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[REVIEW] Etymotic HF5 or the ER-4S? - Page 5

post #61 of 163
just listening for the first time to my newly arrived er-4PTs smily_headphones1.gif

i do have to admit that i find the actual lack of bass-impact somewhat..surprising, otherwise i'm really deeply impressed with the clarity they offer. but i would say that as with all my previous IEMs, these too will take some time to get accustomed to:p
post #62 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmat View Post

just listening for the first time to my newly arrived er-4PTs smily_headphones1.gif
i do have to admit that i find the actual lack of bass-impact somewhat..surprising, otherwise i'm really deeply impressed with the clarity they offer. but i would say that as with all my previous IEMs, these too will take some time to get accustomed to:p

 

Just let your ears get used to the ER-4PTs sound. I find the majority of IEMs nowadays to be notoriously boosted in the bass and the ER-4 is an honest representation of what is JUST ENOUGH. I find my ER-4S to have plenty of bass, and seeing how the PT has less impedance and I know for a fact that it has significantly more bass that the S, you will be surprised if you add an impedance adapter that converts the PT to the S. I didn't like the PT too much, only because it sounded like a middle ground between the HF and ER-4S. It tried to retain some warmth and forgiveness the HF had and it also tried to retain the detail the ER-4S had, but I think you should go one way or the other IMO and for my tastes. Try getting a cheap impedance adapter on Ebay, notoriously cheap compared to the official Etymotic Adapter.

post #63 of 163
ok i have to revise my last statement:

the er-4p's are nothing less of sensational. all is ABSOLUTELY to my liking, and though i still have to get accustomed to the new sound of certain songs (especially queens of the stone age 's guitars are very different), i can already say that the're worth every penny i payed.

PLUS, there is no lack of bass after all. the trick was to use the smalles eartips biggrin.gif
post #64 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmat View Post

ok i have to revise my last statement:
the er-4p's are nothing less of sensational. all is ABSOLUTELY to my liking, and though i still have to get accustomed to the new sound of certain songs (especially queens of the stone age 's guitars are very different), i can already say that the're worth every penny i payed.
PLUS, there is no lack of bass after all. the trick was to use the smalles eartips biggrin.gif

 

Really glad that you enjoy them. I noticed that people either fall in love with Etys, or they just dislike it from the start. On rare occasions, I noticed people getting used to the Etys and started to love them, but I haven't seen that many times. Just be careful with certain tracks as the ER-4s are very revealing and makes poorly recorded tracks sound even worse hahaha. You should see if the ohm adapter makes any difference, I believe it's only $10something by the name awwan.

post #65 of 163

Where is a good source for ER4's?

post #66 of 163
Thread Starter 

It mostly depends on either the S or PT model. The S seems to function at its best when amped, while the PT works well without an amp. A good source is something like well recorded songs and a fairly neutral DAC. I believe a lot of portable sources work well with Etymotics, especially warmer sounding ones. I like my ER-4S a lot with my iPhone 4+Fiio E11 with bass at the "1" position because "2" gave me too much bass and "0" gave me too little bass. It also works well with my Hifiman HM-602 because it is capable of powering a lot of IEMs and even many full-size headphones. I don't own the PT so I can't comment on that, but with that said, I found the iPhone4 and ER-4S to be satisfactory at best, and improved a lot when the E11 was used.

post #67 of 163
well planx,

i owe you a big THANK YOU because it was this thread that finally made me decide to just stop thinking about it - and finally buy the ety-4ps. now, i absolutely LOVE their sound and, as written in all user revies, i hear certain details in songs that i've been listening to for years for the first time ever.

i do have one question left though, which is about the external noise reduction. with certain tracks, i really get a lot of bass which basically means that they sit in my ear the way they were supposed to, right? i'm asking because i don't find the noise reduction to be as great as many people described (for instance in a train, i can actually still hear most of the conversations led around me etc) so i wonder, what your impressions are. how much of the surrounding noise do you hear when (for instance) sitting in a train with the etys in your ears, without listening to music?
post #68 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post

Where is a good source for ER4's?

 

For the ER-4P (or -4PT), then most any DAP or even phone would probably be good, because the lower impedance (27 ohms) makes it easier to drive.  And a DAP with EQ will be helpful if you want to beef up the lower end some.

 

For the ER-4S, you are going to want a stronger source than most DAPs.  My ER-4P + 75 ohm adapter (= ER-4S, BTW) doesn't sound quite as good on a Sansa Fuse without some sort of amp to beef up the signal strength.  My Cowon J3 can drive the ER-4P + 75 ohm adapter sufficiently well at a higher volume.

