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Etymotic Research ER4XR Extended Response Earphones

$160
$299.95
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Update: This popular deal is now $159.99.

Adorama has Etymotic Research ER4XR Extended Response Earphones on sale for $199 -> now $159.99. Shipping is free. Thanks iconian
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Edited October 16, 2020 at 02:33 PM by
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Created 09-06-2020 at 10:04 AM by iconian
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#31
Thumbs up and in! I've always wanted to try these, and if I don't like them, I can't imagine reselling will be too difficult, considering the price I'm getting these at. Bracing my ears for the deep penetration (... Well it's true) as I type...
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#32
I've used ER4P for over a decade, and love them. I even had custom silicone tips made by getting molds made of my ears for better isolation. Works amazing!
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Last edited by handoverfist77 September 6, 2020 at 08:23 PM.
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#33
This is my honest question and I would really appreciate if some of you guys who are into music and audio can help me out. What is so great about this earbuds that make it this expensive?

Like I got the Sony WF-1000XM3 from a deal a few days ago and to be honest it just have everything I could ask for. Awesome bass, awesome treble and mid as well. And the Sony is only like around $100 with deal.
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#34
Quote from neddo
:
LDAC (which every Android phone supports) is virtually identical to wired. Take any number of LDAC BT receivers and add possibly the best $200-$300 headphones in these Etymotics and you stolen high end sound for a genuinely good price relative to MSRP.
Quote from neddo
:
I haven't kept up with the field in years, so there may be a better option these days but the FiiO BTTR3 was pretty good years ago when LDAC was catching steam.
LDAC is better than Apt-X/HD but not even close to good quality wired headphones.
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not thank ?
#35
Quote from baphimevan
:
This is my honest question and I would really appreciate if some of you guys who are into music and audio can help me out. What is so great about this earbuds that make it this expensive?

Like I got the Sony WF-1000XM3 from a deal a few days ago and to be honest it just have everything I could ask for. Awesome bass, awesome treble and mid as well. And the Sony is only like around $100 with deal.
The Etymotics are famous for *accuracy* - what the listener hears is what the creator of the music intended.

Being accurate is a very different challenge than simply sounding pleasing. There are lots of ways to make speakers or headphones that people will enjoy; there are fewer ways to make transducers that are transparent. And those fewer ways mean cost-reducing engineering compromises are less available.

That doesn't mean simply buying the cans that sound best to you is wrong. Quite the opposite - that's exactly what everyone should do. Buy and use whatever makes you happy.

But as a user of Etymotic ER4's for over 20 years I find their sound - or perhaps better said, their lack of their own sound so the details of the music can be heard - exquisite.

Two Big Points:

Any decent headphone needs to be driven by a quality *headphone amplifier* to sound their best. The amplifier circuitry in most consumer devices is built to a price point of a few cents. Not that more expensive is always better, but one rarely gets what one doesn't pay for. Headphones are really best thought of as "headphones+amplifier." It's foolish to buy expensive phones and then cripple them by driving them with $0.25 (or less) amp circuitry.

AN IMPORTANT WARNING ABOUT ALL HEADPHONES

Trying to get headphones to have the same bass sound as speakers will rapidly give you permanent hearing loss.

Bass frequencies are coupled into the auditory system mostly through the mandible - NOT through the ear canal. Turning up the volume (or even eq'ing) so the bass on headphones has that familiar "thump" will result in ear canal SPL's that will soon fry the tiny cells of your inner ear.

Train your brain to expect different bass when using cans - it's not hard to do, and fast becomes a reflex - and save your hearing. Deafness or tinnitus are both excruciating conditions, don't suffer them for a lifetime for no reason.

Happy listening everyone.
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#36
Quote from xUnKnOwNx
:
how does this compare to the shure 425 or 525?
I cannot give a direct comparison to the ER4XR, I currently own ER3XR and used to own both Shure iems. I will say that the bass on the both the Shure 425 and 525 is very anemic, but they are great for listening to music where the focus isn't bass. Between the 425 and 525, I would get the 525. The 425 were more of an analytical IEM and I honestly did not enjoy listening to music with them.

The ER3XR has enough bass that I enjoy using them to listen to rap/hip-hop/rnb, as well as many other genres to include classical, folk, rock, alternative. I've read that the ER3XR and ER4XR are pretty similar in tuning so take what I said with a grain of salt and read a few more reviews, but I would buy the ER4XR at this price if I didn't already own the ER3XR.
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#37
Quote from firebirdude
:
I used the Etymotic Research 4P for years. Great earbud obviously, but hurt my ears after about an hour of use, even with the foam tips instead. This made me shop around casually for a different set. I eventually found something that sounded, to my ears, 90% as nice at a fraction of the price. Sold my 4Ps on eBay for the same amount I paid for them years before that.
I'm curious as well about which IEM you ended up with.
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#38
Quote from AlwaysVigilant
:
The Etymotics are famous for *accuracy* - what the listener hears is what the creator of the music intended.

Being accurate is a very different challenge than simply sounding pleasing. There are lots of ways to make speakers or headphones that people will enjoy; there are fewer ways to make transducers that are transparent. And those fewer ways mean cost-reducing engineering compromises are less available.

