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Here's my take on the RE2000 Silver.
Here I look into the design of the RE2000 Silver.
I accidentally got the RE2000 silver unit again. I thought I might as well try it since I got it. This unit sounds much different to the demo unit.
So is it burn in, or the newer versions have a different sound?
I really don't know. It still has the same sharp edges, but the treble is much more bright. Since the first time I had the RE2000 I bought a lot of tips, over 120 AUD silicon tips. I started playing around with various tips and to my ears and one thing is certain, RE2000 is very sensitive to tips.
Spinfit makes it sound sibilant, Fitear type E gives it a nice bass boast, stock tip is hit and miss. So far the JVC Spiral Dot + has the best balance so far for me.
Okay, they are certainly bright/borderline sibilant. The bass is still elevated but feels less bloated, but I'm going based on memory, I don't have the original RE2000 silver I first heard.
To give this some balance, these were not my findings.on the RE2000 Silver, they remain an excellent, mellow sounding set of iems with plenty of detail anď an airy soundstage
What tip did you end up using with RE2K silver? I'm pairing it with their R2R2K.
The medium tips supplied with them, I haven't done any tip rolling
OK, review time. Plenty of people have done the unboxing / accessories thing so I'll skip over that and go to what I think is most important.
All reviews done with the stock single-flange silicone tips. Most listening done with the IEM output of my Woo Audio WA7 with tube power supply. Mobile listening done with stock USB-C adapter coming from Xiaomi Mix 2S. Main comparisons done with the 64 Audio U10 and Shure SE-846.
Comfort - I'm a big fan of the RE-2000 shape. Its smooth edges and snug fit over the outer ear make me forget I'm wearing them after a few seconds. The only complaint I have is that the silver gets very cold, especially in a New Zealand winter. The silicone shells of the U10 and SE-846 don't give you the unpleasant shock of the RE-2000 freezing your ears in the morning! However, the brushed silver look gives the HifiMan a much more premium aesthetic than the others. The U10 and SE-846 are subtle and utilitarian, but certainly don't ooze quality and expensive materials. This isn't a big deal for me, but I can see how many people would want a TOTL to feel and look premium.
Cable - Rubbery, quite thick, lower in microphonics than the other two. Tangles less as well! The only downside is the lack of a memory-wire guide to secure the cables over top of the ear. The included hook-like attachment was an awkward shape and didn't actually hold the cable very well.
Easy of driving - easily driven by the USB-C adapter, usually sitting on about 30% volume, or 9 o'clock on the Woo. This is fractionally higher than the other two IEMs, but I wonder if this more reflects the better isolation from foam tips on the Shure and 64 Audio.
Bass - certainly the highlight for me of the RE-2000. It has fantastic slam and definition. It certainly is boosted above neutral, especially in the mid-bass. The bass manages not too bleed too much into the mid-range (I'm looking at you SE-846). Sub-bass extension is good, even if it sits back slightly from the mid-bass. The bass can still be a bit overwhelming at times, but I'm used to more of a reference signature. If a modest bass-boost is what you're after, the RE-2000 deliver without over-doing it.
Mid-range - this is a bit of a struggle for me. I don't have a measurement device, and I haven't looked at any graphs prior to writing this. I suspect there's a bit of a dip somewhere in the lower midrange, around 300-500Hz. This might help keep the bass well-defined, but it does make vocals sound a little 'breathy' at times. Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' for example, doesn't get the lushness of vocal performance that the U10 provides. Otherwise the mids are even and not lacking in definition to my ears.
Treble - slightly elevated in the lower-treble compared to the mid-range. There appears to be a spike in the 10-12kHz region, before rolling off slightly after this. Pleasing lack of sibilance.
Soundstage/Instrument separation - good width of soundstage, certainly compared to the SE-846. Better definition and instrument separation than the SE-846 as well. The U10 is a detail retrieval monster, and the RE-2000 does lose out in this respect. Soundstage-wise I would consider them pretty equivalent.
I really didn't gel with the RE-2000 the first time I put them on. The bass was too much, the mid-range a bit wonky, the cable kept falling off my ear. Two weeks later though, I really couldn't care less. I love these headphones. No, they're not perfect. But god dammit they just sound right. If I want to pick a recording to bits, I'll use my U10. If I want something fun, musical, comfortable, easy-going... it'll be the RE-2000 every time. I am sitting here, typing this review, wishing that I didn't have to send them back. I'm not usually someone to gush in my reviews, but I can't help it. I love them. I shall miss them. Hopefully one day I shall own them.
