Etymotic ER3XR

General Information

The ER3SE Studio Edition provides a high level of sensitivity, making it a perfect match for the portable media players on the market today. The ER3SE offers audio professional grade sound reproduction at an affordable price.


The ER3XR Extended Response offers a modest bass boost, building on the sound quality of the ER3SE, while providing a slight bass boost for those listeners that prefer a stronger low end response.

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Latest reviews

CK Moustache

100+ Head-Fier
Link to my review and measurement index thread where one can also find a full review overview, more information about myself as well as my general-ish audio and review manifesto: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/956208/




I only give full stars. My ranking/scoring system does not necessarily follow the norm and is about as follows:

5 stars: The product is very good and received the "highly recommended" award from me.

4 stars: The product is very good and received the "recommended" award from me.

3 stars: The product is good/very good, but not outstanding/special enough to get any of my two awards. ["Thumbs Up"]

2 stars: The product is only about average or even somewhat below that and somewhat flawed/flawed in some areas. [neither "Thumbs Up" nor "Thumbs Down"]

1 star: The product is bad/severely flawed to outright bad. ["Thumbs Down"]





Etymotic ER3XR


Source:

Review sample.


Miscellaneous:

Just like on the ER2XR as well as ER4XR, “XR” stands for “Extended Response”, indicating a moderately boosted bass compared to the flatter tuned SE (respectively SR) models.

The ER3 series IEMs are basically similar to the ER4 series, but with lower impedance and higher sensitivity (hence slightly different (darker) frequency response in stock form), different/less accessories (small instead of large carrying/storage case, shorter cable), manufactured at a different facility, don’t come with the new ER4 series’ “certificate of performance”, and, in theory, have less strict quality control/driver matching compared to the ER4 series, although even Etymotic stated that most ER3 units would easily pass ER4 series standards, but unlike on the more expensive, more pro-user targeted ER4 series, they couldn’t guarantee for this (at least in case of the ER3SE and ER3XR that I have on hand, I can say that these two would definitely and flawlessly pass ER4 series quality control and driver matching standards).

Come with the same accessories as the ER3SE and ER2 series (same small pouch case as that of my ER-4S and the ER3 series, one pair of green replacement filters along with a filter removal tool made of metal, one shirt clip, one pair of cylindrical foam tips, and last but not lest two pairs of differently sized silicone tips – that’s definitely a bit disappointing compared to the new ER4 series’ ampler amount of accessories, but overall still okay).

Small shells that are made of metal and similar to those of the ER4 series, however matte/satin black instead of stainless steel blue.
Build quality seems to be very good.
It’s nice that each shell has the serial number as well as model number on it in white (the same is true for the ER2 and new ER4 series in-ears).

Removable cables with non-rotating (small notch that prevents that) MMCX connectors.
Y-splitter that’s made of metal, too.
A chin-slider is present.
Cable shorter than the one that comes with the ER4 series in-ears and with straight instead of twisted conductors above the y-splitters.
Side indicators unfortunately only small and difficult to see in dimly lit environments – coloured indicators would have been better.
Fairly supple and flexible cable.
Rather high microphonics when worn down, but that can be fixed by guiding the cable over the ears and using the chin-slider (or alternatively using the included shirt clip).

One Balanced Armature driver per side.




Sound:

Largest included triple-flange silicone tips, modified so that they create a seal in my large ear canals while still maintaining the original ear tip length (achieved by cutting off the smallest flange and putting it onto the nozzle first, followed by the remaining double-flange rest of the tip).

Tonality:

Gentle bass elevation with fairly diffuse-field-oriented (but slightly milder) midrange and treble neutrality.
Basically just like the ER4XR, albeit ultimately slightly warmer in the fundamental range and slightly darker in the treble.

Flat and neutral midrange and treble along with a bass elevation that starts in the middle root around 600 Hz and climbs gradually towards the midbass and sub-bass where the highest quantity with about 4.5 dB higher level compared to the ER4SR is reached. Therefore the lows carry a mild warmth without really adding any colouration to the midrange yet.

