Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › etymotic ER4p or atrio m5 or sennheiser ie7 or shure se425?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

etymotic ER4p or atrio m5 or sennheiser ie7 or shure se425?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am planning to get an IEM soon enough and I got these 4 options to choose from.

I have searched many infos regarding the good and the bad aspects of each of them and here's what I found out.


1. ER4P (indeed I have the tendency to get this):


Good balanced sounding earphones w/ analytical sound (provide great details)

Great sound isolation (some say that there is no match for this er4p in terms of this aspect)




Bass is a lil bit weak (not suitable for hip-hop n rap)

Can't easily be inserted in the ears 

Fit to our ears is not good that we cant move around without having it slipped out of our ears

the appearance is cheesy (I dont really care bout this one)


2. Atrio M5



Terrific sound w/ great bass

nice fit to the ears

quite good isolation



Not enough details and accuracy


3. Sennheiser ie7:



deliver good and bassy sound

quite good isolation

beautiful look



dont fit well to the ears


4. Shure SE425



Good details, accuracy, as well as bass

Good isolation



fit to the ears in an awkward way

kinda overpriced



I need some suggestions on which one to buy and are the info correct?

Some people mentioned that it depends on our genre preference, I actually like pop, bossa, accoustic, and hip-hop. But mainly I listen to pop. Most often played songs in my iphone: insomnia (enrique illgesias), fireflies, billionnaire, just the way you are (bruno), nothing on you (Bob ft. bruno), empire state of mind.


Please leave some comments, folks.  :)

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I actually will use the earphones to get around on campus etc. So maybe a good fit and sound isolation are important.

post #4 of 14

In case you haven't already, I would read through these 3 threads:






What you really need to know is what sound signature you prefer. Do you like a a bright, tight sound sig. or a warm, rich, and full sound sig? The ER-4P goes for the former, whereas the SE425 goes for the latter. Unless you recognize that you are a basshead, I would avoid the IE7 and the M5. If you really want the SE425 but can't afford it, check it the old SE420. They sound very similar, the only difference is in build quality.

I would set a budget, and then go through the above three threads and see what the best thing you can afford is. Keep in mind most of these threads list MSRP and you can find most of these IEMs used for less.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

what about the fitting? I heard that er4p doesnt fit well and can slip off the ears easily..

post #6 of 14

It really depends on the shape of your ears. I personally find most of the tips worked for me. The ER-4P fit easily and securely in my ears, but YMMV. In any case, there are plenty of tips to try and get a secure fit.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I see now, but why would u avoid m5? the review said that theyre comfortable, well-isolating, and almost non-microphonic..

btw, thanks for the links,  theyre pretty uesful...

post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by adiscw View Post

I see now, but why would u avoid m5? the review said that theyre comfortable, well-isolating, and almost non-microphonic..

btw, thanks for the links,  theyre pretty uesful...

I recommended not going for the IE7 or M5, UNLESS YOUR A BASSHEAD. You were leaning towards the ER-4P which has tight bass, which lead me to believe that you weren't a bass head. If you are a basshead (even a closet one) don't consider the ER-4P without something boosting the bass. The Atrio M5 is an excellent IEM if you like a lot of bass. If you don't, it can give you a headache.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

righttt.... fair enough.. haha... I actually like bassy sound and dont really like hi treble... so i think Id better get m5 then...

Thanks a lots for ur suggestions bro.

post #10 of 14

I read literally 100's of reviews for earbuds from numerous sites since I have no place to audition any.  I bought the Etymotic ER4PT with P to S adapter from Etymotic's web site because I can return them within 30 days.  Also, if you buy directly and have an after warranty issue, you can buy replacement for $179; but from what I've read they are durable and Etymotic has a very generous customer service policy.   They are phenomenal so I will be keeping them!   Clarity, detail, fidelity, are all wonderful. Bass is tight and fast.  I like to EQ the bass up just a bit. Terrific sound isolation.  For me, the small triflange, sliders, and foam ear tips work great; in that order.  To me, they are comfortable and easy to put in and take out.  Microphonics from the cable can be a problem without using the shirt clip.  The S adapter reduces the volume level by about 25% so I increase the volume and pre-amp settings on my MacBook Pro.  The S adapter creates a warmer sound to my ears.  BTW, I bought a cheap set of MEElectronics M6 earbuds on sale from Amazon reduced from $49 to $20.  For the price, they are good but very hard to put in and to get a good seal.  The flanges and other ear tips are too soft.  Once in, though, they do a good job with wide range, good bass, reserved mids, and clear highs. They have zero microphonics


I bought Sennheiser IE6 and Etymotic hf3, too; got these from Amazon.  The Senn's are too bass-heavy for me.  They sounded great with bass reduced via EQ settings but not as clear as the Etymotic's.  Also harder to put in to get a good seal; then harder to remove than Etymotic's.  I gave them to my 31 yr old son and he loves the extra bass.  The hf3's are almost as good as the ER4P; maybe gain 10% SQ with the higher priced ER4P's.  I also really like the on cable volume and take a call controls.  I gave these to my 30 yr. old daughter and she loves them with Bass Boost from computer and iPhone.


I just ordered the Shure SE425 which I chose over the SE535 because the 535's were described as too bass heavy.  I used code SHURE35 at earsolutions dot com for 20% off.  It will be fun comparing the 425's to the Ety ER4P's.


