Audio Random IEM / Headphone Rants

kenpachiroks

Active Member
Disciple
Dec 15, 2009
145
89
42
I've kept it ridiculously short......
HiFiMAN : A crystal clear high-end "affair"


This really is a special IEM and really is one for the collection. There's a special place in audiophile heaven for this discontinued gem.
I thought the superb RE400 had shown me 80% of what is possible in the neutral realm, with the remaining 20% being small increments and variations. The 272 has shown me I have a lot more to learn and falling in love with music all over again is definitely possible*.

Those looks!
I must say, they look stunningly elegant. The RE400 is still the ergonomic king and pretty good looking too. Unbelievably enough the the 272 is nearly as comfy and can disappear for hours on end.
The RE272 has that svelte Jaguar E-type-esque classiness about it. Now drop this glossy dewdrop with an enviable accessory list into a classy gold clip, felt lined hard case and you have a premium delight*.


These have been reviewed to death so I’ll drone on with my unhinged, possibly subjective impressions.
That sound!:
After the initial shock of having the RE272 in my hands I popped one end into my clip zip, the other deep into my ears took a deep breath and braced for my first high end IEM experience*
First ten seconds: What is this soundstage and imaging?! I love it!
Good god, have I been missing quite a few details, especially in the treble. And why am I not bothered by this level of treble?
These are much leaner than the RE400 in the bass department. But they do extend deeper?

Then ensued a round of tip rolling. My narrow ear canals ruled out the double flanges. I finally settled on the RE400 bar tips. They are comfortable, seal well, are easy to insert and most importantly, they allow deep insertion (which was imperative to getting an acceptable bass response).

Details details details. Details everywhere. Details in the Bass, in the mids, in the treble. And it manages to do it all without being aggressive at all. That is just witchcraft Dr. Fang!

The RE272 is definitely bass light. And Oh…is it picky about the fit. Push it deep, and then go deeper and it just about redeems itself. The extension at ear violation depths is very good; the detail and speed is exquisite. But it lacks in body and mass. I like bass, I like to feel it. You can definitely hear it on the RE272, hear the quality but it lacks feel. The RE400 has a mid-bass hump that gives it more oomph than the 272 but I did feel like the sub-bass was more discernible on the 272?

The mids on the RE400 are well mannered and precise. They aim to be honest and courteous and gain attention because of it. The midrange of the 272 is a bit of a show-off. It dispenses it with panache. And because of it, it is more exciting and smile inducing than the RE400 and better textured. I love the imaging, I love the enthusiasm, I love the lushness, I love the detail. The mids on their own are an experience with HiFiMAN.

I love the smooth treble on the RE400. I dislike aggressive treble.... So much that I’d rather give up any possible added clarity than put up with overly aggressive treble. The LG Quadbeat 2 is on the teetering edge of aggressiveness and is, technically, the best I've heard on any set. Until now…..
I have never heard this much detail in the highs and there wasn’t a single moment where I winced or grimaced or frowned (especially considering my intolerance). The extension and airiness only add to that special transparent experience.
I haven’t heard any BA based IEM thus far. But I don’t know how anything can get any faster. I honestly don’t.

My favourite….no….one of my favourite aspects is the soundstage and imaging. I don't believe I can explain how uniquely pleasing it is, because to be honest, it isn't the widest or the deepest. But it utilizes its given space in a beautiful way. Couple that with some stellar imaging capabilities and you have a whole new experience waiting for you on every track. The RE400 completely loses to the 272 on this front. The stage did seem more expansive straight out of my laptop as compared to my clip zip.

The frown worthy bits:
  • Currently, light; ultra high quality bass is a part of the HiFiMAN experience, and it should be. But, once HiFiMAN releases an IEM with the same capabilities (RE400-BE?), that can also move some significant low freq air, get ready to witness an audio coup.
  • The 272 isn't forgiving, unlike the RE400. Crap-in crap-out kind of deal.
  • The adapters add some extra weight in the wrong area (too high up the cable). I'd rather have a short adapter and have the main cable make up the differene in length.
  • The constant fear of it breaking down.
Conclusion:
I’ve always read that the RE272 is “analytical “and always assumed that also meant it wasn't fun. The RE272 are more ‘analytical’ than the RE400 and more enjoyable too (to me), if you can ram them in deep enough.
(I haven't heard any of the other HiFiMAN IEMs but I don't think the RE400 is a direct descendant of the RE272)

On the whole, the RE400 will still remain my reference IEM. The RE272 has increased the respect I have for what HiFiMAN have accomplished within 100 dollars.

