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Why not a Dual BA from Etymotic? - Page 2

post #16 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Ah, posts like these bring forth Head-Fi's most respected and knowledgeable members. As a reference IEM (according to Etymotics goals), I think the ER-4 is their greatest accomplishment and considered perfection in their books. I love my ER-4S and absolutely nothing replaces it. To me, the ER-4 is what music "should" sound like. But everyone gets bored of that very easily so people from Shure, Westone and many more decided to sell IEMs with multiple drivers to make the complete opposite of what music "should" sound like and it was an absolute hit! Honestly, I really like some of the products they created (Shure SE535, Westone UM2, Audeo PFE232 just to name a few) because they filled in the gap of listening pleasure. They achieved what Etymotic couldn't (wouldn't?) achieve and that was a specific sound signature per IEM in their lineup. Think, what Shure, Westone, Earsonics IEMs all sound the same? They might sound similar, but never the same because WHO WANTS TO BUY THE SAME SOUND OVER AND OVER AGAIN? Marketing people, that's why. Compare the UM2 to the UM3X. Very different IEMs targeted at very different potential buyers. I might be very Etymotic biased here, but Etymotic to me is like the ultimate "reference" point in the IEM market. It's sort of a centerpoint. Of course the ER-4S isn't perfect in anyway (cough cough fit and comfort), but to me it's the closest thing to the ultimate reference monitor. The only thing that comes close is the RE272 and possibly a few CIEMs, but even those sound a bit emphasized here and there. ER-4 is no excess, no limiting.

 

Just an opinion from a very bored person on a very hot night in very normal vancouver.

 

Nice post, but I would not agree the ER4 is what music "should" sound like.  Sure, Etymotic claims as much, but there is no way the ER4 sounds realistic to me with the majority of my music in comparison to many other CIEMs (consequently, multi-BA CIEMs).  Without a detailed elaboration, while the ER4 frequency response is close to "accurate," note sustainment, dynamic range, resolution, and lack of imaging prevent the ER4 from conveying what the realism I have heard from speakers and to a lesser extent headphones and CIEMs.  I do think there is room for improvement of the ER4, but I suspect Etymotic doesn't agree with me (and I know others on head-fi won't either).  

post #17 of 143
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Nice post, but I would not agree the ER4 is what music "should" sound like.  Sure, Etymotic claims as much, but there is no way the ER4 sounds realistic to me with the majority of my music in comparison to many other CIEMs (consequently, multi-BA CIEMs).  Without a detailed elaboration, while the ER4 frequency response is close to "accurate," note sustainment, dynamic range, resolution, and lack of imaging prevent the ER4 from conveying what the realism I have heard from speakers and to a lesser extent headphones and CIEMs.  I do think there is room for improvement of the ER4, but I suspect Etymotic doesn't agree with me (and I know others on head-fi won't either).  

You mean "colored", is accuracy not realistic? Theres definitely resolution, its what comes with that accurate response, one of the best at resolution I have heard, even above the K3003. Dynamic range is mostly dependent on the recordings. Imaging is one of its best traits. Its not perfect, but theres little to fault and truly an all-rounder once you have an idea of what transparent gear sound like. 


Edited by Inks - 8/5/12 at 11:06pm
post #18 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Nice post, but I would not agree the ER4 is what music "should" sound like.  Sure, Etymotic claims as much, but there is no way the ER4 sounds realistic to me with the majority of my music in comparison to many other CIEMs (consequently, multi-BA CIEMs).  Without a detailed elaboration, while the ER4 frequency response is close to "accurate," note sustainment, dynamic range, resolution, and lack of imaging prevent the ER4 from conveying what the realism I have heard from speakers and to a lesser extent headphones and CIEMs.  I do think there is room for improvement of the ER4, but I suspect Etymotic doesn't agree with me (and I know others on head-fi won't either).  

