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Hifiman IEM's: RE-400 and RE-600 - Page 30

post #436 of 2307

I haven't tried using just the white foam and no T4000-filters as AstralStorm is preferring. Either way both mods should provide more treble I believe but in different ways. Perhaps removing the white foam will lead to treble peaks in some regions - I don't have measuring instrument to check this.

 

I have listened to dual T4000-filter/no foam-mod for many hours (lots of different music genres) and didn't find it strange sounding at all. Imo it works very good with all kinds of music and I like its sound character. To me the dual T4000/no foam-mod sounded like an unmodded RE-400 but with more treble presence. Anyway I have ordered another set of RE-400 so it will be nice to compare them directly.

 

Just looked up what the foam mod on older RE-0 does (should be the exact same for RE-400) and found the following (answer from ClieOS):

 

What exactly does removing the foam do?
Reduce acoustic impedance, cut down bass and increase treble.

 

 

I'm not exactly sure what acoustic impedance is but is has something to do with the speed. I find that the RE-400 copes really well with very high tempo (BPM) songs like in drum and bass. It retains all the detail exceptionally.

 

OK so if you remove the white foam you cut down bass and increase the treble, that is also what I found when I removed the white foam and used just one T4000-filter. So I liked the treble but not the bass it was too thin. Even if the treble was a little filtered out it was still more than with the white foam on. I wanted the bass back to the way it was from the beginning - that is why I put on a second layer of a T4000-filter.

 

I don't know why but there is a lot more bass presence when using two T4000-filters instead of just using one and because the white foam is removed there is also more treble presence. Also tried a third layer of T4000 two days ago and all it did was give more bass and a little less treble. So the more T4000-filters you use the less treble and the more bass, if the white foam is removed.

 

I went back to using two T4000-filters as I liked that sound signature / balance more.


Edited by Deni5 - 2/23/13 at 8:10pm
post #437 of 2307

Some more impressions..

Turns out I've been listening to mostly normalized music since my main playlist I use contains many different songs. mad.gif

Anyway I'm using foobar2000 now with standard FLACs (not normalized) and soundstage difference is huge. I'm really impressed.
 

Tip.

I just found an album in my collection I bought on HDtracks half a year ago that is great for testing headphone performance (although this is mainly for headphones but still):

HeadFi and HDtracks - Open Your Ears

 

Let me just say that RE-400 passes the test with a good grade smile.gif

post #438 of 2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deni5 View Post

Just looked up what the foam mod on older RE-0 does (should be the exact same for RE-400) and found the following (answer from ClieOS):

 

What exactly does removing the foam do?
Reduce acoustic impedance, cut down bass and increase treble.

Exactly. Removing the damper also reduces acoustic impedance and increases treble, but increases it in higher parts, more linearly and does not cut down bass.

 

The foam filter acts in the 3-7kHz area, while the damper acts in the 7-infty kHz area. Also the foam has a tendency to smoothen out peaks, the damper does not. The foam also increases apparent volume of the air by slowing the speed of sound - making for a virtually larger enclosure.

 

There's more bass presence with dual dampers because you've cut off the treble so much, you had to increase volume to compensate. Am I right?


Edited by AstralStorm - 2/24/13 at 1:36am
post #439 of 2307
I am a Grado fan, I had their GR10s for a year among owning some of their over the ear versions like the PS500s.

Then I tried my friends HiFiMan HE400's. I was blown away. So I got the HE500's because ALO was sold out of the '400s.

That was a game changer for me. Not necessarily a better sound, but a different sound.

Then I went to CES this past year hell bent like a groupie to see the HiFiMan booth: it was incredible. There is where I met the team and tried the RE-400s. I was impressed throughly.

A month or so later and the RE400's are getting broken in, the sound is addictive, and i sold my GR10's.

For $99, there is nothing to be on the fence about. You'll be happy. I use it with my Triad L3 and my Continental V3 with Cypher Labs.

Mostly I've been using this with my new Ray Samuels Intruder and I'm just as impressed.
post #440 of 2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Exactly. Removing the damper also reduces acoustic impedance and increases treble, but increases it in higher parts, more linearly and does not cut down bass.

 

The foam filter acts in the 3-7kHz area, while the damper acts in the 7-infty kHz area. Also the foam has a tendency to smoothen out peaks, the damper does not. The foam also increases apparent volume of the air by slowing the speed of sound - making for a virtually larger enclosure.

