HiFiMAN RE2000 – Amazing – Ample – Absolute


HiFiMAN brings a totally unique device to the market, their flagship and technological innovation, HIFIMAN RE2000. As it comes at a pretty hefty price point, RE2000 must provide one of the most amazing experiences audiophiles ever lived to justify its cost, being one of the most exquisite IEMs out there.





Introduction


With the release of their latest technology, the Topology Diaphragm Driver, HiFiMAN brought two IEMs to the market, both being quite intriguing.


We reviewed the mighty RE800 and discovered that it has quite an interesting sound, perfect for acoustic and rock music, as you can read in our full-length review:



RE2000 is a different story, being the most expensive IEM we tested to date, coming in a more premium package than RE800. In fact, everything about it screams premium, from the build quality, to the box in which it is delivered, to the beautiful golden finish they have.


I was extremely curious to hear them in person when I noticed the official announcement, and I'm really thankful that I have the opportunity to share my thoughts about it with you!


Disclaimer: I have absolutely no affiliation with HiFiMAN Electronics, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is part of a tour organized by HiFiMAN to share the sound of their awesome new products with audiophiles from all around the world, and I am very thankful to be part of it. This review will be as objective as possible, and it reflects my personal experience with RE2000. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in RE2000 find their next music companion.


About me




First Impression


When it comes to audio devices, I had quite a few devices already, starting from the first pair of serious IEMs I had, Sennheiser ie8, to the first serious DAP I had, FiiO X5, and eventually up to mighty devices like FiiO X7mkii, Opus #2, iBasso DX200, Sennheiser ie800, Beyerdynamic Xelento and HiFiMAN RE2000. All of those devices impressed me greatly and made this journey beautiful, enhancing every moment I lived next to them. RE2000 comes to bring further joy and happiness, and to give the unforgivable experience of HiFiMAN's best IEM to date.


RE2000 came bundled in a little package that I had for a while, as part of a tour to experiment HiFiMAN's best IEMs.


After having some little issues with receiving the package, I can say that HIFIMAN is an excellent company who sits behind their customers and helps them as much as they can, as they went above and beyond to help me receive their package in good order.


Packaging:


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:




























The unpacking and unboxing experience is as premium as it can get with RE2000 being packaged in a large wood box covered in leather, with a beautifully designed smooth plate on top. The RE2000 IEM shells are seated within their carrying case, in a snazzy foam cutout. The carry-box is one of the best there are, having a rubber enclosure at the middle and a soft-touch padding on the inside, protecting RE2000 during transport and storage.


The Cables are seated in a separate box, and the tips receive their own cardboard box with snazzy foam cutouts as well. You can find a manual, comply tips, and a few useful accessories under the main cutout on which RE2000 is seated.


Within the package you also receive a set of custom 2-pin adapters for building custom cable along with a set of ear hooks.


The cable is very well-made, with a serious-looking, gold-plated connector, crystalline-copper, silver-plated wires, and although it is on the thicker side under the Y split, it is not one bit microphonic, ensuring an excellent experience to RE2000 users.


All in all, the package includes a lot of extras and a high quality box that is sure to come in handy. The only accessory that is missing from the box is a Spinfit tip, which can be had for only a few dollars little money, but which quite essential for the enjoyment of RE2000.  


What to look in when purchasing a high-end IEM




Technical Specifications


Connector - 3.5mm SE
Impedance - 60 Ohm
Frequency Response - 5 Hz - 20.000Hz
Sensitivity - 103dB
Driver Size - 0.36" (9.2mm)
Driver Technology - Topology Driver
Cable Material - Silver-Coated Crystaline Cooper Wire
Housing - Gold Plated Brass Housing
Driver Features - Nanoparticle Coating
Weight - 35g
Fit Type - In-Ear, Shallow Insertion Fit
Low Magnetic Emissions - Yes (Inherent)


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit


HiFiMAN RE2000 is a unique technical and technological accomplishment, state-of-the-art IEM which relies on cutting edge technology developed especially for them (The Topology Driver). Physically, they are on the larger size, to allow enough space for the rather large 9.2mm Topology driver. Despite their rather large size, the fit and ergonomics are quite excellent. RE2000 relies on a shallow insertion fit, has a vented design (presents no driver flex), and they have an ergonomic body without any acute angles or edges, featuring a smooth body that can sit comfortably in one's ears for hours in a row.





