If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
Jun 22, 2020 at 10:30 PM Post #15,256 of 17,949

DW75

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Well, after a couple hours of testing, I am going to have to return the er3se and get something else. The sound quality is impressive, but they are literally painful to use. I tried all of the tips, and the least painful of the lot is the ones that came by default on the headphone, but they still hurt quite a lot. It may just be the shape of my ear canal, but these are just not usable for me at all. After just a minute of having them inside, my ears are in agony. I think that my ear canal is not very deep to begin with, so these are just not going to work. I have had them out now for the last 5 minutes, and my left ear is still hurting from having them in there. I am going to have to get something else.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 10:16 AM Post #15,259 of 17,949

DBMcElroy

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Well, after a couple hours of testing, I am going to have to return the er3se and get something else. The sound quality is impressive, but they are literally painful to use. I tried all of the tips, and the least painful of the lot is the ones that came by default on the headphone, but they still hurt quite a lot. It may just be the shape of my ear canal, but these are just not usable for me at all. After just a minute of having them inside, my ears are in agony. I think that my ear canal is not very deep to begin with, so these are just not going to work. I have had them out now for the last 5 minutes, and my left ear is still hurting from having them in there. I am going to have to get something else.
Sorry to hear that. It usually takes a person a while to adjust to having deep insertion in their ears. One does adjust to the sensation and after a week or so, they are comfortable. Try the small tips. Don't give up so easily.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 2:00 PM Post #15,260 of 17,949

smorgar

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Sorry to hear that. It usually takes a person a while to adjust to having deep insertion in their ears. One does adjust to the sensation and after a week or so, they are comfortable. Try the small tips. Don't give up so easily.
I agree with this. For me it took almost a month to get to a comfortable level. The 2-3 first days was very painful. Now a year later the just slip right in with no pain at all. No regrets for me, love the sound of ER4SR.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 2:21 PM Post #15,261 of 17,949

DBMcElroy

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I agree with this. For me it took almost a month to get to a comfortable level. The 2-3 first days was very painful. Now a year later the just slip right in with no pain at all. No regrets for me, love the sound of ER4SR.
smorgar,
I see you have the 4sr as well as the 3se. I am VERY pleased with the 3se, but I wonder if the 4sr is even better. Should I lust after the 4sr. or be content with the 3se?
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 3:59 PM Post #15,262 of 17,949

DW75

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Unfortunately, it was just not possible for me to get a comfortable fit with the er3se. My left ear is still hurting today. I ended up returning it, and I bought the Mee Audio MX3 Pro, which I should have in the mail in a couple days.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 4:22 PM Post #15,263 of 17,949

blse59

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smorgar,
I see you have the 4sr as well as the 3se. I am VERY pleased with the 3se, but I wonder if the 4sr is even better. Should I lust after the 4sr. or be content with the 3se?
Hmm.. according to crinacle's measurements they are very similar. ER4SR looks a tad brighter.

graph.png
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 5:22 PM Post #15,264 of 17,949

Blackwoof

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There was a time when I'd tried adding +5dB bass boost to er4s once. Honestly, it sounded like poop, er4p like or even worse:sweat_smile:

I dunno what your trying to say here?. The ER4XR peaks at +4db sub bass, i hope this is weak bait or your this ignorant. Because nearly 95% of the EQ talk here is people walking away with the ER4 at 6db, Which sounds better than the W40 and other IEMs i tried if the shelf is 125Hz.

Hmm.. according to crinacle's measurements they are very similar. ER4SR looks a tad brighter.

Yep a 6KHz high self of 4db will turn it into ER4SR, but with +0.6db more bass but i don't notice it in A/B tests i did.
 
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Jun 24, 2020 at 4:08 AM Post #15,265 of 17,949

episiarch

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smorgar,
I see you have the 4sr as well as the 3se. I am VERY pleased with the 3se, but I wonder if the 4sr is even better. Should I lust after the 4sr. or be content with the 3se?
I have both and to me here's the difference: if you've ever been a speaker audiophile, you probably remember trying to find the positioning that sounds best. Sometimes there's one speaker positioning that sounds the most "correct" or the most "reference" and a different positioning that is a little less "correct" sounding but has a little more reinforcement in the warmth of the sound, a little more fullness, a little more richness. Now you have to make a choice: take the extra richness knowing it won't be quite the ideal representation of, say, some of your solo instruments or classical? Or go for the closer-to-correct option knowing you're giving up some of that extra sweetness that's so great with some pieces?

For me 4SR vs. 3SE is like that. 4SR is the reference one, 3SE is the less-reference but a little richer one. 3SE to my ears is equally "capable," but just a different presentation.

