Last month we’ve reviewed the HIFIMAN RE400 and RE600. HIFIMAN RE800 Silver is the big brother of the RE600 and RE400. We are going to do HIFIMAN RE800 Silver review and whether it’s better than RE600.
While the Silver is their newer version, even though the price is lower than the gold but It’s a pity that they removed the removable cable in the silver version. the asking price is USD 599 but there’s a discount right now and selling at USD 299.
HIFIMAN claims that RE800 has pure audio quality. It has a rich and silky smooth sound signature, with details and existing dynamics.
UNBOXING RE800 Silver
The RE800 comes in a medium-sized box. It’s a different approach comparing this with RE600 that’s has a leather case Box.
I prefer the Box for the RE800 though and included all the accessories and carrying case inside the box.
I still find that the packaging quality and design is a little bit lacking and do not have a premium touch on it. This is one area that HIFIMAN can improve and learn from other brands like Westone and Shure.
Opening the box you’ll see the RE800 in-ear monitoring and the carrying case, followed by the booklet and the rest of the accessories.
I like the booklet explaining the history and the topology diagram, it certainly deepens my appreciation for the Hifiman line up.
What’s Inside the Box?
- 1 X Hifiman RE800 Silver in-ear monitor
- 5x pairs Bi-Flange Silicone Tips
- 2x pairs Dual Flange Tips
- 3x pairs of Silicone Tips
- 3x pairs Triple Flange Tips (black)
- 3x pairs Triple Flange Tips (transparent)
- 1x ear hook.
- 1x Case
- 1x Booklet
- Driver: Topology Diaphragm 9.2mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 5Hz – 20kHz
- Impedance: 60
- Sensitivity: 105db
- Weight: 14.5g
- Cable: silver coated, crystalline copper wire.
RE800 SILVER ACCESSORIES
Overwhelming tips selection, that’s a good start!
I think these ear tips have a better quality in terms of retaining the shape and material compared to the one in RE600, it could be that the RE800 tips are the newer batch.
From the single, double to triple flange tips. They are giving a slightly different sound signature because of the insertion level. One thing that is missing is the foam tips, maybe an idea to have a partnership with comply like brainwavz b400.
The ear hook, it has never been my favorite. Perhaps some people will like it by for me it just feels uncomfortable especially when I’m wearing glasses.
The ear hook could secure the earphone during exercise but I don’t think it’s a good idea cause it’s quite a risk (accidentally snap the cable, moisture or sweet, etc).
The case, it’s the same case like R400 and R600, I’m expecting more at this price range. I love a hard case since I owned the Westone.
Anyway back to the soft case that HIFIMAN provides, it serves its basic function and to put a couple of ear tips. Putting like zorloo super DAC-s is too tight especially with an additional cable.
RE800 SILVER REVIEW DESIGN AND BUILD
RE800 is very light thanks to the aluminum casing and it has a small build for a deeper insertion to the ear canal.
The design is simple and discreet. If you judge the book by the cover you might guess the price wrongly. From the simple survey (non-audiophile) that I did, 80% thought that the price is between $10-$50. 20% selected that the price is more than $200. The gold version looks exclusive compared to the toned-down silver version.
The cutting is very smooth without any sharp edge. A white HIFIMAN logo embossed on our part facing away from the ear.
For the nozzle, the filter has a mesh of metal instead of a replaceable filter like what you see in RE600. I prefer a replaceable filter because slowly, no matter how careful you are the wax and dirt will build up and it will be difficult to clean.
The nozzle has thick lips to secure the tips, not even once that the tips stay on my ear no matter how tight it is. Taking out and indifferent tips are also effortless.
At the base of the earphone, you’ll see a metal strain relief to protect the cable. This is the big difference with the gold version, that the cable is unreplaceable.
I mentioned it before that this is not an ideal case with earphone at this price range. The cable can snap, technical issues, sticky because of humidity and many other issues. I wouldn’t mind paying another $100 to get the gold version for it.
The overall quality of the cable feels solid and thick. Cable shielded by black plastic made from silver-coated, crystalline copper wire.
Because the outer made from soft plastic kind with rubbery feeling, I’m afraid that it will turn sticky if you are not taking care of it properly.