The Topology driver is a unique technology developed by Dr. Fang Bian after years of research and tryouts with unique and independently-developed material coatings along with a series of patterns that ensure the best sound possible for their drivers. In all fairness, the sound of RE2000 is surely influenced by this technology and it has proved to bear a rather unique signature.


The build quality is excellent, RE2000 being built from one gold piece and a black plastic plate that bears the logo of HiFiMAN. The bores are normal sized and they feature a metal grille to protect the driver inside from dust and other debris. The cable connectors are made out of hard plastic, and they are designed with the pins on the cable, providing a guide for proper cable insertion.


After almost three months of usage, RE2000 feels and looks exactly as they did the first day I saw them, being some of the highest quality IEMs when it comes to their resilience.


RE2000 can be driven from virtually any source, being quite efficient and having an average impedance, but they sound much better when driven from higher quality sources (FiiO X7mkii, iBasso DX200, Opus #2, iDSD BL, etc.), scaling well with higher quality sources.


RE2000 can be used outdoors, isolating quite well from the ambient noise and providing great comfort while walking or doing other activities, being some of the IEMs I grab most often when going outside.


Sound Quality


RE2000 has a unique sonic signature, with a strong, natural, enhanced and hard-hitting bottom end, a clear, detailed, dynamic, engaging, emotional and well-presented mid range, and an enhanced, energetic, detailed, airy, and uplifting top-end.


The sound is fun to listen to for hours, and it provides a strong wow effect that doesn't go away with time, being one of the few IEMs that manages to amaze me every time I place them in my ears. The slightly V-shaped signature of RE2000 works amazingly well with any type of music they play, from Classical to Power Metal to Electronic to Pop to Punk. It is also good to mention that the sound is musical and bears good emotional attachment to each note, being quite revealing, without being harsh, bright or analytical.


Bass


The low end is strongly presented, with an excellent sub-bass amount and impact, a visceral presentation, and a very good level of detail and layering. The upper bass is slightly enhanced, leading to some warmth and enthusiasm added in the presentation. The attack and decay are good enough to keep the visceral bass separated from the midrange and present the whole bass as a detailed and on its own.


Machinae Supremacy - The Second One - The song is presented vividly, with strong bass lines and clear guitar riffs that tickle the hearing sense of the listener. Drums are snappy and bass guitars are visceral, yet very well paced and playful. The background voices are clear and come through with good energy and detail. Everything comes through with an amazing lively feeling, and the whole song feels very dynamic. The story about the second one, the false, yet the-one-who-wins, is presented with great emotional engagement and a strong sense of fantasy.


Sonata Arctica - Fly With The Black Swan - The song starts with a very playful and dynamic intro, followed by a strong combination of acoustic guitars woven in with visceral bass guitars. Voices are presented clear with a natural tone and excellent detailing, especially for the background voices, while the drums are vivid and snappy, the cymbals and bell-symbols feeling well-extended and emotional. Guitars have a sweet and musical sound to them, along with juicy textures. The spatial cues are excellent, being possible to pinpoint guitars that are playing in the left and right areas of the soundscape, as well as effects that feel like they travel through the sonic scape. The story about the boy who died, but is saved by the black swan is presented with excellent emotional attachment, being possible to see yourself flying next to him on the black swan.


Om - State Of Non-Return - The song starts with a playful guitar woven with strong and impactful bass, accompanied by a snappy drum set, everything being presented with lively and energetic. The song feels very spacious and everything feels quite well-placed. Violins bear enough emotion to impress even the most savage listener, and they can make an unprepared man cry his soul out. The story about the human condition is presented with an emotional attitude, in a romantic yet somehow sad way, giving this song way into the listener's soul.


