HIFIMAN RE300h Earphone - Audiophile Earbud - Reviews
Pros: Sounds really good with bowser quality IC op amps-just like what's in your laptop and cell phone.
Cons: Too colored for serious listening...but at this price point, probably one of the better ones out there.
Not too much I can add to some of the more thorough reviews already done. The treble is rolled off, the lower mids are thickened in absolute terms. But the comfort is 1st rate, and the damn things make even the headphone jack of your laptop or cell sound pretty damn listenable....THAT is a MAJOR accomplishment! I think that is exactly what these things were designed for. So if you don't want to futz around with a proper headphone amp and cans, you could do a LOT worse than a pair of these until you do.
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Pros: punchy quick bass, respectable treble, price
Cons: bass could be too much for some, midrange a bit distant, build quality, accessories
First of all I would like to thank HiFiMAN for running the valentines giveaway where I was fortunate enough to win these IEMs. 
 
Overall, I think for $49 these fit the bill quite nicely. Definitely not the best sounding nor far from the worst but fair for the MSRP.
 
At first, I could not get the IEMs to seal properly and I felt that the bass was lacking and contrary to what everyone reported. However, I changed the tips to some Sony ones and it made a huge difference. The sound signature changed dramatically. I will report my findings down below and a short comparison to the SE215's. Please keep in mind I've only auditioned these for a couple of hours but I think I can make a good first impressions judgement oh the RE300h.
 
What first took me by surprise was the amount of bass these 8mm drivers push out. Having briefly heard the RE400s previously, this is a completely different IEM. Where the RE400 was neutral and borderline dry to listen to (for me) these sounded more dynamic and livelier. I can't really mention about detail as I do not really recall the accuracy of the RE400s but from what I remember it was quite good. The bass on the RE300h feel like deep extended bass. Very abundant and present. Quick and punchy is a great way to describe these but for me the bass lacks body and roundness to it. It is not as deep as some other IEM's I've heard (but those cost much much more) but we have to keep in mind that these are sub $50 IEMs. It does bleed into the midrange but definitely not as much as the SE215's. The bass on the SE215s are definitely more rolled off in the lower regions and have a stronger presence in the mid-bass region which can blanket the higher frequencies.
 
The midrange is where I found the RE300h to be its biggest weak point. Although the midrange is still not bad, it just doesn't have the texture or forwardness of an SE215. Male and Female vocals sound slightly grainy and artificial while the SE215s are forward, smooth, and textured. That is not to say that the SE215 has a very good midrange, just a better and more detailed midrange than the RE300s. 
 
The treble response on the RE300h's are not bad. But definitely leaves me to desire a more well-bodied and fuller high notes. Cymbal crashes are present but just not really engaging. They sound quite thin at times and don't have that overall refinement as some other IEMs do (of course, higher priced). However, I am happy to say that the treble on the RE300s are a substantial improvement over the SE215's. Where on many rock tracks that the SE215 just completely falls short of reproducing any decent amount of treble, the RE300s have that extra shimmer which makes rock songs and faster tracks seem more fun to listen to.   
 
In general, I would recommend the SE215's for acoustics, vocals, and slower songs. Jazz works better with the SE215's imo. However, if you are looking for that extra bit of detail and a faster driver, the RE300s would be the one for you. With that said, the RE300's drivers are the more technically superior ones but there are genres in which the SE215 outshines the RE300.
 
Going from my SE215s to my RE300s, they felt like a toy. I can't give much credit to HiFiMAN for their build quality as they really feel like cheap dollar store earbuds. However, at the price, I'm sure that HiFiMAN has spent the majority of their capital towards R&D of sound rather than build. But it would definitely be nice to see an improvement in build quality, especially in their higher end IEMs such as the RE600s. I would be furious if my $200 IEMs broke within days of normal use. 
 
