The RE-400 is more efficient, warmer in tone, and boasts more intimate mids and a more in-the-head presentation overall.
The Fidelio S1 has more subbass & bass in general but is also less warm overall and a touch clearer as a result. The mids on the S1 are less forward. Tonally, it is somewhat brighter and has more upper midrange presence. It is also more spacious overall and has a wider soundstage but gives up the intimate feel and more well-rounded presentation (in terms of depth and width being more even) of the RE-400.
They're about on-par for me, just different signatures.
Sound-wise for me the S2 is the least fatiguing, followed closely by the GR07 and DBA-02. But like modulor said if listening fatigue is a big consideration, a less bright earphone like the RE-400 might be worth looking at.
I find the DBA-02 mkII the most comfortable, then the GR07, then the DBA-02 mkI, and then the S2, partly because I prefer over-the-ear to cable-down.
+1, thanks for sharing!
Just a quick question. I am in the UK and am getting my new portable rig sorted for Christmas.
It should be something like this Note 3 -> USBOTG -> Microstreamer (or alternative) -> IEM's. However I am struggling what IEM's to go for. I am in the UK and we seem to have a few good deals available at the moment. I have Sony MH1C at the moment, which I like, but too warm for my liking. My home set-up is Grado SR-80i's (vent modded) and I love the forward sound, so I would ideally like something similar to the Grado sound, I have read that the Microstreamer can be a bit bright though. These are my options at the moment:
Super.fi 5vi @ £32
RE-400's @ £78
Brainwavz B2 @ £86
Rock IT R50 @ £75
Sony XBA-H1 @ £78
I see Joker gave the Super.fi 5's an 8.6 for sound quality, so going by that £32 seems to be a bargain. But do you think that the B2's or R50's are going to be a lot better (baring in mind the price difference)?
I can also get the Sony XBA-3ip's for £104, which seems a good deal for triple armature, that's really at the top of my budget though, as the Microstreamer is £170. Any help making a choice would be fantastic. I listen to a broad range of music, from rock to reggae.
Thanks in advance folks, and happy Christmas,
I agree with MoonYeol, it's tough to justify spending way more on a source than earphones in this tier. However, I don't know how bad the headphone out of your Galaxy is. I can't use my HTC phone with many IEMs because of its crappy audio hardware.
Anyway, to get closer to the Grado sound you probably will want a brighter set than the SF5 and RE-400. The B2 and R-50 (the latter with a tip change and maybe impedance adapter) would be good. The Ety HF5 would be good too if it's available at a reasonable price. The Fidelio S1 is good but has quite a bit more bass than these other options. Not sure how the H1 sounds but if the EX600 is any indication it could also be quite excellent.