 

Understood and respect your opinions Joe. What I should have said was the ER4, to me, is a reference point in accurate hearing. To me, it's very hard to describe what realism in music is because there are just so many factors to consider. And I completely agree how there is room for improvement on the ER4. Just can't list the reasons why because I'll be shot by an Etymotic engineer that worked so hard making these xD

post #19 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

You mean "colored", is accuracy not realistic? Theres definitely resolution, its what comes with that accurate response, one of the best at resolution I have heard, even above the K3003. Dynamic range is mostly dependent on the recordings. Imaging is one of its best traits. Its not perfect, but theres little to fault and truly an all-rounder once you have an idea of what transparent gear sound like. 

 

Speaking of the K3003... I just don't like it. Sorry for sidetracking this thread, but I had to say it. It's just not good enough for the price (angry university student with not enough money)

post #20 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

You mean "colored", is accuracy not realistic? Theres definitely resolution, its what comes with that accurate response, one of the best at resolution I have heard, even above the K3003. Dynamic range is mostly dependent on the recordings. Imaging is one of its best traits. Its not perfect, but theres little to fault and truly an all-rounder once you have an idea of what transparent gear sound like. 

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts; hopefully we can leave it as agreeing to disagree.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Understood and respect your opinions Joe. What I should have said was the ER4, to me, is a reference point in accurate hearing. To me, it's very hard to describe what realism in music is because there are just so many factors to consider. And I completely agree how there is room for improvement on the ER4. Just can't list the reasons why because I'll be shot by an Etymotic engineer that worked so hard making these xD

 

Thanks again for your input.  To me, it comes down, in large part, to how each track was mastered, and also the particular genre.  I am not saying the ER4 is not good or accurate, but it doesn't give me a feel I am in the room with the musicians.  From a mastering standpoint, I can see the merit for many genres.


Edited by average_joe - 8/6/12 at 12:17am
post #21 of 143
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Nice post, but I would not agree the ER4 is what music "should" sound like.  Sure, Etymotic claims as much, but there is no way the ER4 sounds realistic to me with the majority of my music in comparison to many other CIEMs (consequently, multi-BA CIEMs).  Without a detailed elaboration, while the ER4 frequency response is close to "accurate," note sustainment, dynamic range, resolution, and lack of imaging prevent the ER4 from conveying what the realism I have heard from speakers and to a lesser extent headphones and CIEMs.  I do think there is room for improvement of the ER4, but I suspect Etymotic doesn't agree with me (and I know others on head-fi won't either).  

 

Agreed.  Not to mention the complete low end response, not just FR, from larger BA bass drivers.  I have yet to hear any single armature convey the same you get from these, headphones or speakers.  The best single BA is the vented FAD SS driver and that still has issues in overall refinement.  I think that was FAD's attempt to take the ER4 concept to the next level and it did quite well.  Still not going to replace my ES5 or UERM.  There are many issues w/ passive crossovers and I can understand why Ety would want to avoid them.  Most multis do have issues w/ coherency, only the ES5 and B2/DBA have been able to keep a place in my collection w/o pulling me out of the music.  The UERM still has slight issues and I consider it one of its weaknesses of the device but it does the best I've heard from any 3-way or triple driver I've had so far meaning it's benign enough for me to live with.

 

I've owned the ER4S twice and while it's very good, it's not end game in absolute sound for me.  I still prefer my B2 w/ Klipsch gel flanges over the ER4S even though it lacks in bass extension by comparison.  I'd prefer to like the ER4 better due to better build, isolation and detachable cables but the sound is a little less clear, a little less resolving and involving by comparison for me.  The UERM is basically how I hear the B2 but with a dedicated bass driver, if that's considered a horribly colored/inaccurate phone then god help you.  biggrin.gif

 

One can look at the performance of distortion and square waves when comparing a good BA like the ER4 to a good larger DD like the EX1000 even if one presumes to be moving a smaller volume of air in the ear canal.  Size still matters.  

