If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...
Jul 27, 2016 at 6:35 PM Post #8,896 of 19,169
The drop in impedance and increase in sensitivity at the same performance level is pretty huge. I went from ER-4S to ER-4XR and I'm happy with my choice, since I don't need an amp.

The impedance of the ER4s, never really bothered me, simply because I am carrying a portable amp with me most of the time. In the the rare cases I do not want an amp, I still had the ER4p to fall back on.
 
I still do think that around $300 for an 'upgrade' is quite a lot, as for the same price one could purchase products which better complement the ER4s in ones collection.
 
Are the (sensitivity-independant) sound improvement that big? It don't seem to catch is from the previous posts in this thread.
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 7:32 PM Post #8,897 of 19,169
   
 
I still do think that around $300 for an 'upgrade' is quite a lot, as for the same price one could purchase products which better complement the ER4s in ones collection.
 
 

 
I suspect that is why there are so many ER4s up for sale privately.
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 7:57 PM Post #8,898 of 19,169
 
I suspect that is why there are so many ER4s up for sale privately.

Well that is a possibility, people trying to get their upgrade funds.
But at the same time, i didn't see people discuss the improvements to be very huge (or worthwhile). Of course people are happy with their
upgrade, but i am not feeling a large amount of persistent exitement here.
 
Am I missing something?
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 9:00 PM Post #8,899 of 19,169
Hi everybody! I bought ER4s a few days ago and these are marvelous phones... I use them with FiiO X5 and it's ok. But it may be far better. I plugged them into my Muse Dac Model Two and Scorpion HV1 (very good polish tube amp) and .... they played better than HD800 and GS1000 :) Really better. On the other hand - Stax is still another league.
 
But anyway, it looks like if someone doesn't have a big money to spend and wants a hi-end sound it is good idea to buy Etymotic and good dac and amp on the desk :) It looks to me that they are better than most of dynamic headphones!
 
Now I think about Colorfly C4 as I heard it is good companion for them :) And new ER4-SR are tempting but I hope I'll say stop as I use portable from time to time :)
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 9:02 PM Post #8,900 of 19,169
It's quite simple - the ER-4SR is the ER-4S that's much easier to drive.

The ER-4XR has the "fun" bass signature of the ER-4PT while the zero compromise treble signature of the ER-4S.

The ER-4SR is replacing the ER-4S since it's the same sound that's easier to drive. The ER-4XR is replacing the ER-4PT since it's as easy to drive and as fun as the ER4-PT without the treble compromises.

What's confusing?
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 9:17 PM Post #8,901 of 19,169
  Well that is a possibility, people trying to get their upgrade funds.
But at the same time, i didn't see people discuss the improvements to be very huge (or worthwhile). Of course people are happy with their
upgrade, but i am not feeling a large amount of persistent exitement here.
 
Am I missing something?


Well, really neutral is neutral. So bumping the bass is going to appeal to some. As I never felt it lacking my motivation, especially without having significant time to hear the new models is very low.
 
 For those who just have to be the first kid on the block with the new faster sneakers, selling privately is going to put you far ahead of the upgrade pricing.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 2:01 AM Post #8,902 of 19,169
It's quite simple - the ER-4SR is the ER-4S that's much easier to drive.

The ER-4XR has the "fun" bass signature of the ER-4PT while the zero compromise treble signature of the ER-4S.

The ER-4SR is replacing the ER-4S since it's the same sound that's easier to drive. The ER-4XR is replacing the ER-4PT since it's as easy to drive and as fun as the ER4-PT without the treble compromises.

What's confusing?


So the SR/XR is mainly about detachable cables, casing material & easy-to-drive rather than sound quality improvement from S/PT?
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 8:11 AM Post #8,903 of 19,169
It's quite simple - the ER-4SR is the ER-4S that's much easier to drive.

The ER-4XR has the "fun" bass signature of the ER-4PT while the zero compromise treble signature of the ER-4S.

The ER-4SR is replacing the ER-4S since it's the same sound that's easier to drive. The ER-4XR is replacing the ER-4PT since it's as easy to drive and as fun as the ER4-PT without the treble compromises.

