I can say that the X10 and RE0 are equally good, but for different needs. The RE0 have wonderful treble and speed, clarity and smoothness, something hard to find in highly detailed IEMs. They are very balanced, I'd say flat. I would have preferred a more forward midrange, but other than that they are very neutral. The bass lacks depth, so sometimes one feels like the sound lacks body. It's not a volume thing, but more depth related. There are some vibrations missing. The bass is very clean though.
The Image X10 are very different. They have wonderful bass to start with, body and depth are all there. It also has more volume. Tonally, they are lush, dark, full sounding. People more knowledgeable than me at assessing instruments timbre consider the Image to have a very good timbre for a IEM. I can't confirm this with my words, but it deserves to be mentioned. The Image fall short to the RE0 at treble. While the RE0 have the best treble I have found in a IEM, treble on the Image is subdued and lacks some excitement, as well as percussions power. Certain songs suffer from it.
The Image have bigger soundstage than the RE0.
Bottom line: neither is perfect, they are both great for different needs. The Image X10 were a good purchase at 175$.
The RE0 are a very good purchase at the price they are being discounted now.
Have you tried the "RE1 treble mod" on the RE0? I'm wondering if that would have an effect on your assessment and ranking of the RE0 vs. X10? BTW, what portable amp would pair well with the RE0 in terms assisting in bass performance without detracting in other areas where the RE0 excelled?
Hey, some quick answers for you:
I am not interested in trying to remove the filters to do that "treble mod", as the RE0 treble is about perfect and it would be screwed up.
I quite liked the Mini^3 amp with the RE0, but the overall improvement was negligible compared to the hassle of carrying a portable amp. The first day it's fun, then it starts to be annoying.
Anyway, I am not sure if I have to suggest an amp with bass boost for the RE0. Most bass boost features would spoil the balance and add unneded volume and bloat to the RE0 bass. For example, it's what happened when using the darkish and bloated iBasso T4, which detracted from the overall sound.
What the RE0 seriously lack is bass depth. The best way to fix it would be to experiment with tips. I don't have any at hand, but if I had to bet my money on a pair of tips, they would be Etymotic black foamies (otherwise considered gray, but they are pretty dark gray... anyway, you get the picture). These are wonderful sounding tips, and the only one to make justice to the deep bass Etys have. Olives and Complys, in comparison, suck at reproducing deep bass.
They also add some sharpness to the sound compared to the Olives, at least with the ER4, but it's not something I would worry about when adapting them to the RE0.
You need to adapt these tips since the nozzle diametere between the RE0 and the Etys is different. So you would have to remove the inner tube of the ER4 foamies (easy), and add insert in the foam the tube of Comply T400 tips (easy). It's not a hassle of a process like removing the Olives plastic tubes (that would have been hard).
As to durability, Ety foamies used to last a couple of weeks a pair to me. The first week they are wonderful fit wise, the second week they start to suck and are not so "full" in the ear like the previous days.
It's very likely that the midrange comes more forward too. This was another headfier's impression (jlingo) when adapting the Etys black foamies on his Triple.fi 10 Pro.
As said, tips are your best bet. Otherwise, you can try something with a mild bass boost, applied to the deepest regions. The Xin Supermini IV should apply there.
Originally Posted by antonyfirst /img/forum/go_quote.gif I am not interested in trying to remove the filters to do that "treble mod", as the RE0 treble is about perfect and it would be screwed up.
Just want to comment that, the 'treble mod' is originally meant for RE1, and named in such a way that could be a bit misleading (= it will affect the treble the most). It does affect the treble, but it affects the upper mid (the upper vocal) section even more. It is worthy a trial if any of you think RE0's vocal is too neutral and not musical enough in your taste. The plus side is, it is totally reversible of you don't like what you hear, just pull the foam back in.