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NE-7M vs RE0 vs R02ProII

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Recently lost my bent-plug Vibe Duo (first pair of IEMs) and torn choosing between these three as my next.

NuForce NE-7M - US$60 shipped
HeadDirect RE0 - US$110 shipped
VSonic R02ProII (ebay) - US$ 42 (!) shipped. I honestly do not know what to make of the authenticity of these, but seller's feedback doesn't look too shabby.

Mostly listen to Bollywood (multiple instruments and heavy orchestration), R&B, soft rock, some classical and the occasional techno. Prefer crisp, controlled but not overpowering bass (I've used EP-630's and didn't care for them). Also found the highs on the Vibe Duo slightly shrilly.

As much as I want to, I simply refuse to spend anything more than what the RE0 costs. My question is, is going for the RE0 really worth shelling out twice the bone over the NE-7? I can't get over the great reviews of the NE-7 on Head-Fi and my wallet is also screaming for mercy. However I would rather make a buy-it-and-fuggedaboutit, one-time purchase that would blow me away rather than spending less on something that would be similar or a marginal upgrade to my earlier IEMs. In short, willing to spend if it's truly and well worth it and hits the cheaper alternative out of the ballpark.

Please help me out! Any other suggestions also welcome
post #2 of 24
from what i've read here,NE-7M is generally compared to RE2 and RE2 is no way close to RE0.I do not have any idea abt the third one in your list.Also what is your source?
post #3 of 24
i actually prefer the re2 to the nuforce ne7m - at least for sound. it is clearer with bigger stage. it also, coincidentally, used to be about 100$ and has only recently been reduced.
post #4 of 24
RE0 is better than the NE-7M in every single away except bass quantity (but not quality) and warmth. The VSonics didn't create much of a stir around here as they were said to lose out to the RE2's in overall sq IIRC.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Got it. So I'm throwing the VSonics out of the equation.
So from what I can make out right now, NE-7 = RE2 < RE0.

Thing is, I can't seem to nail whether I really want to pony up for the RE0 over the other two. What signifies "better"? Is it worth paying twice the amount for? Would I really notice a difference between the two, looking at the fact that I've used exactly one set of IEM's before? Any alternatives? Such a tough task, this, and I've barely just stepped into the canalphone world!

Appreciate the help! BTW, source is an iPhone 3G, unamped.
post #6 of 24
My RE0 sounds great out of an iPhone 3G.

ClieOS has done a nice roundup where he compares many IEMs, amongst which the RE0. You could check that out.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamnp View Post
ClieOS has done a nice roundup where he compares many IEMs, amongst which the RE0.
Had already checked it out. Sadly, it only confuses me more.
The NE-7M is, I'm led to believe, great value for money by all counts. Trouble is, I need that last kick in the backside to convince me to spend more for the RE0, and I'm not thoroughly convinced as of now.

Let me put it this way: in absolute terms, what makes the RE0 better than the NE-7, or to put it vaguely, "better" enough to justify spending twice the money?

I need to be convinced. Keep the help rolling! Thanks a ton
post #8 of 24
They're all very different sounding earphones. Each has their particular benefits and weaknesses. The right one is the one that best fits your personal preferences.

Each earphone will do certain things better then other earphones. It is hard to simply state that X is better then Y unless X does a LOT of things better then Y or Y does some things very bad, i.e. a very flawed earphone.

First off, what kind of sound are you looking for? Telling us what music you listen to doesn't mean anything. I could say I like ACDC, Barry White, and Godsmack, but what does that say about my preference in sound? Not much at all.

By sound, I mean things like tonality, dynamics, level of detail, articulation of note, stage presence, transparency, etc. What do you want the earphone to sound like? What is your ideal? Describe it...in detail, and I mean excruciating detail.

From here, we can actually point you towards an earphone or several that actually sound close to what you really like.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the heads-up, mvw2.

I emphasize clarity of vocals more than anything else. For me, instruments build upon the vocals, so general clarity in the mids is a MUST. Highs must be enjoyable and not shrilly. Bass is not a huge concern, but must be crisp and tight regardless of quantity. A medium soundstage is what I'm looking for - not so narrow as to be between my eyes, and not so wide that will make my head go round. Something right outside my ears would sound perfect. I've listened to more muddled 'phones than I can shake a fist at, so I am looking to move on to something with a high level of detail. Transparency is not a concern (can be fixed with some smart EQ-ing I believe?).

Pretty much looking for canalies with lots of control and clarity, while being sonically neutral.

Any other suggestions welcome! And nothing over $100, pretty please.
post #10 of 24
^ That pretty much describes the RE0's. They are perfectly neutral, incredibly detailed, have great clarity and crispness, and a pretty average-size soundstage for a high-end earphone.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
^ That pretty much describes the RE0's. They are perfectly neutral, incredibly detailed, have great clarity and crispness, and a pretty average-size soundstage for a high-end earphone.
Thank you! Just what I needed.

Now I can put my money where my mouth is.
Ordering the RE0 from Head-Direct tomorrow! Hopefully I won't be disappointed.

Any recommendations for amps? How about tips? I read somewhere that the stock silicone tips were slightly disappointing and that Complys would provide a better experience. Silicone tips on other IEMs have never given me trouble with regards to fit, though.

