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[Review] HiFiMAN RE262 - Sophisticated and Beautiful - Page 6

post #76 of 342
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Comparison with FXT90 (12/31)

 

...

 

The FXT90 is wider in soundstage but RE262 is just a bit deeper, which is saying something as the JVC is already deep.  Instrument realism is superb on both but I give the nod to the JVC’s; it’s just fantastic.  The RE262 has a blacker background and with the combination of a more intimate vocal, can make for a very seductive effect with the right music.  I think both are transparent and clear phones but with the blacker background and greater focus on mids, the RE262 wins the battle in transparency.

 

The differences in technicalities are minimal but tuning is pretty different between the two.  They are both fantastic bargains for their going rate of $150 or less and both have become my favorite universals of any I've ever owned.


Interesting, Shane.. to my ears, I feel the RE262 has the wider soundstage (much wider, in fact) while the FXT's soundstage is slightly deeper.  Again, I found (the type of) fit to be vitally important when assessing this aspect of the sound so I'm not entirely surprised we hear it slightly differently.  While the FXT's soundstage width is (comparatively) more confined, I agree that it has a little better instrument separation while the RE262 enjoys better imaging (instrument placement) & detail.  I suppose this might be due to the RE262's liquid-y sound which tends to blend, smooth, and air out the sound more than the (comparatively) crisper, thicker FXT.

 

That unique "blended" signature leaves me stunned though, particularly when I listen to dynamic, complex, layered music.  How the RE262 can present it all in such a velvety manner while never sounding congested or overwhelmed confounds me.  Pair the right music with an amped RE262 and it's seductive presentation & effortlessness will blow you away again and again.  Tonight I was listening to Cantoma's "Out of Town" LP and it was sublime.  I'm glad you noted how black the RE262's background is too.. it's definitely noteworthy.. and rivals the black background I hear from my orthos.  Like the orthos, I didn't notice the blackness until my ears adjusted to the RE262 sound.

 

Eric.. nice to read you detailed impressions as you continue to get acquainted with the RE262.  I kept mum about it when we were conversing offline but I was wondering what you thought about how drums sounded through the RE262 (especially in comparison to your favs, the GR07).  Dynamic drivers are generally revered for their ability to present tonality, texture, and decay in a more natural manner than their BA counterparts.. the RE262 is that theory in practice.  Percussion (along with everything else) has a wonderfully lush, natural, lively tonality & texture.. it's certainly one of my favorite aspects of the phone.


Edited by FlySweep - 1/3/12 at 1:17am
post #77 of 342

re: amping...

 

I really want to consider this IEM (also looking @ GR07, FXT90, Atrio MG7), but I'm not getting an amp so to my mind that effectively eliminates this as, from what I understand, it may still be a great IEM when underpowered but the alternatives shine more into their fullness without the need for an amp. However, I recently read an experienced HFer (who was that again? too much forum combing...Inks?) saying the only thing the 262 really gains from an amp for is more volume, not more character/tone/soundstage/etc. Yet I see time and time again, the reinforcement that this IEM gains so much from an amp. My concern is that the unamped 262 is practically a different IEM from the amped, and vs the alternatives, it doesn't quite cut it. 

post #78 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylezo View Post

re: amping...

 

I really want to consider this IEM (also looking @ GR07, FXT90, Atrio MG7), but I'm not getting an amp so to my mind that effectively eliminates this as, from what I understand, it may still be a great IEM when underpowered but the alternatives shine more into their fullness without the need for an amp. However, I recently read an experienced HFer (who was that again? too much forum combing...Inks?) saying the only thing the 262 really gains from an amp for is more volume, not more character/tone/soundstage/etc. Yet I see time and time again, the reinforcement that this IEM gains so much from an amp. My concern is that the unamped 262 is practically a different IEM from the amped, and vs the alternatives, it doesn't quite cut it. 



