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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Etymotic ER-4P a review

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Kilted1's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 22, 2006
Location: Norway
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My New Etymotic ER-4P's. Arrived a couple of days ago.I've read glowing reviews of these in ear wonders. Was I going to be disappointed ?

That question I'll try to answer here. The first question anyone should ask is ."Do I really want to blow $170's on a tiny pair of headphones ?".
I could tell you that you should just do it, It is however not just a question of the money. It has to do with the quality of the music sources and type of music you like to listen to. If you are the type that likes loud bass driven disco thump-thump. Then these are definitely not the headphones for you.

If however you Love to hear your music as it should sound with an openness and clarity that can be very revealing at times then these are for you.
This openness and clarity does have a price( in more ways than one.) The Etymoyics are demanding in their need for quality input . Have you music on your iPod that has been ripped at 256kbps or higher ? Then these ear phones Will reward you with that clarity that is just like being at the concert .

An example of this:

I downloaded a Nora Jones live EP from iTunes Plus. I was rewarded by what felt like a place in front of the stage she was playing on. You could close your eyes and place each of the instruments on the stage and there was absolutely no muddiness in the bass notes and the trebles were crisp and clear. I felt like Nora was singing just for me. I can't find words enough to describe the sensation of so clear sound .

So enough of this romantic twaddle and back to the practicals.

The ear buds are delivered in a plastic case and have a selection of accessories included. Replacement filters and tool. Ear buds(Foam and flanged silicon) shirt clip and an adapter for a standard jack-plug. You also get a small zipped pouch to put your new headphones in while not in use.

The earphones themselves are delivered with silicon flanged inserts fitted. After a painful 15 mins I gave up on them. I read the manual and the foam buds reduce the out side noise a little better 41db compared with 33db for the flanges. They are also a lot more comfy to wear for a long session.
If you place the the buds in your ear wrongly then it is like listening to a cheap transistor radio. So take time to place them right for best results . They are using your ear canals to create the best sound possible after all.

The cables seem very good quality and the upper cables are twisted to reduce the sound of the cables scraping clothing when moving around

A mate at work thought they were a cheap pair of mobile handsfree ear plugs... That's right. They don't look like you have just thrown $170 over the counter. So expect no lift in your street cred . They look cheap especially with the foam inserts fitted. One advantage of this would be I don't think anyone would ever steal them if he /she didn't know what they were.

They stick out of the ear rather far so they look a bit strange compared with all the other in-ears on the market. This may be a problem for hats and the like.

To sum up. I have started to re-ripp a lot of my music. So if you have a large number of tracks ripped at a lower bit rate then you will have to spend time doing this to get the best from your new Etymotics.

I won't go out and say you just have to buy this product . I would suggest that you at least go and try them if possible first (I purchased them without trying them first. A big gamble.. However I'm pleased with the results

At present you can buy 3 pairs of Sennheiser CX300's and still have $30 leftover... The Sennheisers are great too I've used them for a year now . They just seem very closed compared to my Etymotics...

So were the Etymotics worth it... Every Dollar

Thanks for reading

Now with Leopard

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Originally Posted by Kilted1 View Post

So were the Etymotics worth it... Every Dollar

Yes. Yes they are. I use mine in a computer lab environment, so somewhere around 80db of background noise and they completely block that out while listening.

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