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Closest shallow fitting ER-4S alternative?

  1. redrich2000
    I have narrow and sensitive ear canals. Despite trying every conceivable tip and a few different IEMs, I just can't use the deep-fitting ones. If I could, the ER-4S would have ended my journey here years ago. I found them to be perfectly flat, clear, detailed and natural sounding. Despite trying a tonne of other options I've never found anything quite the same. I'm currently using Hifiman RE-400s, they are not bad but they are less natural sounding and detailed than I'd ideally like. I'm currently hoping that either the VSonic 7007s or the RE600s will be a nice upgrade option for me but I thought I'd post to see what else people would suggest.
    They need to be shallow fitting universals, under $500 and flat, detailed and natural sounding. I don't mind if they are slightly warmer or colder than neutral, nowadays I tend to think phones can still sound natural with a range of sound sigs as long as they are correctly balanced, and natural is what I'm really after. I would also prefer them to be worn straight down rather than over the ear, but I might be flexible on that. I'm not posting music preferences because I think that makes a lot less difference than a lot of people make out and I listen to a bunch of different stuff. I listen almost exclusively to ALAC files on an iMod, with a Headstage Arrow.
  2. TwinQY
    It sounds surprisingly like how people are describing the FitEar F111s - a smoother, more comfortable ER4S. Been interested in getting a pair myself. If you're not enjoying the RE-400, can't think of many other options. Just had someone come over to visit me in bed (had a fever in case the sickos were thinking otherwise!) who brought the RE-400 and RE252. Spectacular balance. Didn't listen to them long but was still quite impressed. Would wait for those RE-600s as well. (Seems like you're in a similar dilemma with me :p)
  3. tomscy2000
    The F111 is not shallow fit. It's supposed to fit as deeply as the ER4. The closest shallow-fit ER4 alternative would probably be the RE272. Perhaps the RE600 but who knows what that will sound like (though it shouldn't be too difficult to guess).
  4. Ypoknons Contributor
    Phonak PFEs (the cheaper ones) with rubber tips don't go too deep, are neutral like the ER4. Also in the box is a treble filter. Sony EX1000 would also fit your requirements, those definitely don't go deep and has bass extension the er4 cannot hope for.

    I share your pain, apparently after getting some molds I found out my canals have a curve in them, hence all the trouble with universals.
  5. soundstige
    I think we're all missing the obvious choice -- ER6i with any shallow tip. Slimmer profile than 50% of IEMs out there. Sounds almost exactly like the ER4.
  6. TwinQY
    If you can find them, sure. Not sure anyone stocks the discontinued pair though.
    OP didn't find the RE-400 up to par though. And those perform approximately at the same level proficiency-wise. Not to mention the lack of warranty and such now that they're shutting down.
    The unit for demo at Fujiya-Avic didn't irritate as much as the Etys if I can recall. Never did play any music through them so no idea how they sound. Impressions got me curious again. But it was probably the stock tips, usually use tri-flanges/Complys on the ER4P so instantly thought of a deeper fit. Now that I think about it nozzles were quite wide so the OP probably wouldn't have fit them in their ears anyways. Freak ears, so should probably refrain from commenting on fit now.
    Actually, no they sat rather comfortably outwards a bit as well. 

    Seems like the OP is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ever think about customs?
  7. soundstige
    Phonak is out of business for IEMs anyway; and the used market is thriving [​IMG] very easy to find an ER6i.
  8. redrich2000
    No. too expensive and too much hassle.
    The impressions in the F111 thread suggested a shallower fit than the ER-4S?
  9. tomscy2000
    The F111 doesn't not really have a shallower fit; it's just massively more comfortable (to my ears, at least).
    Indeed, all the ER4-esque shallow(er) fit IEMs are now all discontinued. Technically, the ER6/6i needs a deep fit as well, and their successor the MC5/EK5 require deep fits too. The Phonak PFEs also needed a deeper fit so that they wouldn't sound too peaky, but they just couldn't anatomically fit any deeper.
    I'd seriously try to go for a second-hand RE272 or find a vendor that still has old stock --- either that, or wait for the RE-600 to come out and hope it actually sounds like the way we all expect it to.
  10. soundstige
    Etymotic uses the "deep fit" ploy as a way to advertise attenuation. It has little to do with quality gained (yes, even with all the 2nd bend information). An ER4/HF5/MC5 are poor options for shallow fit, because then you have inch-long dowels sticking out of your ears that are prone to falling out, losing seal, and just plain looking dumb.
    The ER6 series, on the other hand, is an excellent candidate for shallow fit and works great with foams and single-flange tips like any other IEM in existence would use. The sound remains virtually unchanged from deep fit, as long as a seal is achieved (which, of course, again applies to all IEMs in existence).
  11. tomscy2000
    ...but it does have to do with the occlusion effect, as well as quarter-wave resonances of a closed system. You won't be hearing any of Etymotic's products in the way Don Wilson or Mead Killion were hoping for if you use a shallow fit. If you can (with your own hearing) match quarter-wave resonances between a 1cc system and a 1.5cc system with your own ears, then please be my guest and wear them shallow. I know most people don't really care, but I only mention this to people who look for ER4s, because then I assume they want to really hear d_wilson's Midas touch... [​IMG]
  12. soundstige
    What real-world implications does this have -- those within the range of human hearing?
  13. Peculier
    +1 for the PFE 112/122. Definitely not on the same level as the ER-4 sound wise but far far comfier to wear and much shallower fitting. However I notice that my 112s isolate less than my other IEMs like the UE900 as a result of the shallower insertion.
  14. tomscy2000
    Shallower fit == more spiky response (depending on where the 1/4-wave resonances lie, and that depends on the wavelength of particular frequency versus the length and diameter of the ear canal not displaced by the IEM; more canal volume means that more 1/4-wave resonances can crop up in the audible region beginning with high frequencies; not all of them appear, because some get cancelled out, but most get amplified)
  15. soundstige
    Is there something specific it sounds like, so I can listen for it?

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