Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Dusted off my ER-4Ps. OUCH! WTF?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dusted off my ER-4Ps. OUCH! WTF?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I'm trying to work here and its late.  I decided to use my ER-4Ps for a change while I work.  So as I laboriously put them on with those retarded, yet nice sounding, giant yellow foam tips, I had a mischievous idea.  I played some dubstep!

 

Now I benched the ER-4Ps for their difficulty of use on the go and because I loved the huge bass of my JVC FX500s, which led me to my first full sized headphone purchase, the Audio Technica ATH-M50s (before it was the cool thing to do and everyone and their grandma had at least 2 pairs cool.gif ).

 

So I start listening to dubstep, and OUCH!  The highs are piercing, but so much more detailed than I thought those recordings could be.  But what REALLY hurt was the amazingly tight bass, and its effect on my mind.   I'm running these unamped, because I was lazy and I can't find my amp, and yet the bass still hits like a smack to the face.  Now I can definitely tell from some tracks that the quantity and depth of the bass are far less than my other cans/phones, but I can't believe how muddy those others sound compared to the Etys.  

 

Were the ER-4Ps always this good?  I'm at a loss right now as to what I should think.  Are the FX500s and ATH-M50s really that bloated?  WTF is going on?

 

Edit:  So I've just listened to every genre of music I have.  Why did I ever bench these?  They are so good!


Edited by The_Blood_Raven - 4/18/11 at 12:30am
post #2 of 15
Bottom line, compared to the upper Ety line (ER4 and HFx series), many other "bassy" phones are very bloated with ~250K mid-bass boominess. They are just super clean & super revealing -- almost accurate to a fault.
post #3 of 15

It's what an actual thick, textured note gets you.  Many BA based earphones have such short decay they can't transmit that note heft.  It's an area under the curve thing when it comes to bass and sense of presence.  For a BA, the ER4 is borderline muddy in a sense of how much note body it has, kind of like the Triple.Fi 10 or Custom 3.  When you add thickness to good dynamics, you get an impressive amount of presence and authority.  BAs have a knack for staying quite clean even with a thicker note, more so than a dynamic would, so using a pair that actually offers a robust note creates a lot of benefits like great texturing, timber, articulation of details, better sound stage separation and spacing, etc.  Just a lot of good things come with it.  The Westones, ER4, Triple.Fi 10, and Custom 3 are favorites of mine simply for this.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah, while I still love my other cans/phones, I have to admit I love these ER-4Ps too.  I guess its just a different sound signature, but not necessarilly a bad one.  These were a good investment afterall.


 

post #5 of 15
try some 75 ohms adapter, convert them to ER4S
then couple with some amps
they will be even more AMAZING! biggrin.gif
post #6 of 15

I think there's just a huge mis-conception that etys = zero or very thin bass. That's simply not the case w/ the ER4s. I think many of the people who complain of lack of bass simply don't have a good seal, since it's more tricky to get that perfect seal w/ them. Once you do though, I think the bass goes very deep, is quite clean & can be very punchy if the song demands it. I actually notice less bass rolloff from the er4s than I do w/ the TF10s, RE0s, and IE8s. 

post #7 of 15

Could please try to explain this area under the curve thing? Are we talking integration here?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

It's what an actual thick, textured note gets you.  Many BA based earphones have such short decay they can't transmit that note heft.  It's an area under the curve thing when it comes to bass and sense of presence.  ----

 

 

post #8 of 15

Basically the area under the curve thing has to do with energy.  Sound waves produced by a speaker are pressure waves, like waves in the ocean.  A speaker has control over amplitude, width, rise rate, and fall rate.  Amplitude is volume.  The width is heft/body of the note.  The width comprises of the rate of rise and fall of the note.  For rise, we can think of impact and for fall we can think of decay.  What happens depends on motor strength and damping of the speaker.  For example, a speaker with a very strong motor can rise fast and create a lot of impact.  It can sound energetic, aggressive.  A speaker that rises slower will sound more laid back, softer.  A speaker that's highly damped will decay quickly.  It can sound clean and separated but can also sound overly tight, controlled, constrained as well.  A more loosely damped speaker will decay longer, sound looser, more flowing.  The overall width of the note creates the body, the heft, the presence.  A thick note has a lot of presence.  It sounds powerful and weighty.  A thin note is light, crisp, or lean.  As far as speakers go, the dominant driving force is the motor.  Damping plays a smaller roll unless the motor is weak.  In terms of tonality, a thick note will dominate the low end, sound warm, and bassy, even if the frequency response is not emphasized.  A thin note can sound lean and weak on the low end and emphasis the mids and treble more, even if the frequency response does not emphasis the high end.  A well balanced earphone that is more appropriate in weight will both have a frequency response that is relatively flat and sound relatively even in presence too.

