Help w/ replacing Etymotic 6i
Feb 11, 2007 at 10:12 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

tellingthm

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Hey all, I'm new here. I'm not an audiophile so bear with me, but I need some feedback from those of you who know what you're talking about.
I've been using Etymotic 6i headphones for the last couple years, but they recently broke (my fault, but that's another story). So I need to replace em.
My budget isn't too big; I can stretch it to $150ish or a little beyond, but I'm a [public!] college student, so I don't object to saving money.
The Ety 6i triple-flanges were uncomfortable in my ears and also prevented me from getting a good seal. So I used the foams, which were extremely comfortable. They allowed for a great seal, and provided what I think was a decent level of bass. They were plenty stable, too.
I'll be using these with an iPod, no amp. I need something that blocks out as much noise from public transit (subway, bus) and the city as possible. They also need to stay secure while walking around- I won't be running or jumping up'n'down with these, but I do a lot of walking around town (live in San Francisco, FWIW).
I've been doing tons of research, and I think I've narrowed it down to Ultimate Ears super.fi 5's, UE s.f 3' s, Westone UM1's, or Shure E3's; or I could just get another pair of Ety 6i's. I recently tried some Sony MDR-EX 81's (I think that's the model- the one's that loop over the ears) and they were absolutely terrible. The sound was sorta decent, but it was extremely difficult for me to get a secure enough fit- otherwise they sounded VERY tinny and they provided no isolation whatsoever.
I really wouldn't call myself an audiophile, but then again the Ety's are the best phones I've ever used. Are UM1's or UE s.f 3's comparable to the Ety's? Are the s.f 5's THAT much better?
Any advice? Sorry if this came off as way too long but I wanted to be as descriptive as possible so as to get the best feedback. Thanks all.
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 11:20 AM Post #2 of 16

LaBreaHead

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If you don't consider the Etys again (for detail -- and I like the way they fit with Ety foams or especially Comply short foams ... I agree about the triple flanges), you could go for comfort and a change of pace with a different sound signature (less detail) with the Westones (they should stay secure with the cords going up and around the ears).

From my experience with the Shure E3's, which I liked with players with better EQ capability than iPods, those phones might be disappointing for you, considering what you're coming from and the player you'll be using.

If you decide you don't need much isolation, I can recommend the V-Moda Vibes (a friend got hers at a retail store in S.F., if you don't want to order them online). Very pleasing sound for canal phones, but they're not isolators.

And don't be afraid to get another pair of Etys -- they're a good value, and they're a known quantity for you and your iPod.
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM Post #4 of 16

BushGuy

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The weakness in your pre-breakage setup was being ampless - meaning you had to use the poor-sounding iPod headphone out..........that being said - your choice of ER-6i with Comply foamies remains an excellent choice. Your best alternative for continuing with ampless operation would be the V-Moda Vibes (if your surrounding noises don't demand the isolation provided your dead Ety's). The Vibes come with either of two cables - the better cable IMO comes on the FlashBlack Chrome, and Red Roxx versions. The offset to being otherwise less isolating is that you now won't hear yourself walking, or any wind noises. .........another benefit is the ability to simply pop them in and out - none of the fuss involved with squishing the foamies to put them in and getting the right seating.
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 1:50 PM Post #5 of 16

radioactive28

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If you're only using them for entertainment on the move, and don't want to spend too much, I see nothing wrong with going back to the 6i, or going for the UM1.
And you managed to make your previous pair last a few years(!).
/respect
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 4:21 PM Post #7 of 16

suba3333

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I'm sort of in a similar situation. I also have the ER6i, they are getting a bit old now and I recently lost one of the flanges....so I started looking for a replacement pair ready for the day these bite the dust. I bought some Sennys CX300 (see my recent thread on possible purchase of fake), but I don't like them very much, there is hardly any sound isolation (which is also very important to me) and there is less bass than on the Etys....I might have some fit issues which I have not figured out yet as I cannot properly insert them with any of the provided sleeves, at the moment they just fit like an earbud. looking for something with a bit more oomph in the bass dept and a slightly warmer signature....or I just might buy the ER6i again, this time in black as I now own a black nano.
rs1smile.gif
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 4:46 PM Post #8 of 16

BushGuy

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For everyday use of Ety ER-6i I prefer to use Shure Softflex tips......to make it even a bit nicer I take a razorblade and cut off a tiny bit of the Softflex centerstalk so the tips ever so slightly overlaps the front edge of the er-6i = even more comfort..........otherwise use Comply foamies for trains and planes. I NEVER use biflanges or triflanges.
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 6:02 PM Post #9 of 16

ttnl

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Hi all, to those who have been using ER6i, I have a question. Since we have to change the filter every 1-2 months or less, do you guys think it is worth the money for the filter? I don't use this everyday and if I do, it won't be more than 2 hrs. The price for ER61 is only about 70-80 dollars and we have to spend around $50 more every year for filter. Also, is it very difficult to get a good seal and does it feel uncomfortable? I am rather comfortable with ear plug. Thanks for your inputs.
 
Feb 11, 2007 at 7:26 PM Post #10 of 16

tellingthm

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how do the 6i's compare to the UM1's? i see that the UM's are the most comfortable, but how does detail compare?
and yes, sound isolation is a must for me. i cannot stand sitting on the subway and having to listen to the conversations going on around me. with my ety's sealed in and the ipod at barely 1/2 volume, this wasn't an issue, but with the sony 81's i felt no isolation whatsoever.
 
Feb 12, 2007 at 1:11 AM Post #12 of 16

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ttnl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi all, to those who have been using ER6i, I have a question. Since we have to change the filter every 1-2 months or less, do you guys think it is worth the money for the filter? I don't use this everyday and if I do, it won't be more than 2 hrs. The price for ER61 is only about 70-80 dollars and we have to spend around $50 more every year for filter. Also, is it very difficult to get a good seal and does it feel uncomfortable? I am rather comfortable with ear plug. Thanks for your inputs.


I found I could go 8 to 9 months w/o changing the filters. I of course washed the tri-flanges regularly and my ears as well. Of course you could be one of those that produces a lot of ear wax.
 
Feb 12, 2007 at 1:17 AM Post #13 of 16

milkpowder

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Look no further than a pair of used E4c. Obvious increase in SQ over the ER6i not only in the bass department but also in the (surprise!) details too! The E4c have a richer, smoother sound and sound much more refined. The difference is for me, immediately recognisable but you might be missing the slightly accented highs of the ER6i.

If you want to stay in Team Ety, then the ER4P, which I found was an excellent IEM and a natural upgrade from the ER6i if you want to preserve the same sound signature. I upgraded to the ER4P from the ER6i but then sidestepped to a pair of E4c for a different but equally enjoyable sound.
 
Feb 12, 2007 at 1:56 AM Post #15 of 16

souladdikt

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Look no further than a pair of used E4c.


You should be able to find some new Shure E4's if you stretch your budget to 175 or so. I was quite happy with the move from the ER6i to the E4. They isolate well (though not quite was good as the ER6i) and are just as comfy with the foamies--less microphonics too when you loop them behind your ears.
 

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