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Initial impressions: ER-6 and EX71

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I've had Sony MDR-EX71s for a couple of months now (got them when I got my iRiver H-120) and I have used them mostly on my iRiver, but some on my computer. I also own HD-600s and SR-80s (just sold the 80s to make room for the ER-6s) and a couple others. I was bothered by a very slight hiss in the EX71s (I've noticed a lot of Sony headphones have this) and that they weren't as clear as what I was used to with other phones.

I ordered ER-6s from IdealSound and they arrived today. I did some quick listening on my H-120 by itself, some with the it and my META42, and some with my Pioneer 563a on my META42.

In a phrase, I found the ER-6s to be leaner, cleaner and quieter. Definitely less bass than the EX71s, but also less muddied and more detailed. The isolation on the ER-6s was better than the EX71 (I am using the rubber plugs on the ER-6 - they feel better to me than the foam). On some recordings, the leaner bass is less involving (particularly things like rap, although I don't listen to much). On the H-120 I can compensate with the EQs, but I don't have that choice on my DVD player (although I wouldn't be using the ER-6s in that situation anyway). Even with the EQ, the bass was less visceral on the ER-6 - I think mainly because it wasn't as boomy as the EX71.

I wouldn't mind a slightly smaller set of rubber tips - do they make any other sizes? These work, but aren't quite as comfortable as the medium/small EX71 tips (I guess I have small ear canals).

I still have to do some more playing (including the H-120 with and without my CMOY), but a quick summary of my experience so far:

ER-6:

Pros:
Cleaner
More detailed
Better isolation

Cons:
Leaner low end
Only one size of rubber tips?
Price

EX71s:

Pros:
Full bass
Multiple sizes of rubber tips
In-line plug for short-cord use
Price

Cons:
Not as clear
Long-side/short-side cord (at least I don't like it)
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Another note of difference:

The Sony EX71s seem to have a quiet hiss (only noticable when no music is playing) regardless of what I have them connected to (H-120, H-120 with CMOY, 563a with META42). This hiss is not present with the ER-6, HD-600 or SR-80 on the same sources.
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