Performing sine sweeps and listening to music, the midrange and treble sound very flat and even to me, which is something that is rare and achieved by only very few in-ears wherefore the ER3XR, just like the ER2 and ER4 series models, also sound highly realistic. Solely the 7 kHz area features a moderate recession to my ears, but this is something that is not really audible when listening to music.
Compared to absolutely uncompromised flat neutral, the highs are generally slightly but evenly in the background by around 2.5 dB, which is why the ER3XR sound a little darker and more relaxed/less “uncompromised lifeless neutral” in the highs when compared to the ER4SR or my ER-4S.

Frequency Response:


ER-4S-Compensation

The ER3XR were measured with the non-modified triple-flange ear tips in both graphs as I did not save the other measurements and didn’t bother to re-measure them. Due to the resulting slightly different insertion depth into the coupler, the graphs shows a bit less upper treble quantity than the ER3XR would actually have.


ProPhile 8-Compensation

Resolution:

One could assume that the ER3XR are inferior to the ER4 series in-ears, while in fact they are not and actually perform equally well.

The ER3XR also offer very good speech intelligibility and are capable of rendering small details very well wherefore they sound transparent and are among the very best single-BA in-ears that I know.
Separation of single notes in the high frequency range is precise.
The bass is fast as well as tight; solely fast and complex passages lead to it becoming slightly less clean sounding while separation remains intact and while it doesn’t appear soft yet.

While the resolution, transparency and headroom of some more expensive multi-BA in-ears isn’t reached by the ER3XR, they are nonetheless among the most capable single-BA models on the market and generally don’t need to fear most good multi-BA in-ears in the 500$ range either.

Soundstage:

The ER3XRs’ soundstage is neither the smallest nor the largest, but represents average dimensions and appears a little wider than deep to my ears, yet has a good amount of spatial depth and is well-layered. This makes the imaginary soundstage appear realistic and, in particular, coherent to the listener.

The placement of instruments (imaging) is very precise and spatial smear/blur is avoided, although the ER3SE perform even a tad better in a direct comparison.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Comparisons:

Etymotic ER4XR:

The tonal differences between the ER3XR and ER4XR are less pronounced than between the ER3SE and ER4SR (at least when it comes to the units that I have on hand), which is why the ER3XR and ER4XR could be described as almost identical since the tonal differences between the two in-ears are about as small as the channel matching differences between in-ears of most other manufacturers are (and hereby I’m not referring to clearly mismatched models but rather in-ears that measure with a really, really tight channel matching).
That said, in the mid- and low bass, both in-ears’ tuning is the same. Only in the upper bass and fundamental range, the ER3XR have got a little more warmth and impact in comparison.
The ER3XR are only slightly less present in the presence area/upper mids than the ER4XR.
Solely around 6 and 7 kHz, there is a “more obvious” difference between the two: the ER3XR are a bit more relaxed here.
In the upper highs, the ER3XR are again a little more relaxed which can be heard in the reproduction of cymbals, although only slightly.

As a result, I consider the ER3XR the “better” alternative to the ER4XR due to their virtually similar resolution performance and only small tonal differences – solely for users who intend to use the in-ears for actual music production, the higher price for the ER4XR could still be worth it in the end because of their ultimately ever so slightly higher flatness/accuracy in the fundamental range and upper frequencies, provided that what one is looking for is a set of in-ears with a compensation for the viscerally perceived mechanical vibrations in the lows, which the XR models somewhat compensate for with their mild bass elevation compared to the SR/S/SE models that are tuned for an uncompromised flat neutral bass output without any tuning compensation for the lack of perceived mechanical vibrations that are absent on headphones and in-ears when compared to speakers in a room, but in the end that’s definitely a matter of personal perception/preference and how easily one’s brain can adapt to that “lack” when using headphones/in-ears (mine does easily).
So, to summarise, the ER3XR, compared to the ER4XR, are slightly warmer in the fundamental range, and slightly darker in the treble, but otherwise similarly tuned.
When it comes to details and resolution, both in-ears perform on an equal level – the absolutely only difference in a direct comparison is that the ER3XR appear minimally softer in bass, but this impression disappears when one lowers their lower fundamental range and upper bass slightly, which brings them exactly to ER4XR levels in this area.

