Etymotic Research ER6 Isolator In-Ear Earphones (Black)

General Information

The ER-6 Isolator earphones provide outstanding sound quality and isolation in a lightweight, compact package. And at less than half the price of ER-4 earphones, they're an incredible value. Because these earphones were designed to match the acoustic response of the open ear, their response accuracy surpasses that of all other earphones and earbuds in their class.With their 15-20 dB of isolation, the ER-6's offer more external noise reduction than any other noise-reduction earphone. Why is isolation important? By blocking out ambient sounds, you can hear the full range of today's digital recordings without having to play them at unnaturally high and potentially unsafe levels. Since you don't have to boost the volume to overcome external noise, ear-overload distortion is minimized.The ER-6 Isolator earphone system includes:5' cord with 3.5 mm stereo phone plug;2 double-flanged silicone eartips;2 foam eartips;2 replacement filters;Filter-changing tool;Shirt clip;Pouch.

Latest reviews

Pros: Great sound, unbelievable isolation
Cons: Poor audio output, lame bass
These were my first in-ears, and since owning them I've had the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi and the Klipsch Image S3s.  I'll be comparing the ER6s to these.
I remember the Etymotic's sound being very warm and natural, absolutely never harsh sounding.  You could throw it the hissiest, most cymbal-laden music and it would sound wonderfully dark.  It really had a unique sound that took me a day or two to get used to, but was worth it.  In comparison, the Ultimate Ears were much a little colder, and the Klipschs are tinnier.
Now despite my love of the Etymotic sound, there are some problems.  The bass isn't present enough, for one.  I know, I know, that's what everyone has to say about the ER6s, but before you write it off, be aware that the bass is adequate and the sound is not thin, it just doesn't have low-end punch at all.  For rock, even metal, this isn't so bad.  Where this is the most apparent is on electronic music, where you sometimes want really loud, punchy bass.  It's not a dealbreaker, but it is a flaw.  Another thing to realize is that I had the ER6's, not the updated ER6i's which are supposed to have better bass output.
The other big annoyance was sound output; these things just BARELY get loud enough, and sometimes don't.  I found myself listening to these at 90-100% on my iPod, despite their excellent isolation.  And that brings me to isolation.  Here, the ER6s really, really shine.  They absolutely blow the Triple Fis out of the water in terms of isolation.  If you want noise isolating headphones, baby these will work just fine.
I ended up giving these away when I found a great deal on the Triple Fis, and while I like them both, I think the ER6 is much better value.  If you can get past the low output level and the anaemic bass, these are really special earphones.
I have no probs with volume on mine, mebbe you're going deaf? Mine can get to the border of hurting my ears.
Great phones, I've used the 6i for years, no complaints except the wire eventually broke. Handle with care.
Pros: Very nice bass
Cons: Blah (so far)
I've used these for the past week. They have excellent bass extension but are very deficient in the upper mid, and treble range. I have not tried them with a proper headphone amp since the manufacturer claims they are designed specifically for portable devices (as the average impedance indicates). However using my iPod's bottom connections to a Philips portable DVD player and docking device, offers a substantial improvement. This leads me to believe they will sound at their best through a portable amp, and should prove to be very conservative on battery life. I don't foresee an amp solving the problem these earphones have with high frequencies though. If you don't mind tweaking your iPod to squeeze out the treble (because these are quite boring if you don't), the good news is they are comfortable to wear for over an hour at a time. I do start to feel pressure points and irritation after very long but they tend to subside. Very stealthy, and a good value if you prefer smooth bass extension over musical accuracy. I'll try to add my impression after I use an amp. Fingers crossed.


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