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Hifiman IEM's: RE-400 and RE-600

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  1. G_T_J

    They might be a bit narrow sounding at times if that's what you mean, though being myself an owner of the HD598 which have a HUGE soundstage, I can tell you that when it comes to music the more important aspect is accuracy and how convencing the soundstage and imaging at any given time can be and sure nothing in particular chaotic or unrealistically wide. My HD598 are great for movies and gaming but I honestly don't like them for music for two reasons: i) their grittinness in the highs which ruins the timbre (makes them sound metallic) and ii) the rediculously ''overdone'' wide soundstage which is vastly exagerrated and that is evident with recordings and albums I am familiar with for decades.

    When I want to test the speed of an iem or headphone I usually throw in some early Avantasia songs from the first 2 albums when the production was more organic and a lot less computer processed, compared to their later recordings or some late 80's Helloween or Running Wild. These recordings are difficult to handle due to the analogue old school recording techniques they used back then and are usually prone to sibilance and harshness.However, those recordings -if rightly (re)presented- can sound magical with their organic lifelike nature. The RE-400 remain amazingly cohesive and fast with those.

    I seriously can't fault these iems. To my ears, they don't have any particular flaw in their sound signature. There might be better iems when it comes to transparency or others with a more prominent low end but at the same time those would lose somewhere else, eg in timbre, neutrality, naturaleness. Having said that, no iem is perfect and I'm sure this is something widely accepted even by the owners of the most expensive ones out there.

    The RE-400 just do everything right and effortlessly with a great balance, and the less possible compromise in every single sound parameter.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    swspiers and rendyG like this.
  2. drivie
    I own a pair of RE-400's and they've recently stopped working properly. The issue seems to be with the 3.5mm jack because if I wrench it about a little, they will come to life again.

    I don't trust myself to recable them so can anyone recommend a company that will recable them for me? I found Vesper Audio but can't find anything about them so not sure if they're any good. I realize a new pair of RE-400 is only $50 but I would rather pay once to have them recabled with better quality cables that last than to purchase new ones every year or two. Any advice or assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated!

  3. squee116
    Tbh, the cost of labor and parts would probably double to triple the coat of the iems.
  4. Baroninkjet
    Anyone have a suggestion for RE 600s alternative with a little heavier bass? I mostly listen to Spotify on Android, and would like to avoid EQ if I could (for a variety of reasons.) Love the fit and sound of RE600s.

    Any thoughts?
  5. G_T_J
    I'd look at either the Flare Audio Pros or if you can find a pair of Aurisonics Rockets.
    Both have a lot more bass than RE400/RE600.

    Keep in mind though that the Flares are to be used with Comply foam tips. If you use them with silicon ones they sound bright and aggressive, at least to my liking, hence I ended up selling them.

    The Rockets are smooth and pretty close to the RE600 retaining also the small footprint and comfortable fit.
    Baroninkjet likes this.
  6. squee116
    Problem is balancing more bass without bleeding into mids. I haven't heard a mid centric iem with elevated bass that doesn't sound muddy yet.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
    Baroninkjet likes this.
  7. AstralStorm
    RE-800 have exactly this kind of sound, but require deep insertion or they get your typical uncompensated flat splashy treble otherwise.

    Of course they're expensive.
  8. Colors
    RE400 + Dragonfly Red is a great combo. Really adds soundstage, some treble and low end. Sounds more "complete".

    Can anyone suggest an upgrade to RE-400? I really like it and wonder if there's better. Current looking at VSonic GR07 Bass Edition (2017).
    G_T_J likes this.
  9. G_T_J
    I confirm this is a match made in heaven... The snergy with the original DF was also out of this world.

    Good luck with finding a similar yet better to the RE400 IEM. I have tried a dozen (some very expensive) since buying my first pair of RE400, however, no matter how much I spend, I always return to them.

    The only good alternative I have found is the discontinued TDK BA200 which is slightly more transparent, airy and a tad more energetic than the RE400 but with the sacrifice of a bit of smoothness and naturalness in return. The only real benefit it has over the RE400 is its soundstage which is significantly wider. That said, I consider it more of a sidegrade than an upgrade.

    Seriously, if you get to find a similar headphone that you consider it an ''upgrade'', please tag me in your future post...
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    Colors likes this.
  10. Colors
    Not to mention the comfort and lightweightness too..

    I'll let you know! Will be testing the GR07 BE and Shure SE425 more soon.
  11. Colors
    Hm, I bought some Comply T-400 and they noticeably improve the bass and isolation.
  12. rendyG
    IMHO comply can improve bass only when you can´t find proper fitting silicone tips. I was definitely getting better extension with silicone.
    They actually take something off that already rolled off treble, that can result in percieved "improved" bass.
  13. Colors
    That's very true. I couldn't find a proper seal with silicon. Now that you mention it, Comply does take off some treble.
  14. Diapason
    Hi all. I bought a pair of 400s (with the android button) on the back of reading this entire thread a couple of weeks ago. I figured that if they were good value at $99 when released, they were probably still good value at €46 now. So far I'm very happy with the purchase, but like many, I'm struggling to find tips that really work for me. Interestingly, I've experienced all of the criticisms I've read in this thread when the tips are "wrong", and I've experienced all of the good things when the tips work properly. Whoever suggested deep insertion with the smallest tips, thank you for that. It feels like I'm conducting an archaeological dig into the middle of my skull, but it seems to work. Only problem is they get uncomfortable after a while in that position, so I'm still experimenting.

