Does the HF5 have bass?
Budget Classical Music IEM - Page 2
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I listen to classical music maybe 10-15% so for me RE-400 is more suitable (listen to lots of different genres and RE-400 works great with most because of the neutral character and good bass). If listening to mostly classical I would pick HF5.
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For EDM and Indie Rock I find RE-400 much better. But still you are listening to classical 3/4 of the time. R-50 should have more treble, yes, it is the brightest and it is very detailed because it lacks warmness. Even if HF5 is considered warmer I wouldn't rate is as warm (if it is anything like my ER4PT).
I've read comments that you can convert sound signature on the HF5 by using a impedance adapter as in ER4P to S adapter. Google "hf5 impedance adapter". But if using an adapter you must more or less use an amp as you up the total impedance.
Biggest problems for me with the R-50 is that is has an interesting sound signature (very detailed) but I was bored of it not long after because I was missing bass and some general warmness. I also didn't like its comfort that much with the memory wires and I have a imbalance issue with mine (right is playing much louder - I've read others comment about the same issue although most don't have this problem).
The colder signature from the R-50 could be fixed if coupled with a warmer amp and a slight bass boost.
Which ever you choose is good. Personally, I would still pick HF5 over R-50.
Interesting that you find the RE-400 to have a better soundstage than the R-50. I've owned the RE0, RE-ZERO and the RE-262 and to me, the R-50 has a better soundstage than any of them when amped (Fiio E11) and is warmer than all but the RE-262. I really gotta try these RE-400s because, like I said, I'd be surprised if they had a larger soundstage and good enough air between instruments to best the R-50. Also, I'm not sure I would classify the R-50's as cold, though with a bad power source they can sound thin. I do consider them bright though... brighter than my trusty EPH-100s and RE0's.
Edited by bhima - 3/21/13 at 9:58pm
As I said earlier you could mod RE-400 (change tips, do changes to damper and filter) to alter sound signature some, bring out more treble and soundstage. RE-400 is more midcentric and has more bass so you might still find the R-50 to have bigger soundstage (not big difference if any to me when comparing to a modded). I have a Fiio E11 but don't use it much because it colors the sound to become warmer imo. I prefer using more neutral amps like O2 and UHA-6S mkii that doesn't color the sound. With those R-50 is bright and there is almost no warm bass (like it is stripped to get out as much detail as possible).