 

There's more bass presence with dual dampers because you've cut off the treble so much, you had to increase volume to compensate. Am I right?

 

Actually, I didn't have to increase the volume. Anyway here is my theory on this:

Ok, neither of these filters act directly on the bass region at all (Sub Bass: 20-60 Hz, Bass: 60-250 Hz) so this leads me to think that more dampening leads to more bass. Either you dampen in the White foam 3-7kHz region or the T4000-filter 7kHz - infinity kHz region. We don't know by how much dB's these filters dampen - this has to be measured, but they do dampen.

 

So what I wanted from the mod was a more analytical sound like in Etymotic ER4-S but with better bass presence. I thought this might be possible because dynamics are more capable of producing more bass than BA:s in general - surely this has to do with dynamics being able to push more air. So removing the white foam bumps the 3-7kHz region by a little, enough to make it noticeable (human hearing is more sensitive in this region). Sure you have to compensate by putting on an extra layer of T4000 otherwise you loose too much bass (again more dampening should provide more bass). And in reality how much can an extra layer dampen, I don't know because I don't know by how many dBs it is dampening. In general it is more difficult to hear higher frequencies (not only that but measuring instruments have also a harder time with measuring them - look at how frequency curves tend to behave after 10kHz). Higher frequencies provides sparkle and ‘air’ of a sound but could also lead to fatigue if overdone.

 

Going back to Etymotic ER4-S - this IEM is known as an analytical one. And it actually has its most presence in the 3-7kHz giving it this analytical sound character. So removing the white foam on the RE-400 tilts it more to the analytical side.

 

A note about linearity:

In an ideal world the perfect headphone would be linear. This is what I have believed anyway...

 

Sennheiser when designing the HD-650:

"...but engineer Axel Grell found that when the ‘phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz."

 

Most ideal headphones/IEM's today tend to have linearity up to 2kHz, then after that it is more what you prefer: analytical, warm and so on. Everyone has their taste in what it should sound like. Frequency curves doesn't give the whole picture so don't judge everything by that. There are many more factors that make a difference.

 

So why did I try the mod - well as I said before it was kind of an accident but when you think about it - Hifiman put in 3 years of hard work and research into this driver and housing shell. They didn't do all that just to make a 99 USD IEM out of it - so why not try a little mods with it. Not only that but it is completely their own driver design also so they can finetune everything the way the want to do it. Also because of it being a completely new driver design it won't sound like the older generation or anything else - imo this is a step in the right direction. As with all Hifiman IEM's the sound will grow on you and you will appreciate it more with time (I actually found it a little boring at the beginning). Don't judge it by its price.

 

Again everybody has their preference so I'm not saying the mod is awesome or anything but I happen to like it.

post #441 of 2307

Just got my RE-400's

 

Testing them on the WA7 and comparing them with the all mighty SigPro

 

Initial impressions:

Mid range: 9.5/10, excellent mid range, its just what others are saying about them.

Treble: 8.5/10, very good treble, nicely rounded like a few reviews have said, and no trace of sibilance.

Bass: 7/10, not bassy by any means, and I knew that before I bought them, but its very clean bass.

Ergonomics: instant 10/10 because I can sleep with them.

Isolation: 6.5/10, good isolation, could be better.

Value: 10/10, $99 nuff said.


Edited by belisk - 2/26/13 at 1:15am
post #442 of 2307
I've had my re-400s for about a week now and generally agree with much of what has been said about these IEMs thus far; sonically balanced, detailed, well resolved, adequate isolation, ergonomically pleasing, all at an unheard of price point....

They are not without their faults however; mind you they have smoothed out and opened up at bit (50hrs), certain freq (upper mids) as mentioned elsewhere can seem crunchy and sharp....also they are far from the last word in soundstage (not a great deal of width and seem generally pretty flat), dynamically they are rather inert as well....

All things considered, they are a great bargain and expect them to have a solid following in days/months to come
post #443 of 2307

I have posted my full review of the RE-400s today, here is the link to it: http://www.head-fi.org/t/653024/review-hifiman-re-400-a-new-standard

post #444 of 2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deni5 View Post

 

Actually, I didn't have to increase the volume. Anyway here is my theory on this:

Ok, neither of these filters act directly on the bass region at all (Sub Bass: 20-60 Hz, Bass: 60-250 Hz) so this leads me to think that more dampening leads to more bass. Either you dampen in the White foam 3-7kHz region or the T4000-filter 7kHz - infinity kHz region. We don't know by how much dB's these filters dampen - this has to be measured, but they do dampen.

