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HiFiMAN RE-400

  • The RE-400 Waterline by HiFiMAN is a premium quality, high-performance In-Ear Monitor (IEM) that sets the standard for others to follow. Featuring advanced ergonomics for superb fit, and premium materials such as Titanium Diapharagm, Neodymium magnet and OFC Copper cabling, RE-400 represents best-in-class performance and comfort.
HerrXRDS likes this.

Recent Reviews

  1. TommyNavara
    Natural sounding and consistent tiny package
    Written by TommyNavara
    Published Apr 27, 2019
    Pros - Natural sounding
    Really good midrange
    Tiny and lightweight
    Cons - Bass lacking
    Cannot change cable
    No controls on the cable
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    Hifiman is one those brands that you cannot forget when it comes to high quality audio, the product range is complete and unique, with premium and reference material, from the budget oriented to the super luxury.

    The main reason i like their products is because of the outstanding build quality and reliability; premium products are really expensive, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for.


    My kind thanks to Hifiman for sending me the RE400 for testing purposes. My review is not biased in any way.


    I really like the metal machinery there, precisely crafted, tiny and comfortable, during the first test i was really impressed how tiny and compact they are. The entire presentation of the earphones and accessories is nice and a really pleasing experience throughout: the casing, the foamy and velvety box inside, everything well presented and most importantly, well protected from the shipment; this is a really important feature because we have to imagine that the products travel all over the world before going into our hands. Design wise i would consider them minimalistic: the cable is not detachable, the first part of the cabling (the splitted part) is plastic only and the last part is covered with fabric, the two sections divided with the logo; L & R is printed behind the iem on the connection. On my version there is no mic nor input commands. I cannot stress enough how small they are, and in my opinion this is a good thing for a pair of all round easy fit and solid iem. I believe the connector has changed on a revision, as is now slightly different from previous model revisions, and probably more sturdy and ruggedized now. Everything comes within just 14 grams of weight, in line with other qualitatively equal models.
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    · Sensitivity 102 dB

    · Driver size 8.5 mm

    · Frequency 15 Hz - 22 kHz

    · Impedance 32 Ohm

    · Weight 14 gr

    Re-400 has a neodynium magnet and a titanium 8.5 mm driver; the loudspeaker has been designed and produced directly by HiFiMan to guarantee maximum performance of the medium frequencies. The technical specifications are in line with the earphones of the same price range; the sensitivity is 102 dB, the impedance is 32 ohms and the maximum power reaches 30 mW.

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    Inside the package we can find:

    · Hifiman Re400 In-Ear Monitor

    · 7 pairs of Silicone Tips

    · 1 carry pouch

    · 10 Replacements for the nozzles filters

    · 1 Clip

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    Two main things to consider that i really like: the pouch included is a plus, and for the tips there’s a pretty good selection of them, wether you fit bi flange, small or big tips. There are no foam tips included unfortunately, and i do not understand why the tips are presented in 2 different positions in the packaging, as if the bigger ones are a later addition to the overall packaging: some are on the front in the casing, some are inside the pouch. One thing to consider is that the 3.5mm cable is not balanced, and cannot be detached from the units, however, there’s a moderately long strain relief (compared to the tiny bodies). The included nozzles filters are a nice addition, in particluar for people with a lot of ear waxing; when they become impossibile to clean and/or ruined, you can simply change them withut worrying too much.

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    Overall the RE400 is a neutral sounding iem, the bass is a bit recessed and needs a some burn-in to shine in my opinion. I had to put the bigger tips to seal them better into my ear canals. The presentation is spacious and well-rounded. The soundstage is fairly large, and the earphones have a fairly open, airy, and uncongested sound.


    The presentation of the RE400 is pleasant, wide and with a good overall sense of space and distance. There is less depth and height to the stage than with other multidriver iems, but the presentation is really good for this price point. Instrument separation is decent and overall very enjoyable. What i have found is a natural and pleasant presentation with great density that shines with an high level of clarity, especially with bright instruments and some particular tracks like the instruments found on the Chesky heaphone test disk.
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    I have found the bass lackluster, even if i am not a basshead myself. With a bit of burn in it gets better, and i think that playing around with the correct tips helps a lot also. Definitely not a basshead iem, but i am able to live with it. The bass is there when you need it, but is definitely not so powerful. For a straight basshead i would consider something different, even if, to my taste, this can be enough and i was satisfied with the results after the burn-in process and the discover of the correct tip for my ear canals. Bass speed, on the other hand, is tight and precise, quick to play, and doesn’t linger too long; in my opinion this is really important. Definitely not a bass oriented iem, and again, if you are a basshead just choose something else.


    Midrange is the best part of this iem in my opinion: it is very upfront and it blends very well with treble while retaining its space without going out of boundaries. The low-mids are well separated, and do not disturb some other frequencies; mids are really bright and some kind of vocals are better than the others: say for example forward female vocals are amazing: the overall result is a very open sound; obviously you miss some detail, some transparency, but at this price point, the midrange are really amazing, something that you are usually able to listen if you have an higher budget, on other brands.


