Shure vs. Etymotic

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
I am absolutely clueless about these supposed earphones that can actually be anything more expensive than $20. Christ, i thought these things were made out of gold or something when i first read about it here.

Are these things really worth the money? I mean really, around +/- $100 for earbuds or ear canal phones whatever you call them?? Do they absolutely need an amp to bring out the best of them?? or will they sound better than most headphones (in its class) without an amp?

Do these really compare to the real headphones that covers your ears? I really cant see these teeeeeny little things can even be compared to the traditional headphones... :confused:
 

Talonz

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
3,453
They are definately worth the money. The Etymotics ER-4S that I have reproduce the sound in such a detailed way, it's hard to believe. IMO, it's an investment, and one that you'll really enjoy. BTW, the manufacturer list price is hardly accurate, for example, the Ety ER-4S is supposed to be $330, but they can be found new for under $200.

Amp required: no, but preferred
Better then most headphones without an amp: depends on the user.

www.head-fi.org
Many many more opinions there, just search around.
 

mustang_steve

c[H]ewbacca
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
10,433
bunta said:
I am absolutely clueless about these supposed earphones that can actually be anything more expensive than $20. Christ, i thought these things were made out of gold or something when i first read about it here.

Are these things really worth the money? I mean really, around +/- $100 for earbuds or ear canal phones whatever you call them?? Do they absolutely need an amp to bring out the best of them?? or will they sound better than most headphones (in its class) without an amp?

Do these really compare to the real headphones that covers your ears? I really cant see these teeeeeny little things can even be compared to the traditional headphones... :confused:


Having owned both the Shure E2C and E3C, I can say they are well worth it. The E2C is more oriented towards the bass-head, while the E3C is more oriented towards the audiophile. Both can benefit from amping, the E3C's gain is lower than the E2C's due to how much more sensitive it is. Both phones pretty much own without an amp, and sound better with.

Build quality onn both are great, sound is great, but the real treat is how nince they block off outside noises, which also allows you to listen at a lower volume and still hear everything.
 

schapman

Gawd
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Messages
721
if you don't want to invest that much in a set of earphones, the Sharp MD33s are also an excellent choice. You can get them at http://www.audiocubes.com/category/...duct/Sharp_HP-MD33S_Four_Pole_Headphones.html

They are 4 pole (double ground i believe) however, the extension that comes with them converts them to 3 pole.

Price/performance these are an excellent in-ear option. They also come with 3 sizes of tips so getting a good fit shouldnt be hard.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
659
the quantity of bass does not compare well with full sized headphones. You need a very good seal to get proper bass response, but even then, it does not compare well to a good full sized headphone.
 

AdamW

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
468
shure's are considered to be 'fun' (for canalphones), ety's 'analytic'. What this means is that ety's are extremely detailed and accurate - everything sounds more or less exactly how it was recorded, and you can hear *everything* in the recording. This is great, of course, but it isn't always what you're looking for if you just want to enjoy a piece of music (or if you have a bad recording!) and yes, good headphones /earphones are absolutely worth the money. With anything sold with any portable player, what you get is...sound. Drums sound sort of like drums. Your brain fills in the gap between 'thud' and 'real drum sound' for you. Guitars sound a bit like guitars and a lot like flies buzzing around. Again, your brain does some heavy lifting. Everything is more or less mushed up together in the middle of your head. With _good_ headphones or earphones, instruments actually _sound like instruments_. You can hear all of them separately, like you're supposed to - like being at a concert, you can actually hear the bassline, you don't just vaguely know that someone is playing the bass somewhere. It's absolutely a difference worth the money, at least up to $100 or $200 or so. Above that, it gets into 'enthusiast' territory, just like with PCs.
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
superlyduper said:
the quantity of bass does not compare well with full sized headphones. You need a very good seal to get proper bass response, but even then, it does not compare well to a good full sized headphone.


For all the Shure and Etymolic users...Is this true ??? the true bass cant be heard in the canal earphones ?? This is pretty important to me. I need some decent bass but then again, i really cant see how something this small can even produce the bass that regular headphones produce..I'm way too curious right now. :confused:

Also, if this thing is going into the ear canal, doesnt that hurt your eardrums since the sound output is literally shooting directly into the ear..This is bad news for longterm use isnt it ??
 

mustang_steve

c[H]ewbacca
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
10,433
bunta said:
For all the Shure and Etymolic users...Is this true ??? the true bass cant be heard in the canal earphones ?? This is pretty important to me. I need some decent bass but then again, i really cant see how something this small can even produce the bass that regular headphones produce..I'm way too curious right now. :confused:

Also, if this thing is going into the ear canal, doesnt that hurt your eardrums since the sound output is literally shooting directly into the ear..This is bad news for longterm use isnt it ??

Some of them have incredible bass, but in general the bass response is lower. The Shure E2C has pretty good resposne, but it is KEY to get a good seal, and to have the phone deep enough in. The E3C (where most of the complaints about weak bass are coming from) should be inserted practically all the way into your ear for optimal reaponse...oh and that type of insertion requires the foam tips if you value your eardrums, the rubber tips when being inserted that far will jsut build up pressure in your ear to dangerous levels.