Both in-ears’ imaging is equally precise and realistic, with equally good layering and separation of the imaginary events.
The ER4XR seem to have slightly more perceived spatial width, but this impression comes only from their slightly louder upper treble compared to the ER3XR.




Conclusion:

Highly Recommended.

Generally great sounding and superbly tuned (smooth neutral, even and very realistic with mild bass elevation) single-BA in-ears with high technical capabilities.
I even consider the ER3XR the better/more reasonable alternative to the ER4XR as long as one doesn’t need the slightly higher midrange and treble accuracy (in stock form), more/better accessories and cable, and individually hand-matched drivers that are accompanied by a channel matching/performance certificate.


Photos:

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Killcomic

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Extremely versatile, beautiful sound, comfy when you get used to it, ultra portable, top level isolation
Cons: Fiddly fitting, stingy package, quality control.
I just wrote a fairly scathing review based on the sound quality. I'm having to rewrite this as I still have fitting issues and this caused my perception of the sound quality to suffer.

Update - I've had my ER3XR for over a month now, and unlike almost every other IEM, it just keeps getting better.
I'm so impressed with the sound quality that it's making me rethink on how I view IEMs in general.

Package

Not much at all.
3 pair of tips. 2 triple flanged silicon tips and 1 pair of what are probably the worst quality foam tips I've ever come across.
Seriously, the foam tips are so bad that they fall apart the second you try to pull them out.

You also get a very, very tiny carry case and a shirt clip.


Build Quality

Oh boy, where to start?

Of course, I can only speak on my experience and your mileage may vary.

The build quality did not inspire much confidence at all.
One of the units would make static noises when pushing in. Thankfully this has not worsen since purchase.
The shirt clip destroyed itself almost immediately and I could swear one side was louder than the other.
As it turned out, the 3.5mm jack died after a week.
I bought a cheap jack and repaired it myself. This also fixed the channel imbalance.

I've been having terrible luck with IEMs lately and this has put me off IEMs permanently. It will be full sized headphones for me from now on.


Sticking Things In Your Ear

It's not bad.
These things go deep into your ear canal. It's a weird, initially uncomfortable, even painful, process/ Once you figure out how to put them on though, they are comfortable and reassuringly snug.
Oh, and when I say 'figure out how to put them on' I mean it, because the instructions and Etymotic's video showing you how to put them on are utterly useless.
I ended up watching a video by 3M on how to use hearing protection to learn how to put this things on properly.
And yes, they do isolate noise very, very well.

Something to take note of...
With IEMs, I need large tips as they are the only one that can give me a proper seal. So, naturally, I went straight for the large triple flanged ones.
BAD IDEA!
When fully inserted, the treble disappeared and the sound was muffled and dull.
As it turned out, I needed to use the standard size, because it's all about the size of your ear canal, not your outer ear. So keep in mind when fitting them.



Sound Quality

Being used to bright gear like the MSR7 and Fiio F9 Pro, I went through a lengthy adjustment period. I was not used to such a full sound.
However, as I started paying attention, I realised how clear and detailed everything was. Yes, the sound is warm, but also very precise.
Songs which were unlistenable before, because they sounded so thin and bright, became full of body.
You will hear people say that the ER3XR is no good with EDM and bass heavy genres. That's total nonsense. There's plenty of kick and thump to the bass.
What you won't get is bloat or exaggeration.
I have yet to come across a genre that doesn't sound good, which makes sense considering Etymotic's commitment to delivering sound as it was recorded.

