HEAD-DIRECT RE0 In-ear Headphones

zeus_hunt

New Head-Fier
Pros: Highs are crisp. Detailed, neutral sound, adequate, natural bass and enough bass
Cons: BASS requires a little more Body
Its very clean sounding In-Ears.
I am not a person requiring huge amounts of BASS but the BASS on RE0 is slightly less than I would have liked i to be...Having said that I find BASS to be quite Tight. 
Sound Stage is average.. Instrument Seperation is quite good.
With the Amp, for which I paid a small extra,.. it sounds even better.
 
The White Bi-Flanges are perfect for my ears.
Am able to have them for prolonged times.

leonsphinx

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Low price, excellent sound especially the high frequencies
Cons: lacks body in terms of bass
Great IEM for it's price. Produces a very detailed, transparent sound. Not for the basshead but personally I think the bass is just adequate, not too overwhelming. I just love these phones

grahamnp

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Balance, transparency, treble extension, detail, speed
Cons: Bass quantity, cable quality (cloth version)
Housings are made of metal and are solid but the cloth version of the cable is prone to microphonics.  The jack is fairly weak and the strain reliefs aren't particularly effective.  Fit is easy as the earpieces are fairly small and isolation is just above average.
 
Sound is excellent for the money.  Treble is more prominent than in most earphones but is never harsh and has better extension than anything I've heard, detail is excellent.  The midrange is natural sounding with little colouration and is also very detailed.  The RE-0 is light on the bass but extends fairly low with excellent speed and punch but little weight behind it. 
 
Amplification helps improve the bass quantity, punch and speed some more and overall dynamics are improved.  They sound a little sterile without an amp but do not need one, they just scale well with the added power. 
 
Overall sound is airy and slightly warm and suitable for a wide variety of genres but not anything bass heavy.  They are very revealing and detailed but not agressive with the detail and are quite relaxed sounding.  Transparency is excellent and the individual characteristics of the recording really shows.

alphaphoenix

Banned by order of heir wallet and significant other.
Pros: Details, Details, Details
Cons: Cable noise
I was lucky and grabbed these from another head-fier for $40.  I've owned many IEM's during my head-fi roller coaster ride.  I believe the only top tier universal IEM's I have not had the pleasure of owning is the UE triplefi10 and Ortofon E-Q7.  Throw the RE0 in the mix and is clear, I mean clear that this $79 retail IEM can play with the best in most areas and exceeds in others. 
 
Similar to the review, if you're a basshead, stay far away from these.  However, if you fancied the Phonak PFE and was wowed by their clarity and detail, the RE0 brings up a few notches.  Detail freaks, buy these now, run and cherish them.  I rank them higher over the ER4S I use to own mainly because I never could get use to them jammed so far in my ear.  If you want bass and similar clear details look at the JVC-FX700.
 
Build quality is good.  From afar, they look very average and almost on the verge of cheap, but looks can be deceiving.  You have to hear the truth these magical IEM produce.  They deserve all the praise and accolades even at their once retail price of around $200.  I just love listening to my Pink Floyd tracks in FLAC and hear more details than before, it almost feels like magic.
 
Even at their current price of $79, like many claims before, the are no doubt a STEAL.  And yes, they benefit greatly being amped. 
 
If you haven't tried these, you need to.  It's hard to believe they are dynamic drivers versus highest quality BA.

Darksyde

100+ Head-Fier
Too lazy.  Will write later.

petercak

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: generally excellent sound quality, good value
Cons: none significant, bass is nice but very tight which may not suit everyone
I have bought RE-0 when I was looking for some portable headphones, but didn't want anything bigger than in-ear ones. I have searched for more expensive ones when I came to RE-0. The price was 99 USD, which was less that I planned to pay. Reviews were highly positive.Since I don't travel much, for me it looked like a good value for money.
 
Overall quality is very good. Soundwise, they are very detailed, perhaps too much :wink: I can hear things I have never heard before. Take it as you wish, I mean it in good way... Some might miss that familiar boomy bass. RE-0 bass is definitely present, but very tight, precise and clear. I don't mind that "flaw" (if you want to call it this way). Acctually with most songs I prefer it.
 
Design is OK, everything you can expect from headphones price at 79 USD (as I write it).
 
Comfort - RE-0 come with plenty of tips, I would suggest clear bi-flanges.
 
