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Cowon S9+SM3 OR Hifiman HM-602+RE262... Which will sound better?

Poll Results: Cowon S9+SM3 OR Hifiman HM-602+RE262, considering only the SQ

Poll expired: Aug 29, 2010  
  • 64% (11)
    Cowon S9+SM3
  • 23% (4)
    HM-602+RE262
  • 11% (2)
    Other
17 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

OK, I have been lurking around the forums enough and now I have to make a final decision: Cowon S9 + Earsonics SM3 vs the Hifiman HM-602 + RE262

 

Well, as far as I have seen, there is a grand total of zero person outside of Hifiman who have even seen the 262(I may be wrong), and I shouldn't judge the SQ of the 262 from its predecessor. There are also not many people who have heard the hm-602, and I have to gamble.

 

I really am a treblehead, and I love the lively music full of smooth highs(hate the grainy highs of the M50...at least I feel its highs are grainy). Bass is not a big consideration for me, and mids should be a little forward. 

 

Option 1 : I can just buy the SM3 and plug it into my S9, and enjoy the music. Forget the bargain of HM-602+RE262. Right now, upgrading headphones will give me a better experience. Oh yeah, I would have to sell my M50.

 

Option 2 : Grab the bargain. Well, I would have to sell my M50 and my S9.

 

Right now, my budget and time is limited(because the preorder is valid until the end of August). It certainly is a gamble, and I can't figure this one out, so I'm asking YOU, the almighty of Head-fi to say what you would do if you are in this situation.

 

I'm not limiting the possibilities only to the above two options, any suggestions other than the options above are welcome. The budget is around $300+M50(about $50)+S9(about $70), and I live in Korea so I need to consider the tariff when buying from overseas.

 

I don't care about losing the chance to buy the HM-602 in a cheaper price. I just want the best out of my money. I won't look back after this choice, and my next upgrade will be at least a year later.

 

You don't have to reply, just help me decide by voting above!


Edited by yooss - 8/18/10 at 9:36am
post #2 of 15

Personally, I'd say the SM3 upgrade would make for the better option, as I'd think they'd be a big step up from the RE262's and the Cowon isn't supposed to be a bad player by any means.


Plus the fact that the HM-602 hasn't been released yet, so only the odd opinion about, it's pretty much guesswork so far.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for voting!! I don't think I have to hesitate anymore, I'll find a way to lay my hands on the SM3.

post #4 of 15

Since you mentioned RE262, here is a picture of the prototype you can look at.

post #5 of 15

Now..if only they would be released already. There's something about me being impatient with earphones that aren't available :p


Edited by rawrster - 8/19/10 at 8:57pm
post #6 of 15

I don't see how the poll is meaningful since AFAIK noone has heard the RE262 yet..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Since you mentioned RE262, here is a picture of the prototype you can look at.


Thanks, much appreciated. Looks like HifiMan listened to those of us who had fit issues with the RE252 

post #7 of 15

Yeah, it's a funny poll.

 

I haven't used the SM3, but it'd be a fun one to try out if someone would let me demo a pair (same for SE535). :p

 

I've used the RE252, and it is one of my favorite IEMs to date.  Perfect?  Not quite, but I have yet to listen to a perfect IEM.  I'll just say the RE252 is really good, basically a reference level product that pretty much shows up most of the stuff out there in a lot of ways.  It's sort of like the ER4 of dynamics, sounds nothing alike mind you, but I view both products in a similar light.  The RE252, like the ER4, is a reference product.  An improved version of the RE252 is a nice thing.  "Improved" how, I don't know.

 

Would this indicate that the SM3 doesn't carry similar worth?  No.  The SM3 is certainly different.  I know it's described as a very good product, and I'm sure it sounds completely different.  I'm sure it does certain things really well.  Depending on your personal preferences, the SM3 might be a better fit.  Then again maybe not.

 

Since the RE262 doesn't yet exist for us consumers, nor the HM-602, this poll and thread is a bit of a mute point at this time.  I have interest in the SM3 and RE262 (as well as other products).  What's better for me is a bit of a personal preference.  You can't really tell me what I like.  You can't make me like something I don't like.  We can't make you like something just because we polled it to be better.  I could tell you a block of swiss cheese sounds better than either of those options, and you could have a poll with votes that told you just that, but that doesn't make the block of swiss the right choice, as yummy as it may be.

post #8 of 15

To be fair Koss may have something to say on that last point

 

smallfeature_cheese.jpg

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

^ hmm.... 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I don't see how the poll is meaningful since AFAIK noone has heard the RE262 yet..

