Etymotic ER-4 In-Ear Earphones

March 22, 2011

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Rarely do I find myself in agreement with Steve Guttenberg, but he speaks the truth in his latest installment of The Audiophiliac wherein he praises the Etymotic ER-4 in-ear earphones.

I have had ER-4S for over a decade. I am on my second pair. I originally purchased them to listen to music when traveling on business. I wanted something that was both high-quality and light weight, and at the time they were the only game in town. Although the fact that they are inserted into the ear canal rather than at the opening of the ear canal (as is the case with ear buds) takes some getting used to, you are well rewarded with deeper, taunter bass because of the resulting seal.

I recently had custom ear molds made for them and would recommend you do the same if you plan on listening over long sessions, as I do when mixing and mastering. The custom ear molds are made of a soft silicon material in contrast to the hard acrylic material used in competing models from Ultimate Ears and JH Audio, and are substantially more comfortable. They are also significantly less expensive.

The other great thing about the custom ear molds is that you will never have to replace the little green filters when they get clogged. Getting the ear molds will actually save you money in the long run.