Bass - Thick and full bodied. Actually, probably my favorite part. It's spot on. Nice visceral hits and provides plenty of body. People say it's light, but compared to the Fiio F9 Pro and even bassy IEMs like the Audio-Technica, you get way more body and thump. It's beautifully detailed too!

Mids - Thick, forward and controlled. Best mids I've heard? Probably.
There's no distortion or bleed. I haven't heard such engaging mids in an IEM since the ATH-IM70, and I loved the mids in those.

Treble - smooth, detailed and controlled.
Don't expect airy high hats dancing around your head, but what you get is accuracy and detail. They are detailed without being sharp. No sibilance at all.
My sibilance test track is Saint Etienne's Slow Down By The Castle, which is murder with the Fiio F9 Pro and uncomfortable with the MSR7.
Not with the ER3XR though!
The guitars are sharp but no peaks

Soundstage - intimate but coherent, there's both width and depth as long as you've found your ear insertion sweet spot (that sounded dirtier than I intended).

Conclusion
My experience with the ER3XR has been one if highs and lows, from fitting to quality control issues, this has soured my experience.
However, the sound. Oh good lord, the sound.
The clarity, body and coherence is astounding, and it's all done with a single BA!
It really makes you question the logic and value of all the multi drive monsters which are so fashionable at the moment.
Just make sure you get a proper fit!
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CHxJC

New Head-Fier
Pros: Speration & Detail (to an extent), Sound isolation, "Flat" response, accurate timbre
Cons: Loud microphinics with stock cable, Bass sometimes gets overwhelmed and bleeds, Sometimes chokes on complex passages (mainly metal/rock/electronic)
Introduction

This is my first ever IEM review be nice >.<

I've been using the RHA MA750i as a daily portable IEM for over 3 years and is due for an upgrade. I bought this unit for myself intended for portable everyday use and drumming. After years of exploring my IEM tastes I *think* I've finally found it and the ER3XR seemed to offer what I want (portable, noise isolation, non-fatiguing sound sig). The ER3XR were rumored to be 90% of the ER4XR with significant reduction in price made it a no brainer to replace my portable IEM.

Disclaimer & About Myself

This review is based solely on how I perceive music and the headphones themselves. My preferred taste is close to the Harman target, but with a ~4dB boost to the bass instead of the horrifying ~8 dB boost from the IE 2017 target, and a small boost in the 5-8k region. You can learn more about the Harman Target HERE. I am currently a University student with most likely good hearing (no imbalance, can hear ~20-17k Hz), although I've had the occasional tinnitus since middle school (I blame weak genes). Take care of your ears people! I listen to a huge variety of music.

I am also vey direct and critical about stuff, but please don't take it as I hate the products. Just want to make the flaws clear to people/potential buyers.

Please keep in mind I don't own a huge inventory of headphones, so most of my review is based on my experience with the FLC 8s, RHA MA750 and the HD 6XX. I also had a brief experience with the Campfire Comets, Oriveti New Primacy, and the RHA T20i.

Accessories & Build

The ER3XR came with bare essentials and is in a simple box. A bit lackluster compared to Chi-Fi and its ER4 brother but with the price they're charging I guess I'll overlook it. The small pouch is nice with a small extra compartment to put the tools/extra ear tips.

The build quality of the housing is aluminum and is very sturdy. The detachable MMCX cable is a nice touch. The connectors are also sturdy. However, even with the provided clip, microphonics is a huge problem with the cable. The angle of the connectors also don't really allow over-ear wearing which I thought initially would be a problem, but with how sturdy the triple flange "sucks" into the ears I'd say these falling out during a nap on a plane flight isn't a huge worry. However, I can't help but think how much microphonics from the cable will be alleviated if they can be worn so.

