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Mid-High end iem upgrade from re0

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, my re0's cable seemed to have screwed up leaving me with a hollow, tin can interior sound. I'm looking for a gd upgrade, seeking re0's clarity with bit more bass and lusher mids. I'm placing more emphasis on gd mids this time around for my guitar-based/vocal tunes, Not very adverse to trebles (having had the re0s), but I'm thinking something slightly less bright might also be gd for long listening at the work-desk. Also just that little more bass as well to liven things up but not at the expense of the mids.

 

Budget: Max US$400 (cos I'm somewhat interested in the um3x with the removable cable)

Genres: 50% rock (nothing too hard eg. oasis, john mayer, incubus, rodrigo y gabriela), other 50% mix of jazz, blues, electronica (eg. krall, norah jones, candy dulfer, modjo)

 

My main caveat is comfort, cos I've very small ears and canals. (as a ref, I can only comfortably use re0s with the smallest single flange tips). So triplefi10s are out, and maybe even the sm3 v1, tho I've yet to try them. Also hate bi/tri flange tips, and foams as well. Very mildly germophobic. :P. 

 

Other phones besides um3x I'm considering are the pfe 112, e-q5, ue700, q-jays, w3. shures might be overbudget. Not sure if I want the re262 cos I'm disappointed by the re0s dying in just 7 mths... Any thoughts and/or other suggestions?

 

Thx in advance!

 

(BTW, if it helps, i enjoyed e hd25, and e d1001 besides e weak mids)


Edited by mogumagnus - 6/13/11 at 3:49am
post #2 of 46

with small ear canals Ortofon e-Q5 might not fit you well. Alternative option is A1 by Final Audio which is in same price range,  similar BA drivers but smaller diameter of the nozzle.

Also DBA02 or HJE900

post #3 of 46

If you want a true upgrade, I am not even sure if one exists. I think RE0 is on par with the best IEMs I've heard. Did you amp yours? It needs to be amped if you want to hear the full bass range, definition and power. If you find RE0 too bright, you can try adding a bit of cotton into the nozzle to tame the highs. This will also bring out the low end a bit.


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 8:45am
post #4 of 46

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

If you want a true upgrade, I am not even sure if one exists. I think RE0 is on par with the best IEMs I've heard.

 

Can you repeat that more succinctly please? Which IEM's is the RE0 on par with :)

 

 

post #5 of 46

IMO, Etymotic HF5 > RE0 in both sound and build quality.

post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

Can you repeat that more succinctly please? Which IEM's is the RE0 on par with :)

 

It can compete with anything I've tried so far. To my ears of course.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

IMO, Etymotic HF5 > RE0 in both sound and build quality.


I think RE0 sounds more musical, while also being more neutral in frequency response. HF5 is dryer, a bit clearer and faster, but more clinical, not as full sounding. Treble is more extended and articulate on RE0 as well. Etys are grainier, more peaky and more prone to sibilance.

 


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 10:06am
post #7 of 46

I've used the re0, hd25, and um3x (non-RC version) so hopefully I can be of some help. Both the um3x and hd25 have considerably more bass than the re0, though not to the point that it is overwhelming. To my ears, the hd25 is pretty balanced and the um3x is slightly on the dark side. The um3x has lusher mids than both the hd25 and re0, but the treble is less prominent than the other two. However, I found that it responds well to EQ so if it sounds too dark for you, it can be easily fixed. I've listened to all 3 at the same time and here is how I would rank them:

 

lows: um3x > hd25 > re0

mids: um3x > hd25 = re0

highs: re0 > hd25 > um3x

 

In terms of soundstage, they're all about average so there's not much to write about. The um3x sounded the most closed-in though.

 

Some other choices that you may want to look into are the re262 and shure se535. I haven't heard them but from what I've read, they aren't far off from what you're looking for.

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7swell View Post

I've used the re0, hd25, and um3x (non-RC version) so hopefully I can be of some help. Both the um3x and hd25 have considerably more bass than the re0, though not to the point that it is overwhelming. To my ears, the hd25 is pretty balanced and the um3x is slightly on the dark side. The um3x has lusher mids than both the hd25 and re0, but the treble is less prominent than the other two. However, I found that it responds well to EQ so if it sounds too dark for you, it can be easily fixed. I've listened to all 3 at the same time and here is how I would rank them:

 

lows: um3x > hd25 > re0

mids: um3x > hd25 = re0

highs: re0 > hd25 > um3x

 

In terms of soundstage, they're all about average so there's not much to write about. The um3x sounded the most closed-in though.

 

Some other choices that you may want to look into are the re262 and shure se535. I haven't heard them but from what I've read, they aren't far off from what you're looking for.

 

Do you amp your RE0 and which tips are you using with them? They require a tight seal and a decent amp to bring out the low end properly. Quantity wise, you may be right however - HD25 and UM3X have some emphasis on the low end, whereas RE0 is neutral. Quality wise, I owned all three and I think RE0 is the best. UM3X sounds a bit bloated by comparison, while HD25 also lacks tightness and depth. Mids on RE0 are also better than on HD25 - more neutral, smoother and more natural overall. In the highs RE0 blows both away, especially UM3X, which just sounds horrible for a triple driver BA - the treble lacks extension, detail, air and is just hopelessly recessed IMO. HD25 has decent highs, but quite grainy and peaky vs. RE0.


