Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › ER-4P / IE7 / PFE /other IEM's below $200 that are the best for ROCK music and isolation specifically?
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ER-4P / IE7 / PFE /other IEM's below $200 that are the best for ROCK music and isolation...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

Long time head-fi lurker, I've finally come out of hiding to ask an important question that's a bit more specific than all the other comparison and review threads that I've gone over.

I'm an avid listener of indie music (mostly rock), bass isn't something that I feel that I'm obsessed with, here are some examples:

YouTube - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - Arcade Fire
YouTube - Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union
YouTube - Florence and the Machine - Cosmic Love

I'm looking for some IEM's for airplane travel (got a few long flights coming up) and also for use in libraries (so they can't leak sound). I'm looking for something that isn't too bright/fatiguing with the treble, comfortable and comes with foam (my ears tend to enjoy the small foam size of shure's and I can never seem to get a rubber/gel pad to stay inserted), good at isolating noise and a big one is build quality (as I like to throw around my electronics).

My price range is anything below $200 USD. So in my mind, this automatically rejected the triplefi's, westone 3's and the IE 8's. Which has led me to narrowing it down to the ER4-P's, IE7's and PFE 112's. I will be purchasing specifically from amazon as I have a decent amount of gift cards on there. Just to make sure I'm talking about the same things you will be, here are the three product pages:

Amazon.com: Etymotic ER-4P Portable In-Ear Earphones: Electronics
Amazon.com: Sennheiser IE 7 In-Ear Monitor Earphones: Electronics
Amazon.com: Audeo Phonak PFE112 Revision II Earphones: Electronics

A bit of additional info:

-I'll be using these unamped on a large HD Zune and laptop jack out of my ASUS.
-I'm one who likes budget cans, I currently enjoy my foam-modded Sennheiser HD-555's and Koss Portapros. Ones I didn't enjoy were the Shure E2C's (went to crap after cord damage x 2 pairs and I didn't like the sound coming out of them), Grado SR60's (too bright!), and the Head-Direct RE2's (really flimsy and a bit tinny, even with a friend's fiio amp, makes me worry about the RE0).

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for all the great advice over the years! Hope that you can understand my dilemma!
post #2 of 19
The S model of the ER-4 has a higher impedance which means it requires an amplifier, so you should avoid that one if it's only for portable use.

Head-Direct do sell the RE0 through Amazon if you're interested Amazon.com: HEAD-DIRECT RE0 In-ear Headphones: Electronics

As for your dilemma, I have ER-4Ps and listen to fairly similar music and I like them very much. However they do have a bit of emphasis on the highs so you might find them "too bright" as you did with the Grados. Never got much time with the SR60s so I'm afraid I can't compare the two.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpk View Post
The S model of the ER-4 has a higher impedance which means it requires an amplifier, so you should avoid that one if it's only for portable use.

Head-Direct do sell the RE0 through Amazon if you're interested Amazon.com: HEAD-DIRECT RE0 In-ear Headphones: Electronics

As for your dilemma, I have ER-4Ps and listen to fairly similar music and I like them very much. However they do have a bit of emphasis on the highs so you might find them "too bright" as you did with the Grados. Never got much time with the SR60s so I'm afraid I can't compare the two.
Thanks! I've taken out some of the errors in my initial post!

I've read some posters say that the ER4-P has a few possible issues: 1) really flimsy, wire easily broken 2) poor soundstage 3) can be uncomfortable. What's your take on that sort of sentiment?
post #4 of 19
Unamped, stay away from ER4P. Bass is very lean and it is perhaps the "brightest" IEM ever made.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by morning View Post
Thanks! I've taken out some of the errors in my initial post!

I've read some posters say that the ER4-P has a few possible issues: 1) really flimsy, wire easily broken 2) poor soundstage 3) can be uncomfortable. What's your take on that sort of sentiment?
1) Doesn't seem that way to me, although I haven't had mine very long. The main cable is very long and heavy (almost annoyingly so) and the cable from Y-split up is braided and seems fairly tough to me. I think overall the ER-4 actually has a pretty good reputation for sturdiness.

2) Depends on the tips, to be honest. See http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/b...ip-mod-418406/

3) Definitely true, initially at least. I found the ER-4Ps excruciatingly uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks but having messed around with a lot of different eartips and figuring out the right depth for insertion, they're not too bad now. You definitely have to use the shirt clip or the heavy cable drags on them and hurts your ear canal. Not a good setup if you're running or anything really active, but it's fine for sitting around or walking.

Like the above poster said, 4Ps improve quite a bit with amping, but they still sound great from a Sansa Fuze.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
Unamped, stay away from ER4P. Bass is very lean and it is perhaps the "brightest" IEM ever made.
ok, that's what I was worried about. thanks!

I see a lot of comparisons between the IE8 and the PFE. What on earth would make people compare headphones from such different price scales?
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
any more advice?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping to purchase soon, so maybe one last bump?
post #9 of 19
IMO the RE0 does well in rock or alt. rock, acoustic and probably classical?
but for me, the RE0s lacks the isloation it needs without sacrifacing the SQ
post #10 of 19
I like the Klipsch X5. Much punchier, better bass than RE0. Not quite as sparkly, but good balance.
post #11 of 19
I think sennheiser IE7 willbe your best bet because it has detailed forward midrange and guitars has plenty of bite with huge soundstage(great lowend)and clean highs.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've heard mixed reviews about the durability/longevity of the X5. Is that stuff true?

I'm leaning towards the PFE right now, the two year warranty sounds good.
post #13 of 19
While I like the RE0 (and build quality isn't an issue with them) for the type of music you play, the isolation isn't as good as the Ety4s. But you really do need an amp with the Etys, even a mid-low priced one, like the iBasso T4 will do just fine.

While I've never used them on an airplane, I do use them at the gym constantly, where there is a similar level of noise. With the Comply tips, they block out most of the noise. Do get the comply tips for greatest comfort. While the Shure olives work well and are sturdier, they just aren't as comfortable.
post #14 of 19
Which model ER-4 do you have, RASeymour?
post #15 of 19
ie7 ,with monster triple flange tips for deep isolation
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