    I like the treble because it’s sparkling and vivid, but not fatiguing. You lose a little bit of detail in the treble, but nothing to be worried too much. The extension is fair; overall to my ears the treble sounds good; it feels more natural and it has a good separation from the other frequencies, if you think that this is a single driver iem, the result is pretty good for the price range. I like the fact, again, that you can listen to them for hours without fatiguing your ears, i think that this has to do with the natural sounding, even if the treble are really sharp. In my opinion the treble is not affected too much from the break-in process, not quite as much as the bass to my ears; they are consistent out of the box and after 50h break-in period.

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    Overall sound impression:

    Natural is the correct word for the RE400. The iem plays the music as it should be, without over emphasizing one thing or the other. The Midrange section is for sure the best one. Bass, on the other hand, is a bit lacking and you need some break-into get some and some good isolation, especially the sub-bass region, very recessed out of the box.

    Final Impressions:

    Well presented, natural and consistent: a nice tiny package that is good for the price and everyday listening without worrying too much about special sources. Buy them if you like vocals and midrange oriented tracks, do not buy them if you are a strong basshead and you want a lot of boom out of the box. Nothing special in the accessories, but the flange selection is nice, something they added later i guess, with the carrying pouch, that is a generic one and not personalized in any way with the name of the company or logos. I really like to listen to ambient tracks on those, especially filled with female vocals.

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    PC + Fiio E07K @ Foobar 2000 FLACs

    Rockboxed Sandisk Sansa clip+

    LG G7 thinq with quad dac



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      H T T likes this.
    1. H T T
      Thank you for the thorough review. I don’t find the RE-400 lacking in bass. The RE-400, thankfully, does not have that annoying bass “slam” or artificial bass boost like so many other IEMs. Though the RE-400 is quite competent, I find the ($99) RE-600 to be much more refined alternative.
      H T T, Apr 30, 2019
    2. xxAMAROKxx
      xxAMAROKxx, May 2, 2019
  2. Moonstar
    Liquid and Relaxing like Water
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Sep 26, 2018
    Pros - Intimate and Emotional Vocal Presentation,
    Balanced Sound Signature,
    Fatigue Free Presentation,
    Very Lightweight and Comfortable,
    Lots of Ear Tips
    Cons - Sparkle,
    Treble Extension,
    Maybe too Neutral for Some
    Hifiman RE400 Waterline Review

    Liquid and Relaxing like Water

    About Hifiman:

    Hifiman was founded by Dr. Fang in New York - USA and is one of the most well-known personal audio companies in the audiophile word.

    Hifiman has a wide variety of Hi-Fi, Reference and Premium class products like Portable Audio Players, Planar Magnetic Headphones, Desktop Amplifiers and Earphones/In-Ear Monitors like the Hifiman RE400, which I will now review for you.



    I would like to thank Hifiman for providing me this sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Hifiman and/or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.


    The Hifiman RE400 is available for 49,00 USD.

    Package and Accessories:

    The Hifiman RE400 In-Ear Monitor comes in a small rectangular box, which has a semitransparent plastic housing.

    The box includes the following contents;

    • 1 pcs x Hifiman Re400 In-Ear Monitor
    • 7 pairs x Silicone Tips
    • 10 pcs x Nozzle Filters
    • 1 pcs x Shirt Clip
    • 1 pcs x Carry Pouch


    The RE400 comes with a wide variety of silicone tips and some of them have a very unique shape like the bi-flange tips on the pictures bellow.


    The carry pouch came separately, because the box is too small to carry all accessories. I think that Hifiman has added this carry pouch after some customer feedbacks.

    The box includes also 10 pcs of Filters, which should help to protect the earphone’s inner components from dust and earwax.


    Technical Specifications:

    • Driver Type : Single Dynamic Driver
    • Freq. range : 15 ~ 21000hz
    • Sensitivity : 102db
    • Impendence : 32ohm
    • Cable length : 1.33m
    • Plug : 3.5mm 3 Pole Unbalanced (TRS)

    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The Hifiman RE400 In-Ear Monitor has a pretty small and comfortable housing, which has a minimalistic design. The monitor housing is in silver color and is made of CNC machined metal that looks robust in my hands.


    There is a small vent on the housing that is necessary to balance the pressure inside the housing.

    On the front of the monitor is the sound nozzle that has a dust/earwax filter on the top, which can be replaced.


    The cable of the RE400 is fixed to the monitor and is protected by relative long plastic strain reliefs where you can find also the left and right markings.


    The cable of the RE400 is relative thin but and has a fabric coating which has pretty low microphonic effect. This fabric isolation goes up to the y splitter and the rest of the cable up to the strain relief is made of regular TPU material.


    The cable has a plastic Y splitter, which sport the Hifiman branding and there is also a small metal chin slider in silver color same as the housing.


    The Hifiman RE400 has a 3.5mm unbalanced 3 pole headphone jack with a 90 degree angled profile which is protected by a plastic housing.


