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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 296

post #4426 of 16849

Hi Joker, i find the Ultimate Ears 500 for 55 $, is a good price or it's better go for Brainwavz M2, I am looking for something under 60$  and something fun with good vocals and highs.

post #4427 of 16849
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by icarus004 View Post

Hi Joker, i find the Ultimate Ears 500 for 55 $, is a good price or it's better go for Brainwavz M2, I am looking for something under 60$  and something fun with good vocals and highs.regards!!

Very different signatures... the UE500 is a bit V-shaped in response, more of an ECCI PR401 or MEElec CC51 sound. Not quite as good as those two but close and a good deal at $55, though you can find the CC51 around that price if you're in the US. I'm not thrilled with the build quality of the UE500 but it's passable. Very lightweight and comfy, too. 


The M2 will be warmer, have more pronounced bass and a significantly more forward midrange, and smoother, more laid-back treble.

post #4428 of 16849
Thread Starter 

Added HiFiMan RE272





(2A19) HiFiMan RE272

HiFiMan RE272 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Oct 2011

Details: HiFiMan’s latest flagship and the company’s second balanced earphone
Current Price: $249 from head-direct.com (MSRP: $249)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 20Ω | Sens: 103 dB | Freq: 15-22k Hz | Cable: 1.8’ I-plug + 2’ 45º plug extension
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: stock bi-flanges; MEElec ‘balanced’ bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4.5/5) – Single-flange (3 sizes) and bi-flange (2 sizes) silicone tips, replacement filters (5 pairs), storage case, shirt clip, balanced extension cable, single-ended extension cable, and single-ended channel swap extension cable
Build Quality (4.5/5) – While the housings of the RE272 are very similar to those of the RE262, the cable has been reinforced significantly. The new cable is thicker, sturdier, and less tangle-prone. The modular system adds an extra layer of protection and the new beefy 45º L-plugs and proper strain reliefs all around inspire confidence, as does the 3-year warranty
Isolation (4/5) – The channel swap adapter allows the RE272 to be worn cable-up, which should help provide a deeper fit. With the stock bi-flanges or other deep-sealing tips the isolation is surprisingly good
Microphonics (4.5/5) – With the new cord cable noise is very low when worn cable-down and nonexistent cable-up
Comfort (4.5/5) – Though a deeper seal offers the best sound, there are now a total of four ways to wear the 272 with the additional cord configurations provided by the included adapters. I find three of them to be quite comfortable and would imagine most people won’t have trouble finding at least one that works

Sound (9.2/10) – HiFiMan have had a number of hits around Head-Fi but none as potent as the original RE0. Fans of the RE0 have been waiting patiently for an update but – first with the RE252, then the RE-ZERO, and then the RE262 – HiFiMan have instead offered different flavors of poised and competent dynamic-driver sound to complement – but never replace – the RE0. Now, however, RE0 fans have something new to drool over.

As with the RE0, the low end of the RE272 doesn’t offer great depth but also lacks mid-bass bloat, sounding quick and natural. Control and accuracy are excellent but there’s not a whole lot of impact to be found – noticeably less than with the Sony MDR-EX1000, for example. The bass, while fast, is a bit soft in character. The lack of aggression and edginess is particularly noticeable next to a BA-based IEM such as the ATH-CK10 or j-phonic K2 SP. The crisp, hard-edged punch of the CK10 and K2 SP makes the bass of the RE272 sound slightly recessed, even veiled in comparison. An EQ bump at the low end will help with the bass depth but it won’t make the bass significantly more aggressive. Those who like their bass snappy and delicate will like the RE272 but even the K2 SP offers more impact, punch, and rumble. Personally, I am happy with the bass quantity and It doesn’t hurt that texture and detail are top-notch; even the RE-ZERO is made to sound a touch artificial at the low end in comparison.

The midrange is where the RE272 gets interesting. The clarity and detail are simply fantastic but unlike armature-based IEMs achieving the same levels or resolution, the RE272 still manages to sound soft and delicate. Compared to the Sony EX600, too, the RE272 is more refined and dynamic, and though the sweetness and warmth of the RE262 are all but gone, the mids are still liquid and very smooth. At times, the smoothness can almost become a detractor – the RE272 isn’t particularly great at portraying grit and seems to lack a tiny bit of texture at times. The upper midrange can sound a bit glassy, reminding me of the MA-based Ortofon e-Q5. Nonetheless, the sound is open and extremely transparent, trailing the K2 SP closely on both counts. In terms of note fullness, the RE272 pulls ahead of most analytical BA-based IEMs and competes well with popular dynamics such as the Sony EX600 and VSonic GR07.

The upper mids and lower treble are prominent but the emphasis milder than with the higher-end Sony dynamics. The top end is not at all unpleasant – never harsh or sibilant like the treble of the EX600 sometimes is and not overly bright or edgy like that of some armature-based earphones. Despite this, the RE272 is very revealing and resolving – nearly on par with the brighter, more sparkle-heavy, more clinical j-phonic K2 SP. There’s still good amount of sparkle as well as excellent top-end extension and superb detail retrieval. The overall smoothness is also impressive, with no major peaks or dips, and the presentation is clean and very refined. Nothing at all to complain about with the treble.

