If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
Jul 11, 2016 at 5:02 PM Post #8,641 of 18,433

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Go to:
http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/etymotic-research-er-4s/
 
 -- and --
 
http://theheadphonelist.com/2015-holiday-buyers-guide-the-most-gift-worthy-earphones-for-audiophiles-and-music-lovers/#balanced
 
Read the comments for more earphone comparisons. 
 
 
These are for the ER4S but the new models are in the same sound signature category.

Thank you!!
 
Jul 11, 2016 at 9:59 PM Post #8,645 of 18,433

luisdent

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Just have to say that I'm listening to some great dire straits masters on the xr and they sound incredible. I always say that about the masters, because most people don't realize how much difference there can be between a good master and a greatest hits or remaster sometimes. It can be more difference than switch between another earphone....
 
Anyhow. These are a must have earphone... :p
 
Jul 11, 2016 at 10:01 PM Post #8,646 of 18,433

gnarlsagan

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Guys speaking of sources... Having the Mojo has forced me to reconsider my objectivist leanings. It just sounds clearly better than anything else I've owned. I've done AB testing with my Nexus 5, Leckerton, and the Fuze, and could never really reliably tell them apart. I don't typically reach into the same bag of tricks as castleofargh during listening (however useful those tricks may be). So focusing solely on the music makes it pretty damn difficult to tell some sources apart, especially if they meet the same general criteria for transparent sound as laid out by nwavguy.

But... I'm back on the Leckerton 760 now for a bit, and the differences between it and the Mojo are extremely obvious, leaning heavily in favor of the Mojo. It sounds somehow more fluid than all my other sources, and with the same or more detail. Like suddenly all the information contained within the sound waves entering your ears at a live venue are now being reproduced with better accuracy, improving instrument placement, timbre, and subsequently overall enjoyment.

Me from a couple years ago would likely scoff at me for writing this, and I'm not 100% sold on the science behind the Mojo as explained by Mike Watts, but his theories seem to make sense, and my ears are telling me the Mojo sounds more like reality than anything else I've heard around that price point.

Suffice to say, the SR and XR already have fewer flaws than any iem I've ever heard, and paired with the Mojo I can't really imagine how this set up could be improved.
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 5:52 AM Post #8,647 of 18,433

castleofargh

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Guys speaking of sources... Having the Mojo has forced me to reconsider my objectivist leanings. It just sounds clearly better than anything else I've owned. I've done AB testing with my Nexus 5, Leckerton, and the Fuze, and could never really reliably tell them apart. I don't typically reach into the same bag of tricks as castleofargh during listening (however useful those tricks may be). So focusing solely on the music makes it pretty damn difficult to tell some sources apart, especially if they meet the same general criteria for transparent sound as laid out by nwavguy.

But... I'm back on the Leckerton 760 now for a bit, and the differences between it and the Mojo are extremely obvious, leaning heavily in favor of the Mojo. It sounds somehow more fluid than all my other sources, and with the same or more detail. Like suddenly all the information contained within the sound waves entering your ears at a live venue are now being reproduced with better accuracy, improving instrument placement, timbre, and subsequently overall enjoyment.

Me from a couple years ago would likely scoff at me for writing this, and I'm not 100% sold on the science behind the Mojo as explained by Mike Watts, but his theories seem to make sense, and my ears are telling me the Mojo sounds more like reality than anything else I've heard around that price point.

Suffice to say, the SR and XR already have fewer flaws than any iem I've ever heard, and paired with the Mojo I can't really imagine how this set up could be improved.

on a totally subjective and probably full placebo kind of view, I have that idea that the UHA760 sounds better after .. IDN maybe 10mn? I've never tried to test that because it's not like I'm going to wait 10mn anytime I want to listen to it anyway, but I should put that in my todo list(slowly turning into the massive list of stuff that were never done by castleofargh...).
 
innocent question of someone not interested in the mojo(erh, .. it's for a friend... not me, no no of course...) can you notice some hiss? the hugo made me run away because of this.
and how hot does it get? I've stopped using the 760 since the beginning of the month because it warms my leg. not a lot TBH but I really can do without, when I'm already dying from the burning sun outside. that's why I went back to the sony why don't they give a leg warming rating in audio reviews?
biggrin.gif

 
Jul 12, 2016 at 10:29 AM Post #8,648 of 18,433

luisdent

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I will be double blind testing the mojo very soon :wink: I'll let you know what i think. And you know me well gnarl, so all things considered I'm mr. "it has to be shown with measurements and graphs"... But i know the a17 sounds better than the sansa, iPhone, etc. and i don't need to be comparing them actively, although i did double blind test them and verified this completely...