    The RE400 is very ergonomic due to the small and lightweight housing, which makes it ideal for long listening periods and to wear even while sleeping. The noise isolation is pretty good for an In-Ear Monitor with such a small design and has blocked much of the noise in relative noise environments like bus, train etc.


    Equipment’s used for this review:

    IEM’s : Hifiman RE400, Shozy Hibiky, Meze 12 Classics
    DAP&DAC’s : Cayin N5II, Fiio M7, Chord Mojo, Xduoo XD10, Audirect Beam


    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    • First Aid Kit - My Silver Lining (Spotify)
    • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
    • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Minor Empire – BulbulumAltinKafeste (Spotify)
    • Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)

    The Sound:

    This review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 70 hours and I have used the stock bi-flange silicone ear tips.


    Sound Signature:

    The Hifiman RE400 is an In-Ear monitor with a relative balanced, slightly mid-centric sound signature. The overall tonality of this IEM is slightly on the warmer side of neutral and is ideal for long listening periods due the smooth and relaxing presentation.


    The bass of the Hifiman RE400 sounds pretty clean, controlled and very linear from the sub-bass up to the lower midrange and is nor bass-light neither bass-heavy in its presentation.

    When it comes to the sub-bass region of the RE400, it shows moderate depth and rumble with average extension, which makes it not so suitable for genres like Trance and Edm music, but is good enough for jazz and acoustic music.

    The midbass of the RE400 are tight, not very boomy and have the right quantity to add some warmness to the sound and to avoid a dull presentation. The bass speed is above average and has pretty good control for an IEM in this price category.


    The midrange of the RE400 is where it really shines. It sounds smooth, forgiving and pretty detailed, especially at this price range. The positioning of the midrange is what it differs from other In-Ear Monitors in the same price class, because it sounds neither too forward nor recessed.

    The overall presentation in the midrange is missing some transparency and is slightly veiled, which doesn’t sound unpleasant; on the contrary it gives the RE400 a special character. Both male and female vocals sounding quite emotional and pleasurable, especially female vocals have a more realistic presentation due to the brightness and sparkle, which comes from the upper midrange around 2-3 kHz. Male vocals are missing a slightly fullness and depth, due to the midbass / lower midrange tuning.

    The upper midrange of the Hifiman RE400 sounds pretty controlled with a fairly acceptable level of sibilance and harshness. The song "My Silver Lining" of the group "First Aid Kid" is one of my new reference tracks to measure the stress in the upper middle range, which can be caused by female vocals, where the RE400 has done a great job.

    The Hifiman RE400 sounds more realistic and successful with instruments such as guitars, drums and contrabass those have a relatively thicker tonality, than instruments like violins, flutes, etc. that are showing a thinner character.



    The treble range of the Hifiman RE400 is very linear and balanced like the rest of the spectrum. There is a slightly boost in the 6 kHz range that is adding some clarity and definition to the overall presentation and is avoiding hollowness.

    Some instruments like Hi Hats are slightly recessed, which makes it a bit too difficult to hear, while crash cymbals have a moderate extension. The Hi Hat cymbals are quite clear to hear in genres like Jazz, but harder to define in faster tracks like metal music.

    The overall detail level of the treble range is pretty good for this price tag and extension is on a moderate level which is acceptable for an entry level In-Ear Monitor. The treble tuning is very ideal for those who are looking for an IEM that is fatigue free and ideal for long listening periods.


    The soundstage of the Hifiman RE400 has moderate expansion, while the stage shows more wideness than depth. The stage has enough space to track the instruments in most types of music with low instrument quantities, but is not that suitable for songs with higher density, such as classical music.


    Hifiman RE400 vs Shozy Hibiki

    The Shozy Hibiki has more bass quantity than those of the Hifiman RE400 that shows a more linear bass response. The RE400 has less sub-bass rumble and depth than Hibiki with faster decay and less extension, while the RE400 is slightly faster and has better control.

    The midrange presentation of the Shozy Hibiki shows a more V shaped sound signature with a more recessed midrange. The midrange of the Hifiman RE400 is more forward and intimate than those of the Shozy Hibiki. The midrange of the Hibiki has also a brighter tonality with more presence that is adding additional sparkle to the timber of the Hibiki. This relative high peak around the 3-4 kHz makes the Shozy IEM prone to sibilance and can cause to ear fatigue. This was very noticeable in the song "My Silver Lining" of the group "First Aid Kid" where the Hifiman RE400 sounded much smoother and controlled than the Hibiki.

    The treble range of the Shozy Hibiki is brighter and more pronounced in the 8 kHz region which is increasing airiness and sparkle, while the Re400 has a more natural and linear treble presentation, which makes it to the more ideal IEM who prefer less brightness and more relaxing presentation.

    When it comes to the soundstage performance, the Hibiki shows more depth, while the difference for wideness is less noticeable, maybe slightly better with the Hibiki.