Isolation is just average, sufficient in most cases, but expect some noise, especially in very noisy enviroments (transportation)
 
I was quick decision for me. For the price, I would recommend it to everyone who seeks excellent, detailed sound for a very reasonable amount of money. The only disadvantage might be that tight bass.

Caphead78

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great resolution, highs are incredible, possibly the best value in IEM's
Cons: Microphonic cable, needs a bit of power to sound its best
In short: I love these headphones; they are an incredible value and all head-fiers should pick a pair up. While they are not as "fun" as my Grado cans or Fischer Audio IEM's, the RE0 has a neutral sound and can easily distinguish between instruments. Cymbals and acoustic guitar sound lifelike and while the bass impact may be below average, the accuracy of the lows on the RE0 have me preferring them to the lows on my bass-centric Fischer Audio Eterna.
These are an incredible value at 79.99 and everyone should at least consider them for their next IEM purchase.

redrich2000

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Great sound, AMAZING for the price
Cons: Poor durability
You don't need another review about how good these sound. But I had two pairs, both of which lasted only a couple of months before one ear went dead. I was keeping them wrapped around my ipod in my bag but wasn't abusing them. So either I had shocking luck or these phones are a bit fragile.
sbm168
sbm168
if u wrap them around ur ipod it warps the wires and ruins them faster
metman
metman
No, these are just cheap 'phones. I had one bud fail within a month, and I either leave them on a desk or put them in a case when not in use. I've also experienced materials failure. They are just cheaply made.
sbm168
sbm168
Well, Mine have worked amazingly for 6 months and going strong. I keep 'em in a little 2.5" round, hard case. Cost $2

Loquah

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Sound quality, range of tips, sound quality and sound quality
Cons: Shows up poor recordings and sources
These are easily the best earphones I've ever heard. They out-perform both of my older sets of cans. Admittedly, they're older headphones, but they're AKG and Sennheiser cans that were worth equivalent money or better than the Re0s so, to me, that's impressive!
 
The Head-Direct and Hi-Fi Man brands are one and the same so don't be thrown by the different references. If it says Re0, it's the same earphone regardless of which brand you read on the review.
 
The Re0s are a 9mm dynamic driver canal phone. They are a simple and plain design which belies their spectacular sound.
 
The specs don't really jump out:
 
  1. 9mm dynamic drivers with neodymium
  2. 64 Ohm impedance
  3. 100 dB/1mW sensitivity
  4. 15 - 22,000 Hz range
 
Sound Quality
 
I used to work for a hi-end audio-visual manufacturer and one of the key lessons from my time there was that the first impression of an audio or visual source is not accurate. The TVs and speakers that we often go for first are the most dynamic or bright, but almost never the most accurate. These dynamic sources seem exciting at first, but will quickly become tiring. The natural, true-to-life sources seem dull, flat and boring at first, but in time our body adjusts to these (and we stop comparing them with other sources) and we discover the subtleties and balance that make them truly special. The Re0s are one of those balanced, natural sources so give them a chance when you first get them. Get to know them so they can knock your socks off when you least expect it!!
 
The sound from the Re0s is pretty close to perfect. Detail is amazing, mids are realistic and bass is present, but never over-stated. The sound is smooth, detailed and never harsh.
 
On first listen, I was concerned that the Re0s lacked bass. Some reviews also speak about the bass being a bit thin, but I played around with the different tips provided (5 options!) until I found the right ones. That fixed it and the bass has been beautiful ever since. Coincidentally, this happened after some burn-in time so I can't rule out the benefit of burning these in - the debate rages on!
 
Design
 
If there's one negative of the Re0s it's their design from a purely aesthetic perspective. In terms of fit and performance, they're right on the mark, but they look pretty cheap. That doesn't mean they aren't well put together. The bodies are metal and the rubber used in the cable is high quality. The plug is high quality and the insulation is tapered so it'll fit any source you can think of. The cable splits at a classy metal junction and the sliding ring to hold the separate L/R cables together is also metal so it's not like they actually ARE cheap, quite the opposite, but they LOOK cheap.
 
The phones themselves are simple, black painted metal with touches of polished metal. On the back of the phones is a circular area of bare metal and the finish here looks a bit rough, but it doesn't actually effect the earphones so look past that and be pleased that the Re0s are a sleeper that no-one will be drawn to steal (unless they've listened to a pair
ksc75smile.gif
).
 