 

About the ER4 vs. HF5:  I had both for about 2-3 weeks when I first bought my ER4 several years ago.  I found that the ER4 didn't have much more detail level, but it DID have a more coherent sound to me.  AB'ing the 2 made the HF5 to sound slightly detached, and the ER4 to sound perfectly complete and cohesive.  Sold the HF5, still have the ER-4P.

post #69 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmat View Post

...i do have one question left though, which is about the external noise reduction. with certain tracks, i really get a lot of bass which basically means that they sit in my ear the way they were supposed to, right? i'm asking because i don't find the noise reduction to be as great as many people described (for instance in a train, i can actually still hear most of the conversations led around me etc) so i wonder, what your impressions are. how much of the surrounding noise do you hear when (for instance) sitting in a train with the etys in your ears, without listening to music?

 

Hmmm, the ER4 without a good seal is fairly inaudible or at least missing 50% of the audio spectrum.  But if you are hearing some bass, but still hearing details of conversations around you, then I'd say you are not getting a good seal, which requires a deep insertion for most tips.

 

Which tips are you using?  If you using the 3-flange tips, either color of the Ety tips, they should go deep into your ear canal, not just sit at the opening.  Patience and time will get you used to inserting them deeply.  When they are deep, even close conversations around you should sound very muffled and undetailed -- and once the music starts at modest levels, you should hear almost no conversation around you, and only the deep sounds that your body actually transmits (the low rumble and dull roar of plane engines, trains, etc).

post #70 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

 

For the ER-4P (or -4PT), then most any DAP or even phone would probably be good, because the lower impedance (27 ohms) makes it easier to drive.  And a DAP with EQ will be helpful if you want to beef up the lower end some.

 

For the ER-4S, you are going to want a stronger source than most DAPs.  My ER-4P + 75 ohm adapter (= ER-4S, BTW) doesn't sound quite as good on a Sansa Fuse without some sort of amp to beef up the signal strength.  My Cowon J3 can drive the ER-4P + 75 ohm adapter sufficiently well at a higher volume.

 

About the ER4 vs. HF5:  I had both for about 2-3 weeks when I first bought my ER4 several years ago.  I found that the ER4 didn't have much more detail level, but it DID have a more coherent sound to me.  AB'ing the 2 made the HF5 to sound slightly detached, and the ER4 to sound perfectly complete and cohesive.  Sold the HF5, still have the ER-4P.

 

 

 

Great information. But I wrote my question incorrectly. I meant where is a good place to buy them. (DOH!) confused_face.gif

post #71 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmat View Post

well planx,
i owe you a big THANK YOU because it was this thread that finally made me decide to just stop thinking about it - and finally buy the ety-4ps. now, i absolutely LOVE their sound and, as written in all user revies, i hear certain details in songs that i've been listening to for years for the first time ever.
i do have one question left though, which is about the external noise reduction. with certain tracks, i really get a lot of bass which basically means that they sit in my ear the way they were supposed to, right? i'm asking because i don't find the noise reduction to be as great as many people described (for instance in a train, i can actually still hear most of the conversations led around me etc) so i wonder, what your impressions are. how much of the surrounding noise do you hear when (for instance) sitting in a train with the etys in your ears, without listening to music?

 

You're welcome, always glad to help other members in need etysmile.gif

 

I don't quite fully understand your question, but I shall attempt to answer it to the best of my ability. Yes, the ER-4 does reproduce bass fantastically and other users fail to understand that because so many ears are influenced by this "standard" for bass, which I still cannot understand what that necessarily is. The ER-4 should be one of the best noise reducing IEMs available, but with that said, the ER-4 is a PHYSICAL noise blocking design, nothing electrical involved. Just for the sake of proof, I am currently doing this experiment on the train as we speak and a lot of noise is blocked, I would say around 40-60% if my estimations are correct. However, there is no getting away from the fact that vibrations are still being channeled through my feet, to my body, and to my ears VIA the ER-4S all from the train. The Etys simply cannot reduce that "bass" and vibrations due to the natural physical form of the ER-4 itself and other IEMs. And yes, I am doing this without any music. What tips are you using? I use the Large Grey Tri-flanges because my ears fit them while the smaller Tri-Flange my ears cannot. I heard people say that Foam Olives further the isolation, but I think it's more of a comfort improvement over a noise cancelling improvement.

post #72 of 163

I, too use the large triple-flanges. what i was trying to say is the following:


when i listen to music, i hear everything perfectly clear and, depending on the song (for instance listening to zero-sum by nine inch nails), i hear a great bass emerging from the phones. therefore, i assume that i inserted them the way they should be inserted (i.e. sufficiently deep etc). however, with the music turned off, at times i still find myself to be able to understand some conversations that are not right next to me (not crystal clear of course, but still audible) which - by itself - isn't THAT bad, however me being able to understand those conversations doesn't really fit together with the er-4's being the 'best isolating in-ears on the market' so i wasn't sure if i have actually inserted them wrongly or if i just expected too much of the isolation that they offer, so that's why i wanted to know your impressions. i kind of need some 'more absolute' guidelines concerning the isolation to know whether they're inserted properly or not biggrin.gif

