Originally Posted by eke2k6
Cross posting from another thread:
The ER4S came in today. I told James I wasn't going to be able to get to it, but who am I to resist the veteran of the iem world.
I feel like the ER4S can be summed up with one sentence..."Dat upper midrange bump."
It confers the ER4S' greatest strengths, as well as its biggest downfalls. The ER4S is the first iem I've heard, other than the T-Peos H-100, that truly gave the the impression of being "cold". It's not even a bass issue either, as I'm getting clean and deep bass. The midrange hump reeeaallyyy emphasizes every last micro detail and harmonic, but there's little body to back it up, making notes that fall in the area of emphasis seem like they were machined from a sharp blade. This heavily applies to guitar strums. At the moment, all I can say is that I think the HF5 might just be the best all-around iem in the Ety lineup. It's not a fit issue either...I learned my lesson with the HF5.
Of course, these are very initial impressions. I'll listen more after my exams.
If you're referring just to your experience of the sound, well there's no arguing with that. But if you're talking about (or influenced by) the FR graph, then you should know that the mid-range hump in the FR graph isn't real! It isn't real in the sense that it reproduces the natural FR mid-range hump of the ear's geometry (horn) itself. Since IEM's sit inside the ear canal, and bypass that naturally occurring emphasis, it needs to be re-created in order to faithfully convey the sound as you would normally hear it. Or this is what I've read in any case, and it makes sense to me subjectively, because I absolutely do NOT hear any mid-range hump.
In fact, to my ears the ER-4S's are the most natural, neutral, precise, and accurate transducer I have ever experienced. My Energy Pro 22 monitor speakers were pretty damn neutral and accurate as well--which is why I loved them so much--but the ER-4S's have them beat, I suspect. (Sold them a couple years ago.) But in any case, there's a reason that the ER-4S's have a well deserved reputation as a reference standard in-ear-monitor among sound engineers and musicians. I've been marveling over how even handed they are. They can handle absolutely any genre of music. I have very wide ranging tastes, from classical to dance to electronica to pop to R&B to country and most everything in between, and these are the first sound reproducers since my Energy 22's that satisfy me all across the board.
And they are so effortless and pure, liquid transparency and clarity. Not harsh or hard or edgy, but absolutely clear and brilliant, at any volume. They make me dissatisfied with both my Grado SR-225's and my Sennheiser HD-595's, but for different reasons, of course.
I will say, however, that getting the right fit is vital and essential. I was able to get a seal with both the small and large triple flange tips, but the seal was better with the smalls and got them in the right relation to my ear drums. The foam tips I couldn't really get to work at all--but I didn't persist in this effort, since I didn't like the idea of having to smush down the foam every time I wanted to insert them. I didn't try the glider tips at all for this reason. If you haven't tried out your various tip options, you might experiment.
They also just might not be for you, of course! And if you don't like the mid-range, well, then that's that.