If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
Jul 19, 2016 at 8:36 AM Post #8,746 of 16,938

Aero Dynamik

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  Indeed, with the "right" SPL the bass that I get from my ER4XR is amazing. As a matter of fact, after directly comparing it with the bass of my other favorite IEM, the DUNU-DN2000J, I definitely prefer it (at least today and at least with the tracks that I've been listening to today).
 
The "bass problem" has little to do with the ER4s themselves. It's a general problem with IEMs. They just can't deliver the kind of energy good speakers can (except for to the eardrums). However, as I've stated before, when IEM bass is well implemented (like in the ER4XR) the brain has an amazing ability to - after some time - spontaneously fill in the blanks.

How is the bass quantity compared to the DN-2000J?

The ER4XR bass quantity is definitely and a lot less compared to the DN-2000J.
 
With the right recording the DN-2000J bass is pretty awesome (although not eardrum neutral). As you may remember, the DN2000J bass (unlike the ER4 bass) didn't cause any kind of controversy in the DN2000J thread. To the contrary, everyone seemed to agree it was some of the best bass they had ever gotten from an IEM. On the right day with the right track I just love it
 
However, today isn't one of those days. I'm in an ER4XR mood today and the bass doesn't seem to lack anything; quantity or quality! I should mention though that I'm using a a bit more loudness than I'd ideally want to (but it's not overly loud). I can truthfully say that the ER4XR covers all my bass needs.
 
Non the less, I'm happy I can switch to the DN2000J whenever that craving for "extra everything bass" sets in.
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 9:55 AM Post #8,747 of 16,938

mdiogofs

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  The ER4XR bass quantity is definitely and a lot less compared to the DN-2000J.
 
With the right recording the DN-2000J bass is pretty awesome (although not eardrum neutral). As you may remember, the DN2000J bass (unlike the ER4 bass) didn't cause any kind of controversy in the DN2000J thread. To the contrary, everyone seemed to agree it was some of the best bass they had ever gotten from an IEM. On the right day with the right track I just love it
 
However, today isn't one of those days. I'm in an ER4XR mood today and the bass doesn't seem to lack anything; quantity or quality! I should mention though that I'm using a a bit more loudness than I'd ideally want to (but it's not overly loud). I can truthfully say that the ER4XR covers all my bass needs.
 
Non the less, I'm happy I can switch to the DN2000J whenever that craving for "extra everything bass" sets in.

Actually, my question is not naive. I remember people complaining about the bass quantity in DN-2000J thread. About its low quantity, so that people use the bass ring to get more quantity. If you are saying that the quantity is even less in XR, then I am expecting that the bass in XR would almost not color the other frequencies and just give a little bit weight to the sound. Sounds great to me!  I guess "hardcore" fans stick with the SR; some hardcore fans will now give an opportunity to XR because they feel if the ER4S got just a bit more bass it will be perfect; all other people should get the XR; many people that come virgin to Etymotic will find the bass quantity on XR still low for their tastes. I'm thinking loud, don't take me wrong. Thomann haven't shipped my SR yet, so I asked them to trade for XR. I'm an Earsonics house sound guy, if I find the XR bass quantity still low in bass like genres, these are the one to keep because I'm using it for classical and they should be fine then for it. This is not a very valid conclusion but it makes sense to me. 
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 12:56 PM Post #8,749 of 16,938

Aero Dynamik

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  plz tell if I'm wrong
ph34r.gif

 
Ety tested people to try and find a neutral curve objectively that would include the average mess occurring in the ear(or doesn't occur when we use IEMs): the curve is an average so there is no certainty that it will work for me perfectly. but it's an average that is very close to most research done on the subject and it feels like we can accept the idea that the general curve is very close to what it should be when it comes to purely acoustic considerations. an important element that may not be known by everybody, a balanced signature will always offer more details than one with key points boosted. this is true and IMO the reason why anybody looking for critical listening should aim at neutral sound. it has nothing to do with the signature with the most fun, or the most relaxing!  the purpose is to notice more in the music.
still:
- as I said, I'm not the size and look of my neighbor, I don't have the same hearing ability, so an average curve may or may not by exactly right for me.
 
- from fletcher, munson & all we have confirmation that our listening level will totally impact how much low end and trebles we perceive. so I guess the next step should be for Ety to make an a DAC/amp where the signature would change with the set loudness
biggrin.gif
. come on, neutral all the way!
 