My impressions of the RE2000 Silver.
As part of the HiFiman RE2000 tour, I was asked to write down a review or impressions of my time with these earphones. I’ve use them for a solid three weeks, with a light rotation of some other earphones to keep the RE2000 sounding fresh and unique to my ears. They will soon be going on to the next person on the tour.
The RE2000’s are a lively and enjoyable pair of reference earphones. They are very musical but also exhibit details to keep things interesting. Low end is full and has rumble and punch when needed. Mids make both male vocals and especially female vocals sound very natural. Tremble is airy and extended but never harsh. Soundstage is wide and they go deep. The signature is not dark, but rather warmish and to me close to neutral. There is an extra kick on the bottom end to keep things lively, PRat is solid. Clarity is perfect with these, every sound is heard in your music, with little if any distortion. In rock music guitars have crunch. In modern pop and electronica, the low end has punch and is rich, vocals have emotion. In indie music the vocals and acoustic guitars sound lively and engaging. In classical orchestral music, the music is grand and full with strings and cymbals sounding natural. In jazz the timbre of the instruments is perfect.
The RE2000’s fit very nicely into my medium sized ears, giving good sound blockage and a decent seal. Tips I used were the Final Audio E Type ear tips, which worked very well with the RE2000’s and helped with the seal. I found that any good copper cable works well, balanced gives it an extra edge. The unbalanced tube amp DX220amp9 is truly excellent, making the rich bottom end and the natural mids melt into your ears. Truly a great combo. The Sony NW-WM1A was also an excellent pairing.
Vs the Campfire Audio Atlas – The Atlas has a deeper low end, and a wider sound stage. The RE2000 have better PHrat, slight mid bass bump for that extra bass sound. Playing something like the Clash’s Guns on the Roof, one feels that the sound, although lively with both earphones, it just has an extra kick with the RE2000. Details sound great on both, but the Atlas does have the bigger sound stage, as stated.
Vs. Massdrop x Empire Ears Zeus - The Zeus is brighter and more detailed, it’s also a multi-BA driver vs a Dynamic driver. Nothing unexpected. The RE2000 is more musical and gives a better since of coherency to the sound. Personal preference here. The Massdrop is quite the bargain for it’s selling point, but the RE2000 is a better bargain for it’s current asking price.
Vs the Beyerdynamic Xelento – The RE2000 have a bigger sound with fuller mids and thicker bass. The Xelento’s are another single dynamic and are a pleasure to wear for the fit and lightness of the earphone. The RE2000 is much bigger and doesn’t fit quite as well, but IMHO, they sound better with a bigger and livelier sound.
To me the star of the show is it’s striking low end which takes nothing away from the rest of the signature. As mentioned, it has a full low end that gives a nice thump to your music. With something like Bowie’s classic Fashion, the club dance beat is balanced perfectly with those soaring but smooth guitars. None of this taking away from Bowie’s fantastic vocals.
The RE2000’s are a bit big, and some with smaller ears may not get the best fit. Some may not enjoy the fun musical signature and prefer a more clinical or balanced signature. Some may even perceive the clear and full bass as a weakness in the sound, yet it is fairly close to the sound of many bands that I have seen live.
The RE2000’s are a great set of earphones and highly recommended, especially at the current price.
I received the RE2000 loaner IEMs yesterday. I'm liking these a lot. Nice sub bass, warm smooth sound, with nice treble, and the detail is still there even though these are warm. I'm using these with my iBasso DX209Ti and Cayin N6ii. I'm not hearing the sharp edges like some are talking about. Maybe it's the pairing with my gear or the pair I have.
No, didn't hear sharp edges either. Was using mostly my DX220 amp1 (balanced) & amp 9 plus my Sony NW-WM1A (balanced).
I used a balanced copper cable.
I'm using a balanced silver cable. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32982536849.html
First impressions... 3 short sessions in. I am finding that as with any IEM, tip choice is critical. These need a tight (deep?) insert to get the best sound quality. My ears tend to rebel at that idea but I was able to find a combination that works for me; medium single flange silicon. Now for obligatory cable rant. I dislike "rubberized" cables. Though this cable tries to lay flat it still ends up looping itself. I prefer an over the ear cable guide as it helps orient the wearer to how to mount these things.