All in all, the RE300s are a decent sounding IEM for under $50. I've heard a lot of earbuds under $50 lots of random sony and phillip ones and I can easily say that these RE300s are probably the best at the under $50 range. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a budget friendly solution to entering the audio world. I would recommend an amp as well as it just tightens everything up. Especially the bass.
 
Tested with: iPhone 4S > FiiO E07k > Tidal HIFI Streaming
 
Tracks used:
Five for Fighting - 100 Years
Matchbox Twenty - Bent
Beverley Knight - Everytime You See Me Smile
Simon Webbe - Lay Your Hands
Lemar - What About Love
Savage Garden - California
MAKJ - Encore 
Pros: Exceedingly enveloping chocolaty warmth. Bass.
Cons: Overly rich. Overly warm. Overly bassy.

HiFiMAN RE-300a and RE-300h Quick Review
 
Thanks to HiFiMAN for the samples.
 
Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/752969/hifiman-re-300a-and-re-300h-review-by-mark2410
 
Brief:  HiFiMAN do a new low ender.
 
Price:  US$50 or about £32
 
Specification:  See here for the h http://www.head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=230
See here for the a http://www.head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=224
 
Accessories:  Two pairs of tips, a shirt clip and 10 replacement filters. Both tips are very nice but odd you only get 2 pairs.
 
Build Quality:  Not bad at all. HiFiMAN don’t have the best rep but these feel pretty nice, nothing special though.
 
Isolation:  For a dynamic it’s quite a bit at the upper end of expectations, not one for regular Tube commutes but would be just fine for the occasional short flight and normal, day to day use.  Easily more than enough to get you run over if you aren’t looking of course.
 
Comfort/Fit:  Despite being a bit of a weird shape the fit was effortlessly easy and the comfort was perfect.  They really fit my ears perfectly.
 
Aesthetics:  Not bad.  I like their unusual shape but mostly they are small and non-descript.
 
Sound:  Very rich, bordering on very bassy, very smooth.  The bass is big, deep and hearty.  Something of a surprise for the brand as they are usually very audiophile aimed at.  Here though these are making the best of the lower quality innards and have gone for a rolled off upper with a great emphasis on the bass.  The highs are the first thing to go wrong so this acoustic style is a very practical one and it makes the most of their abilities.  It’s also one that the consumer end of the market will approve of.  The bass is highly abundant and its rather closed nature makes it very powerful.  A little too powerful.  The mids are rich and creamy, a bit of thickness but very pleasant on the ear.  The highs are limited and rolled off but offer a delicate sparkle when called upon.  Make no mistake though this is bass centric with a healthy amount of mids.  A warm, rich and deeply chocolaty aural experience.  It’s nice but like rich abundance of chocolate, it has me yearning for something lighter.  I would expect it to be popular with Apple or B&W enthusiasts.  Smooth and highly pleasant on the ear.
 
HiFiMAN is a quintessentially audiophile brand and this therefore is a radical departure in sound signatures.  As such it may be a great way for normal people to be introduced to the brand but if you’re a lover of the brand already you may be in for a big surprise with this one.
 
Value:  Pretty good if you want an abundance of warmth and bass.
 
Pro’s:   Exceedingly enveloping chocolaty warmth.  Bass.
 
Con’s:  Overly rich. Overly warm. Overly bassy.
 

Pros: Dark, engaging, musical, smooth, great build quality and price
Cons: Rolled off highs, not the most airy, colored
HiFiMAN RE-300h Review with RE-400 comparisons and comments
 
Disclaimer: The following review is my subjective assessment of the headphone. I am in no way affiliated with HiFiMAN nor am I getting paid for this. The sound/build/comfort descriptions come from my subjective assessment of this product. If you have any other questions or if you want to point something out, please do let me know. Hope you enjoy the read ^_^
 
Introduction
- I received the HE-300h in early December. Initially, I did not find the headphone to my liking in some ways as it is a clear deviation from my preferred signature – the RE-400 is my current reference earphone and the two sound quite different, but over time, I’ve assessed it more carefully and started to like it for what it was. Listening to different songs of various genres, I dug deeper into this signature so I could write this review as objectively as possible. Granted, there’s always a bit of one’s subjective touch in his work. Without further ado, here it is.
 
