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Got the RE-400, why does it not sound proper?

  1. mindstormer
    I use http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-AD700-Open-air-Audiophile-Headphones/dp/B000CMS0XU for 8+ hours on the computer everyday for many years. It's my all-purpose headphone for Youtube, movies, music that requires clarity and accuracy, etc. I wanted an all-purpose earphone so I did some research and eventually decided to go for the RE-400. It just arrived and I listened to it to see just how good it is (from all the reviews I've read, it was a top contender for its price range). I was thoroughly disappointed with how distant the audio sounds. I also used http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URrTiZbTHcY to test what instruments would sound like, and the piano did not sound like a piano (it sounded fake, whereas on my headphone it sounds like a piano).
    I know that headphones are generally better than earphones, but I've had a cheap Seinheisser CX-300s for like $40 that sounded better just because the audio was so distant and there was an accuracy. I'm obviously new to using good earphones--is the RE-400 supposed to sound bad and needs burn-in time before I can judge? Am I just awful at judging sound quality? Is the sound stage (I don't even know what this term means, to be honest) not right for me? Based on the reviews, everyone seemed to like it and/or it was at least a decent earphone.
    P.S. I got static when I plugged it into my computer. I didn't get static from my AD700 headphones (or at least I couldn't hear any). Is this a common problem and can I do something about it? Perhaps it's my computer's audio jack being the problem?
  2. tinyman392
    The computer may not be the best source for IEMs...  There are many factors at play here.  The signature of the RE400 may not be for you, or you may not be getting the proper seal.  Try the single-flange tip and insert the IEM like Etymotic instructs in their youtube video. 
  3. kimvictor
    That's interesting. I find the AD700 to sound unreal. However, it's not really that uncommon that a iem/headphone sounds artificial at first. I get that sometimes too. Just give it some listening time, and see if it's better in couple hours. Also, static sound you get is probably hiss, which is common in earphones. If you don't want hissing, I recommend getting an amp/dac or use a dedicated music player.
  4. brhfl
    I think the biggest improvement in going to an outboard DAC for me was just getting rid of the noise from inside my computer. But then, I have five drives worth of spinning motors in there, not to mention fans, etc... Not all computers are bound to be as noisy, but there is a lot going on in there to interfere with your audio. Differing sensitivity in 'phones will expose more of less of that, I suppose.
  5. mindstormer
    Thanks for response.
  6. yabafma
    Got my RE-400s at the start of May this year. They sounded 'really' bad first up - poor bass (I knew that was down to tips) , but the worst was vocals (female in particular). At any level above a whisper, the soundstage collapsed, and they just 'honked'. It didn't seem to matter what source I used, the result was the same.
    Truly disappointing after all the positive reviews.
    Of course with all IEM phones, tip selection is critical to obtain that seal for bass reproduction. I just couldn't get with any of the provided tips (I have large ear canals). Had some success with silicone tips from some UE/Logitech phones, but the seal was fragile, and popped at the slightest movement. Getting desperate, I tried some Comply T400s I had lying around and, voila, that fixed the seal problem.
    As far as the 'real' problem was concerned, I was on the verge of returning them, but decided to try a 'burn in' period. I had them running pretty much non-stop all May (pin noise mainly, but altenating with music occasionally), testing them occasionally. About a week and a half ago, magic happened. Now they sound as I imagine the myriad of reviews I've read found them.
    In hindsight I do recall in at least one review I read the reviewer had burnt them in for 150 hours before listening seriously.
  7. Origin89
    They sounded great right out of the box for me. This is an objectively quality product, but whether you enjoy them or not is completely subjective. I don't know of a single pair of IEMs that EVERY audiophile likes. You just need to find what works for you, and that's what we're all trying to doing. 

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