Sources tested so far:
(JRiver) Audio-gd NFB 28.38 + 3.5mm adapter > 6.35mm output. This sounds great but I am distracted by not having it connected via balanced. Will need to switch cable and test that too.
(Plex) Pixel 3 + Topping NX4 > 3.5mm output. May be electronics affecting it but this seems to have more bass.
Well, that is the first impression. Sounds great once you get a good fit.
PS. I realize there are guides in the kit. I am referring to wires with built-in guides.
I am by no stretch a professional reviewer. I also struggle with describing what I am hearing. Too often I fall back on "it sounds great!" which from me is the highest compliment. The bottom line with the RE2000 Silver is it sounds great. I do have nitpicks about the cable and tips but those are entirely subjective opinions that can be easily overcome by switching out the offending component. In the end its the IEM alone that will be judged on its merits.
How I set them up for my tastes:
Dekoni Bulletz "The Mercury" 4.9mm (size small) tips
Labkable Silver Galaxy II IEM cable, 2-pin to 4.4mm
8-Core Silver Plated 4.4mm to 4-pin XLR adapter
Audio-gd NFB 28.38 (high gain setting, 125 on volume knob)
These are relatively easy to drive to a decent volume.
Songs Used for Review:
Herbie Hancock Dis is Da Drum 16/44 FLAC
"Call it 95"
"Dis is da Drum"
"The Melody (On the Deuce by 44)"
Lower bass a little boomy, not as articulate/detailed as I would like. Percussion has a nice clear attack and short decay. Mids carry Herbie's synth and are clear and musical. There is a lot going on here and the Hifimans hold up in the chaos presenting fairly wide sound stage with space between instruments. Low-end IEMs (and some higher-end too) often get muddled trying to keep track of all the layers of sound playing at the same time. "The Melody" is an old school slower-paced rap-like song with male vocals, loud bass backbeat. These sound a bit boomy again with Herbie's piano a bit recessed.
Herbie Hancock Head Hunters 16/44 FLAC
Delivers tight articulate bass guitar as well as kick & snare drum. Nice! Bass is not muddy or muffled. Again lots of diverging instrumentals with layered parts going on here. No smudging of low end, clear and defined details in the mids and highs. Cymbals are there crisp and clean without being grating.
Aerosmith Get Your Wings 24/96 FLAC
"Same Old Song and Dance"
Vocals clear and out front. The mix is a little light on bass but instruments are coming through with good details. Guitar solos are crisp and clean.
Aerosmith Get a Grip 16/44 FLAC
"Eat the Rich"
"Get a Grip"
There is a good bass guitar riff in "Eat the Rich". I can clearly hear the thwack of the plucked strings. Drums are running this show. Fast attack and nice thwack. Steven's vocals out front and center.
DJ Snake & Lil Jon 16/44 FLAC
"Turn Down for What"
Chits and giggles to test that subwoofer level bass. I have yet to hear an IEM (or headphone for that matter) at any price range that can reproduce that bass line. No replacement for displacement. Still eminently listenable, just not going to rattle your brain cage is all.
My reference points for IEMs include:
64 Audio U12t, 64 Audio U4-SE, Massdrop Noble Kaiser 10, Fearless Audio S6Rui
Audeze iSINE10, CCA C16, IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith, Fearless Audio S4, BGVP DM6, BGVP DMG, Campfire Audio Comet, Whizzer Kylin A-HE03, Ikko OH1, TFZ Secret Garden, Moondrop Kanas Pro, FiiO FA7, TIN T3, TIN T2 Pro
What someone finds enjoyable in an IEM is, for the most part, an entirely personal/subjective opinion. I do like how the RE2000 Silver sounds. It plays most everything I listen to in an articulate, "true to the source" way. That said, I don't think I would add the Hifiman RE2000 Silver to my collection. Not that it isn't a great sounding IEM. It is just that it doesn't do anything for me that my current stable can't do (or do better in some cases). For someone who doesn't yet have a pair of revealing, articulate higher-end IEMs, these would be an excellent choice. We live in a time of extraordinary variety and choice at every price point in personal audio. Thank you for the opportunity to take a listen to Hifiman's entry in that abundance of choice.