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No harshness from both of my duke
I like these nearly as much as my ER4PTs. With the small filtered tips (I get a slightly clearer, less fatiguing sound with these tips) out of an SMSL idea, the sound is really well balanced and clean. Despite the reportedly bad build quality, these may be the best dynamic driver earphones for the price. With the right build quality they would've been legendary...it's so confusing that HiFiMan invested in super high quality packaging and decent accessories yet couldn't be bothered to make the cabling half decent. All of that wasted cost that could've been used for the product itself.
I bought the RE400i a couple weeks ago for a very good price (new and with buyer protection), and decided to give it a little review: http://kopfhoerer-lounge.blogspot.com/2017/12/hifiman-re400i-review.html
It's written in German, but as you might notice, there's a translation widget (automated Google translation) right below the navigation bar.
5 months in and still no signs of my re400a's deteriorating. They're used pretty much every night for a few hours, indoors only! I'll definitely post if anything happens in that regard.
I will admit I haven't used my RE400s as much as my RE600s, but the only issue I've had is the cable is a bit stiff on the 600s. That and the balanced to non-balanced adapter went bad on me after a year or so.
I dislike the cable stiffness too. I use the tiny tips because they give my favorite sound signature, but being so deep the earphones tend to slowly angle upward as I'm lying in bed, prompting me to preposition them back down. I hope the cable eventually wears down enough.
Whats the sound difference between the 400 and 600?
The 600 is a lot more linear on the low end with more presence due to it, sweeter in the vocals and midrange, and less edgy with the treble. They really are a different animal.
Got a pair of these as beaters and they're surprisingly comfortable. Nice mellow (flat) sound signature with emphasis on mids and vocals with soft treble. Bit quiet bass. Non-fatiguing. Ok soundstage. Warm.
For CAD69.99, what do you expect? They sound great. Hopefully mine will hold up as there have been many reports of build quality issues.
But ya, super light and comfortable.
I completely lost access to my account and I'm finally back, but still did not find a replacement for my RE400!
Simply nothing equals the flat, smoothness of these, especially because I use them while working, usually listening to electro/house and I want the sound to be non-fatiguing.
Thankfully, Hifiman finally updated the cables on the new version called RE400i or RE400a that I have been using for some time now, and really the cable feels 10x better than the last one. No complaint whatsover so far that gave me confidence to order the new RE600s too, with update cable while it was in discount at 99USD.
The 2 other "hot alternatives" right now, 1More Quad and Pinnacle P1, didnt convince me by reading the reviews.
RE-400 were my first IEMs too. I’ve moved on from them since.
A direct upgrade is the Empire Ears Supra-II if you can ever find one =P Flatter, higher resolution across all frequencies and wider soundstage.
Yes that is the thing with the RE400 alternatives, either they are hard to find, or they cost almost 10x the current RE400 price
Is there any solution to the cable stiffness? It's such a shame it's plastic and not rubber. The problem that has developed over time is that because I like to use smaller tips for deep insertion, the earphones tend to angle upwards and unseat themselves from my ear due to the lack of weight and flexibility of the cable. The cable is just too stiff and light that the phones will not stay down on their own in a laying down position.