HiFiMAN RE800 In-ears Review 6

HiFiMAN RE800 In-ears Review

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The Package

HiFiMAN's new line of RE-series headphones are well-packaged. Each set is supplied in a rugged box where the in-ears are stored in an aluminum clam shell. The tips and cables are separate as these in-ears have a removeable cable.

The bundle is pretty neat. You get three sizes of tips, some double flanges, and ear hooks. The tip selection should have you covered as there are three different sizes and two shapes, but you might want to invest in Comply foam tips that are compatible with HiFiMAN's in-ears if you have a very odd out canal geometry.

Closer Examination

Small pieces of gold! Aesthetics can always be debated, but you will be pleased to find that the ergonomics have taken a leap forward with the new HiFiMAN RE800 housings and tips. The shells are milled from brass and should be pretty darn hard to destroy. The surface coating has been surprisingly durable and is still in tact despite the fact that there have been no efforts to protect them beyond putting them into a clam shell case, where they can bounce around and possibly scratch each other as they are somewhat heavy.

There is only one major atrocity in the RE800's design and that is the plug. The angled connector is fine, but the sheer size of this thing makes it a real jack killer. Its completely metal construction makes it perfectly capable of transferring loads very efficiently into your device's jack, which is usually something you try to avoid. It also makes your phone a full centimeter longer due to its very boxy design.

HiFiMAN is first and foremost about the audio quality, and despite recent efforts to improve the build quality, it is still a little lacking in some areas. The coaxial connector seems a little weak, and the bonding to the brass housing is a little shaky. Besides that, the build quality is rock solid, and the details are generally well executed.

Driver-wise, the RE800 uses a brand-new dynamic driver design manufactured by HiFiMAN. The driver sits in the center of the housing and is only blocked by a metal grill that prevents particles from damaging the driver. Since it uses a dynamic driver, there is both a front and rear vent, which does degrade the noise attenuation compared to what you get on a set of fully closed balanced armature-powered in-ears, like the Etymotic ER4.

The choice of going with a fully golden exterior is bold; in fact, I am quite sure there will be very polarizing opinions on whether it is pretty or not. If I was going to buy a set of in-ears, I would prefer a gray or black option as gold just seems a little too flashy for my style.
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