HiFiMan RE2000

General Information

RE2000 is the finest IEM ever produced by HiFIMAN and is the company’s first IEM with removable cables. The Topology diaphragm, combined with extensive testing, allows the sound waves to encounter the listener’s ear precisely as the recording engineer intended. Housed in brass, the unique shape of the RE2000 provides remarkable comfort and isolation allowing the listener to enjoy them for hours on end.

Using a 9.2mm dynamic driver in a rigid gold-plated, brass housing, RE2000 has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, sensitivity of 103dB and impedance of 60 ohms. The detachable cable is comprised of silver coated crystalline copper wire.


Latest reviews

Pros: Wonderful airy sound, impressive positional accuracy, detachable non proprietary cable
Cons: Cheap construction material, very large and awkward shaped, unable to be used with small ears


Hifiman is one of those companies that isn’t afraid to push boundaries of price when it comes to their products; and their newest flagship offering, RE2000 (silver), is no exception at $1,500 ($2,000 for the 24k gold version). Though an iem costing $1,500 is something I’m not unfamiliar with, from memory, I can’t think of any that I’ve personally experienced that only utilize a single driver. I’ve now had these beauties for a week now and would like to share my thoughts and impressions of them with you.


A little about me

I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even my YouTube “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

I'm a firefighter for both the civilian and military sector and the cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

I enjoy fishing and relaxing to audio products and then reviewing them to help others decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/review feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

My ideal signature are that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

Equipment used at least some point during the review

-Sources

-LG V20/HP Pavilion

-Playing Pandora, YouTube, and various format personal music

Disclaimer

I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. They were kind enough to send me a product for an arranged amount of time in exchange for my honest opinion. I am making no monetary compensation for this review.

The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.

The Opening Experience
Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?


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Construction

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The build quality of the Hifiman RE2000 (silver) is adequate but not reflective of the premium price tag. From what I can tell, the entire frame of the RE2000 (silver), which is quite bulky, is made from a regular plastic material throughout. I fully understand that plastic is the way of today and it’s a rarity to find a product, regardless of price, to use more premium materials but I still feel an earphone costing approximately $1,500 is one that should . Regardless, the frame is well made with the only seperation of the plastic being the front plate that holds the innards of the iem in place. Though this is a small piece of the overall whole, I wish the seam would have been more seamless with the frame than the snap in front used. I feel if this would have been in place then regardless of the plastic frame the overall appearance would have been more premium.

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Moving down, the cord is detachable which is a HUGE plus that I will continuously advocate for. Additionally, Hifiman uses a regular 2pin connector instead of a proprietary one which further allows the consumer to either upgrade their cable to one they prefer or replace the existing one if it were to become damaged. In regards to the cable itself, I don’t have any qualms about it. The RE2000 (silver) uses a tubular sleeve the encloses the cables from damage and from my time with them they’re fairly tangle resistant as well. Truthfully, other than the bland look, I actually don’t have anything bad to say about the cable.

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To conclude my thoughts on the Hifiman RE2000’s (silver) construction, I find them to be moderately acceptable. I definitely can’t see myself bragging about the build quality for there's several examples, that are cheaper and much more premium (Beyerdynamic and RCA made it work beautifully with their Xelento and CL2 products respectably) but I don’t foresee RE2000 (silver) easily breaking either.


Comfort

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So we now have the RE2000 (silver) in our ears; so how do they feel? Well, they’re big. As in my wife, who granted does have small ears, was completely unable to get them in her ears at all. I on the other hand have some pretty large ears so I was able to get them in fine but never forgot they were there. The cable that wraps around the ear usually found a way to not stay behind it which is solved by the sleeve that Hifiman included with the RE2000’s so if you don’t mind using that then you’re all good.

The horn is that of the most common size that I see on universal iem’s so finding aftermarket tips, if the 5 different ones included don’t suit your fancy, shouldn’t be much of an issue. For this review I utilized Comply memory foam tips so that the included tips remain new and unaltered for other tour users as well as for pictures. But during my time I found that the RE2000’s isolation was moderate. It toned out a lot of what was around me but I never had to struggle to hear my surroundings (still highly advise against wearing them walking where traffic is of close proximity to you).

In summary, I find the RE2000’s (silver) comfort to be acceptable but only to people who have average ear canal size and above average concha (the area immediately surrounding the ear canal) size.


Sound

Before I start this section. It should go without saying but though I link YouTube videos when I’m giving examples, this is for convenience only. If applicable, I HIGHLY encourage you to listen to the music I’m referencing on as high a quality as possible to experience the fullest sound possible.