- the target what 100% based on hearing! it may seem obvious and logical, but they didn't take it upon themselves to compensate for the lack of physical bass hitting the body, like so many IEM manufacturers do. so we do miss that in an ER4S(SR), but just adding louder bass isn't side effect free. it will systematically start masking some sounds in the nearby frequencies. and the success of compensating with louder bass depends entirely on how much your brain can adapt from IRL bass to IEM bass. not everybody responds the same to that transition. for a long time it was said that +6db in the low end was ok, the harman curve(but done with headphones!!! and aiming at favorite sound instead of neutral sound) goes for somewhere around +4db I think. so the XR seems to fit with that concept like a glove. but that is if you want to try and compensate for the lack of tactile bass, that's a very personal choice IMO.
 
I would venture that the XR is an attempt at tackling the last point while trying their damn best not to make too much sound. as they didn't just boost the subs like I do to get my fix of rumble, but they went for a soft and long rise, maybe as an attempt to limit the masking from the bass boost? that's how I imagine I would do if I tried to retain the most audible information while boosting the low end. and the SR(or er4S) has the signature most balanced on average to try and get the optimal detail retrieval from having a balanced signature. but doesn't do anything for the lack of tactile bass in an IEM.
 
 
 
I'm clearly one to feel like the S(SR) signature is lacking in the low end, but I listen very quietly, and use some foam that gives me a little less low end than the triflange(I really love the sound with the triflange TBH, but I hate silicone tips and 3 flanges, that's 3 too many for my ears ^_^). so I'm at least in part to blame for what I perceive. also I really love a signature with a little recess in the 150-200hz, it's not detail retrieval or anything, I just enjoy it with a little 30 or 40hz boost(I felt like some of what luisdent explained about the XR might be that we have the same taste for not boosting anything above 100hz). and that's why in the end while I knew I would prefer the XR, I still went for the SR. because just adding a little 30hz boost seems way easier to me than changing the slope in the 100-300hz to my liking.  that was my decision and it was for practical reasons. if I had no possibility of EQ at all, or had DAPs with great advanced EQ to get exactly what I want, then I would have gotten the XR for sure.
 

Can you please elaborate on "more details"? The reason I'm asking is that I can much more easily pick up details in the treble on my DN2000J (which isn't neutral) than I can on my ER4XR. I guess this must be because some of the DN2000J treble key points are indeed boosted, and it may well be on the expense of some details in the mid-range, but not to an obvious extent (not to me anyway). To be able to hear the same treble details with the ER4XR I need to raise the volume to unhealthy levels. I don't find it very plausible that it is the extended bass response in the ER4XR that's causing this discrepancy in treble detail retrieval.
 
It's possible that the sum of details retrieved (all gamuts) by the ER4XR is greater than that of the DN2000J, and maybe that's your point, but if that's the case it isn't obviously audible, not to me anyway.
 
Anyway, I'd appreciate if you could elaborate a bit on your (in bold) statement. Thanks!
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM Post #8,750 of 16,938

Aero Dynamik

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  The ER4XR bass quantity is definitely and a lot less compared to the DN-2000J.
 
With the right recording the DN-2000J bass is pretty awesome (although not eardrum neutral). As you may remember, the DN2000J bass (unlike the ER4 bass) didn't cause any kind of controversy in the DN2000J thread. To the contrary, everyone seemed to agree it was some of the best bass they had ever gotten from an IEM. On the right day with the right track I just love it
 
However, today isn't one of those days. I'm in an ER4XR mood today and the bass doesn't seem to lack anything; quantity or quality! I should mention though that I'm using a a bit more loudness than I'd ideally want to (but it's not overly loud). I can truthfully say that the ER4XR covers all my bass needs.
 
Non the less, I'm happy I can switch to the DN2000J whenever that craving for "extra everything bass" sets in.

Actually, my question is not naive. I remember people complaining about the bass quantity in DN-2000J thread. About its low quantity, so that people use the bass ring to get more quantity. If you are saying that the quantity is even less in XR, then I am expecting that the bass in XR would almost not color the other frequencies and just give a little bit weight to the sound. Sounds great to me!  I guess "hardcore" fans stick with the SR; some hardcore fans will now give an opportunity to XR because they feel if the ER4S got just a bit more bass it will be perfect; all other people should get the XR; many people that come virgin to Etymotic will find the bass quantity on XR still low for their tastes. I'm thinking loud, don't take me wrong. Thomann haven't shipped my SR yet, so I asked them to trade for XR. I'm an Earsonics house sound guy, if I find the XR bass quantity still low in bass like genres, these are the one to keep because I'm using it for classical and they should be fine then for it. This is not a very valid conclusion but it makes sense to me. 

That is indeed exactly what I'm saying, and your conclusion is spot on!
 
Oh yes, indeed!
 
I think your conclusions are more than valid and make a lot of sense!
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 2:10 PM Post #8,751 of 16,938

ElMarcado

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First of all, I LOVE my ER-4S, but...
 