It depends pretty much on the source as well. I mean, my J3 had enough fuel to bring the better out of this IEM but my fathers Sony DAP didn't. So, it kind of depends on what you decide to use it with.. If you have a DAP with a pretty powerful HO you should be fine without an amp. 

post #79 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyRusso View Post



RE262's ordered.. I should know better by now.. eek.gif  Every time I check in Eric's got a new favorite.. LOL

 


Joey!!! Happy New Year my friend. You know the madness never ends. I keep accumulating, but I'm not smart enough to sell them off (lol). I seem to like every new one I've gotten recently for different reasons. I need intervention brother....lol

 

post #80 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

 

Eric.. nice to read you detailed impressions as you continue to get acquainted with the RE262.  I kept mum about it when we were conversing offline but I was wondering what you thought about how drums sounded through the RE262 (especially in comparison to your favs, the GR07).  Dynamic drivers are generally revered for their ability to present tonality, texture, and decay in a more natural manner than their BA counterparts.. the RE262 is that theory in practice.  Percussion (along with everything else) has a wonderfully lush, natural, lively tonality & texture.. it's certainly one of my favorite aspects of the phone.



Yeah FlySweep, in this case I would have to say that the 262 beats out the GR07 in natural and realistic sounding drums, but with caveat. I still feel that the 262 doesn't perform greatly at all without an amp of some sort. you want hear how great drum will sound plugging the 262 directly into your iphone, ipad or digital audio player. A real good portable amp, however, will do the trick.

 

Now, I have my GR07 on the work commute with me today. straight in DAP (no amp) the drums sound fantastic! And yesterday I was testing the GR07 on the Fiio E10/E9 combo, and again the drums weren't too far from the 262 IMHO. But the 262 rules. I was never convinced, however, that the FXT90s drums are better than the GR07 drums. I think I like the FXT90s layered fuller sound overall (more 3-D) over the GR07, but not the drums. The Vsonic's drums are still the most natural sounding to my ears without an amp.

 

Another thing that I'm sure has been stated here by shotgun and FlySweep, but I want to reiterate, when you get the RE262 you may not get the deep fit required to get the most out of it based on the configuration of the right and left casings. To be honest, I initially thought the RE262 was a bust because I couldn't get the damn things to fit in my ears comfortably (hanging down....forget about over the ears).

 

Also, I don't feel that HiFiman's instructions are very clear on why they provide three different extension cables for the IEM, but after studying the the little diagrams carfully and reading the few words over and over again in English I was able to figure it out. The white cable was put in there in the box for people like me (those who can't get a good deep fit with the ear casings as is). The white cable allows you to wear the RE262 over your ears by virtually making the right channel earphone the left, and the left channel earphone the right. By switching sides like this I was able to get a good deep fit and all the wonderful sonic qualities of the RE262 shined in its full glory.

 

The other two cables are for wearing the 262 the regular way down (black cable if you can get it to fit in your ear canal that way), and a cable if you want balanced (three rings on connector) as opposed to unbalanced sound (which most standard phones are). With the three cables, the beautiful box it comes in and, of course, the sound, this IEM is truly one of the best values ever at $149 in the IEM family. Just my opinion of course (well, and a few others).

post #81 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylezo View Post

re: amping...

 

I really want to consider this IEM (also looking @ GR07, FXT90, Atrio MG7), but I'm not getting an amp so to my mind that effectively eliminates this as, from what I understand, it may still be a great IEM when underpowered but the alternatives shine more into their fullness without the need for an amp. However, I recently read an experienced HFer (who was that again? too much forum combing...Inks?) saying the only thing the 262 really gains from an amp for is more volume, not more character/tone/soundstage/etc. Yet I see time and time again, the reinforcement that this IEM gains so much from an amp. My concern is that the unamped 262 is practically a different IEM from the amped, and vs the alternatives, it doesn't quite cut it. 


Well if Inks made this statement (I haven't seen that) this would be where we totally disagree (which is fine, we haven't seen eye-to-eye on some products, and agreed totally on others). I don't see the RE262 as the beast that it is (and has the potential of being) if it's not amped. As matter of fact, i hate the way the 262 sounds unamped. It sounds thin and lifeless to me... Just my opinion... But I don't think headphones or IEMs that need to be amped should be discounted because of that fact.