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We’re finally here, to the area you arguably care the most about, the sound quality. So how does the Hifiman RE2000 (silver) sound? Overall I say they have a V shaped sound signature that eaves more towards the cold side. The level of separation that the RE2000 (silver) command is incredible especially with them only being a single driver. When listening to larger orchestra pieces such as “Crescent Moon Dance” by Akito Matsuda or “He’s A Pirate” By Hans Zimmer, you can very impressively identify where each of the instrument sections are and, on high quality recordings, even where the individual instruments are to a degree.

Something that I immediately noticed when I first pushed play with these is the airiness sound that comes from them. Listen to the song “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. Everything in the ensemble just sounds so open and free. When the trumpets come in especially the extension is unhaltered and just natural sounding that I couldn’t help but close my eyes and just enjoy the performance.

So overall, the sound quality of the Hifiman RE2000 (silver) is the focal point of focus from Hifiman. But how about the individual characteristics of the sound?


Treble


The highs of the Hifiman RE2000 (silver) are wonderful. They control wonderful extension yet have a rolloff just before it becomes uncomfortable. When you also take into account the airiness of the sound I mentioned earlier, if your enjoy a more treble focused sound then I think you’ll greatly find yourself at home with the RE2000 (silver). 2 pieces that I found that I really enjoyed that I believe show my feelings are “Love’s Sorrow” by Rachmaninov and “Waltz (piano solo here)by Tchaikovsky.


Mids


As stated in the opening paragraph of this section, the RE2000 (silver) overall possesses a V-Shaped sound signature that edges towards the cold side. With that being said the mids are somewhat recessed; in particularly male vocals. A song that came up in my playlist that couldn’t have been timed better is “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins. When listening to this song, notice how though Atkins’ voice and instruments are very clear they sound like they’re somewhat take the background to the rest of the soundband. A similar reference but on the female vocal side is “Glassy Sky” by Donna Burke. Each instrument, from the shaker to the piano, sounds beautiful and clean, as does Burke, but comparatively she sounds like she’s not the focus when played through the RE2000 (silver).

Make no mistake, though the mids on the RE2000 (silver) is recessed with respect to the rest of the soundband, that takes no skill or merit away from them. The sense of body and fleshiness of skin is very much present. Look no further than “Grandma’s Hands” by Livingston Taylor or the incredible instrumental drums present in the Hu’s “Wolf Totem” and you’ll understand what I mean.


Bass


The heartbeat of the music. The rhythm and pace. And goodness does the RE2000 (silver) possess a strong heartbeat. Now, I wouldn’t call these bass heavy per say but I would certainly believe they’d satisfy the majority of peoples bass needs. The lows are heavy and impactful but not enough to have the sub bass feels. The speed and control is phenomenal. From Timmy Trumphet’s “Oracle” to “Rasputin” by SLC, the bass is fast with very little decay but still hard hitting.

I listed a lot of techno music for it’s representation of depth and speed but don’t think that the RE2000 can’t do true instruments as well. One piece in particular combines the bass capabilities as well as the body I mentioned earlier in the review, and that’s “Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo” by Bela Fleck And The Flecktones. The bass guitar hovers just under the RE2000’s subbass capabilities but still delivers the very low note and you can almost feel the plucks of the strings. So, minus the lack of subbass, I find the RE2000 (silver) to have a rather nice bass presence.


Conclusion



To conclude my thoughts of the Hifiman RE2000 (silver), I find them to be appropriate in their price range of $1,500. During my time with them I quickly realized that Hifiman focus their effort quite extensively on the sound of the RE2000 (silver) for, to me and my personal opinion, their construction quality and comfort fell quite subpar of the premium price tag they’re asking for. Also, the “carrying” case that Hifiman includes with the RE2000 (silver) is impractical at best for you have to remove the foam cutout to have the iems and cord barely fit inside it.

Aside from the disappointing handshake I initially received from the RE2000 (silver) once I actually listened to what they had to offer I found that they performed with the skill and competency that earns respect. From the positional accuracy to the airness highs to the tight bass the RE2000 (silver) perform to a degree that is appropriate of the Summit-Fi price tag.






Also, make sure to check out my unboxing and review videos. They’re pretty awesome AND you getta put a face to the Army-Firedawg name. If this review helped you out at all please hit that thumbs up button for it really helps me out a lot. Till next time my friends, stay safe.
Pros: Musical but with details, solid full bass with excellent PRaT. Works well with all genres of music.
Cons: A bit big. Some may not enjoy the slightly emphasized and lively, but not bloated, low end.
My impressions of the RE2000 Silver.

As part of the HiFiman RE2000 tour, I was asked to write down a review or impressions of my time with these earphones. I’ve use them for a solid three weeks, with a light rotation of some other earphones to keep the RE2000 sounding fresh and unique to my ears. They will soon be going on to the next person on the tour.