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Design & Comfort

As mentioned above, these are not designed to be worn over-ear. They don't fall out easily, in fact pulling these out require you to do so slowly (spinning it might help). I often pull these out quickly to talk to people and they feel like pulling out my innards (don't do it often, it actually hurts!). The sleek rubber finish of the cable felt high quality but probably contributed a significant portion of microphonics.

Initially I feared that the triple flanges might not fit my ears well from all the forum talk, and the deep insertion might cause pain. I mostly use Comply's on my RHA 750, but I really dislike them as they change the sound balance despite being comfortable. To my pleasant surprise, these fit my ears comfortably for a long time, to the point I can say they are close to the Comply's on comfort. I normally can't even wear the JVC Spiral Dots for over 3 hours, and even a shorter time for other lesser quality silicon tips.

Alright, I guess it does sound a bit unbelievable that triple flanges are more comfortable than regular tips so let me come clean -- I've interned in a noisy factory, and for a brief period of my life also handled firearms in the military -- I often had to wear triple flange earplugs for hours so I guess I'm kinda a triple flange "veteran"? Although I do have to say compared to those itchy and bulky earplugs these are way more comfortable.

First Impression

So here are my first impressions notes when listening to it for the first time:

- Surprisingly present bass. Lots of people claimed the XR still sounded "flat" and don't get the SE. I disagree, these are definitely warm IEMs and obviously have an elevated bass (in a good and expected way though, I can't stand those 10+ dB V-shaped IEMs. Seriously what the hell, why are those a thing??).

- Warm, not bright at all. Awesome for long sessions without inducing fatigue.

- Single BA has surprisingly good separation, but starts choking on complex passages whenever heavier bass instruments are involved (mostly rock/metal/electronic)

Sound

For those like me who are super technical about frequency curves, here's a frequency graph by a fellow head-fi member: THREAD LINK. I'm not going into detail what the sound signature is like, the graph should tell you about it. However, if I were to describe it in a sentence I guess it would be "Warm IEMs tuned flat with a slight bass boost without fatiguing highs".

I will give each category an arbitrary score on how much value it provides relative to other categories and its price. (Note: I am an extremely critical person. A 3/5 means "acceptable performance".)Without further to do, lets break it down:

Bass (3/5) -- Easily one of the weakest point of the IEM. The ER3XR performs better on simple tracks without fast decaying bass. The lack of a dynamic driver like many multi-drier IEM makes its impact and separation sub-par imo. On simple soundtracks it performs fast flawlessly -- such as a single bass guitar performance, classical piano with simple background music, a drum solo, etc. However, in more complex situations (drum + bass guitar + vocal + guitar + other stuff) the single BA driver starts choking, causing the bass to loose overall quality and bleed into the mids/highs. I would avoid listening to EDM, metal, and more complex rock music with these.

Mids (5/5) -- The mids are intimate and awesome. Piano sounds absolutely amazing. Vocals are perfect. I mean, they are tuned closely to the diffuse field target and close to my ideal sound signature. Nothing to complain here.

Highs (4/5) -- Sometimes I wish the highs could be a bit brighter. From ER3XR and ER4XR measurements, I wish these could be tuned a but closer to the ER4 with a tad bit less bass and stronger highs. I use the grey-grey-gold filters on the FLCs and they sound bright and powerful, especially hearing the details on the trumpets. While details are definitely not lacking on these, the weaker highs make it harder to hear. However, those who are sensitive to sibilance will find the smooth highs perfect.

Soundstage (4/5) -- Soundstage is alright I guess? I do not have similar pricing IEMs to compare. They are definitely larger than the "in your head" RHA MA750s, but do not have the wider directionality my FLCs have. I will say that the soundstage is just right for pianos, as it sounds like you are the player him/herself. Most instruments don't sound like coming afar, but distant enough to differentiate the positions. I guess in terms of a concert hall, the soundstage ability sounds like you sitting in the conductor position, with most instruments no further than 20 ft from you with the exception of percussion effects actually sounding a bit wider. Unfortunately violins sound rather close, but on some tracks the intimacy makes it sound like a private audition which is kinda awesome. The ER3XR definitely has a bigger width than depth.

