Curing ER-6i Cable Thump!
Mar 26, 2008 at 1:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

synaesthetic

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I love my Etymotic Research ER-6i, but the cable microphonics have always been a problem when listening to them on the go. Even with the shirt clipper, which stops the weight of the cable from breaking the seal and cuts cable thump by quite a bit, there still remains a problem.

The "pigtails," as I call them, the individual wires running from the cable break near the driver end of the IEMs, are rather long, and with the shirt clip positioned comfortably to enable head movement without jerking the earphones from my ears, tend to bounce. And when they bounce, they hit stuff, and thump loudly. They hit all kinds of things--my cheeks, the collar of my jacket, zippers, even my hair... and if I wear drop earrings, they smack against those. They also hit each other, and all of this translates to a very annoying and loud thump that disrupts my enjoyment of these fine IEMs.

So I was thinking about switching to one of the over-the-ear IEMs (like the super-fi.5's) but I prefer the Etymotic sound and would rather have the ER-4P when I do replace my aging ER-6i. But I was playing around the other day and I discovered a simple way to end the cable thump caused by the driver wires smacking into things. It's easy and costs no more than a small black twist-tie of the type usually used to secure electronic items in their packaging.

Simply put the earphones in as you normally would and pinch the pigtail cables together near the underside of your chin, leaving just enough slack that you can comfortably move your head. Remember that spot.

Remove the earphones and hold them together at the spot you have previously indicated. Take a twist-tie. The ones used to secure items or tie cables up work best, since they're heavier and made of plastic-coated wire. The twist tie has two sides; one side is smooth, and the other side is where the wire is mounted. Make sure the side touching the wires is the smooth side, and gently wrap the twist-tie around the cables near the spot you indicated earlier, starting from the center of the twist tie and wrapping outward. Once you've wrapped it around a small portion, wrap the excess twist tie around itself and lightly push down the edges.

It should remain secure with no protruding sharp edges. Light pressure should be sufficient to hold the cables securely together without damaging the cable itself, and still be loose enough to make minute adjustments on the fly.

I originally tried this with electrical tape, but the twist-tie actually works better since it won't leave any gross adhesive residue on the cable and it is adjustable once you've placed it. It's completely reversible, of negligible cost and drastically reduces the cable thump caused by the bouncy pigtails. I hardly ever hear those irritating thumps anymore, and I can even wear long dangly earrings with my ER-6i now without issue!
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 1:54 AM Post #2 of 10

lostbobby

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you can also get a velcro cable tie sold at computer stores, cut that toa couple inches long and use that to make your cable slider (make a chin strap with the "pigtails". And running the cable from your iphone/nomad /whatever under your shirt, and then out where the shirt clip is also helps.

There's been lots of threads, search on ER-4p or ety microphonics.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 1:56 AM Post #3 of 10

scompton

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Why not put the ER6 wires over your ears? I do it with my im716. It's was a little awkward at first, but you get used to it. Just put them in upside down, or close to it. Whatever position put the wire in a good position for going over your ears. I've never seen an ER6 in person. I know they're small, but you should be able to do this.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 1:56 AM Post #4 of 10

synaesthetic

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I would think a Velcro cable tie might be a little bulky.

I am saddened, but not terribly surprised, that I did not have an original idea though. =P

I tried putting them over my ears; I couldn't get them to seal that way.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 2:35 AM Post #5 of 10

KUNFUCHOPSTICKS

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Thanks for the tip. If you are looking for a tip that does come out while walking: I now use the Shure softflex grey sleeve which creates a massive suction that never fails when i'm on the go. I have to be careful though, there is an dangerous amount of suction, if they get caught on something my ears are done for.

Also synaesthetic do you have issues with cord length? I know most people do. i tied about 1 ft of cord up with cable ties, although i will heat shrink wrap them together instead when i have time.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 2:43 AM Post #6 of 10

GreatDane

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scompton /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why not put the ER6 wires over your ears?


Exactly! This is what I do and I have zero microphonics. I bind the cables with electrical tape so that they join just below my hair line(back of neck). The ER6 is fairly small and looks very stealthy this way.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 3:04 AM Post #7 of 10

pez

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I have a suggestion, the over the ear thing might work, but also you can run it under your shirt. One thing I've noticed that made microphonics dissapear almost completely was the Shure Black foams.
 
Mar 26, 2008 at 3:46 AM Post #8 of 10

ClieOS

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Mar 26, 2008 at 1:50 PM Post #9 of 10

synaesthetic

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I'm not going to go crazy with my ER-6i since I'm just going to buy ER-4P when my tax return comes in anyway. =P

Or maybe triple-fi... I don't know if I want to spend that much money yet though! I need to see what the best price I can get on a triple.fi-10 is.
 

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