Thanks everyone for being so supportive. I didn't expect this to be resolved quite this fast, but the community looks awesome! And I'm already saying sorry to my wallet..
post #12 of 24
Transparency is not an EQ issue. It's more of a core capability for a driver NOT to bring attention to itself. The frequency response can be crap, and you can still have a completely transparent sound. Transparency comes about from the driver having low distortion, low mechanical noise, and generally don't do anything that would hint to the listener that the driver is the source of the sound. Truly transparent is the ability to not be "seen." It would be you sitting in front of a speaker while it's playing and not being able to tell it is producing audio. The sound should just exist in space without a source point. I personally consider this an "ideal" aspect in sound reproduction. However, very few drivers can really pull this off. Head-fi gets harder because the driver can vibrate the enclosure and bring attention to the earphone.

The RE0 isn't entirely neutral. It has a slight warm/dark nature to it from a slightly sloping EQ which emphasises the low end. You can take an EQ and right a very slight upward slope and flatten out the response. It's also affected by the tip you use, so it may vary a little from tip to tip and person to person. The RE0 is pretty neutral/natural out of the box. I'm just saying there's slight room for improvement if desired.

The RE0 has good edge to note, and level of detail is good short of higher frequencies. It comes across as having good detail and crispness, but I can't say it's the king of such things. One thing the RE0 lacks is dynamics. It's a very compressed sounding earphone and lacks some ability to articulate notes. The sound stage is decent with the set.

I'm curious if you should be looking at Etymotic instead. You may want to try something like the ER6i or if you can find a used set well priced, the ER4S/P. I'd love to suggest to you the ER4 as you would be ecstatic with it, but it's above the price point you're looking at.

If you don't mind EQing, I'll suggest looking at Denon's C751. It's good stock, but it does improve with a little EQing. The gearing is essentially for light listening. It essentially has a permanent Loud built into the stock frequency response. It works great during quiet listening but the bass and treble begins to overshadow the mids at higher volumes. As well, the set is not terribly capable of high output and the driver distorts above medium output levels. A little EQing goes a long way, but it also doesn't really need it to start with. I point out this earphone because it does several things really, really well. For one, it has great dynamics. It also has great transparency. You hear a LOT of the smaller details and subtle information. It has a few flaws. Mainly, the earphone is geared for critical listening. It's best suited using it in a quiet room at low volumes. It doesn't have very good isolation, especially for a IEM design. It has about half the output capability of a lot of IEMs before distortiong. The C751 can get loud easily, but the bass gets pretty sloppy and boomy. Whatever driver they use simply doesn't have a lot of clean thrown to work with. However, there are a lot of excellent qualities that make this pretty much a must have IEM. The transparency, dynamics, articulation of note, high sensitivity, and and realism in sound make it a very good IEM, especially priced at $105. I haven't listened to an IEM that's more realistic sounding, transparent, and dynamic. I consider the design to be somewhat flawed, but it's otherwise an outstanding IEM.

The RE0 versus the C751, I would pick the C751 myself.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
^ Thanks for the wonderfully detailed post, sir!

Hmm, even I'm wondering if it is the Etymotic sound signature that I'm really looking for in my headphones. I must say that the (inherent?) lack of bass was really off-putting to me since I first heard of them, but rest assured I'm quite sure most Etys produce crisp, controlled sound. You almost nailed it in your observation, and it basically comes down to this: I want something close to the Ety sound but with an extra amount of punch.

The real problem here is my usual source. Although I will be using these headphones with my computer, 70% of my time with them will be spent on an iPhone. With it's sheer lack of EQ-ability, I pretty much need my headphones to sound close to what I want straight out of the box. Another important factor is location; most of my time is spent in and around the university campus (I live on-campus, in fact), which while not being the loudest place on earth, isn't exactly the quietest either. Above average to very good isolation is a MUST in my book, and from what I've read the RE0 seems to satisfy that condition. This also automatically results in the need for clean sound at higher volumes, which the C751 doesn't seem to be too well suited to, according to you. Seems like a lose-lose situation on all accounts.

I do understand where you're coming from with regards to transparency, and I also realize that I myself would highly value it, judging from my love for car-audio systems over any other aural treatment. But is the separation, realism and transparency really outstanding enough to make it easier for me to ignore the other shortcomings? Guess I can never really tell without listening to them in person, which is utterly impossible. Thus, I would like to go for the safer bet, something that I won't be disappointed by. Remember, the best IEM I've owned before this was a V-Moda Vibe Duo (which I didn't find too shabby, truth to be told) so pretty much any decent flavor-of-the-month headphone should be good enough to impress me. Hence the NE-7M being on my initial shortlist.

I know I'm probably asking for too much at this price point, but I really can't justify being disappointed. This set will be my one and only headphone for many, many months to come, and I want to live with it and be satisfied day in and day out. Major shortcomings are not even optional.

Which one should I pull the trigger on?
post #14 of 24
+1 on the RE0 over the NE-7M. Cleaner, clearer, purer. The NE-7M is more colored in the bass and treble, so it gets more of a "fun" vote. But in terms of true SQ, the RE0 is fantastic.
post #15 of 24
I think the RE0 is still your best option without spending more. The Er6i is actually less neutral IMO and the Er-4p/s is out of your budget. I'm a big fan of neutral/analytical sound myself and I really can't choose between my Er-4s and RE0's. The Etys certainly isolate more but the RE0's are sufficient for my uses. The stock biflange tips are actually pretty good, but I'm using soundmagic foam tips off my PL30's. Comply T400 tips, while the right size for the RE0's, don't do any favors to the sound, so most people ditch them.
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