The RE-600 is almost identical to the RE-400 in size and shape with only the piano black finish and improved cable differentiating between the two. The RE-600 looks subjectively more premium though I do prefer the matte texture of the bare aluminium RE-400, the gloss finish can diminish in-hand feel though this is hardly relevant when in the ear. And honestly, I’m glad that Hifiman decided to stick with the same design because it is exceptional in almost every way.
The RE-600’s ergonomic advantages begin with their minute housings that are even smaller than the already tiny ie800 and magnitudes smaller than the Pinnacle P1 and 1More Quad-Driver. The cylindrical housings are just 7 millimetres in diameter with some fluting to enable the use of slightly larger drivers. The housings are entirely aluminium but remain essentially weightless due to their small dimensions. Their gloss black finish is even and the earphones feel pretty well finished though they still pale in comparison to meticulous build on the 1More Quad Driver. The rear face exposes the silver metal underneath with a concentric texture adding some visual intrigue. Hifiman apply a clear coat over the exposed metal to prevent scratches though mine still suffered from a few nicks during daily usage.
The earphones have average sized straight nozzles that will fit most tips out there such as the Sony Hybrids and Spinfit Cp100s. The RE-600 was designed for a deep, cable down fit though due to their very laterally placed strain reliefs, they also fit perfectly over-ear (I preferred to wear them over-ear to reduce cable noise). Either way, the RE-600 is perfectly comfortable for long-term listening, one of those earphones that disappear in the ear, and provides great passive noise isolation, just less than the fully sealed monitors from Shure and Westone. They are perhaps the smallest, most isolating dynamic driver earphones I have ever tested. When paired with foams, the RE-600 easily suffice for any kind of travel including air travel. Fit stability is also fantastic and the earphones easily stay put during my usual 6km run without requiring adjustment, they are just as isolating and stable as most sealed monitors but are far more comfortable long-term. They are quite low-profile during when inserted though side lying is still not ideal due to the shape of their housings.
As stated by Hifiman, the main change with the RE-600 V2 is its improved cable, both in terms of build and sound, seeking to address the primary shortcoming of previous Hifiman models. The new cable is a silver plated copper unit with a smooth texture above the y-split and fabric weave beneath. Unfortunately, the cable is still fixed though the inclusion of any kind of connector would not be possible due to the earphone’s size. That being said, the included cable is of pleasing quality and feels far sturdier than most. Strain relief on all terminations, especially the jack and earpieces are exemplary and I have confidence in their longevity; I actually prefer having a solid fixed cable over the ergonomically flawed semi-replaceable unit on the ie800. The cable is essentially silent when wearing the earphones over the ear and never catches on clothing during commute due to its smooth texture. It is a bit stiff, especially above the y-split, with more memory than I would like though it isn’t springy and rarely tangled during my use. Thickness is on the beefier side, around 30% thicker than the cable on the RE-400 which is fantastic. The straight 3.5mm plug is quite low profile but will not fit into thicker phone cases due to a lack of any offset. Overall, I am content with the RE-600 V2’s cable, it is hugely improved over the thin, rubbery unit on the RE-400 and RE-600 but ergonomically, the cable still falls short of the brilliant Meeaudio MMCX cable and even the super tangle resistant 1More cable.
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