HiFiMAN RE800 – Outstanding, Engaging, Vivid
HiFiMAN brings a new contender to their high-end IEM offering! RE800 promises to do a lot with their Topology Diaphragm, technology also found in their bigger brother, RE2000.
HiFiMAN electronics has been a huge company in the Audiophile Industry for a while now, and they made a big name for themselves with well-known products like their HE-560 and HE-1000. Founded in 2005 by Dr. Fang Bian, HiFiMAN has been refining their IEMs and headphones offerings ever since.
HiFiMAN also made some of the best-known audiophile DAPs, like the HM-901 DAP, which has been held in the hearts of the fans for a long time as having one of the sweetest sounds they ever heard.
It should be mentioned that, like IE800, RE800 is a single Dynamic Driver IEM, and it doesn’t rely on multi-BA setups. The main feature is the lightweight driver made under the Topolgy Driver Diaphragm name, a technology that proposes to make drivers that respond even faster to impulse than the typical dynamic driver, leading more details and better precision.
I have absolutely no affiliation with HiFiMAN Electronics, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review will be as objective as possible and it reflects my personal experience with RE800. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in RE800 find their next music companion. This review is part of a small tour organized by HiFiMAN for their newly released products and my opinions have been taken after having used RE800 for at least two months, enough time to accommodate with the sound and all the details about this wonderful IEM.
My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I’ll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.
Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from “please stop that, it’s far too loud” to “I can’t even tell that you’re listening to music”.
My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I’m one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files.
You can check out more about our games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/ and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios .
At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding.
Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one’s life while shaping one’s imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one’s mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.
When it comes to high-end IEMs, I have owned quite a few by now, and while it might seem ironic, HiFiMAN’s own RE2000 is one of the best IEMs out there, high in the top with other well-renown IEMs. RE800 and RE2000 both rely on a single Dynamic Driver setup, comparable with Sennheiser ie800, in technology, since ie800 is also a TOTL (Top-Of-The-Line) IEM which employs a Single Dynamic Driver setup.
I have owned quite a few IEMs and headphones before, Ultrasone DJ One Pro, Meze 99 Classics, Ultrasone Signature Studio, Dunu DK-3001, Sennheiser ie800, HiFiMAN RE-2000, Oriveti New Primacy, Kinera H3, FiiO F9, Beyerdynamic Xelento, and a few others. I also owned high end sources like DAPs (Opus #3, iBasso DX200, Opus #2, FiiO X7mkii), and high-end DAC/AMPs (iFi iDSD Black Label).
I actually received the RE800 as part of a package from HiFiMAN Electronics, being part of the tour for their newly released products, and this time, the package arrived in a pretty funny way. I must commend HiFiMAN’s communication and support as the package almost got lost on the road, and they provided great amounts of effort to help me receive the package safely.
It was a rainy day when I first took RE800 out for a listen. Describing the weather that day as rain is too little to be said, the aphotic skies vaguely resembled the end of the world, thunderous applauses from above shaking the buildings from their grounds. The clock stroke around mid noon when I noticed that I have no provisions left and that I should go purchase some. I quickly dressed up, took on my coat and plugged RE800 in Opus #3 and prepared to challenge the nature itself for nutrition and survival. The bleak walls of my room felt as if they were melting down on me as the rain was pulling more and more force in each drop. Disheartened, I took a few steps out of the room and pressed play. A shock went through me like a lightning as I wandered through the corridors. A sweet melody dazzled my mind far into a fantasy world as my ears were tickled and delighted by sweet symphonies coming from RE800 and Machinae Supremacy’s music. A quick thrill ran down my spine as multiple layers of sweet guitars and glazing cymbals were presented by this little golden IEM. Everything got brighter in mere minutes. No rain could darken my mood anymore, not even the storms raging outside. It was time for more listening with RE800 and to see how it combines with other sources.
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
HiFiMAN goes a step beyond when it comes to their packaging, RE800 coming in a rather mid-large sized wood box that bears all the accessories needed within. The presentation is quite luxurious, especially considering that most IEMs up to this price point come in cardboard boxes.
Although the tips included might work and should work for most people, I actually borrowed the Spinfit tips that came with Dunu DK-3001 for my sonic impressions.
The metallic-grey wooden box comes packaged in a smooth cartoon paper that includes a few bits of information about RE-800, like a presentative photo, the Frequency Response, which is 5Hz – 20kHz, the impedance, which is 60OHM, and the sensitivity, which is about 105 dB. HiFiMAN wants to note their users that RE800 are electroplated with a gold finish, by having a sticker mentioning this in the upper left corner of the paper wrap.
The metallic-grey wooden box is simple, elegant, and on the top side you will find the logo of HiFiMAN and the model name.
HiFiMAN’s slogan is pretty cool, “Innovating the Art of Listening”, and we are going to look how much HiFiMAN delivers on their slogan in the sonic and
usage aspect of RE800.
Inside the wooden box, you will find RE800 In Ear Monitors, a carry box (that proven to be quite useful and practical), a selection of tips, both Comply and double/triple flanged tips, and plastic earhooks. The selection of accessories is quite good, and RE800 comes with enough to enjoy them. It should be noted that the official current version of RE800 comes with detachable cables as well.
RE800 comes with a high-quality, beautifully designed owner’s book, that includes a lot of useful information. It was enlightening to read about HiFiMAN’s quondam models, like RE600 and their first headphones.
The wooden case in which RE800 is packaged will come in handy for keeping other audio-related equipment, especially as it is padded with a soft, velvety material that will caress your audio items, keeping them in good condition and gently defending them from scratches.
To recap, RE800 comes with:
– Foam tips
– Single Flange tips
– 2-Flange tips
– 3-Flange tips
– Owner’s Guide
– Earphone Travel Case
– Premium Wooden Case
– RE800 IEMs
All in all, a good package for a good-looking IEM.
What you should look for when considering a IEM (In-Ear Monitor)
When purchasing an IEM, there are a few factors you should take into account to ensure that you’ll have the best experience possible. Sooner or later, all those factors will come into play, one way or another:
– Sound quality – This is, by far, the most important aspect of every purchase, when you invest in high end audio products. The sonic characteristics, along with the frequency response / sonic signature widely differs from IEM to IEM.
– Comfort / ergonomics – The fit and comfort are quite important, especially if you plan on using the same IEM for hours in a row, or in a live performance.
– Isolation – Every IEM will offer some degree of isolation, but there are both models that focus on ultra-isolation from the outside noise, and open models.
– Good Value – Always nice to have
– Interesting/Intriguing design – Every user will have a personal preference and taste for what an “interesting design” is, but it is generally recommended to pick a IEM which you consider to be aesthetically pleasing, or in simpler words, Good Looking.
– Drive-Factor – How easy it is to drive and how prone to hissing it is, since certain IEMs and headphones will require special sources to offer the best performance.
– Accessories included – It is better to have a large selection of tips and accessories included with a IEM, especially for those that feature unique tips or require their own accessories.
– Build Quality and Warranty – While it is good to have a solid warranty included with Every IEM, having a solid build quality is far better. Having best of both is the icing on the cake.
3.5mm Single Ended Jack
5Hz – 20.000Hz
Rated Power Efficiency
150 cm / 3.5mm Jack
Crystalline Cooper, Silver Coated
Brass, Gold Electroplated
In-Ear, Deep Insertion Fit
Low Magnetic Emissions
(Build Quality, Sonic Quality & Usage Next Page)