Etymotic & Westone - Discussion & Impressions (index in 1st post)
Mar 14, 2021 at 10:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 161
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I have recently obtained 3 Etymotic IEMs: ER3SE, ER3XR and ER4SR. I was surprised to see there is so little discussion on Etymotic and its products here, so this is my attempt to change that!

This is my vision of the purpose for this thread:
  • Discuss Etymotic current and upcoming products
  • Post impressions of Etymotic products
  • New product launches - info, tours, impressions, review links, etc.
  • Share sales / promotions / discounts
  • Serve as an index (linking to relevant resources)

Why Etymotic?
Seems to me that in almost every industry, there are a couple of unsung heroes. The ones that are the opposite of "all bark, no bite". These are the ones that spend all their efforts in doing and not enough in telling the world about it. Etymotic (pronounced "et-im-oh-tik", which means "true to the ear") - is one of those companies!

Etymotic's roots are very different from your typical headphones or In-Ear Monitors (IEM) company. The company was founded in 1983 with the mission "to design products that accurately assess hearing, improve the lives of those with hearing loss, protect hearing, and enhance the listening experience of musicians and music lovers everywhere." (quote from Etymotic's website)
Etymotic is an engineering-driven company that introduced the first noise-isolating high-fidelity IEM design to use balanced armature (BA) drivers in 1991. Their high-accuracy models (ER4SR and ER4XR) feature channel matching within 1dB across frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. I guess that is what you'd expect from an engineering driven company coming from hearing aids design background...

I have spent numerous hours in the last 2 weeks auditioning the ER3SE, ER3XR and ER4SR while taking notes and writing up my impressions. I will post my impressions in the coming days.

Etymotic ER4SR, ER3SE, ER3XR.jpg

Announcements and news: (Updated on Oct. 5, 2021)
Impressions written by me: (Updated on Dec. 24, 2021)
Index of related info and reviews / impressions by others: (Updated on Sep. 15, 2021)
Deals & Promotions: (active as of Sep. 15, 2021)
 
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Mar 15, 2021 at 11:32 AM Post #3 of 161
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Mar 15, 2021 at 2:13 PM Post #4 of 161

Bhelpoori

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Mar 15, 2021 at 2:22 PM Post #5 of 161

lesale08

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I have currently ordered the 2XR and waiting for it to arrive by end of this month, and the only missing on my ety(newer batch) collection would be the er3se plus the upcoming evo. I will add thoughts when time permits.
 
Mar 15, 2021 at 2:40 PM Post #6 of 161

InvisibleInk

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I have recently obtained 3 Etymotic IEMs: ER3SE, ER3XR and ER4SR. I was surprised to see there is so little discussion on Etymotic and its products here, so this is my attempt to change that!

This is my vision of the purpose for this thread:
* Discuss Etymotic current and upcoming products
* Post impressions of Etymotic products
* New product launches - info, tours, impressions, review links, etc.
* Share sales / promotions / discounts
* Serve as an index (linking to relevant resources)

Why Etymotic?
Seems to me that in almost every industry, there are a couple of unsung heroes. The ones that are the opposite of "all bark, no bite". These are the ones that spend all their efforts in doing and not enough in telling the world about it. Etymotic (pronounced "et-im-oh-tik", which means "true to the ear") - is one of those companies!

Etymotic's roots are very different from your typical headphones or In-Ear Monitors (IEM) company. The company was founded in 1983 with the mission "to design products that accurately assess hearing, improve the lives of those with hearing loss, protect hearing, and enhance the listening experience of musicians and music lovers everywhere." (quote from Etymotic's website)
Etymotic is an engineering-driven company that introduced the first noise-isolating high-fidelity IEM design to use balanced armature (BA) drivers in 1991. Their high-accuracy models (ER4SR and ER4XR) feature channel matching within 1dB across frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. I guess that is what you'd expect from an engineering driven company coming from hearing aids design background...

I have spent numerous hours in the last 2 weeks auditioning the ER3SE, ER3XR and ER4SR while taking notes and writing up my impressions. I will post my impressions in the coming days.

