or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [Review] HiFiMAN RE262 - Sophisticated and Beautiful
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Review] HiFiMAN RE262 - Sophisticated and Beautiful - Page 4

post #46 of 342
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kostalex View Post

I want to try JVC then.



I think it is a very good compliment to the Hifiman.

post #47 of 342

Happy New Year head-fi family. I hope 2012 will be a blessing to all with even more sonic discoveries and joys. beerchug.gif

 

So I have been A/Bing intensively the RE262 and the W4 today. These two are very interesting as I wanted to compare the best IEM I own (from a technical standpoint with a dynamic that is suppose to be technically superior. Before I comment further about the comparison of the W4 and RE262, I want to go on record in stating that this Hifiman is one of the best universal IEMs I have heard, but with a caveat. 

 

The caveat is that this is the first universal IEM I've heard that is clearly not for portable use. IMO it's an earphone that is ment to be an in-house  IEM connected to a great desk amp. I know shotgunshane says he likes it with Zo, but I don't. I think the Zo does nothing for this IEM excepts makes the bass - in a fairly transparent IEM - muddy. 

 

With that said, the RE262 properly amped is spectacular!! Now, I thought that the W4 had the best spacing between instruments in an IEM, but the RE262 beats it in spades (again, properly amped). W4, however, doesn't need to be amped to have its great instrument separation. 

 

The W4 succeeds in the great speed, but I don't find the RE262 too far behind. Yes, the RE262 loves jazz, classical and acoustic music genres, but to my ears it is not bad with rock and faster r&b. The W4, however, is clearly more adapted to more styles of music. 

 

I thought the W4's had more bass and sub-bass than the RE262, but I'm not totally convinced of that as of yet. I think the bass is about even but the RE262's mids are just a bit more forward than the bass (giving the illusion of less bass). If the W4's bass is more, it's not by much, and the RE262's bass is clearly more visceral. The Hifiman's bass is deeper and more natural with great timbre than the Westone. I think the bass in the RE262 is a tad bit clearer than the W4's too (again, with proper amping). 

The W4 wins with more sparkle and shimmer in the treble, but cymbals in the RE262 sound more natural, more realistic. The RE262 takes over as king of the more realistic and natural drums in a universal (yes, a universal IEM I finally think beats the GR07), but again, I think it's a bit of an unfair comparison since the GR07's drums sound so great without an amp (I don't even thing the GR07 benefits that much from amping). The RE262 MUST be amped - no way around it. 

 

So, to me, the RE262 might as well be a giant set of headphones only good for home use, which is fine with me based on it's price of $149. This is a major steal to me comparing cost to what the RE262 puts out in sonic glory. Happy listening....

post #48 of 342
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

but cymbals in the RE262 sound more natural, more realistic.


Nice impressions Eric.  They might be the most realistic cymbals I've heard yet.

 

I completely agree the RE262 must be amped to live up to its potential.  I've pretty much decided I'm picking up a JDS Labs O2 and a Headphonia Dac cable to use it with the computer (of course this is all subject to change on a whim).

 

I don't find the bass muddy at all with the zo.  I wonder why it sounds so different between us?  The Fiio E6 on EQ2 sounds good too.

post #49 of 342

Happy New Year to you as well.  Excellent comparisons.  The only thing I would disagree with is the idea that it is unfair to compare an amp'd IEM vs un'amp'd IEM.  It's just the cost of doing business.  One car takes regular gas another takes premium or is electric.  We can still make valid comparisons as long as we're not talking about gas mileage.  One might say it is a downside to not be able to use an amp with a really efficient IEM because that inefficiency/high impedance gives us more headroom to play with in volume.  Another person may not ever want to use an amp.  So just take amp out of the conclusion and we're left with IEMs to compare.

 

Your review reminded me to try the 262 with the V200 amp.  Man, a noticeable increase in layering and depth of soundstage when using a desktop stand-alone amp vs my portable cMoyBB.  In all other aspects, the cMoy competes very well with the V200 in driving the 262 so the 262 scales well but not necessary to get great sound out of it.

