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The Review & Comparison Thread. HiFiMAN and more! - Page 6

post #76 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

I do like the he6...(thats why my new amp is specifically made for the he6) wink.gif I consider them above any audeze soundwise...but as i heard from hifiman themselves they are working on new models i hoped on a even better sounding one.. Especially building quality... And connectors that are not vertical?

But as i said.. If no better model comes out then i will be buying a he6..

But if anyone buys the new electrostat when its out then...sent me a pm..i will maybe buy ur he6 for the right price biggrin.gif

Sounds good. I'll let you know wink.gif
post #77 of 125

New amp by Audio-GD for the HE-6s  Great price as well.

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/amp/Precision1/Precision1EN.htm

post #78 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

New amp by Audio-GD for the HE-6s  Great price as well.

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/amp/Precision1/Precision1EN.htm

 

Yeah, somebody should try that popcorn.gif

post #79 of 125
Thread Starter 

Redacted.


Edited by conquerator2 - 4/8/15 at 11:16am
post #80 of 125
Thread Starter 

I might have to start a new post for this, but I am planning to cover the following headphones this year:

HPs I already have: AKG K612 Pro, Audio Technica ATH-W1000X, Philips Fidelio X1, Sny MDR-MA900, with three of these headphones exceeding my expectations and one well, staying slightly bellow...

 

Regardless, with the acquisition of a new amp/DAC [2014's Matrix M-Stage with the DAC module], I'd love to listen to all of them again from the amp to give them a fair comparison [and not out of my portable Clip+, which is insufficient for the AKGs and might be insufficient for the others too]

 

Finally, I'd definitely like to hear the newly announced HE-400i and HE-560, sooner or later, depending on HiFiMAN's willingness to send me a pair for loan and/or my own later purchase.

 

I'll keep you posted.

Happy New Year to you all!

Luke

post #81 of 125

Luke is back in town it seems! :cool:

 

What happened to your HE-6?

post #82 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

Luke is back in town it seems! :cool:

 

What happened to your HE-6?

Hey, sup man!

Yeah, kinda desperate times in 2013. All the reason to look forward to 2014 :D

The hard to drive nature and my modest entry level setup gave me a revelation that I simply wasn't doing the HE-6 justice.

It was sold to fund my newly purchased headphones/amp [previous post] and some much needed breathing space :]

Regardless, the HE-6 is my very reference headphone and I still miss it a lot, but the 560/400i gives me new hope that this time, I could finally give them a bit more due to their easier drive nature :]

 

How have you been? I am always up for some PM :]

post #83 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

New amp by Audio-GD for the HE-6s  Great price as well.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/amp/Precision1/Precision1EN.htm

Interested, since I'm in the market for a new amp for my HE-6. Might see if Addicted to Audio can get one in four me to audition end of February.
post #84 of 125
Thread Starter 

Due to difficulties w/ editing [the site is having problems with handling so many pictures in one post], I'll be editing this multi-review a bit, as to one post = one headphone.

HE-6 will remain on the first page, RE-400 and Pro 900 [and any future headphones] will be added at the last subsequent page.

Starting with the RE-400 and Pro 900 appearing later under this post.

Links for all the other headphones reviewed [along with all the things which are same for all headphones reviewed - music library, game rig, etc.] will be posted at the top of the first post [i.e. "RE-400 review - link, page X"]

Thanks for understanding.

Luke


Edited by conquerator2 - 1/12/14 at 1:41pm
post #85 of 125
Thread Starter 

HiFiMAN RE-400 Waterline review w/ pictures

 

1)Equipment and cabling

 

a)Headphones

 

HiFiMAN RE-400 Waterline

 

Type: Closed, tiny, in-ear, dynamic driver monitor

Frequency response: 15 - 22.000 Hz

Impedance: 32 Ω (may vary by up to 10%)

Efficiency: 102 dB

Weight: 16 g (with cable)

MSRP: 99$ 79$

 

400

 

This was my first in-ear-monitor purchase. Also the very first IEM made by HiFiMAN. Their cheapest headphone yet, priced at 100 USD. How will these compare? They share the general HiFiMAN house sound and neutrality and offerarrow-10x10.png good build quality as well. There is a dedicated RE-400 review below where all will be discussed and compared.

