Review Price £59.99
HiFiMAN RE0 - Fit and Sound Quality
You get three pairs of single flange rubber tips in the box, and two double-flanged rubber tips, so fans of squishy foam tips are out of luck. What's more the tips aren't the most comfortable we've encountered, with again the Klipsch offerings being among the best we've used. There again, it is a very personal choice as to which tip is most comfortable.
Also of import is that while noise isolation is decent, these won't block out everything around you. They're effective for eliminating the chatter of an office or bustle of a high street but the noise of an aircraft or the underground will seep through somewhat. Microphony (the distracting noise you get when the cable is brushed or knocked) is quite noticeable but is greatly reduced when worn over-ear.
Other accessories include a cable grip, for keeping it held secure against your clothes, and a selection of replacement filters. These sit on the end of each earpiece and keep grime from entering the inner workings.
So the HiFiMAN RE0 is a particularly attractive choice because its design, while not perhaps optimised for any one wearer, will offer comfort, usability and durability to the vast majority. It would all be for nought if they didn't also sound good, though. Thankfully, they do.
“Clean and crisp and even” would be a good phrase to use to describe the sound of these headphones. Bass is modest but accurate while mids and highs also have a satisfying evenness.
For such a modest headphone they deliver an impressive amount of detail, thanks largely to their prominent high end. This really allows you to pick out individual instruments and appreciate the full expanse of the music. Sometimes this can verge on sibilant, with the crash of cymbals in particular coming through a bit strong on occasion. However, once burned in (used for a few tens of hours) they settle down. This high end also helps creates a surprisingly impressive soundstage for such a modest headphone.
All that said, there's no denying these are a slightly 'cold' and almost clinical sounding set. This is very much down to the fact they create a very accurate and flat sound but nonetheless, they don't wrap you in mid-range warmth. Most obviously, though, these aren't for bass heads. While they can produce bass, giving tracks such as La Roux's Fascination or The Knife's Heartbeats a satisfying thump, it's always kept level in the mix and extension isn't all that deep so you miss out on some of the deepest rumblings. This is probably most acutely felt when listening to heavy metal where they can just sound a little weak, unless pushed to uncomfortable volume levels. Incidentally, they can go to serious volume levels without distorting.
If you like a wide variety of music, though, the RE0's come up trumps. While the neutral sound can come across as a bit flat and boring at first, as you sit listening to the full vastness of your library you realise the RE0s are simply presenting exactly what's there and you really grow to love the steady delivery.
The HiFiMAN RE0 aren't going to be the perfect headphone for everyone as they lack the true bass kick that some listeners love, and at only £60 it's no surprise they don't offer up every detail available. However, if you're after a headphone that has a natural tone that lends itself to a wide variety of genres, is well made and comfortable to wear, these be them.
Scores In Detail
- Sound Quality