Hifinage, I really love what you are doing in providing good iems at reasonable rate but was dissapointed with latest order.
I spent a total of 3500 on this iem and it was dead on arrival!! Also the customization of cable seems to be shoddy and I can see the gum etc.
Pls do a proper QC before shipping these customized iems. Hopefully I will get my money back.
Like I said, I really like ordering from hifinage but this incident is making me think otherwise.
Really good sound quality headset for its price.
Neutral sound and details are super.
The wire is not of good quality. Easily prone to damage. Need to handle this headset carefully.
Its an all-rounder, superb sound quality, not too bass, and warm fittings.
Credit goes to hifinage for introducing hifiman in India.
*Keep in mind that this is my first neutral IEM. All my previous IEMs were V/U shaped.
I've always found the sharp treble to be off-putting. There is a (false?) sense of enhanced clarity that comes with the sparkly treble. But for me, the overall enjoyability dips.
I'm amazed by how smooth the treble is on the RE-400. Some may like a little more sparkle, it is so perfectly where I want it to be. It may lack some bite with fast electronic music. I found no nasty peaks or dips. To me, the detail and clarity was eye-widening (considering my experience or lack thereof).
I was expecting to be impressed. But not blindsided like this. It felt like I had suddenly switched from 64kbps to a vinyl track. The first thing that struck me was how much more life-like it felt. The vocals had a certain texture. Simply put, if that texture was absent, the vocals wouldn't be as immersive.
A striking feature was the depth to the vocals (not necessarily to the soundstage). It sounded wholesome(male and female alike). I'm finding this very hard to describe but I must persist, because its that important. I can gauge how much breath and effort the singer is taking. Apart from the core vocals, I hear a lot of nuances and details that contribute to that sense of completion. This particular feature impressed me the most in this IEM.
Another thing I noticed is how untouched and unaffected the mids are. No matter how busy the rest of the spectrum gets, the mids always come through unadulterated. Like I had a separate pair of ears for the mids. And it seemed like the bass and highs complemented it nicely. Like they were all on the same plane of preference.
I will have to divide this segment into two. Initial impressions and Brain burnt-in impressions.
Initial: Sub-bass was non-existent. Some tracks need that sub-bass to sound right. It adds to the natural, warm feeling. Sub-bass is more of a feeling than hearing. Tracks that had a strong mid-bass component were handled beautifully. I couldn't believe the detail and how fast it sounded. But I would have liked some more punch. Sadly the mids keep grabbing the spotlight, therefore, I didn't get to try many bass-heavy tracks.
Brain-burnt in: Sub-bass still non-existent. But I found out that at high listening volumes the RE-400 extends pretty deep. So it is capable (which will come in handy later on).
I feel the punch in the mid-bass now. And I find the quantity sufficient(not lacking) now. Surprisingly enough, I'm enjoying them immensely. I love the attack speed and detail. I want to say resolving but I'm not sure if it is the correct term. I'm quite stunned to find myself enjoying this type of bass. The initial disappointment only surfaces when I find the sub-bass lacking.
ljokerl advised me to try a narrow lift of a few dB in the sub-bass. This improves presence without affecting the mid-bass. The RE-400 is a very capable IEM in this respect. The overall tonality has warmed and I'm not disappointed as often. I still find myself wanting a bit more presence but I don't think EQing it in is the answer. (Perhaps a vent redesign, dampers coupled with a sub-bass lift)
Drums sound very natural (except the deepest reaching ones). It's easy to differentiate between the types of drums. The bass conveys that much detail.
Bottom line: Bass enjoyment is very track subjective. EQing helps because the drivers are capable.
Other miscellaneous ramblings:
The soundstage isn't the widest. The Brainwavz R1 has spoiled me in this regard. But it isn't congested either. It conveys a good sense of space. Vocals can be very very intimate. And orchestras can be sufficiently spacious. No complaints there.
All the music components are positioned and layered without any interference. I believe that is good "imaging"?
Like I mentioned before, I sense an overall "completion" in the music. Vocals will have a "bass" component and a "lower highs" component in addition to the core "mid" component. The RE-400 delivers all of it in equal measure (just a tad more in the mids).
I have observed that they sound even better at higher volumes (+1/2 dB above normal listening volume).
I am curious as to how the RE-400 will perform when powered by a better source. That will have to wait as I don't have the resources :(
Some have reported good results by using dampers to add a little warmth and presence (even going as far as comparing it to the 400$ RE-600). I will try these mods later on.
These are the best IEMs I've used so far. Great sound quality for a great value. Beware these are not for the bassheads; They have a very neutral signature. Lots of eartips. I love the stock small bi-flanges. Delivery was great, received the package the next day of payment.
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