It also matters what you're driving them with. I've gotten shouted at for saying this, but IME 4SR doesn't sound right unless driven from a reasonably decently powered source or amp. 3SE also wants one that is semi decent, but to my ears it isn't quite as demanding.

(And if your next question is "then would one of the XRs give me best of both worlds" the answer is, not to my ears. XR (and the old 4P) sound just wrong to me. 4SR/3SE difference is more subtle than that.)
 
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Jun 24, 2020 at 6:11 AM Post #15,266 of 17,949

smorgar

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smorgar,
I see you have the 4sr as well as the 3se. I am VERY pleased with the 3se, but I wonder if the 4sr is even better. Should I lust after the 4sr. or be content with the 3se?
I know where you are, I was in the same boat when i had used my ER3SE for about a year. They are sooo good but i kept on thinking and wondering how the ER4SR sounds. Could it be better that ER3SE? Or is it even more analytical so that the music is not enjoyable in the same way as the ER3SE? Or are those "10%" that people usually state is the "difference" that can only be heard on perfect recordings and playback?

Well... I pulled the trigger in panic since it looked to me at the time that Etymotic stop making ER4SR/XR. Out of stock forever and even places like Amazon started to go out of stock. Tried contacting Etymotic to ask, but no reply regarding this...

The ER4SR arrived and i have not looked back since then.
There have been moments when i want to try the ER3SE just to remind me of how it sounds but i quickly change back to ER4SR. The ER4SR are superior.
I'd say the ER3SE is a little muffled, the bass is softer and not as textured as the ER4SR. The high notes are less precise. Don't get me wrong, the ER4SR is smooth like the ER3SE but more textured an precise in a good way. I just adds a layer of texture to the whole presentation that's missing in the ER3SE according to my ears.
I cant imagine i would mistake ER3SE for ER4SR in a blind test, you can tell the difference instantly.
I cant imagine me wanting to go back to ER3SE for any reason. Been using ER3SE for about a year and then the ER4SR for also about a year and the ER4SR is just more refined in all aspects since it resolves better than ER3SE. Its simply cleaner and more refined, but if it's worth the money i can only speak for myself: it was totally worth it.
 
Jun 24, 2020 at 9:15 AM Post #15,267 of 17,949

DBMcElroy

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I have both and to me here's the difference: if you've ever been a speaker audiophile, you probably remember trying to find the positioning that sounds best. Sometimes there's one speaker positioning that sounds the most "correct" or the most "reference" and a different positioning that is a little less "correct" sounding but has a little more more reinforcement in the warmth of the sound, a little more fullness, a little more richness. Now you have to make a choice: take the extra richness knowing it won't be quite the ideal representation of, say, some of your solo instruments or classical? Or go for the closer-to-correct option knowing you're giving up some of that extra sweetness that's so great with some pieces?

For me 4SR vs. 3SE is like that. 4SR is the reference one, 3SE is the not as reference but a little richer one. 3SE to my ears is equally "capable," but just a different presentation.

It also matters what you're driving them with. I've gotten shouted at for saying this, but IME 4SR doesn't sound right unless driven from a reasonably decently powered source or amp. 3SE also wants one that is semi decent, but to my ears it isn't quite as demanding.

(And if your next question is "then would one of the XRs give me best of both worlds" the answer is, not to my ears. XR (and the old 4P) sound just wrong to me. 4SR/3SE difference is more subtle than that.)
Thank you for your very descriptive explanation. I do understand your speaker placement reference. this is a great metaphor. I appreciate you taking he time to write this comparison. I will be on the look out for a great deal on the 4sr. In the meantime, I am loving the 3se's with radsone es100, using a balanced cable. Synergy here that is wonderful.
 
Jun 24, 2020 at 9:56 AM Post #15,268 of 17,949

smorgar

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Thank you for your very descriptive explanation. I do understand your speaker placement reference. this is a great metaphor. I appreciate you taking he time to write this comparison. I will be on the look out for a great deal on the 4sr. In the meantime, I am loving the 3se's with radsone es100, using a balanced cable. Synergy here that is wonderful.
The ER3/4 plays so well with ES100 in balanced mode. But a step up is the Qudelix 5K but now I'm just putting thing in your head. Sorry :D
 
Jun 24, 2020 at 10:12 PM Post #15,269 of 17,949

DBMcElroy

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The ER3/4 plays so well with ES100 in balanced mode. But a step up is the Qudelix 5K but now I'm just putting thing in your head. Sorry :D
Thanks for your excellent reply. You have compared the two and described the differences better than any reviewer has and definitely better than Etymotic has. I am very happy with the er3se but if i find a great deal on ebay I will move up to the 4sr. It seems that is pot of gold that we are all searching for. I will note that I am aware of the Qudelix and have been following its gestation. After the 4, it may be a goal. thank you again for writing.
David McElroy
 

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