If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
Apr 12, 2021 at 2:59 PM Post #16,656 of 18,165

OspreyAndy

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Thanks, the ER2SE is 49 bucks, and this one being 100, I tried ER4XR, didn’t really into it. I’ll hold on my ER4S for now and hopefully have a chance to try next gen of ETY.
Then you really should consider ER4SR. I was a longtime user of the 2nd gen ER4S. I may post my findings on the difference between the old ER4S and ER4SR later
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 3:18 PM Post #16,657 of 18,165

OspreyAndy

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Repost: I posted this wrongly on the EVO thread. Deleted it there and now reposting here. Thanks

ER4S vs ER4SR.jpg

When I was in long hiatus from Audio, I was already a self styled Etymotic zealot fiercely devoted to ER4S. Time warp ahead and I am back in the game. First thing I did was to rekindle that emotional connection with the very IEM I so very dearly loved. And when I checked online, ER4S apparently has been transformed into a newer gen in the form of ER4SR and XR. Not long after that, I have my ER4SR accompanying me again on the audio indulgence adventures.

Here I would like to share my impressions on the variance between these two generations of ER4, the venerable pioneer of ALL consumer In Ear Monitors.

Other than the much more appealing decals and chassis, ER4 now comes in fixed 45 Ohm impedance configuration with the resistors integrated directly into the BA itself. While the older ER4 actually don't have any resistors in the driver housing, which makes it possible to configure it as ER4-P (25 Ohm), ER4-S (100 Ohm) and ER4-B (Binaural) by just swapping the main cable. The resistors residing in the middle pod. So in a way the newer gen ER4 are not exactly the same in the manner they are being constructed. And keeping tradition with the old cable Etymotic was already using silver plated cable with ER4, now packaged even neater with the newer twisty design.

Sonically, yes the old and the new sounds the same, EXCEPT there's some subtle (or not so subtle) sound characteristics which I will describe shortly. Timbre presentation, they remained the same, highly transparent, analytical, sparkly, resolving and speedy.

The difference:
- Treble Edges, without a doubt now I will say that the older ER4S is stronger in this aspect. And this has always been the Achilles heels of ER4S which many described as sibilant much similar to Beyerdynamic DT series sort of thing. So with ER4SR what Etymotic has finally succeeded to implement was the tight control of this sharp edges of Treble frequencies. And I will openly admit I love this, despite knowing that also means treble decays has been forced to end earlier as compared to ER4S. More realistic as I would console myself haha....

- Mids presence. Simply put, the older ER4S was straight out utterly flat, the kind of flat that makes any Flat Earth lunatics proud😂😅. The ER4SR on the other hand have managed to sneak in a very subtle nudge on Mids which to my ears help with establishing velvety intimacy to what was originally perceived as dry. And I love this too.

- Slam/Impact. And without a doubt now, I can audibly register that ER4SR has also improved on this front. You have no idea the amount of amping needed to make that old ER4S to dance haha. The pursuit of this has led to legendary amp makers like Dr Xin (USA) and Three Stones (Minibox China) to produce legendary portable amps highly optimized for ER4S. If you ever find a used Xin SuperMini IV, SupeMicro IV or MiniBox E+, grab them like holding to your dear life, those are designed for Etys. Good thing is I have found a worthy successor in this time and age in the form of Cayin, whose house sound seems to synergize with Etys exceedingly well. Btw, you can still get the latest iteration of MiniBox E through Hifiman line of modular DAPs. Their modular DAPs have optional offering of MiniBox Gold module which is apparently designed and built by Three Stones. But these don't come cheap, the DAP and Amp module will cost you a whopping $1000😅😅

Surprisingly (or NOT surprisingly) bass segment remained exactly the same, which is described as anemic to any Shure basshead. But those who know how to appreciate tightly layered and extended bass of STAX electrostatics will find similarities here.

And so there you have it, the ER4SR and XR continuing the BA legacy well over 30 years and beyond. I am personally ecstatic with this as my emotional attachment to Etymotic will remain strong with the kind of progress that I have hoped for them to attain many years ago.

PS: Experimenting with inline resistors bringing the ER4SR closer to 100 Ohm territory has helped to attune the sonic bias quite identical to the old ER4S, minus the sibilance
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 3:59 PM Post #16,659 of 18,165

OspreyAndy

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er4S is not sibilant at all, quite the opposite, the area of sibilance is in the lower treble that is subdued on er4S, the only stronger part in the treble region is the upper treble peak, but that peak is high (around 16khz) and it is not causing sibilance
It also depends on what type of music you listen to. In my case I listen to 80% Metal including the likes of Darkthrone, Burzum, GODFLESH. Tracks with lots of cymbals and pitched guitar wailing are emphasized verily on ER4S, taking into account these recordings are Toilet-Fi quality at best. But yes when listening to more civilized Hi-Fi music they don't have that pronounced sibilance. I like my Diana Krall and Alison Krauss as much as I enjoyed Varg screaming through ER4, lol
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 4:48 PM Post #16,660 of 18,165

