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REVIEW: Head-Direct RE2 IEM and Fiio E5 amp - Page 2

post #16 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by koven View Post
hmm even though i just bought the pk3, im really tempted to buy the re-2 now that it's $39.. would it be dumb to have both? i kinda wanna see what IEM's are about .. but i was thinking of getting the PFE's in the future... should i get these instead?
I don't know, since I have not heard a PK3 or know what kind of sound you like.

I do know that I could be happy with an RE2 and an E5 or T4 amp if I was on a small budget and needed a decent portable iPod rig. VS the other IEM I mentioned in the review: The extra detail is appreciated over the un-amped NE-7M which are smoother sounding but maybe hiding a little detail due to that quality. The IM716 that I have didn't sound very good stock, so while they may sound better amped than the RE2 they are no longer made and they must be "de-podded" to sound good (and the IM716 still suck out of an un-amped iPod headphone out). An ER6i will probably sound very similar to these but cost almost 2x as much - I wish I still had my ER6i to use for comparisons like these, because the RE2 might actually have more bass than an ER6i (I can tolerate these from iPod headphone out, unlike the ER6i). I did compare them to the JVC Marshmallow and while the JVC have more bass they are harsh and edgy and unrefined compared to the RE2. The JVC Aircushion that I compared to these suffered from a sucked out midrange that needed EQ, so these beat those as well. I've owned a genuine pair of CX300 before, and they were horrible and could not compete with these in any way. The Denon C700 (I paid $199 2 years ago) have a muddier bass and harsher treble as well, so I'd pick the RE2/E5 over those except for very quiet listening with the C700 where they are tuned to sound like a loudness control turned on, and then they would be a closer match.
post #17 of 89
Nice review.

I've been using the RE2 for my daily, public transportaiton commute since late January and estimate that I have well over 200 hrs of listening time (between commuting, walks around town, etc.). Here's my $0.02 (YMMV):

They are a decent, $50 (now $40), mid-fi IEM and are a good match for the 4G nano.

I also had a pair of CX300, which are not suitable for listening to music.

I've tried them with external amplifiers (Micro Amp [not in the subway!], PA2V2, old Total airhead, FiiO E3 - all with and without an LOD) and I find that SQ is best from the Nano headphone jack with classicial EQ (my ears, my taste in music - 99% modern jazz). This is perfect as my definition of portable is, 'fits comfortably in my front shirt pocket.' I received a free FiiO E3, which made the RE2 unusable with muddy bass and midrange. I'm not sure why it's included (need to get rid of overstock?). I'm not a big fan of EQ in most situations (except my speaker system) and know that the iPod EQ is poorly-implemented, but it helps the RE2 by providing just a little more punch for bass instruments and a tad more treble, which I like.

It's crucial to have a good seal. I use the bi-flange, translucent tips. These provide a good seal if I clean them each a.m. with mild dish soap and lubricate them with saliva (my salivia, my ears - not too gross).

A decent IEM for commuting on public transportation - always a mid-fi situation, so it's a good fit.

Don't expect them to replace your good quality IEM or headphones.
post #18 of 89
I have the NE-7M and PK3, and am waiting on the E5 to come (slow shipping). Since Larry has said the RE2 and NE-7M are similar, then I can tell you that the PK3 is not quite a detailed and crisp as the NE-7M (un-amped). The PK3 is also rather strong in the center-mids, where as the NE-7M is stronger in the lower-mids. NE-7M seems to have a bit more extension in the bottom and top than the PK3.

Also, the NE-7M gives me very good isolation, where as the PK3 is an earbud and lets in some of the louder outside sounds, if you need that. PK3 is easier to sleep with due to a flatter profile. At $40 (PK3) and $50 (NE-7M), I'm glad I have both.

I'll see what the E5 does to both when it arrives.
post #19 of 89
I have the NE-7, PK3, and E5. For me the E5 does not improve the sound when connected to the HP out of my Fuze (or my Prodigy sound card), but when connected to my 5 year old USB memory stick MP3 player (that is powered by 1 AAA battery, so 1.5V isn't enough to power an amp), it brings it to another level. And the NE-7s sound much better that way then from my Prodigy or my Fuze. The good think is that is my workout setup.

It doesn't seem to do the same with the PK3, but does improve it with my old MP3 player. It actually reduces detail and impact with my IE8 via either my Fuze or Prodigy.
post #20 of 89
Almost seems like head-direct is trying to throw their RE2 away. 40 is much less than half the retail. Maybe to make way for that new IEM that they're making.
I'm looking to get the RE2 now. How does an impedance adapter change the sound?
post #21 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycbone View Post
Nice review.

