HiFiMAN RE272 - Reviews
Pros: Forward, resolving, rich, clear mids. Smooth, extended, clear and resolving highs. Very well balanced neutral sound
Cons: Not enough low end presence.
Holds a special place in my collection as it has consistently been my daily driver for several years.  Sad to think if anything happens to my pair I won't be able to get another one.
Hey, don't be disappointed.  I actually really really liked my RE262s while I had them.  My car got broken into and someone stole them, which is why I bought the RE272s.  I DEFINITELY missed the mids on the RE262s.  It's definitely a lot richer, and more intimate on the RE262 than the 272.  But the RE272s bring treble extension that the RE262s didn't exactly have.  If you look at the FR graphs of the two, they are definitely really close in sound.

That said, and like many others on these forums have said.  Is it worth an extra $100?  It depends on how much you need/want the extra treble extension.  In terms of sound quality, I don't think you're gaining $100 worth of improvement.  They are both about the same level of performance imo.  Just a matter of preference between presentations.
Thanks for the kind words...i bought the RE-262 under the assumption that it had reasonable treble. But turns out to be that i am kind of a treble-head and that i listen a fair amount of faster music nowadays.

So the RE-262 did not fit my prefered sound sig in the first place. Things are quite enjoyable, but as soon as more than 2-3 layers of sound are involved, the resolution and seperation plummets. The mids are ok, but sound rather hollow to me due to the lack of treble and bass.
For me they only do carpenters really well.

will be going for a better built, more analytical iem next.
262 need a decent amp to shine , but having both 262 and 272 for a long time, i can say that the best thing is to have both as they complement each other

272 is a fantastic iem (my fav iem ever actually since i bought it back in 2010 - i went and bought a 2nd pair as back up) but when i want something more mid-centric i put on the 262

