No Line-Out for plane travel =( (Etymotics with Amp?)
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BeyerMonster

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Hi all,
I've been thinking about getting some Etymotics for quite a while, but couldn't really justify the purchase since I'm very happy with my DT831/LittleMP combo. I was tempted by the Airhead/Etymotic ER6 combo (a steal), but my laptop has no line-out. One of my friends had an Airhead (before he bought a Cosmic), and I wasn't too crazy about the faint hiss/buzzing that it had when used with the Panasonic PCDP he used to use. Anyone know if the Total Airhead has that problem as well?

In short, these are the three options I am considering:
1) ER6 w/ Airhead
2) ER6 w/ Total Airhead
3) ER6 w/o amp
4) ER4P w/o amp

Any and all comments appreciated (especially the Headroom folks)
 
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LTUCCI1924

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BeyerMonster
HI: Welcome to head-fi. If you want a killer rig I would suggest the er-4p with the mini amp by fixup.net.
 
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marcopolo

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BeyerMonster,

I can only comment on my experience with the ER-4P. IMO, it is an outstanding piece of equipment with no amp 'requirement.' After reading the various threads on this forum, I soon learned, an amp was probably an investment I would appreciate. I purchased FixUps SuperMini and noticed a significant improvement. Could I live with just the ER-4P and no amp? Yes. Do I always have the amp with me now? Yes. Budget may dictate what you do. I am a believer however, in the ER-4P. Good luck
 
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mikel51

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ditto on the recomendation for the Er-4P with or without an amp. My first purchase for air travel was an er6/airhead combo. Soon after, I boughyt an ER4P. Without an amp, the ER4P is beter than the ER6 with amp. You can find ER4Ps on EBay for a bit over $200. I can also reccomend the super mini from Fixup if he is still selling them. I use mine mostly for air travel. The ER4Ps severely reduce airplane noise.
 
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pedxing

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I would skip the ER-6 and go for the ER-4P. The ER-6 sounds good, but it does have its short comings such as the de-emphasized bass and quick treble roll-off. The ER-6 are not as rated as well as the ER-4's when it comes to noise attenuation.
 
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dparrish

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I would go with the Total Airhead and Ety 4S, not 4P. If you're going to get the 4Ps, at least get the fixup cable so you can convert it to 4S. The frequency response of the 4S is much better.

I had an Airhead and didn't care for it. I later bought a Total Airhead and, although it isn't anything near a Cosmic, it is quite a bit better than the Airhead and much better than the headphone out on any portable. I have the 2AA version; I'm sure the 3AA or 4.5 volt version sounds even better. For ultra portable use (with an Airbag, for instance, along with your PCDP), the Total Airhead is great, IMO.

David
 
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BeyerMonster

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Everybody, thx for the suggestions. I know that the 4S + Total Airhead is gonna sound better than all of my suggestions with a line out, but there are still 2 problems with that.

1) I have no LINE OUT!!! The target application is laptop on airplane for movies and a PCDP.
2) 4S + Total Airhead is about twice my target budget!!!

I really don't plan on using this anywhere except for when I travel (which really isn't that often). If you look at my sig, you'll see that I already have a pretty decent setup for non-airplane use.

I guess I really have 2 questions:
1) Does a Total Airhead + Headphone jack sound better than a headphone jack?
2) Does an ER4P w/o amp sound better than ER6 + Total Airhead.

thx to everyone for responding, especially pedxing and mikel51.
 
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mikel51

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The airhead and total airhead are designed to be used with a headphone jack as the input--not a line out. They come with a cord to patch your headphone output to the amp input.

Although I don't have a total airhead, I can't imagine it making an ER-6 sound better than the ER-4.

I'd still recommend getting the ER4P so that you can use it w/o an amp, and later, when the bug demands you can add amplifiers and 4P-4S adapters.
 
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jopi

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I've been using an iPod with an without self-built cmoy amp with my 4Ps. The iPod doesn't have a line out and the sound is more detailed with more accurate bass and more extensions in the highs by using the amp. One thing I haven't tested yet: My cmoy has extra resistors at the headphone out to convert my 4Ps into 4S so I'm not sure whether the improvement comes from the amp, the 4P-->4S conversion or both.

One more thing: There is a noticable, but for my taste not bothersome hiss when the amp is connected at normal listening levels. This could be a problem of too much gain with the cmoy (11). The iPod is almost dead silent even at full volume without the amp.

My recommendation: Get the 4P without an amp for now. The sound quality is very good for portable. You still have the option later on to improve by adding an amp and a 4P-->4S cable.
If you go with 6S and an amp, you can't easily upgrade anymore.
 
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golfindude

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Beyer,
I travel every week and had the same thoughts/issues (at least 'till I got my MD player......HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for lots of reasons over the laptop). At any rate, got sick of crappy sound, so went for the ETY-4P, and am waiting on a JMT-built portable META with stacked output buffers to turn the 4P-s into 4S's. This allows use of the 4P without the amp in a pinch, while turning them into the better sounding 4S with the amp. Can't wait to try this rig out.

Good Luck!
 
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