    Hifiman RE400 vs Meze Classics 12:

    The Meze Classics 12 has a more V shaped sound signature than those of the Hifiman RE400 with emphasizes to the lower and upper frequency regions. The sub-bass quantity and depth of this two IEM’s is nearly identical, while the RE400 has slightly better extension.

    The bass and midbass region of the Meze 12 Classics sounds fuller and has more impact than those of the RE400 with pretty equal speed and control.

    The midrange of the Meze 12 classics sounds more recessed than those of the RE400, which has a more intimate and emotional presentation for vocals. The boost in the upper midrange region around 2-3 kHz makes the RE400 more successful with female vocals and is adding slightly more detail without to be sibilant ant harsh.

    The treble range of the Meze 12 Classics has a noticeable boost around 4-6kHz with a peak at 5 kHz that is adding more brightness, air and crispiness compared to the RE400, which has a more linear tuning. The Meze 12 Classics has treble extensions, while the Hifiman RE400 has better control and offers a more fatigue free listening.

    The soundstage performance of those two IEM’s shows not a night and day difference. The Hifiman RE400 and Meze 12 Classics are performing head to head in terms of soundstage wideness, while the Meze 12 Classics has better depth performance.



    The Hifiman RE400 is very lightweight and comfortable to wear In-Ear Monitor with a smooth and relaxing presentation. The great vocal performance makes the RE400 to a real joy, especially with acoustic songs, while listeners who prefer more bass in their tracks will be less satisfied.

    Pros and Cons:

    • + Intimate and Emotional Vocal Presentation
    • + Balanced Sound Signature
    • + Fatigue Free Presentation
    • + Very Lightweight and Comfortable
    • + Lots of Ear Tips

    • - Sparkle
    • - Treble Extension
    • - Maybe too Neutral for Some
      hieple193, ValSilva and karanehir35 like this.
    1. ValSilva
      A good iem for the price, but with one of the worst cables ever made, at least to me :)
      ValSilva, Sep 26, 2018
    2. hieple193
      Nice review. Thanks. This seem like great option for Xiaomi Pro HD's upgrade
      hieple193, Oct 27, 2018
    Setting an example for everyone
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Apr 24, 2017
    Pros - price. neutrality.
    Cons - bass may be lacking for some


    ALL REVIEW ARE DONE @ SOULSIKREVIEWS.COM and more insightful review can be found on our site.


    If you are on a budget then you are in for some good luck because Hifiman re400 might be just for you. Hifiman claims this IEM to be the “waterline” IEM, which means, not only them but the industry should be doing THIS with 99 dollars. Bit of a big claim? But I must say, they deserve the big talk. The re400 is not only small and compact but brings you quality that you would see in much higher end IEMs.


    The Hifiman re400 was sent me for a review by audioexcellence, a audiophile store in Canada. As usual, my reviews are not bias in any way.

    ABOUT Hifiman

    HiFiMAN Electronics is a designer and manufacturer of audio products including headphonesamplifiers, and portable audio players. Hifiman is known for its high-end audio products made under the brand Mee Audio. Its most popular products include the HE-400 which are full sized open back headphones and the RE-400 which is an IEM (In Ear Monitor). Both products are supposedly critically acclaimed for their sound quality


    Divers: Titanium coated 8.5mm dynamic drivers

    Frequency: 15 – 22 Khz

    Sensitivity: 102 dB

    Impedance: 32 Ohms

    Cable length: 1.33m

    Plug: 3.5mm



    If you are in Canada, https://www.audioexcellence.ca/ is the place to go, not only for this product but for any hifi products, their price is competitive and ensures quality service. Their store is well worth a visit if you are located within the GTA.

    Internationally, amazon is your best bet far as I know.



    HOUSING: the housing is made of aluminum and is very small and compact.


    Cable: the cable is fabricated cable up to point of the splitter and then it is

    rubber/plastic material from then on. The slider is metal, which is very nice touch. It terminates in a 3.5mm gold plated right angled jack.


    Accessories: A lot of tips for any fit, however I found the comply foams to be the best. A very nice hard carrying case that is practical in size and portability is included. There are also extra filters in case you damage the filters with earwax, which is a nice touch and shows that HIFIMAN wants you to keep the IEM for a longer time.


    Overall, the build quality is exceptional for 99 dollars. From drivers to the accessories, it screams quality. Also, the isolation and fit was perfect for me. There is 2 ways to wear it. Straight in or over the ear (found the 2nd fit to eliminate any microphonic)


    This IEM would be something I would recommend my university friends that are not audiophiles because of its cheap price point and what you get for it. With the comply foams, there was much more isolation, however even with the normal tips included with the re400s, the sound isolation was enough to be used in quiet places like the library and loud places like the gym.


    GENERAL: These are neutral sounding IEMs. The bass is not as extended as modern bass heads might like it, and this might be a turn off for some people. However, the fact that you can hear the music you love, the way it was recorded, the way it was supposed to be heard for 99 dollars, is something to appreciate. If you are like me and listens to almost anything, these are perfect. You can hear these for hours and hours without any problem because there are no sibilant highs or no booming bass that might bother you in long listening sessions. Everything is clear and represented “the way they are supposed to be”

    Sound Stage: the sound stage is very intimate, which may be a good thing for some and a turn off for others. Again, priced at 99 dollars, these are exceptional in sound stage and imaging.