Comfort
 
I'm a novice with canal phones, but I find these comfortable. It's important though that you find the right tips. The Re0s come with S, M & L black rubber tips and S & L twin-flange tips. Play around until you find the right one and pay attention to the bass quality. When the bass and sound isolation are best, you've got the best seal.
 
Something to note here is that pushing canal phones into your ear can create a pressure lock of sorts in the ear canal. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can also affect the performance of your eardrum and possibly the phone. If you feel pressure, wiggle the earphone until the pressure equalises and then judge the sound and comfort.
 
Isolation
 
Again, as a canal phone novice, I have no real comparison, but these block out plenty of noise when I'm on the train or riding my bike so they're good enough for me.
 
Source Notes
 
I was concerned when I bought the Re0s that they may not work effectively on my iPod or iPhone without amplification. They do. I love great sound, but I'm realistic about it and don't want to carry around excess equipment. The Re0s are a perfect way to achieve outstanding sound from a simple source like the iPod... BUT... you won't want to use any equaliser adjustments on basic sources (like iPods). Basic sources don't have the amplification circuits to really handle any tweaking of the sound.
 
Before I got the fit of the Re0s right I was playing around with the bass boost on the iPod and I forgot to switch it off. Later in the week I was disturbed to hear all sorts of sound quality issues from my iPod and actually thought the amplifier circuit was giving up the ghost (it's an old pod). I suddenly realised my mistake and switched off the bass boost - perfect!
 
The Re0s WILL show up any poor recordings and sources, but the good news is that their magnificently balanced sound means that you shouldn't have to apply modifications to the sound - just enjoy it as the artists intended.
 
Overall
 
These phones have everything right where it matters. They've outperformed everything I've listened to, even phones worth more $$$. They don't look flashy, but they sound spectacular (if you get the fit right). I'd recommend these to anyone.

sebhuber

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Highs, Mids, transparency
Cons: weak impact, can sound 'thin'
I really enjoyed the RE0 for a while, but the sound was lacking bass. This happened if  it was not driven properly out of the uDac or any other amp. Straight out of the iPod, there was something 'off' and it wasn't natural. The RE0 doesn't go particularly low.
On the other hand, the highs are excellent. So are the mids. 
For the current price, they are a must-have.

Vash-GR

Head-Fier
Pros: Excellent clarity, good speed, excellent highs
Cons: lack of bass body, average isolation, long burn in time
I purchased RE0 after a lot of thought and research here in head-fi forums. At first I was puzzled by their sound. Having used only Sennheiser CX 300 before I found the sound to be too complex and the highs too pronounced. I had them playing virtually all day long (and night) for the first 3-4 days to burn them in as I knew that they require a long 150+ hours. I was also using them while burning them in to experience the differneces in the sound. The most notable difference was the bass, that really became more tight and clear. Bear in mind that I got used to such a sound signature about one, one and a half week after regular listening with them. Now the clarity is amazing, the highs are jaw-dropping, mids come clean and not overshadowed by bass and speed is up to par with fast paced songs. I tried listening to CX300 the other day, 1 month after I got the RE0. Couldn't get past 2 minutes, too much bloated bass it sounded like there was a cannon firing next to the band. I can't believe that I heard music before them. The few thing that bother me are the lack of bass body, since I am not using an amp (for now) and my source is a sansa clip+ and the fact that wearing them over the ear can be a bit bothersome and uncomfortable. Another issue it that they are very source revealing, so if you have low bitrate mp3 files, prepare for a big dissapointment as they will sound worse. All things considered, best purchase so far for me, and I am sure as time goes by I will just appreciate them more, and so will you.

koven

15 Hz + 150 dB = poopy pants
Pros: too many to list
Cons: bass impact
I'm not great at writing reviews, but I'm bored right now and I thought I'd take the time to "honor" the RE0's. I've bought/sold/heard many IEM's in the past, stuff like: IE8, W3, PFE, SE530, TF10, X10 etc. Before the RE0's went on that $99 sale, I came to the conclusion that the W3's were the IEM's for me, X10 and SE530 came in a close second, but anyway, my point is, I was quite satisfied with the W3's until I decided to give the RE0's a shot. At first, I was really missing the bass of the W3's, the RE0's sounded a bit thin compared to them. I was disappointed but I didn't give up on them. I burned them in and kept listening. Eventually, whether it was my mind adjusting or my taste changing, I realized how refreshing the RE0's sounded compared to the W3's, it was like a splash of cold water after walking through the desert. I was no longer missing the coloration of the W3's, I felt like the RE0's were the most natural sounding IEM's I've ever heard. Highs extend effortlessly with no signs of fatigue or harshness. Female vocals really shine. They may disappoint bass-heads, but for anyone who strives for true audio reproduction, this is the IEM for you. The bass is there and it's accurate, it's quality, but it just lacks that visceral impact that some IEM's provide (IE8 comes to mind). They can really rock out too, quite a dynamic sound with great PRAT, instrument separation is fantastic and the timbre is spot-on.
 