 

post #82 of 342
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post


Interesting, Shane.. to my ears, I feel the RE262 has the wider soundstage (much wider, in fact) while the FXT's soundstage is slightly deeper.  Again, I found (the type of) fit to be vitally important when assessing this aspect of the sound so I'm not entirely surprised we hear it slightly differently.  While the FXT's soundstage width is (comparatively) more confined, I agree that it has a little better instrument separation while the RE262 enjoys better imaging (instrument placement) & detail.  I suppose this might be due to the RE262's liquid-y sound which tends to blend, smooth, and air out the sound more than the (comparatively) crisper, thicker FXT.

 

That unique "blended" signature leaves me stunned though, particularly when I listen to dynamic, complex, layered music.  How the RE262 can present it all in such a velvety manner while never sounding congested or overwhelmed confounds me.  Pair the right music with an amped RE262 and it's seductive presentation & effortlessness will blow you away again and again.  Tonight I was listening to Cantoma's "Out of Town" LP and it was sublime.  I'm glad you noted how black the RE262's background is too.. it's definitely noteworthy.. and rivals the black background I hear from my orthos.  Like the orthos, I didn't notice the blackness until my ears adjusted to the RE262 sound.

 

Eric.. nice to read you detailed impressions as you continue to get acquainted with the RE262.  I kept mum about it when we were conversing offline but I was wondering what you thought about how drums sounded through the RE262 (especially in comparison to your favs, the GR07).  Dynamic drivers are generally revered for their ability to present tonality, texture, and decay in a more natural manner than their BA counterparts.. the RE262 is that theory in practice.  Percussion (along with everything else) has a wonderfully lush, natural, lively tonality & texture.. it's certainly one of my favorite aspects of the phone.

 

The amp could have an effect on soundstage. I'll know more on that in a couple of weeks when my O2 comes in. 
 

When I update my amp findings on the main post, I'll also update my thoughts on the black background, as I think it is an aspect worth more attention. 

 

 

post #83 of 342

So today at work a buddy of mine gave me an interesting gift. I should say he gave me back a gift I gave to him. Back when I thought all I needed was one universal IEM(I think I had settled on the SM3 or FX700 - can't remember which one), I gave my buddy my SE530. It played fine, but the cable on the left earphone had split. it was pass warranty, so I put a small piece of electrical tape on them and let my buddy have them (figuring he would get better use out of them). Later on this year, after getting the GR07 and the W4, I decided to also pass on to my buddy the Shure 215.

 

Well my buddy decided he liked the 215 better (I think he was oooh and awed by the nice build quality and cable, and didn't really  consider sound quality), and gave me back the SE530. He said he never listens to the SE530 anymore now that he has his keeper, the 215...lol. Anyway, I'm actually happy to have the SE530 back after not hearing for a long time. I just checked it today and it still plays well. Also, my thoughts (which were mainly from memory) were confirmed. The SE530 definitely has more bass presence than the SE535 (which I said was anemic). The SE535, however, has brighter highs. I prefer more bass over brighter highs.

 

Now, I had forgotten how great the mids sound in the Shures, and I can't wait to get home to A/B the mids with the Hifiman mids (I already know that the RE262 mids win hand down, but I want to hear how close the mids are to each other). As for the SE530s, now that I have them back, I think I might send them to 1964 EARS to be turned into customs (more interested in these as customs than the TF10).. We'll see.

post #84 of 342
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

The amp could have an effect on soundstage. I'll know more on that in a couple of weeks when my O2 comes in. 
 

When I update my amp findings on the main post, I'll also update my thoughts on the black background, as I think it is an aspect worth more attention. 

 

Indeed, that very well could be it.. I didn't mention it in any of my posts, but all my impressions are gleaned from an amped RE262, at all times.