<snipped>

 

Yes, when you remove the foam, the sound gets similar to RE-ZERO in tonality, but sparklier. RE-ZERO was already very close to ER-4S, RE-400 without filter with extra dampeners must be dead on target or very close - much less peaky than RE-ZERO at the very least.

The foam indirectly act on bass by increasing apparent shell volume. Larger volume improves bass extension up to certain extent. (See Thiele small-signal parameters for an explanation.)

 

Most IEMs are not flat up to 2k - many have some measure of bass bump. Also it's the higher frequencies that are more HRTF dependent, not just preference. The "perfect" ER-4S curve was derived by averaging, so it won't really fit most people perfectly - there was high deviation in higher parts beyond 3 kHz in the studies I've seen.

The pinna notch frequency is pretty personal, but indeed it most often is in 4-7kHz range and depends on the fit.

 

I hate it when people call IEMs sporting just bright or forward highs analytical. This has nothing to do with resolving power, low distortion and no ringing, which is the actual requirement for something to *be* analytical, not some brightness or darkness one way or the other.

The visual analogy would be having a noisy (distortion), but sharpened (ringing) and contrast enhanced (v-shaped) picture with banding artifacts (peaky). (something "analytical" but low fidelity). It's in my opinion much worse than a smooth lower contrast one with little noise and no artifacts. You know, contrast/gamma (frequency response) is easily adjustable - the other artifacts are nowhere near as easy to correct. FR will affect soundstaging, much like having unequal color balance with notches in it would make for a weird complete picture.

post #445 of 2307

any news on when the re-600 comes out ?

good to see hifiman products getting the love - time to kill all hyped,overpriced,overrated iems L3000.gif

post #446 of 2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by proedros View Post

any news on when the re-600 comes out ?

good to see hifiman products getting the love - time to kill all hyped,overpriced,overrated iems L3000.gif

As far as I've heard from their PR, the date isn't set yet.

post #447 of 2307

I've been looking for a pair of tonally neutral, fairly accurate and detailed IEMs with realistic timbre and bass dynamics, for the past several months. I had a pair of Rock It Sounds R-50, but they arrived defective, with loose wiring in one ear.

 

I loved the detail and transparency of the R-50, but I did find the bottom-end lacked a more realistic weight and body.

 

How will the RE-400 fare in these respects? I am also looking at the Ortofon E-Q5, so if anyone has heard the RE-400 and the E-Q5 or the Rock It R-50, I'd really love some comparison.

post #448 of 2307

The EQ-5 are a lot more fun but do the best of the three in deep bass. The RE-400 is very natural but still could do with a helping hand down deep but i think is still a good bet!

post #449 of 2307

I forgot to mention that I'm also considering the VSonic GR07 MkII, the GR01 and the Fischer Audio DBA-02 MkII in the competition.

 

I really like what I'm reading about the RE-400, but somehow feel I haven't enough information on it yet to be sold.

 

For a budget of 200 USD, does anything beat the RE-400 at a generally neutral frequency response with a detailed reproduction, great separation but without losing out on a natural, convincing body to the bottom end?

post #450 of 2307

Well, for me RE-400 has plenty of body, lots of extension, depth and decay. It is linear bass, so if you're looking for boosted bass, go elsewhere. (perhaps TDK IE800?)

The bass quality yields only to Spiral Ear SE-5 custom.

 

I do own Brainwavz B2 (which is very similar to DBA-02 mkII - slightly less bass boosted) and I have owned GR07 (which I assume sounds almost the same as GR07 mkII). The latter has some bass boost, but nowhere near the slam, while B2 has comparable body and decay, but bass sounds somewhat slow - yet it is still slightly boosted - perhaps it's the slight subbass rolloff. Its sound is definitely bit distorted - not as "black".

 

GR07 also had the annoying 6k sibilance and slight highs rolloff, while B2 has that humongous highs boost centered around 5.5k. (Which gets merely large with very deep fit, achievable with some triple flanges or Comply P.)


Edited by AstralStorm - 2/28/13 at 10:26am
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