Ety ER6 disappointment...
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JazzJackRabbit

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Well, I needed a set of sub $100 semi-portable headphones for a while now to watch movies on my laptop at home and on the train and for occasional gaming. The requirments were simple: 1 - comfort, 2 - sound and 3 - noise isolation. So natuarally I opted for something supraaural like SonyV6, GradoSR80, Sennheiser200/250 or Sony D66 or even a circumaural like A500/900. But then I saw an Ety6 sale at Kmart for only ~101 with shipping and all taxes included, and after reading lots of positive feedback about Ety4/6 and after much hesitation I finally went for it. The headphones arrived yesterday and... they've been nothing but disappointing.

Comfort
That was the most important thing for me. My ears, although average sized, somewhat stick out of my head and therefore very sensitive to pressure. Lots of ppl praised Senn4xx/2xx series for their comfort, and I hated them because they exerted a lot of uneven pressure on my ears, which literally started hurting after only an hour of use. So naturally I was very worried about the Ety6 being uncomfortable and all, but I was wrong. These headphones in fact are very comfortable, yesterday, I watched a two-hour movie and listened to music for another 30-60 minutes and my ears did not hurt a bit. Granted, I had a "funny" feeling in my ears, but I'm sure I could have used to it with time.

Noise Isolation
I didn't really care about noise isolation, but it was probably due to the fact that I've never had good noise-isolation headphones so I've never known the pleasure of noise isolation before.
Ety6 do block a lot of noise, if I simply put them in, w/o the music going on, all voices, TV and window fan appear muffled a lot, excellent results I must say... With music on voices disappear completely - I could see the ppl moving their lips but I could not hear a thing, simply excellent, same thing with TV, but unfortunately Ety6 are not so good at blocking my window fan - I could always hear it, even while watching movies or listening to music. Overall I was very impressed by the noise isolation, kudos Ety...

Sound
This is the second most important thing for me after comfort and this is where I was most disappointed with Etys... I didn't want to spend a lot on portable headphones, so I expected that $100 headphones will never match my HD600. But from reading all ER4 reviews about how good sounding they were - on par with HD600, and reading that ER6 were very close to ER4, I assumed that even if ER6 weren't as good Senns, they were at least half-way decent. And how wrong I was again. I don't know about ER4, but if they do indeed sound a lot like ER6, then there is no way in hell they can compare to HD600, no way. The very first thing that smacked me right across the bottom when I tried Ety6 on was the lack of bass. There simply wasn't any. So I dug up the manual, read the part on how to insert them into ears and did it like they said - pulled up the ear and pushed it as far as they went withouth hurting the ears. And... no change. Well, to be truthful there was some, I did notice more bass response, but still it was almost nonexistant. Subjectively the frequency response dropped sharply below 200-300Hz I know some of you will taunt me saying I did not get a good seal, but I did. I did everything by the manual short of moistening the rubber tips.
I shoved the Etys so far I could hear myself breathing (a sign of complete seal). And yet no bass response. I even tried foam tips and still no bass response. So disappointing... Mids and highs were not much better. Etys give a fair amount of detail, and although I would not call them analytic like some ppl do, they definitely give lots of detail. However that was not why I disliked them, I disliked them mainly because mids and treeble appeared very harsh to me, I'd even say shrill - a typical weakness of low-end headphones. HD497 that I used to have had the same problem - metallic treeble, however unlike Etys Senn497 had a fairly good bass response and they cost half as much. Anyway, by the end of yesterdays listening session I had a horrible headache, something I have not had since Senn497. By that time I was really disappointed... The only good thing that I liked about Etys is the soundstage, really good, much better than anything I've heard, but unfortunately it's not enough to redeem other shortcomings...

Value
Overall I did not find the headphones THAT much better sounding than the cheapo plugs that came with my Sister's iRiver R90 MP3 player, little bit more bass, noticably better overall detail but very shrill and definitely not worth $100 compared to el-cheapo $5 ones.

I had my HD600 for about 9 months now? And with time I was growing kind of disappointed with their sound, I wanted more from them, but hearing Ety6 has made me realize again how good Senns are.


So, to sum up, is there something wrong with me? I read all arounnd the forum how ppl enjoy Etys and how good the bass is, but why the hell I can't hear it? Am I not supposed to? Do Etys need some burn-in time flike full-sized headphones? I may give them another chance in the next couple of days but for now I'm really really tempted to return them to the store. Yes, they provide excellent isolation which was a very nice bonus, but they sound horrible and give me headache... Any opinions, advices?
 
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DJGeorgeT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
I had my HD600 for about 9 months now? And with time I was growing kind of disappointed with their sound, I wanted more from them, but hearing Ety6 has made me realize again how good Senns are.


So, to sum up, is there something wrong with me?



Yup, you are a basshead. Canalphones like the ER6, ER4P, Shure E3 are not good for bassheads. Try the Shure E2 or even the Shure E5. These will lack in the treble department, but will give you the bass you want. You want better? Expect to spend $550 or more in custom canalphones.

Come on be realistics. The ER6 is a nice headphone, you just can't appreciate its qualities. You did not appreciate the HD600 for God's sake.
 
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lindrone

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Congratulations and welcome to "team phantom bass"...


Yes, I'm amongst one of those who never ever felt that Ety's bass was anywhere near adequate to compare to full-size headphones. ER-4 is better than ER-6 in the bass department... but it's still all notes and no "feel".
 
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I'm going to have to agree that the Etys do not have much bass, even when paired with a decent amp. I have no problem with it, although I bet the majority of people out there (outside of the long-time members of the headphone community
) are used to bigger bass than any Ety model will provide.
 
