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A thank you to the forum and a debate between 2 IEM's: The RE-262 and R-50

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


This is obviously my first post, and I've always thought it to be poor form to simply lead off with a question.  Although I'll get to that in a minute, I'd first like to thank all of you who make contributions and share your knowledge on this wonderful forum.  I'm by no means a serious audiophile, but I do appreciate great music when I hear it.  So, lurking in the background for weeks, I've come to appreciate your knowledge and willingness in taking the time to share it for the benefit of all.  Myself included.


I originally came across this forum during my search for a new pair of IEM's.  I had a set of Etymotic ER-6i's that I bought years ago, but when I had some quiet time to listen to some music a few weeks ago, I realized they weren't working and needed to be replaced.  The left side simply gave out.


Again, I'm a long shot from being a true blue audiophile.  However, I do try to give my best effort at researching those things that I enjoy and use frequently  During my reading, I somewhat isolated my replacement set to the following:  Etymotic HF5, the Rock-It R-50, and the HiFiMan RE-262.


For what ever reason, the reviews regarding the HF5's weren't quite as glowing as the other two.  Perhaps they were too sterile and analytical for those providing the reviews, although that's not to say they were looked down upon.  So, I've somewhat narrowed my options down to the RE-262 and the R-50.  The soundstage effect that these both seemingly have is intriguing, and I'd rather not have "boring".


I'm not a bass head, so thunderous thumps isn't what I'm after.  I'm simply after something very pleasing, easy to listen to, and a step above the ER6i's they're replacing.  I'll be using an iPod Classic for the source most of the time, and I'll also be ordering a FiiO E-11 at the same time I order the IEM's.  My taste in music completely depends on my mood.  I can listen to anything from Jazz to Led Zeppelin (and other classic rock) and anything from various Indie bands to Joe Bonamassa (an absolute favorite of mine).


If anyone is compelled to persuade me in one direction or the other between the RE262 and the R-50, I'd love to hear it and thank you in advance.  I suppose keeping the HF5's in the mix is fine since I included them originally, but keeping it narrowed to these three for the sake of simplicity would be appreciated.


Thanks again to everyone here who makes this forum great!


Kindest Regards,



post #2 of 15

Sound quality aside, you might also want to consider build quality of the 2 since $120~ is not a sum of money you can just brush off. I had this same debate with myself but eventually settled on the Re262 just for the sake of build quality as there have been reports of the thin cable on the R50 splitting and ripping after only a couple months of use.

post #3 of 15
For what it's worth:
The RE262's are next up for me, but have to replace my portable Amp first. Originally, looking at the fiio e11, but I'm upgrading a little to the fiio e12 Mont Blanc $129.

I purchased a pair of R-50's in December. I have nothing but really good things to say about their Sound Quality. However, their Warranty, cable and accessories are cheap. I broke mine after 30 days and their customer service wasn't the best. That being said, their Dual BA's for $120 are tough to beat and I would recommend them anybody purchasing sub $175 iem's.
Edited by RobertNV - 2/21/13 at 2:22am
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments, guys.  Both of you mention the build quality of the R-50's, which is a bit of a red flag in my book.  Am I mistaken in thinking there were some reliability issues with the RE262's, as well?  I could very well be wrong about this and have the two confused, but that's what I seem to recall.


If the build quality of the R-50's is suspect, then my decision just got a bit easier.


As for the RE262's, they no longer appear to be available on Amazon (new), and Crutchfield seems to be one of the few options at full retail.  I may have missed the boat with Amazon...


Thanks again for your comments.  I'd love to hear more about the comparison of these two.



post #5 of 15

I can only speak to the R-50s which I purchased as my first true IEM pair (previously had a pair of S4s).  I love the sound quality of them and I picked up a pair of sony hybrids at my time of purchase which has been great (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-EPEX10A-BLK-Replacement-Earbuds/dp/B001RB24UA)


I would say that the build quality isn't suspect, but I would definitely not recommend them for heavy movement or abuse.  I actually like the fact that the cord is very lightweight as I generally just listen to them at work or at night.  Sound isolation for me is incredible with the sony hybrids (again, highly recommended for $8).  The ear guide take a bit to get used to, but after a while they are not bad.


