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Advice on upgrading from RE-ZERO

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, this long time lurker and first time poster needs your help! Thanks to this wonderful forum, especially joker's IEM review thread, I bought myself a pair of Hifiman RE-ZERO IEMs in 2010 and have enjoyed them thoroughly for the past couple years. It's time now to add a second pair of quality IEMs to my collection, I and was hoping you guys could help me find a good one. Here's what I'm looking for (in comparison to the RE-ZEROs):

 

Comfort - About the same or better. I use the sony hybrid (?) tips and they fit great

Microphonics - Much better. RE-ZEROs aren't very good IMO

Isolation - Better, but it's a 'nice to have'. I travel a lot and my RE-ZEROs do a fairly decent job on airplanes

Cord Build Quality - Looking for a lot of improvement here. RE-ZEROs feel cheaply built and it's amazing they've lasted this long to be honest

 

Sound signature:

Treble: I like the laid-back, non-bright treble of the RE-ZEROs so I'm looking for something that's not too bright but still has good extension

Mid: Wouldn't mind if the mids are a bit more recessed than my RE-ZEROs, but I love their detail and wouldn't want to miss it

Bass: Looking for a tad more punchier mid-bass, more extension if possible and just a tad more quantity than the RE-ZEROs, which 'decay' way too fast for me. I prefer tightness and clarity more than I do quantity though, so muddy/warm or lots of artificial bass is not what I'm looking for

Instrument separation and soundstage: Looking for an airier IEM with better separation than the RE-ZEROS, which sound a little claustrophobic

 

Budget: $250 (USD)

 

Music: Classic Rock about 90% of the time with a little bit of country, blues and hip-hop mixed in

 

Audio quality (DAC): 320kbps CBR AAC (Iphone 5) / FLAC + 320kbps CBR MP3 (Clip+) - no external amps

 

Hope that kinda gives you an idea of what I'm looking for, so any recommendations are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance :)

 

PS - I am looking at the DBA-02 MKIIs, RE-272 and RE-262 at this time but I'm not sure if any of these would be a good value upgrade from the RE-ZERO


Edited by ibuckeye - 10/14/12 at 2:24pm
post #2 of 14

I'd say the ACS T15 may be something you want to look after.  Please note I can only compare to the RE0 (from memory)

 

Comfort - The T15s are minute...  I mean tiny, small, smaller than small.  So comfort is no problem.  If you get custom tips for them, the housings themselves actually end up looking like a removeable cable of a custom :p 

Microphonics - Cables are thin, but Kevlar reenforced, so that should help with microphonics.  You can wear them over the ear pretty easily.

Isolation - These have a deeper insertion and literally plug the ear.  It'll isolate you from the world.

Cord Build Quality - They look thin and brittle, but Kevlar reenforcement does take them a notch or two up.

 

Sound signature:

Treble: I think this is just about what you're looking for.  There is a slight loss of extension, but great detail and separation still with a hint of flare.

Mid: I wouldn't say it's more recessed, about the same amount.  Similar mids to the RE0.

Bass: The bass offers a strong impact and punch with good extension.  Decay time is much slower as well.  Some may say it may sound a little too bodied.  The bass sounds like it's being produced by a dynamic, and not a BA. 

Instrument separation and soundstage: I can't really say the T15 will fare better here.  Probably the main downside.

 

You may also want to look at any of these models:

  • Phonak PFE 1xx: more customizable sound.  Better punch in the bass as well as impact.  About the same decay though.  Mids are a little clearer, but highs roll off a bit.  Filters can alter the sound though.
  • Dunu Tai Chi: customizable sound as well.  Stronger bass in all three regions (sub, lows, mid) with a lusher midrange and relaxed high end. 
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'll definitely look into those. What are your thoughts on the DBAs? Also, I see you're in Illinois - do you know of any stores in the Chicagoland area that sell IEMs and would let me audition?

post #4 of 14
I personally dislike T15 when I have the chance to try it. It is overly thick and way too warm for my taste. For the price, I think the build quality can be a bit better as well. Anyway, it is not why I am here - just want to mention that the new HifiMan RE-400 and RE-600 should be almost ready for the market (don't have any confirmed date), so you might want to wait a bit and see. Otherwise, I think Tai Chi is a solid choice as well.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

I personally dislike T15 when I have the chance to try it. It is overly thick and way too warm for my taste. For the price, I think the build quality can be a bit better as well. Anyway, it is not why I am here - just want to mention that the new HifiMan RE-400 and RE-600 should be almost ready for the market (don't have any confirmed date), so you might want to wait a bit and see. Otherwise, I think Tai Chi is a solid choice as well.


Thanks, do you have a link to some info on the new HifiMans? I am definitely not in a hurry but I'd like to buy another pair soon (have had times where I forget to carry my RE-ZEROs on a business trip and was without music *gasp* for an entire week LOL

post #6 of 14
There are a few links, but they are in Chinese. The basic bit of the info is, RE600 has been showcased on two different press conferences, one in Beijing and another in Taiwan. RE400's sample has been demoed by a few people in China as well. My understanding is both models are close to being launched. They are just waiting for the retail packaging to be done. However, I don't think they has any specific date of release so far.
post #7 of 14

Phonak 132 will be a good alternative too

post #8 of 14

Sunrise IEMs?:)

post #9 of 14

RE262/272

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the replies, guys!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proedros View Post

RE262/272

 

Thanks, would you still recommend them if they were just powered by just an iphone 5 or Clip+?

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuckeye View Post

Appreciate the replies, guys!

 

 

Thanks, would you still recommend them if they were just powered by just an iphone 5 or Clip+?

Nope. You need amp.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkovajazz View Post

Nope. You need amp.


Yeah, Re262/272 are hard to drive and need a good amp to perform well

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuckeye View Post

Appreciate the replies, guys!

 

 

Thanks, would you still recommend them if they were just powered by just an iphone 5 or Clip+?


the 272 is fine , no amp needed i have it and it is fine without amp i have an arrow and the differences are minimal

 

the 262 , yes it needs an amp not only cause of its high impedance but also because the  'opens' a bit the soundspace and clears the (imho) rolled off highs

 

but the 272 , no you are fine without an amp and i prefer much better than the 272 because of its clear,balanced sound

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sorry to bump this again, but my RE-ZEROs have bit the dust :(

 

400

 

I could buy another pair for $59.99 while I wait for RE-400/600. Or look at options outside of Hifiman. I need the ability to get them soon though, because I have a business trip coming up next week. Any recommendations? TIA

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