i guess 272 is the tall lean model while the 262 is the short, curvy one

2 >1

Pros: Great sound
Cons: Tips can be troublesome.
The 272 would have to be one of my favourite IEM's ever. To get the best out of them I prefer it amped.
The detail these things have is nothing short of outstanding. Bass is quick well defined and refined.
So if you like your bass in ya face....not for you. These are about quality not quantity. Only negative for me was I found the tips did not suit my particular ear shape, so getting the right kinda seal is always fiddling about for a while, but once found and then paired with a decent amp you forget about the hassle.
The 272 is special, Its a sure shame they stopped making these.
Pros: Magic sound, great detail, non-fatiguing, neutral sound, source-friendly
Cons: A little shy on the bass
My full review on Passion for Sound is here:
In summary:
  1. A bit light on the bass - tight and clean, but lacking some oomph
  2. Sound is so clean and detailed, but not fatiguing
  3. Staging is excellent - on par or better than much more costly IEMs
  4. Makes music engaging and enjoyable without colouration
  5. Not for bass heads, RnB / Hip-Hop / Electronic (with deep bass) fans
  6. Awesome value of money given their performance
Eectronica sounds great to me with 2-3 db bass boost on EQ. Sub bass is superb, just enough but fit and tip choice needs a little bit of tweaking in the ears to find the proper position. Once you find the sweet spot, they are quite stunning. Not finding the proper fit can result in disappointment, especially for bass heads.
Pros: clarity, micro-detail, presentation, transients, comfort, sq screams audiophile
Cons: bass, build, price
Class leading sq(among the best of what i've heard).. I would definitely put the SQ as high as the Shure SE-535 & on par with the SRH-940 out of an HUD MX-1
Very coherent presentation - i think this is the most pleasing presentation an analytical listener can get
Clinical yet musical - for this you will have to take a listen for yourself
Clarity that keeps up with speed - the almost no bass sound makes up for astounding clarity that's second to none
Motherly Micro-detail - I think this might be one of the most detailed sets i've heard till date
the treble is very very airy which helps in identifying micro-details in the music very easily.. its not the most prominent treble I've heard, but its smooth yet clinical at the same time, yes it is a bright pair of earphones but still the over all sound quality is extremely pleasing to the analytical ear
fragile build(price not justified) - I got a used pair of the re 272 after a year from my initial audition, and the build to my eye was fairly good, but then the left driver started distorting and thats when I came to know there was a problem with the wiring, which is polished and refined in appearance but finicky and cheap .. you do not get what you pay for here! 
adequate bass but not satisfactory, the sub-bass shows no body, theres a considerable roll off and the overall bass is shy of neutral. even the mid-bass has very less impact and decay..
limiting soundscape - the soundstage is average but not to the competition of other flagships I've heard such as the ex 1000 or the se 535, however the sound is not at all clustered, infact its just the opposite
Yup, clinical yet musical. I liked the shimmer in the highs. Not quite flawless due to anorexic (however high quality) bass and narrow soundspace, iirc.
yes .. sorry forgot to mention the sonic space... im now enjoying the greenhouse gh-erc-dms!! its like the re 272s with more bass .. but a equal to better sonic space..
Pros: Bass Done Right
Cons: Tricky Fit, A Smidge Mid-Heavy
The HiFiMAN RE-272 are the best sounding pair of non-customs I've put in my ear.  Period.
I wanted to try a pair after reading favorable reviews around these parts, and I'm glad I made the journey.
The bass is slightly accented without overdriving.  The high end detail doesn't suffer at all.  It's a bit of a closed in sound-- but these are full range earbuds.  They have good detail and they're decent at delivering transients.
My main pair of buds are UERMs, and the supreme balance and detail put them in a much higher class (both in sound and price).  But I'd say if you're looking for great sound in a universal fit earbud, look no further.
On my ears, these need to be pushed in deep.  They don't image well if they are not firmly seated in the ear canal.  The bass is totally lackluster until you really get them in there.  Once in place, the sound is just terrific, but know that it can take some effort.  
Though the shells are constructed well, the cables look like they might not withstand much abuse.
My closest earbud by comparison is the Sennheiser IE6.  The RE's surpass the IE6 in almost every area save midrange.  The RE's have a deeper bottom end, better tonal balance, and allow more transient detail than the IE6.
There is a slight mid range spike which isn't apparent until you put them up against other headphones, but if I dial the mids down a bit with EQ, the issue is quickly resolved.
Put up against the Beats Tour (which I genuinely enjoy) the bass is much looser and more prominent on the Beats, as you might expect, and the RE's best the Beats fall at the upper end too.  The bess is tight on the RE's but not diminished at all.  However the Beats Tour are much more comfortable to wear, and you don't have to shove them in very far to get optimum sound.  
HiFiMAN delivers these in a nifty box, with a bunch of extras.
I'll be hanging onto these-- and unloading my Sennheiser IE6's (another pair which have to be jammed in to work).  At a cost nearly identical to the IE6, the RE-272 is a better sounding headphone and a better deal.
Pros: Open, airy and clear
Cons: No one I think
I've read a lot 'bout them and I'm owner of many HifiMan (RE0, RE252, RE262); I think these babies are "RE0 improved to the bones". Highs very crisp and mids refined: so I describe them. :)
Pros: Clarity, neutrality and realism
Cons: Noise isolation and split cable design
I'm relatively new to the IEM scene (I bought RE0's for me and my wife two years ago and have been using them with great pleasure until they were stolen 1 year ago)
I liked the sound signature of the RE0, but I have never taken them seriously as a replacement for my other Headphones. I have used them mostly while on the go with my iPhone.
They were no match for my full size headphones, The highs were more distorted at times and some music just didn't sound right.
After I lost my pair of RE0's and reading some initial positive reviews about the RE272 I decided to upgrade.
When I received them my initial impressions were positive:
Better design and fit.
Sturdier cable with less microphonics.
Already after the first seconds I heard them playing I knew that they sounded very special.
Articulate highs with low distortion
Natural clean sounding bass
Voices sound beautiful with a lot of "body"
Piano sounds very lifelike with excellent decay
In general acoustical instruments sound very realistic
A large symphony orchestra sounds simply amazing on these, all the different instruments are clearly recognizable
For the price an amazing product, but needs a good source to make real magic
I am now using them on a HM-801 with a Game amp, a great match
Pros: Excellent clarity, soundstaging, texturing and extension all around; comfortable fit; modular cable; good materials; decent isolation with right tips
Cons: Cable hardens, brittle; Somewhat bass lean; need long tips in the other 2 ways; bad tips included (but many); no portable case; slight wind noise
Review is in the review thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/568515/hifiman-re272-review/135#post_7845383
Suffice it to say, these IEMs are perfect once equalized. No ifs or buts. Nothing I've ever tried matches these.
Even without the sound is great, if a bit bass lean and slightly forward.
Extension is unmatched by any other IEM.
I'd love if the next revision includes a case/pouch (not just jewel case) and inverse channel balanced cable.
Hifiman should really provide different tips - the included ones are unusable except the smaller biflange.
The included eartips are atrocious. Single flanges don't seal appreciably, large biflange is far too large, small biflange causes unpleasant bass texturing (kills impact) and glassy sound.
The good choices are in order of preference: Sennheiser small olives, VSonic single flange, Sony Hybrid tips (both M and S size)
Pros: realism, speed, clarity, musicality, frequency response and extensions, tonality, details, instruments separation and positioning
Cons: bass weight
Disclaimer: I've got my RE272 as a review sample for free.

