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Etymotic Experiment on Accuracy - Page 2

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
From the Etymotic website:

Target Curve Explained
Target curves on Etymotic frequency response accuracy graphs define 100% accuracy as the open ear diffuse-field response of the KEMAR manikin, modified to compensate for the high frequency boost added to high-quality recordings. This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings. Commercial recordings have a high-frequency boost that compensates for the high frequency roll-off in studio monitor loudspeakers and high-quality stereo loudspeakers and earphones.


Perhaps I am reading/interpreting this wrong but I am confused in two regards.

1) If the curve goes up on the right side (as it does with ER4) isn't this boosting the high frequency? The point above leads me to think that commercial recordings are already high frequency boosted and the Ety "modification" is to tame it down some (5 dB). Is this correct?

2) If it is correct and Ety is taming down that natural high frequecy boost, how come they STILL reveal more high frequecies than any other IEM by a long shot?
If they have toned down the treble, why do they still have a major treble boost on the headroom charts? Particularly considering they're an iem and therefore closer to eardrum so treble emphasis is magnified. The etymotics are fun (for some types of music) and detailed, but not accurate because of the boosted high freqs.

Also I think the treble extension is good for an iem, particularly at that price point. But it's not better than, say my ck100. It's just more emphasized and colored, to the point that there's a high frequency glaze covering up the other frequencies. And there is no comparison between er-4 treble extension and that of a full-sized phone like the k701s or lambda.
post #17 of 45
This is a great thread!
post #18 of 45
I think that to appreciate the etymotic sound you need to have a good source and a good recording. Colored earphones tend to be forgiving to some degree.

When I first used the etys with an E series Sony Walkman I was vastly disappointed, but I gave them more shots to prove me wrong…and they finally came alive with the touch 2G performing flat (no EQ). There are times I really miss the lows, but it has to do with the recording. Used to that now. I enjoy my ATs more for allround listening, but when I really want to enjoy some potent recording I listen to it with the Etys. When the recipe works there is no alternative to the sound…
post #19 of 45
So Etymotic's basic goal was to design a perfectly balanced headphone across the spectrum? So if we heard a sine wave sweep from 20hz-20,000hz Etymotic's ideal headphone would have no peaks or valleys in the frequency response? But then isn't this accuracy compromised by the high frequency "modification" of their headphones at around 10khz? (The page that mwv2 linked to answers this question).

I also had the same question as Spyro. If Etymotic's compensation for high frequency boosts is so unique then why do their headphones have the some of the most prominent treble response in the IEM market?

In my testing with Medium Shure Olives on the ER4P unamped, there was one treble recession (centered around 11500hz or ~12khz). This is close to Etymotic's self-professed 10khz roll-off and this 2khz difference may be explained by the P vs. S factor, individual ear canal resonance discrepancies, distance between driver and eardrum, and possibly lack of better amplification (despite the "P" for portability). However, this small valley in the frequency response is nowhere near as striking as the peak just before it (centered around 8.5khz for me, but others report 7.5khz). This, as members discovered over in this thread and this page, is caused by an unanticipated ear canal resonance undocumented in the frequency response graphs of both Headroom and Etymotic. According to antonyfirst, the effects of this resonance can be, to a large extent, mitigated by decreasing the distance between the driver and the eardrum (although this probably isn't the only factor involved). This can be achieved by inserting small Shure Olives (and some say small Ety foams) very deep into the ear canal. I am waiting for my stock small Ety foams to arrive to confirm this, but I don't doubt the validity of antonyfirst's statements.

Both in my experience and in others' the Glider (mushroom) earpieces aggravate this resonance making the peaks more noticeable in more recordings. This is probably due to the fact that they are inserted relatively shallowly. Spyro, I think you mentioned that you cut off the base of the stock tri-flange? You were probably hearing the same things we are and you essentially did was decrease the distance between the eardrum and the driver, probably achieving a similar effect. This is quite simply the opposite of the spacer mod proposed months back. Keep in mind that the spacer mod does increase the soundstage, but in doing so it may very well also increase the effects of the ear canal resonance that Etymotic probably did not anticipate. The same can be said about the Glider eartips (larger soundstage at the cost of high frequency neutrality).

I am currently testing the frequency response of the ER4P with stock white Tri-Flanges. The results are interesting so far.
post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I could have sworn that Ety tri-flanges had a stem on them. My latest pair of HF5 tri-flanges had no stem whatsoever. The base of the tip is the underside of the third largest flange...completely flush so when it is on the nozzle there is minimal distance from end of tip to end of nozzle (2 mm?). I found the sound not nearly as sharp as I am use to with ER4P's yet these are suppose to be within 1% accuracy of each other? But I must also think that the HF5 16 ohms versus the ER4P 27 ohms plus the amount of amplification/source must play into this as well so I wonder about Ety's "measurement" methods as well. I am using a pair of these tri-flanges on my UM3X and it sounds excellent. I was at Ety HQ here locally a few weeks back auditioning the HF5 and they gave me some tips.

I sent the HF5's back in exchange for yet another pair of ER4P's and plan to do some extensive testing with the tips as well as direct comparisons to my UM3X. I always ended up with the stock Ety foams with my previous ER4P experiences.

I also noticed with my HF5 that the foam tips were different in that the inner core use to be a hard, clear or black plastic piece. The new ones use a softer grey inner piece. Much nicer....
post #21 of 45
Spyro, did you try the Gliders on the HF5? I wonder if they would have the same effect. My tri-flanges do have a stem at the base of the big flange. I want to remove it but I don't have the tools (I thought that's what you did to your ER4 triflanges). I'm actually probably going to return my ER4 and replace with an HF5 (:
post #22 of 45
As you mention deep insertion may I add my experience?

