Etymotic ER 4's and comfort
post-163540
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 58

dandrewk

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
10
Reaction score
10
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Posts
10
Likes
10
Hello all, newbie ETY user here.

Just got the ER-4P's. The sound, of course, is remarkable. I have even gotten used to the "stick in the ear"; after finding that the silicon tips would not give my ears a good seal, the foam seems to be a bit better.

A few questions about "comfort" -

1. I said I have gotten "used" to the "stick in the ear", but it still causes some discomfort - mainly that "itchy" feeling. Would I be correct in saying that after some usage, my ears will toughen up a bit and I will barely know the Ety's are there?

2. Would rubbing a little vasoline on the foams ease the discomfort a bit?

3. About air travel - The Ety's need a good seal, which makes me wonder about the shifting air pressure that occurs during air travel. Is this a problem with others who wear the Ety's?

How about when you have a cold? I am thinking the air seal might want to make your ears explode.

Apologies if this has been covered before. I did a forum search, and never did see any posts covering the above.

Thanks for any help!

Dave
 
     Share This Post       
post-163546
Post #2 of 58

radrd

Found that torchiere lamps induce nicotine addiction in moths.
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
11
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Posts
3,180
Likes
11
Quote:

after finding that the silicon tips would not give my ears a good seal, the foam seems to be a bit better.


If I were you, I would stick with the rubbers. From what I have read, if you put them in properly they provide a better seal and as a result better sound than the foamies. Of course, everyone's ears are different, so YMMV.

I only tried the foamies for about 30 minutes when I first got my ER4P. They were uncomfortable and lessened the bass IIRC, so I went back to the rubbers. Haven't looked back since.

Quote:

Would I be correct in saying that after some usage, my ears will toughen up a bit and I will barely know the Ety's are there?


Yup. I first got mine right at the beginning of finals week. I ended up wearing them for about 8 hours every day for the entire week. I really needed the isolation.
My ears adjusted very quickly, though I guess it takes longer for some people though.

Quote:

Would rubbing a little vasoline on the foams ease the discomfort a bit


I'm not sure if that is a good idea. Someone on this forum did that (with the rubbers IIRC)and got some in the filter. Needless to say he had to replace the filter.

Quote:

About air travel - The Ety's need a good seal, which makes me wonder about the shifting air pressure that occurs during air travel.


It wasn't when I flew down to California during Christmas break. You can still "pop" your ears with Etys in just like you would when they are out, so it's no big deal. When I say pop, I mean plug my mouth and nose and blow, not sure what the proper terminology is.
Usually I do that every time after I put them in to equalize the pressure.

Quote:

How about when you have a cold? I am thinking the air seal might want to make your ears explode.


I had a couple colds this year, but IIRC the Etys didn't cause any problems, though I never really had any bad sinus stuff.

If I were you I would give the rubbers a chance; if nothing else, you won't have to replace them nearly as often as the foamies.
 
     Share This Post       
post-163559
Post #3 of 58

chych

The butter knife's second victim.
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
1,985
Reaction score
13
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Posts
1,985
Likes
13
I would switch to the silicon tips, after a few weeks they get softer and less irratating (and your ears get used ot them). The foamies do not last very long. I usually put a little bit of water in my ear before putting the etymotic in.
 
     Share This Post       
post-163629
Post #4 of 58

Superbaldguy

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
1,190
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Posts
1,190
Likes
10
It took a couple of weeks to get used to the silicon tips, and my ears seem to have adjusted, with less irritation and 'softening' as you mention. They don't have to be replaced nearly as often as the foamies. Never tried out the foamies, as I'm quite happy with the sound I get from the silicone tips.

For the record, I do have noticable yellowing from earwax on my tips. Doesn't affect the lifespan but it looks a bit disgusting.


Long live the Etys!
 
     Share This Post       
post-163645
Post #5 of 58

grinch

Cognac....icky.Scotch....icky.Vodka....
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
3,077
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
3,077
Likes
11
to combat yellowing of my ety rubber buds, i clean them with alcohol regularly and they seem to be staying quite white. i dunno if anybody else does this, but i feel they get plenty of wax on them and i like cleaning them regularly.
 
     Share This Post       
post-163682
Post #6 of 58

Wes

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
186
Reaction score
10
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Posts
186
Likes
10
dandrewk,

I can confirm from my experience too all that has been said here.

I, too, have used only the silicon plugs because I so quickly accomodated to them. After a year of using them a few hours a week, I'm still on the first set. At the start, they may make your ear fell just a bit distressed, as if bruised, but that sensation goes away quickly once you take them out--AND I stopped having that sensation at all after a little regular use. In another post, I likened the process to get used to wearing shoes after spending all summer in sandals.

