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ER3XR or IT01 or...?

  1. Maestrophil
    Hi all! New here.

    I am looking to replace my old HF3 Etys (Cables are going out) with something new. I am looking to spend under $200.

    I can get a pair of HR3XR for under 140 - but I have also read a lot of hype about the iBasso IT01.

    Can someone help me compare the two, and/or recommend other alternatives?

    I listen to all types of music with a focus on rock, blues, and jazz. I mostly listen on my iPod classic without external amplification.



    Esited yo add - I really like the isolation of my HF3, and like the nice flat response. I don't mind a little bit of bump in bass etc., I don't need sterile sound, but I don't want anything too hyped in any frequency either.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  2. PaganDL
    Hi @Maestrophil,

    I suggest IT 01 as a better choice over the ER3XR, not HR3XR as the difference is 'night & day'.
    While subjectively & personally I am not a Etymotic fan for various reasons, their overall sound signature tend to have a neutral to flat signature which can make a lot in your chosen genres sound 'potentially boring'.
    This is nothing wrong in itself, it is just not for me.

    IT 01 brings exceptional value for its price range, often subjectively outclassing many in & above its price.

    Subjectively & personally, the comparison is as follows :

    IT 01 is lively, energetic without being fatiguing with nice full bodied mid range & offers good, accurate bass response without being ridiculous.
    Replacable cable

    ER3XR is pretty much the same as your current though the extended response does spread out the sound a little more across all frequencies.
    Replaceable cable

    Isolation for both is always fit dependant though generally ER3XR, since it is canal style, needs deeper insertion.

    Otherwise, some others to look into in a similar price range in no particular order :

    Meze 12 Classics
    Mackie MP 240
    Vain Sthlm Originals

    Hope you find this useful.

    Hope you have a great day !
  3. Maestrophil

    Ahhh. I don't know how HR made it in there. Sorry about that! :)

    Thanks so much for your reply, it is very helpful. I do enjoy the deep seat of the HF3 - I feel like I get great isolation and volume that way.

    How would you rate the clarity overall of the IT01 compared to the Ety sound? I really have come to enjoy the separation I get with the HF3, and just fear I would miss that if the sound became more 'smeared' if that makes sense.
  4. kukkurovaca
    Given your preferences, I don't think I'd recommend the IT01. (Although I do like and would often recommend the IT01.) It sounds like Etys are a particularly good fit for you.
  5. Maestrophil
    Thanks! if you have had experience with both, how do the seal and instrument separation compare?
  6. kukkurovaca
    I do not have any Ety IEMs, sorry. I do have a Massdrop+, which is supposed to be similar in tuning but with a bit more bass -- but that doesn't have the same deep insertion form factor. FWIW It's much more detailed and neutral than the IT01, has a much better midrange, and would beat the IT01 on separation, although neither has a particularly large soundstage, if that matters. However, the MD+ is $300 and the stock cables are dreadful, so it's not a great value proposition.

    Another IEM that you might want to look into is the Campfire Comet. I haven't heard it myself and I don't know if it would be the sound you're looking for, but it's in-budget and very well-received.
  7. PaganDL
    Hi @Maestrophil,

    Apologies for the delay in reply, life intervenes...

    Anyway, clarity wise, if I wasn't clear, please refer to the following as stated above :

    In other words, your HF 3 or the ER3XR will sound 'almost dull & lifeless', instrument separation is very good & good seal is determined by good tips.
    This is only my humble, subjective opinion, your experience may differ but I find the IT 01 very hard to put down personally.

    'Smearing' where sound can happen a few ways :
    Iif your source is terrible
    Your IEMs make whatever you're listening to 'boring'
    Something is technically wrong with your IEMs
    All the above

    Anyway, as @kukkurovaca states, Comet is certainly somewhere in between the IT 01 & the ER3XR sonically though it leans more bass with that warm, potentially smooth you may be after though I could argue IT 01 still does better overall.

    Hope you have a great day !
  8. Maestrophil
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  9. Maestrophil
    Oh my, you still have me thinking about the IT01s! :). They are selling them on Amazon right now with no tax and free shipping for 99 bucks out the door. Total fr the Etys would be 146 - they do collect tax. So 46 bucks cheaper, and so many here say good things about the IT01s. hmmm. OK, build quality comparisons please? I see right away the iBassos have plastic housings as opposed to aluminum. Other constructions differences?
  10. kukkurovaca
    IT01s are plastic, but the plastic is quite sturdy, in my experience. I find them very comfortable to wear. The cable is much beloved, but some folks have experienced QC issues with the cable's soldering. I also think the cable is a bit too short, personally. Included tips are okay.
  11. Maestrophil
    Thanks for the input. It's nice to hear from an owner who has used it for a while the downsides. What do you like about them?
  12. buke9
    Would give another +1 on the IT01. I think it is one of the nicest cables you will find on a $99 earphone. I’ve only had mine for 5 months or so so can’t say anything about QC problems as I’ve had none so far and I work construction and they have been in my pocket from time to time and caught on things and still are doing well. They do have nice bass and decent detail and not overly bright. The mids are a bit recessed but not overly so. For me they are quite comfortable. Are there better iem’s sure but for $99 hard to find with the cable and carry tin just nice.
  13. kukkurovaca
    Bass is great, period, and overall performance and coherence is very good for the money. And they're very light and comfortable.

    I don't love the mids. Some find them spot on, others find them congested (me) or recessed. But again, they're a great value.

    I don't use mine that much lately, but the earphones I use instead are double or triple the price. (Advanced GT3 Superbass, which I adore, but which will be too dark for many, and Massdrop Plus, which is great at detail and quasi-neutrality, but has insultingly bad cables.)

    There are other IEMs that compete more directly with the IT01 that some folks say are better than it, like the Anew U1 or TFZ Queen or Secret Garden. I haven't heard those, though.
  14. Maestrophil
    And have you had any experience with the Etymotics?
  15. kukkurovaca
    Sorry, no, the MD+ is as close as I get to Etys. Apart from earplugs.

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