HiFiMAN RE800 Silver
The Convincing Brightness of the Silver IEM
Hifiman was founded by Dr. Fang in New York – USA and is one of the most well known personal audio companies in the audiophile word.
Hifiman has a wide variety of Hi-Fi, Reference and Premium class products like Portable Audio Players, Planar Magnetic Headphones, Desktop Amplifiers and Earphones/In-Ear Monitors such as the Hifiman RE800 Silver, which belongs to the Reference Series of Earphones and that I will now review for you.
I would like to thank HiFiMAN for providing me the RE800 Silver for review purposes. I am not affiliated with HiFiMAN and/or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
The regular price of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is 599,00 USD but HiFiMAN offers a special discount price which is 299,00 USD. You can purchase the RE800 Silver under de following link;
Package and Accessories:
The Hifiman RE800 Silver In-Ear Monitor is coming in a medium sized rectangular box, which has a top cover that contains an image about the actual product.
This box is including the following contents;
- 1 pcs x Hifiman RE800 Silver In-Ear Monitor
- 5 pairs x Bi-Flange Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 pairs x Triple Flange Ear Tips (in black color)
- 3 pairs x Triple Flange Ear Tips (transparent)
- 2 pairs x Dual Flange Ear Tips (they are 3 different shapes)
- 3 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
- 1 pcs x Zipper Case
- 1 pcs x Print Material
The box includes a variety of silicone ear tips (16 pairs in total), which include a large range of triple flanges, dual flanges and HiFiMAN’s special type bi-flange ear tips.
There is also a zipper case and a catalog about the actual product.
- Driver : 9.2mm Topology Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency Response : 5Hz-20 kHz
- Impedance : 60ohm
- Sensitivity : 105dB
- Cable Material : Silver Coated, Crystal Copper Wire
- Weight : 14.5g
Design and Build Quality:
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver In-Ear Monitor is featuring an aluminum alloy housing instead a brass shell with 24K gold plating like the RE800 in Gold. This IEM is pretty small in its size and has a minimalist design that reminds me to those of the RE400, which was also very comfortable to wear.
The bottom side of the monitor shell is a vent and a metal strain relieve that protects the cable that is fixed to the monitor housing.
On the front of the monitor housing is the sound nozzle which sports a smaller vent and a fine woven metal grill that prevents the insertion of dust and earwax.
On the backside of the RE800 Silver’s housing is the HiFiMAN brand logo that is printed on the surface in grey color.
The HiFiMAN RE800 is coming with a fixed cable which is protected by a metal strain relieve on the monitor.
The cable is made of a 2 core silver plated crystalline copper wire, which is protected by a fairly thick TPU coating.
The RE800 silver cable sports a 3.5mm 3 pole unbalanced (TRS) earphone jack which has a gold plated. The earphone jack has a straight profile and is made of the same metal material (aluminum) and shares the same silver color that the monitor has.
This cable has a metal Y splitter and a chin slider, which sport the HiFiMAN branding and model description.
Fit and Isolation:
The HiFiMAN RE800 is a very ergonomic In-Ear Monitor due to the small and pretty lightweight (14.5g) aluminum shell and reminds me to the comfort level of another HiFiMAN product the RE400, which was also very successful in terms of fit and comfort.
The RE800 is ideal for long listening periods and can even be used while sleeping.
When it comes to the isolation, the noise blocking performance of the HiFiMAN RE800 varies from ear tip to ear tip and can be classified in general as above average, which makes it for the use in relative noise environments like metro, bus or train successful.
The Topology Driver/Diaphragm:
The “Topology Diaphragm” or “Topology Driver” refers to the diaphragm with a special Nano particle coating applied to its surface. The distribution of the coating has distinct geometric patterns. By varying the surface pattern, compound used, the thickness or geometric pattern sound wave formation can be manipulated to achieve the desired audio effect and control.
The idea behind the new Topology Diaphragm was inspired by Dr Fang Bian’s Ph.D. thesis that “different Nano materials have differing structures and each of those materials have its own properties”.
Therefore, by carefully controlling the diaphragm surface structure you can yield different results in acoustic performance to a degree previously unobtainable.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver has a rated impedance of 60ohm, which looks a bit high on paper, but I was able to drive it to quite loud volume levels with my Samsung Galaxy S9 mobile phone. But I can also confirm that the RE800 benefits from an external amplifier or DAC/AMP, which has improve the sound in a positive way, especially the overall refinement.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : HiFiMAN RE800, iBasso IT04
- DAP/DAC/AMP : Cayin N5II, Fiio M7, Audirect Beam, xDuuo XD10 Poke
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Minor Empire – BulbulumAltinKafeste (Spotify)
- Leonard Cohen – You Wnt it Darker (Spotify)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
This review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 96 -100 hours and I have used the stock bi-flange silicone ear tips.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is an In-Ear Monitor with detailed and fast bass, pretty neutral and clean midrange and a strong upper midrange & treble emphasis.
The Subbas – Midbass – Bass:
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows a good subbass depth with a soft tonality. The subbass of the RE800 Silver is not very pronounced and strong due to this soft character, which is avoiding showing the subbass to much in the foreground.
The bass of the RE800 Silver is in general slightly emphasized and shows a linear bass response. The bass is due to the close to reference tuning not too less or too much and is quite fast and detailed.
The midbass of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver can be described as pretty close to reference with good emphasis and force that sounds more emphasized and pronounced than the subbass region.
The bass of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows a very nice layering and the bass emphasis is quite good with instruments such as drums/snare drums and bass guitars, while it shows average performance with genres such as EDM and Trance music. The performance regarding to speed, control and detail, makes the RE800 Silver to a good IEM in this frequency region.