I find them too bright. The treble is nicely extended and detailed, but there's something about the upper-midrange/treble that causes a weird sibilance and some instruments have too much bite, more than what they have in real life. It's not a recording thing.

 

They are too fatiguing at high volumes too, to my ears, probably caused by the piercing treble. The sound is artificial, very close to neutral, but not that natural. It's almost like they want to sound lifelike, but there's some graininess in the upper-mids/treble preventing him to succeed. YMMV.

I'm using triple flanges and I've been using them for a year. I'm sure that I'm achieving a good seal.

 

Maybe they are just revealing the digital glare of Delta Sigma DAC's? Maybe an O2 is not as transparent as people claim them to be and the ER-4S is showing it?

Please halp. Thanks!

 
PD: This is not a troll review. I seriously think that they are not neutral and a little overrated. Again, YMMV. I wanna know if the problem is my equipment or they are just... that: artificial sounding.
 
I'm using green filters.
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 2:21 PM Post #8,752 of 16,938

castleofargh

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  plz tell if I'm wrong
ph34r.gif

 
Ety tested people to try and find a neutral curve objectively that would include the average mess occurring in the ear(or doesn't occur when we use IEMs): the curve is an average so there is no certainty that it will work for me perfectly. but it's an average that is very close to most research done on the subject and it feels like we can accept the idea that the general curve is very close to what it should be when it comes to purely acoustic considerations. an important element that may not be known by everybody, a balanced signature will always offer more details than one with key points boosted. this is true and IMO the reason why anybody looking for critical listening should aim at neutral sound. it has nothing to do with the signature with the most fun, or the most relaxing!  the purpose is to notice more in the music.

Can you please elaborate on "more details"? The reason I'm asking is that I can much more easily pick up details in the treble on my DN2000J (which isn't neutral) than I can on my ER4XR. I guess this must be because some of the DN2000J treble key points are indeed boosted, and it may well be on the expense of some details in the mid-range, but not to an obvious extent (not to me anyway). To be able to hear the same treble details with the ER4XR I need to raise the volume to unhealthy levels. I don't find it very plausible that it is the extended bass response in the ER4XR that's causing this discrepancy in treble detail retrieval.
 
It's possible that the sum of details retrieved (all gamuts) by the ER4XR is greater than that of the DN2000J, and maybe that's your point, but if that's the case it isn't obviously audible, not to me anyway.
 
Anyway, I'd appreciate if you could elaborate a bit on your (in bold) statement. Thanks!

ahah, of course I meant overall sound details. the part you boost will be louder, better isolated and more noticeable. that's a given, but it also implies some matter of masking for the quieter signals of adjacent frequencies. if you're curious about those stuff, I highly recommend a prescription from doc Floyd Toole who often talked about masking over the years. you can ingest by book, online papers, or youtube videos. he's not alone obviously, but he has such great pedagogy IMO. I often feel like I'm actually understanding what he's talking about ^_^.
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 3:56 PM Post #8,753 of 16,938

theveterans

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 Maybe they are just revealing the digital glare of Delta Sigma DAC's? Maybe an O2 is not as transparent as people claim them to be and the ER-4S is showing it?

 
Not all Delta Sigma DACs. Some DS-dacs like Chord Mojo are so musical that it dramatically removes the digital glare in the upper mids/highs. Bifrost Multibit will do the same trick, but you need a really low output impedance amp for the ER4 to sound best.
 
Jul 19, 2016 at 4:50 PM Post #8,754 of 16,938

Aero Dynamik

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Quote:
 
  plz tell if I'm wrong
ph34r.gif

 
Ety tested people to try and find a neutral curve objectively that would include the average mess occurring in the ear(or doesn't occur when we use IEMs): the curve is an average so there is no certainty that it will work for me perfectly. but it's an average that is very close to most research done on the subject and it feels like we can accept the idea that the general curve is very close to what it should be when it comes to purely acoustic considerations. an important element that may not be known by everybody, a balanced signature will always offer more details than one with key points boosted. this is true and IMO the reason why anybody looking for critical listening should aim at neutral sound. it has nothing to do with the signature with the most fun, or the most relaxing!  the purpose is to notice more in the music.

Can you please elaborate on "more details"? The reason I'm asking is that I can much more easily pick up details in the treble on my DN2000J (which isn't neutral) than I can on my ER4XR. I guess this must be because some of the DN2000J treble key points are indeed boosted, and it may well be on the expense of some details in the mid-range, but not to an obvious extent (not to me anyway). To be able to hear the same treble details with the ER4XR I need to raise the volume to unhealthy levels. I don't find it very plausible that it is the extended bass response in the ER4XR that's causing this discrepancy in treble detail retrieval.
 