The Y splitter is made from aluminum with a RE800 embossed on it. In the end the 3.5mm straight gold plated Jack is very solid. I like the design of the jack, strain relief and it’s very easy to unplug thanks to the anti slip design.
The cable is prone to microscopic noise when you walk and the cable made contact with your clothes.
There’s very minimum microscopic noise if you wear it over the ear instead of a straight down.
Because of the small built, it’s very lightweight and comfortable to wear.
RE800 SILVER SOUND IMPRESSION
RE800 uses the Topology 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 bass is clean and clear, there’s no muddiness. Listening to Believer – Imagine Dragon is enjoyable with the punchy bass, it’s quick, good attack and short decay.
The upper bass is more prominent than the lower, some subtle sub-bass may be a little bit hidden. Oricono flow – Enya at 1:51 the sub-bass is noticeable but combining to the lows and highs it becomes subtle.
Overall the bass able to deliver a good impact and it has a clean thumpy feeling without loss of details.
The vocals are forward and sound natural. with the slight exception is the singer hit higher notes because there’s an emphasized on the upper range.
Listening at Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor re800 mids are lively and detailed.
Something special about HIFIMAN RE800 is the layering, even though the vocal sounds forward but the bass and upper range still visible and able to create the dynamic that it needed.
The treble is sparkly but not overkill, some people might love it while others maybe don’t.
This sparkly brings out details in the mid and bring the overall sound signature to a more balanced state because of the thumpy bass.
A hint of Sibilance is present especially when you turn the volume up and on certain songs. It will be a little bit difficult to enjoy for songs that focus on the upper range powerful voice like lover’s concerto – Kelly Chen.
But for other songs that demand a good upper range like Green machine – Kyuss or lullaby – Bond will definitely be benefited from the tuning.
For my taste, a little bit more roll-off to soften the sparkle would be good and of course, it’s always a challenge to satisfy all ears.
The soundstage extends wide in the vertical plane and is not that deep on the horizontal because the vocals are pretty forward.
Placement of instrument is great, you can easily pinpoint the different instrument playing like in Limehouse Blues.
The RE800 also strong and very enjoyable when hearing a song utilizing different outputs on the right and left channel.
Separation is one of the strength that RE800 has, no matter what you throw into the mix (as long as the source is good) you’ll able to hear the layering not only in a song with a lot of instrument but even in a “quiet” song like we will rock you – Queen, you’ll enjoy the stomping and clapping as nicely rendered rhythmic body percussion beat.
The dynamic driver is HIFIMAN strength without diluting its product with the number of the driver, HIFIMAN focus one thing and they got it right.
RE800 is a balanced v-shaped sounding IEM without sacrificing the mids and with excellent separation.
It’s even able to perform well in Time – Hanz Zimmer which not a lot of IEM able to do that. Slight smoother feedback on the upper range to soften the sharpness would be good.
I’ve burned the IEM for about 30 hours and I’ll burn it longer to see whether the upper range will become softer.
RE800 SILVER REVIEW SUMMARY
HIFIMAN RE800 is almost excelling in every genre of song with exception female singers in the upper range because of the slight sibilance produced.
Another thing for consideration is the non-replaceable cable. With the asking price of USD 599, I would expect a replaceable cable and hard case please. for the current offer that HIFIMAN has at USD 299 it’s perhaps good trade-off 🙂
The RE800 Silver is a very light and ergonomic earphone with a low profile of the design. People could mistake RE800 with RE400 and RE800 doesn’t look like a USD 599 piece. Personally, I love the design and build of RE600 instead of the RE800 / RE400.
Sound-wise RE800 definitely sounds more polished compared to the RE600. RE800 has more details, layering, bass response but more aggressive on the upper range. RE600 is a more safe bet but I would recommend that you’ll do an audition because preference varies from person to person.
HIFIMAN RE800 SILVER REVIEW RATING
Product Name: HIFIMAN RE800
Product Description: HIFIMAN RE800 has a rich and silky smooth sound signature, with details and existing dynamics.
ACCESSORIES - 7.3/10
BUILD - 8.5/10
BASS - 8/10
MIDRANGE - 8.5/10
TREBLE - 8/10
SOUNDSTAGE & SEPARATION - 9/10