So I'm still all about graphs and science, and i guess technically sony claims to use high quality solder and components in the a17. While a lot of this is still probably marketing balogna, apprently they did something right. Again, this is with the earphones and headphones i have. But for me that's all that matters at this point. There's no reason to get other gear if it doesn't sound better ultimately.

So I'm really curious myself what makes the a17 sound so good. It has been said things like the sansa are good enough specs that any better is beyond being audible. That is simply not true.

While most people may not be able to discern a difference easily, some might. What I don't want to do is overstate the differences though. While they are definitely real, noticeable, and easily discerned, they are not large. Even going from a poor soirce to a great source isnt "always" as big of a change as switching headphone models...

Anyhow, we're not all crazy I swear. :)
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 12:39 PM Post #8,649 of 18,433

Traveller

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I will be double blind testing the mojo very soon :wink: I'll let you know what i think. And you know me well gnarl, so all things considered I'm mr. "it has to be shown with measurements and graphs"...

That's great news! Mr. "Sagan" has already endorsed the combo however I find it too analytical / austere and prefer the ER-4S (specifically as I don't have the new iterations) with my mid-forward AQ Dragonfly.
So, two varying opinions (although I'm sure he has much more experience than me) and I look forward to your critical analysis for a tie-breaker
biggrin.gif

 
Jul 12, 2016 at 12:57 PM Post #8,650 of 18,433

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...innocent question of someone not interested in the mojo(erh, .. it's for a friend... not me, no no of course...) can you notice some hiss? the hugo made me run away because of this. and how hot does it get? I've stopped using the 760 since the beginning of the month because it warms my leg....

So... yes. The Mojo has the mostly cool (but sometimes frustrating) feature of color-coding the volume. So I created my own chart from "audible" to "loudest w/o permanent ear damage". On one of my test tracks from Sheffield Labs I managed to hit the noise floor (2nd round of the bright-violet+indigo vol position...
rolleyes.gif
)
and enjoyed a hiss I'd never heard before. But we are talking dangerously loud volume here and I would never listen at said levels for more than a few secs. He (the Sheffield engineer) was walking around a room talking, so there was no immediate danger of a trumpet kicking in, etc.
tongue.gif

 
*** EDIT *** On the way home I realized you were more likely interested to know if the Mojo produces hiss without any input signal...
redface.gif

...so I tried it with no cables connected with both my 17ohm Angies and 100ohm ER-4S and I heard nothing, even with the volume turned to pretty much max.
Secondly, please note that the Mojo checks for an input source and if it does not find any, it basically "idles" (imho). So I connected it via OTG USB to my smartphone (LG G4 running UAPP), paused a 16bit-44KHz song and again, raised the volume. Nothing as well.
If there is a more standard approach to checking for hiss please let me know and I will be happy to give it a go
wink.gif

 
Heat... that thing's not going in my pocket anytime soon. 
blink.gif
I'm sorry, but I would limit the definition of "portable" to a backpack / messenger bag. I use it strictly as desktop. But I appreciate its size as I take it in to the office daily and used it @home as well. "A few degrees above ambient" is the official description from the man himself but I'd venture to say it's ~5-10C above ambient. Everyone's strapping it on to their €3000 A&K380s as if it's of no concern but electronics 101 says heat is never a good thing for longevity...
eek.gif
 
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 2:40 PM Post #8,651 of 18,433

Aero Dynamik

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ER4XR mini-review (the stuff that interests me)


Why is Head-Fi so full of positive reviews? I guess because we like to write about the stuff that we like, and I really like the ER4XR! So where do we start? How about the ear tips?
 

Ear tips

It can’t be emphasised enough. The more we can make the ER4XR isolate the better the sound it will yield. It’s absolutely crucial to achieve a perfect seal!
 
