Hifiman gained much notoriety in the IEM world when they released the brilliant RE0. This brought at the time insane levels of detail and extreme accuracy with a almost ruler flat response and they did so at a low price. Moving on they introduced the RE262, one of the warmest and sweetest sounding IEM's released to date by any company. When it was announced that the RE272 was to be released everyone thought it would be the successor, what we got instead was a completely different beast
THE MEAT OF THE REVIEW
Packaging – (8/10)
Its nice, it gives the impression that they intended to have a very high end feel and the design is all there to achieve it but ultimately the cheap plastic leather and fake gold/brass clasp do make it feel quite cheap. Anyway its nice to have a presentation box to keep them in so props for this.
Accessories - (8/10)
Accessories are actually quite good here, you get a large range of tips to try and get yourself a good fit with and you also get 4 adaptor cables which at first seems slightly insane. There is one for use with balanced amps one for over ear use and another for being worn straight down. Also included are a set or user replaceable filters and a shirt clip.
Looks and Build Quality - (8/10)
Looks wise I really like the RE-272, they have a very eye catching design which is also very classy. just looking at them you get the feeling you would when you are about to smoke a good cigar. It has a metallic paint finish to it and you may indeed mistake it for metal as it is done so well but it is still plastic as was the housing on the older 262. The cable is again nice and different from other cables but works like a charm and is very anti tangle.. The housing is solid and there is good strain relief all around however even with all this it does feel just slightly less nice that other competitors at that price.
The isolate well similar to that of Shure models due to the similar design, its not exceptionally good but certainly better than average.
They are monitors after all and the over ear design. I used them with a set of ear guides i had and this further increased my comfort and stability levels. Very comfy and secure in the ear.
Sound Quality (8.5/10)
Its very hard to sum up the RE272 sound as it is is technically good but at times hard to enjoy. It is incredibly accurate and detailed, the most of any dynamic driver but at the same time can struggle to fully engage you in the music and instead you end up studying the music.
The lows - Bass is weak, its accurate however but fails in any sort of rumble and your head certainly wont bopping to genres like Hip-hop or electronic if thats your cup of tea you will most likely hate these. Its a fast bass but has absolutely no power to it. Folk over at Money-fi forums will praise these things as being accurate to what artist intended in the studio etc, im sure we have all heard such rhetoric before. However the fact of the matter is that I cant think of most modern listeners that would enjoy the bass on these and using something like a Zo is a must to get anything out of the low end.
The mids – Mids are great detailed and accurate, they are enjoyable but again more in a listen for fine detail analytical listening kind of way. I prefer a bit of sweetness in my mids on daily listening and while these are nice and the detail retrieval is good is that really enough?
Treble – Treble is actually excellent its sparkly and accurate and I would say the strong point overall. I have no complaints at all in this frequency range as I feel its the way many other phones should be.
Whilst the re272 are detail monsters, and in a way that is great I would be hard pressed to recommend them to anyone and that itself is really quite strange. Analytical listening is not for everyone and do you really want to sit down to study your music every time you listen? I certainly don't i like to be immersed in the music hearing details whilst being engaged and in this sense the RE272 is just to cold for me.
When I do partake in analytical listening I do so with my Ety ER4S and there is a reason they have been around for 20 or so years. So if you want analytical id say go with the Ety even though this is a fine effort from HIfiman I would choose there own RE262 for daily listening any day of the week.