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HiFi Man RE-400 a new standard for $99

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

hi there this is my first time making an official review, i would appreciate any comments or suggestions that can help me in the future.

 

if you guys would rather watch me review it heres the link: its basically the same thing but of course i was under some time constraints so the written review is more comprehensive.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTSAv7m5fhE

 

The following is just a couple of pictures of my re400 to describe the build quality. (note the eartips i have on are from my gr07 be ML ones)

 

Build Quality:

Starting from the earphones themselves, the first thing you notice here is the practical design, its not flashy or anything like that. Its very understated and the second thing we see how small the actual housing is, initially when I first saw this in real life I was shocked how small it actually is. But this plays into the advantage for the re400 and we will get into that in a second.

 

On the bottom of the housing near the strain relief there is a small vent here, this I find is very common for dynamic drivers (most consumer earphones). And I find that even with this 1 vent in conjunction with the small form factor allows for very good isolation. With the right tips, can use them from the at home, to the coffee shop to the bus/and subway. These work very well in that regard.

 

the housing of these earphones are made of solid aluminum and they have they have a flexible strain relief, I like long it is but I wish that they glued it a bit more to make it more reassuring by feel. But I can’t complain in that.

 

They drivers inside are made made of titanium that hifiman handpicks to ensure high quality control. 

 

the cable in the top half is made of made of a rubbery feeling, probably the most disappointing part of the build. 

There is no buttons or anything intended for smartphones.

 

It comes with a metal cable cinch that actually doesn’t do its job, once you set it can easily come loose and fall down. Doesn’t really bother me but something to note.

 

The y shape connector is made of plastic or rubber not entirely sure but it does its job, and is durable. With the hifiman and re400 on it.

 

Interestingly enough, the second half is made of a fabric material that is thicker than the cable in the upper half. Its used for  ensure its long term durability and I have not had any problem so far. But I will not that they it does kink as all fabric cable does.

The jack is a beefy j shape jack, I really appreciate because I find straight jacks are not as durable and l shape jack can easily mess up because of the device is in a smart phone case. Its gold plated for seamless audio transfer.

 

i figured i'd show you the case that came with my re400, this is probably the second or later shipment as i heard from previous accounts the earlier shipments did not come with a case and came with a stick to wrap them around ( unacceptable imo) but the case they provided is very nice.

 

 

i wear them cable up to get rid of any microphonics they have during cable down. they have a bit too much cable noise when worn cable down, it gets really distracting to me. Sometimes the cables flop over my ear but this is mild annoyance

 

overall: All in all I think the build quality during my time with them is about 3/5.  And it comes with a 1 year manufacture warranty, and from other owners I spoke to on forums their customer service is superb and smooth. Now the kinking I discussed earlier, I slowly unravel it because although its durable, do not pull on them and forcibly unkink it.

 

sound quality:

There is only 1 word for the re400 and that’s neutral. These little guys are chamelons, they work for a variety of different genres and they have a hint of warmth (mid bass and lower treble emphasis). Everything is presented very equally, from the bass to the mids to the treble.  Some complaints have been that they are boring or lack bass , however I for one, am not disappointed with the performance that these earphones put out. Which ever the song has more focus on the listener can easily pick it out. And in short it performs amazingly from top to bottom.

 

 

They are smooth and effortless, but they require a little more volume to bring out their performance at 32 ohms. They do require a deep seal to bring out their full potential. I’m using a different set of tips because I find the tips on the re400 not working for me am using the medium-large baby blue from my vsonic gr07 be.

 

On my iphone, I require about 4 clicks to use them. On the noisiest part of my commute on the subway I would bump it at max of 5 clicks/16.

 

Now starting on the bottom, the bass, it extends down very low but they do not have the rumble that many consumers come to expect. The mid bass has a bit more emphasis this is the bass is a punch and they are punchy enough for me. Overall, they do not possess the rumble that that our society is accustom to . At first I found them bass light, but once looking past the QUANTITY of the bass, I realize how high quality the bass is. The bass very tight and very clear, well layered, so it doesn’t have the 1 note /messy bass. The overall speed of of the earphones are about medium with medium decay (how long the bass lingers after the note is hit).  Dubstep/ edm/trance doesn’t sound as lively, engaging in some sets, for example in krewella’s alive song, I found the acoustic version more enjoyable on my re400s.

 

The mids are fantastic, I have never heard of a earphone that has as clear and natural dry mids. The bass does not bleed into the mids at all. If you listen to music with multiple singers or back up singers etc. you can easily distinguish their voices and hear the backup singers harmonizing with the main singer, or the ablibs that I never heard from other earphones. A feature that is easily lost in lower end sets. The re400s perform very well between male and female singers with no dips and peaks throughout, and very smooth transitions toward the treble. Vocal/ballads, acoustic music (guitars are plucked you can hear how hard or light they are plucked) are a joy to listen to. You can really get lost in their voices and immerse in the music. These are also very good for podcasts and more conservation based movies/shows, as you can hear conversations very well even when a few people are talking over one and other, even whispers without having to turn it up.

 

Go toward the treble, the re400s extend very well and roll of very gradually afterwards. They have no sense of siblance or harshness in the treble. Siblance is the harsh “s” sound found in some songs. I found plenty of sparkle up there and everything is well controlled and distinct I found the treble to unmatched in anything I ever heard before from the clarity, to the control, and as well as the range/ extension while avoiding siblance. This is impressive. And I have listened to these sometimes for over 3 hours straight and I have not experienced listening fatigue.