 

b)Amplifiers, Digital to Analog Converters, Preamplifiers and more

 

c)Cables

 

The RE-400 cable (not removable)

 

400

 

2)Unboxing and accessories

 

 

The RE-400 comes in a rectangular shaped glass-like box. The inside of the box is cut for the individual pieces found inside, that is the headphone, 6 different tips (one comes pre-installed) a clip and that’s about it. The box itself is made from two pieces and these like to fall apart a lot. It doesn’t really hold together well and it really contains only the most basic things. Although they come cheap, a better box would be nice.

 

Update: Now comes with a nice hard-shell carrying case, more ear-tips and even two pairs of foam tips [all reflected in comfort/fit]. Packaging rating improved.

 

Package overall 8.5/10

 

400

 

400

 

3)Design, build quality and comfort

 

a)Design/Build quality

 

I am glad I can say that the build quality of the RE-400 is the best yet of all the HiFiMAN headphones. The headphones look finished and sturdy and could definitely take some abuse. The only issue I had was with the jack of the cable, which snapped, but this was mainly my fault and was briskly replaced with a different jack by my local dealer.

The cable is a bit kinky and likes to get stuck on clothing but is in turn rubberized and of nice quality.

I am definitely happy with the overall feel of these headphones, from top to bottom they feel like a well-made product.

The shells are made of aluminium and feel great in the hand. The cable, on the other hand, ...

 

Update: The [cable's] build quality unfortunately did not hold up to initial expectations. The shells are not to blame, they are made from aluminium and feel very sturdy the cable, however, is a different story. I had the jack break once and the internals of the cable [meaning the thin wires that are underneath the sleeves] are probably significantly damaged. I need to stress that I took very good care of the IEM, but the cable has a will of its own and it coils down all the town, which is probably the culprit of it. Still it is a thing worth mentioning and a nominal design flaw. I'll bump the build quality down by 3. 

 

Update 2: Since my inititial issue many months back, these headphones have been holding rather well, though the cable is still microphonic and tangly... I will boost the build quality up for now, assuming the teething problems have been fixed by now.

 

Build overall 8.5/10 (Build quality 8/10 Design 9/10)

 

400

 

400

 

400

 

b)Comfort

 

Only one of the 4 stockarrow-10x10.png tips fit me. They came preinstalled on the monitors. Changing the tips is not that hard but since I don’t have any other tips available right now, the stocks will have to do. They isolate quite well. Medium insertion seems best for sound quality and comfort, isolation. They fit in nicely so I can wear them for hours, adjusting here and there. I was worried about the fit a little, but everything seems ok. Decent comfort and fit.

 

Update: It now comes with more tips, including a two pairs of foam ones.

With them, the white middle-sized tips [pictures further down] currently offer the best comfort/fit ratio. I want to stress out that fit is really important for the overall balance and bass presence. Luckily, there're many tips included now, so finding the ones that fit shouldn't be a problem anymore.

 

Comfort/Fit overall 9/10

 

White Tips

 

 

 

Stock tips

 

400

 

400

 

4)First and further impressions

 

There wasn’t much burn-in with this IEM so to speak. Back then I still used my trusty Samsung Wave I (S8500). For now, there is no external amplifier to speak of. I am considering one for the future, as I will probably need one for the RE-600, which I’ll be buying (and subsequently reviewing) most likely. Initially, I was really surprised by how good the sound was. The vocals were butter smooth, midrange was full and lush, bass was nicely detailed, slightly lacking in depth and punch, but very nice. Highs were very smooth but still didn’t lack excitement. Soundstage width was great, extending even out of my head slightly. Instrument separation was still top notch like with all other HiFiMAN. I didn’t perceive any burn-in with these, really, other than changing my phone for a Galaxy Ace II.

They certainly didn’t disappoint.

 

First impressions overall 9/10

 

5)Sound

 

Update: I am now using a Sansa Clip+ and the RE-400 are great with it!

Update 2: I've now purchased the HiFiMAN HM-601LE and the RE-400 is simply stupendously great with it. I will change the review scores and corresponding sections slightly to reflect this marked perceived improvement. I am also using a different set of ear-tips, which come with them now [see pictures] and those give me nearly perfect seal. This, coupled with the 601LE

makes the RE-400 a seriously amazing pair of IEMs for the asking price.

