I own Shure E3... would like to upgrade. Suggestions?
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gorman

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Yes, the Head-Fi virus has struck me as well... now, for this year Electronic Entertainment Expo I will be in Los Angeles in May, and I wish to take advantage of that to use IdealSound overnight shipping and get me a pair of new canalphones straight to my hotel room.

Now... I'm torn between Etys ER-4P (with cable converter to 4S) and Shure E5c. Price is really not a concern, I will be anyway taking advantage of Euro favourable conversion rate.

My main question is this: do E5 render music with increased detail as well as increased bass?

Or, by switching from E3 I would be just getting more of the same, with extra quality on bass?

If somebody can confirm that E5 add detail as well as bass, when compared to E3... well, maybe I could go for E5. Otherwise, I'm not so sure, as ER-4P extra detail quite fascinates me.

I plan on listening with foam tips if that might help helping me with my decision.

I tend to listen to quite diverse music... examples:

Queen, Dead Can Dance, Genesis, Jeff Buckley, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Prodigy, Jamiroquai, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Pulp, 80s pop (mainly for nostalgic reasons...
).

Source will be Rio Karma, unamped. As Karma has got a fully parametric equalizer, that could maybe solve Etys bass deficiencies (which I read about).

Thanks to anybody that will help me decide.
 
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lindrone

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E5c does add more detail to the E3c... but most of that detail has as much to do with the sound balance rather than a dramatic increase in the detail of the sound itself. E5c's flatter response helps even out the tonal balance in different sound ranges, so instead of E3c's forward mids and mid-bass, E5c's mids and mid-bass is more complimentary to the rest of the sound.

Overall, the flatter sound balance gives you a sense of getting more details, because the veiled sound behind other pronounced presentation in the E3c is no longer veiled. It doesn't articulate the way that ER-4's do... so even though there is a slight increase in detail, it isn't dramatic.

However, the increase in bass quality and tonality is incredible.. and that in itself is something to be amazed at. It's really not justifiable to say that "E5c is E3c with more bass".. it is qualitatively a much larger improvement than just the volume. Its high range extension is greater than the E3c as well... although may not seem like it because the increased bass response balances it out.

I would suggest getting whichever earphone is harder to get from where you're at first... especially because of the currency conversion. I don't think you will be saving as much money getting a ER-4 as opposed to E5c. If then the detail and clarity is still not what you're looking for.. you can sell the E5c and get the ER-4.
 
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iamdone

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I haven't heard the E3 but the ER-4P had much better detail than the E5. The ER-4S (or P with S converter) has even more. The high are completely lacking on the E5 with an ipod.

Some like the E5 better than the ER-4 (I obvisiouly don't) but I don't think anyone can tell you the the shures have more detail than the etys.

Also, if price is really of no concern, you can check out lindrone or welly wu reviews of the very high end canalphones.
 
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gorman

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Thanks to both of you... custom earmolds are currently out of my budget *and* they would not really be doable in the week or so I will be spending in LA...
 
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gorman

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Lindrone, I know you are no fan of EQ but... do you think Etys bass can get anywhere near E5 quality with proper equalization? Karma's equalizer is pretty sophisticated...

BTW, has anybody ever heard Wetstone canalphones? http://www.westone.com/music/elite.html
 
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iamdone

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I also noticed I listen to a lot of the same music and except for Metallica, it should all sound great with the etys. Things like Metallica, Tool, Soundgarden, etc. are still enjoyable with the etys but you'll really miss the bass impact these bands needs. The etys are very quick so you'll probably hear things you never heard with these bands are well.

You should also think about using lossless files if you can. I actually think my 80's music improved the most going with lossless. This could be that they are less dynamic than new music and mp3s made them even flatter.

Since you have a real eq, you might be able to adjust the treble on the shures to get them to sound right if the bass impact is more important to you.
 
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lindrone

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I've never heard Ety's bass, with any sort of bass boost or EQ approaching anywhere near the impact of the E5c's. Some people might find them acceptible with bass boost and such, but I personally don't feel that they're the same.

I didn't mind the way that E5c presented the highs either.. although I knew they were a bit recessed and lacking, they are also very non-fatiguing and never bothered me. I don't like treble unless it's very well done.

However, Bangraman did mention that he was able to EQ the Ety's to a point where it sounds like the E5c's presentation. However, he was also talking a huge, dedicated EQ unit. I don't think there's any portable with adjustment EQ (even ones as good as Rio Karma's) that can do the adjustment justice without distortion to get that type of bass out of the Ety's.

Personally, I'm just against EQ'ing of any sort.. as I'm against "modding" headphones of any sort
 
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gorman

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In the meantime I was reading the reviews that Idealsound links for Etys and... you know, it's quite strange, as many of those actualy say Etys have *great* bass. Now I'm really clueless...
 
