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Hifiman RE272 top of the line IEM Loaner program - Page 3

post #31 of 124

Huge thanks Fang, can't wait to try them out.

Just so I'm clear, I will be sending them to Poetik next? So we will just get in contact with each other when that time comes correct?

post #32 of 124
Just got them! Will be logging a lot of hours today. Sorry if I missed it but do I just ask you for the next users address when I go to ship? Thanks! will be listening and enjoying I bet. smily_headphones1.gif

EDIT : REVIEW

500
A Little About Myself

I am very honored to have been one of the many chosen that were able to review this unit and I want to thank HeadDirect and HIFIMAN for putting this together. I don’t have a lot of experience with IEMs and so this has been very fun and interesting. I would say I have decent experience with over the ear headphones I have heard many headphones and on a lot of different amps which I hope will allow my review to be a little more informative and useful. I am not down with all the audio terms, so I can only hope that someone will find this review useful. Thank you again and happy listening!

Packaging

When I received this unit I was surprised by how nicely the case looked, the pictures don’t do it justice and everything is packed nicely in the box. However it looked like it was already opened I don’t know if you guys test them before sending them out or not? But everything appears in great condition and the headphones themselves are very appealing to the eyes.

Sound (With Burson 160 - MS II+)
Pros
The highs are well done, not too bright, musical and a little forgiving, this works great for jazz music and classical as well as older rock. I’ve found that it has a good center image with a lower mid field type soundstage it seems to be very dynamic in its soundstage though. One moment it can be very close and intimate if the music calls for it and on other tracks can have a pretty decently large soundstage, for the most part however it seems to sit in the lower midfield to me. Very smooth,detailed, and well balanced mids very good for vocals like Norah Jones,Patricia Barber, even male vocals sound astonishing, such as Tom Waits Etc. One other area that this does well in is classic rock, despite that it could use for a little more bass the handling of the highs is done so well that I still think its great for classic rock. Generally I think that the highs are to bright or sibilant on most headphones but despite not being petite or shy in any means these manage to sound good on tracks that would normally sound too bright to my ears. Trumpets are rendered near perfect and saxophones sound amazing, cymbals are very defined and not grainy at all.
Cons
I thought the bass had a great balance as well as good detail however some may find it a little petite and in some older rock I found my self wanting a little more bass. Another thing is that despite its great overall balance I felt that it lacked a little warmth, if you like warmth or tube like sound then these might not be for you but if you can pair them with a tube amp as I did you will be rewarded.
WIth Little Dot MK III - MS II+

When I triad it with my Little Dot MK III I thought it brought some of the warmth and bass that lacked in the Burson however at the cost of detail. I really think that these headphones prefer tubes which is odd for IEMs or at least I think thats odd. Despite the lack of detail the already wonderful mids now have a very nice and silky presence. With this amp the soundstage was pushed back a tad making it sound a little wider as well. These IEMs really do change quite a bit with different amps. Rock with these headphones and this amp sounds godly, very soft highs and more low mids and bass make this a absolute winner for classic rock! One song “Gypsy Wine” from Paper Garden is really bad on most headphones due to the annoyingly bright sound but on these its listenable which is saying a great deal!
Directly out of iPod Nano 5th Gen

Direct out it lacked the soundstage that it is capable of, it lacked detail and the highs lost its magic. I don’t blame the headphones for this one bit obviously the feed direct out of an iPod is not very hifi unfortunately I don’t have a portable amp or dac to test this with. Non the less it was still very good for on the go listening and would be fine for commutes or other things but if you want the best out of these headphones you need to have it hooked up to good equipment.

Comfort / Isolation

Very comfortable with tons of options for the right tip size depending on your preference and ear canal size. Lots of good and useful adapters are included which is nice. One other thing I really liked is that the connector, instead of being L shaped or straight it has a curve in it that is not only stylish but also practical. These headphones seem to block out a good amount of noise and would be good for an airplane or bus ride I can’t say how many DB it blocks but if I had to guess I would say somewhere around 20 DB. My brother actually blew a blow horn next to my door and I was unable to hear it listening at normal volume with these! The cord appears to be the perfect length to connect an iPod or other personal source without being long or cumbersome.

Extra Thoughts

Having not heard many IEMs I would say these are hands down the best I’ve heard, comparing them to full size of course is unfair but let me just say that I prefer these over all my other headphones other then my K702s which I still like a little more overall. Would I buy these? If I was looking for IEMs then yes I would definitely look at these, they do not overdue the bass like the other IEMs I’ve triad do, which is a big plus for me. The tonality is also quite special almost a mix between the AKG and Ultrasone sound signature.

