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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you... - Page 71

post #1051 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by maguire View Post

Thanks brunk, wow did not know the triple flange tips come in diff sizes.
Also on a side note, I would like to make my ER4PT into S only. Do I just order an S cable from Etymotic?
I dont want to costantly use the adapter, also prefer the S sound.
Yeah just order one from them, especially since theres a sale going on.
post #1052 of 5016
I rock ER4S with a Cowon J3 daily at work. Still love them...
Edited by RADI0HEAD - 3/21/13 at 7:05am
post #1053 of 5016

Just wanted to chime in and give my thoughts on the ER-4 series.

 

I have searched high and low (literally from $10 to $600) in universal IEMs.  I have settled completely on the ER-4S.  I found very few IEMs that sounded anywhere near flat.  The best three I've found have been the ER-4S (1), the Phonak pfe 112 (2) and the Westone 4R (3).

 

The PFE 112 and ER-4S are EXTREMELY similar in sound and neutrality except for two slight differences.  The 112 has a bit more neutral bass.  I don't find the ER-4S lacking really, but the 112 is more right on that flat line for bass sound and measurement wise.  However, the 112 has a small spike in the treble somewhere around 10khz I think it was.  This gives things a slight raspy quality sometimes and makes the air of the soundstage sound a little softer.  It can also accentuate certain hiss that sits in that 10khz band.  This is fairly common in 1970's progressive rock.  Very slight difference though.  As a matter of fact, compared to every other IEM I've tried the differences between the 112 and ER-4S are the smallest of differences.  But they are there.

 

Fit wise the 112 wins as well in comfort and ease of use.  However, the final verdict for me is the incredible accuracy of the ER-4S.  The 112 is absolutely phenomenal, and thanks to ClieOS for recommending that off the bat.  I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for going down that trek.  Anyhow, the ER-4S is extremely accurate in bass, while only a tad lower in amplitude than the 112, however certain tips make them equal or more varied, depending on your preference.  However, the overall spectrum from sub bass to ultra treble is almost perfectly smooth and flat with the ER-4S.  Therefore, I hear no flaws with any spikes or dips at all with them.  No other set has achieved this.  This is incredible.

 

The Westone 4R are a slightly more distant 3rd.  They offer a fairly flat and neutral sound signature, but with some problems in the mid bass and treble.  The mid bass has a sort of thick hump that makes them lean towards warm sounding.  The problem I have with this is that it really masks that nice ultra detail that you get with the ER-4S.  You can EQ the mid bass (100-300hz roughly) down a few decibels and immediately hear the details open up on the 4R.  They are also a tad more uneven with a slight boost in certain treble frequencies.  But overall, I'd have to call them 3rd place so far with what I've heard.  But the mid bass masking really takes them down a lot for me.  But since it's such a simple eq adjustment to repair that, their other qualities make them a nice set.  They are comfortable, seem fairly durable and have nice accessories.

 

Anyway, back to the ER-4S.  They sound excellent straight out of an iDevice and have ample volume for the most part.  However, some of the quietest songs suffer a bit in that area.  I grabbed a JDS labs C5 portable amp and it really makes them a step up in quality.  It opens up the space between instruments and really brings out the crisp details of the set.  It is dead silent at any volume and really allows them sound their best, which is really freaking awesome.  And provides more volume than you'll ever need.

 

There may be a learning curve for fitting them.  For anyone interested, I've post some info on this here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649046/hd600-in-the-form-of-an-iem-with-very-good-isolation/60#post_9305716

 

Once you have a good fit/seal, I find these are the closest approximation of my studio monitor speakers I've ever heard without the "feeling" of the bass, which is typical in IEM world.  But they just sound so darn good.  I've heard the sound of the ER-4P, and I find them very good, but they are essentially the same exact sound with lowered treble.  So they sound more warm and therefore the bass "sounds" louder, but it's really just that they lack the treble neutrality of the ER-4S.  It's a great option to buy the ER-4P and add the 4S adapter though.  Then you get both with the switch of a cord.  But personally, I'd never use the 4P with the accuracy of the 4S.

 

I'm not sure what people are referring too when they talk about small soundstage.  I've had a LOT of IEMs in the last six months to try out, and the only time I find the ER-4S to have a small soundstage is when they aren't fit perfectly.  When I have the tips deep and sealed well I have full stereo separation and depth.  Certain songs with distinct right left separation have instruments that are fully in one ear to the far right or left.  The depth and ability to hear "into" the soundstage is equally impressive.  I find that some IEMs make a false soundstage by permanently making everything sound a little further away or a little deeper than they should.  The ER-4S reproduces everything as I would expect.  Songs with depth and distance sound as such.  Songs with dryness and forwardness sound equally as such.