There are more pros and cons in my full review, like
- RE272 bass accuracy is excellent, but I like to have it perfect.
- Soundstage size is good for IEM, but I like to have more.
But this is just a nitpicking, and I do not consider this as a real "negative aspects" (this is how cons are defined here in Reviews section). I rather call this "wishes".
Conclusion: I prefer RE272 over any IEM I tried. 
Tried, in order of preference (not just SQ): RE262, RE252, RE0, ER-4P/S, MTPC, E500 (SE535), RE-Zero, CK10, SA6, ER-6i, E4c (wow, this is ancient!), UM2, some more. Note: order may change depending on the source.
Similarity: RE272 sounds like ER-4P reincarnated into dynamic driver version. And it turns out to be a step up over ER-4P, rather than a side steps presented by former HiFiMan models.
More in my RE272 review and comparisons to ER-4P, HD650, ATH-CK10, IE8.
Pros: Clarity, detail, packaging
Cons: Lack of Bass, too analytical


Thanks to Nankai, aka Fang for the RE272 Loaner opportunity. 


Pros: Clarity, detail, packaging

Cons: Bass, too analytical


Equipment Used


Sources: MacBook Pro, iPod Classic

Amp/DACs: iBasso D-Zero





Luxury. That's the first thing I thought when I saw the wooden box with a vinyl outside. The top of the box is gold stamped that says "HiFiMAN" and there's a gold colored clasp to open the box. Once opened there's a vinyl coated interior with the accessories on the right and the headphones in a plastic casing, which surprisingly is only painted on the outside, not the inside as well. Included is a variety of cable attachments to connect the RE272 through a TSS connection or a standard 3.5mm. There's also two different double flanged white tips and XS->L mushroom tips.


Overall the packaging is nice, but it looks more luxurious than it really is. I wish that there had been more attention to detail, especially in the hard plastic casing which should have been fully painted. Everything was secure though.


Design and Build Quality



The design of the RE272 looks sill at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense when worn over ear with these. Compared to the RE0, these are a huge step forward in comfort. The build is plastic with a rubber edging, I assume for easier gripping when placing them in your ears, and surprisingly feels better quality than the all metal RE0. Each IEM has a rather long stress relief with an L or R stamped on them. The RE272 definitely feel solid. The RE272 terminate to a balanced plug short to allow the user to choose from one of 4 extensions to cater to any sort of 3.5mm plug. The y splitter has some nice touches, on one side RE272 is stamped, on the other HiFiMAN. The plugs are terminated in an odd 45 degree angle that I don't know if I agree with, but it seems sturdy.


The isolation is rather lacking though, no matter what tip I tried I couldn't get fantastic isolation. I would say it blocked out about 50% of the noise when they were just sitting in my ears.


Overall these are built decently, I feel for the price they could have done better, but it's a huge step up from RE0 to me in every aspect.


Sound Quality


As always I've burned these in for 50 hours before conducting any sound tests. These have also a claimed 60+ more hours burn in as part of the RE272 loaner system, for an estimated 150 hours.


Analytical and bright, I honestly could not enjoy music on these. These are very detailed, airy sounding, and clear, much like the RE0. Much like the RE0 though the bass is severely lacking. The upper/mid bass has come impact, but the extension is very weak. I can hear some of the sub bass, but I struggle to hear it, I most definitely can't feel it. The mids are strong, detailed but very cold sounding and not very engaging. Everything sounds great in the mids, but I don't enjoy them. The highs are where the RE272 shine, but they're too bright and forward to me. They've very well extended, clear and detailed, but they are too forward and at times a bit harsh. The soundstage is nothing special, very similar to the RE0 from my memory, an airy feel to it. 


