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Best IEM for running and hearing protection

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I run 6 miles 3-4 times a week, and just started wearing IEMs with a 3rd generation shuffle. I started on my old Vibe Duos, but they were too bassy and really lacking in the highs, plus I hear a lot of whooshing from the wind blowing over my ears. Just last week I got Klipsch S4is and I love them! The only problem is, my ears have started ringing, even after being very careful to set the volume as low as I can tolerate. Looking at the specs, I think that's because of the 10 dB boost in the bass. While I appreciate the energy, I think the bass boost tricks me into turning the volume up louder than I really should in order to hear the vocals (I listen to mostly electronica).


I've also have a barely-used ER-4P (along with the 4S adapter, Total Airhead amp, and GigaBag - which I'll probably sell on this forum when I reach the required 15 posts). While I love the sound with the "S" adapter and amp, they protrude too far out of my ear and the microphonics are probably too extreme for running.


I should also mention that I used to own Shure E3Cs and hated the rolled off highs.


I'm looking for something that's lightweight with great isolation, low microphonics, and accurate - not hyped - bass. Looking over the incredible multi-IEM review in this forum, it sounds like the RE0 might be a good starting point. I'm willing to pay $250 for the Audio-Technica ATH-CK10, but it's probably overkill for running. Any other suggestions?


Brian Hazard

Resonance Mastering


post #2 of 11

Check this thread on IEMs for the gym.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I actually scanned through that thread before posting, but I'm not as much concerned with durability as I am with protecting my hearing. Actually, I'd probably take my ER-4P to the gym without hesitation, but I don't think they work for running.


Has anyone tried running with the RE0? I haven't seen a frequency response chart, but judging by what I've read here, I'd guess that the bass is relatively flat.

post #4 of 11

Maybe something else from Etymotic if you're happy with the ER4P? The ER6i are a lot smaller & the cable could be wrapped up & over your ear to avoid any microphonics. I'm not familiar with any of the newer Ety range but they all appear to be the same long styling as the ER4P/S so I would imagine microphonics would be the same on them,,,

post #5 of 11
I run with the ety MC5's, and while there's a bit of microphonics, I use the shirt clip they come with, and it's really not too bad.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

The ER-6i won't fit in my ear, no matter what tip I use. The body of the housing stops it from getting in far enough. I'm thinking maybe the Etymotic HF5 might be tolerable, but after seeing that my little shuffle can drive the ER-4P with the S cable, I'm getting spoiled! Today I ran with it, wrapping the cables over my ears. I had to fix it a couple of times, but when it stayed, it sounded great!

post #7 of 11

I forget I have giant ears sometimes. I almost lost them in my ears when I had a pair. I had to tug on the cable to pull them out they went that deep blink.gif

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I found out that, at least for me, bone transmission with the ER-4S with the black foamies is INSANE! I had set a reasonable volume level at home, and found myself turning it up 4-5x. All I could hear was "thump, thump, thump" with every step. So I gave up and turned it off.

post #9 of 11

I just ran with my HF5s with the cables over my ears, zero microphonics, very impressed. that's how i am gonna be wearing them from now on. 

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

VERY good to know - thanks!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Since the ER-4S keeps falling off my ears, today I tried using a twistie-tie to keep the cables together under my neck. Way too much microphonics. I give up running with them!


Also, I managed to get the ER-6i to work using the large gel tips from the Klipsch Image S4. Maybe it has something to do with the tips, but I don't hear anything over 10 KHz and it has a grainy edge to it. Hopefully the HF5 is better in that regard.

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