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lindrone

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I still think it's an overstatement to say Ety has a 'great' bass. It has a bass that's very, very competent for a single driver canalphone. It has good accuracy and depth. However, I've never once felt that the physical "impact" of the bass is enough. I'm not even talking basshead-like bass. Just bass that rivals any full size headphone within the same price range. That, it truly doesn't perform unless you've spent a lot of cash on an amp that can do a great bass boost to it.. or some really good EQ that can do it.

E5c has a full-size headphone like bass right out of the box. Nevertheless it also has resolution that rivals most full-size headphone as well. Of course, it won't compete against CD3000 or HD650, however you do pay a premium for miniaturization, and it should be understandable that a canalphone of similar sound quality to full size headphones should cost significantly more.

E5c's competitions are full size headphones... Ety has been so revered that people got used to all its faults and cover up for it by saying things like, "The bass is great, it's not bloated." Well, is there anything bloated in the bass of HD650 or CD3000? E5c simply gives you that same type of bass straight out of the box... yet people tend to compare it to Ety's and claim that it has a "bloated and muddy" bass.

E5c also has resolution that rivals many full size headphones.. but once again, in a side-by-side comparison that Ety do offer more resolution. It has to, because that is the merit of the Ety's... It offers something that's hard to find in full size headphones. E5c's, on the other hand, is a full-size headphone replacement that fits inside your ear.


Anyway.. about Westone.. I was never tempted to try one out. I think a long time ago, they used to manufacture canalphones for Shure. Then there was a shift for Shure to manufacture their own canalphones.. couple of intellectual property lawsuit... so on.. so forth. Eventually they settled. So I never really thought about even trying the Westone's... although I think they do have the cheapest single-driver custom molded canalphone.
 
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The etys bass is all there and very detailed as well but it doesn't have the same impact that my hd650s have. You can't feel the music but you can hear it. So when I hear drums with the hd650s, it actually sounds like someone is hitting the drums live. With the etys, you still hear all the sounds but it's mostly in you head and doesn't quite sound the way it would in person.

The shures have the impact but it didn't go as deep and wasn't as accurate is the hd650s. I thought of it as punchy. I personally thought it was a little too much for a canalphone. Too much pressure or something but I guess it's something you can get used to.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by gorman
Now... I'm torn between Etys ER-4P (with cable converter to 4S) and Shure E5c. Price is really not a concern, I will be anyway taking advantage of Euro favourable conversion rate.


If price is no concern -- get both. Truly, I'm serious! I think both phones have their own strengths and weaknesses and it's really what you value that will decide which is better for you. If you can afford not to decide -- all the better.

The E5's are most definitely superior to the E3's. Increased detail (though not huge, more of a lifting of the veil) and bass to drool over. The E5's are really fun. If you find yourself enjoying the E3's, you'll find yourself enjoying the E5's that much more.

The detail and clarity of the Etys cannot be beat and, frankly, even the E5's don't come close. Lindrone considers the sound artificial; I don't. Those of us that use and love the Etys are astonished over and over again listening to music we thought we knew only to find a new little hidden treasure.

That said, though the bass is there and tight, it just doesn't cut it for all songs. Some people get used to it; I have not. I find myself cranking it up when I have no need to trying to find that elusive head-banging quality. I'm convinced the second driver is a necessity for really good bass in a canal phone.

I own the ER-4P/S and will never let go of these. Ever. I consider the E5's a perfect complement for when I just want to play.... Like I said, get both!
 
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I had both and was able to afford both of them but still chose to return the E5. Even though I could afford it, I couldn't see a reason to keep a $400 headphone I really didn't like that much.

I save my bass heavy stuff for the hd650s when I'm home. I also run the etys through a PPA/diamond buffer amp at work. Even though the PPA has a bass boost, I don't use it too much except for certain bass light albums. The bass boost just brings the lower bass higher and really doesn't give it more impact. It sounds more accurate with it off.
 
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wildeone

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gorman,

Actually, if you don't have to buy it immediately, I could let you have a listen to my Etys when you get to L.A.... I've got the newer 4P's with the S converter cable. That way you could decide for yourself if the Ety sound is for you. PM or email me if you're interested.
 
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gorman

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wildeone, that's a very generous offer!

The only problem is that show schedules are pretty... random, so to say. It would be pretty impossible for me to set up a meeting with you to do this. But I enormously appreciate your offer. Thank you!

Let's say I'm satisfied with E3's bass. Would I be downgrading on that regard with Etys? Because if Etys bass is similar to E3s, I might opt for Etys for the added detail.

Another dumb question: are Etys worn behind the ears as Shure? I find that very handy.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by gorman
Let's say I'm satisfied with E3's bass. Would I be downgrading on that regard with Etys? Because if Etys bass is similar to E3s, I might opt for Etys for the added detail.

Another dumb question: are Etys worn behind the ears as Shure? I find that very handy.


ER-4's bass has less impact than E3's... you get better "notes", but you lose almost all the visceral impact.

Ety's aren't designed to be worn over the ear... so you can modify them and force them into it (by twisting the wires around your ears), but by no means were they designed to do that. So the over-the-ear mod is really a retro fit, and it looks horrible.
 
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