Midrange


The midrange is expressed perfectly natural, having the idea thickness, being extremely revealing, showing details and textures in music, that even other high end IEMs can miss at times. There is a natural tone to all instruments and voices, but RE2000 seems to add a bit more emotion to Female voices, useful especially with music like Dark Cabaret or Metal. The sound is extremely dynamic, bearing a large difference between loud and silent passages, being much closer to an analogue-like sweet sound rather than an analytical type. Compared to the rather forward bass, mid bass, and treble, the midrange can feel a bit less forward at times, leading to the perception of a slightly V-Shaped sound.


His Statue Falls - I Am The Architect - The song has a quick and speedy intro, with aggressive guitar layers woven in with drums and eclectic electronic effects. The bass is presented with a good amount of realism and impact to it, being a good driving force for the whole song, and voices are presented with a very natural tone and a nicely clear texture. RE2000 manages to present the whole song with excellent depth and width, giving it a very musical yet detailed presentation.


Maximum The Hormone - Bikini Sports Ponchin - MTH is a band which employs a high amount of energy and aggressiveness in their music, being one of the most lively bands out there. The song starts with a very precise yet playful intro. The voices have excellent energy and life to them, the guitars being presented vividly, with very realistic textures. The cymbals have good energy and extension, feeling rather bright and fun to listen to, being exactly as they should be, not harsh, but not smoothed out either. The song has a forward feeling to it, feeling rather natural and well-presented.


Amaranthe - On The Rocks - The playful combination between Alternative and electronic music sounds excellent on RE2000, coming forward with a good dynamic sense for each instrument, a very holographic and bright, energetic presentation. RE2000 presents Amaranthe's music with an excellent instrument separation and layering that amazes even the most seasoned of listeners. Female voices feel sweet and romantic, while male voices feel strong and bear a natural tone, leading to an excellent experience for the whole song.


Treble


The treble of RE2000 is crisp and energetic, slightly bright, but without any trace of sibilance or harshness. There is a very tiny peak at  5-6 kHz which helps RE2000 get a very nice definition of cymbals, violins and which helps adding a bit more emotion to music, but it is kept well under the limit of being too much. There is a slight emphasis around 10 kHz, giving RE2000 an interesting extension for the whole treble. The treble feels airy and well expressed, and all instruments feel well separated between each other. RE2000 doesn't seem to focus as much after 10 kHz when it comes to their treble, but they nail the energy and uplifting emotion of cymbals very well.


Massakren - Threshold - This is an excellent Black Metal piece to test RE2000, as it has both a very romantic sound, but also a dooming message and emotion it is supposed to get through to the listener. Cymbals feel lively and have good presence, while guitars sound musical and romantic, the bass notes being forward and bearing good impact. Voices have a very natural tone to them, being presented with enough aggressiveness to make the whole song The rather dark message is presented faithfully to the listener, bearing the right amount of musicality and evilness to make the song feel genuine.


Dimmu Borgir - Gateways - Dimmu's work feels rather well-exposed with a lot of detail and micro-detail presented to the listener, along with a magical musicality about the guitars and the background instruments and synths. The voices feel rough and well-textured, as they should in a Black Metal song. The cymbals are presented, but don't feel overbearing, while the trumpets have an excellent presence and texture to them. The synths are presented vividly in the background, while the female vocals have an excellent emotional feeling to them. All in all, the story about awakening of the darkness within is presented in an intricate and emotional way, providing a sweet and convincing experience to the listener.


BassNectar - Music Is The Drug - The song starts with a slow and deep intro that relaxes the listener, and which builds into a lively and uplifting exposition. The bass feels visceral and real, tangible, and has a very natural feeling to it. The midrange is expressed vividly, and with excellent width to every effect and musical note. The top end is clear and airy, while the cymbals and the high-end symbols are lively and credible. All special effects are presented even more vivid than they are on many full-blown speakers.


Soundstage


The Soundstage of RE2000 is one of their most impressive qualities, extending very nicely in both depth and width, expressing a lot of air between instruments, and giving background instruments a nice background nature, while forward instruments are presented lively and forward. When a sound effect travels through the sonic space, it is easy to pinpoint its position and RE2000 has a very good positioning for each instrument and sound they play, giving everything a rather holographic exposition.


