2013 Munich High End Show: HiFiMAN RE-400 and RE-600

Never at a loss for a new product, Fang Bien of HiFiMAN gave me a listen to his new RE-600 ($399) in-ear monitor, which I enjoyed very much. I'll definitely get a pair to listen and measure, and then send off to ljokerl to consider for review.

The real treat for me, however, was getting to hear the RE-400. I'd read a lot of posts saying it was good, and since the demise of the Etymotic ER6 I've been searching for a good motorcycle earphone. In-ear monitors for motorcycling need to virtually disappear into your ear because a well fitting helmet is tight and padding is close to your ears, and if your IEM sticks out and touches the padding wind noise vibrations from the helmet directly transfer though the body of the IEM and into your ears...and it can be quite loud. Also, when putting the helmet on and off, the neck collar is smaller than your head and strongly rubs against your ears in passing. With big IEMs that can hurt bretty badly and often dislodges the IEMs, requiring you to take the helmet off again to reseat them. The RE-400 looks small enough that it might work under a helmet, and coupled with its $99 price tag becomes a very attractive motorcycing in-ear monitor. I'm crossing my fingers.

HiFiMAN website here, RE-400 product page. Product page for the RE-600 not up yet.

Ed. Note: I've posted my show impressions for Stereophile, you can read them here.

AncientWisdom's picture

Yes! Motorcycling headphones! I've been searching high and low and it's really hard! Please please follow up on this!


Tyll Hertsens's picture

It's a terrible problem for motorcyclists...I know.

I'll be riding my bike down to THE Show Newport two weeks from now, and I'll make a point of picking up a pair from Fang to try out on the return. 

John Grandberg's picture

I don't ride a motorcycle, but I do have a very high opinion of the RE-400. Great IEM for the price, and could have easily justified costing significantly more. 

MGGWhite's picture


Thanks for the nice video. I look forward to hear more about the RE-600, albeit they are at price point that better they are extraordinary.

The RE-400, that I have, is a fantastic IEM, very confortable, excellent SQ, very musical and well balanced. At $99 is really quite fantastic. And it is really small, so I use it to listen music when I go to sleep, so I can rest on the pillow without any problems.

I also ride a motorcycle ... but I have to warn anyone who rides a bike to never use IEM headphones that block the sound arround you. It is extremely dangerous and it is not allowed in many states in the USA. Anyone is free to do what they like, but I am not sure it is wise to recommend an IEM for bike riding ... 

Just last week I did the mistake of driving my car with the RE-400 in my ears. I turned right on a red light that was not allowed (did not realize it was forbidden) and a police car followed me with the full siren on ... of course with my RE-400 on, I did not hear the police at all, even when they have a 200 decibel siren ... it took close to a mile for me to realize that the police car was just behind me and I never heard it, not a bit … and I can tell you that the policeman was really furious because he thought I did not want to stop ... I was able to remove the RE-400 from my ears and hide them before the policeman approached me to ask why I did not stop … he could not believe that I would not hear the 200 decibel siren … so if you ride/drive with the RE-400 you will hear zero sounds around you and therefore it is very dangerous … I would not advise anyone to do that … better to live longer and listen to music at home than to have a bad situation on the bike.

Tyll Hertsens's picture

I always ride with ear plugs in, so IEMs are somewhat similar in their ability to cut down wind noise.  And I'll agree that wearing IEMs on a bike is a dangerous proposition. I tend to ride while listening only on the slab in wide open places---which there are plenty of up here in Montana. In fact, lately I've taken to not rding with music at all and just enjoying the ride. 

However, I know that it happens all the time and people ask me for advice on moto IEMs a lot, so I feel like I ought to advise. It is worth mentioning the safety issues as well though, so thnk you for that.

JRT's picture

Was the problem due to wearing IEMs, or due to the SPL they were delivering?

Just turn down the volume to where you can still hear horns and sirens.

Bluedart's picture


I just rode to work on my MeanStreak with the RE-400 in.  They work great, and if I don't turn them up too loud, I can still easily hear honking/sirens around me, but they cut out enough of the noise to prevent hearing loss from constant loud noise of wind/exhaust.  It was easy to get my helmet on and off with them in, and I could even fit my hand to the side of my visor opening to adjust them with the helmet on, and I do have a large head.  The only downside is the slightly long cable, but if you feed them through your shirt, it isn't much of a problem.  They are really fantastic, you need to get yourself a pair ASAP!

ricky07's picture

This has been a serious problem for all motorcycle riders but having to wear these headphones can be quite a challenge so I have goes decided to get the MeanStreak with the RE-400 inside so I can hear the honking, sirens, or any other needed sound to be heard.