The E2c goes in less, but it should be inserted as far as possible. Which is why I use the foam tips, to get deeper insertion as well as a better seal.

As far as hurting your ears, play it at a lower volume....decibels are decibels. Canalphones in general are used at lower volumes than sealed or nosie reduction cans. Given some people will not like how the phones feel in their ears and that will affect them. I found I can't insert my phones more than twice an hour for 3 hours before I start getting sore ear canals from friction (which rules out using them at work, where I would have to remove them frequently, thus why I use Sony EX-71s at work).
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
659
even with perfect seal, bass response will not be what you expect if you listen to bass heavy music, hiphop heavier rock etc
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
I'm jsut really curious at this point as to how these things sound compared to a good pair of cans which is why i am goign to get a pair regardless. Im hunting for a set on ebay as i'm typing....

I'm not too worried about using these outdoors as they will be strictly for home use when everyone else is asleep which is another reason i am getting headphones...umm earcanal stuffing phones i mean..

MustangSteve, do you really think these things sound much better than the typical headphones in its sound quality class. I really like headphones because they sound so full and protected if you know what i mean. Earbudphones to me sound high pitched and sharp though its not neccessarily a bad thing under some circumstances.

Ohh yea, is that volume control where the cords meet or is that some sort of audio driver ??
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
superlyduper said:
even with perfect seal, bass response will not be what you expect if you listen to bass heavy music, hiphop heavier rock etc

Guess we'll see. HAve you owned a pair of these??..i listen to hiphop so accurate and tight bass is pretty important. But then again, HEAVY BASS is not what i am looking for. Just balanced and most important as i have stated, accurate and tight.

I want to give them a try though, jsut because of its "incognitoness". Just wish they sold them locally at Best buy or something just in case i want to return them.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
30
There's a lot of talk here about the Etymotic ER-4's. What does the ER-6 sound like? And can anyone compare them to the Shure E3c's?
 

mad3d

Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
794
I don't know about the er-6s, but the er-4s (and 4p) both have awesome sound, once you realize that all the "bass" you normally hear in cheaper headphones is just the midrange being muddied up. If you were getting these for a computer without a headphone amp I'd go for the 4ps since they're easier to drive with a normal computer soundcard, though not ideal. Take Talonz idea and check the head-fi forums, they're really useful.

One final thing, the sound more then compares to full size earphones once you have a good, balanced (not over pressurized) seal in your ears. I like them just as well as my other good headphones (Senn. HD-580s and Beyer DT-880s).

Just my 2c.
 

HybridHB

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2002
Messages
1,257
Ive had both E3c's and MD33's and i will say that the shures were a huge dissappointment. Audio is subjective so this is my opinion only. the shures were detailed but everything sounded flat even with an EQ. the md33's sound much better for music imo. The bass is tiight and punchy, almost too much bass in the md33's. you wont be dissappointed in the bass of the md33's. The shures on the other hand have no bass at all. The shures are also uncomfortable imo.
 

Deadlierchair

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,400
bunta said:
Guess we'll see. HAve you owned a pair of these??..i listen to hiphop so accurate and tight bass is pretty important. But then again, HEAVY BASS is not what i am looking for. Just balanced and most important as i have stated, accurate and tight.

I want to give them a try though, jsut because of its "incognitoness". Just wish they sold them locally at Best buy or something just in case i want to return them.

I have to ask that question as well, have you tried out a pair of the E2c's ever? If you get a good seal (which is easy for most users) then you're going to get very clear sound isolated from everything around you. The bass I heard when I first got my E2c's was the best I had ever heard, better than any $60 full sized headphone I'd heard at the time. It may be true that more expensive full sized headphones have better bass, but those cost a lot more money.

Bottom line - the bass on the Shures is very good.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
659
I have er6 e2c hd580 v6 koss 60ohm shits

canalphone bass doesnt compare to quality full-sized headphone bass (hd580), but it is still very tight and accurate, just not enough for bass heavy music. NCH tone generator.exe shows canalphone rolls off before full size headphone does. I've tried a ton of different tips and positions, I think my seal is as good as it gets short of a custom mold.
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
okay, i jsut picked them up..Theyre reeeally good to say the least. The sound output quality from highs to mids and lows-bass are all accurate and very nice. I am very happy with the sound quality.

One problem, its sort of uncomfortable. I can really feel the foam there and i know i have them in right. And if i keep playing with the fitment, the foam sorta scrathes my canal and it kinda hurts. The foam is not exactly smooth and gentle on your ears. Its a pretty hard material. I mean its compresses and what not but its still kinda weird :eek: Wonder what i can do to make it more comfortable. the plastic ones feel almost the same. I think im more comfortable with the plastics but alot of you here lean more towards the foam ones.

Sound quality is amazing though. :)
 

Deadlierchair

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,400
bunta said:
okay, i jsut picked them up..Theyre reeeally good to say the least. The sound output quality from highs to mids and lows-bass are all accurate and very nice. I am very happy with the sound quality.