I find that the HF5s become almost unbearable when inserted as deep as they go (using small shure olives). This has nothing to do with comfort, I’m talking sound here. The music becomes almost painful to the ears – without being loud – if I tried to describe the feeling I would say that the ear somehow seems to “react” to the situation in a violent way.
Removing the iem backwards by just a bit resolves the situation 100%.

Is this something that you have experienced too?
post #23 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gossling View Post
Spyro, did you try the Gliders on the HF5? I wonder if they would have the same effect. My tri-flanges do have a stem at the base of the big flange. I want to remove it but I don't have the tools (I thought that's what you did to your ER4 triflanges). I'm actually probably going to return my ER4 and replace with an HF5 (:
Yes, and they did not fit my ears right. If you have a swiss army type knife with a clippers, you can invert the largest flange and just snip the stem off at the bass but leave that smallest flange tip on. Or perhaps you can have Ety customer service send you a couple sample pairs after confirming they have no stem. They are good about doing this.

CENTRAL - I did not experience that. But I do find it odd that the 16 ohm HF5 has lower sensitivity than the 27 ohm ER4P. With HF5's I was pushing the unamped nano at about 90% volume for full sound. I don't recall needing to go quite that high with ER4P. Makes me wonder if ER4P is still better sounding unamped that HF5 but I don't have them side by side. I am sure it is very close nonetheless.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CENTRAL View Post
I find that the HF5s become almost unbearable when inserted as deep as they go (using small shure olives). This has nothing to do with comfort, I’m talking sound here. The music becomes almost painful to the ears – without being loud – if I tried to describe the feeling I would say that the ear somehow seems to “react” to the situation in a violent way.
Removing the iem backwards by just a bit resolves the situation 100%.
Thanks for the contribution. What exactly changes with deep insertion? Is it the treble that becomes unbearable? Have you tried the Gliders? What tips give you the best sound? Have you run any frequency response tests with the various tips?
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CENTRAL View Post
As you mention deep insertion may I add my experience?

I find that the HF5s become almost unbearable when inserted as deep as they go (using small shure olives). This has nothing to do with comfort, I’m talking sound here. The music becomes almost painful to the ears – without being loud – if I tried to describe the feeling I would say that the ear somehow seems to “react” to the situation in a violent way.
Removing the iem backwards by just a bit resolves the situation 100%.

Is this something that you have experienced too?
Interesting. I have the ER4s and I use ER14A foam tips. These are Etys smallest foam. I insert them deeply into my ear canal which leaves just a few mm between where the cable meets the barrel and my ear lobe. I find this provides the best sq with no sibilance and punchy, accurate bass.

In the past I used the grey foam which fit more like a SE530 or Westone and many others. This led to the phones resting just outside my ear canal, which produced sharper highs and less mid bass response, a result I could not appreciate.
post #26 of 45
the ER4 are undoubtedly designed to sit as far into the ear canal as possible. the bass response improves dramatically when they're inserted properly.
post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibis99 View Post
Interesting. I have the ER4s and I use ER14A foam tips. These are Etys smallest foam. I insert them deeply into my ear canal which leaves just a few mm between where the cable meets the barrel and my ear lobe. I find this provides the best sq with no sibilance and punchy, accurate bass.

In the past I used the grey foam which fit more like a SE530 or Westone and many others. This led to the phones resting just outside my ear canal, which produced sharper highs and less mid bass response, a result I could not appreciate.
Interesting? I would think the larger and tighter fighting of the foam (within reason of course) the fuller and bassier the sound which is what we all want from the Ety.
post #28 of 45
The Etys do not move a lot of air, and so require deep insertion. That said, different people have different ear canals, and "in as far as they will go" is going to mean a different tip-to-eardrum distance for different people. It's not hard to imagine that full insertion will work brilliantly for some people but might be suboptimal for others. Experimenting until you find what's right for you is definitely the way to go. (Sure, that experimenting can and probably ought to be informed by the experience of others, you just need to remember that their experience may not be 100% predictive of yours.)

As for sensitivity, I have both the ER-4P and the hf2 (mic'd version of hf5) and my experience is different from Spyro's. I find the hf2 considerably more sensitive than the 4P. I can't account for why we experience this differently, but I'm sure of what I hear. As for unamped SQ, I much prefer the hf2. In the unamped 4P (driven by an iPod Touch 2nd generation, a pretty weak source IMO) I hear enough of the usual needs-more-power artifacts (mushiness in complex passages, lack of impact in bassy passages, etc.) to bother me. The hf2 sounds much cleaner to me with the same material at roughly the same subjective volume. Again, this is with a source that I consider to be pretty weak. With a source powerful enough to drive the 4P properly, I wouldn't be surprised if the 4P came out ahead.
post #29 of 45
episiarch, do you find that the HF2 requires as deep an insertion as the ER4 to cut down on high frequency spikes? I ask because, for Central, deep insertion results in poor sound on his HF5. Is it possible that the HF5/2 don't result in treble spikes when the distance between driver and eardrum increases? I've read that their treble response is not as prominent as it is on the ER4. Also, have you been able to eliminate said spikes by deep insertion?
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
the ER4 are undoubtedly designed to sit as far into the ear canal as possible. the bass response improves dramatically when they're inserted properly.
I wonder how many owners/ex-owners of the Ety's realize this. I often hear that Ety's are too bright or lack bass. But I dont find this to be true.
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