 

Re: the amping debate for the RE262.. first, as Eric said, it definitely depends on your source/DAP & the quality/power it can output.  I haven't heard many DAPs so I can't comment on the J3, etc. though my iPhone 4 is my primary DAP and it's regarded as having one of the better DAC/headphone-out implementations on the market.  Unamped and at 90%-100%, it can get reasonably loud but the sound isn't anywhere near as smooth or refined as when amped with the Arrow or MX-1.  I don't find the RE262 completely unlistenable when unamped but they don't sound all that robust & clean (notes lack weight, dynamics & extension suffers, and at higher volumes, they sound strident & congested).  In my experience, I don't get that "special" feeling or sound from them when they're not fed good quality power.  Unamped, it's akin to driving a Ferrari through a school zone (25 mph) to get to the local grocery store.. sure, it'll get you to where you want to go but the drive isn't going to be all that fun and you're leaving a lot on the table in terms of potential.

post #85 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

Indeed, that very well could be it.. I didn't mention it in any of my posts, but all my impressions are gleaned from an amped RE262, at all times.

 

Re: the amping debate for the RE262.. first, as Eric said, it definitely depends on your source/DAP & the quality/power it can output.  I haven't heard many DAPs so I can't comment on the J3, etc. though my iPhone 4 is my primary DAP and it's regarded as having one of the better DAC/headphone-out implementations on the market.  Unamped and at 90%-100%, it can get reasonably loud but the sound isn't anywhere near as smooth or refined as when amped with the Arrow or MX-1.  I don't find the RE262 completely unlistenable when unamped but they don't sound all that robust & clean (notes lack weight, dynamics & extension suffers, and at higher volumes, they sound strident & congested).  In my experience, I don't get that "special" feeling or sound from them when they're not fed good quality power.  Unamped, it's akin to driving a Ferrari through a school zone (25 mph) to get to the local grocery store.. sure, it'll get you to where you want to go but the drive isn't going to be all that fun and you're leaving a lot on the table in terms of potential.


I  couldn't have stated it better!! beerchug.gif

 

post #86 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post


Well if Inks made this statement (I haven't seen that) this would be where we totally disagree (which is fine, we haven't seen eye-to-eye on some products, and agreed totally on others). I don't see the RE262 as the beast that it is (and has the potential of being) if it's not amped. As matter of fact, i hate the way the 262 sounds unamped. It sounds thin and lifeless to me... Just my opinion... But I don't think headphones or IEMs that need to be amped should be discounted because of that fact.

 


@ericp10,  What tips are you finding work for you with the RE262?
 

 

post #87 of 342
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

Indeed, that very well could be it.. I didn't mention it in any of my posts, but all my impressions are gleaned from an amped RE262, at all times.

 

Re: the amping debate for the RE262.. first, as Eric said, it definitely depends on your source/DAP & the quality/power it can output.  I haven't heard many DAPs so I can't comment on the J3, etc. though my iPhone 4 is my primary DAP and it's regarded as having one of the better DAC/headphone-out implementations on the market.  Unamped and at 90%-100%, it can get reasonably loud but the sound isn't anywhere near as smooth or refined as when amped with the Arrow or MX-1. 

 

Agreed. All my impressions are with either the Fiio e6 or the zo. I've never had a need for a higher quality amp until now. Along with the O2 I have a headstage dac cable coming (purchased from a fellow head-fier), so I'll finally be able to enjoy them with Spotify on the laptop. Also the e17 Alpen sounds like an interesting dac/amp candidate. 
 

 

 

post #88 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post


@ericp10,  What tips are you finding work for you with the RE262?
 

 



Excellent question cute. Well, I can say my go-to tips - the Monster foam hybrids - were a bust. I actually find the stock silicon double-flanges to be the best. I get a fantastic deep fit and sill wearing them over-ear. I can't wait to try a pair on the 7550.


Edited by ericp10 - 1/3/12 at 8:38pm
post #89 of 342

Thanks for the insight on the amping question, guys. This takes the 262 off my table till my addiction grows badly enough that I have an amp to use. I'm using an iPhone primarily and a computer otherwise, but it sounds like it isn't gonna cut it.

post #90 of 342

I can run the 262 straight from my 4th Gen Touch, but I wouldnt describe the result as stellar. There are so many easier-to-drive options out there for those with no immediate plans to buy an amp.

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