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/EtymoticER4PT.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SonyMDREX1000.pdf

 

Stax thrown in for fun:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/StaxSR003SA1993.pdf


Edited by Anaxilus - 8/5/12 at 11:48pm
post #22 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Ah, posts like these bring forth Head-Fi's most respected and knowledgeable members. As a reference IEM (according to Etymotics goals), I think the ER-4 is their greatest accomplishment and considered perfection in their books. I love my ER-4S and absolutely nothing replaces it. To me, the ER-4 is what music "should" sound like. But everyone gets bored of that very easily so people from Shure, Westone and many more decided to sell IEMs with multiple drivers to make the complete opposite of what music "should" sound like and it was an absolute hit! Honestly, I really like some of the products they created (Shure SE535, Westone UM2, Audeo PFE232 just to name a few) because they filled in the gap of listening pleasure. They achieved what Etymotic couldn't (wouldn't?) achieve and that was a specific sound signature per IEM in their lineup. Think, what Shure, Westone, Earsonics IEMs all sound the same? They might sound similar, but never the same because WHO WANTS TO BUY THE SAME SOUND OVER AND OVER AGAIN? Marketing people, that's why. Compare the UM2 to the UM3X. Very different IEMs targeted at very different potential buyers. I might be very Etymotic biased here, but Etymotic to me is like the ultimate "reference" point in the IEM market. It's sort of a centerpoint. Of course the ER-4S isn't perfect in anyway (cough cough fit and comfort), but to me it's the closest thing to the ultimate reference monitor. The only thing that comes close is the RE272 and possibly a few CIEMs, but even those sound a bit emphasized here and there. ER-4 is no excess, no limiting.

Just an opinion from a very bored person on a very hot night in very normal vancouver.

From another Vancouverite I agree completely with this. The only IEM that has given me the same feeling is the FAD Heaven S and I switch between it and the ER4S for differing moods. With the limited experience I have with multi driver IEM's all I can say about them is that for me they are 95% hype. I have yet to find a multi driver IEM with the ability to resolve music in the authentic ways that both my single driver IEM's do.

In fact one of the biggest issues I have with multi driver IEM's is the muddled presentation that can only come from having music have to go through multiple crossovers to get to my ears. Also, Bass, JH and the rest just exaggerate it. The likes of the ER4S and Heaven S or the other in their series give you what is there, no more, no less!

Put it this way, do you want MSG with your food or do you want what is actually there? I know which I prefer!
post #23 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

Put it this way, do you want MSG with your food or do you want what is actually there? I know which I prefer!

 

Really?  The Heaven S is some of the worst MSG I've had.  Liked the A much much better.

post #24 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Really?  The Heaven S is some of the worst MSG I've had.  Liked the A much much better.


Really?? Compared to things like the triple.fi 10 they are pretty clear I thought, likewise the JH16's which add too much. I find they do add more though it is true than my ER4S's.
post #25 of 143

Well the TF10 is a TF10.  That's like partially hydrogenated soybean oil. 

post #26 of 143

The 4-series of Etymotic kicks butt as it is.  Always has, and always will.

 

Personally, I like the fact they've remained unchanged for, what, 20+ years?

 

They're so good, IMO, that the 4S could be used as a benchmark or a baseline in sound quality for an IEM.  The 4-series have remained a constant in the ever changing world of the IEM.  Personally, I can't think of another IEM that's been in production nearly as long as the Etys.

 

Cheers. 

post #27 of 143

I agree, the ER4S is a classic.  No doubt about it.

post #28 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

From another Vancouverite I agree completely with this. The only IEM that has given me the same feeling is the FAD Heaven S and I switch between it and the ER4S for differing moods. With the limited experience I have with multi driver IEM's all I can say about them is that for me they are 95% hype. I have yet to find a multi driver IEM with the ability to resolve music in the authentic ways that both my single driver IEM's do.
In fact one of the biggest issues I have with multi driver IEM's is the muddled presentation that can only come from having music have to go through multiple crossovers to get to my ears. Also, Bass, JH and the rest just exaggerate it. The likes of the ER4S and Heaven S or the other in their series give you what is there, no more, no less!
Put it this way, do you want MSG with your food or do you want what is actually there? I know which I prefer!

