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

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  1. AstralStorm
    Exactly. Removing the damper also reduces acoustic impedance and increases treble, but increases it in higher parts, more linearly and does not cut down bass.
    The foam filter acts in the 3-7kHz area, while the damper acts in the 7-infty kHz area. Also the foam has a tendency to smoothen out peaks, the damper does not. The foam also increases apparent volume of the air by slowing the speed of sound - making for a virtually larger enclosure.
    There's more bass presence with dual dampers because you've cut off the treble so much, you had to increase volume to compensate. Am I right?
  2. SMBuscemi
    I am a Grado fan, I had their GR10s for a year among owning some of their over the ear versions like the PS500s.

    Then I tried my friends HiFiMan HE400's. I was blown away. So I got the HE500's because ALO was sold out of the '400s.

    That was a game changer for me. Not necessarily a better sound, but a different sound.

    Then I went to CES this past year hell bent like a groupie to see the HiFiMan booth: it was incredible. There is where I met the team and tried the RE-400s. I was impressed throughly.

    A month or so later and the RE400's are getting broken in, the sound is addictive, and i sold my GR10's.

    For $99, there is nothing to be on the fence about. You'll be happy. I use it with my Triad L3 and my Continental V3 with Cypher Labs.

    Mostly I've been using this with my new Ray Samuels Intruder and I'm just as impressed.
  3. Deni5
    Actually, I didn't have to increase the volume. Anyway here is my theory on this:
    Ok, neither of these filters act directly on the bass region at all (Sub Bass: 20-60 Hz, Bass: 60-250 Hz) so this leads me to think that more dampening leads to more bass. Either you dampen in the White foam 3-7kHz region or the T4000-filter 7kHz - infinity kHz region. We don't know by how much dB's these filters dampen - this has to be measured, but they do dampen.
    So what I wanted from the mod was a more analytical sound like in Etymotic ER4-S but with better bass presence. I thought this might be possible because dynamics are more capable of producing more bass than BA:s in general - surely this has to do with dynamics being able to push more air. So removing the white foam bumps the 3-7kHz region by a little, enough to make it noticeable (human hearing is more sensitive in this region). Sure you have to compensate by putting on an extra layer of T4000 otherwise you loose too much bass (again more dampening should provide more bass). And in reality how much can an extra layer dampen, I don't know because I don't know by how many dBs it is dampening. In general it is more difficult to hear higher frequencies (not only that but measuring instruments have also a harder time with measuring them - look at how frequency curves tend to behave after 10kHz). Higher frequencies provides sparkle and ‘air’ of a sound but could also lead to fatigue if overdone.
    Going back to Etymotic ER4-S - this IEM is known as an analytical one. And it actually has its most presence in the 3-7kHz giving it this analytical sound character. So removing the white foam on the RE-400 tilts it more to the analytical side.
    A note about linearity:
    In an ideal world the perfect headphone would be linear. This is what I have believed anyway...
    Sennheiser when designing the HD-650:
    "...but engineer Axel Grell found that when the ‘phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz."
    Most ideal headphones/IEM's today tend to have linearity up to 2kHz, then after that it is more what you prefer: analytical, warm and so on. Everyone has their taste in what it should sound like. Frequency curves doesn't give the whole picture so don't judge everything by that. There are many more factors that make a difference.
    So why did I try the mod - well as I said before it was kind of an accident but when you think about it - Hifiman put in 3 years of hard work and research into this driver and housing shell. They didn't do all that just to make a 99 USD IEM out of it - so why not try a little mods with it. Not only that but it is completely their own driver design also so they can finetune everything the way the want to do it. Also because of it being a completely new driver design it won't sound like the older generation or anything else - imo this is a step in the right direction. As with all Hifiman IEM's the sound will grow on you and you will appreciate it more with time (I actually found it a little boring at the beginning). Don't judge it by its price.
    Again everybody has their preference so I'm not saying the mod is awesome or anything but I happen to like it.
  4. belisk
    Just got my RE-400's
    Testing them on the WA7 and comparing them with the all mighty SigPro
    Initial impressions:
    Mid range: 9.5/10, excellent mid range, its just what others are saying about them.
    Treble: 8.5/10, very good treble, nicely rounded like a few reviews have said, and no trace of sibilance.
    Bass: 7/10, not bassy by any means, and I knew that before I bought them, but its very clean bass.
    Ergonomics: instant 10/10 because I can sleep with them.
    Isolation: 6.5/10, good isolation, could be better.
    Value: 10/10, $99 nuff said.
  5. toads
    I've had my re-400s for about a week now and generally agree with much of what has been said about these IEMs thus far; sonically balanced, detailed, well resolved, adequate isolation, ergonomically pleasing, all at an unheard of price point....

    They are not without their faults however; mind you they have smoothed out and opened up at bit (50hrs), certain freq (upper mids) as mentioned elsewhere can seem crunchy and sharp....also they are far from the last word in soundstage (not a great deal of width and seem generally pretty flat), dynamically they are rather inert as well....