Specifications:
 
HiFiMAN RE-300h
 

 
Type: 8.5mm dynamic driver, in-ear monitor
Frequency Response: 15Hz - 22KHz
Impedance: 16Ω +/- 3.2Ω
Efficiency: 108dB/mW
Weight: 14g [with cable]
MSRP: 49$ 
Equipment:
 
Media: HiFiMAN HM-601LE Digital Audio Player / JRiver Media player 20, using ASIO/WASAPI direct connection output to a PCM1794 based DAC.
Source: HiFiMAN HM-601LE / USB output of a desktop-PC, through the Schiit Wyrd.
DAC: HM-601LE [TDA1543 chip] / Creative SB X7 [PCM1794 chip]
Amplifier: HM-601LE [OPA2104] / Audio-gd SA-31SE [discreet, no op-amps] via single-ended RCA input
Headphones: HiFiMAN RE300h via a 1/8 plug [HM-601LE] / 1/4 TRS adapter [SA31SE]
Files: FLAC, 128-320kbps MP3, 256kbps AAC,
Cables: stock power cables, decent RCA/USB/TOSLINK/Interconnect cables
 
Packaging/Accessories
- The -300h comes in a nice white showcase-style package. The plastic packaging has a plastic, transparent mold that holds the headphone in place, serves as a showcase window and should also protect it from damage during transit. Inside the package are the earphones, the owner’s manual, the warranty card, a pair of large tips, some filters to swap if needed and a clip. I feel that the packaging itself is rather simple and clear, which is quite nice. You might use it as a storage for the earphones if needed, since there is no carrying pouch or hard-case or anything else to store them in or protect them when not in use. Things are fairly easy to take out and you won’t tear the packaging apart in the process. The accessories are few, but for the price it’ll do. I think it is superior to the prettier ‘case’ the more expensive RE-400 comes in because that thing simply falls apart. The only thing I miss here is the said pouch and perhaps more tips, but given the price, it is understandable. Still, it is a solid and functional package, without any additional bling added to it to inflate the price.
 
9/10
 

 

 

 

 
Build Quality/Design
- I think this is the best in-ear HiFiMAN has produced yet! As far as build quality goes, there’s little to criticize – the molded shells are plastic but are very well put together, the cable is improved from the RE-400 and is similar to the RE-600, which is a noticeable improvement in this case, as it doesn’t only mean much better structural integrity throughout, but also a much lesser tendency to tangle. This headphone is easily better built than any other HiFiMAN’s monitor – much better than the RE-400 and on par or better than the RE-600. If this is the new trend that HiFiMAN will follow from now on, then that’s certainly good news to anyone who’s ever had any problems with their previous products. In the limited time that I’ve owned the RE-300h, I’ve certainly put it through its paces and there hasn’t been a single problem yet.
As far as looks, I find the RE-400’s aluminum shells to be the prettier of the two but that’s a personal thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Structurally, the RE-400 is clearly inferior.
 
10/10
 

 

 
Comfort/Fit
- Let me start by saying that I’ve always had fit issues with in-ear earphones. This is because my right ear’s outer portion is different than my left ear. The RE-400 and RE-600 with the while tips were the first earphones where I managed to achieve a perfect or nearly perfect fit on both sides. With the RE-300h, it is not as great but still very good.
Bear in mind that this issue is exclusive to me and I think with the way these earphones are molded, 90 – 95% of people shouldn’t find any trouble with the fitment. The shell molding is well thought out and definitely will fit most ears. It does fit mine too, but my right ear’s seal is not perfect because it’s a weird ear. In conclusion, there should be no issues with the fit and even if there is, rolling different tips is something that is always helpful and potentially instrumental in achieving a better fit.
 
