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Hifiman RE272 top of the line IEM Loaner program - Page 8
Well, it's been awhile since I've written something substantial on Head-Fi, so here is my take on the RE-272. Please forgive me for any grammatical errors. I've done a quick check but I am quite tired.
Hifiman RE-272 Review
I do like the new biflanged tips. The RE272 reminds me of the RE252 being a lot better treble extension and a lot more visceral impact in the bass compared to the RE0 (both amped and unamped). I still think the RE0 is still much more balanced and albeit bland compared to the RE252/262/272. The overall presentation is more forward when compared to the RE0, giving it a more pronounced midrange over the RE0 but not by a whole lot. I do like the new RE272, if I were to quickly give the RE272 a superficial impression it would be RE252 revamped with a better shell design as I had fitting and seal issues with the RE252 but I preferred the RE252 over the RE0 when it came down to the sonic qualities. Or RE0 that is no longer the bland fellow in the corner. Overall, I like them, in a way you could say while I like the RE0 for what it is, the RE272 does everything a bit better and wished the RE0 was the RE272. Not having hearing any of the latest and greatest IEMs, I can't say for sure if the RE272 are well worth their weight for the price but, I would buy them.
Equipment 1: Sansa Fuze, Fiio L6, Pico Slim
Equipment 2: Harman Kardon 730, Philips CD492
Equipment 3: Foobar2000, Audio-gd Sparrow
Music is either directly from a CD or FLAC and EQ.
Like all the RE family they can be considered as “bass light” IEMs, while I agree with this particular assessment I will say that I do find their bass to be punchy enough with good depth. But, if you are looking for more visceral impact and rumble the RE-272 is not for you. However, overall the RE-272 is just a continuation of the RE0/RE252 sonic qualities. Of course there are noticeable improvements, one being more bass impact as well treble extension. I also find a more forward presentation and midrange.
The RE-272 has very good dynamic, very details and quick. The added extension in the bass and treble is quite nice. Soundstage is what I could call average for an IEM. I do find it quite odd in the overall presentation. In some songs I find them just right, good height and width. But, I find with more complicated pieces or music with more instruments/vocals going on the RE-272 sounds as if the soundstage and presentation has shrunk. I think the cause of this would be added forwardness in presentation. Instead of sitting back in a concert hall I find myself being closer to the stage and depending where the treble is coming from that is where I am situated.
I wouldn’t call it bright as I have heard many other IEMs that are considerably brighter, and I do not get any sibilant, which is a plus for my ears. Treble isn’t harsh but has very quick decay. Rich sounding IEMs they are not. But, in return they are quite neutral, bland for some, dry for some, and probably considered too analytical for the rest, haha.
About the bass: I do like there is a more impact in the bass overall but, you mostly hear it in the upper and mid bass. Low bass is there with the extension but decays very quick. I am quite satisfied for the most part.
About the Midrange: More pronounced and forward compared to the other RE family, but I do find it too be too much for my taste. I find the added midrange affects the separation a bit and would prefer the midrange of the RE0/RE252 or the rich midrange of the RE262.
About the Treble: I do like the treble a lot, it puts the RE0 to shame where the roll offs occur. But, the weird soundstage and midrange makes them too forward sounding for me. It’s good for David Brubeck stuff but a bit too much for Rock.
About the Soundstage: Weird and smallish sounding at times. I would say average. Average in height and weight but with the added forwardness it sound smaller than it is. I do find changing the source/amp can change the overall presentation. So synergy may play a role here.
So, let’s see how well the RE-272 performs with different genre of music. Here is a short list:
Tom Petty – I should have known it: Good punch and excellent clarity, detail and transparency. A bit too forward for my taste but, with this type of music the RE-272 is a perfect match. Very pleasing to the ears, the guitars are very transparent if you are into that type of music. The cords in some Airbourne music are also very pleasing and satisfying.
Carimina Burana – Quite good bad but separation lacks a little bit. Granted, not the best for the lows being part of the RE family but it sounds very good especially in the vocals and the treble detail. The treble is very impressive that I can pick out the trumpets.
Dave Brubeck – Take Five: I do love how the drums are so detailed. Cymbals are nice clear and crisp. Bass is quite good, nothing earth shaking about them, but adequate for this type of jazz music. The Bass has good punch, detail and decay.
DMX- Lord give me a sign: I’ll say it straight, very underwhelming. The RE-272 is not meant for bass focused music. It will sound flat and absolutely boring. Everything above mid/upper bass is the same as other genres, good, clear and detailed.
