|Do not underestimate the ER-4S.
For some reason that has a star wars vibe to it.
Going to Irvine eh? I recently gradumacated.
What follows is long and pointless rambling and some tests in my quest to figure out why my DT931's sound close, but no cigar in comparison to Ety's. I mighta started a new thread for this crap, but thought now would be a good oppurtunity as any to blab about my findings.
The Ety's raises the standard of which I judge even full-sized headphones. I believe, that for the Senns to come close or beat it, you probably need Clou cables + a hefty expensive amp to back it up. DT931? Nah I don't think that could do it. The Ety's have ridiculous R/L driver matching. I'm beginning to think the reason I can't enjoy DT931 near the same level is not really because of its treble, but that its L/R matching in the upper treble is not close to Ety standard, and discrepency in this area leads to "aggressive" poorly imaged treble when one driver is producing unnaturally more than the other. The close coupling to the ear just exaggerates this problem. Ety's are even CLOSER coupled to the ear, yet they will be extremely well matched between drivers. My MS-1 may be worse in this regard. I think some of headrooms latest graphs which tout L/R channel response may confirm my suspicions on this issue with the DT931. I tested DT931 some more as far as balance...it isn't that bad, good for a full-sizer...from what I remembered of the AKG501 or SennHD600, but I can't accurately say since the testing circumstances are not the same or in the same given time frame with properly matched volumes. I just know they didn't match Ety's when it came to producing balanced non-peaky response up to even the higher frequencies.
I have played test tones before and on many phones I've owned high-freqs were always somewhat unbalanced or peaky, but not with the Ety's. Not many full-sized phones really performed well in this regard. I remember the Senns did quite a bit better than most however when I tested this (I never recorded my results however so I don't remember). And I speculate that maybe higher end Grado's do well in being well matched as well (as long as you can measure them accurately even with the supraaural pads). I used to think this had to do with coupling and ear canals...but from looking at some headroom graphs and hearing consistent imbalance with some full-sized phones, and a consistent balance with Ety's, I am thinking it probably is more driver matching related. In fact the frequency range for which I start to hear irregularities begins right where the graphs for the headphones break up. I can close my eyes, run through the freqs, stop when I hear inconsistency, and notice that I stopped at 5khz, which is around where the DT931 stops being smooth even on headroom graphs. I do this with my MS-1, I stop somewhere at even around 4khz. Sportapros are already showing noticable L/R mismatch at 3khz. From what I remember of Senns...they were actually pretty good, maybe only beginning to sound irregular to me at 8khz even but I think overall did good. The thing is, with my Ety's there really isn't a point for me that it sounds very irregular.
Before anyone rolls their eyes and think I use Ety's to just listen to test tones...I'm just trying to figure out why they sound better to me than some of my other phones with so much music. I only recently put the DT931 through these tests, and again the Ety's show true accuracy, while the DT931 although may sound accurate, is really far far more peaky in treble. Maybe in the future I'll see if a new DAC + Amp setup truly alleviates some musicality woes of the DT931.
To me, the Ety's present the best combination of portability, isolation, accuracy, and musicality, for the price. Yes they like good amps like any phones, but IMO, don't need it AS much as Senns (or Beyers for that matter). Ety4S can be made pretty happy for cheap. As long as they fit you well at least.