What's confusing?

So would you guys say that the ER4SR are closer to the original ER4s, than the ER4XR are to the ER4p?
 
Nothing is confusing. I was just inquiring about the magnitude of the sound quality improvement and whether a general consensus exists as to whether a straight upgrade from a fully functioning ER4s is worthwhile.
 
 
Quote:

Well, really neutral is neutral. So bumping the bass is going to appeal to some. As I never felt it lacking my motivation, especially without having significant time to hear the new models is very low.
 
 For those who just have to be the first kid on the block with the new faster sneakers, selling privately is going to put you far ahead of the upgrade pricing.

 
So you think it is just blind upgraditis, striking again? 
biggrin.gif

 
Because in my experience on head-fi.org, there is first a huge hype, a selling wave and a subsequent wave of new purchases with many new impressions flooding in.
Here it was just a selling craze with no subsequent impression hype. 
This just made me a bit curious about the amount of agreed-upon improvement.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 9:27 AM Post #8,904 of 19,169
 
So the SR/XR is mainly about detachable cables, casing material & easy-to-drive rather than sound quality improvement from S/PT?


The sound quality improvement is there over the PT for sure - you have the neutrality in the SR and the mix of fun and neutrality in the XR. Over the S, you're going to have more bass quantity in the XR (which some would say is an improvement indeed). Going from the S to the SR is the least pure sound improvement I suppose, going from 100db sensitivity @ 100 ohms to 122db sensitivity @ 42 ohms and getting the same sound is not trivial. Whether or not that fits your lifestyle any better is a different story.
 
This reminds me of a debate I had with a friend over Mac vs PC - everything I said the PC does better got the response of "I don't do that" or "I don't need that".
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 10:06 AM Post #8,905 of 19,169
The sound quality improvement is there over the PT for sure - you have the neutrality in the SR and the mix of fun and neutrality in the XR. Over the S, you're going to have more bass quantity in the XR (which some would say is an improvement indeed). Going from the S to the SR is the least pure sound improvement I suppose, going from 100db sensitivity @ 100 ohms to 122db sensitivity @ 42 ohms and getting the same sound is not trivial. Whether or not that fits your lifestyle any better is a different story.

This reminds me of a debate I had with a friend over Mac vs PC - everything I said the PC does better got the response of "I don't do that" or "I don't need that".


I hear the SR as strictly better than the S. They shaved just a hair off of the mids, and the treble sounds slightly more present/defined. These two new attributes are fairly minor improvements, but definitely audible to me.

A bigger and more notable improvement to me is the bass, which sounds more defined. This improved definition results in a perceived emphasis increase, even though I don't think the emphasis is necessarily increased over the ER4S. It's just that bass lines and the edges of bass notes are more easily discernable on the SR.

To me, these changes make the SR an easy upgrade choice from the S. The SR sounds noticeably better to me over the S. Not everyone will agree, but at least a couple other folks have expressed similar thoughts in this thread.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 10:22 AM Post #8,906 of 19,169
To me, these changes make the SR an easy upgrade choice from the S. The SR sounds noticeably better to me over the S. Not everyone will agree, but at least a couple other folks have expressed similar thoughts in this thread.

Well there you go. Now, imagine if you were really let down by the lack of bass - the XR would blow your mind!