Separation (4.5/5 Classical; 3/5 Metal/Complex Rock/Electronic) -- I'm going to iterate again, the ER3XR is best not for fast decaying explosive bass, but slow, constant mid-bass focused tracks. On classical music, separation is good. The not rather large soundstage gives an impression things are close together, but I can assure your every single instrument is clearly separate, well represented. On more complex racks such as metal, 80% of the track should be fine. However, when everyone is playing together sometimes the IEM struggles to keep up mushing everything together. On EDM, whenever the heavy bass hits pretty much destroys the detail and separation of the entire spectrum. However, I do want to say that it really isn't as bad as I describe it to be. The bass performance still blew my RHAs out of the water, which bear in mind, was a $130 USD MSRP IEM. I'm just a critical person ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Music Example

In this section I list random music I felt like listening to in my library with a "rating" how well it performs and random thoughts. Use this section as reference to see if the music genre you listen to are suitable for these. I highly recommend reading the commends by order as you can read my flow of thoughts as I progress throughout my library.

Note: At this point my IEM had over 2 weeks of burn-in if that's a thing you care about.
Note 2: A 3/5 rating essentially means it's acceptable performance to me and I don't mind at all listening to such music with these IEMs.

Rating (out of 5):
1 - Poor performance; 2 - Struggling often; 3 - Fair performance; 4 - Good Performance; 5 - Exceeds expectations

Classical-like/Classical
Florian Bur - [Lovely #04] Lifelong (5/5) -- The intimacy of the piano was great.
Florian Bur - [Welcome to My World (Single)] Welcome to My World (5/5) -- Surprising impact on the low end. Good separation. Great details. Love the strings. Warm and lush. Snare drums at the end had surprisingly wide soundstage effect.
Florian Bur - [Unique #02] Aurora (5/5) -- The 2nd half of the track proves it easily handles separation with good soundstage on a more classical-styled music.
Tunes of Fantasy - [Dream Once Again #16] We Believe (5/5) -- The percussion portion was well separated. Good details. Bass drum were accurate.
Velvet piano - [Velvet piano #02] Mariage D'Amour (5/5) -- Great piano clarity, the backwound was warm and soft while the piano was impactful.
The Piano Guys - [The Piano Guys #04] Beethoven's 5 Secrets (4/5) -- Overall well balanced. Some stronger bass impact portions of the song briefly muffles the mids/highs. Loved the cello.
The Piano Guys - [The Piano Guys #07] Arwen's Vigil (5/5) -- Very clean piano, cello, percussion and bass. Cello was intimate and great.
Lindsey Stirling - [Lindsey Stirling CD1 #14] Transcendence (orchestral version) (4.5/5) -- The voilin was awesome and wasn't overly bright like my FLCs.
Lindsey Stirling - [Shatter Me CD1 #15] Take Flight (orchestral version) (4.5/5) -- Same as above.
Alexander Borodin - Prince Igor Polovtsian Dances Tańce Połowieckie (5/5) -- OH MAH GAWD classical sounds perfect on these. Impactful when needed, quiet and smooth on other portions. Perfection.
[Piano] Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica - Soundtrack Medley [piano] (5/5) -- Beautiful medley.
[Piano] Studio Ghibli Medley (5/5) -- Again, if you listen to a bunch of piano, these IEMs are literally perfect for it. The boosted mid-bass really makes the accompaniment portion more full.