Specific Songs
(test conducted on Little Dot MK III for the below)

Rock - Pink Fold - The Wall Side A - Mother

Has a very musical sound right off the bat, non fatiguing and very natural sounding. It sounds great with this like it was meant for this song, I think this song demonstrates how well it does with classic rock. The highs are not over powering or under whelming they are simply dead perfect for this type of music. The mids are clear as ever and it renders the vocals very realistically. You can hear the guitars with great detail, every instrument is very distinct and the voice is dead center, as I mentioned before the center image is very very good on these headphones. These headphones let the song portray the emotions that were put into this recording very clearly.

Jazz - Patricia Barber - Modern Cool - Post Modern Blues
Wow the bass! This track was mastered with too much bass IMO but other then that is a top notch recording. Most headphones will render the excessive bass muddy, however these do not! Very clear you can hear as the strings are plucked on the bass guitar and there is detail! Wonderful detail, not muddy in the least it carries the multiple note bass easily across its small drivers with deep impact. Patricia's voice is rendered properly and very realistically as well, very smooth and relaxed and a pleasure to listen to. Very distinct instrumentation found here as well.

Alternative - Tom Waits - Alice - Alice

Very good separation of the instruments, the saxophone on the further left is easily distinguishable from the center saxophone its like night and day separates them perhaps a little too much. It almost sounds like the left saxophone is slightly behind me which is a little odd. Tom's voice holds a very good tone not too heavy or syrupy like some headphones can be on this song. It carries the somewhat dark texture of this song very well. The trouble sounds a little grainy but that could be the song I'm not sure.

Metal - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Super Star - Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World

Perhaps as I've mentioned before a little bass light, but it scales well going load. I don't play stuff as load as most but as load as I was willing to listen (also don't want to risk damaging these haha) there were no signs of distortion. Marilyns voice is down as good as well I think that's the key to these headphones, very good vocals and mids with highs that are forgiving. These did not get my blood going though, I think the slight lack of dynamics on these does not suit heavy metal. Its not bad don't me wrong but I think I'd rather use some Grados or Sony XBs for metal.

Folk - Noble Beast - Andrew Bird - Tenuousness

The highs felt a little too forgiving on this track and the lack of a little bass made it feel a flat. I can't say that I really like these headphones with this specific song. The guitar had good detail but felt compressed. It felt like everything just lacked dynamics.

Electronic - Trifonic - Emergence - Emergence
Gobs of detail, fast pace and rhythm and not overly done bass! Great for electronic music that's what I say. The drivers have a very fast response and keep up well with the fast pace. Really gets your heart going here. I keeps the smooth graduated sounds smooth, and keeps the sharp crackling sound sharp. From what I've heard with a lot of headphones that I have that's very hard to do right and these do it!

Burn In
Last but not least burn in. I have about 30 hours on these and have noticed very little burn in effect. Burn in for the most part seemed complete after 10 hours. After that 10 hours very little if not nothing seemed to change.
Edited by Gatepc - 8/2/11 at 3:05pm
post #33 of 124

Was it shipped via DHL?  If it was, then I missed its delivery and will receive them tomorrow.  Nice way to break the weekend.

post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaphoenix View Post

Was it shipped via DHL?  If it was, then I missed its delivery and will receive them tomorrow.  Nice way to break the weekend.


Yes it was shipped DHL
post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatepc View Post



Yes it was shipped DHL

 

DHL redelivered and received today. 

 

post #36 of 124

First, I would like to give thanks to Fang for the audition opportunity.  Head-direct makes great, world class products and from their earphone line I’ve owned the RE0 (updated version) and RE252 with the latter being my favorite.  There’s expectation that the RE272 is supposed to eclipse its predecessors.  Before I begin, I would like to set the reader’s expectation that my overall preference is of a more laid back and musical and natural presentation, especially with female vocals.  As always, YMMV.  Let’s begin:

 

Package Presentation:

I have to give props to the RE272 package presentation.  Unlike its predecessors, the RE272 home is a 5x4x2.5 inch box that looks rich and gives the perception that it holds something special and expensive like an Omega automatic watch.   A very nice step up from the clear plastic cases.  Accessories wise, the tips, plastic cable clip, and filters seem to identical to the rest of the line, but because the RE272 connector tip defaults to 4 pin balanced mode, it comes with three extension cords that when connected, measures approx. 58 inches from end to end.  Let’s hope someone on the review chain has a balanced portable amp to describe the differences.  My review only covers using the TRS 3 pin, imbalance extension cable.