Etymotic ER4SR, ER3SE, ER3XR.jpg

Index: (Updated on Mar. 15, 2021)
* Etymotic website: https://www.etymotic.com/
* ER3SE and ER3XR impressions and comparison (work in progress)
* ER4SR impressions and comparison to ER3SE (work in progress)
* ER4 thread from 2011 (active discussion still ongoing)

Thanks for this. For my part, I'm a confirmed Etyhead. I had the ER4S, and after it died I obtained the ER2SE and XR, the ER3XR, and recently, the ER4SR. Love them all with foamies instead of flanges.
 
Mar 15, 2021 at 3:39 PM Post #7 of 161
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Love them all with foamies instead of flanges.
Gotta try those, too.
So far, only used the pre-installed 3-flange tips and they work great for me, which is quite an achievement... I can never make IEMs stay in, but the Etymotic IEMs with the triple flange definitely stay put!!
 
Mar 15, 2021 at 11:07 PM Post #9 of 161

Jitu13

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I got my first ety (er4sr) this month. I can see why many can have problem with triple flange, but for me it's worth the effort for the immense detail offered by this iem. I am rediscovering the songs anew!! For the current going rate of $129, they are a steal.

*Also I think it's good idea to have an ety impression thread just like some other brand. Hopefully this thread will be picked up by the other etyheads.
 
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Mar 15, 2021 at 11:46 PM Post #10 of 161

OspreyAndy

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The reasons you see little discussions on Etys are simple, they have been around for 30 years now this year. IEM getting more and more trendy/fancy with price point from utter cheap to insanely expensive, but Ety remained steadfast with 1 BA drivers (soon to to be changed with EVO).

I have been an Ety user since 2006 and my current ER4SR is the second unit after my first ER4P/S. Honestly this is the ONLY IEM that makes me refuse to pull it out of my ears. I need music in my daily life and my ER4SR never fail to indulge me with sonic bliss that I crave.

I use my ER4SR practically for everything from the utterly Lo-Fi Burzum Black Metal tracks that sounded like they were recorded in a toilet (Toilet-Fi) to Master renders (MQA) of Diana Krall and Suzanne Vega, ER4SR does it all.

About the only other cans that I like with equal passion would be the STAX Electrostatic sound - which if compared they are like apple to apple in term of speed, resolution, imaging and timbre (STAX being open and Ety being closed side of it)

My ER4SR.jpg



Ah yes, ER4SR/XR are not without flaws. They are brutally honest and dependent on what source you feed them. Trash in trash out, simple. But by this reckoning they also scale exceedingly well with source quality. For my $300 ER4SR, I invested over $1500 worth of source to make sure it will perform at full spectrum. I plug my ER4SR directly to my Xiaomi phone, makes me want to jump off the building for the tiny sound it makes, lol
 
Mar 15, 2021 at 11:54 PM Post #11 of 161

Jitu13

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The reasons you see little discussions on Etys are simple, they have been around for 30 years now this year. IEM getting more and more trendy/fancy with price point from utter cheap to insanely expensive, but Ety remained steadfast with 1 BA drivers (soon to to be changed with EVO).

I have been an Ety user since 2006 and my current ER4SR is the second unit after my first ER4P/S. Honestly this is the ONLY IEM that makes me refuse to pull it out of my ears. I need music in my daily life and my ER4SR never fail to indulge me with sonic bliss that I crave.

I use my ER4SR practically for everything from the utterly Lo-Fi Burzum Black Metal tracks that sounded like they were recorded in a toilet (Toilet-Fi) to Master renders (MQA) of Diana Krall and Suzanne Vega, ER4SR does it all.

About the only other cans that I like with equal passion would be the STAX Electrostatic sound - which if compared they are like apple to apple in term of speed, resolution, imaging and timbre (STAX being open and Ety being closed side of it)




Ah yes, ER4SR/XR are not without flaws. They are brutally honest and dependent on what source you feed them. Trash in trash out, simple. But by this reckoning they also scale exceedingly well with source quality. For my $300 ER4SR, I invested over $1500 worth of source to make sure it will perform at full spectrum. I plug my ER4SR directly to my Xiaomi phone, makes me want to jump off the building for the tiny sound it makes, lol
Now that you mention it, anyone rec any cheap portable amp-dac combo for er4sr? I don't want the source to add any coloration if possible. TIA.