Since these are analytical sounding I decided to listen to only fantastically mastered albums to see how they hold up:


Bob Marley & The Wailers - Is This Love


I am using the Barry Diament mastering from 1990 which is highly regarded. Right away the usual smooth silky sound of this recording is gone. The bass line is completely outshined by the ska inspired guitar, the little guitar riffs are way too forward in the mix, and Bob's voice is a bit irritating. Everything sounds absolutely crisp and clean, but from a surgical view. It's as if every instrument was taken, put on a table with a clear outline as to where it began and started and placed in the headphones. Great clarity, but not enjoyable and the lack of bass makes this song irritating.


Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name


Rage's self titled album has long since been a standard in the audio industry for it's excellent production and mixing. I've listened to this track at least 100 times in my life throughout various pieces of audio equipment and I can say without a doubt this is the least enjoyable I've ever found it.   The kick drum has some punch to it, but the bass is lost in the mix, it's barely audible. What usually gives the guitar it's punchy backing is now gone. The guitars sound overly bright and the vocals have lost their aggressive attack they have on my Ad900.


The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For the Devil


This is taken from the MFSL CD rip. The sound sounds wonderful. The bongos are easily heard in the right channel. The shaker and bass in the left sound great. The vocals are in the middle and sound very clear. The piano comes in and melds perfectly in the mix. Honestly everything sounds wonderful in this until the little guitar solo comes in and it's just too bright, too irritating. 


The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun


This is from the 2009 remaster. There's many versions, MFSL, pbthal rips, and so forth, but the legend Dr. Ebbett claimed this was better than his and his was known as the standard for years. Either way this remaster was done right. To get on with the song, it sounds wonderful on these. Absolutely wonderful. Every instrument is clearly heard, the intro acoustic guitar sounds as if it's on the other side of the room. I really have no complaints with this song, the RE272 does this song right.




Fans of the RE0 will find a welcome linear upgrade to me. These are detailed, clear, and focus on the mids and highs. These are definitely lacking in bass and are a bit bright though, which will turn a lot of listeners off. If that doesn't the hyper analytical sound of these will. If you're looking for a musical IEM, these are not it. If you want to dissect your music these will be a welcome addition though. I like these, but only for very specialized listening, I even enjoy my SoundMAGIC E30 over these for every day listening.


As always you can see more photos of the HiFiMAN RE272 here!

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The overall summary mirrors my very own thoughts, especially the following: "These are definitely lacking in bass and are a bit bright though, which will turn a lot of listeners off. If that doesn't the hyper analytical sound of these will." Though I must say, for those seeking a crisp clear, highly detailed and analytical signature (and I mean TRULY analytical), the RE272 isn't short of an enjoyable and, at times, even musical experience.
I had no issues with the bass-- in fact-- the bass impressed me. But-- I had to REALLY jam the earbuds in to get them to image the bass at all. Like-- they need to be pretty much buried in my ear canal-- and the double tips wouldn't seat at all. Only the single tips worked.
I agree with the touchy fit for achieving bass. In my opinion, the Re-272 has some of the best quality bass and sub bass but a poor fit will make them sound thin/lacking bass.
The low frequencies really impress me as much as the highs and mids. Truly superb.
And they sound very dynamic to my ears too.
Finally, some label the 272 as "analytical" and I think it could be misleading. These are neither cold, unmusical, harsh or boring. They are very detailed, yet smooth with very extended frequencies from bottom to top. Very easy to fall in love with.
Pros: Amazing Highs, Super Clear Mids, Very Balanced Sounding
Cons: Bass lacks quantity

A Little About Myself

I am very honored to have been one of the many chosen that were able to review this unit and I want to thank HeadDirect and HIFIMAN for putting this together. I don’t have a lot of experience with IEMs and so this has been very fun and interesting. I would say I have decent experience with over the ear headphones I have heard many headphones and on a lot of different amps which I hope will allow my review to be a little more informative and useful. I am not down with all the audio terms, so I can only hope that someone will find this review useful. Thank you again and happy listening!