I am deliriously happy and honoured to have this legendary IEM sing to me.* I cannot believe I’m a HiFiMAN fan. I never thought I could enjoy music with this level of bass.
HiFiMAN should be a part of every audio enthusiast’s experience, bass-head or not.*

PS: Each asterisk you see throughout the blurb corresponds to : "Thank you @esanthosh !!".
Here* are* a* few* more* :headphone:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

toxicdrift

Well-Known Member
Adept
Jul 13, 2007
871
1,478
282
Mumbai
these just dropped @ my place last weekend! the mumbai meet finally! :)
moar pictures clicked by Brendon are up on facebook, will link them soon!

lots of Cans, grado 225/325 / senn hd25 / hd280 / hd518 / 598 / hd800 / audiotechnica 700s / denon d5000 / akg 601
iems - IE8 / UE900 / WESTONE3

IMG_20140310_022858.jpg
 

hzant6681

Active Member
Disciple
Jun 5, 2012
95
26
32
Mysore
India Metal Bands sure have progressed!These guys are awesome :) A quality production from an Indian Band-Skyharbor. Bravo!
 

hzant6681

Active Member
Disciple
Jun 5, 2012
95
26
32
Mysore
@gunnerwholelife there was a time when I used to listen to Galeej Gurus, Cryptic,Cryptos, Indus Creed, Pentagram,Moksha etc. 13 yrs back original songs from Indian Bands were so-so and the crowd in gigs preferred to hear mostly cover songs. Thanks for the links, I liked GG's style:cool:. Tell me some more bands that are GOOD. Found out scribe today. Speaking of covers this one's o_O
:playful:
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Jan 3, 2010
2,041
260
123
Coimbatore
I have not been in a mood to spend money of late. So, to avoid temptation (temporarily), I have stopped visiting Head-fi and FB of audio related sites for the past couple of weeks. I have also been infrequent on TE. I don't expect this to change for the next few days / weeks. On the flip side, I would have a lot to catch up when I become active again. Sigh!

I have 3 slots for audio goodies this year (Music Two striking off one of my four choices). The contenders so far are
  1. No DAP buys or may be a Clip Sport (Depends on mood)
  2. Either Fiio X5 or JVC HA-FX850
  3. Either of
    1. High priced DAP like Sony ZX2 (if it has card slot and all) or Calyx M (if it has not gone down the drain in the last couple of weeks)
    2. Another CIEM from among
      1. Lear BD4.2 (If it is great, would be the only purchase of the year)
      2. JH13FP
      3. UERM
      4. CA Harmony
      5. 1964 v8?
I don't see myself buying anything in a hurry this year. Temptation override is in full swing currently (until it magically disappears one night and I order something out of sheer stupidity :shy:)
 

indialogue

Member
Disciple
Sep 29, 2011
109
1
18
37
Hi @esanthosh do post about 3.2 here - I'm also considering going the CIEM route this year and that will hopefully be the end of my audio purchases for the next couple of years (until more details of the X7 release and I'm fully satisfied with the currently pre-ordered X5)
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
May 10, 2009
2,520
1,116
253
32
Finally went ahead and placed an order for RE-400 for myself and V-Sonic VSD1S for my brother from Hifinage.com
Those captchas at every page are a PITA though.
 

toxicdrift

Well-Known Member
Adept
Jul 13, 2007
871
1,478
282
Mumbai
@esanthosh forget about the Lear BD4.2, one of my friends whos on the aussie tour hear'd them and hes not impressed at all, says the h300 sound better. and these r the final universal version which will be sold by Lear , they sound like badly tuned b.a drivers. and the aussie tour might just cut short and the iems sent back to lear as most who have heard them are really surprised on how underwhelming they are. not worth 1400$ at all. damn..

its all over the lear thred incase anyone wants to go n read them.
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
May 10, 2009
2,520
1,116
253
32
Just received RE-400 from Hifinage. I am very happy with the sound signature. It's not exactly RE-1 but still pretty good for someone looking for a RE-1 like sound.
On another note though, I will have to again get used to using IEMs. Having used Senn open headphones for over a year I think I would have been better off ordering Grados.
 

Ritvik

Well-Known Member
Adept
Mar 30, 2008
609
62
117
Madras/Singapore
Custom Art made an announcement about the Harmony today on their Facebook page. Seems like a JH16 type offering, impressive but probably not my kind of thing.

I think @toxicdrift might like them though :D .........should have a good bottom end without compromising on details.
 

kenpachiroks

Active Member
Disciple
Dec 15, 2009
145
89
42
Interesting config on the Harmony

Dual low, Dual mid-low, Dual full range, Dual tweeter.
~1400$ . Probably 1600$ in-hand :cool:
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
May 10, 2009
2,520
1,116
253
32
So what do the pros recommend as an amp for a HD 650. Something that wouldn't break the bank is preferable as right now I just need something to drive them instead of something that makes them shine.