Transparency, thy name is ER-4PT!

A Review On: Etymotic Research ER-4PT In-Ear Earphones

Etymotic Research ER-4PT In-Ear Earphones

Rated # 152 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $299.00
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Pros: Very clear, precise and flat sound, speed and response. excellent isolation, build quality and warranty.

Cons: ergonomics, cable microphonics

let's keep this short, simple and sweet-just like the earphones being reviewed.


Why are these things so good?? could it be the superb balance between lows, mids and highs? or the excellent isolation, that lets you enjoy your music at lower volumes while not skipping any of the details?? Are they deserving of the near-legendary status that has kept these phones relevant in today's $1000 dollar IEM world??


Let's talk about our worst fears regarding the ER-4PT - the alleged lack of bass, the lifted treble, the 'boring, analytic signature'. All of these assumptions are total bunk. Absolute nonsense. We've been misled by earphones that push up the lows and try to pass off as true High Fidelity devices. This is not what High Fidelity means - it means being as true to the source as possible, and not adding your own 'special sauce' to the mix. This is the end pursuit of all audiophiles, but our vision (ears?) often get clouded.


The ER-4PT breaks through the clouds like a ray of sunshine, bathing everything in brilliance. It reproduces sound, and that's all it does. If the ER-4PT's sound boring to you, that's just your music being boring, man. Deal with it. take a break, get some water and listen to something else, because music is meant to be felt, and you are just not feeling it right now.


The Bass on the ER-4PT is superb - it is routine for most earphones to do the midbass hump from 80-100Hz to 150Hz - and most casual listeners are easily wowed by the impact this provides. Bass on Earphones will never feel the same as loudspeakers, because bass is a very visceral feeling, almost physical thing. it rumbles and slams and hits and drops, but to get this sensation, you need to move a LOT of air. Earphones don't move a lot of air, so they compensate by adjusting the response of our earphones to lift the midbass, giving a perception of a bassy sound.

The ER-4PT does not play this game. It instead extends all the way down to the sub-bass, and goes ruler-flat all the way to the mids. You hear everything, just as the recording engineer intended, and nothing gets special treatment. it is fantastic.


The Mid-range is equally Impressive - tonally neutral, you will strain to hear any honkyness or tilt in frequency. the ER-4PT just refuses to play favorites with genres and vocal styles.


The Treble was actually a bit underwhelming - maybe i've been conditioned to expect a heavy hand with the treble after reading all the reviews, but for me, it was just right-the high notes came in exactly where they were needed, and did not smear over to the vocals. this is what good treble should sound like. A perfect sense of timing and precision, while being able to hit all kinds of notes at the same time.

Does it need more treble?? Absolutely not. That would be missing the point of the ER-4PT - which is to reproduce sound accurately. The sense of transparency and openness these phones have is simply fantastic.


I've been powering the Earphones with my LG G2, a smartphone held in high regard around these parts - I am happy to report that work well together, and the volume level achievable is far more than what you will want for an extended time.


Comfort and fit are very personal choices - the driver housings are among the smallest I have seen, and I use the smallest triple-flange tips. Microphonics are a minor annoyance, but the cable is very well made. 


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