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RE0's - am I missing something?

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 

I've had a pair of RE0's for almost a year. I bought them after reading rave reviews about how they are 'absolute gems' and the 'best iems for under $200'

 

I listen to a pretty wide range of music - jazz, classical, rock, metal, and some admittedly bass heavy music like dubstep and funk. I'm a musician and I consider my hearing to be fairly good.

 

Every time I listen to another pair of phones, whether it be my ms-1i's, pl30's or hd480's - I come back to the RE0's and can't help but notice how 'thin' they sound in comparison to virtually anything else. I guess some people describe this as being 'analytical', but for me they just seem a bit distant and unenjoyable, almost lacking certain frequencies all together, especially in the low end. I've tried all different tips, amps, sources and eq settings, but I've finally just accepted that maybe they aren't for me. Granted they are quite detailed especially above 5k hz and generally give a reasonably flat response (except a major perceived dip below 120hz or so, and again at about 500-600hz), but they still aren't neutral enough to be used for professional monitoring or anything of the sort... and the high end detail is not so amazing that it's completely out of league with something like the humble pl30.... but most importantly - the majority of music just doesn't seem that enjoyable through them in comparison to other phones.

 

Am I alone in thinking that they aren't all that great? Have people just been swept along with the rave reviews in some sort of subjective shitstorm of bizarre obsessive audiophilia? or do people genuinely value this particular quality of sound for some reason?

post #2 of 101

It didn't hit some of us at first but yes, unenjoyable is a good term. They don't convey emotion that well. And though detailed they are not that textured or "rich". Technically good but they can really lose their luster. Also a "humble" phone, the M9 made me realize or feel the same way. They are not so great as to be totally out of there league especially for being engaging. I don't feel they are missing frequencies but some texture and secondary harmonics are not there even when amped.

 

They are a good value but more likely "contender for the best under $100" is more correct at this point in time.

post #3 of 101

@savenger: Same with Phonaks that are lauded to be on par with RE0. I just simply can't make myself to enjoy them for the same reasons as you do with RE0 and especially compared to UE 5Pros or Panny HJE-900. And not that I'm a total unwashed basshead, my favorite full size cans are AKG-K501 which I actually prefer to my Grados.

post #4 of 101
Quote:

Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

They don't convey emotion that well. And though detailed they are not that textured or "rich". Technically good but they can really lose their luster.

 



Totally agree, after listening to my TF10 for 20 minutes my RE0 used to sound really thin and emotionless. Still before I got my TF10 the RE0 sounded awesome.

post #5 of 101

I think RE0 convey emotion very well. They have a pleasant, warm coloration in their sound and are very detailed, clean and clear with excellent separation. What source are you using with your RE0? At 64 Ohms, they are not exactly easy to drive and demand at least a decent dedicated PC soundcard or $100+ portable amp to sound great.You also need to make sure that you are getting a good seal. Experiment with different tips.

post #6 of 101

Yes, I understand. I have 2 other IMEs and I listen to them regularly and when I received the RE0, the sound is thin and lack body. Then, it is much more neutral and detail. I use it as primary source now and never find it lacking even the bass. Two days ago, when I try the other 2 IMEs again they suddenly sound too rich and unnatural. I'm not sure why is this so but I think it is really psychological to the mind tuning to the earphone.


OT abit now. I am also a purist, I came from the world of hi-fi class A amp, CD-DAC, expensive speakers (although I haven't listen to them for a while as my CD player is no longer working) I always believe in neutral sounding music. If the recording is bad then it is bad. If the music is presented in certain why it should remain in that way. I don't use EQ for that reason and which different recording it is a neverending thing trying to make your music sounds good and then is it really good to colored your music? For me it is no. Then, all our senses including our ears are born differenly. We might hear things other don't and vice versa. Forget about all the technical stuff, focus on music. If you like the sound then it is good even if the thing cost $2. If it doesn't it is not important if it cost you $500.

 

Let's enjoy the music. 

post #7 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by savenger View Post

 

 

  Have people just been swept along with the rave reviews in some sort of subjective shitstorm of bizarre obsessive audiophilia?


Worth quoting.

 

lol

 

darthsmile.gif

 

...I didn't like them either.

 

post #8 of 101

Don't push them in too hard, just enough for a seal. When there's too much pressure there's less bass.

And if that still is too little bass for you, it's probably just your preference. For me, the TF10 sounded way too bassy and bloated but for some people it might sound just right.

post #9 of 101

Is there a good reason to spend over $100 on a portable amp for a pair of iems that cost $79?

post #10 of 101

we value this sound because it makes us very eccentric and unique

post #11 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by patalp View Post For me, the TF10 sounded way too bassy and bloated but for some people it might sound just right.


