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Etymotic Research ER4XR Extended Response Earphones

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Adorama has Etymotic Research ER4XR Extended Response Earphones on sale for $199. Shipping is free. Thanks iconian
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183 reviews on Amazon.com give these earphones a 4.3 out of 5 star overall rating.

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Edited September 14, 2020 at 02:23 PM by
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Created 09-06-2020 at 10:04 AM by iconian
in Headphones, Headsets & Earbuds (4)
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Call me Stupid!
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.
Wired earbuds are hard sell nowadays.... High-end phones do not have 3.5mm socket. If you use it with your computer, you have more options including over the head type.

Honestly, I am still holding on my old phone with 3.5mm socket for better audio. Bluetooth audio is still behind a simple wired earbuds except a few top models.

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#3
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.
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#4
Call me Stupid!
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#5
Quote from RainRainGoAway
:
Call me Stupid!
lol do call me too
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#6
Great price, great product. I find the standard tips uncomfortable but the foam tips work for me
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09-06-2020 at 11:48 AM
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#8
Wired earbuds are hard sell nowadays.... High-end phones do not have 3.5mm socket. If you use it with your computer, you have more options including over the head type.

Honestly, I am still holding on my old phone with 3.5mm socket for better audio. Bluetooth audio is still behind a simple wired earbuds except a few top models.
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#9
Quote from N11
:
Wired earbuds are hard sell nowadays.... High-end phones do not have 3.5mm socket. If you use it with your computer, you have more options including over the head type.

Honestly, I am still holding on my old phone with 3.5mm socket for better audio. Bluetooth audio is still behind a simple wired earbuds except a few top models.
Just get a decent usb-c to 3.5mm dongle. I have the Razer THX dongle. Puts out decent volumes even with over the ear headphones with sub 100ohms and highish sensitivity. I still have an LG G7 with a 24bit dac hanging somewhere in my.room that i kept like you for wired headphones, bit I find it less and less necessary. With IEMs, the dongles are plenty
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#10
if you're willing to use these IEMs, then a dongle is no issue.

this these are amazing but a lot of people don't like them.
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#11
Quote from N11
:
Wired earbuds are hard sell nowadays.... High-end phones do not have 3.5mm socket. If you use it with your computer, you have more options including over the head type.

Honestly, I am still holding on my old phone with 3.5mm socket for better audio. Bluetooth audio is still behind a simple wired earbuds except a few top models.
I'm so sad this is becoming more common. Bluetooth isn't even there yet and yet it's being pushed upon us
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#12
Quote from jmaplewild
:
Great price, great product. I find the standard tips uncomfortable but the foam tips work for me
What worked out for me was slicing the first dome off of the large size tips. This keeps them from feeling like they're poking too far into your ears - if that was your issue.
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#13
Anyone know if these are made in the USA or Vietnam? The most recent sales price at $225 were the Vietnam version.
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#14
Aiwa ones are better IMHO
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#15
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.
Second this. I've also been using the predecessor ER-4 for 15yr. Still the best earbud I've found.
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