8.5/10
 

 
Bass
- This earphone has a very nice and potent bass, with good impact and weight. It starts to roll off slowly at 60Hz but easily extends down to 30 -35Hz before it drops completely. These are certainly not bass light but neither are they bass heavy, though I’d say these have a bit more bass than what I consider neutral, which is not necessarily a bad thing of course. They have noticeably more bass than the RE-400, granted it is not as tight, but there’s more quantity at a slight expense of quality. Still, it does not bleed into the midrange, making it suitable in this regard for most genres. Bass is one category that depends a lot on good seal and fit. When either is less than ideal, then the bass presence will be less or lost. I think I achieved a good enough seal to say that overall, the bass is very well extended, reasonably clear, nicely defined and certainly present and I was definitely not left wanting for more, making the overall bass response quite satisfying. Still, if you are a bass-head and need gobs of bass regardless of track or genre, you might want to look elsewhere.  
 
9/10
 
Midrange
- The midrange is forward and very present on this earphone. There is slightly more presence than with the RE-400, but those are already quite midrange oriented to begin with. As someone who likes neutral-forward mids and hates recessed ones, I find this quite pleasant and euphonic even. Lots of people say that ‘midrange is where the magic happens’ and I’d agree to a point – one needs a well-integrated bass and treble as well. The midrange has good clarity, but the RE-400 is better in this aspect. Still, you’ll be able to hear every instrument nice and clear, if not with the finesse its more expensive siblings provide. At times, I thought the mids were just a bit too shouty and forward with some tracks, but that was more because of the track’s mastering, rather than the headphone itself.  For the price again, there’s little to fault here – a well-presented midrange, with forwardness that, coupled with the punchy bass, makes for a very dynamic and exciting listen. Particularly this is because of the nice bass-midrange integrity and their integration. Still, there’s a coloration to the sound and this is a colored headphone. Mostly in the treble presentation.
 
9/10
 
Treble
- In the treble, the integrity starts to fall apart a bit. This is mainly because of a large 10 – 12 KHz dip, which is followed by another 15 – 16 KHz one. This mostly does not affect primary harmonics directly, save for a few selected ones, like certain cymbal crashes or some ruffling electric guitars. It does, however, affect almost all secondary harmonics, that is vocal’s/instrument’s decay, air and timbre, to a point. That means that the core tone is still there – vocals, guitars, violins, … - the problem is that instead of a particular instrument/voice naturally decaying away as it’s been struck/sung, it is cut off right after it’s been presented. So a voice is not carried through the air, the string does not vibrate through the air, the cymbal crash is not carried through the air. No instrument or voice is, because the large dips take this away. Instead they simply vanish in place, with a very short and unnatural decay. In return, however, this makes for a very smooth and fatigue-free treble, but nonetheless for a treble that is a bit uneven in its energy, making also some instruments or vocals sound more distant than others, depending on the frequency at which they are recorded. The extension, correlating with air presence to a point, is also poor as a result. It is a far cry from the RE-400’s light and airy presentation – one that I personally find more accurate. I am not saying the treble is destroyed because of it – not at all. It is simply important to point out that if you like a presentation that is airy and extended, this is not the right earphone for you. However, if you want a headphone that has a very smooth, non-fatiguing treble, accompanied by a very competent and sweet midrange and potent bass, conveying an all dynamic sound, then this might be the earphone for you! It is certainly the preferred signature for traveling, as opposed to a bright and harsh one. I can’t stand a harsh sounding IEM on the go, can you? Dark ones, such as this, still are the preferred and better choice in my opinion.
 
6/10
 
Vocals
 
a]Male
- Male vocals have good presence overall, with strong body and weight, but not overly so – they don’t sound bloated or overly heavy. I’d say male vocalists sound a bit more present than on the RE-400, but they aren’t conveyed with the same detail and finesse. The extension is again not too great because of the lack of air but compensating for that, the presence is more than adequate and there’s nothing inherently missing in that aspect, especially for the money.
 
