IEM or Open for around $200?
Mar 2, 2006 at 2:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

dtremblay

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My pair of Ety 6is recently broke and my attempts to fix them didn't pan out. So now I'm in the market for a new pair of headphones. I am looking to spend about $200 though less is always good and more is okay I suppose if it's worth it (I'm not a huge audiophile). I mainly listen to music out of my iPod, though I do use my computer on occasion. I listen to a wide array of music but I'd say it's mostly rock, indie, electronic, and rap not so much jazz or classical. I was thinking about going one of two ways:

1. Spend a little more than $200 on Ety 4S/P. I really liked my 6is and need something portable. I've heard these things sound great (I know P is designed to work well with portables but I've heard that S may sound better anyway). Are the Ety 4S/P much better than the 6is? Are Shure's offering at this price range better? Also, how do the Etys compare to a nice pair of open cans for about this same price just based on sound quality.

2. Spend <$50 on a decent pair of buds/canalphones/something portable, and then spend a little less than $200 on a nice sounding pair of open phones. Maybe something from Grado. I'm a bit hesitant to do this because portability is a big issue for me.

What do you guys think? You know a lot more about this than I do.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 4:21 PM Post #2 of 19

PDream

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Maybe it is a better idea for you to buy a Shure product. They are certainly less breakable than the Ety's. I think that the E3 or E4 would really be enjoyable for you. A bit more bassy than the ER6i, but still a nice sound, or so they are reported. Their cables are in a whole different league though, they're made for artists on stage, so they're VERY durable.

Another option would be the Westone product, unfortunately, I know little of them. The UM1's are considered the best under 150, not sure how they stack up above it.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:04 PM Post #3 of 19

sniks7

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Get the Stax portable set-up. It'll blow your mind.

Of course you'll have to be ever so slightly flexible about what the word portable means..

Check out the appreciation thread that's running..
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:08 PM Post #4 of 19

jagorev

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I'd buy another Ety er-6i and an Alessandro MS1 or Sennheiser HD 555, depending on your sonic tastes. Open and IEM can't really be substitutes - you have to make up your mind whether you want both home and portable headphones, or just high-quality portable, or just one great headphone for home listening.

FWIW: Shures and super.fis seem to break far more frequently than Etys.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:11 PM Post #5 of 19

TooNice

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I prefer open. But if he mainly uses his player portably, then I actually think going IEM alone is better.

If isolation as opposed to portability phone isn't an issue though... Then there is always the option of going KSC-75 & something else for home use.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:13 PM Post #6 of 19

jjcha

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What generation iPod? If it's one of the newer ones (with video) or Nano, I really like the Shure E4c, and believe it to be the most synergistic IEM with iPod.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very impressed with the Ety ER4P (BTW, you should buy the ER4P and then get an adapter cable which allows you to use it like a ER4S when you want), and the Shure's aren't as good as them - just ergonomics and overall sound balance straight out of the iPod makes me lean towards the E4c.

On the other hand, I've been known for using the Grado SR-225 straight out of my iPod on the go. As for your decision between the two, that's something only you'll need to make.

Personally, if I had to just pick one, I'd probably just get the E4c for the iPod.

Best,

-Jason
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 9:15 PM Post #7 of 19

dtremblay

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I use my iPod (it's a 4g, click wheel, no color) for most of my listening so perhaps I should stick to portable. In that case, are Etymotic ER-4P or Shure E4 better? They seem to cost about the same and it seems like there's no consensus on which is better. Does anyone have experience with both or are particularly in love with either of them?
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 10:17 PM Post #8 of 19

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dtremblay
I use my iPod (it's a 4g, click wheel, no color) for most of my listening so perhaps I should stick to portable. In that case, are Etymotic ER-4P or Shure E4 better? They seem to cost about the same and it seems like there's no consensus on which is better. Does anyone have experience with both or are particularly in love with either of them?


If you like the er-6i, especially the detail and treble, you'd probably like the ER-4p more.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 10:48 PM Post #9 of 19

Jasper994

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While I really dig the Shure E4, for what you're listening to, and with your 4th Gen iPod, I'd probably go for the Super.Fi 5 Pro in that price range.

That said, the ER6i hasn't been out that long. Aren't they still under warranty?
confused.gif
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:18 PM Post #11 of 19

creyc

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I definitely second that opinion on the Super.fi 5 pro with the iPod.