MSG. I couldn't have said it better. If you're still a Vancouverite, check out my meet that's going down september. Threadjacked again, I'll stop haha.
post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Well the TF10 is a TF10.  That's like partially hydrogenated soybean oil. 

Now that is what I should have said thinking about it biggrin.gif
post #30 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 

Agreed.  Not to mention the complete low end response, not just FR, from larger BA bass drivers.  I have yet to hear any single armature convey the same you get from these, headphones or speakers.  The best single BA is the vented FAD SS driver and that still has issues in overall refinement.  I think that was FAD's attempt to take the ER4 concept to the next level and it did quite well.  Still not going to replace my ES5 or UERM.  There are many issues w/ passive crossovers and I can understand why Ety would want to avoid them.  Most multis do have issues w/ coherency, only the ES5 and B2/DBA have been able to keep a place in my collection w/o pulling me out of the music.  The UERM still has slight issues and I consider it one of its weaknesses of the device but it does the best I've heard from any 3-way or triple driver I've had so far meaning it's benign enough for me to live with.

 

I've owned the ER4S twice and while it's very good, it's not end game in absolute sound for me.  I still prefer my B2 w/ Klipsch gel flanges over the ER4S even though it lacks in bass extension by comparison.  I'd prefer to like the ER4 better due to better build, isolation and detachable cables but the sound is a little less clear, a little less resolving and involving by comparison for me.  The UERM is basically how I hear the B2 but with a dedicated bass driver, if that's considered a horribly colored/inaccurate phone then god help you.  biggrin.gif

 

One can look at the performance of distortion and square waves when comparing a good BA like the ER4 to a good larger DD like the EX1000 even if one presumes to be moving a smaller volume of air in the ear canal.  Size still matters.  

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/EtymoticER4PT.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SonyMDREX1000.pdf

 

Stax thrown in for fun:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/StaxSR003SA1993.pdf

 

I find many top tier custom IEMs reduce the issues with coherence, and it may be more to do with tuning and driver matching than with the actual crossover.  If I am reading you right, the ES5 has better coherence than the UERM; is that correct?  A trend to me seems to be that it is easier to blend drivers when tuned with a thicker note.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


From another Vancouverite I agree completely with this. The only IEM that has given me the same feeling is the FAD Heaven S and I switch between it and the ER4S for differing moods. With the limited experience I have with multi driver IEM's all I can say about them is that for me they are 95% hype. I have yet to find a multi driver IEM with the ability to resolve music in the authentic ways that both my single driver IEM's do.
In fact one of the biggest issues I have with multi driver IEM's is the muddled presentation that can only come from having music have to go through multiple crossovers to get to my ears. Also, Bass, JH and the rest just exaggerate it. The likes of the ER4S and Heaven S or the other in their series give you what is there, no more, no less!
Put it this way, do you want MSG with your food or do you want what is actually there? I know which I prefer!

 

What multi-driver IEMs have you heard?  I can agree that there are many not so good choices out there, especially in the universal mainstream world.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post

The 4-series of Etymotic kicks butt as it is.  Always has, and always will.

 

Personally, I like the fact they've remained unchanged for, what, 20+ years?

 

They're so good, IMO, that the 4S could be used as a benchmark or a baseline in sound quality for an IEM.  The 4-series have remained a constant in the ever changing world of the IEM.  Personally, I can't think of another IEM that's been in production nearly as long as the Etys.

 

Cheers. 

 

Wasn't the ER4 the first IEM?  Not only a classic, but a legend.

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