Review: HiFiMan RE-400 – Amazing Audio; Bang for Buck

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HiFiMan | In-Ear Monitors | $ 99.00

HiFiMan has always been a manufacturer that really took value into consideration when developing their IEMs. I personally found out myself after being impressed by their RE0 years back. It was at the beginning of my HiFi Journey, and now they plan to release quite a few IEMs at CES (RE-300, RE-400, RE-600). The RE-400 is their 100 dollar offering and it offers much bang for the buck.  

Specifications

  • Driver: 8.5 mm Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms +/- 10%
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB

In the Box

  • HiFiMan RE-400
  • Silicone Tips (Single Flange: S/M, Dual Flange: 2M/L)
  • Cable Adjuster
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Design

HiFiMan seems to have walked away from the darker colored designs in the new RE-400 (and RE-600). The design is a bit more flashy, but the housings also much smaller. The materials choice is not new to HiFiMan, metals (used on the RE0). The color choice for the RE-400 looks to be a beautiful metallic silver that, in the right light, shines gorgeously. A walk away from a darker, safer design can backfire, but it hasn’t for HiFiMan. The RE-400 remain a marvel to look at.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

If there is one thing that I’ve always respected from HiFiMan, it’s that they haven’t walked away from the aim of (diffuse-field EQ’d) neutrality. The result is an IEM that aims for a strong accurate reproduction, although some consumers don’t like it, companies like Etymotic have shown it could work. That said, the RE-400s have a signature that aim for neutrality, like the RE0s.

The bass of the RE-400 is accurate, so you won’t get the boomy bass, the destructive rumbles. That is, unless it’s in the music itself. This doesn’t mean that the RE-400s don’t offer deep texturing. In fact, the RE-400s offer some of the most beautiful, delicate texturing I’ve heard in a while. The impact has a nice firm grasp to it being able to hit hard, while still remaining tight and punchy. I did find, however, that at times, the bass presence would be lacking, the majority of the time though, it was where I wanted it (or above).
This is where the RE-400s really shine. The midrange is just beautifully crafted from the tiny, intricate, details all the way up to the extremely strong clarity in the upper midrange. The instrumentals are layered nicely as well and just beautifully presented to the use. The RE-400s don’t slump on the vocals either. Vocals have a very strong lift, as well as sweetness and energy behind them while still being able to reach down into the lush, deep areas as well. Dynamics, for both the vocals and instrumentals, are beautifully crafted.
Gearing towards the upper end, the dynamic, upbeat sound continues. The lower treble snaps with strong authority offering great presence as well as extension to the table. All the while, the upper highs give very strong, vibrant splashes. The majority of the time, separation is portrayed nicely. However, once in a while, I’ll find a bit of smearing. The headphones may not help out sibilant recordings as it tends to stay truer to the source.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The build of the headphones isn’t too far off the mark. The housings, as stated earlier, are metal, and although light in weight, still feel very strong. Longer strain reliefs come out of each housing to ensure that the connections remain intact. Both of these together create a strong build for the housings.

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The cable uses two different materials for the upper half and lower half; the halves are divided by the standard y-split, which has the RE-400 and HiFiMan name printed on it. The lower half of the cable is fabric with a nice thickness to it and good flexibility. It feels very strong. Above the split, the cable thins out quite a bit (to prevent microphonics). It’s a little too thin for me however, and I feel the plastic may deter the build a bit.

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At the end of the cable is the headphone jack. The jack itself has a nice large body to it. So it’s robust and tough while also having an optimal 135° angle. There is a large strain relief coming out of it too while the gold plating will resist corrosion with time.

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Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

The housings, as I stated earlier, are very light. This allows them to be worn for extended periods of time without fatiguing the ear. Additionally, the IEMs can be worn up or down depending on user preference. HiFiMan supplied 3 pairs of tips for me to use with the RE-400. I had no problems obtaining a proper seal with any of them, the single flanges work the best for me though. Please note, the final product may ship with more tips, or even other tips.

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Comfort: ★★★★

Value

I honestly don’t know why HiFiMan is pricing these IEMs at 100 dollars. They can easily ask for twice and I’m sure many would be willing to pay. That said, these IEMs offer a huge bang for the buck. The merger of great design, outstanding audio accuracy and performance, build, and comfort all come together to really produce a product that is well worth the money being asked for.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

HiFiMan has always been one of the house brands that offered high quality, at a low price point. The thing was that you had to find them. Regardless, the HiFiMan RE-400 offers a full package that defines what a good product should do: be affordable, but not cut the quality.

I’d like to thank Peter for the product Sample.

Overall Score

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HiFiMan RE-400

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Peter for the product sample.
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