    Final Thoughts

    Hifiman re400 really did amaze me with its price to performance ratio. I wish to see more budget iems like these in the future. I truly believe they deserve the title of “waterline.” 

    1. Hi-Fi'er
      You may like the Ostry KC06A even more that are sub $100 which almost sound like the RE-600 and more mid forward if the RE-400 impress, they just more bass but not by a lot. I call the Ostry's HIFIMAN on steroids compared to my RE-600's. Give them a try. They won't disappoint you. I have both and love them equally.
      Hi-Fi'er, Apr 24, 2017
  4. flognarde
    Smooth and well balanced IEM's
    Written by flognarde
    Published Jul 13, 2016
    Pros - Delicate and trully musical, timbres, fatigueless
    Cons - Very slightly warm sounding, not as spacious as other's
    I am only listening to acoustic music, So I had no issue with the amount of bass (only plugged to my FIIO X5II, Flac, APE, Highres and DSD files). Even though they are not as tight as on my Shure's Se425 they are well balanced with the rest of the spectrum.
    Slightly on the warm side but perfectly balanced, not in the face , musical, smooth apart from a little peak on the high mids, they have an amazing respect for the timbres, which is for me the main point.
    The relative lack of definition participate to how "liquid" the music is just like in concert. Everything is integrated in a delightfull way, not much sticks out.
    On some tracks I was expecting a little bit more dynamics but I have never heard a pair of IEM's that accomodate so many different style of recordings. 
    Bought second hand (perfect condition) for 40€, it's the bargain of the century.
    Higly recommended for classical music lovers.
  5. DivineCurrent
    These sound better than $500 IEMs
    Written by DivineCurrent
    Published Jun 25, 2016
    Pros - Smooth neutral sound, amazing soundstage, very detailed yet not fatiguing at all.
    Cons - Supplied ear tips may not get a comfortable seal.
    Where do I start? These honestly sound like the HD600/650 in IEM form. My previous go to IEM was the Klipsch X10 ($100), followed by the Klipsch X20i ($539). What is amazing, is that the RE-400 sound smoother, are more realistic, have better treble extension, AND have better soundstage than the X20i. And these cost just $79! I am continually impressed by these the more I listen to them. They seem to work with every genre too. For classical, they bring out every instrument texture to make them sound realistic. For pop and EDM, they have decent impact and sub bass extension, but are not for bassheads. I would describe them as neutral, and very slightly warm. Some may say they don't have good sub bass, but I disagree. If you are used to Hifiman's planars like the HE-400i and HE-560, you will notice these have extremely similar bass presentation. Mids are fantastic, very realistic and right where they sound be. Maybe slightly elevated compared to most IEMs, but only very slightly. Treble is so smooth, no peaks at all. I must say, the tonal balance is smoother and more realistic than many over ear headphones such as the Beyer DT800 and T1, Hifiman HE-400i, and Shure SRH-940, and sound very similar to the Sennheiser HD600/650 in the mid and treble regions.
    The only con I can think of is the supplied ear tips may not fit people with smaller ear canals like me. The smallest size is ok for me, but doesn't seal as well as foam tips, and the next size up is too big. So I ordered Comply foam tips (the TS-400 size) and hopefully those will get a better seal. However, even without the best seal, it doesn't seem to affect the sound that much, because they already sound fantastic. 
    Considering these sound significantly more balanced and natural than what the Klipsch IEMs have to offer, at under the $100 price point, is a huge accomplishment in my book. You probably wont find a better sounding audiophile IEM under $100, or maybe even up to $300. I wouldn't be surprised if these match the performance of the king of dynamic IEMs, the Sennheiser IE800. Hifiman sure knew what they were doing with these, and I can't recommend them highly enough!
      flognarde and BrunoC like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. seanwee
      klipsch are crap in terms of price/performance ratio so no surprise there.
      seanwee, Jun 25, 2016
    3. DivineCurrent
      @seanwee yeah, they really are aren't they? I never realized just how outperformed they are until i tired the RE-400. Guess ill have to try other brands instead.
      DivineCurrent, Jun 25, 2016
    4. xxAMAROKxx
      xxAMAROKxx, May 2, 2019
  6. chuck8403
    Easy to recommend
    Written by chuck8403
    Published Mar 31, 2016
    Pros - Good balanced sound, Solid build, Comfortable
    Cons - No in-line controls
    Source: Macbook 12 with Audioquest DragonFly v1.2
    Comfort and Construction:
    Overall the comfort level was good to me for an in-ear monitor. The key is to correctly size the inserts. Cord length is good for this type of ear monitor. Ended into a 1/4” plug with a 45 degree angl. For use on an iPhone or iPod, this may be a slight distraction. The cord is sturdy. Seemed to have good thickness without being too thick. There are no controls on the cord. This could be a deal-breaker for some.
    Overall, the RE-400 has a good sound. The highs are crisp and detailed. The mids are solid. It does lack base, but most in-ear monitors will be the same. Isolation is good for an in-ear monitor. No active noise cancellation, but with a good fit using the correct inserts, the isolation is satisfactory. I was impressed with the clarity of these. Good sound separation.
    Easy to recommend if you are looking for a reasonably priced in-ear monitor. Good sound and comfort. Need to decide if the angled plug will detract or lack of in-line control forces another choice.
  7. drez
    Excellent at any price
    Written by drez
    Published Feb 9, 2016
    Pros - flat frequency response, excellent timbre, quick, very clean decay, inexpensive, comfortable, discrete fit, impact, not BA, responds well to EQ
    Cons - benefits from EQ, not much high treble extension
    A bit of background:
    I have never really been that into portable gear.  I have already sunk a lot of money into my home setup, it is more comfortable to use than in ears, more conducive to critical listening, and generally I like to be aware of my surroundings when walking around in public.  I am however well past the point of diminishing returns with my home setup, and occasionally its nice to tune out from the unpleasantness of public transport, plane travel etc. and still have an acceptably engaging and truthful sound quality from portable equipment.
