Shure E4 vs. UE 5 Pro vs. Etymotic ER-4
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

dangerous_squid

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Please help me decide by voting and telling me the pros and cons of each for those of you who have compared both or have done research.

I've got around a $200 budget, I listen to a wide variety of music, watch movies, and play games. I'm also interested in comfort and isolation. I've read reviews, but need some more answers. Thanks!!
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Mar 27, 2006 at 7:21 PM Post #3 of 13

mbgalg

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i've owned the ue superfi.5 pro's and i just purchased the shure e4g's. the overall quality of the shure's is significantly higher than the ue's. the sound quality(and clarity) is much better; the ue's are a bit muddy albeit with a bit more bass. i like bass and eventhough the shure's don't boom they have the bass when appropriate. the ue's are larger, heavier and not quite as comfortable. i did however find it more difficult to get a good seal with the e4's. the ue's are good but the shure's are better. my vote is for the shure's!
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:30 PM Post #4 of 13

Jasper994

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If it were meant purely for music listening, I'd vote for the E4. Since you want to play games and watch movies too, I voted for the Super.Fi 5 Pro. The added bass will be fun for movies and games and the wider soundstage will work better too. Edwood let me borrow his ER4s for extended periods on several occasions (once when I was considering purchasing a pair and again when I did my big IEM review last summer) and found them to be quite harsh. After auditioning my E4 Ed came to the same conclusion and ended up getting the E4. The ER4p is a different animal. It's polite and enjoyable for mellow music, but I really don't think they'll work well for movies and games.

All of them isolate well, but the E4 and the ER4 will offer more isolation than the 5 Pro. Unless you're going to be in a very noisy environment I don't think this will really be an issue though. Isolation on even the Super.Fi is far superior to any closed headphone I've ever tried.

I find the E4 and Super.Fi fairly equal in comfort, but YMMV. For my ears and with the tips that I use I find that the Super.Fi will occasionally make the openings of my ear canals slightly uncomfortable, while the E4 will occasionally cause the backs of my ears (where the wire rests) to be slightly uncomfortable. I am very sensitive to this though, and most people would probably not be bothered by either one. Probably because the ER4 is designed to be worn straight down rather than over the ear, I tend to find them relatively uncomfortable. Again, YMMV... Some people find the Etymotics very comfortable.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 8:45 PM Post #5 of 13

dangerous_squid

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Excellent advice Jasper, I will take all that into consideration.

I do listen to rap so maybe the bass is better on the UE Pro and I'm not really an audiophile. However, do I want cans that sound good. Noise isolation is another important factor because my nieghbor plays the drums. I've heard that the UE doesn't sit as well in the ear, is this true?
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 12:47 AM Post #6 of 13

TheMarchingMule

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The 5 pros have memory wires that support the IEMs, and while they do stick out, they never go beyond your earlobe, and are easier to grab, adjust, and pull out.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 8:27 AM Post #7 of 13

Jasper994

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dangerous_squid
Excellent advice Jasper, I will take all that into consideration.

I do listen to rap so maybe the bass is better on the UE Pro and I'm not really an audiophile. However, do I want cans that sound good. Noise isolation is another important factor because my nieghbor plays the drums. I've heard that the UE doesn't sit as well in the ear, is this true?



No worries, the Super.Fi 5 Pros do sound very good. To the non-audiophile I'd imagine they would sound absolutely phenominal (actually, to the non-audiophile, the 5 Pro would probably sound like the best of the 3 IEMs in question). To the more discerning, they have their flaws, but they still sound great.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 9:09 AM Post #8 of 13

jagorev

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The super.fi has the best comfort due to shallow insertion, the Etymotics have impressive accuracy and details along with really good isolation (better than super.fi). I don't really know anything about the Shure.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 5:14 PM Post #9 of 13

dangerous_squid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasper994
No worries, the Super.Fi 5 Pros do sound very good. To the non-audiophile I'd imagine they would sound absolutely phenominal (actually, to the non-audiophile, the 5 Pro would probably sound like the best of the 3 IEMs in question). To the more discerning, they have their flaws, but they still sound great.


Cool, my mind is 90% made up. One last question though. Since I'm going to be mainly using my computer with these headphones how does the SF5P match up with the SE4 with equalizer on to make up for any lack of bass/treble? Also, are there cord extensions if I wanted to listen from across the room?
 
Apr 4, 2006 at 2:52 AM Post #10 of 13

rincewind

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I listen to mainly rock/electronica and some soundtracks and recently purchased the Ety ER4-S. Straight out of the box, I heard stuff I'd never heard before and thought they were the best thing since sliced bread.

Then a few days later I realised I'd absent mindedly set the EQ to that I was dialling out nearly everything between 1-3kHz to stop what I consider the harshness of these IEMs at anything but the lowest of volumes. And I'd also boosted the bass because although the bass is there and it is tight and well defined, there's simply not enough of it and it's recessive, I really had to listen for it, and there's no impact whatsoever for rock etc.

My source is an iRiver H140 and I tested with and without my Hornet. Same in all cases. I'm sending them back to Todd to swap for the Shure E4C which apparently has a more full sound, smooth mid-treble and more and deeper bass without lossing too much/if any detail. I'm also going to be testing a mates pair of these on the weekend.
 
Apr 4, 2006 at 3:18 AM Post #11 of 13

angler31337

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I voted for the ER-4p. My reasons are as follows:

1. I own them, and so validate my own decision by encouraging you to follow suit.
2. They offer excellent isolation, and their response accuracy is right there at the top of the heap.
3. They're butt-ugly, and so brand you as a true audiophile whenever you wear them in public.
4. If you really wanted that much bass, you wouldn't be getting IEMs anyway.
5. Because once you try the 4p, you're going to want the 4s, and then you're going to want an amp to really make them shine, and then you'll need a DAC since you want to use your computer as a source, and then you'll start drooling over an upgrade to the RSA SR-71 for your portable listening, and somewhere down the path to foaming-at-the-mouth audiophilea, you'll probably donate to head-fi... which is always good.

-Angler
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Apr 4, 2006 at 3:22 AM Post #12 of 13

asap2006

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Angler, how do you like your U3? How's the sound quality mainly, I just ordered one of these and it came down to the U3 or the new monolith, which was just too expensive when converted from pounds. Also, how's the effectiveness of the eq, any noteable distortion?
 
Apr 4, 2006 at 3:29 AM Post #13 of 13

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by asap2006
Angler, how do you like your U3? How's the sound quality mainly, I just ordered one of these and it came down to the U3 or the new monolith, which was just too expensive when converted from pounds. Also, how's the effectiveness of the eq, any noteable distortion?


So as not to derail the thread (more than I already have), I'll PM you.

-Angler
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