 

A note on note thickness.  One benefit from having a thicker note is that it allows time to show variation in the sound, i.e. texturing and articulation of details.  If the note is too short, it offers very little time to present this information, and some details are hard to perceive or are lost from perception.  Some earphones use a very high dynamic range to bring out some of this information.  It's best to have both a well bodied note that allows for good texturing as well as having good motor strength and dynamic range.  You sort of get the best of everything.  The ER4 is a good mix and fairs better than a lot of other earphones.

post #9 of 15

You either follow the wave form or you don't. The rest is room resonance/reflection and coloration. IEMs need some high frequency roll and probably a bit of extra bass to sound natural. The rest is up for debate. The extra bass that many prefer is generally too much for acoustic recordings. Often, phones that are deemed to not sound thick enough are just showing problems with source. That said, I find a 4p without adapter too etched and prefer the hf5 but I don't know the 4s and suspect it's quite good.


Edited by goodvibes - 4/18/11 at 2:52pm
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by W1CKED View Post

try some 75 ohms adapter, convert them to ER4S
then couple with some amps
they will be even more AMAZING! biggrin.gif

Yep, I have the converter. Does it come with the ER-4Ps? I forget if I purchased it separately or not.

Anyway, the ER-4Ps are a lot better than I remember them being, its a nice surprise. Sadly I've been getting away from IEMs recently and more into full sized. I'll probably still use them a lot more now that I realize how good they are.
post #11 of 15


Thank you much for the insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

Basically the area under the curve thing has to do with energy.  Sound waves produced by a speaker are pressure waves, like waves in the ocean.  A speaker has control over amplitude, width, rise rate, and fall rate.  Amplitude is volume.  The width is heft/body of the note.  The width comprises of the rate of rise and fall of the note.  For rise, we can think of impact and for fall we can think of decay.  What happens depends on motor strength and damping of the speaker.  For example, a speaker with a very strong motor can rise fast and create a lot of impact.  It can sound energetic, aggressive.  A speaker that rises slower will sound more laid back, softer.  A speaker that's highly damped will decay quickly.  It can sound clean and separated but can also sound overly tight, controlled, constrained as well.  A more loosely damped speaker will decay longer, sound looser, more flowing.  The overall width of the note creates the body, the heft, the presence.  A thick note has a lot of presence.  It sounds powerful and weighty.  A thin note is light, crisp, or lean.  As far as speakers go, the dominant driving force is the motor.  Damping plays a smaller roll unless the motor is weak.  In terms of tonality, a thick note will dominate the low end, sound warm, and bassy, even if the frequency response is not emphasized.  A thin note can sound lean and weak on the low end and emphasis the mids and treble more, even if the frequency response does not emphasis the high end.  A well balanced earphone that is more appropriate in weight will both have a frequency response that is relatively flat and sound relatively even in presence too.

 

A note on note thickness.  One benefit from having a thicker note is that it allows time to show variation in the sound, i.e. texturing and articulation of details.  If the note is too short, it offers very little time to present this information, and some details are hard to perceive or are lost from perception.  Some earphones use a very high dynamic range to bring out some of this information.  It's best to have both a well bodied note that allows for good texturing as well as having good motor strength and dynamic range.  You sort of get the best of everything.  The ER4 is a good mix and fairs better than a lot of other earphones.


 

 

post #12 of 15

goodvibes is a little more accurate in the depiction.  Really, all the driver is trying to do is recreate the wave form.  The more accurate the driver, the closer it is to the incoming signal.  Music isn't smooth waves.  It has a lot of subtle variations, and it's the goal of the driver to convert those voltage variations into sound wave variations as best it can.  Some drivers don't articulate information as well as others, so they sound smoother, less detailed.  Some earphones over or under emphasize variations and create different sound characteristics.  This is where you can get some earphones that can be very aggressive or have a lot if impact and some that are mellow and far more casual.  The most ideal would be to follow the incoming signal exactly, but that's really never the case.  As well, human personal preference will actually choose many times less than ideal.  We like coloration.  We like some deviation from the ideal.  It may be for fun, extra bass, extra detail, sharpness, or whatever we are personally seeking.  This deviation is what creates the variation between earphones.  In the end, we sort of define the coloration we seek, and then find the products that offer that kind of coloration.  I wish we could say the end goal was an exact copy of the source, but most people simply are not looking for that at all.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleewach View Post

I think there's just a huge mis-conception that etys = zero or very thin bass. That's simply not the case w/ the ER4s. I think many of the people who complain of lack of bass simply don't have a good seal, since it's more tricky to get that perfect seal w/ them. Once you do though, I think the bass goes very deep, is quite clean & can be very punchy if the song demands it. I actually notice less bass rolloff from the er4s than I do w/ the TF10s, RE0s, and IE8s. 


X2.  This is all true (haven't heard the IE8 though).  Although the ER4 is a bit lean overall.  I actually get more body and rounder, fuller notes on the DBA myself but lose the extension in the low end of the ER4. 

 

To the OP, glad you rediscovered the ER4P but how did you get over the highs?  I never could.  The ER4S is another story however.  I can't do more treble than the DBA myself w/o going insane.  

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 4/18/11 at 8:02pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

That said, I find a 4p without adapter too etched and prefer the hf5 but I don't know the 4s and suspect it's quite good.


Yuppers.  

 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

To the OP, glad you rediscovered the ER4P but how did you get over the highs?  I never could.  The ER4S is another story however.  I can't do more treble than the DBA myself w/o going insane.  

 


I don't listen to them for very long periods of time. wink.gif
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Dusted off my ER-4Ps. OUCH! WTF?