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Looking for IEM <$250 similar to RE-0

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am new to the forums and have little experience describing sound that I hear as well as sound that I want, so I won't be able to be as precise in the descriptions of these things as may be ideal. I do not consider myself an audiophile, but I am (apparently) very picky when it comes to the sound I like to hear from my headphones and earphones.


My story: I went looking for a nice IEM to use while exercising, and settled on the RE0s due to the fact that they are very well reviewed on here, and have a neutral sound signature. Having almost no experience with hi-fi headphones/IEMs other than my HD555s (modded into 595s), the only thing I really knew about my sound preferences was that I was probably not a basshead and I would probably appreciate a less "bass-centric" signature, so the RE0s it was.


The RE0s turned out to be a excellent fit for me. The only thing I felt could be improved was the bass. A tad bit more and these would have sounded near perfect to my inexperienced ears. Regardless, I was very happy with my purchase until the left side stopped working altogether. Reading through the forums a bit more, I learned this was a very common problem. I decided I wanted to purchase a new IEM altogether, partially because I wanted IEMs that last for longer than a week and partially because I seem to have been bitten by the high end audio bug.


I then purchased the Nuforce NE-700X, which I did just to make sure that I preferred a less bassy earphone. It has quite a bit more bass than I would like, confirming my suspicions. I definitely prefer the clarity and highs of the RE0 to the amount of bass put out by these earphones.


I primarily listen to alternative rock/pop, and trance/electronic music of all kinds.


I am looking for suggestions on what to purchase. My budget is now ~$250. I have narrowed it down to a couple of IEMs: the RE-252 and the CK10. I am thinking the RE-252's would be a great IEM for me, but I am concerned about the fit and comfort of them. I am also considering the CK10, but I'm wondering how the bass compares to the RE0 and the RE-252. Of course, other suggestions are welcome. Judging solely by the description of their sound in reviews, these seem to be what I am looking for.


I am not sure if I have given enough information to make it easy to give a definite recommendation of anything, so feel free to ask as many questions as necessary.

post #2 of 27

Hey welcome to the HF.


Have you heard of Ortofon e-Q5.

This could be what you are looking for. Great build, balanced sound, warranty and amazing service from MusicaAcoustics

Dimitri is Ortofon distributor so highly recommended seller


Review here is great for you to begin your search as the writer compares them to CK10.




if interested in this,

email Dimitri directly for Promo head fi special discounted cost as Q5 are over 250 if ordered directly from MA site/




post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. The e-Q5 does sound like what I am looking for. In fact, it is probably what I will go with if nothing else appears to be a better fit for me. I am going to give myself some more time to think about it and conduct a bit more research, but I figure I really can't go wrong with these. I am still open to other suggestions, of course.

post #4 of 27

I thought the RE-0's were frequently compared to the Ety ER-4's sonically? Have you considered it?

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

The ER4-P is one of the first I looked at, but I ultimately decided I'd rather give up some treble detail for bass quantity. Not sure yet how the RE-0's bass compares to the ER4-P's though, so maybe that wouldn't be an issue. The RE-0's gave out a very small amount less than what would be ideal when I could get a good seal.


As for the e-Q5, I'm actually not 100% sure that I would appreciate their sound signature as much as a more analytical IEM. However, it could easily be that I'd be more satisfied with their warm+sweet sound, a designation given by ClieOS in his IEM comparison thread. I am guessing a balanced sound is somewhere "in between" (correct me if I'm wrong), which may also be what I am looking for. This is why I am considering the RE-252. I prefer over the ear though, and the comfort and fit is still a concern. Its difficult to decide when you don't know what your preferences are :/


I've been looking at the RE-ZERO, and it is tempting because it supposedly sounds similar to the RE-0 and it is quite a bit cheaper than the others I'm considering. I would be completely satisfied with an RE0-like sound for $99. I haven't found any complaints about the RE-ZERO's earpieces giving out, but due to their similarity to the RE-0 I want to make sure they don't have those same problems. Do they? It would be very hard for me to choose anything else if they don't with what I know about the RE0's sound and their excellent price.





post #6 of 27

I've never listened to RE-0 but have you ever consider the MMDT? IMO at least they are good for the genres you like.


They're on sale right now and you can get them for ~$250 on Amazon and J&R

Edited by hatry - 5/23/11 at 5:02pm
post #7 of 27

CK-10's are very similar to RE-0 in sound sig., but better in every way.  If you enjoy a balanced/bright phone the CK-10 are your best bet for a solid upgrade.  

post #8 of 27

I come from the exact same background: RE-0 as first "serious" headphones, did not want heavy bass, loved RE-0 except wishing that sometimes there was just a bit more bass kick.