    Anyway, I have a few questions and comments.

    The experience with the tips has me wondering about my old Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro. I have used these for years with the same (disposable!) set of foam tips, and needless to say they're getting pretty tired. I'm now thinking I have probably never got the best out of them as I couldn't get used to normal tips when I bought them and settled on foam as a decent compromise. Can anyone tell me how they'd expect the UEs to compare with the RE-400 in terms of quality? I appreciate that they have different signatures, but should one be an obvious step up from the other? I can't find the old tips now so I'd be looking for alternatives, but maybe it's worth going back down that road.

    I'm coming at all this from the world of 2-channel hifi where I had a fairly high-end system until recently, so I'm only dipping my toe into the headphone waters. I'm starting cheap to get a handle on things before I splash out on something I'll regret as I don't really know what's possible. I had a dedicated listening room at home which has now become a playroom for my daughters, so I'm looking at musically satisfying alternatives. In terms of sonics, I find the RE-400 balanced and smooth, with a slightly dry but surprisingly sophisticated kind of sound. Timbres are good and it's an easy listen but in an ideal world I'd prefer a bit more listen-through transparency and a little more leading-edge definition, as I find they can sound a little soft on the attack. I also find they can get a little congested and shouty in the upper mids, so I'd love a bit more control there. Of course, I'm still shocked at the quality for €46 so I have ZERO complaints. I'm NOT looking for laser treble or unrealistic bass, so I don't think I'm a V-shaped fancier. Any thoughts where I might go from here? I suppose I'm really just talking about portable use from my phone for the moment, the home setup will come later.

    Incidentally, I know burn-in is a vexed question on hifi and headphone forums the world over, but leaving the usual arguments aside, I have to say that things improved a lot with the RE-400s after I left them playing loud for a day connected to a Bluesound Node II at home. Prior to that they sounded a bit lightweight and shouty, but after that bass seemed larger and the shoutiness seemed to calm down a bit. Still, nothing has as much of an effect as getting the tips right.

    Thanks to all the contributors in this thread, btw. It's really great to get such good insights on something that would otherwise have passed me by completely.
  15. arunbupathy
    Hi all! Is there anyone with RE400's in Bangalore, India? Because I need help, desperately! I want to know if recabling them has changed their sound?

    Here's my story. I bought the RE400 about 3 years back. I was very happy with the way they sounded. But no more than 6 months of usage and the sheath of the cable started breaking off, leaving the wires exposed. I had reason to believe that it was my error, because a couple of times they got pulled as a result of getting caught in my chair's crevices. HiFiNage.com, the people from whom I bought them were super awesome, and got them replaced in a breeze.

    In a couple of months, I bought my next new shiny toy, the VSonic GR07 Bass Edition. For about 6 months I had completely forgotten about the RE400s. I had stowed them away in the carry case, after wrapping them up carefully. One day, I decide to take them out. Lo and behold, the plastic sheathing on the cables had turned brittle and cracked near the y-split and near the ear pieces! I was out of warranty too. I kept using it for a few more months, but soon enough the sheath started coming off, leaving the wires exposed.

    Worst part was that the GR07's weren't any better. They had the same brittle sheath issue. Both the RE400s and the GR07s were so good sounding, but not so cheap enough for me to just throw them away. So, I bit the bullet and took Vesper Audio's help to get them recabled, although it cost more than getting them anew again.

    VA were super helpful and got them recabled the way I wanted them to be. The recabling is done amazingly well, and the quality of the cable and the plug are top notch. It's rugged and inspires real confidence. Both phones look like lifestyle products now (see pic here: https://imgur.com/gallery/t26QjIQ although the picture don't do justice to how good they look).

    VA told me that the type of wires that I chose for them would make them sound slightly warm and smooth. And indeed, when I tested out the recabled GR07 BEs, that was exactly what I felt. In fact, I felt that it was a good thing, because I used to find the sibilance peak to be off putting. But with the RE400's I feel that the change in sound is more drastic. It feels duller and muffled. The tone feels tilted backward. I feel that it has lost its charming sparkle, almost lifeless.

    But here's the thing. I've been listening to another full-sized can (Philips SHP9500S) for a few months now. While it has great tonal balance, it is quite a bright sounding can, and at times even overenthusiastic. So, I'm confused if it is the effect of listening to these for such a long time that I'm feeling that the RE400's are now dull, or has the recabling changed their sound?

    I don't want to pass judgment on the cables so soon, because I know very well that getting adjusted to different sound signatures can take time. However, I've been listening to the RE400's for a good month now, and I feel that they just don't sound the same anymore. In short, I'm pulling my hairs right now!

    So, if there's anyone from Bangalore (India) having the RE400's, I would like to meet up to compare my recabled ones with them. I would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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