 

Just purchased a used 2Stepdance to drive the 262.  Will report back in a week or two on that combination.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post
Happy New Year head-fi family. I hope 2012 will be a blessing to all with even more sonic discoveries and joys. beerchug.gif

 

So I have been A/Bing intensively the RE262 and the W4 today. These two are very interesting as I wanted to compare the best IEM I own (from a technical standpoint with a dynamic that is suppose to be technically superior. Before I comment further about the comparison of the W4 and RE262, I want to go on record in stating that this Hifiman is one of the best universal IEMs I have heard, but with a caveat. 

 

The caveat is that this is the first universal IEM I've heard that is clearly not for portable use. IMO it's an earphone that is ment to be an in-house  IEM connected to a great desk amp. I know shotgunshane says he likes it with Zo, but I don't. I think the Zo does nothing for this IEM excepts makes the bass - in a fairly transparent IEM - muddy. 

 

With that said, the RE262 properly amped is spectacular!! Now, I thought that the W4 had the best spacing between instruments in an IEM, but the RE262 beats it in spades (again, properly amped). W4, however, doesn't need to be amped to have its great instrument separation. 

 

The W4 succeeds in the great speed, but I don't find the RE262 too far behind. Yes, the RE262 loves jazz, classical and acoustic music genres, but to my ears it is not bad with rock and faster r&b. The W4, however, is clearly more adapted to more styles of music. 

 

I thought the W4's had more bass and sub-bass than the RE262, but I'm not totally convinced of that as of yet. I think the bass is about even but the RE262's mids are just a bit more forward than the bass (giving the illusion of less bass). If the W4's bass is more, it's not by much, and the RE262's bass is clearly more visceral. The Hifiman's bass is deeper and more natural with great timbre than the Westone. I think the bass in the RE262 is a tad bit clearer than the W4's too (again, with proper amping). 

The W4 wins with more sparkle and shimmer in the treble, but cymbals in the RE262 sound more natural, more realistic. The RE262 takes over as king of the more realistic and natural drums in a universal (yes, a universal IEM I finally think beats the GR07), but again, I think it's a bit of an unfair comparison since the GR07's drums sound so great without an amp (I don't even thing the GR07 benefits that much from amping). The RE262 MUST be amped - no way around it. 

 

So, to me, the RE262 might as well be a giant set of headphones only good for home use, which is fine with me based on it's price of $149. This is a major steal to me comparing cost to what the RE262 puts out in sonic glory. Happy listening....



 


Edited by WNBC - 1/1/12 at 2:46pm
post #50 of 342
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

Just purchased a used 2Stepdance to drive the 262.  Will report back in a week or two on that combination.



I look forward to that!

post #51 of 342

Same here except for portable,  

The 262 is the closest IEM to my home desktop headphones, LCD-2.  Good times biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

So, to me, the RE262 might as well be a giant set of headphones only good for home use, which is fine with me based on it's price of $149. 



 

post #52 of 342

My new year's resolution should be stop reading head-fi!  Luckily I don't have a need for more than 2 portable headphone amps and my home rig is all set.  So hopefully the 2Stepdance is my last addition for a long time.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

I look forward to that!



 

post #53 of 342

WNBC thank you, and I look forward to your comparison as well. I understand what you are saying, but I generally think of IEMs as being portable. I don't see the RE262 as portable (now technically, I know it is because you can get a portable amp like the E11 and you should be in good shape). What I'm getting at (or how I view things) is that no IEM should be tattered to a amp to sound its best. An amp should just be an option to enhance its qualities if so chosen, but the IEM should show itself pretty much as is without amplification. To me the RE262 is nothing without an amp... And don't take that statement the wrong way; I'm perfectly fine with using it for home use only and I'm glad I own it. It's wonderful. Sonically, I can't think of any universal IEM I've heard that beats it(tie with it in some ways at best like the W4 and the EX1000). So I see it as a bit apples and oranges. Like other universals someone could ask me if they just could own one, while it would be a tough decision, I could recommend one. As great as the RE262 sounds, I would never recommend it and not suggest another IEM to go along with it (unless the person states he is only going to use an IEM for desk and amp use).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

Happy New Year to you as well.  Excellent comparisons.  The only thing I would disagree with is the idea that it is unfair to compare an amp'd IEM vs un'amp'd IEM.  It's just the cost of doing business.  One car takes regular gas another takes premium or is electric.  We can still make valid comparisons as long as we're not talking about gas mileage.  One might say it is a downside to not be able to use an amp with a really efficient IEM because that inefficiency/high impedance gives us more headroom to play with in volume.  Another person may not ever want to use an amp.  So just take amp out of the conclusion and we're left with IEMs to compare.

