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CK-10 vs. CKM-99 - Page 2

post #16 of 24

Agreed with the e-Q7 comment, excellent balance, slightly mid-centric but a slightly warm signature.  The e-Q5 is there also at a lower price point, same driver, basically the same housing, apparently slightly different sound signature(housing shape/size, slight tuning change, whatever).


Yep, the bass quality is actually quite good with the CK10, but its presence simply isn't significant.  It responds ok to EQing, but it simply doesn't offer as much note heft as some other products like the Westones or UEs do.


post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your suggestions :)


I've definitely not forgotten about the 252, 262 or the e-Q7-5, but the reason why I didn't mention them was for the following reasons:


RE 252 - people complain about the housings and the fit - are these justified? I have small ears (quite Spock like actually) so comfort is tres important for longer listening stints. Also, people describe these as neutral rather than warm, no? (this isn't too much of an issue as long as they're 'fuller' than the Zeros)


If the RE 262 didn't need an amp, I'd have dived in there by now. They seem to be everything I'm looking for but I don't want to get an amp. Having said that, will my Cowon X5l drive these ok? If so...


e-Q7/Q5 - I'm still not 100% sure what the difference is between these two. I read in a post that someone preferred the Q5s over the 7s. Also, I think (from what people say) an excellent recommendation but pricier than the others, no? Price and comfort/fit have kept me guessing about these.

post #18 of 24

The RE262 doesn't need an amp, but it will be limited in loudness without one.  There also isn't much it suffers from otherwise off lower power.  It's realistically not that hard to drive, but the ohm load will automatically scale down the voltage range of the player and limit loudness to a point.  My phone has a relatively weak amp for audio out, and it does fine with the RE262.  It's at least good up to medium listening levels, but medium basically maxes out the volume.  That's a worst case, and the audio quality remains good.  Unlike something like the RE0, it doesn't actually need an amp to sound good.  The driver used is actually quite effortless in operation and simply doesn't need serious power behind it.  It's just the ohm load lowers the voltage output from the amp and limits volume.  That's all.


I've found that the RE252 can be worn comfortably most easily if you don't stick then in your ear.  I'll clarify.  The main issue with the RE252 is it has the gummy housing (can be trimmed if need be by the way) that needs to fit in the ear as well as a tip that needs to fit in the canal.  At best, your ears are perfect towards its design, and all is fine.  In worse cases, you must run a foam tip to add compliance to one of the two parts that are trying to fit.  In the end, I've ended up happy with using a Comply T-400/T-500 tip and simply did a surface seal (not actually sticking the tip into the canal).  The foam conforms around the canal opening instead, and this is quite comfortable.


Yeah, I'm not sure about the e-Q7 either.  Ortofon shows frequency response graphs of both, and they are almost the same short through the upper midrange where they vary a could dB from each other.  The driver is the same.  The housing is basically the same except the back section is chopped off.  There have been some comparisons, and it's hard to say how much they vary actually.  Even the design alone will affect physical placement in the ear which can influence sound some.  The e-Q5 is a more affordable option than the e-Q7 with it's little cheaper bullet design and fewer accessories.  You don't get the fancy case and carrying pouch for example.  I do expect an e-Q5 to pop up in the for sale section from time to time though, same for the e-Q7, so snagging one a little cheaper than new is there if you're quick.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great reply mvw2. In your opinion, is the 262 a massive upgrade on the Zeros? Does it do everything better? Also, how would you compare soundstages between the two?


And lastly, if you could only keep either the 252 or the 262, which would stay?

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello Martin,

At this time the RE-262 is not available

Kindest regards,
Ms. T.