8/10
 
b]Female
- The female vocals have decent presence, but this time I feel the RE-400 has more of it. To a point, this is affected by the frequency they occupy – if a female vocalist’s voice is conveyed in one of the dipped points of the RE-300h’s frequency response, then her presence will be greatly reduced. Regardless of where a vocalist is, the extension and ‘power’ of her voice is still not going to be great as the air needed to convey it is simply not there. For the price, the female vocals are good but not great, as while the presence is not an issue most of the time, they don’t extend too far, which I find fundamental for proper female vocal reproduction. If you really like female vocals more than anything, the RE-400 does them better.
 
6/10   
 
Sibilance
- Sibilance is not an issue with these. There’s minimal sibilance even with the brightest of tracks. Granted, the RE-400 fares just as well in most cases and, at the same time, can convey more air and information. But looking strictly at the sibilant aspects, both earphones pass with flying colors and certainly don’t disappoint here. As someone who is very, very sensitive to sibilance, I approve of this.
 
10/10
  
Soundstage
- These have a decently sized soundstage, though in comparison to the RE-400 it is a bit smaller and the instruments sound a bit less distinctive and slightly congested. The difference is pretty small though and I took no issues with the RE-300h’s soundstage per se. Instruments had a very decent and rather precise left and right spacing, while the vocals mostly stayed in the middle. Most IEMs lack the depth of full-size headphones so that is not something to criticize, but the panning from left to right of various instruments and vocals was very good. I imagine a bit more air would help with the staging, but such is not the tuning of these earbuds.
 
8/10
     
Imaging
- The imaging is likewise mostly stellar, but again a slight step down from the RE-400. Instruments and vocals are locked into their position and there’s no center-stage issue that I could detect. For the price, there’s little to criticize, though I think a bit more air would again help and as a result the RE-400 does image with better precision. If you just want to immerse yourself in the music for cheap, then the -300h is certainly the right place to start for sure.  
 
8/10
 
Instrument separation
- I talked a bit about this in the ‘soundstage’ and ‘imaging’ sections and basically the same applies here. The -300h, as a consequence of having more impact and weight to its sound overall and having a shelved treble region, has a bit worse separation than the -400. You’ll be able to separate things just fine though, but not to the same degree of accuracy of the RE-400. But what you lose in accuracy, you do gain in enjoyment and this indeed rings true here. Not that the RE-400 isn’t enjoyable, of course.
 
8/10
 
Detail/Resolution/Finesse
- There’s enough of it to keep you interested in your music. This earphone certainly doesn’t sound like a muddied mess - on the contrary, even though the treble is shelved, which often makes matters worse - it is still very decent in those aspects. Decent as in ‘most $50 dollar earphones with similar signature won’t give me that’ and ‘maybe the RE-400 is better because it costs a bit more and has a different tuning’. You can just buy the 300h and reap the benefits of spending a bit less, hearing a bit less but enjoying a bit more, if this is your cup of tea. Or don’t. I should say the two have a very different tuning, if that hasn’t been obvious until now. One targets detail and finesse, the other has musicality and dynamics. One is also better built.
 
7/10
    
Air
- There’s not much going on in terms of air here… The RE-400 has it, the RE-300h doesn’t, or just a tiny little bit. It reminds me of my previous HE-560/HE-400i and RE-400/RE-600 comparisons, where I criticized the RE-600/HE-400i for a relative lack of air and openness. Well, they still have more of both than the RE-300h. That’s because of the severe dips in the treble, obviously. I guess you can’t have both a completely fatigue-free headphone and lots of air, because air requires lots of treble energy, which will almost always bring at least a hint of fatigue. Though the RE-400 and HE-560 do come to mind as examples of just that done right. But they’re more expensive. They also again target different tonalities and tunings. For what this earphone is, I don’t blame its lack of air – it is tuned that way - but it is a fact and it is something that should be noted. If you are an air lover, this earphone is not meant for you. But you probably already know that! Or you do now. Nevertheless, there’s more that makes a headphone than just air.
 
