canalphones vs. headphones
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unkoman

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I'm thinking about getting canal phones for my portable, and wondering how canalphones perform compared to headphones at same price range. For example, the new e4c, at $190 how does it compare to heaphones in the same price range?

Thanks
 
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pb8185

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for the same price, you can get headphones that sound better, but of course, you don't wanta be walking about with big cans... it's up to you

I have e3cs for my ipod, and I'm pretty impressed with the sound quality, though I wanted more bass response and I'm told they up it considerably with the e4cs
 
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seeberg

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Personally, I think it really depends. At alot of price points (excluding the $70 one, the Grado SR60's trounce everything, IMHO) there are valid options for canal, closed, and open 'phones. It really depends on your application and your sound preference.

,
Abe
 
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wowie11

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I tend to agree with Seeberg on this one. In general for that price point you will get better sound quality (albeit different) with full sized headphones than you will with canal phones. Canal phones are a true miracle of miniaturization...it's incredible how some of these phones can sound when you see how tiny they are; on some music on my UE10's I swear there is someone singing directly into my ears. On the other hand full sized headphones achieve a different soundstage and offer a dynamic sound that will convince you that you're sitting right in front of the orchestra. However, as Seeberg says a lot depends on you; your musical taste, source, etc. Sound is very subjective so it's best to audition the phones that you are considering so that you can really see what sounds like "music to your ears".

Also, it would be smart to take a look at the practical applications of your would be phones. As previously mentioned, it would be kind of tougher to lug around a Stax ear speaker with a portable amp as compared, to say...Etymotic ER4's. My recommendation? Research the phones that you are considering in HeadFi...there are truly some good feedback from the people here at HeadFi that will aid you in your search; Audition the phones you are looking to buy; and finally ascertain which phones would be most practical for your general use and price point. That being said, the SR80's are not a bad start, there's a pretty good price on the Sennheiser HD600's on one of the threads circulating, Etymotic ER4's are great, the Shure E4's are getting some pretty decent reviews (although I would hold back until people have burned them in for an accurate feedback), the Ultimate Ears Super.fi line is looking to be stellar (once again, I would hold back until a comprehensive review has been done), and if you have some change saved up the UE10's are quite amazing. Whoops...almost forgot to recommend the Future Sonics EM3 if you are looking for more affordable fun canal phones. At $99 these are a wonderful buy and serve as my daily commute phones...I love these things! Good luck!


Whoops...almost forgot to recommend the Future Sonics EM3 if you are looking for more affordable fun canal phones. At $99 these are a wonderful buy...I love these things!
 
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coolmanvn1

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I owned both grado sr225 and shure e4c they both cost me the same ($195 each), But the sr225 sound a better, nice bass very good treble and way WAY better guitar on most rock music. Or mabey i'm too used to the grados sound, cause i only have the e4c for 3 days now, But still when my dad listen to both, he's still go with the sr225. That's just my opion.

setup is simple: sony vaio > foobar200/asio > echo indigo io > (sr225/e4c/bose triport)
 
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stranger0429

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If you are looking for a portable use setup on the go,I think canalphones are certainly better than headphones.

Not only just a few people wanna wear a big cans outside but also the canalphones could reuduce the external noises efforts.Plus canalphones are usually smaller than the headphones.

But if you just wanna use this setup inside,go for the headphones.They will give you more comfort and wonderful sound quality.
 
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unkoman

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Thnx for the inputs! I'm currently using hd280 w/ blutak as my portable but I'm getting tired of the grainy mids on vocals and screeching highs. How do er4, e3-4c compare to 280 in mids? I'm looking for hd595-600 like sound with smooth and soft mids.
 
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axle

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To be perfectly honest, I'd just go for the refurb HD600s if Amazon still has them. I thought for sure I wanted canalphones--small, isolated, and I could probably work out with them too. And then I tried them.

"Different" doesn't describe it; "awful" does. They sound just as I'd expected them to sound: small. And poor. Granted I wasn't trying the $1000 in ear wonder system, but at the price point I tried, I was put off from anything smaller than the HD600s--forever. I couldn't believe I'd ever wanted them.

For me at least, if it's important enough for good sound, it's serious enough for focused listening, which is serious enough to sit down/look goofy with titanic oil drums hanging off your head walking down the street. Isolation isn't really the issue--closed cans, ie some good Audio Technicas, isolate better than most anything I've tried (they're amazing). If I'm running, I just use some really cheap Phillips phones designed for the task--you can hear the music, but you can't <I>hear</I> the music. I tune into Cat Country 96 when running though; I don't listen to Mahler on a 10 mile jog. That's just me.

To sum up my flabbergastingly long remarks: I'd go for a new (closed, if needed) pair of headphones. So what you look funny. We all look funny. Whilst beboping along to some stunningly rendered Mavis Staples, I don't think you can hear the laughter trailing you.

Cheers,
Ape with Typing Skills
 
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donaldekelly

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I have modded hd280s. I thought they were clearly better than the Ety ER4p or s.

In general I would be very surprised to find a headphone sound worse than a canalphone at the same price point. I know there are exceptions - but I wouldn't bother listening to one of the awful phones - just the ones people here like.