One problem, its sort of uncomfortable. I can really feel the foam there and i know i have them in right. And if i keep playing with the fitment, the foam sorta scrathes my canal and it kinda hurts. The foam is not exactly smooth and gentle on your ears. Its a pretty hard material. I mean its compresses and what not but its still kinda weird :eek: Wonder what i can do to make it more comfortable. the plastic ones feel almost the same. I think im more comfortable with the plastics but alot of you here lean more towards the foam ones.

Sound quality is amazing though. :)

I'm glad you like the Shures. It might take a little while for you to adjust to the phones being in your ears but if that doesn't happen you could try using the newer Shure Quietspot (I think) plugs that are softer than the plastic ones and I guess are all the rave (still waiting on mine).

superlyduper: Oh, I definitely agree. But, when I first got my E2c's, I thought the bass was incredible and pretty much as good as it could get. Now, I'm using Alessandro (Grado-like) phones and I enjoy the more airy bass. As always with audio, individual impressions are going to vary, so if you can, try out as many headphones as possible. Of course...like they say on Head-fi...welcome, say goodbye to your wallet.
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
Deadlierchair said:
I'm glad you like the Shures. It might take a little while for you to adjust to the phones being in your ears but if that doesn't happen you could try using the newer Shure Quietspot (I think) plugs that are softer than the plastic ones and I guess are all the rave (still waiting on mine).

superlyduper: Oh, I definitely agree. But, when I first got my E2c's, I thought the bass was incredible and pretty much as good as it could get. Now, I'm using Alessandro (Grado-like) phones and I enjoy the more airy bass. As always with audio, individual impressions are going to vary, so if you can, try out as many headphones as possible. Of course...like they say on Head-fi...welcome, say goodbye to your wallet.

It makes my ear canal itchy sometimes...where did you order these Shure earplugs that are softer. I need them..
 

Deadlierchair

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,400
bunta said:
It makes my ear canal itchy sometimes...where did you order these Shure earplugs that are softer. I need them..

They have only been out for about 10 days, but you can buy them from the Shure web site. Keep in mind, I have not actually used them yet. I am involved with a group buy of them, so hopefully I will have them soon. However, those who have used them say they like them.

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1257594#post1257594

That is a link to some of the most recent posting in the thread on them.

"I got the soft sleeves today:

comfort: Amazing! sooo much better than the regular flex sleeves, and moreso than the foamies too.

size: could only use the small foamies. putting the flex sleeves in felt like taking my virgin ears to a **** shoot...
first i tried to small soft sleeves, and they fit fine. Then the mediums, and they fit too, a little tighter. I'm going to try the mediums for a while.

isolation: not as good as the foamies, but pretty close.
sound: it sounds a little different. i havent scrutinized it much yet...i think the bass might be a little better with the foamies

overall: my foamies and steel flex sleeves are now put to rest.

revision: with the mediums, the right earbud kept slipping out of my ear canal; smalls stay in better for me"

THat is from the thread, and most people report about the same thing.

http://shure.com/quietspot/quietspot_accessories.asp

You can buy them there.
 

bunta

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
203
Man, these things are like trying to expand my ear canals!! :mad: Dont get me wrong, the sound quality is jsut as good as traditional headphones in its class...but damn those foam and plastic things man..

I would love these for the gym, but i dont know if they would actually bother me.. I know i got a good seal cuz, it doesnt come loose when i jiggle it. In fact, its got a sort of a "suction" effect with my ear canal.

Edit: edit:
Two hours later. I'm now staring to get a hang off how the ear pieces are supposed to go in. It's starting to sound much much better. I dont know if i'm getting a better fit or it's slowly being broken in, but this thing thumps and its very detailed. I dont really have much experience with high high high end headphones, but the e2c are by far the best earphones i have ever owned. I just wished the silicone piece deonst feel like its streching the hell out of my ear canals. man! I dont know if i should keep these or go with some good pair of cans :confused: These are so like incognito :)
 

mustang_steve

c[H]ewbacca
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
10,433
Just get used to the foam tips...sure you have to replace them every few weeks, but they are far less painful, and give even better noise isolation.

Don't try to clean the foam, I done that and trashed a pair of faom tips.

BTW you can buy more foam at www.shure.com
 

AdamW

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
468
most people generally feel a bit unsafe using canalphones at the gym, because of the massive isolation. people tend to go with just a half-decent pair of earbuds, like sennheiser mx400, or little headphones like koss portapros or something.
 

Bling

Gawd
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
581
I have used a pair of E5's. I used the triple flange tips as they provided the best see and best sound to my ears. I modified them a little bit so that they were comfortable. the sound once you can achieve a good seal is outstanding. bass is nice an deep and it almost feels like someone is ently patting you on the back of the head. the noise isolation is good too. it blocks almost all of the random noise you may have to deal with. Listening to music awesome, I can hear things i have never heard before and it makes me appreciate the music more. Shure has since renamed the e5c's to the SCL5's. I happen to have a pair that are Brand new for sale in the FS/T forum.
 
Top