EDIT: I've been told my many that the R-50s are not supposed to really be affected by an amp.  Some say that they do.  I'd say from reading around for a while that 85% say there is not much of a difference and 15% of people say they do.


Please also take a look into this amp instead of the FiiO E-11.  It is supposed to be a much better amp overall and I have ONLY heard good things about its sound quality, ease of use, and battery life: http://www.amazon.com/BH-Portable-Headphone-AMP-battery/dp/B00A2QJSBO


Honestly I would say if accurate sound sound quality is your main concern then go with the R-50.  To some they don't have that wow factor, but trust me, give them time and you will be amazed.  One thing to think about though is they will make you realize the quality of your music, so if you use low sound quality files R-50 is not for you.


Instead of the RE262 I would take a look at the RE-400.  The are supposed to be comperable to the R-50 but a bit more forgiving (also not quite as accurate sounding). Lots of info on how it compares to the 262 here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/632802/upcoming-hifiman-iems-re-400-and-re-600



The BA200 are another good choice which I think I'll try out in the future as they have a bit more bass - I like EDM music.  Probably not what you are looking for though.


Hope this helps overall!  PM me if you have anymore questions.

Edited by cloudycloud - 2/21/13 at 10:25am
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 



Thanks very much for your suggestions.  The C&C amp is one that I wasn't familiar with, but you're correct about what's being said about it.  The reading I've done since pretty much has me sold on them.


The same is nearly true for the RE-400.  I honestly didn't look at them very closely due to their low price.  By that I mean they're less than the 262 and 272's they're replacing.  And, I say replacing only because only the RE-400's are available on the HD website.  Maybe it's just me, but their strategy with this seems a little odd.  Going down in MSRP didn't equate to an upgrade and "new release" in my mind.


Thanks again for the helpful reply.  I appreciate it!



post #7 of 15

Having heard both I can say that the R-50 sounds better to me with slightly more extended highs and better separation. I concur that the build on them (mostly the cable and memory wire) are definitely average though. Surprised you didn't also consider the TDK BA200 since it seems to be similar to the RE-262 but with a bit more detail.

post #8 of 15

Just joined this forum today because after a few months with my R50s the right speaker is not producing sound correctly.  Am returning them for a refund and looking for something else (will start a new thread).  I have had adequate response from Rockit Sound who makes the R50s, but their return policy is bazaar.  If I were to replace them under the 90 day warranty, they have a $25 charge you send through paypal and then also have to pay the shipping to send them back (another $5).  When I asked what the $25 charge was for, I was told because they originally shipped them free and can't keep footing the bill (paraphrasing).  Also, there is only a $7 return fee for the R10s and $14 for the R30s (both less expensive msrp), which I imagine is due to the higher cost of parts in their better products, but don't think that should fall back on the customer, especially after being told it's a shipping expense.  Does this seem odd to anyone else or is it just me?  

The R50s sounded good, but don't have faith in their durability.  

post #9 of 15

I have all three IEMs mentioned.  The RE-262 is very nice provided it's amped properly.  If you're not going to amp it or use it with a Sansa Clip etc... it's not the best choice.  The R-50 performs well and has nice clarity but for me is a little bright with treble spikes; I also strongly dislike the memory wire Rockit uses with this IEM, it's simply not comfortable.  The HF5 (mine is an HF2 with mic) still convinces me it's well worth the dollars.  It's a very intimate IEM that sounds great and offers amazing isolation when required.  Of the three I'd give the nod to the HF5.