Comparison: RE-272 vs. RE-262, RE-252, RE-0
RE-272 vs. RE-252
I have to admit the RE-252 is still a very nice IEM and can hold its own against the RE-272. Having fresh ears with the RE-252 and proper fit (using the inverted yet ugly method) the RE-252 like the RE-272 improves on the sonic qualities over the RE-0, bass and treble extension. The RE-272 does have a bit more visceral impact and rumble in the bass region, a more pronounced midrange and better treble extension. Everything sounds more forward with the RE-272 and in overall soundstage it sounds as if it is smaller but, it’s quite a decent size for an IEM, good height and width. Again, because of the midrange being more forward it gives off an illusion that it is smaller. I would say the RE-252 might sound as if it was a tad bigger. Personally, I tend to prefer more neutral sounding headphones/speakers/IEMs and in some ways I do prefer the RE-252 over the RE-272 because the midrange is less pronounced and therefore I can increase the volume a bit louder when compared to the RE-272. Nonetheless, the RE-272 is more dynamic sounding over with the added bass depth/body and midrange. And, in some aspect is a better IEM. For some, it’s more engaging over the RE-252. Think the RE-272 as the RE-252 with a better housing (a huge plus) with more bass, midrange and treble. I do admit the extra extension in the higher region gives the RE-272 an edge in detail. Even though I may prefer the RE-252, I can’t deny the additional benefits with the RE-272, one mainly being easier to get a fit and seal and would gladly take the RE-272 over the RE-252.
Another interesting aspect I should add is regarding separation, because of the more pronounced nature of the RE-272, separation does take hit, not by much but, when listening to Carmina Burana the RE-252 is a lot cleaner in separation.
RE-272 vs. RE-0
Clearly, the overall presentation is pushed back with the RE0 and noticeable there is less bass impact and treble extension. However, too my ears they sound much more tonally balanced. There is nothing out of place, and sounds just dandy, in other words, very boring for many. I am only saying that because I am sure there have been many other IEMs since the last time I’ve ever written anything on Head-Fi. But, despite all the dislikes with the RE0, I still like them. They are much easier to listen at higher volumes as the midrange and treble are both less intrusive. But, then again I have to deal with less bass impact and treble roll off with the RE0. In the end, with the RE-252 it’s all about what you like. A toss up really in my opinion.
RE-272 vs. RE-262
Many consider the RE-262 the “warmest” of the RE family. Yet, in many aspects the RE-262 and RE-272 share many similar characteristics. Take away the “warmth” of the RE-262 and you have the starting of the RE-272, add a bit better bass tightness and more forward midrange and treble and there you have it, the RE-262 becomes the RE-272. I can’t help but noticed the similarities as I switch between these IEMs. However, the RE-262 sounds more pleasing for me. Think of the RE-262 as the shy brother of the RE-272 but in the wrong birth order. The midrange and treble are less aggressive and much smoother yet retaining the overall detail. Granted, the treble is better with the RE-272 because of the forwardness but, the RE-262 does quite the job. Soundstage sound similar but, I swear the soundstage on the RE-262 is wider and taller.
In my opinion the RE-272 is a different take on a Hifiman standard, yet good, IEM. However, I can’t help but wonder what it sounds like out of a balanced amplifier, which is something I do not have. I do realize my gear overall is very limited, so this is strictly my own opinion. Different amps/source will have better synergy over the other. Overall, the RE-272 is a nice IEM and does have some improvements over the rest of the RE line up without changing the signature that the RE0 has laid out. An analogy would be thinking the RE-272 as the latest rendition of a Honda Civic. Have some improvements over the last generation but still a solid performer. Calling the RE-272 an upgrade? I don’t know about being an upgrade pers e but more of a sideway shuffle
anyone has tried this combo yet? :-) do it, trust me. It will totally screw up your mind regarding to the difference between IEM and full-size headphone. I asked my wife to listen to it, and her first words were "it sounds just like your big headphones (HE-6)". yeah, she knows nothing. :-)
Try PMing Fang (Nankai) directly to see what he says?
I have without a response in over 3 weeks. I'm not sure what's going on, but I just want it to be known that I am not stealing these, I'm simply confused as to what to do since there's no information to be had.
Edited by keanex - 9/30/11 at 3:23pm
I just received a PM from mitos asking for my address, and promptly answered. I can't wait to try the RE272 and compare to everything I know by now. I hope it arrives soon.
I'm antecipating that I haven't read any of the reviews, I want to be completely by myself here. Of course I know something about all other Head-Direct models and have my expectations, but thats it. I will not read anything about RE272 before or during my audition.
I think I'm the last on my team, so as soon as I receive the loan sample, I'll contact Nankai to know where I should send it back.
Will have to read your review, kostalex!
I am very late to do a review too...I really like the 272 sound signature but use my customs all the time because they are less hassle at this point.
Writing here should force me to finally do a review and send back the pair that Dr. Fang graciously lent to me!!
- Hifiman RE272 top of the line IEM Loaner program
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