Electronic/EDM
Alan Walker - [Darkside (feat. Au/Ra & Tomine Harket) - Single CD1 #01] Darkside (feat. Au/Ra & Tomine Harket) (3.5/5) -- Everything was all fine until the bass dropped. The bass felt muddy and felt like overshadowing the mids. Definitely not "horrible" category, would still listen to the track when I feel like enjoying some Alan Walker.
Alan Walker - [Faded #01] Faded (4/5) -- Faded performed surprisingly well. While the bass beat had a hint of muddiness, and definitely did not pack a punch from dynamic driver, it managed to separate the female vocal, bass hit and the other sounds well.
Nitro Fun - [EDM] Soldiers (4/5) -- At this point I'm starting to feel that these IEMs don't sound as bad as I thought they would on EDM. I mostly tested these on metal and I thought it would apply to EDM too.
Marshmello - [EDM] Alone (4/5) -- I stand correct. Unless you care dearly about the explosive dynamic driver +10dB bass impact, if you prefer a clean balanced bass thump like I do these IEMs definitely perform fine.
Scary Noise - [EDM] Reaper (3.5/5) -- Same thoughts as above. The excessive bass thumps do reveal some muddiness in the single BA though.
Virtual Riot - [EDM] Energy Drink (4.5/5) -- The mid-bass focused thumps made the track sound rather clean for an EDM.
Jim Yosef - [EDM] Firefly (3/5) -- The more complex electronic rhythm during the "chorus" definitely didn't fare as well on these IEMs.


Metal/Rock
Avenged Sevenfold - [Nightmare #01] Nightmare (4.5/5) -- The percussion was clean and performed well. I was surprised how the double bass during the chorus performed well.
Avenged Sevenfold - [Nightmare #02] Welcome To The Family (4/5) -- Whoah the beginning was awesome. However, as it starts getting noisy it definitely struggles a slight bit to retain all details throughout the spectrum.
Avenged Sevenfold - [Carry On - Single #01] Carry On (3/5) -- The beginning definitely struggles a bit, but the rest were much better.
Avenged Sevenfold - [The Stage CD1 #01] The Stage (3.5/5) -- While portions of the track were awesome, some parts it struggles to keep up with the quick lower toms and bass drums.
Metallica - [Metallica CD1 #08] Nothing Else Matters (4/5) -- The percussion was clean. Can't help but think that bass kick was a bit unnatural and un-impactful. Overall the track was well balanced.
Disturbed - [Immortalized CD1 #11] The Sound of Silence (4/5) -- Intimate male vocals.
MASSIVE ATTACK - [Mezzanine CD1/2 #1/6] Angel (4/5) -- Our classic Head-Fi bass performance test track did pretty well. It wasn't until the more complex portion that the bass kick slightly bleeds into the mids.
Nirvana - [Nevermind #01] Smells Like Teen Spirit (3.5/5) -- Good clean percussion. However, complex portions do overwhelm these IEMs a tad bit.

We Are The Fallen - [Tear The World Down #01] Bury Me Alive (2.5/5) -- Ouch. Yeah the amount of stuff certainly did make it struggle a bit. Not that I "wouldn't" listen to this track because of that, but the lost details definitely made it not as enjoyable.
Queen - [Greatest Hits II #01] A Kind Of Magic (4.5/5) -- Most Rock music that are more calming such as queen will perform just fine. Simple beats and rhythm.
Queen - [Greatest Hits II #03] Radio Ga Ga (3.5/5) -- As expected the super hard bass hit does bleed into the mids.
Queen - [Classic Queen #02] Bohemian Rhapsody (4/5) -- Mamaaaa, oooooooOOOOOooooOOOOooo. The old recording is definitely showing its age. The bad part of having a detailed IEM such as etymotic’s, you hear the flaws of the old recordings.
AC/DC - [Highway To Hell #01] Highway To Hell (4/5) -- Again, 30 year old recording, starting to show its age. However, the simplicity of old recordings means that the Ety's dont struggle at all.
AC/DC - [Warning! High Voltage CD1 #01] Thunderstruck (5/5) -- No heavy bass = pure awesomeness.
30 Seconds to Mars - [This Is War #04] This Is War (3/5) -- Not sure if its the recording, but detail is lacking. And dang the middle school feels.
Bon Jovi - [Greatest Hits - The Ultimate CD1 #16] No Apologies (4/5) -- No apologies, but the song performed well.
Bon Jovi - [Greatest Hits - The Ultimate CD1 #01] Livin' On A Prayer (3.5/5) -- This song struggled a bit, although it sounded like it was the recording though. Separation was a bit lacking.
Aerosmith - [Big Ones #06] Janie's Got A Gun (4/5) -- Clean percussion and overall song.