So, give the silicons a bit more of a chance, if only because they will cost less over time.

I have never experienced any discomfort from head colds or air travel that I could attribute to the Etys.

Enjoy them!
 
     Share This Post       
post-163685
Post #7 of 58

HighwayStar

Won't excrete urine on your holiday (unless you do so to his first).
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Posts
2,168
Likes
11
I also feel more comfortable with the silicone tips, though as stated it may take a little time. Haven't yet flown with them, but those who have praise the isolation.

I haven't used alcohol to clean the tips but I've seen it recommended. I pop'em off when I get home and just use a little dish detergent to wash'em. I've had'em about a month and a half and they're still a bright white. I tried the foamies once, couldn't clean'em, out they went...
 
     Share This Post       
post-163829
Post #8 of 58

dandrewk

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
10
Reaction score
10
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Posts
10
Likes
10
Ahh, this is what I love about this forum. Lots of friendly, helpful advice from knowledgable people.

But... no flame wars? C'mon!
(just kidding)

One problem about the ER's though... they spoil you for life! Prior to this, I thought my Grados were the best. But after wearing the Ety's, they sound flat and boring.

One other question - If the silicon tips soften over time, would it help speed this process by soaking them in baby oil (rinsing them clean before using again)?
 
     Share This Post       
post-163851
Post #9 of 58

Zanth

SHAman who knew of Head-Fi ten years prior to its existence
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
37
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Posts
9,570
Likes
37
I can't really say if baby oil will do the trick or not. I will say this, it only took me a week to get them soft. Maybe I used them a whole lot that week (I did, 8+ hours a day) but still, it should not take too too long. Soaking them in warm or hot water will give a similar effect and this may work well for you instead of trying oil which may have an adverse effect on the tips.

BTW, good choice on the new phones. I doubt you will really ever want to upgrade after these
 
     Share This Post       
post-163901
Post #10 of 58

HighwayStar

Won't excrete urine on your holiday (unless you do so to his first).
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Posts
2,168
Likes
11
Wesson oil, 350 degrees, three minutes or until crispy


Sorry, couldn't resist...

Week, week and a half, your Ety's will be a part of you...

I originally thought, that's a lotta bucks, and they're gonna be so high maintenance, blah, blah, blah. Now I'd rather fight than switch


Zanth, great avatar !
 
     Share This Post       
post-163915
Post #11 of 58

Superbaldguy

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
1,190
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Posts
1,190
Likes
10
It seems it takes one to two weeks to soften the silicone tips enough to make them comfortable and burn in the drivers; it all seems to come together, doesn't it? I can't seem to bring myself to use my other headphones, now, as everything else seems disappointing.

My D22 Eggos are great for office use, since this setting is a lot of on/off with the cans.The Eggos do have a nice short-cord for a remote; I wish that the ER-4P's had a similar set-up, but, with the way the cord is bundled around the resistor thingie, it's sort of like a short-cord set-up. The shirt clip is a MUST.

BTW, washing the tips with dish water cleans them very nicely.
 
     Share This Post       
post-163916
Post #12 of 58

Zanth

SHAman who knew of Head-Fi ten years prior to its existence
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
9,570
Reaction score
37
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Posts
9,570
Likes
37
Thanks HighwayStar, that is me circa 1978, not sure what those cans are but I know that from an early age I was meant for headphone listening
 
     Share This Post       
post-163918
Post #13 of 58

HighwayStar

Won't excrete urine on your holiday (unless you do so to his first).
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Posts
2,168
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by Superbaldguy

My D22 Eggos are great for office use, since this setting is a lot of on/off with the cans.The Eggos do have a nice short-cord for a remote; I wish that the ER-4P's had a similar set-up, but, with the way the cord is bundled around the resistor thingie, it's sort of like a short-cord set-up. The shirt clip is a MUST.

BTW, washing the tips with dish water cleans them very nicely.


Same here, the Ety's wouldn't cut it for me at work. (I'd end up yanking out my eardrums...) I've got Grado 60's & a Creek coming courtesy of another member that will be my desktop rig mated to a pcdp. I hope the Ety's haven't jaded me too much
 
     Share This Post       
post-163920
Post #14 of 58

HighwayStar

Won't excrete urine on your holiday (unless you do so to his first).
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Posts
2,168
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by Zanth
Thanks HighwayStar, that is me circa 1978, not sure what those cans are but I know that from a high age I was meant for headphone listening


That's you ? That's fantastic ! Oh man, that's too much. "Born to wear cans !" That's the best !

You da man/baby/toddler, oh you know what I mean


It's one for the books, you got my vote for best avatar on any headphone related board ! Enjoy !
 
     Share This Post       
Top