Coming from the IE8, the TF10 is has one of the punchiest bass I have heard. ksc75smile.gif

post #12 of 101
Thread Starter 

I use my PA2V2 with a rockboxed 5G ipod via LOD, I also use my toneport soundcard which while not golden eared audiophile magical sparkling unicorn approved, is professional grade gear and has quite a sensitive headphone out which drives all my phones very well. 

 

Granted my gear is not top of the line, but it's all well designed, decent quality and certainly has the electrical capabilities to correctly drive a pair of high impedence headphones to excruciating levels without issue. I think maybe it's more a matter of these particular phones not being to my personal taste... maybe can be corrected with expensive high end gear but it seems like a lot of investment into something that so far hasn't provided me with as much enjoyment as my $25 pl30's.

post #13 of 101

re0 are thin.. no matter what u do to them.

and i'd think pa2v2 have a lot of power to drive hd650, i dont think it's a source problem. oh i used to have pa2v2, and i also have hd650.

in fact, i borrowed on and plugged to my lovely cube linear, opamp biased for heavy bass.. re0 is still thin.

 

its the note presentation of re0 that is thin. the lack of bass quantity makes it feel worse. they do not produce full and thick sounding note. if compare to, say, crossroad bijou, the note presentation of re0 is like u are hitting a small drum very very hard to get a loud sound, and bijou is like hitting a bigger drum with less force, but also sounds loud, thick, even. but in the case of re0, everything sounds thin.

i guess this is what people here consider as detail, since it is soo thin sounding, all details have enough room between themselves, making it sounds clearly defined.

 

for me, re0 scores very high points for treble that extends high, and that it is able to convey details clearly. if that makes 80% of sound quality, then it scores, since detail is something u get when  go higher level iem. if viewed in that sense, yeah, re0 is capable of rivaling higher level iem.  But higher level iem doesnt compromise everything else like re0, so u get the same musicality and details on them.

 

obviously they are perfect for people that only prefers treble and details. imho, a lot of people who uses iem are more tolerant to lack of bass and body, headphone users usually only uses iem for portability, so the tolerance is lower, since they usually found the sound to lack body, or sounds too forceful.

post #14 of 101

Agreed on mostly on what DaEMoNteNTAcLe has said. RE0 is a thin sounding IEM and meant to be neutral and analytical - if that is not to your liking, then avoid all thin sounding IEM in the future, especially Etymotic. Back in the days, there are two terms we used to describe this type of sound often but have since fell out of fashion: clinical / sterile. That is what RE0 is, and a common character for most neutral and analytical IEM.

 


 

Two things I would like to mention, but not particularly to the OP and more of a general observation:

 

One, always read review with a grain of salt. Even where there are a great number of so called rave reviews, it doesn't mean a particular IEM will be what you are looking for. I have yet to see one IEM that can does-it-all - individual IEM is often valued for a particular set of strength more than anything else. A neutral and analytical IEM won't appeal to a musical listener, vise versa. Like I always tell others, you will be better off with something that fits your taste than something that is considered good by others.

 

Two, do remember that RE0 is a 2 years old model (and most of the reviews are fairly old too). Though I can't say in certainty what the actual number is, the majority (like > 85%) of all the very active IEM discussions in forum now are IEM that are less than 1 year old since released. The one thing I often find people lose track of when reading reviews is the perspective of time. Back when RE0 was first released, the three universal IEM top-tier were TF10, SE530, and ER4S. Now? The number is pretty much tripled, if not more. If you read back the old ER4S review in 2001 / 2002 when Head-fi was born, people actually were comparing ER4S to top-of-the-line full sized cans because that was the only IEM in the market at that time. How many people will still compare ER4S to full sized in their review these days? The point is, when you are reading a review, it is not just a person's opinion regarding a certain object, but really it is a person's perspective of that object in a particular time and space. If you ignore the perspective of any review, you will never be able to read any review correctly.


Edited by ClieOS - 11/22/10 at 7:30pm
post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Agreed on mostly on what DaEMoNteNTAcLe has said. RE0 is a thin sounding IEM and meant to be neutral and analytical - if that is not to your liking, then avoid all thin sounding IEM in the future, especially Etymotic. Back in the days, there are two terms we used to describe this type of sound often but have since fell out of fashion: clinical / sterile. That is what RE0 is, and a common character for most neutral and analytical IEM.

 



The etymotics sounds very different from the RE0; both are treble heavy but the etymotics are much more aggressive with Grado-like dynamics and much stronger mids. And my ER4p certainly has significantly more bass than my RE0 (which I seldom use). I think the RE0 is a good contender for 'best iems for under $100' but there's no shortages of ~$200 earphones that's superior to the RE0 in most ways.

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