I’ve tried all the included ear tips and the ones I like the best are the included foam tips (two pairs R38-14F). They’re easy to insert (with a bit of practice), comfortable, and have the best isolation.
 
The included 3-flange ear tips (medium and large) aren’t bad either, but they make my ear canals itch and I believe the isolation is a tad less compared to the foam tips, so for now I’ll pass.
 
I’ve also tried the Comply Foam P-series. They’re almost as good as Ety’s but I’d expect the P-series to last longer. The P-Series is a bit taller than Ety’s and the core is a bit too soft so it tends to bend when being fitted onto the stem of the earphone. Not a big deal, but there is room for improvement of the core if you ask me.
 
The Comply Foam T-100 tips are very comfortable but just don’t isolate well enough for my needs. That actually surprised me a bit as they’re recommended by Comply Foam for the other ER4s. I tried the medium size and maybe they’re a bit too small for my ear canals, or maybe they just aren’t tall enough!? Until I’ve tried a larger size I can’t recommend them.
 
Overall, the ER4XR phones are easy to insert and – with the right tips – extremely isolating as long as you’re OK with the deep insert approach to earphones. By easy to insert I mean you don’t have to spend weeks to figure out which tips sound the best, how deeply and in what angle to insert them. With the ER4 design you simply “go all the way” and you’re done! Very convenient if you ask me!
 

Isolation

Is there any other IEM having better isolation than the ER4XR/SR? I haven’t researched it but I doubt it! With a pair of good foam tips – either Ety’s own or the P-100s – the ear drums practically become unresponsive. Until the music arrives it’s an enormously muffled world. I really appreciate this feature of the ER4XR as it enables me to focus on the music at very safe volume levels even in very noisy environments. Although for safety reasons I’d never wear them when out and about, except when seated while commuting.
 

Cable

The cable is definitely an improvement compared to my previous ER4; the ER4PT. The PT cable felt thick, stiff and unruly. The ER4XR cable, being softer and slightly thinner (I guess?), is a lot easier to handle and I find it very convenient that it’s a bit longer than most other IEM cables. It enables me to fully lean back in my office chair while connected to my desktop amp (O2).
 
The braided cables above the Y-split are unfortunately still very noisy. However, this time around they can be worn more easily over the ears and that basically eliminates all microphonics. I can also report that the cable chinch works perfectly which certainly hasn’t been the case with many of the other IEMs I’ve had. So, thumbs up for the new cable design!
 

Phones and Accessories

Etymotic seem to be dead serious about their QC, and I just love it! The ER4XR is delivered with a signed (yes, a genuine ink signature) “performance certificate” with measurement graphs for each individual phone having its own individual serial number matching the serial numbers on the phones delivered. How more serious can you get, and are there any other manufacturers delivering their IEMs with a signed “performance certificate”? I doubt it!
 
Also, the phones are now made of metal and not plastic. Not that I think that it matters much but it lends itself better to the feeling of overall quality. Nice touch!
 
I also appreciate the assortment of various ear tips and the fact that it’s delivered with a metal tool for changing the filters. The zippered storage case feels really nice and can, except for all the accessories, also harbour at least one other pair of IEMs. I like it a lot and it looks and feels as serious as the rest of the package.
 
Finally, Etymotic have a reputation of outstanding customer service and I can second that first hand.
 

Sound

To these ears the ER4XR bass is exquisitely implemented. If I didn’t know any better I’d take it for neutral. There is just no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision between the ER4SR and the ER4XR! For more about why I picked the ER4XR over the ER4SR please click here.
 
The most tangible sound feature of the ER4XR must be its transparency though. The contrast between the completely muffled world - that the outstanding isolation provides - and the transparency and naturalness of the sound is staggering. It gives the brain the impression it could hear an external needle fall on the floor. It’s such an emotional paradox as my intellect tells me my hearing is “blind as a bat” to external sounds.
 
Over the years I’ve come to notice how people claim that their latest and greatest IEM have the ability to project details that they’ve never even noticed before. What took me some time to figure out is that it’s actually true, and for the (not so) obvious reason that the various frequencies of basically all IEMs are tuned differently. FR is everything, right?
 