 

 

a)Low-end/bass

 

Pros

+ Tight

+ Lots of detail

+ Non-intrusive

 

Cons

- Can be a bit soft at times

 

Overall 8.5/10 – The low-end of this headphone is pretty good, sounding pretty much tight and punchy, very much in line with the bigger HiFiMAN headphones. As such, it also bears the same relative shortcomings - coming off a bit soft in weight and punch at times, with a bit less oomph than I'd like. But the reward is that the bass always remains tight and in line with the other frequencies, never sounding overbearing but not sounding deficient either. The IEM is certainly potent and depending on the recording it can drop some serious bass, punchy and extended, but still controlled, mind you. Now that I've achieved a proper seal, I don't think the bass is lacking or weak anymore. Instead, it is just the traditional HiFiMAN signature bass I learn to really appreciate.

 

b)Midrange

 

Pros

+ Balanced across

+ Natural and sweet

+ Instruments have their space

+ Pretty great detail retrieval

 

Cons

- None

 

Overall 9.5/10 – I don’t personally take any issues with the midrange. In many aspects, it is like a full-sized HiFiMAN lite. It lacks the ultimate spaciousness and air of the full-sizes, but it still offers an absolutely even instrument reproduction across, with a balanced but still dynamic sound. The midrange is slightly forward, just enough to keep its bite but smooth enough to not be fatiguing and providing hours on end of enjoyment. This is the area where this headphone definitely shines. 

 

c)Vocals

 

Pros

+ Nicely extended

+ Sufficient presence

+ Absolutely non-sibilant

+ Clean

 

Cons

- Lacks some air

 

Overall 9/10  The vocals work rather well for my tastes. They are present at all times, without ever sounding muted or constrained and still very much smooth and sweet. There is not a massive amount air but there is a enough to make this IEM sound more airy than most sealed headphones. They have a fair amount of extension, but not overly so and this contributes well to the smooth signature of the RE-400. These IEMs are not bright by any means, but they aren't dark either. Still, they play nice with everything I've thrown at them, producing a slightly warmer but still fairly neutral sound.

 

d)Highs/treble

 

Pros

+ Natural

+ No added presence

+ Just enough extension

+ No harsh moments

 

Cons

- Lacks the last bit of extension and air

 

Overall 9/10 – The highs work the same way as the vocals and midrange. They are sufficiently extended with some slight roll-off to prevent them from ever sounding harsh with cymbals for instance but there is enough presence there to carry all the necessary information without overdoing it. Electric guitars never sound edgy either. Together with the rest of the frequencies they offer a smooth, balanced and forgiving experience ideal for traveling or relaxing at home or work. They do many things right without doing any obvious wrongs and as such they are hard to put down.

 

e)Soundstage/Instrument separation/Imaging

 

Pros

+ Great width

+ Stellar instrument separation

+ Smooth and even tonality

+ Plays nice with everything

+ Detailed

 

Cons

- Lacks depth and height

 

Overall 9/10  As I said, the tonality of the RE-400 is very smooth, while offering great detail retrieval and musicality. Due to the tight bass, I wouldn’t recommend them solely for hip-hop or rap, though they still perform reasonably. These offer just a sibilance-free, engaging but relaxing experience. Basically a toned down full-size HiFiMAN in all aspects with some slight roll-off at both ends. The instrument separation is excellent and the soundstage width is likewise great. Center stage is very coherent and does not exhibit any oddities or unevenness and nor does the rest of the stage. The imaging is likewise excellent. 

 

f)Recordings sensitivity

 

Overall 10/10 – These belong among the more forgiving headphones for sure, and they're probably  the most forgiving “audiophile” headphone I have heard so far. I never had to turn the volume down with these because of harshness or sibilance. The interesting thing is that it still extracts a very fair amount of details and it does it really well without any obvious peaks or recesses, which usually isn’t the case with other headphones. HiFiMAN has managed to master the balancing act with these, offering great detail retrieval with a smooth tonality - something that is very hard to achieve.

 

Overall Sound

 

As such the RE-400 belongs among my favorite headphones - with tight and punchy bass, present mids and smooth and extended highs. Coupled with good detail retrieval, good soundstaging and remarkable imaging and separation, these fit right into my favorite sound signature, with very few minor imperfections that are easily forgivable based on the price/performance ratio these little puppies offer.

