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Ety's and His Master's Voice

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello, Mr. Wilson of Etymotic Research or anyone else who might be able to help.

I read this about the "generic" musician's sound attenuator plugs on the Ety site:

"Many earplugs make the wearer's own voice sound hollow, but not the ER-20. This earplug reduces this effect by providing a deep seal in the second bend of the ear canal. "

They look awfully bloody similar to the Ety 4S rubber tips. In my experience with the Etys, singing along did have that "in my head, pressurized, compacted, hollow" feel to it. Just in case I'm wrong, are the 4S tips the same, property-wise, as the ER-20's tips? I ask because I like to sing along.

- Matt
post #2 of 31

The ER-20 (I have them rebranded as Hearos) contain a filter that attenuates fairly evenly. When I wear them to a concert, I can converse with the person next to me by talking at a normal volume into the person next to me's ear and vice versa. My voice sounds normal, just quieter. The ER-20 is like using "Midnight Mode" on a receiver, it simply shortens the dynamic range of everything around you and makes you feel as if things now have a maximum volume below your discomfort level. Of course, in reality they just block db regardless of what it is--but that's the subjective feeling. I think they're really good for concerts and imagine I'd use them if I were practicing with a band, too.

By comparrison, the Etymotic earphones do not have the filter and thus attempt tp block all noise and where the filter would be you have a tiny driver. I'm sure if you replaced that driver with the filter from the ER-20, you'd have a very expensive pair of attenuating earplugs.
post #3 of 31
To answer your question, yes, the ER-20 uses the same flange tip as the ER-4S/4P.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info...

...guys. I guess that's a "no" for the 4S properties. Now, how about the old 4P vs. 4S thing. I want the best sound, bar none. I don't care about bass and I'd rather not have an adapter for fear that it will ever-so-slightly degrade sound quality, but does it degrade it, even ever-so-slightly?

- Matt
post #5 of 31
you might not have to decide between the 4p and the 4s. As the drivers are the same on both, you can always get one, and then either make or buy the cord for the other. If you are concerned about doing it yourself or having it done by someone else, you can always get one from etymotic. Best of luck.
post #6 of 31
Matt, there is no degradation of sound quality when you use converter cables. However my only experiences with these cables are limited to the ones sold at fix-up.net, so I have no idea how other cables can affect the sound.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 


...it's not that I don't trust you or anything, but I'm sure you can understand that I am somewhat skeptical about the "no degradation" thing. I mean, shouldn't there be something? I'd think that if you had to different cord materials or especially a non-soldered or non-continuous wire (e.g. a contact-touch thing like a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter), it would certainly degrade or do *something* to the sound.

Has anyone listened side-by-side?

- Matt
post #8 of 31

Of course, you're right in theory. Adding extra contact points can only hurt a cable's performance. If you know for certain that you will never have use for the ER-4P (ie driving it directly from a crappy headphone jack) and you know the standard cable length is good enough for your uses, then absolutely you should get the ER-4S regardless. Other than any impact on the quality of the signal, this route is also less expensive.

The quality loss on the cable strength is small and may not be easily noticed. I imagine most people (myself included) will say they can't hear a difference. I haven't had the chance to compare yet. When I get my adapter I should be able to compare my Etymoric ER-4P + Etymotic ER-4P->4S adapter to Flumpus' standard Etymotic ER-4S and will report any differences I find. This probably won't be for a few weeks though, since they have not shipped yet.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 


...I will not be using them through any crappy portables (don't have any) and I *love* short cords (I sit close to my source, plus I get warm fuzzies thinking that I've got a shorter signal path).

I ordered the 4S's and will apprise everyone, in a boisterous and obnoxious fasion, as is the convention, what exactly I hated about them in excruciating detail.

post #10 of 31
I got the 4S. Since i use an amp for serious listening, I have little desire to buy a degraded product(4P). I have the 7506 for lesser sources like portables or soundcards. Just my view.
post #11 of 31
well MATT, if you dont like the sound of the ety's youll be branded an idiot. Sad but true.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 

Ben G and Ai0...

Ben: I agree. That is basically the answer I was looking for, so why the hell did I even asK? Surely there is some sort of difference and I figure that with a proper amp, the supposedly "lower bass response" of the S's blossoms at least somewhat, if not to full-"4P driven from a portable" levels.

Oh my...let me guess: you had them, you publicly proclaimed your dislike for them, you were ostracized or ridiculed or scoffed at by a few and there you go?

- Matt
post #13 of 31

The ER-20 and the ER-4 use the same eartip. We do cut about 1/4" off the tip for the ER-4.

The ER-20 doesn't occlude your ear, allowing the sound developed in your ear canal (from your own voice) to escape through the earplug.

I have seen the public ridicule here before. It is kind of sad, because just like loudspeakers, not everyone is going to like the same headphone sound.

Don Wilson
Etymotic Research
post #14 of 31
I only ridicule people who like bad music. Bad headphones I'll forgive.

(Kidding... sort-of.)
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 

Mr. Wilson...

...does that mean that the occlusion effect will or will not take place with the ER-4S's.


Thanks for taking part in our community. It's nice to know that we're being listened to and you care.
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