Head-Direct Corporation / HiFiMAN
Customer Service Team



:( Awww....

post #21 of 24

The RE252 and RE262 are steps up from the RE-ZERO.  The RE252 and RE262 are more comparable to each other in terms of level, but they offer different things.  Mind you the RE-ZERO is actually quite good on its own.  If I were to compare tot he RE252, both are well balanced but the RE252 covers the spectrum better by extending both lower and higher.  The resolution is better is better too.  The amount of information is more comprehensive.  Comparing the RE-ZERO to the RE-262, the RE-262 pretty much tries to be a more dynamic version of the RE-ZERO.  It extends the dynamics rather than the breadth of frequency response.  If you want to think of the RE-252 and RE262 as upgrades the the RE-ZERO, they are but not significantly.  The upgrade is noticeable but not huge.  In the most basic sense, the RE-252 and RE-262 increase the quality of sound a little bit over the RE-ZERO.  On top of that the RE-252 increase the frequency response breadth while the RE-262 increases the dynamic range.  The RE-262 is more like the RE-ZERO in frequency response.  The RE-252 is more like the RE-ZERO in dynamics.  Comparing the RE-252 to the RE-262, the RE-262 uses a better driver.  The sound is more effortless, open, dynamic.  However, the RE-252 is a little more full and hearty in note, and more balanced and extended overall.  I see the RE-252 and RE-262 on par with each other, but they offer different sound signatures.  The RE-252 focuses on balance.  The RE-262 focuses on effortless sound.  The high dynamic range tends to make the RE-262 sound more laid back.  You often don't have it set very loud as its volume range is broad, loud is loud, quiet is quiet.  It's natural and completely transparent.  The RE-252 and RE-ZERO are more constrained dynamically.  Both are more forward in sound signature, in some ways punchy or aggressive.  The lower dynamic range tends to make the sound stage sound smaller too, more intimate and up front.  The RE-252 has the most bass presence as it is the most extended on the low end.  The RE-ZERO has a more punchy low end than the RE-262 but the RE-262 is more dynamic in bass range.  The treble of the RE-252 is limitless and carries good presence.  It isn't forgiving to poor recordings.  The RE-ZERO and RE-262 are more laid back up top and do forgive lesser recordings.


From a technical reproduction standpoint, I do see the RE-252 as the best option.  It covers the audible spectrum best and does it most evenly.  Clarity and detail is very good.  Dynamics are very good.  Everything is linear in presentation.  The RE-262 does have a better driver though that is cleaner, more effortless, more dynamic, but it's less linear in behavior.  At the end of the day, the best product in my eyes is the most accurate, most life-like, most believable when compared to real life.  You want something good enough to fool you.  To me, the RE-252 does that better than either the RE-ZERO and RE-262.  Is the RE-252 the best there is?  Not quite.  Frankly I think Westone's UM3X is better, but it needs moderate EQing to be balanced.  The RE-252 does not.  I also enjoy the Triple.Fi 10 a lot too, but again, EQing helps to get it to a balanced state.  The RE-252 is a no-fuss powerhouse.  It doesn't need amping.  It doesn't need EQing.  It's balanced and extremely good right out of the box.  That tends to make it a bit unique and special.



Yeah, I have no clue what they're doing with the RE-262.  I would have expected it to be out on the market quite a while ago.

post #22 of 24


Very good post, mvw2, Great effort made, appreciated.
I would like to add my two cents .. If you want something as good as both RE's but in the middle of these two by sound signature, you may always go for VSonig GR7 (same price range, better build quality). 

Edited by AlexRoma - 5/3/11 at 12:55am
post #23 of 24
No mentioning of GR10?
post #24 of 24

The relatively new GRO2 bass edition w silver cable are one of the best earphones out there. on major surveys, they

rank 4.9 for value out of 5, and only cost 29$ on ebay.  i often listen to these instead of my most expensive earbuds

such as TF10, or MDTributes, or shire 530s...they rock with authority for electronic music and sing with sweetness on acoustic

pop music.  lack the detail of the new CKM500s or sheer power and authority of the CKM99 but they have an integrity of sound

that is very refreshing and dont need an amp for most music.  a best buy and great sound also!

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