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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you...

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  1. mark88888
    I'm not going to call it a step up, but I would strongly recommend the BLON 03. You may have noticed the hype about them, the hype is real. I modified them to wear straight down rather than over the ear, new foam tips, new cord on the way. They sound great and I'll definitely be alternating between the ER4XR and the BLON 03. The cost is unbelievable considering how they sound.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    Gorktastick likes this.
  2. chinmie
    They sound really different though..but i agree with you that the Blon is a great product to have.
    The only upgrade of the ER4XR that i have heard personally is the Inear Prophile 8.
  3. SteveOliver
    I have a similar issues too with IEM fit or at least I used to, It is definitely a case of finding the right IEM that suits my ear regardless of larger sound tube or smaller. I have more luck with physically smaller IEM's, the Etymotic er4xr are perfect in that respect. Like you I find the Westone and Shure models are great too. I would like to try IEM's like the Sony IER-Z1R or Campfire Solaris but I know that they won't fit properly and that will shorten the listening time for me.

    The cable is important for me too, the recent trend towards angled MMCX cables seem to bring the connections out at a better angle for me to hook around my ear.

    The Westone W80 is my current favourite with Spinfit CP-800 tips, M or L are perfect, but the W80 is very source dependant it needs the right source to sound good due to its low impedance.
    robm321 likes this.
  4. dairy
    I have the same issue with my ears. Have tried various IEMs with larger shapes, but have found the barrel type IEM to be the best fit.

    For a different type of sound but with a similar style design, try the Final E series IEMs. I have the E5000s and have found them to be a great complement to my Etys. They're a lot warmer, but are a much more laid back listen for me than my Etys for when I just want to some background music in bed or at work.
  5. guicnovaes
    The Er3 and ER4 uses single BA and I I don't hear any of these "weirdness timbre" problems. In fact, I think that the timbre problems are due to the Frequency Response of the IEM.

    I've heard C.A Andromeda, but I didn't think it's worth even a quarter of the price. It is a common V-shape with good bass, recessed and dark mids and high treble. In some recordings, the highs even bother.

    I found it does not compare to the naturalness and fidelity of the ER3XR, both stock and with the 75ohm adapter (the sound is virtually identical to the ER4XR).

    I have the opinion that no IEMs worth 1000usd or more. What is usually seen is the manufacturers putting several BAs in the earphones and raising prices, but the results are bizarre Frequency Response Curves, in terms of Fidelity (neutrality) Real jokes ...

    Take, for example, the J.H Layla II, which they claim to have "reference" neutral, costs $ 2750 and has this disgusting Frequency Response Curve:

    graph (40).png

    Prophile 8 is also said to be neutral, but look at this graph compared to ER4XR. I do not see this as an upgrade to ER4XR. Despite it have what I would consider a good Frequency Response, it has elevated treble and a little recessed mids, compared to the Ety. So, it's good, but not better, in terms of neutrality.

    graph (41).png
  6. dr cornelius
    I have to try more tips, but the Andro's bass takes over. The bass is less detailed than 4XR's, and the Andro's bass bloat muddies up the (recessed) mids... I moved back to the 4XR's from the SR's, and IMO it's hard to better them for the price...
  7. mark88888
    They do sound very different. Addressing the OP, to my ear they indeed have more soundstage, and definitely more bass. For me they are also warmer. Really I think they're spectacular and a very worthy companion earphone to the ER4XR.
  8. luisdent
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
    Schwarzschild likes this.
  9. mark88888
    Does Etymotic sell a balanced cable for the ER4XR? I couldn't find one on their website. If not, are there any from other companies that fit them well and are recommended? Thanks for any advice about this!!
  10. ClieOS Contributor
    No they don't. There was talk about an official balanced cable, though my guess is that it was cancelled after the new management takes over. I built my own but you can find most headphone cable makers offer it these days. Even Lunashops has some.
    mark88888 likes this.
  11. mark88888
    Ah I see, thank you... is there any cable in particular that's recommended (by anyone)? I'm thinking about good quality and a good fit, meaning it won't detach easily. It would also be nice if it doesn't break as easily as the stock Etymotic one. :)

    Also, is there any particular reason why the ER4XR might not work well (sound good) with a balanced cable? Like, is it somehow optimized for a normal 3.5 cable? It's a little odd to me that they don't offer one, being how popular they currently are.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  12. ClieOS Contributor
    It is not an universal rule but balanced usually will improve SQ, or at least won't degrade it. I don't think Etymotic only intends any of its IEM to be single-ended driven, but it is more of an issue of whether it will make enough profit to justify a new production line.
    mark88888 likes this.
  13. briank996
    If anyone was interested in a TWS Etymotic, I’ve found that they work really well with the TRN BT20(S) adapters.

    Needed to shave off about 1/32nd of the rubber on the TRN adapter for the MMCX to connect properly, then put a tiny bit of heat shrink over the adapter and the earphone to cover the small gap. Very easy and heat shrink not necessary, just made it look pretty.

    The big differences between the TRN BT20 and BT20S is that the ’S’ model has a matte finish, runs with higher gain, has better battery life and supports APT-X. Both models support AAC, so if you’re primarily using a Mac / IOS, you may not find much benefit with the S model.

    Here’s the results of testing I’ve done with the Etymotic models I have access to.

    Etymotic ER4 XR
    TRN BT20 - No Hiss
    TRN BT20S - No Hiss

    Etymotic ER3 XR
    TRN BT20 - Slight Hiss
    TRN BT20S - Noticeable Hiss

    Etymotic ER2 XR
    TRN BT20 - No Hiss
    TRN BT20S - No Hiss

    Microphone quality sucks on both.

    BT connectivity and sound quality are stellar.

    I have to say that with my iPhone I notice zero difference between these and wired from a sound quality perspective.

    Definitely my new favorite gadget.


    Can be securely and comfortably worn in two different ways.


    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    Malfunkt, SteveOliver and astro like this.
  14. astro
    Thanks for the review @briank996

    I have the KZ Apt-X Bluetooth 5.0 cable
    The sound quality is great. There's no hissing with my ER4XR
    The connection is not secure because the keyed MMCX connector from Etymotic. There's an offset on the Etymotic side of the connector that prevents it from snapping in all the way. The earphone pops out sometimes and it's liable to getting lost.

    It's a good idea for you to put heatshrink on yours. The 45 degree angle of the connector is perfect for the Ety too.
  15. briank996
    Thanks! Yes, once you shave a tiny bit of the rubber off of the TRN's mmcx connector, it snaps in securely and will not fall out. (key not an issue) Heat shrink really is just for aesthetics.

    With the deep insertion and TWS configuration, they feel like nothing. Very liberating.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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