sealed cans... in-ear vs. out
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wakeride74

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I use sealed cans at work and currently have the DT770-250 which are pretty good but obviously a bit big. I know there is a significant size benefit in the Ety/Sure in-ear sealed style cans but how does the sound stack up against the Beyer and other decent sealed cans? Is there a benefit other than size/convenience in switching to something like the Ety ER-4S?
I am currently using the new Micro amp with the desktop module and listen to rock/metal, country, electronic and classical. As long as I can fit it into my backpack I am not too concerned about size but a less bulky office rig couldn't hurt. Any advise from those who have been able to make comparisons between these two styles would be appreciated, thanks!
 
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jjcha

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I really liked the Shure E5c. I didn't think it was as good as the HD600 or CD3000, but in terms of pure sound quality, it was only a small step down. Ditto for the Shure E4c - I don't think they sound as good as my vintage audio-technica woodies, but it's not like they're that far behind. Likewise, with the Etys - great performers. Hard to think of a full-sized phone to compare them to, but I do think they are about equal to the Shure E5c, and do to their coloration (to my ears) lag behind a good $200 full sized phone.

So you're not losing a whole lot, just in terms of pure tonal quality/PRAT/etc., IMHO. You do lose soundstage though and a sense of open airiness. This matters a lot to me, as I find the in-ear sound makes me feel congested.

They also often don't have that certain magic a good full-sized can can give you. They sound great, but it's in a really straightforward way.

Anyway, bottom line, I very rarely ever use in-ears if I had the option of using a full-sized can, open or closed. They're just not as comfortable, either.

Best regards,

-Jason
 
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catscratch

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Actually, I think that canalphones are a good step behind open phones that can be had at the same price. There's just no comparing the openness, soundstage, bass impact, and overall tone and tembre of the sound. Canalphones sound either unnaturally sharp and hyperdetailed (ER-4), plasticky and muddy (E5c) or soft and washed-out (UM2) - compared to similarly-priced full-sized phones. They're very different animals, with very different technologies, and very different uses. Many of the current IEM's (E5c, UM2) are designed as on-stage monitors primarily, and there you're more concerned with relative sound levels than overall quality. The ER-4S is designed to monitor finished CD recordings, and it supposed to be ultra-revealing, and yes, it is; but it doesn't sound natural. About the only canalphone that I've found that doesn't take a significant step back to full-sized cans is the Stax SR-001, but that's not even a canalphone. It's... actually, I don't know what the hell it is. A very unique headphone, to be sure. And even it requires compromises. The treble is pretty rolled-off, and soundstage is smaller and more in-the-head than a full-sized can.

But, this is of course just my .02; I would recommend that you get the Shure E5c, Westone UM2, or the new UE super.fi pro, and when you do get them, make sure you have a return policy to go with them, so that you can audition them safely and try them out for a few days. The ER-4S won't have the bass you need if you're used to the DT770. If anything, canalphones do sound good, objectively speaking, and their practicality is supreme.
 
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wakeride74

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hmmm... interesting, thank you both for your detailed input. I love my HD650's and they best the DT770's by far to no surprise, I have no intention of looking beyond those for home use but I have to use sealed at work so the dt770's travel to my desk every day. I've read a lot of good things about the Shure E4C and E5C but don't see many apples vs. oranges with respect to the in ear and over ear seald cans comparisons. As usual I guess the best thing would be to do as catscratch said and listen to some that are returnable
 
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