I am currently looking at either of these two IEMs to replace my HifiMAN RE252 which despite performing incredibly well with whatever music I throw at it, hisses like a cobra with my current sources (September 2006 MacBook and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10). Getting an impedance adapter or a FiiO E7 isn't an option due to the added awkwardness to my planned portable rig. After looking at |joker|'s excellent Multi-IEM Review thread, I narrowed my selection down to the Audeo Phonak PFE and the HifiMAN RE0.
Now, from what I've read in the Multi-IEM Review thread and the RE0 Appreciation thread, the RE0 will have a much narrower soundstage and yet will still provide the detailed representation that I've always loved the RE252 for. The comfort might be an issue as I prefer wearing the cables of IEMs over my ears for deeper insertion. Thus the earpiece rubs against my ear causing chaffing and skin irritation.
On the other hand, the PFE according to the PFE Appreciation thread and the same Multi-IEM Review thread is very comfortable, offers a wider soundstage than the RE0 and deals with impedance mismatches much the same way as the RE0 does (which is way batter than the RE252 *hissssssss* ). The only thing I need to listen for (and possibly correct) is the coloration in the bass. I have also looked into getting the Klipsch Exclusive Oval Eartips as the nozzle size different between the PFE and the Image S4 is only 0.5 mm (PFE: 3.5 mm; Image S4: 3.0 mm).
The question now is whether I go with the manufacturer (HifiMAN) that has earned my respect with the RE252 and the store that has provided excellent customer service (Head-Direct) or do I go with the manufacturer (Audeo) known for making incredibly comfortable IEMs but whose customer service is unknown to me.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Edited by Soul_Est - 11/9/10 at 9:31am