HiFiMan is a fantastic niche company making products for those who love tweaky portable audio (see our review of the HM-801 audiophile portable player). The RE-Zero earphones have a 9mm driver and are rated by the company at 15 Hz to 22 kHz, with a sensitivity of 100 dB. The overall feel of the metal RE-Zero is of higher build quality than its price would suggest. Like the more expensive offerings here, it comes with multiple tips. In this case, they’re all soft rubber, with two different-size flange tips and three sizes of simple round ones.
Although the RE-Zero had the smallest earphones in the test, in-ear fit was snuggly, and it was light enough to be barely noticeable. Sound isolation was pretty good, mostly due to how well they fit in the ear. Well, my ear, anyway.
The RE-Zero was far lighter in its sonic character than the other models tested. It had less bass and more (though not overly so) treble. This character makes everything sound more open, but the lack of bass doesn’t lend itself to certain kinds of music. Something like “Rise,” a track on Josh Rouse’s 1972 (a light and airy album to begin with), worked well. The percussion and guitars lay back, while Rouse’s voice came through strongly.
HiFiMan’s RE-Zero offers a decent mix of comfort and sound. It’s a perfect option for those who want an alternative to the many bass-heavy ’phones out there.