The RE2000’s are a lively and enjoyable pair of reference earphones. They are very musical but also exhibit details to keep things interesting. Low end is full and has rumble and punch when needed. Mids make both male vocals and especially female vocals sound very natural. Tremble is airy and extended but never harsh. Soundstage is wide and they go deep. The signature is not dark, but rather warmish and to me close to neutral. There is an extra kick on the bottom end to keep things lively, PRaT is solid. Clarity is perfect with these, every sound is heard in your music, with little if any distortion. In rock music guitars have crunch. In modern pop and electronica, the low end has punch and is rich, vocals have emotion. In indie music the vocals and acoustic guitars sound lively and engaging. In classical orchestral music, the music is grand and full with strings and cymbals sounding natural. In jazz the timbre of the instruments is perfect.

The RE2000’s fit very nicely into my medium sized ears, giving good sound blockage and a decent seal. Tips I used were the Final Audio E Type ear tips, which worked very well with the RE2000’s and helped with the seal. I found that any good copper cable works well, balanced gives it an extra edge. The unbalanced tube amp DX220amp9 is truly excellent, making the rich bottom end and the natural mids melt into your ears. Truly a great combo. The Sony NW-WM1A was also an excellent pairing.

Some comparisons:

Vs the Campfire Audio Atlas – The Atlas has a deeper low end, and a wider sound stage. The RE2000 have better PRaT, slight mid bass bump for that extra bass sound. Playing something like the Clash’s Guns on the Roof, one feels that the sound, although lively with both earphones, it just has an extra kick with the RE2000. Details sound great on both, but the Atlas does have the bigger sound stage, as stated.

Vs. Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus - The Zeus is brighter and more detailed, it’s also a multi-BA driver vs a Dynamic driver. Nothing unexpected. The RE2000 is more musical and gives a better since of coherency to the sound. Personal preference here. The Massdrop is quite the bargain for it’s selling point, but the RE2000 is a better bargain for it’s current asking price.

Vs the Beyerdynamic Xelento – The RE2000 have a bigger sound with fuller mids and thicker bass. The Xelento’s are another single dynamic and are a pleasure to wear for the fit and lightness of the earphone. The RE2000 is much bigger and doesn’t fit quite as well, but IMHO, they sound better with a bigger and livelier sound.

Other thoughts:

To me the star of the show is it’s striking low end which takes nothing away from the rest of the signature. As mentioned, it has a full low end that gives a nice thump to your music. With something like Bowie’s classic Fashion, the club dance beat is balanced perfectly with those soaring but smooth guitars. None of this taking away from Bowie’s fantastic vocals.

Any negatives:

The RE2000’s are a bit big, and some with smaller ears may not get the best fit. Some may not enjoy the fun musical signature and prefer a more clinical or balanced signature. Some may even perceive the clear and full bass as a weakness in the sound, yet it is fairly close to the sound of many bands that I have seen live.

The RE2000’s are a great set of earphones and highly recommended, especially at the current price.
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Pros: Unique topology drivers
-Clear and uncompromising sound
Cons: Build quality could be more premium
-Price gap between gold & silver
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Hifiman RE2000 / RE2000 Silver: Straight forward

Hifiman is one of the largest manufacturers in portable audio, especially for producing high-quality planar headphones. While they were continuously presenting a series of new headphones, they've been rather quiet in their in-ear products until last year, presenting RE2000 and RE800 in both gold and silver variations.

I visited Japan's Fujiya-Avic headphone show and got to try both models which left we a very positive experience. It was also great to see Fang Bian, the founder of Hifiman. Having some talk with him and the team, I got to know some introductory info for Hifiman product as well as the technologies behind the IEMs. Having that said, let's get into the review, covering both RE2000 Gold and RE2000 Silver.





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Packaging

Since the different gap, there is also a quality gap in the packaging too. RE2000 comes in with a weighty leather finished packaging, labeled with a metal plate in front of it.

RE2000 Silver comes in an ordinary box packaging, but it's still nicely presented and both are provided with identical accessories. Other than the earphones, there follow 2 pairs of double flanged tips, 2 pairs of triple flanged tips, 2 pairs of another double flanged tips, a pair of earguides, a metal case, and some paperwork.





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Earpieces

The shell feels a bit plasticky, though I much enjoy the look on these. The manly-looking outer shape somewhat resembles the Hifiman logo while the inner part is shaped nice and round. As said before, RE2000 is available in two variations, RE2000 (Gold) and RE2000 Silver. RE2000 has a 24k gold coating applied to the outer shell while RE2000 Silver is coated with silver.