The Lower Midrange and Male Vocals:
The lower midrange of the RE800 Silver is in a good harmony and transition with the bass region and shows a fairly neutral presentation with good depth, which is not to upfront or recessed. The clean tuning makes the RE800 Silver ton a quite detailed In-Ear Monitor in this price class. But I feel that the sound is a bit dry and a little bit body is missing for my preference, while I have listen to vocals such as Eric Clapton or Dave Gahan.
The midrange presentation of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is not very aggressive, but can also not be described as soft. The midrange is bright, transparent and slightly sharp, which makes the overall presentation in this area very detailed. The sound tuning of the RE800 Silver will satisfy many users who are looking for an airy and spacious midrange presentation with high detail level.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver has in general a neutral and close to reference instrument presentation. Instruments are sounding quite detailed and are showing high transparency along with good separation between instruments and vocals. The placement and definition of instruments is also pretty good with the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver.
Here are some detailed impressions about the instrument performance of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver;
The contrabass shows enough depth but is missing a touch of fullness in tonality, when dragging the strings. The contrabass sounds otherwise detailed and successful except of a slightly missing of warmth and thickness of the overall tonality.
b) Drums, Bass Guitars, Electro Guitars:
The drums have a pretty realistic tonality, while there is a slight hardness in the presentation in faster passages.
Bass guitars are showing good depth and are successful in terms of extensions and there is no noticeable mixing and loose of control.
Electro guitars have a bright and realistic tonality. Only in moments where the guitar shows higher distortion is a noticeable thinness.
c) Violins, Flutes, Pianos:
The violins are showing a nice brightness and extension without any noticeable loss of detail. Violins are sounding very realistic and successful due to the well tuned and pronounced upper midrange.
The side flutes are without a veil, very vibrant, bright and enthusiastic. There is not much missing in detail and micro detail, especially the side flutes performances in Wagner and Rodrigo Concertos are a pleasure.
The brightness of the pianos is perfect and there is no unnecessary harshness that comes to my ear. The pianos are fast, have good extension and the detail level is perfect for this price.
Upper Midrange and Female Vocals:
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows a pronounced, slightly bright and forward upper midrange presentation, along with a detailed and airy presentation. The upper midrange transitions can sound a bit sharp or fairly soft depending of the recording. This region is not very aggressive or ear piercing and shows an extension and tuning which performs above its price tag.
When it comes to the female vocals, the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows a transparent, airy and spacious presentation. Female vocals have a detailed and perfect extension, due to the strong upper midrange presentation. Jazz vocals to pop vocals, sopranos to trance vocals are all sounding very transparent and detailed, which makes the RE800 Silver quite pleasant to listen.
Lower Treble and Upper Treble:
The HiFiMAN RE800 silver has a strong lower treble emphasis with a peak around 7 kHz. Due to this 7 kHz peak some instruments such as cymbals, crash cymbals in fast passages can be sound a bit harsh in some situations depending of the quality of the recorded track.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows an above average performance in this price category in terms of quantity, force and sharpness and will be satisfy most treble-heads.
The emphasis from the lower to the upper treble range is decreases in a controlled manner. The upper treble range have a breezy presentation, but are slightly more positioned in the background compared to the upper treble, but is doesn’t showing any lose of performance in terms of extension.
The detail level in the treble range of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is quite successful. The treble quantity will satisfy treble-lovers who prefer a bright top end, while it can be a little bit too high for those who are a bit treble sensitive.
The RE800 Silver can compete with TOTL level IEM’s in terms of overall detail and resolution performance, if you listen to good recorded albums/tracks with it. This ability was a nice surprise for me.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver shows a good separation and positioning of instruments, because of the wide and deep enough soundstage tuning. The soundstage width and depth is parallel to each other and this presentation is increasing the detail of the RE800 Silver.
HiFiMAN RE800 Silver versus iBasso IT04:
Both IEM’s showing a close to neutral tonality, while the midrange of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is slightly more forward and shows a brighter presentation compared to those of the iBasso IT04.
The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver and iBasso IT04 have a good subbass depth, while the IT04 shows more emphasis and quantity than those of the RE800 Silver. The sub-bass character of the RE800 Silver can be described as softer compared to the IT04 has.
Both IEM’s sharing a fast and tight bass presentation, while both the bass and midbass of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver show more emphasis and quantity than those of the iBasso IT04.
The midrange of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver and iBasso IT04 is quite neutral and transparent and are showing a clean and a bit dry male vocal presentation. The iBasso IT04 sounds slightly better with female vocals, due to the higher upper midrange emphasis
It’s a real joy to listen instruments with both of this In-Ear Monitors due to the very transparent and detailed presentation. But I must say that I prefer the RE800 Silver to listen with instruments such as violins or side flutes, while I have enjoy the IT04 more with guitars and pianos.
Both In-Ear Monitors have a pronounced treble presentation with good extension. The HiFiMAN RE800 Silver is superior to the iBasso IT04 in terms of lower treble emphasis, while the IT04 has better emphasis in the upper treble region. I found the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver to be more successful in terms of overall treble quantity and intensity.
The soundstage of both IEM’s is wide and the separation & placement of instruments is also on a pretty good level. The soundstage of the iBasso IT04 is slightly wider than those of the HiFiMAN RE800 Silver, while the RE800 Silver performs better in terms o depth.
The HiFiMAN RE800 is a very detailed and natural sounding In-Ear Monitor with a transparent and clean presentation, which can even, competed with some higher priced TOTL level competitors.
Pros and Cons:
- + Detail and Resolution
- + Clean and Transparent Presentation
- + Small and Lightweight
- + A Must Have for Treble Lovers
- – The Peak around 7 kHz