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Ety 4s vs. HD580 Clou blue

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have an opinion on this? I have both, and out of a headroom supreme, I think I like the HD 580s better. Perhaps I am not used to the Ety's yet. I have only had them for about two weeks. I realize they are great phones, and they are unbeatable for getting some peace in loud places (23 hour plane ride to Vladivostok comes to mind), but in a quiet environment, I just find the 580s w/ the clou's better. They have a better soundstage, the bass is more tangible, if not more accurate, and they are more comfortable. The Ety's seem to have more space between the notes, and they appear to be the brighter phone. I find the 580s to be, dare I say, more "musical". Though the word is quite loaded -- a good argument can be made that the phone that most accurately reproduces the sound is the most musical. I guess I am just saying that the 580s are a less stressful to listen to, for better or for worse. I love both phones, but this is the way I can best describe it.
I will note that I am using the foamies, as I am unable (though I am trying to get used to it) to handle the white plugs for more than a few minutes (though I did the head-to-head comparison with the white eartips). I think I have small ears. Mayhaps custom earmolds would help? This would not happen until the summer at least, so perhaps they will be better by then.
Just for the record, music compared:
Rostropovich playing the prelude to Bach's 5th cello suite,
Helmut Walcha doing Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in G minor
Portishead's "It Could be Sweet"
Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place"

I am interested to hear what other people think in this matter.


P.S. The clou's have made the hd580s much nicer to listen too. I really recommend the upgrade if you are able to make it.
post #2 of 6
I'm waiting for the Clou Blue's from headroom. Hopefully this week. Can't wait. btw, what can you tell me about portishead? You know my taste in music...should I give it a go? I'm listening to David Fiuczynski's Headless Torsos - "Amandela", right now. Excellent. Ever heard of this?
post #3 of 6
I don't have any experience with open Sennheisers, so I'm not the best one to confirm that comparison for you.

Worse still, I've got a personal preference for brightness, supplemented by my undoubted loss of treble hearing due to age. In fact, I've got Beyer 931's for my open set, and that means I'm coming to the Etys from the bright side of the headphone spectrum, which is in any case the way I prefer things. (That is, I prefer the inevitable lack of neutrality in all transducers to fail--as little as possible, to be sure--on the bright side rather than on the recessed side.)

Despite all the above, I find the Beyers too bright in a good many situations. And, when I got the Etys, they seemed to give me the relief that I needed from excessive brightness without slipping into a recessed, withdrawn presentation. Just right, as I see it. But just right only taking my bias for brightness into account.

I suspect that the seal may be at fault for a lot of your resistance to the Etys. And, of course, a poor seal will not only destroy bass response but also give an impression of overdeveloped treble.

The test for that is: Are you getting a wildly full and clean bass line out of the Toccata and Fugue, more followable as a line of music than you have usually, or even ever, heard before?

If your answer to that is Yes, then you are getting a good enough seal to make a reasonable comparison and judgment. You may just prefer the Sennheiser house style, and there's nothing wrong in that.

If your answer is No, then you should continue to fiddle with fit (to the extent of custom molds if it seems worth it to you) because you haven't yet heard the best the Etys can do.
post #4 of 6
stuartr, I have the HD600/Clou Red and the Ety ER4S (actually ER4P with adapter). I use both out of a Max 2001.

I love both, and would hate to have to choose. The Etys are more analytical (but in a good way) while the HD600 are more musical (so shoot me for using that term ). I can hear better detail, and more extended bass, with the Etys, but the music seems more "real" with the Senns.

All that said, I am grateful that I get to choose between them every day
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wes: I think my seal could be better, but I do think the bass runs deeper and more accurate on the Ety's...I just feel it more with the HD580s. This is most likely because they are echoing against a large portion of my skull, not just on my eardrum. I think this is a difference that I will get used to. All in all, I think my only real problem (not that it is one as such) with the Ety's is comfort. With the foamies, they are ok, but just ok. I can wear them for an hour or two, but they never disappear as they do for some people. It always feels like I have something sticking in my ears. It is not enough to make me not use the ety's in most situations, but if it comes down to sitting down on my couch, I will probably grab the 580s. I will keep trying to get more used to the ety's though.
Roll-man: I think you may like portishead. They are billed as trip-hop -- they combine a bit of hip-hop, alternative and perhaps even electronica in a good way. Beth's [I forget her last name...I am not on a first name basis with her] vocals are amazing. She has a very very good voice. There is a lot of soul in her voice, and it can sound extremely sexy, powerful and feminine at different times. Check out the CD Dummy, I think it is worth a listen for pretty much anyone. The song I used for a test is excellent for trying out headphones as it has extremely deep bass, balanced with the great vocals as well as the rest of the music.
Thanks for the responses.
post #6 of 6
I've had my ETY's just over a month now and my initial experiences were similar to yours. Tried the white tips first, I immediately got great sound but they were VERY tight. I then at times would have an effect of lessened bass, even with a good seal due to compression of my ear drum with the white tips. I switched to the foamies and they were initially great also but only kept that perfect seal for me for a few days. I had ear molds done and while waiting for them to arrive (about two weeks) I got much more used to the white tips. I was putting A & D ointment on them and they were becoming much more comfortable. I will say that the sound with them was not Identical every time I inserted them, and after listening to them for a while the sound could change and I would readjust them, but I was thinking I had rushed out for those custom molds a little too soon.

I've been listening with the custom molds for just under two weeks and after getting used to them, they just disappear for me and the sound is perfect and identical every time. After insertion of the custom molds it takes about 3 minutes for them to warm up and after that...magic. Another thing I've read from other posters is that the custom molds block out more ouside sound that either the white or foamie tips. This is not true for me, they block out slightly less noise than the white tips, but are never the less perfect.

There are still some recordings I prefer my RS-1's for, and times when I require an open headphone because I can't be totally blocked from the outside world, but these days it's about 95% ETY.
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