Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones pictures

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Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • Etymotic Research ER.4 microPro Headphones
  • ER-4 MicroPro Earphones


December 13, 2008, 10:07 pm

If I'm not wrong Etymotic Research products (or IEMs because I don't think they hav cans yet) are well-known for "recording-standard music reproduction". That means that while the music may or may not be as warm compared to other IEMs like the UEs, Shure or Westone, the ER IEMs stay faithful to the source of the music.

You don't even need to turn up the volume to that 'comfortable' level and you can hear all the details in the music. Be careful with these though - as with high-end earphones, the "rubbish in, rubbish out" will come in. Etymotic Research IEMs are especially unforgiving, they will duplicate not only your superb guitar riffs and saxophone blowing, but static and artifacts caused by file compression will ALL come out. Yeah, I'm not kidding. I own a pair of ER-6is, the cheaper (and slightly weaker of course) version of the ER-4 series (together with the ER-6), and while being a little more than twice as cheap, their music reproduction was top-notch. So I would go out of my way to say that whoever are looking for note-for-note reproduction of their music, will not be dissatisfied with the ER-4 'phones, whether it be ER-4P, ER-4S or ER-4B.

One final note to whoever reviewed this product and to potential buyers - the triple flange sleeves may be comfortable to some, uncomfortable for larger ears. BUT, one thing these "Christmas tree" sleeves guarantee is near-total passive noise isolation. Go on an aeroplane or a subway train, the most you'll ever hear (or feel) is vibration from the transport in question. The foams also do the same to a certain degree, but I personally prefer the silicone sleeves. They give greater clarity and isolation, while the foams are, I heard, known for giving warmer sound and better-sounding bass - and the ER IEMs are known to be generally bass-deficient somehow, and therefore not recommended for bassheads.

As for this sentence "The Ultimate Ears provide a more powerful sound than the Etymotics, meaning that you don’t need to crank the volume quite so high", the ER-4 series have considerably higher impedence, i.e. more electrical resistance. While portables like the iPod can drive the music fairly well, it is recommended you get an amplifier to compliment an ER-4S/P/B. And so I've heard in places like, that the only amplifier reviewed in this website, the Graham Slee Voyager, is a great match with the ER-4s! Some even go so far as to claim that they are a "pair married in heaven".

But as far as hi-fi audio goes, it is said that your ears and your heart are your best friends. Try them out at a retail store if you can - or otherwise, hunt down those reviews. But PLEASE take them reviews, and notwithstanding my comment here, with a pinch of salt. Your ears are different from mine, and you might find something I didn't.

Enjoy your ER-4!

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