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Hifiman RE272: Review - Page 2

post #16 of 272

 

WTF!!! WHAT THE H#CK is going on??!! I just stopped listening to the DT880, and decided to switch to the RE272 just to confirm that DT880 rips the RE272 apart and all that. Well... RE272 actually sounds jsut as good to me right now as the DT880 if not better. What?! confused_face.gif Perhaps listening to the DT880s somehow made me notice some qualities of the RE272s I haven't noticed before? Basically, RE272s sound more accurate to me now than they did before. More dynamic, more focused and with better timbre. Some sounds that were dull before no seem to come through much clearer. Perhaps the excitement of listening to the DT880s made me focus better on the music.

 

Does something similar happen to any of you guys or am I just going crazy?


Edited by Pianist - 8/24/11 at 1:30pm
post #17 of 272

I'm sure we've all experinced it at some point. In fact, it happened to me more than once with the SM3. rolleyes.gif


Edited by i2ehan - 8/24/11 at 2:41pm
post #18 of 272

I guess you are right. I also found SM3 a strange beast BTW, which also sounded great to me sometimes and really bad at other times.

post #19 of 272

The SM3 remains the only in-ear which is a complete mystery to me even still. There are a few days when the SM3 sounded veiled, and I was forced to recall what it was that struck me in the first place. Then there are many days where one listen to the SM3, and I feel as though my music never sounded this good. As of late, the latter holds true, and having to choose between the GR07/EX1000/SM3 has proved to be the most difficult decision yet. I certainly don't intend to keep all 3, and considering that they each sound exceptional to my ears, the GR07's price tag seems to be drawing me in closer and closer. confused_face.gif

post #20 of 272
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

WTF!!! WHAT THE H#CK is going on??!! I just stopped listening to the DT880, and decided to switch to the RE272 just to confirm that DT880 rips the RE272 apart and all that. Well... RE272 actually sounds jsut as good to me right now as the DT880 if not better. What?! confused_face.gif

 

Happens all the time wink.gif. Comparisons based on memory or familiarity can be so deceptive at times. Instead of A:B, if you do A:B:A, things will seem a little different too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mukulymn View Post

Very nice review santhosh....After this, i dnt thnk ppl @Head-fi will need my review..:)


Thanks Mukul. We all state our opinions, your opinion would be equally important.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -y0- View Post

Whoa, great review, so technical and in-depth. 


Thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post

 

I'm assuming the 252/262/272?


I think RE0, RE252 and RE272. I am actually looking forward to 252 vs 272.

post #21 of 272
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Ok, so I will rate the IEMs I tried in order of my preference then, based on the amount of enjoyment I got and believe could further get out of them (and not based on pure technical ability, short term WOW factor and other things). Also, this rating is based on how they sound unamped straight out of an average decent sounding DAP like the Clip, unless stated otherwise:

 

1. Well (fully?) burned in ~1.5 year old RE0 V3 defoamed: Probably the most neutral, balanced IEM I ever tried, with some really awesome, smooth treble sparkle where needed and deep, tight, accurate bass, and amazingly transparent mids. Insignificant lack of dynamic range, but no big deal for me. Fits my tastes like a glove.

.

.

13. RE262 (only tried them unamped though),

14. RE252 (horrible fit, but not as fit dependent as SE530)

...

 

Not to turn this topic away from RE272 into a discussion on burn-in, which has already been done to death here on head-fi. I don't agree with the whole 800+ hour burn-in thing. Then, probably only very few on head-fi have heard the RE0 as it should be (for e.g., clieOS would have a better RE0 than most here). I think burn-in changes are subtle, not all of them are audible and certainly not with all IEMs. That doesn't stop me from doing a burn-in for all the IEMs I write about because they don't cost me anything but time and a few cycles of charging the battery.

 

Do you have Clip+ or Clip? I don't think Clip+ is average sounding as I like it better than Cowon S9 (without EQ/BBE). With Clip+, I find that RE0 improves better with an amp than the RE262. Not that RE262 does not improve, but it's already good straight out of Clip+. RE0 though shines better with an amp.

 

RE252 is actually horrible to fit at first. Once the gummys soften up, they are a bit easier. But, no! you'd need a good fit with them in order to hear what they are capable of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by i2ehan View Post

The SM3 remains the only in-ear which is a complete mystery to me even still. There are a few days when the SM3 sounded veiled, and I was forced to recall what it was that struck me in the first place. Then there are many days where one listen to the SM3, and I feel as though my music never sounded this good. As of late, the latter holds true, and having to choose between the GR07/EX1000/SM3 has proved to be the most difficult decision yet. I certainly don't intend to keep all 3, and considering that they each sound exceptional to my ears, the GR07's price tag seems to be drawing me in closer and closer. confused_face.gif


As I mentioned

 

Quote:

Of course, SM3 is a mysterious IEM which does come back into reckoning once you stop comparing and that largely has to do with that polarizing, enveloping sound stage.

