Etymotic EVO: The Full Story
Dec 15, 2021 at 1:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3
Jun 3, 2021
Fort Worth, TX
Chapter 1: Moving from single-driver to multi-driver

Etymotic has been known for decades as the company that designs great sounding, deep insertion,
bullet shaped, single BA IEMs. That is, until the EVO was introduced in May 2021. Why change? Simply
put, multi-drivers were not part of the Etymotic ethos. The approach was fundamentally one of fidelity
to a very specific target curve and you can do that well with a single driver. Enthusiastic engineers have
pushed and lobbied internally to try different approaches, until management finally gave the green light
to introduce a multi-driver IEM product. “While I’m proud of every single-driver earphone I’ve worked
on, it was fun to work on something a little different, particularly a project that I believe in” – the words
of Etymotic’s Dave Friesema.

Chapter 2: What came first, the new shell or the extra drivers?

The “classic” Etymotic shell style, that has been used for years with the single driver products, was not
even considered for the EVO. First, multiple drivers wouldn’t fit in the existing shell size. Second, part of
the product definition was to route the cable over the ear. This was an intentional departure from
previous designs. The goal of the EVO was to offer something that is fundamentally an Etymotic product
but still different enough to appeal to a new audience. The final shell form factor was optimized to fit
the multi-driver assembly as well as the acoustic design.

Chapter 3: The way of the multi-driver

For the EVO, the two-way design was chosen because the primary goal was to address what Etymotic
fans had requested for years: provide an Etymotic response with more sub-bass. The approach for EVO
was to try to keep it as simple as possible; unobtrusive crossover and bass boost with a low corner
frequency. As far as why dual bass drivers vs a single bass driver? During development, the team found a
pair of bass drivers that they liked, that integrated well with the midrange/treble driver. It’s possible
that a different single driver would’ve worked, but everyone in the room liked this combination of low
frequency extension and headroom.

Chapter 4: Etymotic & Westone Audio, the sister companies

Many have asked if the multi-driver design was influenced by the acquisition of Westone Audio who are
well known for their multi-BA designs. The EVO project was well underway, and the acoustic design had
already been completed at the time of the Westone Audio acquisition, so that wasn’t really a factor.
Others ask if future products be designed separately by Etymotic and Westone Audio engineering
teams, or if there is a close collaboration between the teams? For upcoming Etymotic and Westone
Audio products, certainly there will be some joint effort, but there is no plan to converge the design
goals. Etymotic and Westone Audio have long held different approaches, and we believe fans of either
brand are NOT necessarily looking for an amalgamation of the two. There will be growth and change,
but the plan is for both brands to continue to have their own voice.


Stay tuned for exciting new products coming in 2022 under both Etymotic and Westone Audio brands.
We believe fans of both companies are going to be happy.

Just in time for the holidays shopping, Etymotic EVO is on sale for $399.99 at
Etymotic Stay updated on Etymotic at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
Dec 15, 2021 at 12:28 PM Post #2 of 3
Thanks for the great read, all! Super excited to get my EVO in sometime this month and look forward to sharing my feedback.

Users who are viewing this thread