Ergonomics: ER6i v. E4C
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noguilt

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I have always resisted canalphones because i so often need to interrupt listening for a brief conversation, and then resume listening. I use Sony 888LP earbuds for that reason. But i am about to take the plunge and try some canalphones for their sonic advantages, and have narrowed the choice to the Etymotic ER6i and the Shure E4C. Can anyone who has tried both tell me which is easier to get in and out?

(I have tried a search for that info, with hints here and there, and plenty of info about sonic differences, but no clear comparison on ergonomics.)
 
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warpdriver

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For me, the Etys seem to go in deeper, so they are definitely harder to take out. The only thing about the Shures is that looping the cords over your ears is more work.

Since the wire on the Ety is much thinner, you never want to (even accidentally) tug on the wire to get them out.

I think overall, the Shures is easier to handle and use day to day.
 
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I have both. Do you mean easier as in more convenient, or easier on your ear canals? I think both will be about the same on your canals, but that depends a lot on the tips you use.

If you want more convenient to put in and take out, I'd say go with the e4c's. The driver housing on the er6i is very small and is tougher to grab to remove them. They also go a little deeper in the ear canal.
The e4c's are larger and have more to grip. Also, since the cord goes over the ear, they are most stable in your ear. This lets you (me) use the ultra soft tips, which are definitely the easiest to insert and remove. I tried using the ultra softs on the er6i, and they worked ok, but they came out more easily.

edit: regardless of tips, the shures are definitely easier to insert and remove, imo
 
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I own a pair of 6i's and I can tell you from first hand experience you wouldn't want to pull them in and out constantly. Like Jmmm said the driver housing is damn small and it can be difficult to pull out. Also fatigue could be an issue if you are constantly pulling them in and out - they slide in easy but on the way out sometimes the edges of the flanges will drag. Not really noticeable to me but if I pull them in and out a bunch - ie when I get interrupted during a listening session frequently - they can start to irritate your ear canals on the way out.

Granted they sound great, but it sounds like the Shures could be a better route. Sorry I can't give any feedback on the Shure's.

Edit: This is with the flange tips, the foamies don't have the fatigue issue but I think they require more work to put in.
 
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superjohnny

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E4c's have less microphonics with the wire and the soft-flex tips. IMO that makes them easier to use. They also cost over 2x as much as the 6i's.

I'm assuming the 6i's are comparable to the ER4's...
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by superjohnny
E4c's have less microphonics with the wire and the soft-flex tips. IMO that makes them easier to use. They also cost over 2x as much as the 6i's.

I'm assuming the 6i's are comparable to the ER4's...



The price difference is very significant. If you can afford the E4Cs, get them. Otherwise, the question you may want to ask is Ety 6i or Shure E3?
 
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warpdriver

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Quote:

Originally Posted by superjohnny
I'm assuming the 6i's are comparable to the ER4's...


The ER4's are significantly easier to insert and pull out due to the stem body design. However, microphonics is comparable.
 
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warpdriver

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iGory
The price difference is very significant. If you can afford the E4Cs, get them. Otherwise, the question you may want to ask is Ety 6i or Shure E3?


Ya, the E4C's would almost be directly comparable to the ER4 in terms of price.
 
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albau

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Quote:

Originally Posted by warpdriver
Since the wire on the Ety is much thinner, you never want to (even accidentally) tug on the wire to get them out.


The cord as well as overall seemingly flimsy construction were main reasons why I even didn't consider 6i or 4p regardless of sonic qualities and went with E3c for gym and active stuff.

Quote:

Originally Posted by warpdriver
I think overall, the Shures is easier to handle and use day to day.


I agree but if E4c are anything like my E3c in terms of usage don't expect easy and fast in-out (it probably applies to any true canal phone). It's not even close to buds or over the ear cans. E.g. somebody approaches you at the gym while you're sweating and asks if they can use the dumbbell, to spot or whatever. Most of the time with buds you simply hear the person (and your own reply) without taking buds off. You can even have a small talk with you gym buddy and listen to the music. With canals in you ears you have to guess or start this dreaded in-out procedure. Taking Shures out is fairly easy and not much longer then with buds - just grab by the housings, pull out and preferably let em dang around your ears (better not imagine how you look
. Putting them in for secure fit and isolation is what takes time and effort (no matter which tips) and if you want to continue with the same song when you were interrupted allocate time to reach to your player and pause/resume it.

In any case after I started wearing canals at the gym I found myself to become much less sociable. Maybe it's not such a bad thing since you concentrate more on a workout. This lush, isolated stream of music in your head also helps to concentrate.
 
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warpdriver

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Quote:

Originally Posted by albau
I agree but if E3c are anything like E4c in terms of usage don't expect easy and fast in-out (it probably applies to any true canal phone).


Yeah, it's all relative. All true canalphones are a pain to insert/remove. If you expect to take them out often, go with something else.

The E4C is pretty much identical to the E3C in body shape, but I found my E3C's a lot easier to use compared to the ER-6i's. The ER4S is somewhere in the middle (and the wires are a lot more sturdy)
 
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KenB

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I have the Shure E4C's, but, typically, I do not wrap the chord around my ears as is illustrated in the brochure. Instead, I simply reverse the L and R earpieces, which are angled, and gently press them into each ear canal, allowing the chord to hang straight down over the shoulders. I find that the small size soft-flex tips allow them to be inserted/removed with relative ease -- almost as convenient as my previous EX71's. When I am occasionally interrupted, I can pull out the earphones effortlessly and then reinsert them -- happens quickly, easily, and comfortably.

I have found that, once the earphones are inserted, they tend to stay in place. If I chew or bite, I might get a little seal popping noise/pressure. I also notice that certain body movements can cause resonance/vibration effects, e.g. walking, adjusting my seating position, moving my head back & forth, etc. If I am outside, a breeze blowing across the earpiece will generate some noise. I'm not exactly sure how cable "microphonics" is defined. If I place the cable on my leg and rub my hand on it, I hear nothing in the earphones. On the other hand, if the cable is dangling and rubs against my shirt collar, then I hear noise through the earpiece.

KenB
 
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