    In any case I am used to over ear desktop sound.  Relative to my desktop gear in the price range I am looking at is compromised in one way or another.  More often than not with multi balanced armature in ear monitors there are certain colourations due to the BA drivers themselves, crossovers, peaks and dips in frequency response.  More often than not the BA headphones I have tried exhibit an airy sound quality that sounds nice and detailed, have excellent separation and detail.  More often than not though you know you are listening to a multi BA earphone.  The JH Layla was an exception, showing little of the usual BA colourations (not airy or soft), having excellent dynamic impact and incredible imaging.  Eventually though I tired from the lack of micro detail resolution and poor fit, and incredible local cost (our currency in Australia has dropped in value).  I sold them and went back to my Westone 4's.
    Anyway the trend with multi BA earphones seems to be stacking more and more drivers to develop a more forceful detail presentation and dynamic impact, and get away from that sort of vapid airy BA sound.  This however is very costly and more often than not still results in peaks and dips and phase irregularities and other colourations to the sound.  Coupled with the weakening Australian dollar, chasing high sound quality using multi BA based earphones is getting expensive.
    Recently my Westone 4's died, so I went on a search for replacements.  I tried a lot of the new multi BA options.  They are making progress in sound however IMO are still quite compromised in sound quality versus full sized earphones.  I also tried some of the new extremely expensive dynamic in ears (I won't mention names).  They had some nice qualities but again have substantial coloration to the sound mostly due to uneven frequency response and ringing distortions.  I am always happy to see new research and development in dynamic in ears but I don't fancy spending big money on (still) flawed products.
    Now to my review:
    I think my demo of the HifiMan RE-400 was one of the fastest purchasing decisions I have made.  Compared to the other in ears I was testing, they just sounded so "right" with a flat midrange and such natural timbres!  I have had other similarly quick demos but those mostly involve me ripping headphones off my head because of how badly coloured they are, but that is another story.  RE-400's were clearly the most faithful earphones I had heard that day regardless of price (I had listened some earphones costing 20x the price of RE-400!)
    Anyway I think it is customary to break reviews down into sections, maybe BASS, MIDS, TREBLE etc. so I might do the same:
    BASS:  Flat.  Not elevated or rolled.  Just flat down to 20 Hz like a planar.  Tight.  Not boomy.  Detailed.  Acoustic.  Fast.  A little shy when not driven with enough power.  Excellent.
    MIDS:  No peaks or dips.  Clear.  Perfect timbre.  Fast and clean.  Resolving - this is not the same kind of (overly) airy sense of resolution you get with BA earphones, and subjectively there is not as much finer microdetail as some of the multi BA solutions, but the overall faithfulness of timbre is higher and resolution is hardly lacking*.  *Actually I think part of the subjective impression of resolution might be down to the frequency balance which I will discuss that later.
    TREBLE:  Good timbre, moderately good extension.  I can still make out all the cymbals and acoustic instruments all sound remarkably lifelike.  There is some lack of air due to rolloff in the high treble.  Mid treble also needs some boosting with EQ.  I added +6dB centered at 6kHz and +10dB centered at 16kHz, however you may find different adjustments more to your taste.
    I use these earphones with my Sony ZX2 DAP, which from experience may be slightly lacking the power to make the bass wake up but, interestingly the RE-400 are not holding back this high end DAP. The RE-400 will improve with better gear such as Chord's Mojo, or even some other higher powered DAPs.  The RE-400s are incredibly transparent and revealing.  Colourations in source components or amplifiers are laid bare.  They are not harsh (though there is some very slight sibilance splash).  Yes it makes sense to use this (USD) $100 earphone with high end portable gear like Chord Mojo, Sony ZX2, Astell & Kern AK240 etc.
    I mostly listen to classical and jazz, however I still listen to some heavy metal.  With classical and jazz the technical prowess of these earphones is hard to beat at any price.  For heavy metal, the technical ability and truthfulness is usually also good, however poorly recorded material will sound however it sounds.  I can just back off the treble EQ to compensate if the recording is too harsh for high volume listening.  When playing acoustic music you want to be able to appreciate the full performance in all it's nuance and dynamics.  Timbres are very convincing.
    Anyway I could continue to waffle about the technical ability of this earphone, however at the end of the day it will be up to the listener and his gear, music and tastes to determine if they like this earphone or not.  I almost overlooked these earphones, firstly because of the price (I think many others do as well), but secondly because I was not aware of just how good they are regardless of lack of hype.  I am sure that the few listeners with good ears who have discovered these gems are happy that their performance is not widely hyped.  It's a small miracle that this level of sound quality can be found for so little money, especially considering the general trend in the market towards more costly designs.  I recommend for everyone to try these earphones, especially audiophiles who value neutral, transparent, and low distortion sound.  Do NOT make the mistake to overlook these earphones because of the low price.
      voxie likes this.
  8. krelianx
    Ruined by lack of bass response
    Written by krelianx
    Published Nov 9, 2015
    Pros - Beautiful midrange, tonality, no sibilance, smooth, mellow treble
    Cons - Severely lacking in bass response, build quality, narrow soundstage, lack clarity
    Unfortunately, I find these to be the most overrated iems going on the market at present. Anybody who claims that these have sufficient bass response are just deluding themselves, or others. They are extremely bass shy, to the point where it just ruins the music. I also own the Trinity Deltas, Vsonics vsd3s, and senns cx-300ii; and the Hd-600s and Fidelio x1 for full sized cans. Even next to the hd-600 which is hardly 'bassy' is not lacking in this department, while the re-400s are just deflated there. Such a shame.

