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The Formidable ER 4S

A Review On: Etymotic ER-4P Portable In-Ear Earphones

Etymotic ER-4P Portable In-Ear Earphones

Rated # 10 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $120.00
Posted · 36266 Views · 3 Comments

Pros: Excellent Detail, Flat Response, Great Isolation

Cons: ER 4S needs a powerful amp, it's hard to fit them in ear canal

I'm surprised that no review has been written about those gems! The ER 4P/S is one of the best IEMs in the market value wise. They are made to last, they isolate like no other IEM and they have a unique flat frequency response which can be easily adjusted if you have a good equalizer or an integrated amp. The ER S will sound best when used with a powerful amp, it will provide an amazing sound stage and wonderful imaging of instruments and players. They can provide life like details of the recording including movements, coughs, breathing and pages turned over depicted with extreme clarity. Highly recommended.


I compared all my headphones when my Benchmark DAC1 was delivered. First, AKG 701's were wonderful and transparent. I thought nothing would compare; next, Sennheiser 600's, which were rich, and smooth, but a little less transparent. Then I hauled out my Etymotic ER4S that I hadn't listened to for a while. What a revelation. They absolutely blew the other two cans completely out of the water for clarity and transparency! Most people don't know how to insert them so they seal but are comfortable. the secret is to lick them first, and pull your ear back and rotate when you put them in. Then, pull back out JUST SLIGHTLY, PRESERVING THE SEAL. After a moment, you won't feel them at all. Try it. In my opinion, they are still the world's greatest when used with a world class amp like the Benchmark. I like to listen deeply into the mix, and I have some high end frequency loss especially in the left ear.
Pianoman, your insertion description is exactly what I do and I completely agree with the OP as well. Given the right amp these IEM's are simply astonishing. I think they are so often overlooked as they are not the newest out there. I have been fortunate to have had some of the popular IEM's around and these with the right amp beat them all. Simple, the do the job and they do it superbly. When and if these eventually wear out I will get another pair. If driven well these give such a close run to the higher end custom IEMs that cost over $1000 that it makes those customs look ridiculous.

Once again though, the caveat is a decent amp, with that taken care of you just cannot go wrong!
You can now buy the er4pt, only 29ohms impedance, comes with an adaptor wire that turns it into an er4s if you've got the amping available.  without the adaptor you can run it from a much weaker source.
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