In conclusion, for me, this was the IEM that stopped my search/interest in the next FOTM. And what shocks me the most is, it's pretty much 1/3 the price of all the other IEM's I've tried. Incredible value @ $79, actually, it's an absolute S T E A L, I highly doubt you can find anything better for the price, or even double/triple the price. Of course, YMMV, but this is my experience.
drsamdc
drsamdc
I agree 100% with your review. My only question is are they still working? Mine died (committed suicide) after just 3 months of light use.
noisey
noisey
What drsamdc said... (I've had 3 replacements within 18 months and they just died again...)

zfmduel

Head-Fier
Pros: On par with most $200+ iem and perform very well
Cons: Lack of bass, Micro-phonic
I had the Re0 since Late Feb and I  love it! I was hunting for a bargain at first and when I received mine I was like"meh" then after 50 hours the bass starts to kick in and mids is much warmer now after 200 hrs I ditched my full can(srh840) and removed the filter, much more sharper  but that is just me. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for the best item under $100 and if you dont like the original tips try the sony hybrid tips($10 at sonystyle). 

Congratulation on the success and a big THANK YOU to HiFiMan for this exceptional earphone and I do suggest a less microphonic cable and maybe offer a wider color selection (Sorry I am baked :)

TheGame21x

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Clarity, Transparency, Neutrality, Treble extension, Bass Extension, Value for Money
Cons: Bass Impact, Bass Quantity, Somewhat "thin" sound
Introduction
 
I’ve already written a great deal on the RE0s but I don’t consider any of it a formal review in the traditional sense. If you’ve read my previous writing about the RE0s, you should know that I am positively enamored by them. In the few weeks since I received them, they have quickly become my preferred listening devices when I sit down with my laptop or iPod and listen to music. After putting them through their paces for 200+ hours and listening to the sound signature evolve and mature in that time, I finally feel that I’m ready to give the RE0s the review they deserve. So, without further ado, read on for my full review of the HiFiMan RE0 in ear monitors.
 
Technical Specifications

Driver: 9mm dynamic driver
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 22KHz
Impedance: 64 Ω
Sensitivity: 100db/1mw
Cable Length: 1.28m/4.2ft
 
 
Packaging and Accessories

The RE0s come packaged in a small, clear plastic clamshell box. The design is unobtrusive and eye catching, showing off the IEMs flanked by the three pairs of silicone single flange tips. Included accessories range from the aforementioned three pairs of single flange silicone tips, two pairs of small and large bi-flanges, five pairs of replacement filters and a shirt clip. Overall, this is a decent accessory package but I would’ve been happier if a soft or hard carrying case had been included with the package. I guess you could argue that the case the RE0s came in could be used to carry them around in a pinch but it’s just slightly too big and bulky to fit very comfortably in a pocket.
 
Design and Build Quality

Right off the bat, the similarity to the V-Moda Vibes is immediately apparent. The housing is made of metal, painted black with a matte finish instead of the high-fashion polished aluminum look and feel of the V-Moda Vibes. The metal design inspires confidence in terms of long and short-term durability in that they feel sturdy and resilient without being too heavy or too light. Extending down from the casing is a long strain relief which is soft rubber in texture and adds to the durability and protects the cable as it enters the housing. The cable also terminates in a properly relieved L-plug which is new in the current revision of the RE0s.

The cable itself is relatively heavy, fairly thick and very soft and pliable. It seems durable enough to withstand a fair amount of abuse. One issue I have with the cabling of the RE0s is that they transmit a lot of cable noise. Wearing them straight down while walking or performing any kind of activity that causes the IEMs to rub against your clothing, will result in microphonic noise being transmitted into your ears. It’s annoying and distracting to be sure and using the included shirt clip and wearing them over-the-ear is practically required if you plan on walking with these.

