Hifiman RE400 is an earphone powered by a single dynamic driver, and it is the lowest model of the “Waterline” series. It is priced at 29USD.
Sound quality for the price
The RE400 is a pretty old earphone (it was released in 2013), but since that time, the price went down from 79$ to 29$. So, for now, the RE400 is in the price range where you can choose from so many earphones. I used many Chinese IEMs from that price range, but many of them sound similar. Pretty harsh, technical, sharp, and not pleasant to listen to overall. How is it this time? Well, you’ll find out in the following parts of this review.
The packaging is not bad, but it reminds me of the earphones you can buy as the “premium” in popular markets.
The box of the RE400 is made of two pieces, the transparent plastic part that covers the rest and the inner paper part with the earphones, where are some papers and three pairs of the eartips. Besides that, there’s an additional hard case for earphones. It’s round and pretty big but fits nicely in the pocket. Inside you’ll find four pairs of tips and ten spare meshes to secure the nozzle. To be honest, the attached case is my favorite one.
Build Quality & Comfort
Each earphone is tiny and very light, similar in size and weight to the RHA MA390. RE400 looks quite reliable, the cable isn’t detachable, but it seems pretty solid in the part where it sticks out of the earphone.
The rest of the cable doesn’t make me feel safe with it. It’s thin to the splitter and braided below it. The braid looks similar to the old Xiaomi Hybrid Pro, but it starts to shred quickly. I would say quick nope with the old price, but at 30$, I think it’s the best option (beyond being detachable) at this price range. How often do you see great cable with that cheap IEMs?
The cable is terminated with a 3,5mm jack that is curved under 90 degrees, and it is solid, with a springy part so it won’t get break quickly.
The whole set is pretty comfy, even to wear it over-the-ear. The size and tips included are great options for people with small ears. Wearing RE400 OTE isn’t the problem, the seal gets way better.
As I mentioned initially, the RE400 provides a totally different playstyle than companies like KZ that mostly sound a little dry, technical, and tries to get the most details, not a pure pleasure from the listening. Taking a look at the technical side, it’s great too, but nothing extraordinary.
The sound signature is pretty simple, bass and lower midrange is linear, and the upper midrange goes to the front. So, when you match that with the overall smoothness and decent imaging, you get an earphone that’s pretty good for daily usage. Not tiring, but also not the most involving – that’s not my favorite pair for listening in the public transport, where I want to make the journey as short as possible. Still, it is an excellent option for all movies, silent music during cooking, or any other thing where I’m not focused on the music.
But! One of my friends has an absolutely different perspective. When he tried the RE400 with his FiiO M6, he was charmed. He just sat in the armchair, with his eyes closed, and he was enjoying the music. In his opinion, it was the thing he was looking for in the earphones, being midrange focused, with bass that doesn’t try to kick your head off your body.
If you’re not looking for the most exact playstyle, fun providers – the RE400 can be made for you.
In the end, a little technical talking.
The bass is natural but recessed – even with very warm sources, it doesn’t make the enormous strike, but it’s pretty speedy – it’s far away from KZ ZS6 (but all of my six pairs were completely different from each other).
The midrange is smooth but great detailed – I can easily compare that to the RHA MA650, but the timbre is absolutely different. MA650 was more involving and way warmer.
The treble is a little worse in terms of details when we compare it to the mids, but still, it’s competitive.
The soundstage is the second best part, in my opinion, right after the midrange. Not in terms of size, but the separation and imaging are pretty good. It doesn’t sound like a cheap, 1DD earphone.
We’re at the end, so many of you probably would ask that question. Is the Hifiman RE400 worth the 29USD it costs right now? Yes and no. It all depends on what you’re looking for in the IEMs. If you prefer calm earphones for listening to peaceful music and focus on the vocals – definitely yes. If you’re looking for something else, there’s a lot of options you can choose from on the market.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – RHA MA390 RHA MA650, RHA MA750, Shozy Form 1.1, Moondrop SSP, KZ ZS6.
- Sources– iBasso DX160, Shanling UA1, Xiaomi Mi9, iFi iDSD Neo, iFi iDSD Signature, EarMen TR-AMP, EarMen Eagle