Edited by Pianist - 6/13/11 at 10:35am
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

 

Do you amp your RE0 and which tips are you using with them? They require a tight seal and a decent amp to bring out the low end properly. Quantity wise, you may be right however - HD25 and UM3X have some emphasis on the low end, whereas RE0 is neutral. Quality wise, I owned all three and I think RE0 is the best. UM3X sounds a bit bloated by comparison, while HD25 also lacks tightness and depth. Mids on RE0 are also better than on HD25 - more neutral, smoother and more natural overall. In the highs RE0 blows both away, especially UM3X, which just sounds horrible for a triple driver BA - the treble lacks extension, detail, air and is just hopelessly recessed IMO. HD25 has decent highs, but quite grainy and peaky vs. RE0.


I did amp the re0 and tried a bunch of tips outside of the ones provided, but I settled for the large biflanges that came with the package. Despite this, the bass on the re0 still wasn't where I wanted it so I switched to the um3x. Coming from the re0, it did seem a bit bloated to me at first, but I think it was because of midbass that wasn't produced well on my previous IEMs.

 

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7swell View Post


I did amp the re0 and tried a bunch of tips outside of the ones provided, but I settled for the large biflanges that came with the package. Despite this, the bass on the re0 still wasn't where I wanted it so I switched to the um3x. Coming from the re0, it did seem a bit bloated to me at first, but I think it was because of midbass that wasn't produced well on my previous IEMs.

 

 

I suspect that UM3X is a bit bloated in the bass due to echoes produced by the plastic housing, but I may be wrong. In any case, UM3X has very good bass. It's the treble where UM3X has some serious problems.
 

 

post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

 

I suspect that UM3X is a bit bloated in the bass due to echoes produced by the plastic housing, but I may be wrong. In any case, UM3X has very good bass. It's the treble where UM3X has some serious problems.
 

 


The UM3X actually has pretty clear highs if you insert them deep enough (or use the silicone tips), but it is a little less bright than the RE0. The cable is also one of the best I've used to date.

 

post #12 of 46

FX700, GR07, GR10, SE535, UM3x, SA6, SE425.

post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 


Thx everyone for the responses!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yello131 View Post

with small ear canals Ortofon e-Q5 might not fit you well. Alternative option is A1 by Final Audio which is in same price range,  similar BA drivers but smaller diameter of the nozzle.

Also DBA02 or HJE900


Ok striking e-q5 off. DBA02 is interesting, but isnt it about as bass-light as the re0? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

If you want a true upgrade, I am not even sure if one exists. I think RE0 is on par with the best IEMs I've heard. Did you amp yours? It needs to be amped if you want to hear the full bass range, definition and power. If you find RE0 too bright, you can try adding a bit of cotton into the nozzle to tame the highs. This will also bring out the low end a bit.


I loved my re0, the bass was great for some genres, not so much for mainstream rock stuff. Admittedly I didn't amp it. I had a cheap fiio e3 which I didn't use cos it hissed quite a bit. Another cheaper alternative might be to send it back to head-direct for repair, and get a decent amp ... heh, I also suspect almost any iem will sound bloated compared to re0. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7swell View Post

 

lows: um3x > hd25 > re0

mids: um3x > hd25 = re0

highs: re0 > hd25 > um3x


Thx 7swell! Much clearer picture now. I was considering e re262, but just slightly wary of durability now. Ya i keep reading that um3x's pretty dark. With that in mind I'm wondering if e pfe might be wallet-smarter choice, but I'm also itching for a triple BA. Damn u head-fi :p

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post

FX700, GR07, GR10, SE535, UM3x, SA6, SE425.


Thx zarim. Hm, se425... never quite thought bt that. Comfort worries me tho.

 

post #14 of 46

I happen to own a pair of the re-262.  I really like them.  Honestly I liked them better than the MTPC that lots of people seem to like a lot in this thread.  The bass isn't that strong, but clear.  Mids are warm and while highs are airy but not overly bright. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7swell View Post

I've used the re0, hd25, and um3x (non-RC version) so hopefully I can be of some help. Both the um3x and hd25 have considerably more bass than the re0, though not to the point that it is overwhelming. To my ears, the hd25 is pretty balanced and the um3x is slightly on the dark side. The um3x has lusher mids than both the hd25 and re0, but the treble is less prominent than the other two. However, I found that it responds well to EQ so if it sounds too dark for you, it can be easily fixed. I've listened to all 3 at the same time and here is how I would rank them:

 

lows: um3x > hd25 > re0

mids: um3x > hd25 = re0

highs: re0 > hd25 > um3x

 

In terms of soundstage, they're all about average so there's not much to write about. The um3x sounded the most closed-in though.

 

Some other choices that you may want to look into are the re262 and shure se535. I haven't heard them but from what I've read, they aren't far off from what you're looking for.



 

post #15 of 46

I have small ear canals and the e-Q5 with small sony hybrids fit me fine. For comparison, I could only use the small stock single-flanges for my RE0.

 

For what it's worth, I was in the exact same situation as the OP (except my RE0s didn't die, I just felt like upgrading) and desired the same general sound signature. The e-Q5 was my choice after listening to many mid to high-end universals and it did not disappoint. 

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