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hifiman re252 vs audiotechnica ck10

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  1. Anouk Contributor
    Hello everyone.
    I was all set to buy the re252. I liked the sound of the re0 but it had a too narrow/congested sound for me and could have used a bit more bass. So I was immediately interested when I read about the re252. I was all set to buy it when I was reminded of the auiotechnica ck10.
    Now I know there are a lot of threads about these headphones but I would like a direct comparison because they sell at around the pricepoint and from what I have been able to read they sound a lot alike.
    If this already excist please point me to it!
    Greetings, Anouk,
  2. rawrster
    not too many people have heard both probably..i know joker and tstarn06 have tho so they should pop up eventually :p

    sadly i can only answer questions about re0 and ck10 if u have any tho
  3. ljokerl Contributor

    Originally Posted by rawrster /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    not too many people have heard both probably..i know joker and tstarn06 have tho so they should pop up eventually :p

    sadly i can only answer questions about re0 and ck10 if u have any tho

    Hah. True that. I don't think tstarn likes the RE252 as much as I do so I'll be interested in seeing what he has to say. For me both the RE252 and CK10 have more bass than the RE0. If the RE0 is just shy of balanced in terms of bass, the CK10 and RE252 are both spot on. The RE0 never sounded congested to me personally. It has a narrow-ish soundstage, yes, but instrumental separation is nothing to be ashamed of. That said, both the RE252 and CK10 do it a better job. The RE252 has a wider soundstage but the Ck10 conveys depth better, resulting in a more separated sound.

    In my original review I said that "The RE252 is an excellent choice for anyone who tried the RE0 and thought “Hey, I would enjoy these more if they were more restrained in the treble, more lush in the mids, had more bass, and were reshelled into mutant gummy bears”, and I stand by it. It's a love-it-or-hate-it type of signature. I was definitely on the 'love it' side - it was the practicality aspect that caused me to sell them.
  4. kshelton
    Here is what I want, the RE0 with all its unrestrained treble glory, but with more bass. That would be the perfect IEM to me personally..... maybe with more burn in.
  5. Anouk Contributor
    Hello Joker, yeah I read your iem review! htat is how I got interested in the ck10. Sure is a difficult choice! They seme to be in the seem pricepoint now.
    Is it true that the ck10 would have an easier fit for more people so easier seal/better isolation/easier insertion?
    I guess its built-quality is better although of course sound quality is the most important.
    Greetings, Anouk,
  6. jant71
    Like Joker said, congested is not what you should hear from the RE0. They do have a narrow soundstage, need a bit more depth, some bass extension and amount.

    The 252 bring some depth, more bass amount, and improve the soundstage as far as being less narrow from top to bottom. They have less separation or air around notes so they are a bit less open sounding that the RE0. A bit darker in tone than either the CK10 or RE0.

    The CK10 is the most open sounding and smoothest of the bunch. A bigger soundstage plus added depth and RE0-like separation so it has all three things done well. I thought the CK10 had slightly more bass than the RE0 and slightly less than 252. The smooth treble always behaves while the 252 and RE0 treble can, at times, be harsh with certain recordings or sources.
  7. Anouk Contributor
    Hello, I guess I will have to buy them both and keep the one I like the best/sell the other!
    I did read that the re252 does not need an amp which is nice because i want a very portable setup. I have the sansa clip at this time.
    How is this with the cka0?
    Thanks for the replies!
    Greetings, Anouk,
  8. rawrster
    i havent tried the ck10 with an amp..cuz well i dont have one anymore but there are people in the ck10 thread(i think that thread at least) who mentioned that ck10 does not really benefit from an amp. I run them off a fuze and it sounds great to me and I would imagine the same off a clip
  9. mark2410 Contributor
  10. mvw2
    I bought Joker's RE252 and will have it in about a week, and he's going to loan me his CK10 as well to play with since I have yet to hear them. For two well ranked earphones by him, I too am curious how they perform, more ears, more user impressions, a better holistic sense of what a product sounds like. Read all the reviews and comments you can find on both to get a rough idea how each sound.

