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Broken jacks on ER6i

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by stimpy, Jul 12, 2006.
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  1. stimpy
    Hello, my first post.

    I have 2 pairs of Etymotics ER6i that have broken jacks. I am only getting one channel on each pair. They both lasted about 2-3 months due too having the ET6i straight plug snagging on the inside of my pocket. I listen to my Otterbox encased iPod for around 10 hours a day and work as a labourer.

    I have contacted Etymotic and enquired if this sort of thing is covered under warranty. They were non committal and told me to return them for appraisal. I live in Australia and am reluctant to send them back to the US if the warranty claim is rejected.

    How are Etymotic on warranties with this sort of probable user damage? Are the Plugs on the ER6i replaceable by Etymotic or an electronics technician?

    I would like to get another pair as I really like them, but am reluctant in veiw of my experience of the plugs fragility. I bought a pair Ultimate Ears Super fi 5 pro, but much prefer the ER6i. I find the UEs very uncomfortable and the bass excessive, which hurts my eardrums. They don't really suit much of the low-fi music i listen too as well.

    At the moment I am using a pair of Shure E2 that i never really used after being used to Sony ex71s. I find them a hell of a lot better than I did when I first bought them and I actually prefer them to the UEs. I have found the Etymotic tri-flange will fit on both the UEs and the Shures with a bit of effort which improves both considerably, but both lack the great sound isolation of the ER6i due to their size.

    Also, can anybody also suggest another earphone that may suit me? I am thinking of Shure E3 or E4. Anything else I should consider?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. stimpy
    Guess I'll have to send them back to find out how Etymotic will deal with this.

    i tried using the Ultimate Ears the other day. Had to stop after a couple of hours because of the pain in the outer canal of my left ear. Its like a blister or a graze. I had not worn them for a month or so and had hoped the irritation had subsided.

    Does anybody know if custom earpieces can be made by an audiologist to fit the UE super fi pro 5?
     
  3. milkpowder
    The Super.fi 5Pro should be a massive step above the ER6i in terms of sound quality. Are you sure none of the tips fit? Otherwise, stay on the Etymotic band wagon. Get the ER4P/S, or don't stay on the Ety wagon and get the new E500. I would advise against getting custom ear molds for the ER6i. Why would you spend more on molds than you did on the earpieces?
     
  4. The_Duke_Of_Eli
    How are you sure it's the plug and not the drivers themselves? If it's wires I'd do a half-assed recable.
     
  5. TheMarchingMule Contributor
    Blargh, I think the KSC75 is better than the 5 Pro, and my iM716's owned them up in both modes (HD and Bass).
     
  6. stimpy
    I do find the UE Super.fi 5Pro have a great sound when listening in a quiet setting to music with high production values like 70's rock. They have good leads, with the right length and a right-angled plug/jack or whatever they are called and as you all know they are replaceable which was probably my main reason for buying them. I am not really fond of the fiddly memory wires though. The volume headroom is incredable and the dynamic range? or the contrast between loud and soft passages in music is very high.

    UE's customer service is second to none. I know this because I dealt with them when I found I could not get a proper seal. I tried every combination of tips including the foam. The earpieces were just too big to insert far enough into my ear. I wanted to return them to UE and put the credit towards a pair of UE 5 pro customs or even 10 pro customs. UE was prepared to intercede on my behalf to the Australian Applestore to get me a refund. The Au$ had just dropped in value and the UEs were in less than pristine condition by then anyway so I decided to keep them. Another of the things that made me decide not to get a custom pair of UEs was that on UE's website, the sound isolation of the customs was specified as being the same as the super.fi.- around 2/3 that of the ER6i.

    By then I had found that if I reversed the left and right earpieces I could get them further into my ear and get a seal. The sound isolation was still not as good as the ER6i so I needed to turn up the volume to compensate in noisier environments. I would up volume during quieter passages and then need to turn it back down in louder passages. The right side needed constant adjustment because my ear canal on this side is slightly smaller and the largest single flanges I had settled on had an annoying habit of becoming detached and staying in my ear when removing the UEs.

    I went back to using the ER6i's. I immediately noticed how much more compressed the music sounded. It didn't take long to get used to this. Conversely after my second pair of ER6i became non functional I noticed how overly bass heavy the UE's seemed. I like my music loud and the UE's contrast and low end hurt my eardrums in a way the ERs didn't. The UE's are also very unforgiving about the way it reproduces a lot of the contempary independent/alternative lo-fi music I listen to.

    Quote:

    How are you sure it's the plug and not the drivers themselves? If it's wires I'd do a half-assed recable.



    It's the plug. On both pairs, if you fiddle with the plug the sound comes back momentarily. So it would be possible to replace the plug with something like this3.5mm plug, remembering that the ER6i wires are very fine?

    Quote:

    Otherwise, stay on the Etymotic band wagon. Get the ER4P/S, or don't stay on the Ety wagon and get the new E500



    I would be tempted to get a pair of ER4's if the plug was better (right-angled) than the ER6i. The E500 are too expensive for what would be a sonic gamble. After reading a few reviews on Shures I have decided I would prefer something with more emphasis on the high end. Actually I am seriously considering ordering another pair of ER6i. I think they are absolutely perfect.
     
