "tool".


High Mids : was annoying me. too much energy there. around 1.5-1.8khz maybe?

HiFiMAN RE-600

HiFiMAN's new flagship IEM.

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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