2/10
 
Timbre/Realism/Decay
- Very much connected with the lack of air, I found the decay to be simply off. To me, decay is a combination of timbre and the subsequent air, which contributes to the realism. So basically timbre + air = decay => realism. So in this case, the RE-300h has a good timbre but lacks air, so the decay is off and so is the realism and overall transient response. What this means that the instruments might sound good, but they’re colored and thereby don’t sound very realistic. The -300h has a pleasing tonality to it but simply sounds ‘canned’ compared to my other headphones. Is it more engaging or better that way? Yes and no. Depends. You decide. The rating does not tell the whole story and it is what it is.
 
4/10
 
Overall Cohesiveness/Balance
- The RE-300h’s signature makes it a dark sounding headphone – the bass is very active and punchy, the midrange is forward and dynamic and the treble is… shelved and veiled. It makes for a very forgiving and dynamic headphone, with good musicality, presence and PRaT throughout lows and mids. The treble is undeniably its weakest link, especially compared to the RE-400, which clearly outclasses it there. The RE-400 is not dark, it is slightly on the warm side, but it is extended and isn’t dark. These two headphones target two very different audiences and have two very different sound signatures, midrange being the one aspect where these headphones are relatively similar. As for balance, the RE-300h is balanced about 2/3 through and some, so 7 is about right.
 
7/10
 
Subjective value for money/Conclusion
- Judging a headphone is hard. While it might be obvious that I’d reach for the RE-400 in a heartbeat, any day of the week, a friend of mine might do the exact opposite. Headphone signature is an acquired taste then and a personal preference that might change over time. 3 years ago, I would reach for the RE-300h myself, because that was my sound preference then, but since I joined head-fi, my sonic priorities have changed significantly and they will probably change again over time.
The RE-300h is a well-built earphone, versatile in all aspects, with great fit and ergonomic properties and a sound quality that is a rare find in its price category, regardless of tuning or signature. At 49$ it is a great value – a headphone that will probably last for years with an enjoyable tonality to boot, that one can savor at any time.
The RE-400 at 79$ is more pricey, yet possibly close enough to directly compete, but should it? It is nowhere near as rigid and requires care if it is to last for some time. As far as sound quality goes, this earphone is a perfect match for me. It has all the things I like – tight bass, air, finesse, mostly smooth and extended treble and it pretty much nails every aspect for me. Despite this, all the build quality issues I and others have had with it are real. But I still don’t regret buying it for the sound quality alone and how well it fits my taste.  But that’s my taste and the build quality can be a substantial sacrifice for many. You might like things the other way around, prefer different things or have different priorities.
To be honest, I am not sure these two should compete the same way I made them to, but they are not priced too far apart – within ~30$ off each other with the current RE-400 price - and I decided to compare the two a bit as such. Simply put, both sound great and have their strengths and weaknesses. Your taste should ultimately determine which one you choose. You honestly can’t go wrong with either one. Or the RE-600, which lies somewhere in between, if that’s more to your taste. Yep, I reviewed that too! There’s also the upcoming and mysterious RE-1000…
In conclusion, the RE-300h is a solid product that’s certainly worth a good shot if you like similarly tuned headphones, or simply want to try something different for cheap. Or just, you know, are curios. Thank you for reading.
 
Overall Value 8/10 [at 49$]
 
More Pictures
 
RE-300h 
 

 

 
  


 




bixby
bixby
You, my friend, have written a fantastically cohesive review, well done!
conquerator2
conquerator2
Thank you ^…^
Pros: small and light weight, excellent fitment and isolation, great bass
Cons: smooth and warm sound - not exactly audiophile, a bit thick lower mids
Before I start my review, I would like to Thank HiFiMAN for providing me with a review sample in exchange for my honest opinion.
 