 

RE272d.JPG

 

 

Appearance wise, the RE272 ear piece looks like a RE262 dead ringer.   I was intrigued with the housing design and there appears to be a tiny, pin hole size vent that I can only surmise has a greater purpose to be described later.  The main shell appears to be made of plastic, but for a second, it looked like metal and reminded me of the Panasonic HJE900.  I could be wrong, but the light weight tends to lean towards plastic shells.  To be noted, there may be isolation issues for those seeking as such as sound leaks like my IE7 and previously owned FX700.

 

Phase I: Initial impressions without burn in using the following FLAC files repeated on each of the three setups below accept for setup A as my Nokia N97 plays 312kbs files.  My chosen files represent a good overall representation of my music collection.  IEM tips used are my own double-flange from my Sennheiser IE7.

  • Lori Carson: Greener
  • Carly Simon: Coming Around Again
  • Timezone: World Destruction
  • Mad Season: River of Deceit
  • U2: With or Without You
  • Pink Floyd: Money (live)
  • David Foster: Love Them from St. Elmo’s Fire (instrumental)

 

Setup A: Nokia N97 cellphoneà312kbs files.  Flat EQ

Zero hiss.  Similar to the IE7 and FX700, the sound stage is very wide.  The mids are forward when needed which is very nice for the female artist.  Separations of the vocals, acoustic guitar, and back ground singers are very nicely sliced and the details are pulled in nicely but in a balanced fashion so that they don’t bleed too much. In particular, the first 20 seconds of “With or With You” demonstrated the RE272 ability to make the track sound “right” without spikes of any kind – very nicely done.

 

Setup B: Rocoo BàFLAC files. Flat EQ

Zero hiss.  Similar impression as in setup C with the following distinct improvements:  The cymbals on “Coming Around Again” sounds amazing as well as the whole song through and through.  My laid back and musical representation preference is produced superbly, but with much more detail – amazing.  Placement is done very well with “Money” and sounds very life like in both low and medium level volume.  In “With or With You”, the brief background whispers of the other band members is delivered.  “World Destruction” sounds mushed together with its speed and synthetic layers on cheap earphones, but once again, the RE272 easily sliced and diced through it very nicely and very detailed to boot.

 

Setup C: Thinkpad X220àWinAMPàFLACàLeckerton UHA-4, low gain, cross-feed off

Zero hiss.  Wow.  To my ears, this is a really great setup.  Sounds like all the sonic characteristics from setup B moved up a few notches in all its uniform glory.   Everything, I mean everything is tight and crisp, absent of any sloppy or colored character.  Just for kicks, I added another track in the mix “Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche.  This song used to give me goose bumps with headphones and speakers, in particular when the orchestra kicks in, but over time I somehow grown immune to it.  Well, just now I’m covered in them – just amazing how it awoken my emotions.  The guitar chord is very tight, accurate, crystal clear, and Geoff Tate’s voice is spot on. 

 

Impression Thoughts:

I’m very impressed with the RE272; it easily bested my IE7 (originally retailed for $299) and stands on the podium with the FX700 as the now the only two dynamic IEM’s that can reasonably replace my Grado RS2 headphones.  The RE272 does an excellent job of pulling the music more outside your head.  I found it very non-fatiguing during the while wearing them for an hour straight.  It scales up very, very well.  IMO, for the price and value, the RE272 can replace more expensive IEM’s and headphones. It’s very comfortable.   I forgot to mention up front that I wore them down instead over the ear, which you’ll need to use the appropriate extension cable to reverse left and right as the right ear piece goes in the left ear and vice versa.  Oh, and the little pin hole vents, it appears it help gives the sound the air and openness it needs.  I covered them up with my fingers and received the same treatment as one who covers the metal mesh on Grado’s.  So, for $249 you get, dare I say, reference caliber sound with the flexibility to go balanced or not, down or over and around the ears, and a 3 year warranty to boot – I think I’ll be getting these as a birthday present to myself that's just around the corner.  

========

Phase II:

Alright.  These have approx. 60 hours of burn in.  For consistency, I did not alter any of the the above text and descriptions from PH1.  I listened for nearly two hours straight listening to other files (FLAC) in my collection.  I did not notice much a difference in the SQ from Phase I.  For me I notice that dynamics whose signature is very detailed to begin with doesn't change whole lot from the start.  I'm still impressed by the open and airy sound.  I found it does most music genres well (can't account for rap or country).   If there was one weakness the RE272 has, which I find pretty consistent with dynamic drivers is the speed and attack from mixed guitar riffs and drums is a little slow and too soft when compared to my BA counterparts.  My older Metallica songs just didn't get my heart and adrenaline pumping.