 

The overall soundstage, is good not great. Its not necessarily spacious in terms of width, but vertically or the depth is very impressive and the how precisesly everything is placed is impressive. For example edm the bass is not enough for my liking but the electronics beeps and bloops, it can create a very impressive image my head.

 

Overall I found the re400 very, very impressive for the price of 99usd I got them for 139$ CAD north of the border. Because their neutral these can be easily eqed to your liking, most of the complaints soundwise is the bass, which can easily be bumped and it response well. I personally leave it the way is, as I as you can tell in this review is very impressed by the overall presentation of the earphones. The re400s are the first thing I reach for some ballads, osts, vocal based music, they do an admirable job for many pop songs but not the most bass-centric songs. Which is fine by me.  

 

overall: 9/10. it falls short only because it if it had more bass while keeping the rest of the sound signature in tact it would be perfect, but thats asking for too much especially for $99.

 

VERY HAPPY WITH THE PURCHASE! =) thanks for sticking with me this far its a long review but i had to do one for the re400 because i'm just estatic with the level of sound quality from such a little and relatively inexpensive (for head-fi standards, normal ppl its edging to a bit expensive for earphones)

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

reserved for future changes

post #3 of 8

They do respond well to EQ. But only to a point. I still find it lacking on quite a few tracks. I'll be trying some filter mods in conjunction with mild EQ. 

Also, I found they lacked a certain bite with electronic music(needs sharper treble I guess).

But SQ wise, everything else is unbelievable at this price point.

A dual driver config with a slightly larger driver only for sub-bass would be :popcorn:

Very good review. :beerchug:(some small niggles, proof-read again :P )

Can you do a short comparison with your GR07BE?


Edited by getclikinagas - 12/21/13 at 10:03am
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by getclikinagas View Post

They do respond well to EQ. But only to a point. I still find it lacking on quite a few tracks. I'll be trying some filter mods in conjunction with mild EQ. 
Also, I found they lacked a certain bite with electronic music(needs sharper treble I guess).
But SQ wise, everything else is unbelievable at this price point.
A dual driver config with a slightly larger driver for only for sub-bass would be popcorn.gif
Very good review. beerchug.gif(some small niggles, proof-read again :P )
Can you do a short comparison with your GR07BE?

Proofreading seems to be my issue even in school.. frown.gif

In terms of bass the midbass bump is greater on the be edition, its less transperant and airy compared to the re400.

Both reach every low and i find the edge goes to the be edition just a bit.

The bass is faster on the be, the decay is also faster, making the overall sig more aggressive. But not to the point that makes it exclusive to only certain genres

I think the treble extension is about the same, with the be having more emphasis on the lower treble, its more siblant.

The re400 reduces siblance on even the most siblant tracks, so the be edition is not forcthe treble sensitive. It irritated me at first but more burn in will help and some tip rolling is necessary. But i got use to it now

The mids on the re400 are less recessed compared to the be edition. Just evaluating based on the mids i prefer the re400. But both are natural and clear, neither are forward. If anything the be might just be a bit forward > re400, but not by much
post #5 of 8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom22 View Post

 

if it had more bass while keeping the rest of the sound signature in tact it would be perfect, but thats asking for too much especially for $99.

I don't think in the same way. More bass should not come with additional value.. There should be bass or balanced version of these

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yalper View Post
 

I don't think in the same way. More bass should not come with additional value.. There should be bass or balanced version of these

i mean without upsetting the balence

 

for example this is only speculation and from reviews of course

 

according to joker the vsonic gr07 be, the bass boost in the midbass and the subbass made the mids a bit more recessed,compared to the mk1 or mk2 version

 

he even said that the balence is slightly skewed or something along those lines

 

but even so as of right now i'm happy with whats coming out of these little guys. but my only complaint is the durablity. there had been numerous complaints about the build in the other threads, hifiman customer services was supposedly pretty good but if the re400s had a similar cable as the vsonic gr07 i would gladly shell out an extra $20-30.

 

but alas, if mines breaks down i would probably contact vesper audio once the one year warranty is up. 

 

even if hifiman replaced it, if the cable continues to give me issues i think it would be better to recable

post #7 of 8

very nice write-up! my same thoughts/impressions!:beerchug:

post #8 of 8
Hello. The filters that sit inside the IEM stems on these -- I have frustrated questions. (BTW, what are the "filter mods" I read about here...?)
 
My RE-400s are new. After three days, one of the soft black filters (on right bud) sort of got dislodged somehow (I take excellent care of the IEMs) and fell into the driver. I retrieved it with a toothpick because it was actually hanging askew, and there was still some gluey stuff to hold it in place, but then I thought I might as well learn how to replace it. I did. But I wonder: the old filter still left some black fibers stuck to the rim of the opening, over which I've now set the replacement. And actually, the replacement looks thicker, doesn't it? I mean, will this affect the sound even a little? I guess I'll have to replace the left bud as well to have peace of mind. But why are some filters (like Brainwavz) permanent and made of metal if they are supposed to collect debris? -- in which case all you could do is clean the surface of the mesh, you wouldn't know what debris was under the metal. Lastly, are these supposed to protect the ear by balancing the sound-? Thanks.
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