    It is rare that you find two earphones that sound all that much alike. There are usually a lot of differences even if something like the frequency response is very alike.
  11. debitsohn
    i also have a RE252 coming in this coming week. I havent decided whether im going to sell both the REs and pay more for a ck10 or stick with one of the REs and sell the other. thanks for your multi IEM comparison... i told myself i wont spend more then the re0 cost on IEMs... look at me now!!! lol
  12. mvw2
    Yeah, that doesn't work. You will just keep buying more. There's always some new thing that you gotta try out.
  13. tstarn06
    I can echo Joker and Jant7 on their appraisal of the RE252s and the CK10s. I didn't care for the RE252s more because of the design than the SQ. I could never get used to the gummy bear design, and that sort of colored my view of them. If they had been more like the RE0 design-wise, I might have given them more time. But when the CK10s arrived, the RE252s soon departed. Also, last night I heard the CK10s for the first time with a new toy I have here (sending to France for a HF friend), the NuForce uDac, and wow, that little box really opens up the soundstage and heft of the CK10s. As soon as they are back in stock, I am buying one to use with my netbook and desktop PC. Sounded better than any of my DAPs. And they say a headphone amp and the uDac sounds even better.
  14. mvw2
    I initially found the design slightly off-putting, but after using it for a while it's gotten more natural. Tip choice is also very important as it both provides seal and placement/compliance of the whole assembly. For example a Comply T-400/T-500 would work very well or a Shure Olive tip transferred to a Comply or similarly sized tube.

    I do assume the material could be trimmed relatively easily as long as you felt comfortable doing so and knew where you wanted to trim from. I'm not sure what's available for replacement "gummies" in case you went a little hog wild and completely ruined a pair.

    ---- just adding some additional comments after more use ----

    I do consider the RE252 to be more of a reference product. I would call it technically a better sounding produce from a raw reproduction standpoint. It simply is in my opinion. The transparency is better, you pick up smaller details and nuances better, and the sound stage is better spaced. I do find the RE252 sensitive to the quality of the recordings. I've listened to music that made the RE252 sound like complete crap, and I've listened to music that make the RE252 sound remarkably good. It's not really a genre fit either as that typically is a side effect of a skewed frequency response. It's simply a matter of what shows through.

    The CK10 is a a more likable earphone. It's one I can put in and immediately enjoy the music. It is slightly forward and engaging but not too forward. It is fast paced and high detailed but also not harsh or piercing, although there is a response bump that peaks at 12kHz that does make for a slightly hot sound. Still the top end quality is super refined and controlled so what is strong isn't really all that off-putting when it probably would be on a lesser earphone. Besides, a little EQing can go a long way for that kind of stuff, and the CK10 is stellar with any music when balanced out. It has just enough of everything to go "hey this is interesting" and you just can't stop liking it. I'd probably pick the CK10 over the Triple.Fi 10 if I had to choose one to keep between the two. It is that good. About the only desirable thing one would give up from the Triple.Fi 10 is the strong bass line. It's just has a thicker, warm, more robust bass end, but that bass doesn't transition to the midrange very smoothly, and the CK10 is far more seamless throughout.

    I would still pick the RE252 over the CK10 though. That's just me. I'm a bigger fan of the little details. I actually took off my RE252 to hear a conversation I was hearing in the background, and then I realized it was background noise in the audio track. I've never done that with any other earphone but my OK1 buds. An earphone being able to fool me into thinking what I'm hearing is real impresses the hell out of me and it seems to be insanely rare to find. The IE8, UM3X, SE530, TF10, ER4S, PFE, Custom 3, etc. could never do that, not once. Unfortunately the CK10 doesn't either. Still, there is a very dark side to the RE252. If you listen to bad recordings, it will sound bad. At least with the CK10, even the less then ideal recordings remain enjoyable. Frankly, the CK10 is always enjoyable to listen to. The hot top end of the CK10 can be slightly spitty with some vocals, but EQing fixes that kind of stuff right up. That's literally the worst thing the CK10 does, and that's not bad at all because the quality of sound on the top end is so good.
  15. debitsohn
    ^ everything you saida bout the RE252 is what i think too. im using sony hybrid tips right now. i think it seals better than the stock ones. im pairing it with a tomahawk and a fuze + LOD... man... i really like it. ill always wonder about the CK10 but i think i need to give headphones more of a chance.
    the look isnt the greatest but the fit is fine for me. detail detail detail. i love it.

    anyone looking into both i would really take mvw2's post into consideration. he really hit it on the dot. after that its just about fitment. some ppl will have issues with the 252, others like me, wont. used 252 go for 110-140. there arent any used ck10s on the market so just that alone, average 125 vs. 230 for the ck10... i doubt its 2times better than the 252.. but thats just my assumption.
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