post #10 of 15

If you listen mostly to music that does not require a well rounded and balanced range from the lows all the way to highs and rather listen to mostly vocal/mids oriented music, the Re262 is said to be one of the best performers in such a domain. However, if you are looking for sufficient bass and treble, the 262 just might not cut it. While the entire spectrum of the 262 is very detailed, it might just completely lack the sheer quantity at the 2 ends that some may want.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

bhima:  Thanks for your comments and the suggestion.  The honest answer as to why I didn't consider the TDK's is this:  I have a great deal to learn about IEM's and I used Joker's analysis as a starting point for myself.  The TDK's weren't part of his review, most likely because they were released after he put it together (guessing here).  The number of IEM's within this price segment is seemingly endless.  Combine that with my lack of general knowledge and that's the brutally honest answer as to why they were overlooked.  Until now that is.  I appreciate the suggestion and I'll most certainly read up on them.


ScaldedDog:  Thank you, as well, for sharing your experience.  Frankly, that takes the R-50's off the list for me.  If you have a problem with the set within the warranty period, you're a third of the way home to a new set from someone else.  The sliding scale "shipping fee" is absurd.  I've never heard of such a thing.  I have no problem whatsoever paying for shipping to the manufacturer for repair, but this arrangement is almost as bad as a restocking fee.  Often times you really don't know what kind of company you're dealing with...until there's a problem.  I'm singling out Rock-It specifically, as this pertains to everyone.  In this highly competitive industry and online environment, service is more important than ever before.  Again, not picking on Rock-It here since I don't have any personal experience with them, but word of mouth really does work both ways.


Back to the Ety's, RE262's, RE400's...and the TDK.  smile.gif



post #12 of 15

Taking the situation into my own hands, I decided to email the head-direct (hifiman seller) customer service pertaining to warranties and replacement services and such. They offer a ONE YEAR warranty on the 262 (and most likely on all other hifiman products) and will replace it for FREE if you can provide a receipt for proof. I would expect that you would have to pay to ship it back yourself but it is still better than paying a down charge of $25 in comparison to the R50.


The one year warranty itself is quite reassuring signifying confidence in the durability of the product, but they also offer after warranty replacement services for a mere $40. Customer service is quick to respond and while they do not speak perfect english, you can tell they have good intentions.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Deviltooth:  Thanks very much for your insight.  Having someone make a comparison who actually owns and has spent time with each is exactly what I was hoping for.  Revisiting the HF5's isn't out of the question, particularly since I don't want to be committed to an amp 100% of the time. 


Last night I was wondering:  Wouldn't it be great if there were an IEM superstore where you could listen to everything in one place?  Then the alarm went off.  smile.gif



thesuperguy:  That's awesome.  Way to go with the detective work!  I agree with everything you said, too.  The last 7 words you wrote, "you can tell they have good intentions", go a very long way with me.  The way they would handle a warranty situation sounds very fair to me.  Thanks for taking the initiative on this one!



Edited by lasermd - 2/21/13 at 8:19pm
post #14 of 15

I was about to join the site simply to participate in this thread when I realised I've had a dormant account for years!


I am about to purchase my first real IEM's, after having spent far too long with a pair of Creative ep-630's, which I suddenly realised sound terrible. So I'm in the market for a +-$100 pair and have similarly narrowed down my quest to:

  • re-262
  • re-400
  • r-50
  • ety hf5
  • Mee 161p


...so thanks for this thread. R-50 quality concerns are ruling it out for me also, I listen on subway commutes and subject my kit to a lot of pocket thrustings and hasty untanglings.


The RE-262's seem difficult to find these days, Amazon is not stocking, while the HF5's and RE-400's are both available and identically priced.


Any other insights or experiences with these models would be greatly appreciated!


Thanks guys.

post #15 of 15

I would just like to add that I am unlikely to amp my IEM's since I value pocket space and travelling light. I would really appreciate some insight with this taken into account, since it seems everyone is amping the 262's. Cheers!

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › A thank you to the forum and a debate between 2 IEM's: The RE-262 and R-50