post #73 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmat View Post

I, too use the large triple-flanges. what i was trying to say is the following:


when i listen to music, i hear everything perfectly clear and, depending on the song (for instance listening to zero-sum by nine inch nails), i hear a great bass emerging from the phones. therefore, i assume that i inserted them the way they should be inserted (i.e. sufficiently deep etc). however, with the music turned off, at times i still find myself to be able to understand some conversations that are not right next to me (not crystal clear of course, but still audible) which - by itself - isn't THAT bad, however me being able to understand those conversations doesn't really fit together with the er-4's being the 'best isolating in-ears on the market' so i wasn't sure if i have actually inserted them wrongly or if i just expected too much of the isolation that they offer, so that's why i wanted to know your impressions. i kind of need some 'more absolute' guidelines concerning the isolation to know whether they're inserted properly or not biggrin.gif

 

I think I understand what you're trying to say. Of course the ER-4 won't block absolutely everything. But with that said, if you try other IEMs, you will find even more sound being drawn into your ears than the Etymotics. The reason why Etymotics are so successful at blocking out ambient noise is because they require a deep insertion meaning more surface area of ear+tip contact= more blocking. For example, if you compare my ER-4S to my PFE232, I find the PFE232 to be much more shallow fitting compared to the ER-4S and blocks much less noise than the Etymotics.

 

I thinking your standards for noise-cancelling is too high from all the over-exaggerated reviews of people saying that "Oh Etymotics block out SOO much sound", but the reality is, they block out a GOOD deal of sound.

post #74 of 163

Saw a review some days ago on the hf5, which i have also bought. Especially following quote seems to be interesting

 

 

 

Quote:

Adding Impedance and Amping

So I heard that by adding impedance to these such as the ER4P to ER4S adaptor or an attenuator bundled with earphones that you can make these pretty much as good as the ER4’s. So I got my UE airplane attenuator out which add 100 ohms of impedance and then went iMac to Objective 2 to HF5. OH GOD! The improvement was unreal, more details, more body, better presentation and transparency and a smoother sound overall. It was great.

 

So the after some more experimenting I made the best iPhone rig that I have done today using the attenuator, my Phone 4 and my cMoy BB amp. Same effect and also super portable.

 

If you have these I recommend playing around with this stuff.

 

I thought about building my own amp. Anyway adding the attenuator before the iem's what does it do? To me, it makes sense that it would make the static noise from the audio source less audible, but you have to turn up the volume louder. At this point i am a bit confused, because many people around talks about output impedance and the impedance of the earphones, and so to speak does the attenuator just add to the earphone impedance?

 

Also, what would happen if i just use the attenuator directly with my iphone, would it be able to drive my hf5's then? If it eliminates background/static noise, that alone would help, because the impedance of the hf5 is very low, and it seems that it picks up a lot of static noise..

 

My overall question is, does the attenuator just reduce static noise or are there more to it?

 

I guess the reviewer must think, that the audio quality benefits from doing so, and it seems that it helps a lot, but is it rather the amplifier that does the job, and why use the attenuator anyway then?

post #75 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Saw a review some days ago on the hf5, which i have also bought. Especially following quote seems to be interesting

 

 

 

 

I thought about building my own amp. Anyway adding the attenuator before the iem's what does it do? To me, it makes sense that it would make the static noise from the audio source less audible, but you have to turn up the volume louder. At this point i am a bit confused, because many people around talks about output impedance and the impedance of the earphones, and so to speak does the attenuator just add to the earphone impedance?

 

Also, what would happen if i just use the attenuator directly with my iphone, would it be able to drive my hf5's then? If it eliminates background/static noise, that alone would help, because the impedance of the hf5 is very low, and it seems that it picks up a lot of static noise..

 

My overall question is, does the attenuator just reduce static noise or are there more to it?

 

I guess the reviewer must think, that the audio quality benefits from doing so, and it seems that it helps a lot, but is it rather the amplifier that does the job, and why use the attenuator anyway then?

 

Interesting point you brought up and I will try to answer it to the best of my abilities, but be warned that electrical physics isn't my forte. From my experience, all Impedance does is add electrical resistance to the incoming current, hence the name Ohm. In doing so, this resistance allows higher powered devices, like an amplifier, to drive the IEM/Headphone stronger without adding too much current to the electrical capacity. This allows for a smoother and power conductivity from what I'm aware of, but I only took basic Physics in Highschool so don't quote me anywhere here. Since I have both the HF5 and ER-4S, I can say the ER-4S feels, and sounds, seriously underpowered compared to the HF5, which is a breeze to drive.

 

I'm not TOO sure if the adapter will eliminate static because I thought that was due to the overall sensitivity of the IEM? Or both Impedance and Sensitivity.

 

In a nutshell, I think the entire point of higher impedance is to allow more "load" and "current" (an amp).

 

Hope I managed to answer some questions correctly

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