That doesn't mean simply buying the cans that sound best to you is wrong. Quite the opposite - that's exactly what everyone should do. Buy and use whatever makes you happy.

But as a user of Etymotic ER4's for over 20 years I find their sound - or perhaps better said, their lack of their own sound so the details of the music can be heard - exquisite.

Two Big Points:

Any decent headphone needs to be driven by a quality *headphone amplifier* to sound their best. The amplifier circuitry in most consumer devices is built to a price point of a few cents. Not that more expensive is always better, but one rarely gets what one doesn't pay for. Headphones are really best thought of as "headphones+amplifier." It's foolish to buy expensive phones and then cripple them by driving them with $0.25 (or less) amp circuitry.

AN IMPORTANT WARNING ABOUT ALL HEADPHONES

Trying to get headphones to have the same bass sound as speakers will rapidly give you permanent hearing loss.

Bass frequencies are coupled into the auditory system mostly through the mandible - NOT through the ear canal. Turning up the volume (or even eq'ing) so the bass on headphones has that familiar "thump" will result in ear canal SPL's that will soon fry the tiny cells of your inner ear.

Train your brain to expect different bass when using cans - it's not hard to do, and fast becomes a reflex - and save your hearing. Deafness or tinnitus are both excruciating conditions, don't suffer them for a lifetime for no reason.

Happy listening everyone.
Wow thank you so much for your very detailed reply. I have 3 follow up questions since you are very knowledgeable on the issue:
1/ how does this tiny earbuds can perform better in sounding more accurate, let's say compare to a larger studio headphones such as the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (which is also less expensive)

2/ can you really hear the very high frequency sounds or the super low frequency sounds that generate by high-end earbuds? I have tried to listen to several hi-fi headphones before but I seriously cannot understand what make them really special. Maybe because the music track I use to test was only MP3 format, but again I don't think my ears is that meticulous to pick up on the differences between MP3 and Loseless.

3/ since I already got the Bluetooth headphones, is there anyway I can add an headphones amp to make the music sounds better?
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#39
I read a review of etymotics about 15 years ago. The guy said they were great to use while cutting the grass on a riding lawn mower. That was what sold me on them. One problem I and others found at the time, the sound of the cord slapping into anything was very annoying.
One side of mine broke. Might have to check these out.
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#40
Quote from butter123
:
LDAC is better than Apt-X/HD but not even close to good quality wired headphones.
Give me a break. I have tested the Orpheus and down the line and own a pretty quality setup; if you think you'd be able to reliably identify the wired ER4XR vs the LDAC-sourced ER4XR I'll eat you shoes.

LDAC is virtually lossless, assuming your receiver is close enough to the transmitter to ensure enough (>990Kbps) throughput.
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#41
Quote from gtautumn
:
Great price. I've used these and their predecessors for 15 years, ill never buy anything else. At their original price, they are the best value in audio, at this price you'd be stupid to pass this up.
Lacks crispness, lacks separation, lacks depth, bass is one-note, smooth treble

Get something else, this is good 5 years ago
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#42
Quote from baphimevan
:
Wow thank you so much for your very detailed reply. I have 3 follow up questions since you are very knowledgeable on the issue:
1/ how does this tiny earbuds can perform better in sounding more accurate, let's say compare to a larger studio headphones such as the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (which is also less expensive)

2/ can you really hear the very high frequency sounds or the super low frequency sounds that generate by high-end earbuds? I have tried to listen to several hi-fi headphones before but I seriously cannot understand what make them really special. Maybe because the music track I use to test was only MP3 format, but again I don't think my ears is that meticulous to pick up on the differences between MP3 and Loseless.

3/ since I already got the Bluetooth headphones, is there anyway I can add an headphones amp to make the music sounds better?
Bro, for the price it's not worth it, treble sounds mudded, sound stage limited. This is good 5 years ago. Now, I would not touch it with even 10 feet pole.

If you have $200 to spend, try Dunu or FIIO

If you have exactly $200 try Mangird Tea IN EAR MONITOR, lol yeah, that's the brand name

If you have less, wants to get the best sound, get CCA CA16 (need upgraded spinfit tip and silver cable) or get FIIO FD1

All those above will beat ER4XR for sure. For ER4XR, you need an amp player to tweak it with EQ. For regular use for iphone and stuff, I STRONGLY NOT RECOMMENDING this iem, use it as is you will be disappointed.

You want honest review? Go here

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/...4xr.21847/
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09-06-2020 at 10:33 PM
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#44
Quote from PowerfulTank3955
:
FYI: There are much better sounding earbuds at this price point...
Obviously depends on your definition of "better sounding," but if your goal is accuracy, there really aren't.
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#45
Quote from BlueNeo99
:
I'm so sad this is becoming more common. Bluetooth isn't even there yet and yet it's being pushed upon us
Yo for real tho

I bought the Sony WH-1000XM3s and they cut out on my computer and phone everywhere. Drives me nuts. I don't even use the bluetooth anymore, I just use the 3.5mm cable included.

People are trippin if they think bluetooth replaces 3.5mm for audio.
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