 

I think what they do very well, which might seem like a small soundstage, is that they have a very smooth panning across the stereo field.  So the main vocal is dead center, and as instruments are mixed across the sound field, they smoothly span the field as mixed.  You will only notice that things are very wide when the song is mixed that way.  For instance, in the song "Moonjogger" by Fourplay, the intro has some percussive instruments that are panned hard left and right.  They provide a nice wide clear presentation.  Also, through the song the cymbals and bongos in the left and right are very well placed.  In other songs you might notice the mix is mostly forward with slight panning.  So, I think this depends greatly on the music you're listening to, but I have found they are perfectly capable of a small or large soundstage when required by the material.

 

To sum everything up, I have never heard such a good IEM, and they have fully ended my search.  With my C5 amp and ER-4S I'm in auditory heaven. :-)  I highly recommend them both and some time to get used to them and break in the tips.  They are not for bass heads, and even still I think a lot of people prefer bass elevated above neutral to compensate for the speaker feel.  While they may or may not sound neutral in the bass to some, they are the closest I've ever heard to neutral.  If there were one single area I think they impress the least, it would be sub-bass in the lowest register.  However, they still sound very accurate down very low and most IEMs fail in this area anyway in terms of accuracy.  Nonetheless, they have "good" sub bass and with the C5 bass boost the sub bass is phenomenal.  Even to the point that I find it to be too much.  I think those wanting more sub bass but neutrality would like a 3db boost at most.  At least that's the most I would apply.  However, I don't use the bass boost and it never bothers me.  I get engrossed in the music and find that they sound incredible all around.

 

The fact that I find them superior to $600 IEMs such as the PFE 232 says something incredible since they are a single driver.  The Westone 4R is FOUR drivers, but in my opinion not as accurate or high quality (but still very good).  I think that clearly shows that number of drivers isn't everything.  If they added one more driver to the ER-4S to gain that perfect sub bass that would be great, but it might be possible without another driver.  I'm not sure if it was a choice in tuning or a technical limitation.  Nonetheless, the 95+/-% accuracy is probably referring to everything but that 5% or so of sub bass rolloff.  So for one driver, that is insane.  But I digress...


Edited by luisdent - 3/31/13 at 2:26pm
post #1054 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 


Just wanted to chime in and give my thoughts on the ER-4 series.

 

I have searched high and low (literally from $10 to $600) in universal IEMs.  I have settled completely on the ER-4S.  I found very few IEMs that sounded anywhere near flat.  The best three I've found have been the ER-4S (1), the Phonak pfe 112 (2) and the Westone 4R (3).

 

The PFE 112 and ER-4S are EXTREMELY similar in sound and neutrality except for two slight differences.  The 112 has a bit more neutral bass.  I don't find the ER-4S lacking really, but the 112 is more right on that flat line for bass sound and measurement wise.  However, the 112 has a small spike in the treble somewhere around 10khz I think it was.  This gives things a slight raspy quality sometimes and makes the air of the soundstage sound a little softer.  It can also accentuate certain hiss that sits in that 10khz band.  This is fairly common in 1970's progressive rock.  Very slight difference though.  As a matter of fact, compared to every other IEM I've tried the differences between the 112 and ER-4S are the smallest of differences.  But they are there.

 

Fit wise the 112 wins as well in comfort and ease of use.  However, the final verdict for me is the incredible accuracy of the ER-4S.  The 112 is absolutely phenomenal, and thanks to ClieOS for recommending that off the bat.  I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for going down that trek.  Anyhow, the ER-4S is extremely accurate in bass, while only a tad lower in amplitude than the 112, however certain tips make them equal or more varied, depending on your preference.  However, the overall spectrum from sub bass to ultra treble is almost perfectly smooth and flat with the ER-4S.  Therefore, I hear no flaws with any spikes or dips at all with them.  No other set has achieved this.  This is incredible.

 

The Westone 4R are a slightly more distant 3rd.  They offer a fairly flat and neutral sound signature, but with some problems in the mid bass and treble.  The mid bass has a sort of thick hump that makes them lean towards warm sounding.  The problem I have with this is that it really masks that nice ultra detail that you get with the ER-4S.  You can EQ the mid bass (100-300hz roughly) down a few decibels and immediately hear the details open up on the 4R.  They are also a tad more uneven with a slight boost in certain treble frequencies.  But overall, I'd have to call them 3rd place so far with what I've heard.  But the mid bass masking really takes them down a lot for me.  But since it's such a simple eq adjustment to repair that, their other qualities make them a nice set.  They are comfortable, seem fairly durable and have nice accessories.