When I received this unit I was surprised by how nicely the case looked, the pictures don’t do it justice and everything is packed nicely in the box. However it looked like it was already opened I don’t know if you guys test them before sending them out or not? But everything appears in great condition and the headphones themselves are very appealing to the eyes.

Sound (With Burson 160 - MS II+)

The highs are well done, not too bright, musical and a little forgiving, this works great for jazz music and classical as well as older rock. I’ve found that it has a good center image with a lower mid field type soundstage it seems to be very dynamic in its soundstage though. One moment it can be very close and intimate if the music calls for it and on other tracks can have a pretty decently large soundstage, for the most part however it seems to sit in the lower midfield to me. Very smooth,detailed, and well balanced mids very good for vocals like Norah Jones,Patricia Barber, even male vocals sound astonishing, such as Tom Waits Etc. One other area that this does well in is classic rock, despite that it could use for a little more bass the handling of the highs is done so well that I still think its great for classic rock. Generally I think that the highs are to bright or sibilant on most headphones but despite not being petite or shy in any means these manage to sound good on tracks that would normally sound too bright to my ears. Trumpets are rendered near perfect and saxophones sound amazing, cymbals are very defined and not grainy at all.

I thought the bass had a great balance as well as good detail however some may find it a little petite and in some older rock I found my self wanting a little more bass. Another thing is that despite its great overall balance I felt that it lacked a little warmth, if you like warmth or tube like sound then these might not be for you but if you can pair them with a tube amp as I did you will be rewarded.

WIth Little Dot MK III - MS II+

When I triad it with my Little Dot MK III I thought it brought some of the warmth and bass that lacked in the Burson however at the cost of detail. I really think that these headphones prefer tubes which is odd for IEMs or at least I think thats odd. Despite the lack of detail the already wonderful mids now have a very nice and silky presence. With this amp the soundstage was pushed back a tad making it sound a little wider as well. These IEMs really do change quite a bit with different amps. Rock with these headphones and this amp sounds godly, very soft highs and more low mids and bass make this a absolute winner for classic rock! One song “Gypsy Wine” from Paper Garden is really bad on most headphones due to the annoyingly bright sound but on these its listenable which is saying a great deal!

Directly out of iPod Nano 5th Gen

Direct out it lacked the soundstage that it is capable of, it lacked detail and the highs lost its magic. I don’t blame the headphones for this one bit obviously the feed direct out of an iPod is not very hifi unfortunately I don’t have a portable amp or dac to test this with. Non the less it was still very good for on the go listening and would be fine for commutes or other things but if you want the best out of these headphones you need to have it hooked up to good equipment.

Comfort / Isolation

Very comfortable with tons of options for the right tip size depending on your preference and ear canal size. Lots of good and useful adapters are included which is nice. One other thing I really liked is that the connector, instead of being L shaped or straight it has a curve in it that is not only stylish but also practical. These headphones seem to block out a good amount of noise and would be good for an airplane or bus ride I can’t say how many DB it blocks but if I had to guess I would say somewhere around 20 DB. My brother actually blew a blow horn next to my door and I was unable to hear it listening at normal volume with these! The cord appears to be the perfect length to connect an iPod or other personal source without being long or cumbersome.

Extra Thoughts

Having not heard many IEMs I would say these are hands down the best I’ve heard, comparing them to full size of course is unfair but let me just say that I prefer these over all my other headphones other then my K702s which I still like a little more overall. Would I buy these? If I was looking for IEMs then yes I would definitely look at these, they do not overdue the bass like the other IEMs I’ve triad do, which is a big plus for me. The tonality is also quite special almost a mix between the AKG and Ultrasone sound signature.

Specific Songs
(test conducted on Little Dot MK III for the below)

Rock - Pink Fold - The Wall Side A - Mother

Has a very musical sound right off the bat, non fatiguing and very natural sounding. It sounds great with this like it was meant for this song, I think this song demonstrates how well it does with classic rock. The highs are not over powering or under whelming they are simply dead perfect for this type of music. The mids are clear as ever and it renders the vocals very realistically. You can hear the guitars with great detail, every instrument is very distinct and the voice is dead center, as I mentioned before the center image is very very good on these headphones. These headphones let the song portray the emotions that were put into this recording very clearly.

