The Good The affordable HiFiMan RE-400 In-Ear Monitor earphones have an attractive, understated design with machined-aluminum earpieces. They're lightweight and comfortable to wear and offer exceptionally pure and refined sound.
The Bad No inline remote/microphone for cell phone calls; no protective carrying case included.
The Bottom Line While they're light on extras, the well-priced HiFiMan RE-400s offer excellent, accurate sound that's aimed at audiophiles on a budget.
Audiophile earphones for less than $100
First, an admission: I've never really liked any of HiFiMan's in-ear headphone models. For whatever reason, they just didn't sound all that great and never measured up to the Chinese company's HE family of full-size headphones, which employ proprietary thin-film "Planar-Magnetic" flat drivers that produce clear, dynamic sound. The HE models have earned a following among audiophiles.
The good news is I feel a lot better about the new $99 RE-400 "Waterline" in-ear model. It sounds a lot better than HiFiMan's previous in-ear offerings, all of which have been discontinued.
While the RE-400s don't have the in-line remote/microphone found on a lot of today's mobile pairs, their comfortable fit and clear sound will appeal to audiophiles or anyone craving in-ear headphones without exaggerated bass or overly crisp treble.
Can $699 earbuds be worth it?
The Audiophiliac tries on a set of Hifiman RE800 in-ear headphones, and really loves their sound.