    The midrange is lush and smooth, and the treble is just right. The soundstage is very narrow, however, and the presentation lacks clarity and transparency. Also, the build quality is truly terrible: the wire  from the Y split to the driver casing is very thin and the actual connection to the case is weak (it separated barely 6 months into usage). The tip assortment is fine, with the Comply Foam tips giving it a bit of extra bass hump it sorely needs. However, they make the presentation even narrower and more congested than it already is. Sillicon tips uniformly give the same bassless response.

    These are horrendously overrated.
      DAVID_54 likes this.
    1. Deviltooth
      I loved the sound, bought two pairs and both died the same way.  One side failed.  Considering how many earphones I've bought (both less and more expensive than the RE-400s) that have had no problems I've resolved to avoid HiFiMan from now on.  They're great at tuning but their build quality and quality control is sub-par.
      Deviltooth, Nov 9, 2015
    2. Redcarmoose
      I think these builds may start to be a thing of the past? How HiFiMan can get away with this level of build quality is beyond me. This style of quality could be tolerated 5 years ago. Now you have $16 Piston 3 headphones which are built 10x better. It's not just that the HiFiMans always failed right at the mini-plug, but if not there, a driver would always fail on one side in time. These issues are not a question of if, but when. It's a quality that should put a product on a flag list of some type. Audio-fools, I mean audiophiles are a strangely forgiving group at times like this.
      Redcarmoose, Nov 10, 2015
    3. krelianx
      These made me single-handedly doubt the entire audiophile verdict. These are simply mediocre, the build is indeed atrocious. And though the tonality is quite natural, you simply can't justify the lack of bass without ignoring the visceral quality of the music. 
      krelianx, Nov 14, 2015
  9. AvidlyEclectic
    Sound is worth $300, build quality is worth $20
    Written by AvidlyEclectic
    Published Jul 2, 2015
    Pros - Absolutely heavenly sound. Unbeatable at this price point
    Cons - Build quality on my unit is a joke. Cable is falling apart 2 days in.
    ***This is a tl;dr: review. please refer to other reviews for a more in-depth analysis on their amazing sound.***

    For $100, you simply won't be getting anything better sound-wise than these cans, and a lot of happy owners will back me on this one. The mids are heavenly, the treble is smooth yet detailed, and the bass is tight and accurate. However, don't buy them just yet. The build quality is not up to scratch. In fact, when I asked the saleslady for these cans, she immediately suggested that I get it recabled from the get go. How I wish I took her advice. Barely 48 hours in and the cable on the right earpiece is fraying, just below the strain relief. The copper has gotten exposed, and while photos might not do them justice, and while $100 is relatively cheap in audiophilia, it is ridiculous that they are showing signs of tear 2 days in.Absolute let-down. Granted, YMMV, and I might have gotten a faulty unit because some owners have owned them for years and theirs are still apparently alive; however, if you plan to use them on the go or while exercising, look somewhere else, or get them recabled.

    I will update this review if my unit breaks. It's a shame really, I dig the sound so much. If they do break, I'll definitely be getting them recabled at cost. I dig the sound that much. Photo of the fraying cable below.