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Topology drivers

Both RE2000 and RE2000 Silver houses a single 9.2mm topology dynamic driver. It's no surprise for Hifiman to use a single DD rather than BA drivers since they've always been creating their own planar and dynamic drivers. They state it clear that they aren't into BA driver due to its inadequacies and distortions, as well as ordinary dynamic drivers for distortion and unwanted vibrations.

Due to these reasons, Hifiman created a special variation of dynamic drivers and featured RE2000 IEMs with a new technology called the Topology Diaphragm. Topology diaphragm refers to a driver coated with a unique nano coating which is distributed in a specific geometric pattern or thickness. Hifiman claims that varying the shape, pattern, and thickness of this geometric coating will manipulate the sound signature and characteristics, making them possible to achieve the specific sound they're looking for.





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Cable

Cables are made of crystalline silver-plated copper wires for both IEMs. Hifiman included additional 2pin sockets and pins, in case the original connectors from the stock cable has been damaged. These additional parts can be also used when you're looking to get these IEMs a new custom cable.

Ordinary CIEM 2pin (0.78mm) connectors work completely fine with these, though using the original connector sockets and pins would provide a seamless fit and aesthetics. RE2000 has an L-shaped 3.5mm jack while RE2000 Silver has a straight 3.5mm jack. I also like that they've matched the color for the Y-split and the jack.





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Sound Impressions - RE2000 Silver

RE2000 Silver aims for an analytical yet adequately musical sound, forming a slightly w-shaped signature.

Lows dive deep, dense in presentation, and always keep the reverbs very clean. The solid bass has a large, lively thud but doesn't get too aggressive or rushing into the face. The sub-bass quantity is similar to typical v-shaped IEMs. Ultra lows show smaller quantity though doesn't compromise in clearly presenting them. It actually does a great job revealing the dark and thick feeling that comes from the ultra lows with its small quantity.

Mids takes a small step forward from the other frequencies, though not to the point I'd call that it's clearly bulged out. It's pulled forward in a very natural way, not interrupting the imaging but definitely feels like it's presented closer than the highs and lows. Thickness is just about neutral, being suitable for both male and female vocals. The vocals tend to keep the atmosphere airy and slightly levitated from the bass. It doesn't really get thick in presentation but always keep things transparent and opened, which I could definitely feel that they're trying to portray the similar sound characteristics from their planar headphones.





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Highs continue with the airy and levitated presentation, though the quantity is slightly lesser than the mids and keep the texture crisper. The brightness is neutral or slightly dimmed, making it ideal for a long time listening without causing fatigues. The sparkles and the details are also nice, not falling back in performance at all. Headroom size is also quite large, both horizontally and vertically with good 3D effect.





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Comparison with RE2000 Gold

The RE2000 series particularly remind me of the HE1000 headphones. RE2000 does a beautiful job controlling the sibilance and the midrange in general, eliminating almost any turbulence. This makes the surface from the vocals to be flat, which is another part that reminds me of their planar headphone series. The sound characteristics are overall similar with the RE2000 Silver, though RE2000 is more shifted to the upper frequencies.

Compared with the RE2000 Silver, mids from RE2000 are much airier with better transparency with highs showing improved layering and frequency range. The bass extension is just as good as RE2000 Silver but with reduced quantity. The openness from the mid-treble makes the sound more refreshing with a lively staging.





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So is RE2000 superior to RE2000 Silver? Well, it's tough for me to confidently say yes to that question since they differ in sound signature as well as the performance shows a very minor gap. RE2000 is a reference tuned version meant for serious audiophiles with a 24K premium added to it, while RE2000 Silver is a more affordable, omnivorous choice that could satisfy general music lovers.

It would have been better if Hifiman made the price gap smaller for these two IEMs, but seems like they've decided to occasionally run discounts for both models. Checking their official website would be recommended.





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Verdicts

Despite choosing a single dynamic driver for flagship IEMs, they certainly lived up with my expectations for their price, especially the RE2000 Silver. Deciding between these two IEMs would be more of a question of the sound signature rather than the performance, so I urge considering RE2000 Silver too if you were planning to go straight for RE2000 since the higher price. It's great to see Hifiman starting to put some work on premium earphones and these should be a great choice for those who are seeking for natural sounding single driver IEMs.







Thanks to Hifiman for providing the RE2000 Silver in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Hifiman and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.

Comments

Good afternoon my friends, I hope everyone's well. I received the tour unit Tues. and have been putting a fair amount of hours and my initial impressions are that it's a very revealing iem that leans towards the colder sound sig. but with that being said, female vocals sound wonderful through them. There is a notable treble spike that does get uncomfortable at times but it mainly only appears on treble heavy pieces. Still a lot of listening to do but I will leave off by saying that these are very airy sounding iems that are awesome to listen to orchestras through.

EDIT: For those interested, my unboxing video can be viewed here.
 
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