FastAndClean

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It also depends on what type of music you listen to. In my case I listen to 80% Metal including the likes of Darkthrone, Burzum, GODFLESH. Tracks with lots of cymbals and pitched guitar wailing are emphasized verily on ER4S, taking into account these recordings are Toilet-Fi quality at best. But yes when listening to more civilized Hi-Fi music they don't have that pronounced sibilance. I like my Diana Krall and Alison Krauss as much as I enjoyed Varg screaming through ER4, lol
oh metal music, i tried them with that, i can see your point now, but for me they were not sibilant but a bit annoying in the upper treble, not good with metal, thats for sure
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 11:19 PM Post #16,661 of 18,165

MattAu

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Newbie here. Tried to search but couldn’t find answer. Anyone have ER2 or ER3 and upgraded to the ER4 cable and care to comment if it’s worth it? I have ER3-XR and am wondering if I should bother getting the ER4-06 cable.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 3:29 AM Post #16,664 of 18,165

CK Moustache

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Newbie here. Tried to search but couldn’t find answer. Anyone have ER2 or ER3 and upgraded to the ER4 cable and care to comment if it’s worth it? I have ER3-XR and am wondering if I should bother getting the ER4-06 cable.

The ER4 series' cable is longer than the ER2/3 series' and has got twisted conductors above the cable divider. If that's what you are looking for - go for it.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 5:42 AM Post #16,665 of 18,165

Blackwoof

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Repost: I posted this wrongly on the EVO thread. Deleted it there and now reposting here. Thanks


When I was in long hiatus from Audio, I was already a self styled Etymotic zealot fiercely devoted to ER4S. Time warp ahead and I am back in the game. First thing I did was to rekindle that emotional connection with the very IEM I so very dearly loved. And when I checked online, ER4S apparently has been transformed into a newer gen in the form of ER4SR and XR. Not long after that, I have my ER4SR accompanying me again on the audio indulgence adventures.

Here I would like to share my impressions on the variance between these two generations of ER4, the venerable pioneer of ALL consumer In Ear Monitors.

Other than the much more appealing decals and chassis, ER4 now comes in fixed 45 Ohm impedance configuration with the resistors integrated directly into the BA itself. While the older ER4 actually don't have any resistors in the driver housing, which makes it possible to configure it as ER4-P (25 Ohm), ER4-S (100 Ohm) and ER4-B (Binaural) by just swapping the main cable. The resistors residing in the middle pod. So in a way the newer gen ER4 are not exactly the same in the manner they are being constructed. And keeping tradition with the old cable Etymotic was already using silver plated cable with ER4, now packaged even neater with the newer twisty design.

Sonically, yes the old and the new sounds the same, EXCEPT there's some subtle (or not so subtle) sound characteristics which I will describe shortly. Timbre presentation, they remained the same, highly transparent, analytical, sparkly, resolving and speedy.

The difference:
- Treble Edges, without a doubt now I will say that the older ER4S is stronger in this aspect. And this has always been the Achilles heels of ER4S which many described as sibilant much similar to Beyerdynamic DT series sort of thing. So with ER4SR what Etymotic has finally succeeded to implement was the tight control of this sharp edges of Treble frequencies. And I will openly admit I love this, despite knowing that also means treble decays has been forced to end earlier as compared to ER4S. More realistic as I would console myself haha....

- Mids presence. Simply put, the older ER4S was straight out utterly flat, the kind of flat that makes any Flat Earth lunatics proud😂😅. The ER4SR on the other hand have managed to sneak in a very subtle nudge on Mids which to my ears help with establishing velvety intimacy to what was originally perceived as dry. And I love this too.

- Slam/Impact. And without a doubt now, I can audibly register that ER4SR has also improved on this front. You have no idea the amount of amping needed to make that old ER4S to dance haha. The pursuit of this has led to legendary amp makers like Dr Xin (USA) and Three Stones (Minibox China) to produce legendary portable amps highly optimized for ER4S. If you ever find a used Xin SuperMini IV, SupeMicro IV or MiniBox E+, grab them like holding to your dear life, those are designed for Etys. Good thing is I have found a worthy successor in this time and age in the form of Cayin, whose house sound seems to synergize with Etys exceedingly well. Btw, you can still get the latest iteration of MiniBox E through Hifiman line of modular DAPs. Their modular DAPs have optional offering of MiniBox Gold module which is apparently designed and built by Three Stones. But these don't come cheap, the DAP and Amp module will cost you a whopping $1000😅😅

Surprisingly (or NOT surprisingly) bass segment remained exactly the same, which is described as anemic to any Shure basshead. But those who know how to appreciate tightly layered and extended bass of STAX electrostatics will find similarities here.

And so there you have it, the ER4SR and XR continuing the BA legacy well over 30 years and beyond. I am personally ecstatic with this as my emotional attachment to Etymotic will remain strong with the kind of progress that I have hoped for them to attain many years ago.

PS: Experimenting with inline resistors bringing the ER4SR closer to 100 Ohm territory has helped to attune the sonic bias quite identical to the old ER4S, minus the sibilance

Try the ER4S with a red filter.
 

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