Hifiman is one of the largest manufacturers in portable audio, especially for producing high-quality planar headphones. While they were continuously presenting a series of new headphones, they’ve been rather quiet in their in-ear products until last year, presenting RE2000 and RE800 in both gold and silver variations.
I visited Japan’s Fujiya-Avic headphone show and got to try both models which left we a very positive experience. It was also great to see Fang Bian, the founder of Hifiman. Having some talk with him and the team, I got to know some introductory info for Hifiman product as well as the technologies behind the IEMs. Having that said, let’s get into the review, covering both RE2000 Gold and RE2000 Silver.
Since the different gap, there is also a quality gap in the packaging too. RE2000 comes in with a weighty leather finished packaging, labeled with a metal plate in front of it.
RE2000 Silver comes in an ordinary box packaging, but it’s still nicely presented and both are provided with identical accessories. Other than the earphones, there follow 2 pairs of double flanged tips, 2 pairs of triple flanged tips, 2 pairs of another double flanged tips, a pair of earguides, a metal case, and some paperwork.
The shell feels a bit plasticky, though I much enjoy the look on these. The manly-looking outer shape somewhat resembles the Hifiman logo while the inner part is shaped nice and round. As said before, RE2000 is available in two variations, RE2000 (Gold) and RE2000 Silver. RE2000 has a 24k gold coating applied to the outer shell while RE2000 Silver is coated with silver.
Both RE2000 and RE2000 Silver houses a single 9.2mm topology dynamic driver. It’s no surprise for Hifiman to use a single DD rather than BA drivers since they’ve always been creating their own planar and dynamic drivers. They state it clear that they aren’t into BA driver due to its inadequacies and distortions, as well as ordinary dynamic drivers for distortion and unwanted vibrations.
Due to these reasons, Hifiman created a special variation of dynamic drivers and featured RE2000 IEMs with a new technology called the Topology Diaphragm. Topology diaphragm refers to a driver coated with a unique nano coating which is distributed in a specific geometric pattern or thickness. Hifiman claims that varying the shape, pattern, and thickness of this geometric coating will manipulate the sound signature and characteristics, making them possible to achieve the specific sound they’re looking for.
Cables are made of crystalline silver-plated copper wires for both IEMs. Hifiman included additional 2pin sockets and pins, in case the original connectors from the stock cable has been damaged. These additional parts can be also used when you’re looking to get these IEMs a new custom cable.
Ordinary CIEM 2pin (0.78mm) connectors work completely fine with these, though using the original connector sockets and pins would provide a seamless fit and aesthetics. RE2000 has an L-shaped 3.5mm jack while RE2000 Silver has a straight 3.5mm jack. I also like that they’ve matched the color for the Y-split and the jack.
Sound Impressions – RE2000 Silver
RE2000 Silver aims for an analytical yet adequately musical sound, forming a slightly w-shaped signature.
Lows dive deep, dense in presentation, and always keep the reverbs very clean. The solid bass has a large, lively thud but doesn’t get too aggressive or rushing into the face. The sub-bass quantity is similar to typical v-shaped IEMs. Ultra lows show smaller quantity though doesn’t compromise in clearly presenting them. It actually does a great job revealing the dark and thick feeling that comes from the ultra lows with its small quantity.
Mids takes a small step forward from the other frequencies, though not to the point I’d call that it’s clearly bulged out. It’s pulled forward in a very natural way, not interrupting the imaging but definitely feels like it’s presented closer than the highs and lows. Thickness is just about neutral, being suitable for both male and female vocals. The vocals tend to keep the atmosphere airy and slightly levitated from the bass. It doesn’t really get thick in presentation but always keep things transparent and opened, which I could definitely feel that they’re trying to portray the similar sound characteristics from their planar headphones.
Highs continue with the airy and levitated presentation, though the quantity is slightly lesser than the mids and keep the texture crisper. The brightness is neutral or slightly dimmed, making it ideal for a long time listening without causing fatigues. The sparkles and the details are also nice, not falling back in performance at all. Headroom size is also quite large, both horizontally and vertically with good 3D effect.
Comparison with RE2000 Gold
The RE2000 series particularly remind me of the HE1000 headphones. RE2000 does a beautiful job controlling the sibilance and the midrange in general, eliminating almost any turbulence. This makes the surface from the vocals to be flat, which is another part that reminds me of their planar headphone series. The sound characteristics are overall similar with the RE2000 Silver, though RE2000 is more shifted to the upper frequencies.
Compared with the RE2000 Silver, mids from RE2000 are much airier with better transparency with highs showing improved layering and frequency range. The bass extension is just as good as RE2000 Silver but with reduced quantity. The openness from the mid-treble makes the sound more refreshing with a lively staging.
So is RE2000 superior to RE2000 Silver? Well, it’s tough for me to confidently say yes to that question since they differ in sound signature as well as the performance shows a very minor gap. RE2000 is a reference tuned version meant for serious audiophiles with a 24K premium added to it, while RE2000 Silver is a more affordable, omnivorous choice that could satisfy general music lovers.
It would have been better if Hifiman made the price gap smaller for these two IEMs, but seems like they’ve decided to occasionally run discounts for both models. Checking their official website would be recommended.
Despite choosing a single dynamic driver for flagship IEMs, they certainly lived up with my expectations for their price, especially the RE2000 Silver. Deciding between these two IEMs would be more of a question of the sound signature rather than the performance, so I urge considering RE2000 Silver too if you were planning to go straight for RE2000 since the higher price. It’s great to see Hifiman starting to put some work on premium earphones and these should be a great choice for those who are seeking for natural sounding single driver IEMs.
Thanks to Hifiman for providing the RE2000 Silver in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Hifiman and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.