When I heard HiFiMAN introduced a new line of RE300 in-ear headphones (300i and 300a with corresponding iDevice and Android controls, and 300h with high quality audio only cable), I automatically assumed this is going to be a budget scaled down version of their popular RE400 IEM which I had a pleasure of testing and reviewing in the past, both a standalone RE400 and a balanced wired RE400B bundled with HM700 DAP. From the moment I got these in my hands and my ears, it became very clear to me - I'm dealing with a whole new pint-sized beast, re-designed from a ground up and offered at a very attractive price of under $50. Here is what I found.

Arrived in a small plastic box with a clear open display, it was a bit of a step back from an elegant design packaging I was spoiled by in the past, but I do have to be realistic this is a budget version and you have to make some compromises to keep the cost down. The back of the packaging had a clear description of the features and the spec. One thing I would like to note, you also find US customer support phone number next to their website address, and I have to tell you their support is bar none! Dr Fang Bian and his team behind HiFiMAN takes a lot of pride in their product and support of their customers. I'm not just saying that because I'm reviewing their headphones, but actually because I had to deal with a replacement under warranty and found it to be a very pleasant experience.

Out of the box, you will find RE300h along with a pair of double-flange tips, a pair of custom silicone tips, a shirt clip (which I appreciate they didn't attach by default), and 5-pairs of stick on filters. The filters are actually a little different in comparison to RE400 where these have a more clear mesh structure. But either way, it's always a nice bonus to have, and as a matter of fact I use RE400 filters with a number of my other IEMs either as a replacement or when I try to tame down sibilance :) Btw, not sure about new filters yet, but original RE400 filters could be purchased separately from HiFiMAN. As you can see, the selection of accessories is also cut down where to keep the packaging (and probably cost) to a minimum you will not find a headphone case or a pouch and selection of eartips is very limited. At the same time, even so I always use the largest eartips for my fitment, I found the two included pairs to have a good universal fit.

And speaking of fitment, these are the smallest, the lightest, and the most comfortable pair of IEMs I have ever tested! The body of the shell is all plastic and molded in a tiny sculptured earplug shape. The ergonomics of the design makes it fit right inside of your inner-ear with a seal which provides a high level of passive noise isolation. Considering there is no air port opening on the back or anywhere around, there is no sound leakage coming in or out of these. But you also have to be very careful with tip rolling. I found UE900 medium size tips to provide the best balance of sound quality and ear-seal, but have experienced a bit of a driver flex stepping up to a large tips (which I typically use with all of my IEMs) because super tight ear-seal introduces a level of pressure going back into the nozzle. Each shell has a clear marked L/R identifier, so there is no confusion. The cable is attached with a sturdy strain relief which could be either glued or molded to the shell. Considering a small nature of their design which disappears in your ears, I would be very careful when pulling these out and would hold only by the shell rather than a cable. Also keep in mind, if anything breaks down the road - contact their support number for assistance with any problems.

The cable prior to y-slitter is round and thin, very flexible so it works great with over the ear fitment as well as wire down. If you need additional assistance with over the ear cable management, you can always use a chin slider (cable cinch) to bring wires closer together. Y-splitter is small and plastic with HIFIMAN printed on one side and RE-300h on the other side, and it doesn't have any strain relief so you have to be careful around that area. From y-splitter down to right angled gold plated 3.5mm plug the cable is thicker, but still easily manageable. The headphone plug comes with a good strain relief. Furthermore, RE300h version comes with OCC wires which have a higher purity than OFC, thus less signal degradation. Also, with a wire down fitment there was a little bit of microphonics which could be tamed down when using a shirt clip. Over the ear fitment also reduces microphonics significantly.