Well, I did listen to some Sennheiser 215s (I think that is the number) - maybe that is the exception. Overwhelming bass and nothing else.

For sound
--------
Almost always go with the headphones. And I really like my UM2s and the Super Fi 5 pros I heard. My etys were not too bad - just not enough bass for me and most people I would think. Just my opinion, I know.

For convenience
-----------
Canal phones really fill the bill like nothing else! And some of them sound good - but not as good...

Flabergastingly typed
 
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napalm68

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Anyone have problems with canalphones making your ears distort at certain frequencies? I wanted some canalphones just so I could listen easily to my ipod while working in the yard and on my house with sunglasses and hat (something not too comfortable with other sorts of headphones - and I've never had a set of earbuds that fitted satisfactorily and didn't fall out too easily).

So I bought a set of sony mdr ex51lp canalphones, and I get bad distortion on certain frequencies, especially piano. I've tried other headphones like my over-ear audio-technica ath-a5's or even sony behind-the-head, and didn't get any problems at same volume settings. I asked a headphones specialist shop, and they said it is usually the source that causes the distortion, but as the distortion was not there when using my ATH-A5's, I'm thinking it is either the sony's or my ears. And given I've never heard anyone complain about this sort of distortion with any sort of canalphone (including the sony's) I'm wondering if I'm maybe not suited to them at all. I'd like to fork out for a set of etymotics or shures, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be just wasting my money.
 
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stranger0429

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Quote:

Originally Posted by napalm68
Anyone have problems with canalphones making your ears distort at certain frequencies? I wanted some canalphones just so I could listen easily to my ipod while working in the yard and on my house with sunglasses and hat (something not too comfortable with other sorts of headphones - and I've never had a set of earbuds that fitted satisfactorily and didn't fall out too easily).

So I bought a set of sony mdr ex51lp canalphones, and I get bad distortion on certain frequencies, especially piano. I've tried other headphones like my over-ear audio-technica ath-a5's or even sony behind-the-head, and didn't get any problems at same volume settings. I asked a headphones specialist shop, and they said it is usually the source that causes the distortion, but as the distortion was not there when using my ATH-A5's, I'm thinking it is either the sony's or my ears. And given I've never heard anyone complain about this sort of distortion with any sort of canalphone (including the sony's) I'm wondering if I'm maybe not suited to them at all. I'd like to fork out for a set of etymotics or shures, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be just wasting my money.



Well then go for a ety ER4P

ER4 is one of the most accurate phones I've heard(probabaly the best one IMO).If you want no more distortion,ER4 couldn't go so wrong anyway.IMO,ER4 would have a amazing performance in C/P if you will find the correct place to buy.
 
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donaldekelly

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Quote:

Originally Posted by napalm68
I'd like to fork out for a set of etymotics or shures, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be just wasting my money.


Headroom has a good return policy - if you return them in "like new" condition they refund everything but shipping. You get 30 days to try them out.

I returned my ety 4ps and was refunded.

I would try the e4c though. (From what I have heard on Head-Fi) I returned the etys due to too little bass.
 
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stranger0429

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Quote:

Originally Posted by donaldekelly
HEadroom has a good return policy - if you return them in "like new" condition they refund everything but shipping. You get 30 days to try them out.

I returned my ety 4ps and was refunded.

I would try the e4c though. (From what I have heard on Head-Fi) I returned the etys due to too little bass.



Just curious if you insert er4p properly?Cause a well-sealed would make huge diferences to what you heared,especiallly the bass part.

In fact,the biggest problem of canalphones is how to well-sealed.In my own experiences,it took me more than a week to get the correct position.

Plus,er4p would peform like a new one after a little breakin.Although er4 doesn't need as much time as HD650 to burn in,but burn in still be needed.
 
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donaldekelly

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Quote:

Originally Posted by stranger0429
Just curious if you insert er4p properly?Cause a well-sealed would make huge diferences to what you heared,especiallly the bass part.

In fact,the biggest problem of canalphones is how to well-sealed.In my own experiences,it took me more than a week to get the correct position.

Plus,er4p would peform like a new one after a little breakin.Although er4 doesn't need as much time as HD650 to burn in,but burn in still be needed.



I listened to them for three weeks. Pushed them in and pulled them out according to directions from etymotic about 5-6 times per day and they always sounded the same. (edit - mostly with the triflanges) With the "foamies" too.

They had more bass than I thought they would have given the postings here. But even classical music needs better bass than the etys have - in my opinion. I know many others disagree with me but many also agree with the weak bass finding.

I guess it is a matter of taste. Headroom was really nice about it - sending me a "they are not for everyone" email in accepting them back.
 
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jesse_w

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They're not bass anemic where there is bass, and they are actually capable of surprising impact, but all other headphones I've heard in the pricerange extend lower and have more natural body to them. The bass extention is quite poor to the extent that it can actually obscure some basslines altogether when they dip too low. I tend to think the reality is somewhere in between "OMG ETYS HAVE NO BASS" and "I don't understand you, Ety has perfect bass." To say that the bass cannot be improved is just denial, but niether do I think it should be a deal-breaking fault in all cases.

jesse
 
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