My Chemical Romance - [The Black Parade / Living with Ghosts (The 10th Anniversary Edition) CD1 #05] Welcome to the Black Parade (2/5) -- WE'LL CARRY ONNNNNNNNNNNN!!! Emo childhood flashbacks anyone? Anyone? Jokes aside, kinda sad these IEMs struggled big time on one of my all-time favorite song. The toms/crash/screaming at the beginning definitely showed it struggled, and the chorus didn't help either.

Male Vocal
Mario Frangoulis - [Sometimes I Dream #05] Naturaleza Muerta (4.5/5) -- Overall it was great. Balanced.
Mario Frangoulis - [Sometimes I Dream #09] Hijo De La Luna (4.5/5) -- The male vocals in this was awesome.
Jeff Buckley - [Grace (MOV LP) CD1 #06] Hallelujah (5/5) -- Flawless male vocals.


Pop
ZAYN feat. Sia - [Dusk Till Dawn #01] Dusk Till Dawn (4/5) -- Sounds alright to me.
Eminem - [The Marshall Mathers LP 2 #12] The Monster (Feat. Rihanna) (3.5/5) -- I blame the mastering for this song. Separation wasn't great. Percussion felt muffled into the vocals. But then it's pop music...
Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee - [Despacito & Mis Grandes Éxitos CD1/1 #01] Despacito (4/5) -- ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Orchestra/?
Sarah Brightman - [Symphony #02] Fleurs Du Mal (4/5) -- This one did surprisingly well.
近藤浩治 - [The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Concert CD2 #07] ゼルダの伝説メインテーマ (5/5) -- While the trumpet isn't as bright as I prefer, the overall separation is amazing. Stop hitting the damn chicken!
近藤浩治 - [The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Concert CD2 #03] ゲルドの谷 (4.5/5) -- This one was a bit more complex. Overall it was amazing, but sometimes the timpani goes muddy.


J Pop/Anime Stuff (Insert frustration about loudness war ruminants in Japanese Masterings)
LiSA - [Ichiban no Takaramono ~Yui final ver.~ #01] Ichiban no Takaramono ~Yui final ver.~ (4/5) -- Definitely less fatiguing than my FLCs
HO-KAGO TEA TIME (CV: Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana) - [K-ON! MUSIC HISTORY'S BOX Disc-1 “OP & ED Single” CD1 #11] NO, Thank You! (4/5) -- This track sounds piercing on my FLCs. On the ER3XR, hey aren't bright at all, once again proving the warmth of these IEMs.
Ayano Mashiro - [ideal white #01] ideal white (3/5) -- This song sounds partly a mess due to the master (Lookup: The loudness war. Japanese mastering are super prone to this.)
Haruna Luna - [Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau #01] Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau (4/5) -- Percussion hits and separation are on point.
[Anime Orchestra] - [Fate stay night] ★ Ideal White (Orchestra) (4.5/5) -- The separation and detail were great.


Conclusion

At $170, I really can't complain about these. I just really wish that the bass performance could have been better. I've always wanted to own one of the Etymotic’s since forever and imagined them as these perfect detail gods. I guess I was just expecting too much out of these, especially them being the budget version of the ER4 costing only $170.

Overall, I highly recommend them. If your library consists of <20% Metl/Rock/Electronic music, these are definitely worth it. If all you listen to is classical, especially symphony or piano, these are definitely 100% worth its price.

EDIT 1: Fixed missing text from intro. *derp*
EDIT 2: Fixed 100+ typo *oof*

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