Jazz - Patricia Barber - Modern Cool - Post Modern Blues
Wow the bass! This track was mastered with too much bass IMO but other then that is a top notch recording. Most headphones will render the excessive bass muddy, however these do not! Very clear you can hear as the strings are plucked on the bass guitar and there is detail! Wonderful detail, not muddy in the least it carries the multiple note bass easily across its small drivers with deep impact. Patricia's voice is rendered properly and very realistically as well, very smooth and relaxed and a pleasure to listen to. Very distinct instrumentation found here as well.

Alternative - Tom Waits - Alice - Alice

Very good separation of the instruments, the saxophone on the further left is easily distinguishable from the center saxophone its like night and day separates them perhaps a little too much. It almost sounds like the left saxophone is slightly behind me which is a little odd. Tom's voice holds a very good tone not too heavy or syrupy like some headphones can be on this song. It carries the somewhat dark texture of this song very well. The trouble sounds a little grainy but that could be the song I'm not sure.

Metal - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Super Star - Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World

Perhaps as I've mentioned before a little bass light, but it scales well going load. I don't play stuff as load as most but as load as I was willing to listen (also don't want to risk damaging these haha) there were no signs of distortion. Marilyns voice is down as good as well I think that's the key to these headphones, very good vocals and mids with highs that are forgiving. These did not get my blood going though, I think the slight lack of dynamics on these does not suit heavy metal. Its not bad don't me wrong but I think I'd rather use some Grados or Sony XBs for metal.

Folk - Noble Beast - Andrew Bird - Tenuousness

The highs felt a little too forgiving on this track and the lack of a little bass made it feel a flat. I can't say that I really like these headphones with this specific song. The guitar had good detail but felt compressed. It felt like everything just lacked dynamics.

Electronic - Trifonic - Emergence - Emergence
Gobs of detail, fast pace and rhythm and not overly done bass! Great for electronic music that's what I say. The drivers have a very fast response and keep up well with the fast pace. Really gets your heart going here. I keeps the smooth graduated sounds smooth, and keeps the sharp crackling sound sharp. From what I've heard with a lot of headphones that I have that's very hard to do right and these do it!

Burn In
Last but not least burn in. I have about 30 hours on these and have noticed very little burn in effect. Burn in for the most part seemed complete after 10 hours. After that 10 hours very little if not nothing seemed to change.
Pros: Great Treble, Good midrange, detailed, clean, balanced sound
Cons: Bass
First, I want to say thanks to HIFIMAN to provide me an oppertunity to review their current flagship RE272. Previously I have heard their re0, re1, re262 and 272 deserves to be a flagship. Packaging is the best I have seen from them. Cable thickness is similar to 262. All my listening was done from e7+e9 (apart from ocassional e7 alone) with large sony hybrid used as tip.

As many have mentioned, this IEM is bright, and it holds true. But its treble is not like re0. Its airy, smooth and detailed, not at all grainy. Kudos to Hifiman.
It was a revealtion for me that how smooth, mindblowing, detailed a treble can be. Cymbals are rendered very lively with them.

 When Comparing mid range of 262 and 272, I can easily say it inherit characteristics of 262 but clearly not as upfront, not as smooth and organic. It is detailed and articulate, clear, keys and Strings has good timbre and reverb. Mid range compliments very well to treble.

When it come to lows, 272 start to reveal its weakness, its fast and clean but lacks quantity and texture. U dont feel bass, u dont hear bass, u only hear a sound. On certain tracks it tries to play some bass, you feel some texture, but it all ends with that track. You skip the track and your misery begins. Thats the biggest let down for such a wonderful iem. When i tried bass boost with e7, it became muddy, slow and inferior than before.

The soundstage of this iem is average. You dont feel any sound coming outside of your head as re262 makes u feel. Dynamic range is Ok, nothing great when compared to 262. Instrument seperation is good while retaining coherency and certainly above then 262.

Besides what all i wrote, when one looks at 272, it offers a more satisfactory and balanced sound compared to any HIFIMAN,s I heard till date. It is detailed, clean, neutral yet musical to a certain degree and offers a more complete package. Its an IEM which dont do much wrong and wows you with great treble, good midrange, crystal clear and detailed sound.