 

Your review reminded me to try the 262 with the V200 amp.  Man, a noticeable increase in layering and depth of soundstage when using a desktop stand-alone amp vs my portable cMoyBB.  In all other aspects, the cMoy competes very well with the V200 in driving the 262 so the 262 scales well but not necessary to get great sound out of it.

 

Just purchased a used 2Stepdance to drive the 262.  Will report back in a week or two on that combination.


 



 



 

post #54 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

Same here except for portable,  

The 262 is the closest IEM to my home desktop headphones, LCD-2.  Good times biggrin.gif
 



 



X2

post #55 of 342
Thread Starter 

Oh you can most definitely use them portable.  I use them with the nano 6g and Fiio E6 all the time.  Those two combined are smaller than any smartphone and plenty powerful enough to enjoy them on the go but I have no doubts a more capable desktop or transportable amp would be even better for critical listening.


Edited by shotgunshane - 1/1/12 at 4:32pm
post #56 of 342

Sorry for noob question, why RE262 must be amp.?

post #57 of 342
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pack21 View Post

Sorry for noob question, why RE262 must be amp.?



High impedance (150 ohm) and lower sensitivity (95 db).

 

Easy to drive phones are usually somewhere around 32 ohm impedance and 115+ dbs of sensitivity.


Edited by shotgunshane - 1/1/12 at 4:42pm
post #58 of 342

No worries, just a difference in philosophies biggrin.gif

 

There is no right or wrong definition to portability so I wouldn't call it a limitation or advantage to owning a 262 for portable use.  Some might even say the LCD-2 should not be considered a headphone because of its weight, more like sticking two small speakers on one's head.  tongue.gif  However, I try not to use absolutes so I would not say "no IEM should be tattered to an amp to sound its best" because all IEMs are being amp'd by any given source (e.g. iPod).  In some bizzaro world, headphones are portable and IEMs are for home rigs.  No rules.  As you can tell, I'm a liberal West Coast'er, anything goes.  We live by whatever rules we want but I understand your personal philosophy that portable IEMs should not require amping to sound their best but if that was case you wouldn't have any portable amps because the IEMs were already sounding great.

 

Also consider this, most DAPs are under-powering the 262.  It's not the 262's fault most DAPs are weak biggrin.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

WNBC thank you, and I look forward to your comparison as well. I understand what you are saying, but I generally think of IEMs as being portable. I don't see the RE262 as portable (now technically, I know it is because you can get a portable amp like the E11 and you should be in good shape). What I'm getting at (or how I view things) is that no IEM should be tattered to a amp to sound its best. An amp should just be an option to enhance its qualities if so chosen, but the IEM should show itself pretty much as is without amplification. To me the RE262 is nothing without an amp... And don't take that statement the wrong way; I'm perfectly fine with using it for home use only and I'm glad I own it. It's wonderful. Sonically, I can't think of any universal IEM I've heard that beats it(tie with it in some ways at best like the W4 and the EX1000). So I see it as a bit apples and oranges. Like other universals someone could ask me if they just could own one, while it would be a tough decision, I could recommend one. As great as the RE262 sounds, I would never recommend it and not suggest another IEM to go along with it (unless the person states he is only going to use an IEM for desk and amp use).


 

post #59 of 342

Valid points WNBC... but you're wrong!! LOL (just kidding)...

post #60 of 342

I could be, the 262 are my most expensive IEMs to date (excluding a pair of SM3 v1 that I returned) so I'm a rookie among you rollers.  

This is all less controversial than debating Sci-fi shows with my workmate who is from Champaign, Illinois. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Valid points WNBC... but you're wrong!! LOL (just kidding)...



 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [Review] HiFiMAN RE262 - Sophisticated and Beautiful