  7. honda
    Hi Stimpy,

    This might be the perfect solution for you; Etymotic ER-6i black version. They sound and fit identically to your white ER-6i. The difference, besides the black housing, black cable, and grey triple flanges, is the plug. It's the L-shaped plug found on the ER-6. That won't break as easily as the straight plug on the ER-6i. I too had the same problem with my ER-6i, but I just reattached and reinforced the plug and kept on trucking.

    No custom molds for the super.fis by the way. No one would want them sticking out even more than they already do, right? It's nearly impossible to produce.
     
  8. Teerawit
    I've had the broken jack problem as you have had. I just sent it back to Etymotic and they sent me a free replacement ER-6i altogether. The jack is fixable if you're inclined to solder, though.
     
  9. stimpy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by honda
    Hi Stimpy,

    This might be the perfect solution for you; Etymotic ER-6i black version. They sound and fit identically to your white ER-6i. The difference, besides the black housing, black cable, and grey triple flanges, is the plug. It's the L-shaped plug found on the ER-6. That won't break as easily as the straight plug on the ER-6i. I too had the same problem with my ER-6i, but I just reattached and reinforced the plug and kept on trucking.

    No custom molds for the super.fis by the way. No one would want them sticking out even more than they already do, right? It's nearly impossible to produce.




    honda, thanks for that. I am trying to hunt down a pair on eBay now.
    Quote:

    I've had the broken jack problem as you have had. I just sent it back to Etymotic and they sent me a free replacement ER-6i altogether. The jack is fixable if you're inclined to solder, though.



    I am sending them off tommorow with an explanation of how I probably damaged them and if they are not covered under warranty could they be repaired economically.
     
  10. immortals
    Stimpy,

    I too am from Australia and had the exact same problem with my Ety's 6i. In my opinion the point where the jack meets the wire is clearly a weak spot with these headphones and stops me from recommending them to people. It has been quite widely reported unfortunately [​IMG]. I returned them (within the warranty period of one year) and they gave me another one (probably refurbished). I am now very careful not to put too much pressure on the jack. As for upgrade options if you like the Ety sound/isolation you could go with the 4p/s. They are of a completely different design (so they don't have the same weak spot the the 6i's have,they stick out further and look a bit dorkier, sound slightly better and have a 2 year warranty. I have also used/owned the Shure e4's and they are quite good sounding too. Their thick cords give them the appearance of being really durable and they are pretty safe bet.
     
  11. azncookiecutter
    I'm pretty sure that Etymotic will replace the headphones for you. I had my headphone plug die too on my ER-6i (seems like a common problem) and even though they were out of warranty (although I did not mention this fact) they sent me a new pair, free of charge, save shipping to them.
     
  12. mbd
    I'm in Australia too and had a problem with my ER4Ps a couple of years ago, where the connector at the earphone end broke. I sent them off for repair, and had to pay for them to be recabled. They came back with a different style of cabling (kind of bumpy) than the smooth ones I had previously (I assume they feel that the new way is better than the old). Given the earphones were outside the warranty period I suppose that's not so bad though. Etymotic were extremely friendly and communicative throughout the process, and in fact, when I saw the Etymotic stand at Macworld this past January went up to say hello and thank them for the good service - in return they gave me a carry bag, t-shirt, cap, new earphone case, an ER4P -> ER4S cable and a bag of spare flanges! So, their service is pretty good in my experience :)
     
  13. Dr Morbid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Teerawit
    I've had the broken jack problem as you have had. I just sent it back to Etymotic and they sent me a free replacement ER-6i altogether. The jack is fixable if you're inclined to solder, though.



    Well, I am one inclined to solder. The plug on my er6i's just crapped out, too. I'm not going to bother sending them back, but I'd rather repair them myself. I've already sourced the new plug, a lower profile one from a Sony. I have cut the plug and stripped the wires leading to it, but I need a guide to make sure the polarities are correct.

    Care to help a poor audiophile?
     
  14. honda
    Hi Dr Morbid,

    Good choice of replacement plug!

    Are you soldering a bare plug or connecting the wires from the ER-6i to the wires attached to the replacement plug? If you are soldering wire to wire, just solder together the wires of the same colour on each side, and the clear (copper) ones can be all soldered together. If you are soldering to a bare plug, see below:

    Green= Left side hot, upper most lug (the very tip when looking from either the soldering end or the outside plug end)

    Red= Right side hot, middle lug (middle lug for soldering side as well as plug side)

    Clear (copper)= Ground, common for left and right, connect both copper coloured wires together at the bottom most lug, it's the bottom most lug for soldering side as well as the base, the longest section of the plug side

    Let me know if my wording is hard to understand, if you really need a photo/diagram, I'll make one for you.
     
  15. bonethugz
    i guess i'm the lucky one here. my er6i has been here with me for over a year and a half and they're still working fine.

    anybody try the musicians earplug?
     
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