Should I go for the Etymotic ER4p?
Sep 13, 2009 at 8:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

adiZero

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I am looking for my first IEM's and after doing some investigation I think Etymotic ER4p might be the way to go, but....

Some questions before i decide:
1. How will Etymotic ER4p compare with my HD25 I-II in terms of SQ? The HD25 I-II sound a little dark and "closed" for my taste...

2. Will Etymotic ER4p be a nice match with the iBasso D10? Will it benefit at all with a amp?

3. I could get these IEM's for $170, any other IEM's in these price range with even better price/value?
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 8:33 PM Post #2 of 29

mrarroyo

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The Etymotic ER4P or ER4S are very analytical/detailed, and a bit bass shy. I have owned both and the main difference is the P model is much easier to drive due to its lower impedance. The design of these IEMs has not changed in about 15 years and yet they are still very competitive w/ many of the IEMs costing $250 or less.

As stated earlier they are a bit bass shy, the comfy foamies due provide a bit better bass but they are more not as easy to use as the tri-flanged ear-piece.

If you like bass the check out the UM2, they are in the same price range and being a dual drive have more bass. Occasionally the Etymotics are sold for under $125, just make sure you clean and disinfect the ear pieces as well as replacing the filter if needed. Good luck.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:15 PM Post #3 of 29

adiZero

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Thanks Miguel! I guess I have to check out the UM2 aswell, looks a bit more expensive though.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:19 PM Post #4 of 29

nkk

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The bass shyness can be fixed to an extent. My HF5s are the same bass shy signature, and Comply foamies (and people have said Shure olives, buy I have not heard them) help more than the ety foams, and they are more comortable (IMO, of course).

Also, an amp helps the bass a good bit. Never will they be bass monsters or anything, but between putting them on my compass (overkill, but it was what I had to test with at the time) and the foams, I found an acceptable (still a bit shy, but nowhere near as bad as before) amount of bass.

And, the detail is phenomenal if they are your first IEMs. The HF5 was my first, and the er4 is only better.
smily_headphones1.gif


The third thing is that if you buy used, these are such classics that you can recoup all but shipping if you do not like them.

Hope that helps,
NKK
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:22 PM Post #5 of 29

adiZero

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No worries with buying used IEM's? Just had the impression IEM's are best to buy new, guess I am wrong...

Thanks!
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:28 PM Post #6 of 29

nkk

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I have never done it, but others have. I have heard no problems, but then again I probably would not hear about them. So long as you stay on this board, there should be no problem, although of course I cannot guarantee that. Of course you do not use used foamies or anything, and thoroughly disinfect and wash the other ear tips.

If you do want to but new, go for it. You just have to accept that you lose some money if you want to resell.

-Nkk
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:24 PM Post #7 of 29

adiZero

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Will an ipod be able to drive the ER4S??

And is:
ER4S+ibasso d10 better than ER4P+Ipod Classic??
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 11:03 PM Post #8 of 29

ZARIM

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I think ER4S+iBasso D10 willbe better because ER4S shows more details in highs and it has better bass output with AMPs help. ER4P+iPod Classic willbe only better if you don't want extra bulk, highs and more bass.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:48 AM Post #9 of 29

ephemere

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Quote:

Originally Posted by adiZero /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Will an ipod be able to drive the ER4S??


I think the need to amp the S is vastly overstated on these forums.

I've used the ER4P with and without the P-to-S adapter out of my ipod video. With the S adapter the volume is more than loud enough; I keep the volume setting below -24dB most of the time, and -12dB for sustained periods would probably cause permanent hearing damage. I cannot detect any additional distortion at these volume levels. The monitors sound significantly better with the S adapter, so I see no reason ever to use them in "P mode" with the ipod.

Bottom line: The ipod can drive the ER4S just fine.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 3:43 AM Post #10 of 29

nkk

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I am using my HF5s as a basis, but I have read that it also applies to the er4S:

The iPod can drive my HF5 just fine. It gets loud. However, the extra power that an amp provides ups the bass a bit (really the only improvement I had). Although this does not necessitate an amp, this is a big deal for a phone that is pretty bass light. You are correct that there is no need to amp them, but there is a definite gain to be had with the amp.

-Nkk
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 4:45 AM Post #11 of 29

ephemere

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The amp in my 5.5g ipod video needs no extra power to "up the bass" on the ER4S. What you are likely hearing with your HF5 is the inevitable minor sonic difference when you swap out amp #1 (the built-in ipod amp) with amp #2 (whatever outboard amp you're using). If what you want is a bass bump, you can apply some EQ in the ipod without spending any extra money or hauling any extra gear around. Rockbox has a pretty flexible EQ that you can tweak to your heart's desire for free. If, however, what you want is a significantly different sonic signature from what the ER4S offers, then I would advise you to get a different IEM rather than trying to "fix" it with selective upstream distortion.

To the OP: As an owner of the ER4P with the P-to-S adapter and an ipod, here is my advice to you. I completely understand why you would be concerned after reading claims that the ER4S needs outboard amplification. My advice is to buy the ER4P and the $18 adapter from ebay, but don't yet buy any outboard amp. Then do your own experiment with P versus S out of your ipod and apply this decision procedure:
  1. If you think the ipod can drive the S (most likely, if your ipod is like mine and your hearing is not shot):
    1. If you like the sound of either the P or the S, you're done.
    2. If you don't like the sound of either the P or the S, don't try to fix it with an amp. Get a different IEM.
  2. If you think the ipod can't drive the S:
    1. If you like the sound of the P, run it in that mode and be done with it.
    2. If you don't like the sound of the P but like the sound of the S at lower volume levels, only then start thinking about getting an outboard amp.
    3. If you don't like the sound of either the P or the S, don't even try to fix it with an amp. Get a different IEM.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 5:06 AM Post #12 of 29

adiZero

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Thanks a lot for your comments. A final question: How will these IEM's compare to my current closed headphones, Sennheiser HD25 I-II?? Anyone here experienced both??
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 5:32 AM Post #13 of 29

nc8000

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Years back (like 6-8 years) I went from a HD25-1 to ER4 and that was a revelation for me. The HD25 was so dark and muddy compared to the ER4. However the ER4 certainly lost out on bass prominence though not on precession nor depth.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 5:39 AM Post #14 of 29

peli_kan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nkk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I am using my HF5s as a basis, but I have read that it also applies to the er4S:

The iPod can drive my HF5 just fine. It gets loud. However, the extra power that an amp provides ups the bass a bit (really the only improvement I had). Although this does not necessitate an amp, this is a big deal for a phone that is pretty bass light. You are correct that there is no need to amp them, but there is a definite gain to be had with the amp.

-Nkk



Don't compare the HF5 to the ER-4S, their resistances are rather different (16 vs. 100 Ohm) and respond differently to amping. Amps also don't necessarily increase the loudness of base, unless they have built in EQing. Rather, they enable greater clarity and definition, especially at lower frequencies.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 5:58 AM Post #15 of 29

Duckman

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Hate to be the odd one out here, but I find that my ER-4P sounds a bit flat and muffled straight out of an iPod (120GB classic). I have wondered if there are any impedance issues with the iPod in relation to the Etys. No one have a similar experience?
 

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