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

Since the RE262 doesn't yet exist for us consumers, nor the HM-602, this poll and thread is a bit of a mute point at this time.  I have interest in the SM3 and RE262 (as well as other products).  What's better for me is a bit of a personal preference.  You can't really tell me what I like.  You can't make me like something I don't like.  We can't make you like something just because we polled it to be better.  I could tell you a block of swiss cheese sounds better than either of those options, and you could have a poll with votes that told you just that, but that doesn't make the block of swiss the right choice, as yummy as it may be.


I have your point. Of course, the reason I created this poll is to decide, but the real reason I created this thread was to keep me from agonizing myself for thinking of headphones all the time. I had to get into head-fi three times a day, check if there are any updates from the threads I was interested in(yeah, I was not very familiar with the subscribe feature; I learned it yesterday) and after turning my computer off I sit down and pull out the math textbook, and start thinking 'oh what should I buy'

 

After thirty minutes of void I torture myself for not studying when midterm is not too far away(Korea has different school schedule from America I believe, and midterm is currently about a month away). I just had to stop figuring out what headphones I should buy and figure out the math problems. 

 

Before writing this thread, the description of the 252 and sm3 made me think whichever I buy would make me happy(and sadly, there is no place around here to listen to them), and I just needed a final decision. But that doesn't mean this poll itself was meaningless, at least it greatly relieved my stress!


Edited by yooss - 8/20/10 at 4:19am
post #10 of 15

thats the beauty of headfi

once your in you can never get out

post #11 of 15

Well, I own the RE-252 as well as the SM3, and all I can say is that they are different beasts.

I really like both but they are not much alike: the SM3 is a warm sounding phone, yet very detailed, quite balanced but with a bass-midbass emphasis whereas the RE-252 are emphasized in the upped mid/treble region. The SM3 have a wider soundstage, more enveloping sound, but the presentation is also more intimate, where the Hifiman have a great sense of space (but they cannot be as intimate as the SM3).

The bass on the SM3 is much more prominent, and as it has been said many times, it has a dynamic quality to it, when paradoxally, the RE-252 feels more like a BA in comparison (bass-wise). The bass on the RE-252 extends quite low, it is fast and of the highest quality, but does not have the impact of the SM3.

The are both really smooth, that's very important to me. No harshness to speak of.

The mids are very detailed on both, but they may seem clearer on the RE-252 (because there seem to be a little dip around 4khz in the SM3 freq response). The RE-252 have generally a bit better clarity as well. However, they do not come close to having the weight of the SM3. So it's a bit of a compromise, as always.

Regarding the highs, both are very good, but I think I prefer the SM3 by a whisker, they are really something special. Compared to the RE-252, they are a bit recessed, but extend very far and are very refined (the RE-252 are no slouch either, the come as a close second to what I've heard).

I really love both phones (they are my favourites), and reach for one or the other depending on my mood.

 

But as you said you are a treble head, the RE-252 might be a better bet, as the SM3 still have a good amount of warmth that may be perceived by some as a "veil". The RE-252 have no veil to speak of, whatsoever.

post #12 of 15

May I ask why are you not considering the ATH-CK10? It immediately came to my mind when I read the word treblehead.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash-GR View Post

May I ask why are you not considering the ATH-CK10? It immediately came to my mind when I read the word treblehead.


Audio Technica's repair service is certainly the most horrible I've ever seen in Korea(except for the m50s, which has a different importer). I owned a pair of A500s, and after having a taste of their service, I won't consider buying an AT except if I absolutely need them.

 

But then there is no importer for SM3 and I can't get any service except for sending them to France...? Why didn't I think of this?

 

Nice point, thank you. A new consideration and another headache factor......

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by yooss View Post




Audio Technica's repair service is certainly the most horrible I've ever seen in Korea(except for the m50s, which has a different importer). I owned a pair of A500s, and after having a taste of their service, I won't consider buying an AT except if I absolutely need them.

 

But then there is no importer for SM3 and I can't get any service except for sending them to France...? Why didn't I think of this?

 

Nice point, thank you. A new consideration and another headache factor......


But, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, the CK10 are considered top in build quality (going as far as to be used as a reference for build quality). I imagine you will have to actually try hard to break them. Just my thoughts, I haven't even seen a CK10 up close.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Wow, CK10s cost almost $300(350,000 krw) here. Will it worth it? There is absolutely nothing in the used market too.


Edited by yooss - 8/20/10 at 7:07pm
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