Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Canjam London 2017 to meet once more with many audio geeks and average consumer’s alike. I’ll be seeing a good deal of audio friends, including Mark of HiFiMAN, who has provided me the opportunity to review their new single dynamic driver flagship IEMs, the RE-2000, and a few other things.
The RE-2000, along with the Flares Pro and the Mee Pinnacle PX have been my rotation of on the go headphones lately. The RE-2000 is the top performer so far, but the Flares Pro is not far behind. I’m looking forward to when I have the time to really put these guys through the paces.
Here are some initial impressions, followed by pictures:
- Directly out of the box, no burn-in with Comply tips: great stage height, narrow width, slow slow bass (attack & decay), fast mids with good detail, kind of a soft haze over the stage, bass has excellent extension and power, mids have excellent separation and definition, treble heavy instruments are placed perfectly.
- After some more playtime, the sound is suberb, smooth, yet detailed. Bass gets better pace as driver gets a bit more work.
- The sound quality competes with anything I’ve listened to this year. It may be my current favourite headphone.
- It has a little bit of warmth and boost to the bass without sounding overdone.
- Treble is non-fatiguing
- Signature has weight and body but isn’t heavy
- Fit will be a problem for many as the shell is large and has square edges. Last I knew, most people have round ears.
- Over time, due to the weight of the shell, my ear gets a sore where the shell sinks into it.
- The included tips are terrible with an inadequate variety of sizes. I’m not a huge fan of Comply, but they were easily the best included tips. The tip selection is not the kind of selection to put with a $2000 headphone. HiFiMAN has been offering these same kinds of tips for the better part of 10 years. It wasn’t good 10 years ago either.
- Insertion is shallow and at a particular angle due to the shell size, so fit can be difficult. I tried many tips, and found that Spinfit CP-220 biflange tips and Mandarines Symbio W provide the best sound and most secure fit. RHA large tips worked well for me too (I’m normally a medium). Regular Spinfits worked, but not as well as other options.
- The packaging is an odd combination of fancy and inexpensive
- The unboxing experience is fancy in appearance with a decent box complete with metal placard, a nice embossed insert and a well arranged interior, but hounded by a smell of solvent/glue off-gassing. The kind of petrol rubber smell that comes off the packaging is not fitting for a flagship headphone. Air out your headphones, HiFiMAN.
- The case that the RE-2000 come in is a thin sheet metal with a plastic press-seal ring in the centre. It isn’t clear whether this case is water resistant or not. It looks like something that would come with a much less premier product. It is also a little difficult to open and prone to scratching as the surface is not anodized.
- The IEMs look excellent. I voted for the blingy gold, and I like my vote!
- The cable has a rubbery build that looks durable enough, but not as premium as the stock cable of Noble, Ultimate Ears, or Unique Melody. The double twist configuration is much more attractive and is also flexible to retermination to balanced configuration.
- Given that HiFiMAN has their own balanced standard, this should have come with an extra balanced cable. Not including a balanced cable is a bizzare business decision as this probably would have sold some HiFiMAN SuperMinis.
Now for the pictures!