HEAD-DIRECT RE0 In-ear Headphones

  1. Vash-GR
    Hifiman RE0
    Written by Vash-GR
    Published May 17, 2010
    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.
  2. koven
    The Cure for Upgraditis
    Written by koven
    Published May 8, 2010
    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.
    1. 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.
      drsamdc, Aug 18, 2011
    2. noisey
      What drsamdc said... (I've had 3 replacements within 18 months and they just died again...)
      noisey, Jul 24, 2012
  3. zfmduel
    Best $100 phone
    Written by zfmduel
    Published May 6, 2010
    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 :)
  4. TheGame21x
    The Best Value in Portable Audio
    Written by TheGame21x
    Published May 6, 2010
    Pros - Clarity, Transparency, Neutrality, Treble extension, Bass Extension, Value for Money
    Cons - Bass Impact, Bass Quantity, Somewhat "thin" sound
    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.


    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
  5. kmhaynes
    RE0 -- Can NOT be beat under $150
    Written by kmhaynes
    Published May 6, 2010
    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.