The crackling is just the sound of the needle picking up scratches or other defects on the record surface. They become a permanent part of the music in vinyl rips and any codec will retain them unless it completely destroys all the rest of the musical information.
Vinyl rips are great for a warm feeling and high dynamic range, but they're nowhere near as clean as digital recordings because of issues inherent in their playback.
I'm selling 4 headphones that I absolutely love but don't find the time for.
This is the original version with what some say are superior drivers comparable to the ER4. I would agree with this description.
They come with as many new, unused Etymotic-original tips as I can find. Probably 1 or 2 pair.
They come with the original soft case as well.
Price is $80 shipped and PayPal'd in the USA.
This is the updated version of this IEM...
Just go a little higher and get the TDK BA200 at about $129. It is over the ear, Y-split, flat tangle-free cable, warm+sweet, excellent isolation, excellent sound stage, airy, fairly well built, and very detailed.
There is no such thing as 'the best ever made', not even at $2500. It all depends on what your qualifications are in what you're looking for.
Etymotic ER4 are easily one of the best IEMs ever made for a flat, reference-quality sound signature and are only $200 or so.