      G_T_J likes this.
    1. lin0003
      They sound good for $100, but they are easily outclassed by the Titan 1. I actually didn't have those build quality issues with mine though, maybe you can send them in for warranty? 
      lin0003, Jul 2, 2015
    2. getclikinagas
      @AvidlyEclectic : I haven't had issues with my pair (over 1.5 years now) save a slight nick at the Y split. If you are a careful user, RMA them, and if they last for more than 7-8 months,you've probably received a good pair. BTW, where will you be doing the re-cabling, if needed?
      Hi @lin0003. Love your reviews.
      I feel the RE400 and Titan 1 differ in their base signature(Mid forward vs Slight V), which makes it difficult for me to place one over the other (personal sig preferences aside)
      getclikinagas, Jul 2, 2015
    3. AvidlyEclectic
      @lin0003 I wish I could, but I'm from the Philippines and sending it to hifiman will easily cost as much as the iem itself. I'll try my luck at the store I bought them from though.

      @getclikinagas just the local audiophile store I bought it from, Egghead. I think the owner has a head-fi account.
      AvidlyEclectic, Jul 2, 2015
  10. drambit
    Mediocre IEMs for a mediocre price
    Written by drambit
    Published May 15, 2015
    Pros - Excellent mids, decent price
    Cons - bad sibilance, comically weak bass, unattractive, poor build quality, not very comfortable, microphonics
    I bought these in early May based on nearly unanimous recommendation from people on a bunch of websites, and I must say they don't live up to their reputation. Some of the common things people pointed out were that they are excellent for the price, they have great mids, and they have bad build quality, the bass could be better, and that they are great for all genres. Most of these points definitely stand up, I don't think I have ever heard better mids in my life, they are fairly cheap, but to me they have nothing else going for them. The bass isn't just leaving more to desired, it is so bad it makes some genres hard to listen to, it is almost comically weak, more like a tickle than a punch. They aren't especially neutral, they are just very mid heavy. I guess it sounds neutral at first glance, but the lows are extremely recessed, and the highs aren't very sparkly, they also have bad sibilance in a lot of cases. It is basically the opposite of the classic "V-shaped" sound signature, whereas normally mids are recessed and there is too much emphasis on lows and high, these have way too much emphasis on mids and bad lows and highs. They also definitely don't work for all genres. When listening to classical instrument seperation suffers, soundstage seriously suffers, bass suffers, highs suffer, and volume suffer. For metal the vocals are amazing but a lot of the rythm is lost in the weak bass, funk is amazingly smooth and probably the best genre for these, for techno in general they are terrible due to the bass problems, although as usual vocals stand out and are excellent. 
    In terms of physical qualities they aren't great either. They look quite cheap, which is the downside of their otherwise nice minimalistic style, the 3.5mm jack is very obviously low quality, as someone who fixes headphones on a regular basis that stand out like a sore thumb, the cord definitely also feels a bit flimsy and I don't expect it to last long. If you don't wrap your earphones around the back of your ear these suffer from constant annoying microphonics leaving you with no obvious choice except to wrap the, but they also have a tendency for the wire to constantly fall off my ears, which can get very frustrating at times. The sound isolation is mediocre, nothing really to complain about but also not worthy of praise, I often have to bring the volume up a lot compared to where I normally do with IEMs. The choice of included tips is strange to me, there is a bunch of flanged ones that scratch and irritate the inside of my ears, there is ones that are way too small, ones that are way too large, and only one set that is similar to what is normally included with all IEMs which is medium sized rubber tips, but it's still not exactly the same it's like a half flange, the tip is two different sizes but it isn't separated, 
    In conclusion, I definitely do not recommend these earphones. I have had 40 dollar Sony earphones perform twice as well as these for less than half the price, and they lasted me almost 2 years, where these apparently have a tendency to fail after only a few months. These are an exceptionally mediocre pair of earphones with a huge list of major downsides that are only redeemed at all by the excellent mid range performance.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. krelianx
      Must say I agree. Anyone who says these are anything but very bass-shy they are deluding themselves, or others. The treble is also quite mellow, and not very well extended. The mids are great, but overall the sound profile is congested, dull, with a cavernous soundstage. The build is pretty bad as well. These are the most overrated earphones I have heard.
      krelianx, Oct 26, 2015
    3. harry501
      I agree with you, I marvelled at the detail i was hearing but in time it started hurting my ears how clinical these sound... very cold. The bass is heard but very very low. i also wear AKG K451s which are bass heavy and very warm, which i like but i was fed up wearing them in hot weather. Sadly when i go back to them it makes the 400s sound so much weaker and boring sounding. Cable noise is horrendous. I too got suckered in with the insanely high reviews
      harry501, Feb 7, 2016
    4. flognarde
      Sibilance on these ? You must be joking or having recieved a broken pair ! These highs are one of the smoothest ever heard on IEM's . Unatractive ? Are you talking about my mother ?... let's say discrete and let them desappear... Give them a decent source on a decent amp/dac and you might change your mind?
      flognarde, Jul 13, 2016
      G_T_J likes this.


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