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Etymotic ER 4?

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 

I remember years ago, back when the iPods were first released, that Etymotic was a popular choice for high end in ear monitors, but I haven't heard much of anything about them in recent years. Are they any good, or are they overpriced junk?

post #2 of 103

The ER-4's are no longer considered the best of the best. But for their current price (~$175 new, ~$125 used), they are still a great buy. Sometimes you can find them under $100.


Edited by violinvirtuoso - 8/11/10 at 10:42am
post #3 of 103

Funny you should ask. Overpriced junk? No, the ER4Ps are still, after almost 20 years, a great IEM. I say that because I owned them once (4 years ago), sold them, and just re-bought them used and after a listen with my iPod Touch (they came in the mail today), LOD and T3, they sound spectacular still. I am so glad I got them again. They will not shake your shoes with bass, but with the amp (using the gain) and no EQ, the bass is fine, balanced, a very very nice sound. And the detail, it's amazing. Of course, some folks absolutely stay away from the 4Ps (mainly people who require bass emphasis in their IEMs), but to me, they remain a great IEM and a great value (Amazon has them for $169 new). Of course, you have to be able to tolerate the deep insertion they require as well, as they also are among the top isolating IEMs.

 

I had recently bought the MC5, Ety's new dynamic phone, but the 4Ps sound better to me (from memory, but recent memory). Along with the Fischer Audio DBAs, I am very happy with my 1-2 IEM collection now.  The only reason you haven't heard much is there is so much going on in the IEM world. But Ety fans swear by the 4Ps. I also have an adapter to turn them into 4S, which is a bit more refined, but requires an amp (the 4Ps don't). Good to have, 2 IEMs in 1.


Edited by slaters70 - 8/11/10 at 10:21am
post #4 of 103

 

The ER-4s may sound great, but to archive that, one has to push them deep inside the ear canals, and to me, it's a bit like a torture. But if one can tolerate that, the reward would be a pair of well balanced and great sounding IEMs that won't make you go bankrupt, and not to mention the sheer amount of details one can get from the music. I have a pair of ER-4B and they are great for sound engineers for spotting problems in recordings because they show so much details (mainly in the hi-mid to the high frequencies, 500+ kHz). I wouldn't recommend them for doing mixes though, because of the lack of low bass response. Another thing is that they are not so great to look at.

post #5 of 103

Agree on insertion issue. Doesn't bother me at all, so I guess I am lucky on that front. Plus, I have a pair of Westone custom sleeves that work with the Etys, so even better.

post #6 of 103

I definitely need to hear the P and S one of these days. It's one of the universals I just have to try for myself whether its a loan or just a quick buy and sell. It's been around too long for me to not try them.

post #7 of 103

The Ety insertion and trips used to really bother me after about 7 min.  With Klipsch gels (Bi Flange) on them, near perfect fit, isolation and comfort.


Edited by Anaxilus - 8/11/10 at 1:40pm
post #8 of 103

Hmm, I have a pair of those. But I will probably use the customs most.

post #9 of 103

So do the custom sleeves change the frequency response of your ER-4P? And what about the sound isolation? Better or worse? I was told that they increase the bass response apart from just comfort, I'm very tempted to get some.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaters70 #post_6845989">View Post

Agree on insertion issue. Doesn't bother me at all, so I guess I am lucky on that front. Plus, I have a pair of Westone custom sleeves that work with the Etys, so even better.

post #10 of 103

They are not as tight as the triples (iso), to be honest. And so far, I have only used them for 2 minutes (busy working). But later I plan on using them when I go out on mass transit, so that will be a good gauge. I used them with the MC5s too. But I will let you know once I do some extended listening. 

post #11 of 103

I haven't heard the ER4 series, but I do have a pair of Etymotic HF5s. From what I've read, they share the same drivers, but the HF5s have slightly more bass and slightly less treble. Some people say the HF5s are right up there with the ER4P/S, some people say the ER4 series is way better, but I can't verify that since I haven't heard them. Check out the HF5s too. I love mine and think they sound better than the Head-Direct RE0s. The fit is strange at first, but it doesn't bother me at all with the Ety foam tips.

post #12 of 103

Any Etymotic headphone sounds more natural (85% accurate to how the ear hears different frequencies) and isolates more than any other brand of earphones. They are for accuracy and isolation above all else... bass impact and comfort included.

 

At $80, the Mc5 is the most resolving and detailed IEM I have ever heard... It has realism that makes up for the competitors lack of, and led me to purchase it, instead of a Monster Turbine or a triple driver by Shure (I listened to the Turbine pro gold, and the SE535, both of which seemed sub-par sound wise... The SE was plain and had little bass for it having twice as many woofers as tweeters, and the Gold Turbine had thunky bass.)

post #13 of 103

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaters70 #post_6845862">View Post

I had recently bought the MC5, Ety's new dynamic phone, but the 4Ps sound better to me (from memory, but recent memory). Along with the Fischer Audio DBAs, I am very happy with my 1-2 IEM collection now.  The only reason you haven't heard much is there is so much going on in the IEM world. But Ety fans swear by the 4Ps. I also have an adapter to turn them into 4S, which is a bit more refined, but requires an amp (the 4Ps don't). Good to have, 2 IEMs in 1.


So, NOW, you are ready to sell your MC5 to me?!?!   

post #14 of 103

Interesting, because I also liked the MC5s, but they didn't sound quite as resolving (if that's the right word) as the 4P. Also, I am using the adapter to make it an 4S, so that is also different. But wow, I never really heard them properly when I owned them last time, and my source wasn't as good.

 

But I am with you on the Etys. There is a reason the 4Ps have been around so long, and still get praise. They are far from the cold, thin, analytical IEMs they are made out to be. At least that not how I hear them with any of the tips. I am about to switch over to the UM56s permanently, and see how they sound. But I am thrilled with my purchase. Hope that answers the OP's question.

 

In fact, I like them so much, I may even sell my backup pair of DBAs, because I have to excellent IEMs now, and they cost me about $260 total. Sweet.


Edited by slaters70 - 8/11/10 at 1:44pm
post #15 of 103

Already gone, as the Eagles would say.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes #post_6846230">View Post

 


So, NOW, you are ready to sell your MC5 to me?!?!   

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