These feel like they will be able to withstand normal amounts of daily use and abuse for a long period of time. I do wish these came with a carrying case of some kind to protect them while on the go and naturally, it’s expected that you’ll want to protect your investment. I would advise investing in a carrying case of some kind to protect them if you plan on carrying them around.
 
Comfort and Fit

The housings of the RE0s are very small and light and, as such, you’ll barely feel them while they’re in your ears. For me and my small ear canals, the small black tips were best for me but now, I use a pair of small tips I sourced from a pair of V-Moda Vibes which I find to be a bit softer and thus more comfortable. With all of the various eartips supplied with the RE0s, I’m sure that most users will be able to find a pair that work for them.

Sound Quality

Let me preface this by saying that these are the best sounding IEMs I’ve ever heard. Nothing I’ve ever used comes close to matching the RE0s in terms of clarity and transparency, bass and treble extension and micro level detail. These are a highly resolving pair of IEMs and as such will be highly revealing of flaws in your source material. I would not recommend using these with 128kbps music files or any other poorly recorded music, as these will make the flaws in those files stand out so much more. On the other hand, because they are so highly resolving, they allow great recordings and high bitrate files such as 320kbps MP3s and FLAC files to shine.

The RE0s are a very neutral pair of IEMs across the board and offer very little in the way of coloration to the music being pumped through them. These are highly transparent and allow you to hear music mostly as the artist intended, without adding any degree of warmth or coldness that isn’t actually present in the piece itself.

The midrange is fairly recessed but lively and very clear. Both male and female vocals are full-bodied and natural sounding and, across the board, instruments just sound great. The biggest strength of the RE0s is their endlessly extended and exceptionally clear and bright treble. Highs are forward and sparkle with just a touch of warmth without a hint of sibilance. These have the best highs I’ve ever heard in an IEM and should please just about anyone looking for a great high end response.

Low end response is perhaps the weakest aspect of the RE0’s sonic presentation but even then, it’s not at all bad. Bass is very detailed and natural sounding but what it lacks in is body. It just doesn’t have quite enough “oomph” to my ears and as a result makes the entire sound signature somewhat thin. Extension is very nice as well, as you can detect bass notes down to 20 Hz, even if those notes aren’t particularly powerful.

Soundstage and imaging are both good as well. The soundstage is of average size and depth, with great instrument separation and decent imaging.

The RE0s don’t necessarily need an amp, despite their relatively high 64 ohm impedance but respond very well to the extra juice. The soundstage widens a bit, dynamics improve and the bass improves a bit in terms of fullness. These also respond well to amps with a bass boost feature such as the inexpensive Fiio E5 and the JDS Labs CMoy BB, which highlight the great low end detail and sub-bass extension the RE0s possess.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, these are the best IEMs I’ve ever heard. These really make my music collection come alive and are very entertaining to listen to for long stretches. They let the music sink in slowly if you’re reading a book, doing homework or anything else that requires concentration while also allowing you to tune into the finer details of the music and really immerse yourself in the music you hear. For the current asking price of $80 plus shipping from Head-Direct, you really can’t go wrong with the RE0s. While these probably won’t satisfy bass-heads (at least without a bass boosting amp), these can easily compete with IEMs three to four times their price and are an absolutely phenomenal value for the price. I highly recommend these to budget conscious audiophiles who are interested in neutral and, above all, excellent sounding IEMs.
 
Re-Posted From My Site Musical Musings
 

kmhaynes

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Details + smoothness
Cons: Small bass impact, body
The are SO many things the RE0 does amazing well.  Treble extension is crazy without any graininess or fatique.  Bass extension is also very low, but the bass body is probably too polite.  The bass decays too quickly to give a sense of bass warmth and body, and the bass impact is too tame. 
 
But this bass response is from the RE0 unamped.  Suprisingly, a simple little $25 Fiio E5 with it's bass boost really improves the RE0 -- even more so than my $120 iBasso T3 (no bass boost on it).  The E5 gives a slight bass boost and a very slight treble cut (to help the sense of the bass boost) -- but the treble cut does no harm at all to the awesomeness of the treble response, extension and smoothness.
 
The one thing the RE0 does lack is a sense of space around instruments.  It's not that it gets jumbled in busy music passages -- the instrument layering is just a bit 2-dimensional, a bit flat.  But that's a technical aspect that many people won't recognize nor be bothered by.  It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the RE0.
Top