 

Anyway, back to the ER-4S.  They sound excellent straight out of an iDevice and have ample volume for the most part.  However, some of the quietest songs suffer a bit in that area.  I grabbed a JDS labs C5 portable amp and it really makes them a step up in quality.  It opens up the space between instruments and really brings out the crisp details of the set.  It is dead silent at any volume and really allows them sound their best, which is really freaking awesome.  And provides more volume than you'll ever need.

 

There may be a learning curve for fitting them.  For anyone interested, I've post some info on this here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649046/hd600-in-the-form-of-an-iem-with-very-good-isolation/60#post_9305716

 

Once you have a good fit/seal, I find these are the closest approximation of my studio monitor speakers I've ever heard without the "feeling" of the bass, which is typical in IEM world.  But they just sound so darn good.  I've heard the sound of the ER-4P, and I find them very good, but they are essentially the same exact sound with lowered treble.  So they sound more warm and therefore the bass "sounds" louder, but it's really just that they lack the treble neutrality of the ER-4S.  It's a great option to buy the ER-4P and add the 4S adapter though.  Then you get both with the switch of a cord.  But personally, I'd never use the 4P with the accuracy of the 4S.

 

I'm not sure what people are referring too when they talk about small soundstage.  I've had a LOT of IEMs in the last six months to try out, and the only time I find the ER-4S to have a small soundstage is when they aren't fit perfectly.  When I have the tips deep and sealed well I have full stereo separation and depth.  Certain songs with distinct right left separation have instruments that are fully in one ear to the far right or left.  The depth and ability to hear "into" the soundstage is equally impressive.  I find that some IEMs make a false soundstage by permanently making everything sound a little further away or a little deeper than they should.  The ER-4S reproduces everything as I would expect.  Songs with depth and distance sound as such.  Songs with dryness and forwardness sound equally as such.

 

I think what they do very well, which might seem like a small soundstage, is that they have a very smooth panning across the stereo field.  So the main vocal is dead center, and as instruments are mixed across the sound field, they smoothly span the field as mixed.  You will only notice that things are very wide when the song is mixed that way.  For instance, in the song "Moonjogger" by Fourplay, the intro has some percussive instruments that are panned hard left and right.  They provide a nice wide clear presentation.  Also, through the song the cymbals and bongos in the left and right are very well placed.  In other songs you might notice the mix is mostly forward with slight panning.  So, I think this depends greatly on the music you're listening to, but I have found they are perfectly capable of a small or large soundstage when required by the material.

 

To sum everything up, I have never heard such a good IEM, and they have fully ended my search.  With my C5 amp and ER-4S I'm in auditory heaven. :-)  I highly recommend them both and some time to get used to them and break in the tips.  They are not for bass heads, and even still I think a lot of people prefer bass elevated above neutral to compensate for the speaker feel.  While they may or may not sound neutral in the bass to some, they are the closest I've ever heard to neutral.  If there were one single area I think they impress the least, it would be sub-bass in the lowest register.  However, they still sound very accurate down very low and most IEMs fail in this area anyway in terms of accuracy.  Nonetheless, they have "good" sub bass and with the C5 bass boost the sub bass is phenomenal.  Even to the point that I find it to be too much.  I think those wanting more sub bass but neutrality would like a 3db boost at most.  At least that's the most I would apply.  However, I don't use the bass boost and it never bothers me.  I get engrossed in the music and find that they sound incredible all around.

 

The fact that I find them superior to $600 IEMs such as the PFE 232 says something incredible since they are a single driver.  The Westone 4R is FOUR drivers, but in my opinion not as accurate or high quality (but still very good).  I think that clearly shows that number of drivers isn't everything.  If they added one more driver to the ER-4S to gain that perfect sub bass that would be great, but it might be possible without another driver.  I'm not sure if it was a choice in tuning or a technical limitation.  Nonetheless, the 95+/-% accuracy is probably referring to everything but that 5% or so of sub bass rolloff.  So for one driver, that is insane.  But I digress...

 

 

 

I see you also noticed the gaping hole in ClieOS list of the ER-4S, glad you found it. The ER-4S is truly amazing and the only reason it still exists today (10 years now) is that they found the most relative idea and patented it -how we interpret sound. Smart.

post #1055 of 5016

Wanted to say about about ergonomics. Thanks to my mod (posts #857 and 859), I have no trouble running or cycling with these in my ears. I run about 9 miles and ride about 30 miles, per week. Isolation is excellent, and no issues with microphonics. They go in deep, and I can wear them over the ears. Totally still lovin' my ER4S.

post #1056 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

A little black twisty tie allows for an even better over-the-ear fit. Now I can wear these to the gym and pretty much wherever. For at home listening though, this is totally unnecessary. It's pretty apparent I struggled with the connectors a bit. 