    All things considered, they are a great bargain and expect them to have a solid following in days/months to come
  6. ItsMeHere
  7. AstralStorm
    Yes, when you remove the foam, the sound gets similar to RE-ZERO in tonality, but sparklier. RE-ZERO was already very close to ER-4S, RE-400 without filter with extra dampeners must be dead on target or very close - much less peaky than RE-ZERO at the very least.
    The foam indirectly act on bass by increasing apparent shell volume. Larger volume improves bass extension up to certain extent. (See Thiele small-signal parameters for an explanation.)
    Most IEMs are not flat up to 2k - many have some measure of bass bump. Also it's the higher frequencies that are more HRTF dependent, not just preference. The "perfect" ER-4S curve was derived by averaging, so it won't really fit most people perfectly - there was high deviation in higher parts beyond 3 kHz in the studies I've seen.
    The pinna notch frequency is pretty personal, but indeed it most often is in 4-7kHz range and depends on the fit.
    I hate it when people call IEMs sporting just bright or forward highs analytical. This has nothing to do with resolving power, low distortion and no ringing, which is the actual requirement for something to *be* analytical, not some brightness or darkness one way or the other.
    The visual analogy would be having a noisy (distortion), but sharpened (ringing) and contrast enhanced (v-shaped) picture with banding artifacts (peaky). (something "analytical" but low fidelity). It's in my opinion much worse than a smooth lower contrast one with little noise and no artifacts. You know, contrast/gamma (frequency response) is easily adjustable - the other artifacts are nowhere near as easy to correct. FR will affect soundstaging, much like having unequal color balance with notches in it would make for a weird complete picture.
  8. proedros
    any news on when the re-600 comes out ?

    good to see hifiman products getting the love - time to kill all hyped,overpriced,overrated iems [​IMG]
  9. ItsMeHere
    As far as I've heard from their PR, the date isn't set yet.
  10. Phosphenetre
    I've been looking for a pair of tonally neutral, fairly accurate and detailed IEMs with realistic timbre and bass dynamics, for the past several months. I had a pair of Rock It Sounds R-50, but they arrived defective, with loose wiring in one ear.
    I loved the detail and transparency of the R-50, but I did find the bottom-end lacked a more realistic weight and body.
    How will the RE-400 fare in these respects? I am also looking at the Ortofon E-Q5, so if anyone has heard the RE-400 and the E-Q5 or the Rock It R-50, I'd really love some comparison.
  11. Swimsonny
    The EQ-5 are a lot more fun but do the best of the three in deep bass. The RE-400 is very natural but still could do with a helping hand down deep but i think is still a good bet!
  12. Phosphenetre
    I forgot to mention that I'm also considering the VSonic GR07 MkII, the GR01 and the Fischer Audio DBA-02 MkII in the competition.
    I really like what I'm reading about the RE-400, but somehow feel I haven't enough information on it yet to be sold.
    For a budget of 200 USD, does anything beat the RE-400 at a generally neutral frequency response with a detailed reproduction, great separation but without losing out on a natural, convincing body to the bottom end?
  13. AstralStorm
    Well, for me RE-400 has plenty of body, lots of extension, depth and decay. It is linear bass, so if you're looking for boosted bass, go elsewhere. (perhaps TDK IE800?)
    The bass quality yields only to Spiral Ear SE-5 custom.
    I do own Brainwavz B2 (which is very similar to DBA-02 mkII - slightly less bass boosted) and I have owned GR07 (which I assume sounds almost the same as GR07 mkII). The latter has some bass boost, but nowhere near the slam, while B2 has comparable body and decay, but bass sounds somewhat slow - yet it is still slightly boosted - perhaps it's the slight subbass rolloff. Its sound is definitely bit distorted - not as "black".
    GR07 also had the annoying 6k sibilance and slight highs rolloff, while B2 has that humongous highs boost centered around 5.5k. (Which gets merely large with very deep fit, achievable with some triple flanges or Comply P.)
  14. proedros
    eq-5 probably
    havent heard the re-400 , but having the re-zero/252/262/272 , i would say the eq-5 were quite a nice iem
  15. Deni5

    It it closer to ER-4S when comparing details, yes. ER-4S is still clearer sounding. But I use RE-400 more now as it is difficult getting a good fit for me with the ER-4S everytime. If I don't get a good fit it sounds plain bad. With RE-400 I easily get a good fit everytime.
    Although I agree that analytical IEM's should possess those requirements you mention those can almost only be measured by measuring instruments. Can't see Joker's reviews of IEM's mentioning those requirements for him to call something analytical. From Head fi's "Describing Sound - A Glossary" something analytical is "Highly detailed". If treble is too withdrawn/barely noticable I can't see it as analytical (imo). But I understand what you are saying.
    Also I don't think modding a very neutral sounding IEM can do extremely much to distortion, ringing, artifacts. It would be something completely different to foam mod a RE-272 to give it more treble (a little crazy even imo). I got my other RE-400 today and there isn't a huge difference - I actually like both of them (unmodded and mod). Anyway I don't hear that much of a difference between unmodded and modded regarding distortion (on some occasions mod sounds slightly clearer - not as harsh).
    Found a difference in sound signature (balance) regarding RE-400 vs older line (RE-ZERO, RE-272):
    When listening to Weezer - Hash Pipe the RE-ZERO sounded a little harsh to me because of the guitars being so much upfront (like blasting 1meter from you) especially when all instruments play together. Guitars almost overpower the vocals and even though the signature is "fun" I think it is a little too much unbalanced.
    RE-272 handles this part better, but I can still sense some of the same signature as in RE-ZERO, but it is better refined.
    RE-400 sounds very different in this regard. Guitars aren't as pronounced (upfront) but stay in the back so vocals is better indistinguishable from the rest. This sounds a little boring but is imo more natural. It somehow reminds me of the balance in my Sennheiser HD-600 regarding neutrality and I like this.
    Sure it can be more refined and hopefully will be in the RE-600.
    Regarding the Rockit R-50: Very detailed but the bass is too off imo. Can hardly hear/feel the kickdrum in the song mentioned above (although this depends a little on which tips you use). I like the RE-400 more because it sounds more natural to me and works with many more genres.
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