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HiFiMan RE-300h – Just the Sound

HiFiMan RE-300h 4

HiFiMan’s RE-300h has flown relatively under the radar since its quiet release but it’s at least in my view, one of the most interesting IEMs the company has produced. The RE-300h is perhaps the biggest departure from the HiFiMan house sound I’ve grown accustomed to and is undoubtedly what makes me so fond of this earphone. It features big, thumping bass, the likes of which I love so much from their planar magnetic HE-400 and 400i. But, this being an RE series earphone, the bass is far from overemphasized or uncontrolled. What the low end on display here has is an unmistakable body and authority that commands attention without being excessive. What I enjoy most about the presentation is the sub bass emphasis. While many earphones seem to be tuned for maximum mid bass potential, the RE-300h delivers mid bass in balance with the sub bass at the lowest ends of the frequency scale, boasting both impressive detail and extension down low.

Midrange performance is the most similar to the other, higher end earphones in the RE line in that it has a liquid smoothness that’s as much enjoyable as it is even-handed and richly detailed. In some ways, its characteristic smoothness reminds me of the RE-262, though (understandably) not as refined or richly detailed.

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The presentation as a whole is somewhat dark and lacking in upper register emphasis that some audiophiles may crave. Personally, I prefer my headphones and IEMs sound a bit dark so I quite enjoyed the RE-300h’s unique tonal balance.

The soundstage is a bit small but does a good job with positional cues and spatial awareness so it’s pretty easy to discern where individual sounds are coming from in relation to one another.

The crowning feature of the RE-300h is its richness and deep, powerful sound that perhaps doesn’t excite but does manage to engage, all the same. It’s not flat, it’s not neutral, but what it is is musical and fun. For a more neutral and detailed experience, the more expensive RE-400 would be a better choice.

The housing design seems to create some internal resonance which gives the bass a bit more reverb and makes the sound a bit more full and thick, which I quite enjoy.

HiFiMan RE-300h 5

Overall, the RE-300h is an earphone that asserts itself without being too in-your-face. It does so much right and I really have to search to find something wrong, subjectively speaking, at least. No doubt, to some, its presentation may sound a bit off. This was my thought upon my first listen. There was something odd about it, like the presentation was hollow, or that it sounded heavy and oily. Yeah, I know, this reads like audiophile nonsense but that’s the best way I can think to describe it.

The RE-300h is probably the most conventionally “fun” IEM HiFiMan has ever produced. Take this with a grain of salt though, since my idea of fun is more in line with the mass market definition, meaning an IEM with enhanced bass that throws neutrality to the wind. That’s not to say the audiophile can’t find anything to enjoy in the RE-300h, as I certainly did, but it doesn’t have the typical sound signature that audiophiles tend to go for, namely one tonally neutral, free of coloration and flat. But, if you’re into this sort of sound signature, the RE-300h is a great value at $49.

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