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[Review] Hifiman RE-Zero - Page 8

post #106 of 136

I'am not in Sydney,I upgraded from RE0, as my RE0's stopped working under warranty so I paid the difference for an upgrade.

post #107 of 136

Ordered the "fake" hybrids to go with these. Impressions to follow!

post #108 of 136

How revealing are these supposed to be? I hear a faint background hiss with certain songs dont know if its the problem with adapter that some are talking about or my music.

post #109 of 136

I get the background hiss of the walkman due to the low impedance (16 ohm) of the ZEROS)

This hiss does not increase with volume or EQ though so once the music is playing there is no problem.

No noticable hiss with the Clip+ though

post #110 of 136
Thread Starter 

Typically hiss has nothing to do with how revealing an earphone is. It depends on your source and how well it does with low impedance phones such as the RE-Zero. A lot of Sony players have some issues with hiss. I tried the RE-Zero on my clip+ when I owned it and more recently my Cowon J3. I did not notice any hiss with either of them.

post #111 of 136

Hm I am using it with the clip+

post #112 of 136
Thread Starter 

Well unless you have much better hearing or are turning the player up to near the max that would be pretty strange. I never tried near the max volume but I'd imagine there be some faint hiss when music is not being played but those are not volumes anyone should listen at. Also are you sure it is hiss? It could very well be something else.

post #113 of 136

I dont listen to it very loud. Yea its a very very faint hiss. I dont think it would bother most people (or be noticed by most people) and it doesnt really bother me when music is playing. oh well.

post #114 of 136

I have finally gotten around to posting a thread in DIY with some pics and insight into removing the RE-Zero's balanced plug and replacing it with a standard plug.  Overall I am pleased with the mod, mostly due to the convenience of not having to carry an adapter with me.


Here is the thread in case anyone is interested.

post #115 of 136

Here's my little review of the RE-Zero. I've had them 3.5 days now, and have kept them on a burn-in playlist most of that time. They had about 75 hrs on them the last time I checked in. So far I've listened to them on my Millett Max, as well as an iPhone.


Right out of the box, I enjoyed these much more than the HJE900's which I had previously and sold promptly. The RE-Zero has very good detail, much better than I was expecting for the price. The bass is also tight and just a tad beefier than neutral, to my ears. This is the level bass belongs at, in my opinion, so I'm quite pleased there. I find the midrange and lower highs to be fairly rich and complex, and this area seems to have gotten smoother with burn-in. My only complaint so far is the upper treble, not of its quality, but relative lack of quantity. Even with music that emphasizes this range, such as orchestral music with triangle and glockenspiel, or rock with twelve-string electric, I'm not hearing much sparkle. I'm just not hearing the very high twinkle that is characteristic of those sounds. I chose the RE-Zero over the RE0 because my impression was that while the RE0 had very extended, detailed highs, it had leaner bass and recessed midrange, which did not sound appealing to me. The RE-Zero seems to be the mirror image of this to me, which is better than the alternative but still not perfect. Coincidentally, this sound signature seems to work very nicely for solo piano music. Whether it's vintage Rubinstein or one of Uchida's modern digital recordings, the piano sounds really natural.


With the Millett, the RE-Zero seems very balanced, but with a bit of upper roll-off as described above. On my iPhone (with no EQ) the midrange is positively "honky," overemphasized and unappealing. Surprisingly, the "Rock" EQ setting, which I believe applies a U-shaped EQ curve, makes them sound excellent. Because the midrange is emphasized this results in only a tiny boost of bass and highs, and it sounds really nice. I usually shy away from EQ on principal, but in this case I'm very happy with it and I suggest anyone try this setting on the iPod/iPhone.


Some people seem to get bent out of shape over the whole balanced plug and adapter issue with these. Frankly, I don't give a crap.


I've tried the stock tips, as well as those in the Meelec M11 10-pack, the M9 "balanced" biflange, and the genuine Sony hybrids. My favorites, in order, are:


1. Medium Sony hybrid, ever so slightly above the large size, but basically a tie between those two

2. Stock large biflange

3. M9 "balanced" biflange

4. M11 biflange

5. M11 large single flange


At this point I'm pretty happy with these, and will definitely keep them. I do hope the upper highs open up a little bit. I'm not a treble-lover, but they seem to be almost completely lacking that upper "sparkle" range at this point, no matter what kind of tip I use.  People seem to report some changes at 100-150 hrs, which I'm not quite at yet, so we'll see.

Edited by slowpogo - 12/17/10 at 1:21am
post #116 of 136

As a follow-up to the concern expressed in my review above, I'm wondering about modding the RE-Zero. I have done searches but not found very much about this. What have people found by removing the filters? Does this make any difference, and is there any additional foam in the nozzle that could be removed or lessened to tweak the treble? I don't really want to void the warranty so soon, but if people find it makes a nice difference I might try it.

post #117 of 136
Thread Starter 

I say try it for yourself and see. Removing the filter is easy and there are extra sets in case anything happens. I found no need to change anything in the RE-Zero so I never did anything.

post #118 of 136

Huh. I don't think I've ever heard the bass of the Zero referred to as beefy, nor the treble lacking. That's definitely how I'd describe my only other half-decent IEMs (CX 300s) but certainly not the Zero. For me the bass is tight and fast to the point that it's very punchy but has no real reverb or sub-bass. I agree mostly about the midrange, but I've never found the treble lacking in extension or energy. If anything I sometimes wish the treble were a little rolled off, as I've found this sometimes makes for a more natural sound with some EQing.

My pair must have a good few hundred hours on them by this point so perhaps you just need more time with them, or perhaps your other cans are just very bass-light and treble-intensive by comparison. From your profile that's a K701, so maybe. dt880smile.png


For more treble you might try removing/repositioning the foam in the nozzle of the Zero. Should let a bit more HF through that way.


Anyway, enjoy your new (and fantastic IMO) IEMs!

post #119 of 136
Thread Starter 

I didn't see the post above but the RE-Zero does lack treble if you come from an RE0, CK10 or any of those treble focused phones. Treble quantity of the RE-Zero wouldn't be a complaint for most expect for those who come from those treble focused phones.


Usually I would suggest trying different tips but you have already tried that. Something else I would suggest is to use a needle or if you have one of those ear wax removal tool included in a lot of earphone purchases to remove the filter and see if there is foam in there to remove and see how it sounds. Other than that there's not much you can do about the treble.


Also if you are complaining about the lack of treble quantity on the RE-Zero, don't kid yourself :) You are most definitely a treble lover :P

post #120 of 136

I did remove the filters, and there is a little circular piece of yellow foam in the nozzle. Taking that out does add the sparkle I was looking for and has a general balancing effect.


You may be misreading what I wrote - I don't think the RE-zero "lacks treble." I'm talking more about a specific frequency range, like around 14-17k, that a lot of recordings don't have much of anyway. That relatively specific band is somewhat lacking to my ears, but in general there is no lack of treble.  I'm not sure I'm a treble lover, for example I think the Kramer-modded KSC75, which many seem to love, has way TOO much treble.  It's treble that sounds nice, but too much is too much.


I did go back and forth a few times, putting the foam in and leaving it out, and while the difference is subtle it's definitely noticeable. Without the foam I get that twinkle of the twelve-string, that bit of rosin edge in strings, the last bit of crispness to the hi-hat that I wasn't hearing before.  I'm very impressed with these IEMs - they now sound really quite similar to my K701s.  Going by price, they certainly sound much better than "half as good" as the AKGs.

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