Instrument separation is quite impressive as well, being one of the best there are, without going into the analytical territory. Every unique instrument is separated from others, but they all combine grandiosely to create a larger musical presentation. If there is one word to define the instrument separation of RE2000, that is organic and natural, with good definition.


ADSR/PRaT


The ADSR and PRaT characteristics of RE2000 are quick, natural, well-textured, crispy and revealing. The Topology Driver proves to be one of the best driver technologies when it comes to providing an excellent edge to the ADSR characteristics of each musical note. Electronic music with very complex layering and detail is presented vividly, with good amounts of engagement, without being hard on the ears.


Portable Usage


RE2000 is an in-ear monitor that is quite portable, and although the cable is thick under the Y split, they are still some of the most portable IEMs out there, often being my one of my top choices, even when going outside or doing a more intensive activity. There is no microphonic noise to speak about, and RE2000 stays well-placed in the ears of the listener (especially with Spinfit tips). RE2000 isolates quite well from the outside noise, being enjoyable while on-the-go, even at very low volumes. Since they can go very loud without any trace of distortion, they are well-fit for both quiet and loud listeners.


Select Pairings










RE2000 + iFi iDSD Black Label - The combination is excellent, and although iDSD BL might look a bit big when used with RE2000, its technical ability to drive RE2000 is amazing, providing an excellent control over the transient response, a large soundstage, an energetic and dynamic sonic signature, slightly enhancing RE2000's tendency to be emotionally-driven IEM.


RE2000 + FiiO X7mkii - This is one of the pairings I have heard, being the one I've been using the most, because X7mkii has a very energetic and lively sound that enhances RE2000's bright side, adding life into the midrange and giving RE2000 a wide and uplifting presentation. X7mkii also has very nice resolving abilities and details, enhancing RE2000, or rather providing a very transparent window to them.


RE2000 + iBasso DX200 (AM1) - Another very enjoyable pairing, DX200 providing a very detailed sound, with a slightly more technical approach, enhancing the textures and the dynamic response of RE2000, all while giving them a slightly more forward and aggressive sound that makes them play really well with metal and punk music.


RE2000 + Opus #2 - Opus #2 is a very potent DAP which is able to drive RE2000 in a very organic and musical way, providing them with a lot of emotion and delicacy, a truly romantic and fun experience. The soundstage is very wide and deep, and the separation between instruments is one of the best RE2000 gets.


RE2000 + Shanling M2s - While not as detailed as all the pairings above, M2s is quite good at providing RE2000 with a good sense of dynamics and an engaging sound.


RE2000 + HIDIZS AP200 - AP200 brings similar detail levels as M2s, and a good dynamic sound, with lots of energy in the top end, and a somewhat larger bass presentation with slower decay for each bass note.


RE2000 + HiFiMAN Megamini - Megamini is an excellent pairing for RE2000, and even though it is one of the less expensive DAPs in this list, megamini is quite the enthusiastic experience, having a very vivid and energetic sound, excellent levels of detail, and a very wide presentation. There is no hiss present with Megamini, while it is driving RE2000.



Comparisons:








RE2000 vs Sennheiser ie800 - Probably the most interesting comparison since ie800 and megamini sport a somewhat similar signature, comparing them left me wondering a bit about what each is trying to do best. Ie800 has been my benchmark IEM for a long time, but RE2000 brought a new horizon to my ears. The sub bass comes in larger amounts with ie800, RE2000 having more mid bass. The midrange is considerably recessed on ie800, while the top end has more extension, and comes in larger amounts. This makes RE2000 the more natural-sounding IEM out of those two, but the main surprise I had was rather within the texture levels RE2000 provides, a rather unexpectedly high level of textures, even when compared to a titan like ie800.


RE2000 vs Beyerdynamic Xelento - Xelento is a very romantic and analogue-sounding IEM which relies more on its smooth and musical sound rather than detail, where RE2000 is clearly a more detailed presentation, with a more technical sound. Starting with the bottom end, Xelento has considerably more sub-bass, a similar amount of mid-bass and a similar decay to every note. The midrange is more forward on Xelento, but comes slightly clearer and with more detail on RE2000, while the top end is considerably smoother on Xelento, having more extension on RE2000, making them sound more detailed, especially in the upper registers.


