Congratulations! The K3003 is truly an outstanding piece of audio gear, and I have a few other really great IEMs to compare with. Don't forget to screw on the "High Boost" filters though. The consensus seems to be that the "Reference filters" are the best, but to me and a few others it would seem the "High Boost" filters (and the right source/recording) make this phone go beyond what is already spectacular. I’d recommend you’d at least try them. My latest love is the Etymotic ER-4PT, but if I had to make a split second decision about which phone to keep I’d still probably go for the K3003.
Does the ER-4PT sound similar to the K3003 or both have quite different sound signatures?
I’ m not quite sure I’m ready to go there yet. Anway and FWIW…
Signatures are quite different but also do have some similarities. The Etys as you may well know have a very flat FR, and I suppose may actually not sound too exciting with some tracks, although extremely accurate which can be very, and I mean very rewarding with the right source/recording. However, both phones are very transparent and resolving. With the K3003 High Boost filters screwed on I would say they are practically on par when it comes to transparency and resolution. I suppose in a transparency/ resolution contest the Etys would win, but just very barely. However, the Etys are rather bass shy and I have some tracks where low volume sub bass is simply lost, at least to my ears. This, of course, is never a problem with the K3003. It would seem to me that the K3003 is also rather famous for its treble. Some call it harsh, others godly and I would personally agree with the later. The treble of the Etys are quite phenomenal too, but I still think the K3003 has the upper hand. Where the Etys really shine - I mean shine in a truly grand way - is in the mid-range, and they do it so well it alone motivates to own them.
I consider the “Etymotic Research ER-4PT” and my “AKG K3003” to be my best phones without any other real competition in my modest collection of phones (EarSonics SM3v1, EarSonics EM6 (CIEM), FitEar ToGo 334, Sennheiser 650 HD (over ear)).
Edited by Aero Dynamik - 2/8/14 at 2:59pm