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gpalmer

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I found that the Etys were rather sterile until I gave them a 24 hour shot at high volume. This didn't really improve the bass though, it was more the midrange that improved. You get used to it over time and your brain sort of fills in the bottom end, but I was rather disapointed myself. They do improve with the right amp. I usually use them with the Gilmore V2, which perks the bass up nicely, but I think the majority of what needs to happen is brain adaptation.
 
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psxguy85

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I have to admit that I was a basshead until I started getting into this headphone hobby. After a while with a good pair of phones, I started noticing the details rather than the boom and the loudness of the songs (if what I say makes any sense at all
)
 
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JazzJackRabbit

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DJGeorgeT
Yup, you are a basshead. Canalphones like the ER6, ER4P, Shure E3 are not good for bassheads. Try the Shure E2 or even the Shure E5. These will lack in the treble department, but will give you the bass you want. You want better? Expect to spend $550 or more in custom canalphones.
Oh, no, I'm not a basshead. True, I like soft, smooth and soothing bass on HD600, but I dislike too much bass too. I always get annoyed when I see a kewl guy whose car reverberates from two subwoofers in his trunk.

Come on be realistics. The ER6 is a nice headphone, you just can't appreciate its qualities.
They are nicer than generic earplugs, but definitely not hundred dollars nice. $50-60 circumaural headphones sound much better than ety6...

You did not appreciate the HD600 for God's sake.
I do appreciate them... it's just... there must be something nicer than HD600


lindrone
Exactly.
Have you head shures? How are they in bass department?

psxguy85
I have to admit that I was a basshead until I started getting into this headphone hobby. After a while with a good pair of phones, I started noticing the details rather than the boom and the loudness of the songs (if what I say makes any sense at all )
I prefer to have everything... the treeble, the middle and bass, is that so unreasonable?


gpalmer
Thanks for the advice. I'll try leaving them overnight... As for the amp, these headphones are supposed to be portable, dragging an amp would be pretty bothersome for something that's supposed to sound good w/o it to begin with...
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
psxguy85
I have to admit that I was a basshead until I started getting into this headphone hobby. After a while with a good pair of phones, I started noticing the details rather than the boom and the loudness of the songs (if what I say makes any sense at all )
I prefer to have everything... the treeble, the middle and bass, is that so unreasonable?



No, its definitely not unreasonable, and I think the Etys have a good balance of all those qualities. I think this may be due to my own personal preference, so I guess whatever fits you best!
 
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lindrone

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Yes, I've owned all the Shures (except E1.. they were phased out for the E3's) at one point. My gf is still using the E3, and I sold the E5 when I upgraded.

E2c has more bass than E3c, and both has more bass than ER-6. ER-4 has more bass extension (as in, you can hear the representation of the notes), but has less bass impact (you don't feel an "oomph" of any sort) than the E2c, and less mid-bass impact than the E3c. E3c has less extension but more impact than the ER-4.

E5c is the cheapest canalphone that has bass impact that rivals full-size headphones. It's got bass impact that rivals HD650/600/580, CD3000.. so on.. so forth. It doesn't have quite as much extension as those full-size headphones, but it just misses it by a little bit.

Shure earphones all have a smoother high-end than Ety earphones. The trebles on the Shure earphones are more in the background, and Ety has them in the foreground.
 
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E5c is the cheapest canalphone that has bass impact that rivals full-size headphones. It's got bass impact that rivals HD650/600/580, CD3000.. so on.. so forth. It doesn't have quite as much extension as those full-size headphones, but it just misses it by a little bit.
Thanks for the info but $500 imho is too much. I think it would be much wiser to spend them on Grado125 and CD3000 (wanted to try them for some time). Well, maybe when I'm dirt-rich I'll buy e5...
 
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I'm sorry if I was unclear, but even though I feel they change with burn in there are many around here who disagree. I personally don't think you will be happy with them based on just their physical sound changes during burn in. For me it was the difference between "I like these, but" and "Man am I glad I bought these." I personally love them but they are a special purpose phone for me and for their purpose they are wonderful, I wouldn't be without them.

What I was trying to suggest is that either your brain will get used to them and how they present bass and decide to perform the necessary software processing to make them work for you or it won't.
 
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gpalmer
I'm sorry if I was unclear. . .
You were perfectly clear, I understand that they probably won't sound that much different after burn-in, but I still want to give it a try.

What I was trying to suggest is that either your brain will get used to them and how they present bass and decide to perform the necessary software processing to make them work for you or it won't.
It might have been possible if ER6 were my only headphones, but it's gonna be really hard if not impossible hearing HD600 every day.
 
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E5c actually goes on retail for about $330~$370 or so... Idealsound carries them too.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
What I was trying to suggest is that either your brain will get used to them and how they present bass and decide to perform the necessary software processing to make them work for you or it won't.
It might have been possible if ER6 were my only headphones, but it's gonna be really hard if not impossible hearing HD600 every day.



Strangely enough that was exactly the headphones I had when I first tried out the Etymotics though I had the 4s. If I remember correctly, I was listening a lot to the Etys and the HD-600s fell by the wayside for a while. Somewhere along the line it clicked in and the Etys worked for me, but I could understand what you mean and appreciate the difficulty you mention.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
Thanks for the info but $500 imho is too much. I think it would be much wiser to spend them on Grado125 and CD3000 (wanted to try them for some time). Well, maybe when I'm dirt-rich I'll buy e5...



You can find E5s for far less than $500. iDealSound has them for somewhere around $375, and you can still find them for less (but iDealSound can match prices, so it might be the place to look last). If you're willing to buy them used (I wouldn't be, personally- sort of icky), you can find them for a very nice price.

EDIT: Lindrone beat me to it by 2 minutes.
 
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