I've been using the RE2 for my daily, public transportaiton commute since late January and estimate that I have well over 200 hrs of listening time (between commuting, walks around town, etc.). Here's my $0.02 (YMMV):

They are a decent, $50 (now $40), mid-fi IEM and are a good match for the 4G nano.

I also had a pair of CX300, which are not suitable for listening to music.

I've tried them with external amplifiers (Micro Amp [not in the subway!], PA2V2, old Total airhead, FiiO E3 - all with and without an LOD) and I find that SQ is best from the Nano headphone jack with classicial EQ (my ears, my taste in music - 99% modern jazz). This is perfect as my definition of portable is, 'fits comfortably in my front shirt pocket.' I received a free FiiO E3, which made the RE2 unusable with muddy bass and midrange. I'm not sure why it's included (need to get rid of overstock?). I'm not a big fan of EQ in most situations (except my speaker system) and know that the iPod EQ is poorly-implemented, but it helps the RE2 by providing just a little more punch for bass instruments and a tad more treble, which I like.

It's crucial to have a good seal. I use the bi-flange, translucent tips. These provide a good seal if I clean them each a.m. with mild dish soap and lubricate them with saliva (my salivia, my ears - not too gross).

A decent IEM for commuting on public transportation - always a mid-fi situation, so it's a good fit.

Don't expect them to replace your good quality IEM or headphones.
Yes - a good mid-fi low price solution, and that is why it was compared to the particular IEM that I compared it to. I agree about the CX300 (see above). Also, I agree the E3 takes away a little detail and space from the music, while the E5 doesn't hurt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post
I have the NE-7M and PK3, and am waiting on the E5 to come (slow shipping). Since Larry has said the RE2 and NE-7M are similar, then I can tell you that the PK3 is not quite a detailed and crisp as the NE-7M (un-amped). The PK3 is also rather strong in the center-mids, where as the NE-7M is stronger in the lower-mids. NE-7M seems to have a bit more extension in the bottom and top than the PK3.

Also, the NE-7M gives me very good isolation, where as the PK3 is an earbud and lets in some of the louder outside sounds, if you need that. PK3 is easier to sleep with due to a flatter profile. At $40 (PK3) and $50 (NE-7M), I'm glad I have both.

I'll see what the E5 does to both when it arrives.
I did not say they were similar sounding, I think I said they were on a "similar level" - I also said the RE2 are more forward and detailed with a little less bass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
I have the NE-7, PK3, and E5. For me the E5 does not improve the sound when connected to the HP out of my Fuze (or my Prodigy sound card), but when connected to my 5 year old USB memory stick MP3 player (that is powered by 1 AAA battery, so 1.5V isn't enough to power an amp), it brings it to another level. And the NE-7s sound much better that way then from my Prodigy or my Fuze. The good think is that is my workout setup.

It doesn't seem to do the same with the PK3, but does improve it with my old MP3 player. It actually reduces detail and impact with my IE8 via either my Fuze or Prodigy.
I felt the E5 is close in sound quality to my iPod HP out, so I agree it shouldn't make some HP out much better, but it does add more power and a little more warmth to the sound. At least it doesn't degrade the sound like the E3.
post #22 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4saken View Post
Almost seems like head-direct is trying to throw their RE2 away. 40 is much less than half the retail. Maybe to make way for that new IEM that they're making.
I'm looking to get the RE2 now. How does an impedance adapter change the sound?
I will probably try that new IEM they are making when it comes out as well. I will try the RE2 on a 75 ohm adapter and see if it helps anything, and report back in a day or two.
post #23 of 89
Those pictures of their new iem's look interesting, like they will go so far in your ear that it will nudge your brain, lol. But I do look forward to their new product.
post #24 of 89
Larry, what has kept you away from trying the pk3's?
post #25 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kretzschmar View Post
Larry, what has kept you away from trying the pk3's?
iPod style buds of all brands do not fit my ears right, so are not comfortable with or without foam covers, and fall out all the time.
post #26 of 89
That is understandable. Why don't you go start your own headphone line Larry, seems like you have the ear for it.
post #27 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kretzschmar View Post
That is understandable. Why don't you go start your own headphone line Larry, seems like you have the ear for it.
No, but you could start your own and hire me to listen to free samples and give you feedback!
post #28 of 89
I graduated with a marketing degree, so if there are any electrical engineers out there thinking about making headphones, hit me up, and send some free samples to larry, he needs more headphones, lol
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by kretzschmar View Post
I graduated with a marketing degree, so if there are any electrical engineers out there thinking about making headphones, hit me up, and send some free samples to larry, he needs more headphones, lol
Too bad I don't graduate till next year.
post #30 of 89
Nice review, glad to see we share opinions on the RE2s Nice review as always HPA!
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