In a sense, this “new details retrieval effect” fails to come with the ER4XR. If anything – especially if you’re used to IEMs tuned for an “exciting” FR – the ER4XR could even appear to subtract treble and bass details. The reason, of course, is that the ER4XR is perfectly neutral (except for the much needed tad of bass elevation). And since our hearing is less sensitive to sounds in the lower and higher frequencies it naturally follows that details in the bass and treble is a bit harder to detect with the ER4XR.
 
For example, with one of my favourite IEMs, the DUNU-DN2000J, I notice details that simply go unnoticed with the ER4XR. In this sense the DN2000J is to the ears what a magnifier is to the eyes. So, is this a good or a bad thing? Well, that mostly depends on your preferences and a myriad of other parameters. The DN2000J, being v-shaped (done with exceptional sure instinct) provides me with a sense of super hearing, and with the right recording can be extremely satisfying. The price paid in the long run is a bit of treble fatigue (which leads to tensions), a somewhat subdued or distant mid-range, and an overall less natural sound than the ER4XR. However, with its speedy titanium treated dynamic bass driver and its elevated BA treble the DN2000J can, with the right recording, give me a very full, extremely detailed, extremely resolving, and spacious sound image in a way the ER4XR can’t. If you're interested I made a few more comparisons between the ER4XR and the DN2000J here.
 
The ER4XR on the other hand is more or less fatigue free while still being perfectly transparent. It feels like a small miracle and has the pleasant side effect of making me relaxed and thus more open to the many fine details and facets of the music (bass and treble included). The mid-range has perfect presence and timbre which make voices and solo instruments (for example in a violin concerto) sound absolutely superb. As a matter of fact, mid-range wise I haven’t heard any other IEM perform better (timbre, presence, detail, resolution, transparency, and what not). The mid-range appears to be - for lack of a better word – more or less perfect.
 
So, what about the ER4XR treble and bass? Well, it’s probably more or less perfect too but it doesn’t provide the most “exciting” bass and treble sound I’ve ever heard. However, the ER4XR doesn’t aspire to provide “exciting” sound but neutral sound, and as far as I can tell that's exactly what it does.
 
I’d say that for any acoustic music (classical, jazz, etc.) the ER4XR is probably the obvious choice. For all other music it’s more open. Some recordings do benefit from a more exciting tuning whereas others don't.
 

Finally

I’m going to hold on to my ER4XR! Overall it’s definitely one of the best, in a sense perhaps in even the best IEM I’ve heard. Plus, I feel I need a reference IEM for reference purposes, and I know that for those days when nothing is going to satisfy me, the ER4XR will at least sound “clean” (devoid of - what that particular day feels like - failed ambitions to create “exciting” sound).
 
If you’re interested, click here for a list of other IEMs I own or have previously owned.
 
Thanks for reading
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 4:08 PM Post #8,652 of 18,433

dnm240

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Hi everybody, my name is Dave, this is my first post on Head-Fi.  I have been lurking on this thread for several weeks, (ever since I heard about the new ER4-SR) and I have to say there is a lot of helpful content and food-for-thought here!  I especially want to thank EtyDave -- your information helped me a lot, as did the other folks at Etymotic, particularly Rick and Moe (sp?) who answered my questions on the phone.
 
I have used the ER4-S almost exclusively for probably ten years, not exactly sure.  I was super pumped to hear about a new high-end offering from ety, and I am not disappointed in my new ER4-SR.  Love the way they sound, not sure if I am really hearing things in my music that I didn't before or whether I am just paying better attention since I have a shiny new toy, but it _seems_ like I pick up a few more details.  They work perfectly with my custom fit ear molds.  The new cable is nicer, the thinner plug works better with my phone's case, and the angle of the wires coming out of the actual hp is better for over ear wrapping.  My only complaint (as others have mentioned) is the new shirt clip.  I haven't lost it yet, but it has come off several times.
 
There has been a lot of discussion of replacement cables.  What do people feel they get out of aftermarket cables?  I can understand wanting different lengths or a different feel (less stiff than the original ER4-S cable mostly), but what else are folks changing cables for?
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 5:14 PM Post #8,653 of 18,433

Aero Dynamik

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  Hi everybody, my name is Dave, this is my first post on Head-Fi.  I have been lurking on this thread for several weeks, (ever since I heard about the new ER4-SR) and I have to say there is a lot of helpful content and food-for-thought here!  I especially want to thank EtyDave -- your information helped me a lot, as did the other folks at Etymotic, particularly Rick and Moe (sp?) who answered my questions on the phone.
 