As an aside, this form factor is the best for Comply tips. I've ordered S-100 series tips, because I have a hunch that they'll be the best overall.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 11:08 AM Post #8,907 of 19,169
Although I have an account of head-fi I rarely visit here. I guess I'm not that audiophile.
I have ER4s and 4b for a few years, and going through this thread with all your useful info prompted me to get a pair of ER4-XR to complement these two, since I've always wanted to get a pair of 4p.
I'm no expert on sound quality so I'm not going to comment on that. But in terms of appearance, I love how the new metal body looks. The cable is so much softer to touch and drastically decreases the microphonics. They also seem to protrude less out of the ears, thus more easy to wear over the ear, which I prefer. The splitter is smaller and lighter and doesn't weigh or drag on your clothes like the old ones.
The clip looks a bit flimsy though. The L/R marks are not prominent enough to tell apart with touch. My least favourite part of it is the plug. I know it's designed this way to accomodate some phone cases, but it  protrudes too much for my taste.
All in all I like the improvements over the old ones.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 11:19 AM Post #8,908 of 19,169
The microphonics are improved greatly, however a braided cable will always have some subtle microphonics. Shure absolutely nailed it with cable microphonics.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 11:55 AM Post #8,909 of 19,169
I've received a XR today. I've never tried an Etymotic earphone before. I actually like everything about it. Well, except the cable micro phonics. But that could be normal, wearing it cable down. But I'll be listening to it in a steady environment. It's very small, and deep insertion doesn't bother me. It sounds different from everything I've tried before: the instruments sound like real instruments, as when you go to a live performance. This is impressive to me and it's a factor that I had never given that much importance. I never really thought much about it, still I have this hobbie in a much more active way just for about two years. The real representation of instruments and not so, it's really important I feel and it is for me a game changer. It's also a not very sensitive earphone and requires some power. I'm used to power hungry IEMs, like the ones from the Earsonics brand, so it's easy to me to identify this. Not a problem to me, I have a powerful DAP and handles a lot of volume. And have not tried yet in other source. I have a ritual when I buy a new IEM: let it play the Daft Punk RAM 88/24bit album about 3 times on a row (burn in bench), not on my ears, and double the normal volume listening. It really strikes me out that it shows no distortion and how clean and perfectly matched the channels sound, even at higher volume. This is also impressive, they never sound off to me. The bass plays a role in here, it has good quantity in sound as a whole and it can't be loose. About the bass, even the XR, to me, it's bass shy to play determined genres of music where bass is the main character, and not so. Some prefer those genres like this, OK. I'll not go further on this, it's very subjective to personal tastes. Something that I can't stand is an earphone than can't show the sub bass when the music asks for it. And feeling that the sound has no weight. I guess these does it quite well in conformance to the rest of the frequencies, and not overshadowing them. I like the sub bass in these. It only appears when called and I wouldn't like less quantity than this. This applies to overall bass I guess. So, it's perfect for me...as I will be using this to play classical music, acoustic, orchestra, jazz, some OST, slow music, genres more in this registry. For instance, for Rock music I would not like this that much, it's not "fun" enough to me: bass is shy with low quantity and weak impact, and sound isn't thick enought. Like when you go see an orchestra performance, you ear the instruments, when you go to a Rock concert you hear the speakers with a nice bass slam and a bit rolled off treble. I guess ER4-XR is perfect for the first example, as it makes you feel you are there, in the audience of a classical performance, you really feel that its instruments are playing live in front of you. And that's outstanding, I really appreciate the existence of these IEMs and the brand Etymotic. I became a fan. These are my sincerely first impressions for now. Also wanted to add that I noticed a good soundstage and also a good projection of sound in distance, but I've not that much experience.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 1:14 PM Post #8,910 of 19,169
The sound quality improvement is there over the PT for sure - you have the neutrality in the SR and the mix of fun and neutrality in the XR. Over the S, you're going to have more bass quantity in the XR (which some would say is an improvement indeed). Going from the S to the SR is the least pure sound improvement I suppose, going from 100db sensitivity @ 100 ohms to 122db sensitivity @ 42 ohms and getting the same sound is not trivial. Whether or not that fits your lifestyle any better is a different story.

This reminds me of a debate I had with a friend over Mac vs PC - everything I said the PC does better got the response of "I don't do that" or "I don't need that".


I hear the SR as strictly better than the S. They shaved just a hair off of the mids, and the treble sounds slightly more present/defined. These two new attributes are fairly minor improvements, but definitely audible to me.

A bigger and more notable improvement to me is the bass, which sounds more defined. This improved definition results in a perceived emphasis increase, even though I don't think the emphasis is necessarily increased over the ER4S. It's just that bass lines and the edges of bass notes are more easily discernable on the SR.

To me, these changes make the SR an easy upgrade choice from the S. The SR sounds noticeably better to me over the S. Not everyone will agree, but at least a couple other folks have expressed similar thoughts in this thread.

Completely agree.
 

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