RE2000 vs DK-3001 - Dunu IEMs can stand their ground, even against flagships like RE2000, although though they are about a quarter of RE2000's price. RE2000 comes forward with more impact in the lower registers, more midrange detail and more energy and extension in the top end, but it is impressive to see the differences between two IEMs that I enjoy so much, and how each company tried to go for a different signature when tuning each of them, DK-3001 being smoother in the top end, having less bass emphasis and a more forward midrange than RE2000.


RE2000 vs  RE800 - HIFIMAN vs HIFIMAN, Topology Driver vs Topology Driver makes a very interesting comparison. Starting with the bottom end, RE800 has less emphasis on the bass and mid bass, being more neutral than RE2000, which is warmer and bassier in comparison. The upper midrange and the top end is brighter RE800, RE2000 being closer to a natural sound. RE800 tends to sound a bit more analytical in direct comparison, but they are still some of more musical IEMs out there. RE2000 is a more universal IEM, while RE800 is an excellent acoustic and rock performer.


RE2000 vs UM Martians - This is one of the most interesting comparisons because UM Martians are something I acquired recently, and they impressed me quite a bit. Although they have two dynamic drivers per ear, Martians have less bass quantity than RE2000, and they also sport more treble, especially in the upper treble. The comfort is a bit better on RE2000, Martians having some driver flex, while RE2000 has none.


RE2000 vs ER4-XR - Etymotic IEMs always make an interesting comparison, being the kings of midrange details and one of the most analytical IEMs out there. Starting with the bottom end, RE2000 has considerably more bass impact and larger bass quantities, ER4-XR is very forward in the midrange, making RE2000 feel rather natural, although it is slightly V-shaped, and in the top end RE2000 has considerably more extension and more energy, again feeling more natural. Even though ER4-XR is less than 20% of the price of RE2000, the level of details and textures in the midrange they provide are insane, although RE2000 still comes a bit better. I think it is fair to say that RE2000 is considerably more universal than ER4-XR, but the details of ER4-XR are impossible to deny, even when they're placed against something as fiercely enticing as RE2000.


RE2000 vs Oriveti New Primacy - ONP is a newly released IEM, made by Oriveti, which sports a signature that is musical and romantic, reminder of the days of listening to a magnetofon-based setup. RE2000 has a considerably more precise bass, a less forward midrange, and a more energetic top end. ONP boasts a sound somewhat similar to a mini-Xelento rather than RE2000, RE2000 being quite a bit more enthusiastic when compared to a relaxed IEM like ONP.


Value and Conclusion


HIFIMAN RE2000 is the most expensive IEM I had the chance to hear to date, and while we can deduce that HIFIMAN didn't try to make it a value-oriented IEM, we can judge it for how well it was created and for how much offers for its price.




Starting with the package, RE2000 comes in one of the fanciest boxes a IEM can come in, with leather on the outside, real wood construction and metallic hinges, being a genuinely nice and premium package. The carry box has a soft touch material on the inside, and RE2000 themselves are plated in gold, HIFIMAN offering premium on everything, from the materials chosen, the construction process and the package.



The sound is in line with the price, RE2000 being one of the most universal, most detailed, most organic, most musical and most portable IEMs I tried to date. Everything about RE2000 is luxury, elegance, premium and attention to detail. The excellent sound is only natural for a IEM priced this high, and it is possible to say that RE2000 truly delivers one of the most astonishing audio performances, having an energetic, lively, dynamic, engaging and emotional sound. The detail levels are on par with its price and it provides similar detail and texture levels as 4000$+ headphones with large amplifiers.


If you have the chance to give RE2000 a listen, you shouldn't miss it, as they will make one of the most enlightening experiences you can come across. If you can afford them, you'll probably want to indulge in purchasing and using what is one of the most premium and enjoyable IEMs out there.


In the end, RE2000 delivers an experience worthy of their price tag, being an IEM that can be recommended to those who can afford it, even at its premium price point




Stay safe and remember to always have fun while listening to music!


Link to the review on Head-Fi:






Link to the official product page #2: https://penonaudio.com/HIFIMAN-RE2000


Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/




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