Quiet In Ear and Affordable
Nov 25, 2008 at 2:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

n0083

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Quiet In Ear and Affordable

Hello,

Like everyone else purchasing headphones, i've been reading all the reviews I can.

Most of the reviews talk about audio fidelity. However, my criteria for purchasing in-earphones appears to be different than the average folk.

I am about to make a purchase, and figured I double check with the community first.

What matters to me most:
1) Ability to block out ambient noise of all frequencies.
2) Comfort as I will be wearing these 8+hours a day
3) Durability.
4) Price (low please).
5) Company rating (ability to actually talk to someone should i have issues, and easy return policy)
6) Size (bulk, not weight) might be an issue as I may be wearing these to bed
7) Made in USA would be nice (Westone)

Notice sound quality does not enter my criteria, as anything i purchase will most likely be better than my stock earbuds.
Though I enjoy music, the main (if not only) reason for getting these is to help me study and focus on my work.
I am easily distracted, and therefore easily annoyed. I went through college with gun ear protection while studying.
I have ruled out active noise cancellation as these do not work for high frequency.

I listen to classical music to further isolate me during my academic work, by 'masking' other ambient sounds.
For some reason i do not get too distracted from classical music.
I do keep the volume low, and would prefer to not listen to any music if i could really block out the ambient sounds.
However, if i am going to be shoving something in my ear canal, i might as well have the option to get some music if i want it.

Earplugs are not an option, as these are designed to still allow all frequencies through, but to bring down the decibels. I want maximum sound isolation.

It appears to me that the better sound isolation earphones also have better sound (which brings up the price).
In an ideal world, i would have stock earbud quality, but with the best sound isolation and comfort.

To fit these criteria, I am considering the Shure SE110.

Does anyone else have some better recommendations.

I would gladly pay 500$ if i could find a way to not hear anything going on outside of me (it is that important to me).

Perhaps all i need is a bunch of styrofoam ear plugs, and i forget about the music.

I am very curious as to what the community of audio experts has to recommend for me.

Thanks for your time,
duke
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 5:02 AM Post #4 of 20

n0083

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What specifically about the e6i do you make this recommendation for me?

I was thinking about the hf5 by etymotic at one point (i realize about double the cost of the shure se110 and e6i).

The issue I have with etymotic is that the recurring cost for the filters seems sort of exorbitant. How often would i have to replace these filters?

Thanks for the response,
duke
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 5:15 AM Post #5 of 20

jonathanjong

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They definitely fulfill 1, 4, and 6 n your list.
They fulfill 2 for me, anyway.
I've heard good things regarding 3 and 5, but this is not as certain as 1, 4 and 6.
Furthermore, they're easy to drive and they are great for classical due to their sound sig.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 5:53 AM Post #6 of 20

TacticalPenguin

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I will third/fourth/howevermanyth the ER 6is or maybe HF5
1) Ability to block out ambient noise of all frequencies. - Etymotics are isolation kings
2) Comfort as I will be wearing these 8+hours a day - Somewhat hit or miss - you either find them perfect or you absolutely dont - but if you dont, chances are a different eartip will make them perfect
3) Durability - There are people with 3 year old ER 6i's, and if you jump at ER 4's, there are people with 5 or 10 year old ER 4's
4) Price (low please) - $75 or $150 or $180 for ER 4
5) Company rating (ability to actually talk to someone should i have issues, and easy return policy) - I have emailed Etymotic and had about 30 emails back and forth, great service
6) Size (bulk not weight) might be an issue as I may be wearing these to bed - I've worn my 6i's to bed many times, they're great for it especially with small biflanges to sit deep in your ear
7) Made in USA would be nice (Westone) - Yup, Illinois

Filters are $15 for 6 of them - 3 replacements - and I replaced mine just to see if it would affect anything and it didn't really. If you keep your ears clean, you'll almost never (2x a year at max, maybe never at all) need to replace them.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 7:18 AM Post #10 of 20

TacticalPenguin

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Now that I went back and read your post past the list of criterium, you have three options:
1. Etymotic ER 4P
2. Etymotic HF5
3. Etymotic ER 6i

And then some of their magic tips that they sent me that make the triflanges that everyone calls the isolation kings seem like middle of the road isolation. Theyre supposed to be out any time now.....
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 8:33 AM Post #11 of 20

n0083

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First, thanks for all the replies.

Second, for those of you (which is all) recommending er6i,
i) what do you have to say about the 'flimsy' cable?
ii) what do you have to say about having to shove them deep in your to get the isolation/sound quality so that to get them out you almost have to pull on the cable (which breaks it)?

Also, what is it about the shure Se110 that you all think I will not enjoy? Or is it that the you think i will enjoy the er6i better for the money?

Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 8:45 AM Post #13 of 20

TacticalPenguin

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1. The cable is strong, flexible, and durable, it is just thin. I and many others haven't had any problems with it.
2. You don't have to grab the cable to pull them out. With the very smallest deepest tips (small biflanges) I can get them out with my fingers/nails and with most other tips I can easily grab them with my fingers. Foam tips will keep it sticking out far enough that you can grab it with your fingers no doubt. With stock triflanges, it sits in your ear pushing the little flap out and next to it. Plenty of plastic to grab.

The SE110 just isn't that great of a phone compared to others in its price range. You rarely if ever see it recommended.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 2:10 PM Post #14 of 20

sanka

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Occasionally I have to travel by commuter jet, which is very loud. About a year ago, I bought Etymotic ER6i specifically for this, and they work very, very well. I can listen to music at normal volume and the jet noise is just a dull roar in the background.

I use foam tips, specifically the pink ones that came with the ER6i, but now, since the pink ones are no longer available, I use Comply "P" Long foamies. These, despite the fact that Comply says they don't fit the ER6i, actually do fit them OK. You just have to kind of poke them on there.

Re: the filters: I've never had to change filters, but I'm very particular about keeping my ear canals clean. I've looked at the filters under a microscope, and they're totally clean.

I agree, no problem at all with the cable, and no problem at all getting them out of my ears.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 3:50 PM Post #15 of 20

ThePandemonium

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I'll be the one to recommend the SE110, but it took me a while to really like them. You need the triple flange tips for it you give really good isolation, but thats another 15 bucks. The sound isn't the greatest until amped and what not, so I still say just go for the ER6i. Because everyone seems to like those
 

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