 

Sound overall 9/10

 

6)Gaming

 

RE-400  N/A (I wouldnt consider an IEM for gaming, really. Feel freearrow-10x10.png to give it a try if you want though and report back :})

 

[HE-6 and Pro 900 have been reviewed for gaming, to see the gamesarrow-10x10.png that I've tested and how those did, check their individual reviews on pages 1 & 6]

 

7)Portability

 

The RE-400 would be my top pick for portable headphones. It doesn’t really need any sort of amplifier to sound top notch. The signature also works really well when you want to focus on other things or just relax. Every song works here so you don’t have to worry too much about quality and specific playlists and as such it could very well be your perfect travelling companion.

 

Portability overall 10/10

 

8)Unique trait

 

Smoothness

 

The tonality of the RE-400 is one of smooth nature and rich detail. This tonality is particularly inviting to me because there are not all that many headphones with such traits. There is a bit less highs and vocals presence and bass than with the HE-6, making it similar enough in tonality but different enough in presentation. If you want a totally smooth pair of in-ear monitors this is the right one to choose. The RE-600 should offerarrow-10x10.png similar tonality as well with more body and less roll-off at either end. W will soon find out :)

 

400

 

9)Songs and genres

 

[see HE-6 Ultimate Review, page 1]

 

10)Value

 

This was my very first serious IEM purchase. I was a bit skeptical about just how good such a tiny driverlike this one can sound. I was quickly reminded that at HiFiMAN they simply know what they are doing and how to produce top notch sounding products. Even in direct comparison with full-size offerings, this little fellow muscles up and certainly holds its own ground. It is not as extended or airy or spacious as its higher brethren but the price is much more feasible and honestly, an IEM just cannot sound that way. Still, for just around 100 USD you get a sneak-peak into the HiIFiMAN house sound. The performance was smooth throughout coupled with a highly enjoyable signature straight off your DAP's jack. I've tried an amplifier to see how much difference it would make, and there was none - the X1 just sounds phenomenal with these. As is, this headphone is simply too good to resist at the price point and everyone who is looking for a very decently priced, neutral-warmish IEM to get, you might as well pick this one up. You certainly won’t regret it.

 

Overall value 9.5/10

 

400

 

The joint point

 

400

 

11)Conclusion

 

This is a seriously good IEM, absolutely suitable for portable use. I am not a huge fan of IEM due to their inherent shortcomings [lacks the soundstage of full-sized headphones, etc].

I am one of the few who don't mind carrying around full-sized headphones, provided they are not difficult to amplify well.

Still the RE-400, being a bit of my IEM premiere, did not disappoint me and I sometimes prefer it to full-sized headphones when I want that smooth, detailed yet non-fatiguing sound.

For a hundred bucks, this is a great, great IEM, even though the cable could have definitely been better made, at least initially.

 

RE-400 final score 9/10

 

12)Special thanks: 

 

[See HE-6 Ultimate Review, page 1] 

 

Kindest regards and thanks to anyone reading this. Hope you liked it!

Luke, the reviewer

 


Edited by conquerator2 - 1/26/15 at 6:23am
post #86 of 125
Thread Starter 

The Ultrasone Pro900 review can be found here -  http://www.head-fi.org/products/ultrasone-pro-900/reviews/7810


Edited by conquerator2 - 10/17/14 at 9:10am
post #87 of 125
Thread Starter 

HE-560 is the next headphone that will appear here.

 

Before that I might add one additional headphone of the K612/X1/MA900. If you have one of the three that you wanna see reviewed, make your voices heard :D

post #88 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post
 

HE-560 is the next headphone that will appear here.

 

Before that I might add one additional headphone of the K612/X1/MA900. If you have one of the three that you wanna see reviewed, make your voices heard :D

HE-560!

post #89 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

HE-560!

Yes!

I'll write the K612 in the following days and then, when the 560 is here [preordered!] I'll get to my 2nd Ultimate review! The RE-400/Pro900/K612[X1, MA900 probably too sooner or later] is more of a thorough review, rather than ultimate :D

Now that I have the definitive structure for it, it is much easier and faster to write :]

If you want anything changed in the layout speak now, or be silent forever :D


Edited by conquerator2 - 2/25/14 at 9:55am
post #90 of 125

Wawww!ooooo!!!!

Super test conquerateur2

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