All these earbuds work fine with iPhone 3G and MacBook Pro.  I will try an outboard amp connected to my McIntosh MX-136 this weekend.  A friend gave me a vintage Head Room Premium headphone amp.  Should be fun.

post #11 of 14

No luck with the vintage Head Room amp.  I havn't figured out how to connect it to my McIntosh MX-136 to hear music from any source.  The only thing I could get to work is the radio tuner.


I got the Shure SE425 and they are excellent.  A bit more bass than the ER4P but the Ety can be EQ'd up to make an equivalent amount of bass and still maintain clarity.  The 425's are more comfortable because they don't insert as deeply as the the Ety's.  The 425's don't sound isolate as well as the Etymotic's.  The ER4P's are brighter and have better clarity to the 425's more laid back, easy and smoother mid's...but not by much.  The ER4P's are way-easier to insert than the 425's and I like the ER4P's worn 'down' better than the 425's over the ear.  


The 425's have zero microphonics and the cables are detachable and easy to replace.  The ER4P's have a lot of microphonic noise with any movement, so you must use the cable clip to your shirt.


Etymotic ER4PT has a bunch of extra accessories.  I get a really good seal with the small triflange and the foam ear tips.  Gettting the stock ear tips off the 425's is very difficult but gets easier with each subsequent change.


Etymotic has 20% off with this code entered at check out:




If you buy from Etymotic directly from their web site, you can return whatever you buy within 30 days.  They have 2 year warranty and a discounted price for replacement out of warranty, but ONLY if you buy from them rather than 3rd party sellers.


I ordered a pair of Etymotic hf3 to compare to my ER4P's.  The ER4P's are 50% better to my ears; better clarity and bass.  The hf3's are going back today.


Everyone's ears and preferences vary.  For example, I have no hearing above 12,000 Hz.  This may have something to do with why I like brighter phones like the Ety's.  I also tend to EQ increase the treble and the bass just a bit with phones and with my McIntosh/B&W 803S system.


Headphone dot com has  a comparison graph system where you can compare the frequency response and distortion of up to 4 phones at a time...interesting.


You can go here to test your upper and lower hearing thresholds; use phones and make sure the volume is not too loud before trying:



audiocheck dot net/audiotests_frequencycheckhigh dot php

post #12 of 14

I completed A/B comparisons of ER4P and Shure SE425 with and without S-impedance boost adapter.  I set the EQ to Bass Boost for ER4P and kept it flat for SE425 within iTunes played back through MacBook Pro and sound level as close to even across comparisons.  The S-adapter made no significant difference through the MacBook.  It is possible that with a high quality outboard headphone amp that the S-adapter could pay-off.  


My unscientific opinions based on my ears/preferences:


Etymotic ER4P (price paid directly from Etymotic: $250 with 20% discount; Code: Ety2011)


Strengths:  Superb clarity and greater detail across frequencies

                 Tighter, faster bass; just less of it on flat EQ.  Bass is never boomy.  With Bass Boost, it's perfect for me (I am not a bass head)

                 More air across freqs., especially for treble; top hats and cymbals shine and shimmer without being harsh

                 Balanced mids; neither in your face nor recessed

                 Superb sound isolation

                 Many ear tips for a good fit for 95% of users

                 Very easy to remove all ear tips

                 Wax filters, replacements, and tool

                 2-year warranty Plus after-warranty replacement for $179 (today's dollar) but ONLY if you buy directly from Etymotic


Weaknesses:  Needs bass enhancement for better fullness on some material

                      Not as comfortable as Shure; must insert deeply for proper seal and best SQ

                      Plain looking

                      Must use shirt clip to attenuate microphonics

                      Cannot be worn over ears; only straight down but not a problem for me



Shure SE 425 (price paid from earphonesolutions with 20% discount: $250; code no longer active but current code for 15% off:  SHURE35)


Strenghts:  Mellow mids; laid back SQ

                 More bass on flat EQ setting but Ety's equal the Shure bass with Bass Boost EQ'ing

                 More comfortable

                 Detachable cord

                 Looks cool

                 Worn over ear

                 No microphonics 

                 Plenty of ear tips for good fit

                 2-year warranty


Weaknesses:  Not as much detail or clarity, but still very good

                      Bass not as fast

                      Highs roll off so treble is not as crisp

                      Mids slightly recessed

                      Not as much sound isolation

                      Less air

                      Very difficult to remove Olive ear tips

                      No wax filter (but does come with wax removal tool)


My 0-10 scale ratings:




SE425=7 or 8


I will keep both sets.






post #13 of 14
Short and to the point:

I connected the vintage Headroom amp to my McIntosh MX136 pre-pro's VCR1 out with phono plugs. I connected my Denon 3800 BDIC bluray player stereo aux out to the pre-pro's DVD in with phono plugs. Now it works.

I tried my Etymotic ER4P MicroPro earphones with and without the S-adapter, listening to a wide variety of music. I cannot tell a difference. The amp sounds great, though. Still no difference compared to my MacBook Pro.
post #14 of 14

I forgot to mention that I also tried my Shure SE425 with and without the S-adapter and I could not discern a difference once I volume-matched the output.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › etymotic ER4p or atrio m5 or sennheiser ie7 or shure se425?