Summary: Fang (Head-Direct, HiFiMan) was kind enough to donate some door prizes for our recent Bay Area meet. I was pretty happy to win, but at the time I really had no idea what exactly was in the nice little black box I had won. Turns out it was the RE-262. I had heard the buzz about the HE-x line up, but I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the IEM offerings. I’ve been happy with my Shure 530’s for travel and portable use for years.
First, I’d like to thank Fang at Head-Direct once again for generously providing me with a RE-262 review sample.
HiFiMan has come a long way in just a few short years. Priding themselves on offering exceptional sound quality for a relatively low price, Their RE line of in ear monitors has been a perennial favorite at forums such as Head-Fi for their very high price to performance ratio.
Pros: Warm and fluid midrange, delicate highs, large soundstage, excellent vocal reproduction, exceptional detailing
Summary: I’m a little late to the Hifiman RE series party but I thought it was time to get this party started and I did with the RE262. Wow! This level of musicality and refinement was not expected.
The RE262 is an odd shaped phone. It is made to wear down or up. The housings are plastic with rubber end pieces on the strange elbow shape and metal around the nozzles. The cable is pretty supple and pretty thick.
Pros: Lush and inviting midrange; Very musical
Cons: Bulky modular cable; requires and amp to shine
These IEM's come in a pleather casing with a mount for the earpieces as well as 3 adapter plugs (balanced, unbalanced regular polarity, unbalanced reversed polarity), 5 sets of replacement filters and 5 sets of earpieces (1 large bi-flange, 1 small bi-flange, Small olives, medium olives, large olives). The packaging is tasteful and more importantly, durable.
Pros: Lush, Articulate, Well-Extended, Very Reasonably priced
Cons: Comes out of the box with forward mids, should be carefully amped (Though an amp isn't really necessary).
Summary: I was really looking forward to enjoying these. After plugging them in, I quickly realized that there was very little sound coming from the right IEM. I plugged them into my Fiio E11, and wow. These are far better in each and every respect than my B&W C5s, which were far too bass heavy for my tastes.
Pros: Great forward mids, tight, controlled base, smooth treble
Cons: Right channel does not work out of iPod Classic on these headphones ony
Summary: I liked them much with instrumental music or whatever that does not require a large soundstage.
Others mentioned that it has a large soundstage for an IEM, i agree. It doesn't have the crisp, lively sound my most of music requires so i sold them.
Pros: Well detailed, never harsh, sweet midrange
Cons: Rolled off treble, not an all-rounder, not as engaging