This brings me to a sound evaluation of 300h. I intentionally requested "h" version because of its audiophile quality description and wider frequency response range. HiFiMAN is well know for their audiophile quality hi-fi DAPs and Headphones, so I was expecting something in line with RE400 neutral signature with more revealing details, perhaps. If you were thinking the same, you will be in for a big surprise since these are actually L-shaped bass dominant IEMs. Nothing wrong with that, just a different signature intended for a modern audience who wants extra bass without going over the basshead borderline, and still likes to hear vocals loud and clear. Unfortunately, most of the popular bass heavy IEMs focus too much on the "boom" while delivering a veiled muddy sound with sub-par midrange performance. Perhaps that was the idea behind "audiophile" tuning of these bassy IEMs to show that you can have the best of both worlds.

As I mentioned above, the sound is leaning more toward L-shape warm and smooth sound signature due to a boost around sub-bass and mid-bass with some spillage into lower mids. Bass extends down to sub-bass level with a nice rumble and a rounded mid-bass punch (a bit less aggressive). Thickness of lower mids gives overall sound more body and extra warmth, but it's not as "bad" as DGS100. Upper mids are clear and well separated from the bass, but can be perceived as a little bit recessed due to bass/lower mids dominance. Vocal delivery is warm and smooth, with enough clarity and details. Treble doesn't extend too far and has some early roll-off. It's not peaky or sibilant which contributes to a great non-fatigue listening experience. The soundstage was definitely a surprise to me because I was expecting a below average performance due to a small "closed" design of these IEMs. To my very pleasant surprise, staging is definitely above average with a wide/deep sound (more wider than deeper) and, despite L-shaped sig, still having a good separation and layering.

For a quick comparison, I put 300h against some of my other IEMs, such as RE400, KC06A, T1E, VSD3, and IM50. One common trend in every comparison was 300h having a warmer and smoother sound, thicker lower mids, and less treble extension. Most of them have brighter upper mids and crispier treble, but sometime it comes at an expense of peaky performance, grainier sound, and in some cases less natural tonality. Another common trend with other IEMs was leaner lower mids which make them sound thinner, relatively speaking. When it comes to bass, RE400 is too lean in general, KC06A doesn't have as much sub-bass extension though faster mid-bass punch, T1E and VSD3 have a similar sub-bass extension while faster and more aggressive mid-bass punch, and IM50 has a deeper sub-bass rumble and more aggressive mid-bass punch. Soundstage was on par, though KC06A is more shallow. With fitment and ergonomics, RE300h clearly has an advantage, though fitment is purely subjective to your ear anatomy.

Overall, I was very pleased with RE300h from HiFiMAN, and probably more excited about its tiny size with an excellent over the ear fitment and great sound isolation. These in-ear headphones literally disappear inside of your ears and provide noise isolation perfect even for a busy subway commute. If you choose 300a or 300i version, you will also add in-line control and mic for your smartphone, though I have a feeling these versions will have a bit more bass in comparison to 300h. I also think their smooth and warm sound signature compliments really well a lot of my other brighter IEMs. These headphones strike a good balance between a weight of low end and clarity of upper mids without too much of upper frequency brightness. The sound is still clear and detailed, and for those who want to make it leaner - you can always use EQ to cut down lower mids. Maybe RE300h is not all around IEM for every music style since they lack in brightness and a bit bottom heavy, but for daily commuters or anybody who wants to tune out surrounding noise while submerging themselves into beats of EDM or current Top40 hits - these will be great!
 
Here are the pictures (click to enlarge).
 
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Chiho
Chiho
Is it bassier than the re-400?
twister6
twister6
@garcia : will try to measure it later, but should be the same as RE400, eartip fitment felt the same, and stick on filters have the same diameter.
 
@Tr1ppy : it all depends on the amp.  They have great synergy directly out of HO of X5 and even my Note 4.  Amping is not required.  Pairing with C5 widens the staging, but I prefer E12A because it's brighter and leaner, adds more details across the whole FR
 
@Chiho : like night'n'day :)  RE400 has a warm neutral signature, imho - bass is flat.  RE300h has a healthy boost in lows with more roll off in highs.  Different sig from RE400.
howdy
howdy
So do you prefer the the re400 or re300h? Was thinking of pairing it with my dx90.
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