 

SM3 is a bit weird compared to the rest. Once you "get" it, it could be the most wonderful thing you've ever heard. Otherwise, you'd be perplexed why people even like this IEM.

post #22 of 272
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

WTF!!! WHAT THE H#CK is going on??!! I just stopped listening to the DT880, and decided to switch to the RE272 just to confirm that DT880 rips the RE272 apart and all that. Well... RE272 actually sounds jsut as good to me right now as the DT880 if not better. What?! confused_face.gif Perhaps listening to the DT880s somehow made me notice some qualities of the RE272s I haven't noticed before? Basically, RE272s sound more accurate to me now than they did before. More dynamic, more focused and with better timbre. Some sounds that were dull before no seem to come through much clearer. Perhaps the excitement of listening to the DT880s made me focus better on the music.

 

Does something similar happen to any of you guys or am I just going crazy?

 

 

I also think the DT880 is one of the most balanced cans I have heard despite the slightly recessed midrange.  You must really get a T1 as it is a HUGE leap ahead of the DT880.  Always a pleasure to listen to.

 

From what you describe, the RE272 sounds a lot like an entry level, in-ear version of the HE-6, at least from the treble side. 

 

Will I see you as a frequent visitor of the full-sized section from now on? wink_face.gif


 

 

post #23 of 272

Hey esanthosh, I just looked over your review again. Great review - well written and thoughtful and gives the RE272 a fair treatment I think.

 

I do have to disagree on some things though. For example, I think RE272 has fantastic bass and does present a very well filled note. In fact, fullness of sound is one of RE272's main strengths IMO. From top to bottom, it sounds very full bodied. I think the bass is extremely tight, clean and well defined and extends deep enough for me. I compared the RE272 directly against Shure SE535 and Westone 4 a few days ago and the RE272 had the cleanest, most articulate low end of the three to my ears and by quite a margin. The Westone 4 and especially SE535 sounded muddy by comparison. Is it hyper clarity? Maybe, but to me it sounds very natural.The mids and highs on RE272 follow its bass in quality and character. They are also extremely clean and clear and will make most other headphones and IEMs sound impure by comparison. Again, some people may find the sound unnaturally clean, but I think provided you use the IEMs with a good source and good recordings, it sounds very natural.

 

I don't feel like RE272 lacks any dynamics or articulation. I think they are just right on RE272. I compared them directly against FX700 many times and never did the RE272 fail to reproduce the dynamic range, nor any other nuances in my music that the FX700 could. In fact, I would consider RE272 more articulate than FX700 in a way. It is cleaner, clearer than FX700 and has a better frequency balance with better presence in the mids.

 

Timbre on RE272 sounds wonderful to me. I think it's very natural. Instruments like saxophone and piano are presented especially well IMO. Especially the sax. Did you try any good music with saxophones on it with the RE272? If not, try this track. Sounds superb with the RE272. I don't think RE272 lacks timbre compared to the FX700 at all. In fact, for some instruments like the sax, I prefer RE272 over FX700 because the former sounds more full bodied while preserving the realistic timbre of the instrument IMO.

 

Do you really think RE272 lacks some clarity? I never heard the EX1000 or CK10, but I can't imagine a cleaner, more pure sound than what RE272 produces. Or perhaps you mean something else by clarity.


Edited by Pianist - 8/25/11 at 8:04am
post #24 of 272

@ esanthosh, very nice review!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Ok, so I will rate the IEMs I tried in order of my preference then, ...

Interesting list. Can't say I can agree with most of them, but then again, it is a good example on how individual preference as an important factor on headphone choice.

 

post #25 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

I have sent RE272 on it's way to the next person on the list. But from what I remember, bass region is relatively a valley, a small region around 2Khz is bumped with peak at 2Khz, then it dips pretty soon till about 5Khz. 5-8Khz sounded slightly above it. The region from 8 till about 14Khz is relatively bumped. But I thought it was like a constant few dB above reference without too many peaks / spikes. I cannot verify this exactly, may be you can. It would be interesting if you can EQ the region from 2-5Khz and see if it helps change anything. If I had a few more days, I would have certainly checked out the EQ part.

 

I agree completely. I ran a few frequency sweeps on the RE272 and I can also confirm the peak at ~2 kHz and an emphasis from ~8-14 kHz. I also hear a gentle, gradual roll off above ~14.5 kHz. But overall, like you said, these are indeed pretty even in their frequency response. There are certainly not sharp peak or dips that I can hear either - every emphasis or dip is gentle and rather subtle. Although out of the box I think the 2 kHz peak was more noticeable. I will try to EQ that 2-5 kHz region and will report my findings.

post #26 of 272
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

@ esanthosh, very nice review!