Went with the Ortofon e-Q5 and it was the best purchase of my life. The perfect amount of bass for me, without sacrificing the things about the RE-0 that I loved. Amazing and engaging midrange too, plus the cans are beautiful (went with red ones). The e-Q5s don't quite have the same analytical signature as the RE-0 (you would look at the RE-252, DBA-02, ER4 and CK10 for so-called upgrades along those lines), but I love it. Just my experience :)

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's good to hear about your experience with the e-Q5. I looked at the thread you made asking for recommendations, and I seem to be looking for what you were looking for.


After listening to the NE-700X for the past several days, I've found a couple things that I enjoy about them, namely their warmer signature and better-than-average soundstage. The RE-0 may have been slightly too thin for my tastes, but I don't remember at this point. They also did not have the soundstage the NE-700X has. However, the NE-700X seems to have slightly recessed mids, which is something I have learned I do not want at all. The bass bleeds into the mids a bit, which I also dislike. The bass is still too powerful, and not tight enough for me. These things lead me to believe the e-Q5 would be a good choice. They have more emphasis on the mids and highs, while still having decent bass and definitely not thin-sounding. I've also seen them described as lush, a word I've used to describe much of my music. They sound like my ideal earphone.


I'm actually not going to purchase them quite yet, but I will by the end of next month. Thanks everyone.



post #10 of 27

I think TF10Pro will fit your requirements because it has great bass response without over power the mids n highs with wide soundstage. It has neutral sound signature with good clarity in mids n highs. Sennheiser IE7 are also very musical midrange focused warm IEMs with wide soundstage. BTW if you buy from F/S forum here then SE535, UM3x, W3, SM3 are in this budget range and all are clear upgrade over RE0 with deffirent sound signatures.

Edited by ZARIM - 5/26/11 at 3:44pm
post #11 of 27

Ill put my vote in for CK10 also, it is RE0 but better at everything.

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

I did consider the TF10Pro briefly, but ruled them out for some reason I don't remember. Almost completely forgot about them. Now they look pretty tempting.


I guess I never really wanted an analytical earphone to begin with. The RE-0 impressed me with its clarity and highs, but listening to the NE-700X has made me realize I want a more "musical" sound. The TF10 also comes with a more desirable price tag. I set my budget at $250, but I really didn't want to spend more than $200. Considering this, I am leaning towards the TF10 at the moment. Only concern I have is the size and fit of them. I have medium-large ears, so I probably won't have any problems though. Anyway, thanks for reminding me about them.

post #13 of 27

take a hard look at the Vsonic GR07, I haven't heard the RE0 so can't really compare to that specific IEM. But the GR07 seems to be pretty balanced in my opinion and I am amazed at how it does guitars. It also has vey nice deep bass but is not a bass head IEM.

post #14 of 27

The TF10 are indeed good value for the price and offer an exciting sound, or "musical" as you call it. What turned me off was the slightly recessed mid-range: I listen to alot of vocal and classical, and it took me a very short time upon listening in to dislike the TF10's V-shaped response. I couldn't stand the colouration. It is a mindlessly fun set of IEMs to plug in and rock out, but it wasn't for me.


The VSonic GR07 is indeed another alternative at a price range that's far easier to swallow than the e-Q5. A nicely balanced, slightly warmish mid-forward signature that can do no wrong. It's not as er..."musical" as the e-Q5 to my ears, but it is certainly capable and more than a bargain at its price point. It is also very comfortable.


Finally, the RE262 is another option for the sound you seem to be going for (i.e like mine). I only had a brief listen but it was excellent, very lively without sacrificing balance and a beautiful midrange.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

The GR07 seems more versatile than the others. My music taste is actually pretty varied. The genres I listed as my favorites are only listened to slightly more often than others. If I had to use one word to describe most of my music, it would be "lush".


If the GR07 is warm and balanced with a slightly mid-centric sound, doesn't sacrifice too much detail in the highs, and has a good soundstage, then it'd probably be a better fit for me than the TF10. It is also a bit cheaper, looks like.


If anyone has any experience with the NE-700X, how does its soundstage compare with the GR07? I've heard bass-oriented earphones tend to have fairly poor soundstage, but the NE-700X's is very good, especially with certain songs. Much better than I thought I could get out of an earphone with those songs.


EDIT: I am reading the GR07s do not have forward mids. I don't know if I really want forward mids, though. I do know, however, that the vocals of the NE-700X are too recessed for me. The GR07 is looking awfully tempting, though I thought the same thing with almost everything mentioned in this thread.

Edited by Nubbles - 5/26/11 at 7:14pm
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