 

Overall Summary:  I've refrained from comparing too much with other IEM's that I currently have and owned, but I feel I must for the sake of future considerations with RE272, but always, always remember to never rely 100% on any one's review and always, always trust your own ears.  For those looking for a neutral sound, I would look else where.  The most neutral dynamic I've owned was the MTPC.  If you want complete isolation so that whoever is sucking your neck can't hear a thing - look else where.  If you want pounding, sub-level bass - look else where (Atrio).   If you want a dry and analytical sound - look else where (choose your poison).

 

However, if you want a musical sound where the bass is tight and fairly accurate, a wide sound stage, open and airy, detailed through out while being mids centric, and your collection has a good mix of 80's pop, 90's grunge and hair bands, classical, jazz, contemporary, female centric, but little of fast and impactful music like Death Metal, the RE272 would make a great addition or as a lone wolf.  It scales very well with volume and responds nicely amped or not. 

 

Immediate improvements with the product needs to be done with better tips.  As a flagship model, it should not include the same as its lower siblings.  Most of the tips I found way too stiff, but it would be nice to have something like the UE silicon tips or very similar. 

 

Again, thanks Fang for this audition opportunity and your trust.

 


Edited by alphaphoenix - 7/31/11 at 11:18pm
post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by DialMforMatt View Post

Huge thanks Fang, can't wait to try them out.

Just so I'm clear, I will be sending them to Poetik next? So we will just get in contact with each other when that time comes correct?



Yes.  I'm also going by your assumption.

 

post #38 of 124

 

Go Team Commonwealth and Brazil!

 

Received the samples yesterday 29th July 2011

will get the review up asap,

will re-ship early in the second week of August as I'm on holiday on the first week of August so hopefully get some quality time with the re-272

 

thanks 

Fang

 

post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefungi View Post

 

Go Team Commonwealth and Brazil!

 

Received the samples yesterday 29th July 2011

will get the review up asap,

will re-ship early in the second week of August as I'm on holiday on the first week of August so hopefully get some quality time with the re-272

 

thanks 

Fang

 


That should work perfect as I am also away the first bit of Aug, home approx the 10th. 

 

Looking forward! Thanks all.

 

post #40 of 124

tuahogary here reporting for team Asia! I just got mine two days ago with FedEx Express (quick delivery!) but haven't been on Head-Fi since. busy.. frown.gif

 

Anyway I have a couple of questions:

1) Are the re272s burnt in at all? if not, how many hours are recommended?

2) I guess I have to personally contact the next person in queue so I can attain his postal address, etc.?

 

I won't be doing a review just yet. I have not yet found that sort of impressive soundstage and quality as suggested as some of the early impressions here so I'm hoping my set isn't quite ready for prime listening yet. One thing I can say though, is that the mids are quite impressive, certainly nice to listen to and of high quality. And the packaging very pleasantly surprising!  But that's all for now. Like always, I'll keep my impressions as fair as possible. 

 

Last but not least, big thank you to Fang and Hifiman for being so sporting and giving us the chance to listen to their top tier IEMs! biggrin.gif


Edited by tuahogary - 7/31/11 at 1:00am
post #41 of 124


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuahogary View Post

tuahogary here reporting for team Asia! I just got mine two days ago with FedEx Express (quick delivery!) but haven't been on Head-Fi since. busy.. frown.gif

 

Anyway I have a couple of questions:

1) Are the re272s burnt in at all? if not, how many hours are recommended?

2) I guess I have to personally contact the next person in queue so I can attain his postal address, etc.?

 

I won't be doing a review just yet. I have not yet found that sort of impressive soundstage and quality as suggested as some of the early impressions here so I'm hoping my set isn't quite ready for prime listening yet. One thing I can say though, is that the mids are quite impressive, certainly nice to listen to and of high quality. And the packaging very pleasantly surprising!  But that's all for now. Like always, I'll keep my impressions as fair as possible. 

 

Last but not least, big thank you to Fang and Hifiman for being so sporting and giving us the chance to listen to their top tier IEMs! biggrin.gif


Well,

 Next in Line i think is My Friend Santosh From India  .When Do You think you Can Send Him The Set  ? .

 

post #42 of 124

I'm thinking of sending it sometime around Monday the 8th as I will be away on the 10th. But I still need his address and contact info..

post #43 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuahogary View Post

I'm thinking of sending it sometime around Monday the 8th as I will be away on the 10th. But I still need his address and contact info..



Well,

 As The National Distributor Of Headdirect in India I Will Do My Part Of The Job I Will Call Him And Tell Him To Pm You his details 

post #44 of 124

Aflac, I just PMed to confirm your shipping address, which I'll be shipping out early this week.

post #45 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaphoenix View Post

Aflac, I just PMed to confirm your shipping address, which I'll be shipping out early this week.


Confirmed, when I get them I will do the same with the next on the list.
 

 

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