 

Thanks :)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Hey esanthosh, I just looked over your review again. Great review - well written and thoughtful and gives the RE272 a fair treatment I think.

 

I do have to disagree on some things though....

 

I don't think I can describe any further about what I think of RE272's bass than what's mentioned in the review. Perhaps if you can hear RE-ZERO and compare RE0, you'd better understand where I am coming from. I've not heard the SE535 (or even SE530) or the W4 (or any westone for that matter), so I cannot comment about how RE272 compares to them in bass. I also did not compare FX700 to RE272 for much longer. But, even based on that fading memory, I don't recall thinking that dynamic range of both were about equal. BTW, I am not the only one who feels this way about the dynamic range on RE272. You are anyway next on James444's EX1000 loaner tour. So, may be you'll be able to compare 272 and 1000 for yourself and come to a conclusion.

 

I really don't think I am capable of arguing logically when I no longer have the RE272 to compare. I can at most trust my notes, but not my audio memory. Another thing to note when reading my comparisons is that I can only express it in words like "slightly better", "better", but I don't think I can quantify any of those words into meaningful figures. If I could, this discussion would have been a lot easier. Also, I think you should look at both sides - I have mentioned where I find RE272 better than other IEMs as well as where I think they come up a little short in relation to all the things you disagree with. I think that's as fair as I can be to an IEM within my limits.

 

Unless our Team Asia review sample is bust in some way, I think we can agree to disagree on certain things about RE272. From whatever I've been reading of your posts, you seem to have the idea that the IEM you like has to be perfect/good in every way. I don't think that's the case with me. I would even say none of my favorite IEMs are perfect. They all have their weaknesses / quirks - even some major faults which makes others hate them, but I love them for their strengths and live with their not-so-strong-parts. Suffice to say that even with the issues I found, I still rank RE272 far above where you've ranked them in your list. I guess I am just lot short on energy and enthusiasm levels in declaring how much I like an IEM. Just a run through the lists will show that our preferences and priorities differ significantly wink.gif.


Edited by esanthosh - 8/25/11 at 6:31pm
post #27 of 272

 

 

There's nothing wrong with a peak at 2kHz, and a peak between 8-14kHz (if that's what it is) is a pretty difficult task to achieve in IEM's, especially BA's, I think the ER-4 and CK10 both drop off sharply right after their spikes at 10kHz ~for example~

 

Flat ≠ best

 

 

post #28 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

 

There's nothing wrong with a peak at 2kHz, and a peak between 8-14kHz (if that's what it is) is a pretty difficult task to achieve in IEM's, especially BA's, I think the ER-4 and CK10 both drop off sharply right after their spikes at 10kHz ~for example~

 

Flat ≠ best

 

I agree. The more I listen to the RE272, the more I realize how lively they sound thanks to those peaks. A flat headphone is a boring headphone. You really need some emphasis (but not too much and in the right places) for a natural sound. RE272 nails it IMO providing a really natural frequency response that works especially well with stuff like jazz. Saxophones in particular sound unbelievable with these IEMs.

 

Also, I just realized that with a sufficiently deep insertion, the RE272s can also be made to sound really neutral. Think about it - the bass is a bit lean, but with a deep fit it will become stronger and just about right, the peak at 2 kHz will become less apparent the deeper you put the IEMs in and may disappear alotgether and the upper highs will be tamed as well. The result should be a very neutral sound and not a bassy, dull sound like what most other IEMs provide with a deep fit.


Edited by Pianist - 8/26/11 at 8:41am
post #29 of 272
Nice review esanthosh. Your thoughts are honest and your approach is sound. You are also one of the few that's willing to admit our poor auditory memory, instead of giving out an inaccurate picture.

If it has less bass than the CK10, I'll expect a thin note. Also disappointed it doesn't seem to have the dynamic range if the Re262 or Ex1000.
Edited by Inks - 8/26/11 at 8:59am
post #30 of 272

The bass of RE272 is phenomenal to my ears, but it requires a deep insertion to bring out the fullness of mid/upper bass and the sub bass. Without a perfectly tight seal, the low bass is missing and the mid/upper bass can sound too weak. I compared the bass directly to that on the FX700 and with a shallow fit the RE272 just misses out on the low bass completely vs. the FX700 and the mid/upper low frequencies sound a bit closed in and lacking scale and dynamics next to FX700. But the deeper I put the RE272 into my ears, the better the bass became and eventually I was able to get the body in the mid/upper bass to come close to that of FX700 and the sub bass to be adequately represented. I think these really deserve some custom tips.


Edited by Pianist - 8/26/11 at 9:03am
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