Disclaimer: I’ve got the RE2000 on loan, straight from HiFiman. It goes for 2000$ USD. You can find out all about it here: RE2000 In-Ear Monitor (Universal Fit).
I was one of the lucky ones: with no more pomp than an email, HiFiman hooked me up with a box loaners, two of which have blown quite through three pair of my sox, one which left me fuming, and another about which I oscillate between cynicism and joy. In no particular order, that lot is: Susvara, RE2000, RE800, and the Megamini DAP.
As I explained over at ohm, despite a few provisos, the RE800 is my favourite of the bunch- though perhaps not for the most moving of reasons. The RE800 is small, relatively light, generally sturdy, and it sounds great. Its cable is crap, but if you’ve ever owned a HiFiman product, you know you must simultaneously accept both the crap and incredible. Also in its favour, the RE800 is, at least considering its price, the most competitively built and finished of the lot.
NOTE: the stripes seen in this photo are from the microfibre cloth I used to wipe away dust. They are not HiFiman’s fault.
Apparently HiFiman compete with the market purely on the merit of sound quality. On the one hand, it’s laudable. I mean, that’s what we’re all hear for, right? On the other, there is more to the audiophile experience – especially on the high end – than just sound. Do HiFiman care much at all for the brand in the long run? How about the short? Can the HiFiman of tomorrow retain the upscale model they are building today? What evidence exists to answer yes to those questions?
But those are the questions I’m not supposed to ask. I’m certainly not supposed to go on about the RE2000’s pitted surface, goopy edges, poor fit, the amount of sticky residue found all over the earphones, cables, and connecting hardware. I’m not supposed to go on about the poor quality strain reliefs and sticky cables. None of that belongs in a 100$ let a lone a 2000$ earphone.
I’m supposed to praise the RE2000’s solid body. Which I can, and will do. It’s solid, heavy, and make reassuringly dull thunks when I let it down onto glass or wood or metal. It comes with a purdy (if cheap) display case in which things are nicely laid out in a New q-Jays sort of way.
HiFiman put a lot of effort into the RE2000, but most, if not all, of it was in making the RE2000 sound great- which it does. Oh god, does it sound great.
Sound impressions after the jump: