The RE600 came in today. I had forgotten how tiny the housings were on the 400/600. Using the same HiFiman bi-flanges, I have to say I prefer the fit of the 600 more just due to the tiny size. I still find the 262 very comfortable but they are tubby in comparison and longer listening session comfort will benefit from the size of the 600. I also prefer the modular placement on the cable of the 600; it's much further down. I'm going to have an RSA balanced adapter cable made to run on the Duet.
Signature wise they really aren't too far apart. The 262 is a slightly thinner overall note and I actually prefer that, it really lets the 262 bass shine. The 600 is a bit thicker and richer with a bit fuller bass. I'm sure most would prefer the 600 here but in direct contrast the 262 sounds more delicate in bass, which sounds fantastic to me.
The midranges are pretty similar as well, with the 262 having slightly more upper mid around 2k. So again it sounds less weighty and perhaps a hair more transparent than the 600 but the 600 has a nice lush vocal that's very appealing. The biggest difference is in treble. The 262 has more sparkle and brightness but is also more peaky. The 600 is darker but much smoother with similar detail levels.
So IMO one isn't clearly better than the other; there are plus and minuses on both but I'm going to keep the 600 for the better cable, even better fit and smoother treble. I wish I could have a frankenstein HiFiman that is a combination of both signatures. I'll be putting my 262 up in the classifieds shortly.
another stellar review shane
reading your review , you make me happy as i see the sonic differences between the 262 and the 600 don't justify , imho , shelling out an extra 350$ (i managed to get a used 262 for 60$) for the RE600
i find the treble on the 262 not peaky at all (but i compare it with the 272 treble) so i guess i am fine with it - i will be trying in a couple of weeks the RE600 , but your review makes me feel OK if i decide to stay with the 262/272 combo and not buy the re600
perhaps you should keep the 262 and sell the (much pricier) 600 ? an iem that does the job so well for just 100$ is an iem we should not sell that easily...?
again thank you for another insightful and to-the-point review / comparison
Edited by proedros - 2/20/14 at 6:22pm