 

 

700

 

A few questions.  First, I was going to do that tip mod myself, but I worried it would make the filters collect stuff faster.  Do you notice this?  Second, I have the red and blue colored bodies.  Etymotic told me i had the newest set when I asked them about my tips, which apparently are newest assortment of tips.  However, I keep reading that the newer model has a black braided cable and all black bodies.  Do I not have the newest model, even though I just bought them directly from Etymotic?

post #1057 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

A few questions.  First, I was going to do that tip mod myself, but I worried it would make the filters collect stuff faster.  Do you notice this?  Second, I have the red and blue colored bodies.  Etymotic told me i had the newest set when I asked them about my tips, which apparently are newest assortment of tips.  However, I keep reading that the newer model has a black braided cable and all black bodies.  Do I not have the newest model, even though I just bought them directly from Etymotic?

I've had the tips like that since about January and I haven't had any build up yet. I usually keep my ears very clean though.

You do have the old model ER4S. I bought mine from etymotic and at first received the older model (like yours), but I called and requested to exchange them for the updated one, which they said they would do no problem. The new cable has less microphonics than the old cable.
post #1058 of 5016
Nice write up Luisdent. I agree with everything you mentioned, including the comparison with the 112. Sad that Audeo is giving up IEMs.
post #1059 of 5016

Fellow ER4S lovers make sure to try out the JDS C5, my ER4S have not sounded so good. I prefer the C5 synergy more than the arrow 4G, T5. It is slightly better than O2 or at very least equal to O2 when I pair it with ER4S.

post #1060 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

Fellow ER4S lovers make sure to try out the JDS C5, my ER4S have not sounded so good. I prefer the C5 synergy more than the arrow 4G, T5. It is slightly better than O2 or at very least equal to O2 when I pair it with ER4S.

 

We have very different tastes... Even though I haven't tried the C5 yet, I find the 4G+ER-4S to match remarkably well. The O2+ER-4S was definitely not my taste, I actually hated the two together.

post #1061 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

 

We have very different tastes... Even though I haven't tried the C5 yet, I find the 4G+ER-4S to match remarkably well. The O2+ER-4S was definitely not my taste, I actually hated the two together.

I enjoyed Arrow and ER4S for a long while in particular when I had the treble at 1 and bass at II however C5 seems to sound as good without needing to play around with the settings. Arrows+ipod video (or ODAC) is still a very enjoyable sound when I hook it with ER4S however I could not just get the same sound when I pair the arrow with my AK100.

 

Maybe I need to spend more than 4 hours and play a larger variety of music genre but C5 is something to try out in my opinion if you are an ER4S owner. 

post #1062 of 5016

Soon to be an ex-ER-4S owner, if someone manages to actually buy my stuff. I've enjoyed the ER-4S for quite a while now and certainly is ranked top 5 for me. Bass at 2 is a no go for me. I like it at level 1 and treble at 0. To my ears, that's a lot more linear sounding than before, hence the reason why I liked it so much.

post #1063 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


I've had the tips like that since about January and I haven't had any build up yet. I usually keep my ears very clean though.

You do have the old model ER4S. I bought mine from etymotic and at first received the older model (like yours), but I called and requested to exchange them for the updated one, which they said they would do no problem. The new cable has less microphonics than the old cable.

 

I contacted etymotic, and apparently I have the current U.S. model.  The international model has the black braided cable, U.S. does not... :-/

post #1064 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I contacted etymotic, and apparently I have the current U.S. model.  The international model has the black braided cable, U.S. does not... :-/

This sounds like something they made up. I read somewhat extensively on this, and there was a thread somewhere with a quote from etymotic stating that they were selling off the rest of their old stock, and would be offering the black cable exclusively when the old stock was gone.

Maybe this is new information, but it doesn't match what they've said in the past. The new cable is definitely an upgrade.
post #1065 of 5016
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


This sounds like something they made up. I read somewhat extensively on this, and there was a thread somewhere with a quote from etymotic stating that they were selling off the rest of their old stock, and would be offering the black cable exclusively when the old stock was gone.

Maybe this is new information, but it doesn't match what they've said in the past. The new cable is definitely an upgrade.

 

I'll contact someone else at etymotic and see what they tell me. :-P  Would you happen to have a link to that thread?


Edited by luisdent - 4/1/13 at 4:02pm
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