The presentation is not unlike that of the RE262, with similarly above-average soundstage size and good layering. If anything, the 272 sounds a bit more cohesive than the 262 and both utterly dominate the RE-ZERO in expansiveness and positioning. The sonic space is wide, open, and airy, though not quite to the same extent as that of the Sony MDR-EX1000. Instrumental separation is great and the imaging – while not quite a match for the ATH-CK10 – is impressive as well. Dynamics are good and the RE272 sounds effortless and works exceedingly well at low volumes, as have all of the HiFiMan IEMs before it.


I also got the chance to try the earphones in balanced mode with a borrowed HM801 and a balanced card kindly provided by HiFiMan. Theoretically, running in balanced mode reduces channel crosstalk, doubles the voltage swing of the amp, and creates a natural resistance to interference (the latter not a big deal for IEMs). Practically, comparing the RE272 in balanced mode against running single-ended with the HM801 as a source reveals sound quality differences that are small but distinguishable. The most noticeable for me is an increase in dynamics, which are good to begin with but become among the best of all universals in balanced mode, with a darker background and amazing effortlessness. Then we have bass control – in balanced mode the RE272 seems to tighten up slightly and become crisper, with quicker attack times and even better resolution. Bass emphasis remains low but there is no denying the difference in quality. There are also very minor gains in texturing and clarity. Overall there is merit to running the RE272 balanced but whether it is worth the cost is a different discussion. Note that the sound score given is for single-ended mode - the balanced score would be one or two tenths higher.

Value (9/10) – With its quick, resolving sound and neutral-to-bright tonality, the RE272 won’t be to everyone’s liking but as an overall package it is clearly the culmination of years of R&D on the part of the folks at HiFiMan. The modular cable system used by the RE272, unlike most, actually adds value to the product at the expense of a slightly heavier cable and the fit, finish, and build quality are finally giving the major Western brands something to think about. In both functionality and sound, the RE272 is an audiophile-class product, and one of the best around at that.

Pros: Versatile cable system; solid design; 3yr warranty; top-class sound
Cons: N/A



post #4429 of 16849
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


You wanted warm and thumping... the Westone 2 isn't much of either of those things.



Well, it's not thumping but the bass is just fine - not too much or too little (for me).  And W2 sounds like a warmer and slightly more spacious version of the DBA-02, which to me makes it more accurate than some others.  If warm and thumping is the desired flavor, I'd still take the MTPG over the IE8, but maybe the W3 would be a better choice.

post #4430 of 16849

Great work joker.  I only had a brief listen at a meet that your take is pretty spot on to my audition.  Did not get to hear them balanced though.  Kind of sad about it. =(

post #4431 of 16849
I was definitely looking forward to the RE272. Thank you SO much |joker|! biggrin.gif
post #4432 of 16849

Nice RE272 review, it sounds like a very interesting product specially since I've been leaning towards that kind of sound.


The RE262's ratings on comfort and isolation should be updated though since they're pretty much the same in these regards because the 262s use the same modular configuration. Even the build of the cable may be the same...


Hifiman seems pretty conservative on showing off it's specs. They rarely market the fact that the 9mm driver uses a titanium coated diaphragm or that their cable is OFC (though i'm not certain on the latter).


Anyways, congrats on reaching 200 and I hope you don't reach 300 anytime soon for your sake.....

Edited by Inks - 10/14/11 at 2:01am
post #4433 of 16849

Congrats on reaching #200.

post #4434 of 16849

200! Wow! :)


It's just incredible how much this forum owes to you. Thanks a lot for this incredible effort and for your invaluable reviews.


Keep on with 'em! :)

post #4435 of 16849

Excellent review on the 272s, joker! Been waiting to see this for a while and am now more interested than ever with them. Alas, I have some 252s on their way to me so i'll have to give them their dues first biggrin.gif

post #4436 of 16849
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Yes, E30 nozzle is angled, though not very much. I don't think you'll find a full step up from the Resonance that also has more bass outside of the higher-end Xears models, and even then none of them improve on clarity. An improvement in clarity with decent bass would be something like the MEE CC51 but I don't think it's bassier than a Resonance. If you can find a Hippo VB that might be an option but it has a different sound profile.

Thanks ljokerl, I will take all your suggestions under consideration for my next IEM pruchase. I really appreciate your input.

post #4437 of 16849

Hey joker, I owned a pair of Brainwavz M2s and enjoyed them thoroughly. I am currently looking to buy a new pair of IEMs. I wouldn't mind venturing from its sound but would like something similar to it. What is your opinion in regards to PR401s, CC51, and Xcape IE with this in mind? Genres I listen to are Hip Hop, R&B, Jazz, Alternative & Indie Rock.

Edited by Hourglass - 10/14/11 at 3:53am
post #4438 of 16849

Τhanx for the re-272 review

post #4439 of 16849

Congrats on the 200th posted review, though I am guessing you are half way there to 250 already. Hope you review TF10 before #300 wink.gif


Would you put RE272 in balanced mode ahead of EX-1000?

post #4440 of 16849


Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

Congrats on the 200th posted review, though I am guessing you are half way there to 250 already. Hope you review TF10 before #300 wink.gif


Would you put RE272 in balanced mode ahead of EX-1000?

If I may, he mentioned at the very end that "the balanced score would be one or two tenths higher," making it just about even with the EX1000's own rating of 9.4. smile.gif

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