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Full Size Headphones Similar to the Etymotic ER4

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

To date I haven't heard a purer representation of "audiophile quality" sound than through my Etymonics which I bought a decade ago.

 

The treble is inoffensive, yet it sparkles and brings out every single detail. The full-size cans I have listened to elevate the higher frequencies to artificial levels, and cause painful, ear piercing sibilance. This includes the Beyer DT series, Grado sr80 and sr325s, and to a lesser extent the D2000s.

 

Despite the sparkling treble, the mids are completely natural and unaffected. They are not recessed at all, and to me they are some of the most tonally accurate headphones I've heard. You close your eyes and you can imagine the vocalist singing in your head. Many of the headphones with treble emphasis, like the ones above and the D600, will bleed into the upper mids causing weird vocals that don't sound natural at all. Even worse is the sibilance of the "S" sounds. Dark headphones like the HD650s and Sony XB series will sound veiled and hollow almost.

 

People always say the bass of the Etys are lacking, but they're not. It's just that they're completely level with every other frequencies. Bass heads like myself usually want a bit more power in the low end, but I've learned the etys aren't lacking at all. I was just listening to some Digital Mystikz for example and they hit even the lowest notes with authority. They reach just as deep if not deeper than the infamous D2000s, and even better is that the bass is accurate. You can hear every difference between the bass notes.

 

The presentation is as perfect as a pair of IEMs can get. Completely completely neutral. Pinpoint accuracy. Perfect imaging. Perfect separation. Transparent. They just don't have a wide soundstage which is understandable since they're IEMs. But they actually separate instruments better than most headphones I've tried, especially portable ones like the AT ESW9.

 

Through the dozens of headphones I've tried, and thousands of dollars I've cycled through I've never found a pair that compares. The closest is maybe the a900x, but the bass doesn't extend as deep and the highs aren't as detailed. Bigger soundstage though.

 

So any suggestions?

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

bump.

post #3 of 12
Hard question to answer. I would maybe say the Beyer DT1350. Compared to the ER4 it lacks a little in the treble but it outclasses the Ety in accurate and flat bass response. I haven't listened to the AKG Q701, but it seems they may possibly be similar. Hopefully someone else can Chime in here that also has experience with the Etys.

Edited by brunk - 2/24/13 at 2:07pm
post #4 of 12

Try AKG K702, used they are not that expensive, however they need an amp to shine.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I've been wanting to try the AKGs out since they came out years ago, but I was put off by their picky amp requirements, and their supposed lack of bass. I guess I'll pick them up along with an amp soon.

 

And I never thought to look at the headroom graphs. The ER4P (mine) and the ER4S have some noticeable differences in the graph for some reason. And the Sony V6 look to also have a comparable sound so I'll check those out too.

 

 

The only thing I'm scared of is the dip in the sub-bass region. The sub-bass of the ER4 is pretty important to me.


Edited by tseliottt - 2/24/13 at 4:05pm
post #6 of 12

The closest two I've heard are Sony MDR-SA5000 and ATH-AD2000, the latter one would probably be my pick, not on ER4 similarity points (that would be Sony), but pure musical enjoyment.

 

EDIT: Forgot to mention, Sony has a pinch more scooped mids than ER4 (not as bad as DT880), other than that it's like a bigger twin.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 2/24/13 at 7:11pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tseliottt View Post

Thanks, I've been wanting to try the AKGs out since they came out years ago, but I was put off by their picky amp requirements, and their supposed lack of bass. I guess I'll pick them up along with an amp soon.

And I never thought to look at the headroom graphs. The ER4P (mine) and the ER4S have some noticeable differences in the graph for some reason. And the Sony V6 look to also have a comparable sound so I'll check those out too.

The only thing I'm scared of is the dip in the sub-bass region. The sub-bass of the ER4 is pretty important to me.

That's the reason I threw in the DT1350. They have the bass region youre looking for, but dip more in the treble region.
Edited by brunk - 2/24/13 at 7:34pm
post #8 of 12

Why don't you search your question on the forum? The answer is years old.smile.gif

 

Ety 4 graph from innerfidelity.

The DT1350 has a different sound signature.

The K701 is near for that you searching for, but it lacks last percent of resolution and refinement.

The ESP/950 should fit with it low mass diaphragm and the equal competitor is the A/250

There is only a problem with shell resonance on both Koss headphones, but the A/250 has planar like sound signature on instrument extension, resolution and timing with accurate but a bit loose bass on the lower end.

Artificial noise or compression sounds broadband highly extended and natural without analytical or self compressed signature.

 

Quote:
you can hear every difference between the bass notes.

 

Not only in the bass or on drums. Overall an extended tonality and it is my only one dynamic headphone with this kind of resolution capabilities and natural sound signature. Only if i put a planar on my head, i can hear the limits of the A/250.

post #9 of 12

SA5000s have a harsher less forgiving treble than the ER-4 and the DT-1350 is not as detailed.

The Koss A250 is the closest I've heard but good luck finding one of those. I love mine.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrich2000 View Post

SA5000s have a harsher less forgiving treble than the ER-4 and the DT-1350 is not as detailed.

The Koss A250 is the closest I've heard but good luck finding one of those. I love mine.


I didn't find SA5000 treble harsh or less forgiving than ER-4S but it can as well depend on the source and amp, what setup do you use them with, I assume you own them.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 3/18/13 at 7:10pm
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


I didn't find SA5000 treble harsh or less forgiving than ER-4S but it can as well depend on the source and amp, what setup do you use them with, I assume you own them.

 

I used to. I was using them with an iMod and a Musical Fidelity X-Can V3. I found them to be very picky with source material, they were truly superb on well recorded material but sounded harsh on music that was less well recorded. I never had that problem with my ER-4S when I had them. I don't own either of them anymore but had similar motivations to the OP which led me to both the Koss and the Sony's. I still own and love the Koss, I have never had the same problem with harshness with them.

post #12 of 12
I recently got a set of the new AD2000x hoping they would be a better built alternative to the A250 but they have too much of that AT coloration. They are very nice and I think they are keepers but I still miss the combination of detail and naturalness that make the ER4 and A250 so wonderful. If only koss had kept those drivers and built them into a more modern shell. If they did they could charge $600-800 easy.
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