They sound great with the iPod and are quite easy to drive. I own these and the Shure E4C, and I do think you'd appreciate either one but once I got my Super.fi 5's I haven't gone back to the Shures! My musical tastes are similar to yours it sounds like and the Super.fi's hold up well in that space. They have a warmer bassier sound than the Etymotics and a bit more than the Shures too. Personally I found the Shure E4C's too analytical and sterile but compared with an Ety I think you'll love either.

The Shures seem to have better cables, they are more durable feeling and thicker. I'm not overly careful with my Super.fi's though I wear them everywhere with my iPod and the cables have not failed me yet so I'm satisfied. They are easily replaceable should you break them. (unplugs from each earpiece)

Finally, the Super.fi 5 pros have stiff piece of wire coming from each earpiece which you bend around your ear and it holds it very securely while routing the wires out of the way. This is an excellent feature and makes insertion quicker than earbuds and impossible to get backwards! Both the Shure E4C and Super.fi 5 Pro dont go nearly as deep inside your ear as the Etymotics. From my experience this makes them very comfortable with the nod going to the Super.fi's due to the wire management, almost no "tugging" on the cable is translated to your ears. I often find myself adjusting the Shures to get a better seal.

I hope this helps! If you choose to go the Super.fi 5 route be careful NOT to get the cheaper 5EB. This is the "extended bass" model and sounds horribly muffled with completely overpowering bass. I learned this the hard way. The Pro's are what you want! They may be an additional $50 over the Shure E4C but I feel its completely worth it!
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:24 PM Post #12 of 19

dtremblay

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasper994
That said, the ER6i hasn't been out that long. Aren't they still under warranty?
confused.gif



Yea I bought them about a year ago. They came with a three month warranty and you could go to the Ety website, input some information, and extend the warranty to a year. Of course I didn't do this simple little thing. They broke about a month ago and I was able to trace the problem to the wire down at the jack. I guess I hadn't taken good care of them. In any event I tried installing a new jack. While I did have some success, the wires just can't handle it anymore. Only one channel would work or the sound would be distorted - I could never get it working as well as it originally did. I'm just going to scrap them and go for new ones.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:37 AM Post #13 of 19

orfeo

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hey dude,

i'm pretty much exactly in your same situation except i got no cash for new cans. I have the er6s and the wire at the jack end broke (damn etymoitc and their cheap construction combined with the 90 degree jack means that its only a matter of time before that problem occurs). On another note, i'd love to talk to you about what sucess you had with the repair, cause i payed to have mine repaired but am still having problems (see thread http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...95#post1955595 ). Let me know at orfeo_colebatch@hotmail.com

onto the advice. If your going for IEMs have you emailed Etymotic about your problem cause they' probably offer you to replace you broken ones with new ones for $69 plus shipping, after getting mine repaired and still having problems i'm wishing i did that. If you wanna switch brands one thing i'd be carefull of is the fact that the other IEM brands don't go as far into your ear canal (at least this is my concern), so comfort and the earphone falling out could be an issue. I like the idea of the UE 5pro for the extra bass but the fact that its hard to get a seal worries me. If i was you i'd got for the er4p/s , thats what i'm planning on doing
smily_headphones1.gif
....money permitting.


orfeo
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:03 AM Post #14 of 19

Miracle

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I own creative ep630 and like its very much. Its punchy bass is ideal for me.
But now I'm looking for upgrade because ep630 doesn't present enough refinement and some harsh treble. Does super.fi 5 pro suit for me?
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:08 AM Post #15 of 19

dtremblay

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I'm pretty sure mine broke because the jack is not a 90 degree one, but rather the cord comes straight out of the jack. I would wrap the cable around my iPod when not in use, conscious to not put strain on the joint, and this is what I believe did it for me. One channel just stopped working. So I went to Radioshack and just bought a tiny little jack. It costs about $4. The problem is with the 6is wires. They're pretty tiny and frail. There's this fiber that's intertwined with them to strengthen the cable. The wires just didn't react well to being soldered and would easily break if a bit of pressure was placed between the jack and the wire.

Anyway, at one point I was having the problem where one of the channels was a lot softer than the other. I thought the wire was broken then but it turned out I just needed to replace the filter in that ear and all was solved.

My current inclination is to buy the UE Super.fi 5 Pros. They're in the right price range and it seems like I'm hearing slightly more good things about them than the Etys or Shures. I wasn't really aware of the UEs before today so I hadn't done much research on them but it all seems very positive. I have a feeling that I can't really go wrong with any of these. I bet they all sound great.
 

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