I have used the ER4-S almost exclusively for probably ten years, not exactly sure.  I was super pumped to hear about a new high-end offering from ety, and I am not disappointed in my new ER4-SR.  Love the way they sound, not sure if I am really hearing things in my music that I didn't before or whether I am just paying better attention since I have a shiny new toy, but it _seems_ like I pick up a few more details.  They work perfectly with my custom fit ear molds.  The new cable is nicer, the thinner plug works better with my phone's case, and the angle of the wires coming out of the actual hp is better for over ear wrapping.  My only complaint (as others have mentioned) is the new shirt clip.  I haven't lost it yet, but it has come off several times.
 
There has been a lot of discussion of replacement cables.  What do people feel they get out of aftermarket cables?  I can understand wanting different lengths or a different feel (less stiff than the original ER4-S cable mostly), but what else are folks changing cables for?

Thanks for your post Dave and welcome!
 
You got to be kidding me! Better sound, of course! Cables are the most magic part of the entire set up. Get the right cables and it can transform any IEM into a ticket to heaven (or nirvana depending on your religion).
 
Anyway, even more efficient than aftermarket cables is this stuff. Simply soak the entire set in it and your IEMs will sound like nothing else you've ever heard.
 
Seriously, I have no idea, but I'm sure someone will enlighten us! 
wink.gif

 
Jul 12, 2016 at 5:54 PM Post #8,654 of 18,433

Voyageur

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Quote:
  Hi everybody, my name is Dave, this is my first post on Head-Fi.  I have been lurking on this thread for several weeks, (ever since I heard about the new ER4-SR) and I have to say there is a lot of helpful content and food-for-thought here!  I especially want to thank EtyDave -- your information helped me a lot, as did the other folks at Etymotic, particularly Rick and Moe (sp?) who answered my questions on the phone.
 
I have used the ER4-S almost exclusively for probably ten years, not exactly sure.  I was super pumped to hear about a new high-end offering from ety, and I am not disappointed in my new ER4-SR.  Love the way they sound, not sure if I am really hearing things in my music that I didn't before or whether I am just paying better attention since I have a shiny new toy, but it _seems_ like I pick up a few more details.  They work perfectly with my custom fit ear molds.  The new cable is nicer, the thinner plug works better with my phone's case, and the angle of the wires coming out of the actual hp is better for over ear wrapping.  My only complaint (as others have mentioned) is the new shirt clip.  I haven't lost it yet, but it has come off several times.
 
There has been a lot of discussion of replacement cables.  What do people feel they get out of aftermarket cables?  I can understand wanting different lengths or a different feel (less stiff than the original ER4-S cable mostly), but what else are folks changing cables for?

 
Hello and welcome! Don't you worry about cables, the ones that the ER-4SR are equipped with are just fine. They are well built and ergonomically excellent. Besides, cables being able to drastically change the sound of a headphone has to be one of the biggest lies or myths of the audio industry imho. But hey, if it makes audiophiles happy and companies can money out of it, why not?
 
Jul 12, 2016 at 9:10 PM Post #8,655 of 18,433

gnarlsagan

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on a totally subjective and probably full placebo kind of view, I have that idea that the UHA760 sounds better after .. IDN maybe 10mn? I've never tried to test that because it's not like I'm going to wait 10mn anytime I want to listen to it anyway, but I should put that in my todo list(slowly turning into the massive list of stuff that were never done by castleofargh...).

innocent question of someone not interested in the mojo(erh, .. it's for a friend... not me, no no of course...) can you notice some hiss? the hugo made me run away because of this.
and how hot does it get? I've stopped using the 760 since the beginning of the month because it warms my leg. not a lot TBH but I really can do without, when I'm already dying from the burning sun outside. that's why I went back to the sony why don't they give a leg warming rating in audio reviews? :D


I hate hiss and haven't noticed any. But... I don't use anything very sensitive these days.

The Mojo produces way more heat than the 760. Way more. I still use it portably strapped to my phone though. Totally worth the sound improvement to my ears.

@luisdent something tells me you won't require a blind test...
 

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