It's possible that the sum of details retrieved (all gamuts) by the ER4XR is greater than that of the DN2000J, and maybe that's your point, but if that's the case it isn't obviously audible, not to me anyway.
 
Anyway, I'd appreciate if you could elaborate a bit on your (in bold) statement. Thanks!

ahah, of course I meant overall sound details. the part you boost will be louder, better isolated and more noticeable. that's a given, but it also implies some matter of masking for the quieter signals of adjacent frequencies. if you're curious about those stuff, I highly recommend a prescription from doc Floyd Toole who often talked about masking over the years. you can ingest by book, online papers, or youtube videos. he's not alone obviously, but he has such great pedagogy IMO. I often feel like I'm actually understanding what he's talking about ^_^.

Alright, that's what I suspected, thank you! As a matter of fact, the more I listen to the ER4XR the more evident your statement seems to become. I'm so pleased I gave the ER4 concept another chance!
 
So, Floyd Toole, thanks!
 
Jul 20, 2016 at 3:17 AM Post #8,755 of 16,938

qsk78

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Got my SR yesterday. 

Tried some 3rd party mmcx connector cables like Forza Hybrid and Silver Dragon (both balanced 2.5mm). They work but not very stable - I do lose connection sometimes in one of the ears with Forza. And straight connectors do not really fit into the whole idea/design I guess, they should be angled (L-shaped) like the original ones.
 
 

 
Jul 20, 2016 at 4:14 AM Post #8,756 of 16,938

anton79ru

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Thanks.  Obviously, we weren't going for a monster bass boost.  Over the years, we've heard a lot of people say that they loved their ER4 earphones (either P or S) but wished it had a little bit more low end.  We tried to dial it in so that it added a bit of low end weight but didn't impede too much on the midrange.  We wanted to make sure it wasn't tubby sounding.

 
It's indeed a step in the right direction for those who listen to music outdoors including mass transit. I only wish it had been a smaller step, because the lower end now sounds a bit too "loose", somewhat to the detriment of detail in the mids and highs. Now, since I haven't seen the impedance curve for the new drivers, could anyone please elaborate (or speculate) on what is most likely to happen if I added, say, 40 Ohms to the XR? I'm aiming at tightening the bass and making the upper end more pronounced.
 
Jul 20, 2016 at 4:22 AM Post #8,757 of 16,938

mdiogofs

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It's indeed a step in the right direction for those who listen to music outdoors including mass transit. I only wish it had been a smaller step, because the lower end now sounds a bit too "loose", somewhat to the detriment of detail in the mids and highs. Now, since I haven't seen the impedance curve for the new drivers, could anyone please elaborate (or speculate) on what is most likely to happen if I added, say, 40 Ohms to the XR? I'm aiming at tightening the bass and making the upper end more pronounced.
what player are you using?
 
Jul 20, 2016 at 4:38 AM Post #8,758 of 16,938

anton79ru

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what player are you using?


I currently have a HiFiMan HF-603 and a Hidizs AP100. On the HF-603 I ended up with bloated sound, possibly due to high output impedance of the DAP itself, while on the AP100 it's nearly what I'm looking for - the sound is ideal at high ambient noise levels, but remains a bit bassy in normal conditions. Similarly, my ER4s with a custom 80 Ohm cable sound about right on the AP100, but I had to make it 100 Ohms for the HF-603 to produce faster bass and properly articulated highs. So I though it might work the same way with the XR.
 
Jul 20, 2016 at 5:19 AM Post #8,760 of 16,938

castleofargh

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  I currently have a HiFiMan HF-603 and a Hidizs AP100. On the HF-603 I ended up with bloated sound, possibly due to high output impedance of the DAP itself, while on the AP100 it's nearly what I'm looking for - the sound is ideal at high ambient noise levels, but remains a bit bassy in normal conditions. Similarly, my ER4s with a custom 80 Ohm cable sound about right on the AP100, but I had to make it 100 Ohms for the HF-603 to produce faster bass and properly articulated highs. So I though it might work the same way with the XR.

maybe you should first try to find out what you exactly mean by tightening the bass. is it that you want less overall? that you want less at a given frequency? if so where? is it around 150hz, or do you in fact feel that bass is good when it's strongly rolled off below 80hz(what people usually call "fast" or tight" bass)? 
the way you explain it makes me wonder why you went for the XR. if anything you seem to like even brighter than the er4s or did I get the wrong idea?
and with the same idea, why a hifiman if you enjoy trebles so much? all the DAPs I've tried from them had obvious treble roll off, is the HM-603 different?
 
don't get me wrong, it's not a critic, you do what you like with your ears of course. I'm just suggesting that maybe you're fighting against your own taste in this case.
 

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