Pros Noise-reduction, customer service, sound quality
Cons Inner ear sound amplification, too much noise reduction
Summary Etymotic ER-6is (white)
MSRP: $149.00 / Street Price: $90-105 / I paid: $81 (New)
Reviews on these are mixed and I'm going to throw in my two cents as an unbiased review from a graduate student.
I spent two weeks researching earbuds for my Creative Zen Micro and here is what I've determined about the Etymotics.
What they are best at:
Drowning out ambient noise without needing active noise-cancelling features.
Where they work best:
Airplanes, work (self-directed, quiet settings) where people aren't talking to you, book reading, etc.
I originally wanted my earbuds to do 2 things:
1. Be portable.
Yes. These are pretty portable, although they have a 5-ft cord, which is nice for stationary settings, otherwise, these tend to get tangled.
2. Use them while running/biking.
Now, this I have a very mixed review on. They DO drown out ambient noise. Thus, running or biking with them on means that you have to be VERY ALERT. For someone like me who likes both bike trails (paved/non-paved) and the road, this is slightly dangerous. You aren't going to hear cars, sirens, or hear the guy behind you yell, "ON YOUR LEFT!"
You are going to hear a lot of stuff rattling around in your head because the inner ear space is sealed off. That means, when your teeth chatter, or when you chew, you're going to hear it over your music if you don't have your volume up loud enough. When you're going over bumpy road on a bike, you hear "WHUPwhupWHUPwhup." I turn my "cPod" up to about volume level 10 at work, and 14 outside to combat this. (Max is 24.)
Sadly, I might just go back to the Creative-included headphones (surprisingly decent sound but a little big for my ears), or my cheapo $9 SONY earbuds. Both give me a little more peace of mind for their relatively "open" sound. As I bought these earbuds for their "multi-functionality," I was sort of bummed out.
I thought the bass was still a little "tinny" for what it was, but Etymotic explains it as "true sound." I found that the cure (at least for CREATIVE owners), is to change your equalizer settings if you want "hotter" bass.
It really sends shivers down my spine to listen to piano rock on it. The notes are well-defined and just gorgeous; for example, Ben Folds is nuanced and nice. The surround-sound left-ear to right-ear channel effect that some bands do literally makes me dizzy with these 'buds.
I do think some of the problems people are finding with these earphones comes from the fact that they're probably also listening to middle quality mp3s (read: 64-128 kbps). I have noticed a definite quality difference in comparison vs 192/VBR (variable bit rate) mp3s.
Pluses: The customer service people are NICE!!! You can get smaller/bigger earpieces by calling, and they are terrificaly nice about it.
If you can actually use these, if they fit your lifestyle, and if you not pay $149.00 MSRP, they may be worth it.
Pros I bought the ER-6's a few years ago. Like other people here, when I first wore them, they "lacked bass". I called the retailer and I learned that I hadn't put them in my ears correctly. You HAVE to "read the friendly manual" to grock the idea that you hav
Cons You have to read the friendly manual and insert the Ety's in your ears correctly. If you don't, they will sound tinny. Also, once you've inserted them correctly, they play music very accurately. Soooo, if you're looking for womp, womp base these are the w
Pros Clarity & crispness; rich & balanced sound
Cons Wires a bit clumsy
Summary Despite outstanding reviews, I had some reservations while waiting for my Etymotic E-6i's to arrive, due to lukewarm reviews from folks who were dissatisfied with the apparent lack of bass and the awkward 'installation' of the headphones.
Fortunately, I have found neither of these things to be true. I chose to use the foam covers, rolled them in my fingers as instructed, and inserted them into my ears just as I would insert foam earplugs. Spun up my tunes and within moments I was floating amidst the clarity and warmth of the notes. Each note seemed to rise, expand, and fade away; each instrument was articulated; the vocals were near-perfect, as if I was there.
It's true that the base is not as resounding as it is with giant over-the-ear headphones, but the balance between bass, midrange, and the higher ends reminds me of the balance between the sun, sky, and wind on a perfect autumn day. Along with the great isolation, the result is sparkling sound and a sense of transcending the ordinary.
I agree with other reviewers: if you are not hearing bass, the earphones are not inserted properly. If you rely upon a huge subwoofer to feel bass, these headphones might not be for you. But if you are looking for a wonderfully enriched experience with your portable player, while not exhausting your savings, these headphones will not disappoint.
Pros Great sound quality, second only to ER4 series
Cons some hard to put it in
Summary At first, Cnet Video's product is not 'ER6i'. What Brian Reviewed is 'ER6'.
ER6i is diffrent from ER6. ER6i is designed for the Best Matching with ipod. Etymotic told that they researched with Apple Company. And ER6i has enhanced bass sound, Because ER6 has 'not good bass' sound.
So if you want to match your ipod to Etymotic Earphones you should buy ER6i not ER6.
Second, ER6i has Great sound quality, but the clarity is not better than ER6 and ER4 series. As Etymotic enhanced ER6i's Bass sound, they deteriorated the clarity of the ER6i(of course relatively. ER6i's Clarity is better than any other Open typed Earphones, you can still astonished with ER6i's clarity.).
Anyway ER4P has the greatest clarity and pretty good bass sound. but its price maybe twice ER6i.
So if you want greatest clarity and pretty good bass sound, Buy ER4P.
And if you want good clarity and pretty good bass sound, Buy ER6i(i usually use ipod nano+er6i Because they sometimes show me 'synergy effected Sound' lol)
And if you want greatest clarity and just plain bass sound, Buy ER6
Because I'm Korean and live in Seoul, my English isn't so good. But I wished to help someone who wants to buy Etymotic earphones because i have used all those ER6, ER6i, ER4P.
Thank you, Have a nice day-
Pros Amazing isolation, small, easy to put on
Cons You cant hear a thing when you have them on!
Summary About two months ago I lent my Shure E3c ($135) to my mom for a trip she made, she loved them so much I felt bad taking them away from her. So I bought a pair of Koss ($20) while I saved the money for another pair. But Luckly I bought the ER 6 instead!
ER 6 are perfect!
They have a better isolation than the shure headphones and they are more comfortable. A problem with the shure Ec3 ones is that if you put them on for more than two hours your ears hurt a bit. ER 6 does not have this problem.
Another thing, is that the ER 6 are very easy to put on, while the E3c are not.
Also, the cable in the ER6 is thinner and lighter so it doest make so much noise when you have the on. E3c's cable is very thick you can hear it moving when you are walking. ER 6i does not have this problem.
Other people say that this headphones lack bass, well to be honest they do, a bit. but the sound is still fantastic.
You plug one of this babies in your ipod and really, you leave the world behind.