Also anyone uses tempotec sonata HD Pro with er4sr as a portable option? Heard lots of good thing about them.
 
Mar 16, 2021 at 12:04 AM Post #12 of 161

OspreyAndy

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Now that you mention it, anyone rec any cheap portable amp-dac combo for er4sr? I don't want the source to add any coloration if possible. TIA.

Also anyone uses tempotec sonata HD Pro with er4sr as a portable option? Heard lots of good thing about them.
It depends on your budget. On the most affordable scale in Single Ended mode you can look for Topping's NX1s as pure amp solution. I use it as well and happy with the output performance. For DAC amp combo, I recommend Cayin N3 Pro as it offers Triode Tube options alongside dual DAC performance of AK4493EQ in balanced mode which I highly recommend - they synergize darned well with ER4SR....in fact I am listening to them while writing this while my primary rig the Cayin N6ii E02 sitting beside me charging. Yes my primary driver for my ER4SR would be the N6ii with dual ES9038Q2M in pure balanced mode, thus giving me desktop level fidelity and timbre.

On the other hand, best to avoid Sabre type of DACs as they have the tendency to add aggression to the Ety sound.....not a very fun thing to do with Etys

PS: If you haven't done so, listen to Etys in full balanced mode. I refuse to listen in single ended mode anymore unless forced to....haha
 
Mar 16, 2021 at 12:21 AM Post #13 of 161

Jitu13

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It depends on your budget. On the most affordable scale in Single Ended mode you can look for Topping's NX1s as pure amp solution. I use it as well and happy with the output performance. For DAC amp combo, I recommend Cayin N3 Pro as it offers Triode Tube options alongside dual DAC performance of AK4493EQ in balanced mode which I highly recommend - they synergize darned well with ER4SR....in fact I am listening to them while writing this while my primary rig the Cayin N6ii E02 sitting beside me charging. Yes my primary driver for my ER4SR would be the N6ii with dual ES9038Q2M in pure balanced mode, thus giving me desktop level fidelity and timbre.

On the other hand, best to avoid Sabre type of DACs as they have the tendency to add aggression to the Ety sound.....not a very fun thing to do with Etys

PS: If you haven't done so, listen to Etys in full balanced mode. I refuse to listen in single ended mode anymore unless forced to....haha
Never had any source or amp. I listen from my macbook, and android phone. Not been to this rabbit hole for long! 😅😅 It would be good if I can get some entry level suggestion, wouldn't want to spend too much. Around $50 would be the sweet spot, can stretch to $100.

*Edit: I do find my MacBook to retrieve more details, and it also has more dynamic range. I guess it has a lot better source than my phone (Samsung s10e).
 
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Mar 16, 2021 at 12:44 AM Post #14 of 161
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*Also I think it's good idea to have an ety impression thread just like some other brand. Hopefully this thread will be picked up by the other etyheads.
Yup. That is the reason I started this thread :)

What cable is that? Linsoul? (if so - which one?)
Also, do you use the cable straight down, or around the ear? Seems like vast majority of MMCX cables are intended for connecting to the side (not back) of the IEM, so not sure how that would work with the Etymotic IEMs...
 
Mar 16, 2021 at 12:54 AM Post #15 of 161

OspreyAndy

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Never had any source or amp. I listen from my macbook, and android phone. Not been to this rabbit hole for long! 😅😅 It would be good if I can get some entry level suggestion, wouldn't want to spend too much. Around $50 would be the sweet spot, can stretch to $100.

*Edit: I do find my MacBook to retrieve more details, and it also has more dynamic range. I guess it has a lot better source than my phone (Samsung s10e).
Then you can definitely try Topping NX1s, it's below $50 amp. And also the Sonata HD can be used both on your Macbook and Phone, I have yet to hear anyone complain about Sonata HD, they really do sound good

What cable is that? Linsoul? (if so - which one?)
Also, do you use the cable straight down, or around the ear? Seems like vast majority of MMCX cables are intended for connecting to the side (not back) of the IEM, so not sure how that would work with the Etymotic IEMs...
Mine is Tripowin C8 Silver/Copper coil 8 core cable with balanced 4.4mm plug. I use them straight down and with the straight MMCX barrel as you see in the pic, when worn the Ety barrels are almost not visible. Works for me and comfy too.
 

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