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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worlds' Best Earphones?
Got these a few months back, and now having time to adjust to them and experience them properly I present my review of them.

The headphones are well packaged, they come in a sturdy plastic case, which houses the phones and the various accessories. This in turn is provided inside a cardboard outer box. Pretty standard, but well packaged.

In the box...
Published on 30 May 2012 by D. M. Brown

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid.
I was never particularly impressed with the sound. The bass was poor and I did not find them particularly comfortable. As previous reviewers mentioned they do not look over-engineered.
After very litle use one channel stopped working completely anyway.
Rather useless I am sorry to say.
Published 2 months ago by Wantage


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worlds' Best Earphones?, 30 May 2012
By 
D. M. Brown (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
Got these a few months back, and now having time to adjust to them and experience them properly I present my review of them.

The headphones are well packaged, they come in a sturdy plastic case, which houses the phones and the various accessories. This in turn is provided inside a cardboard outer box. Pretty standard, but well packaged.

In the box are the earphones themselves, along with a cable clip, headphone adapter, assorted ear tips and filters and the tool to interchange them; manual, response accuracy chart and soft carry pouch. In other words, a lot of accessories for earphones!

Out of the box, the ER4's come with the small flange ear-tips attatched. These are easily changed to whatever type you want by simply pulling them gently from the headphones and pushing a new pair on. I did a bunch of testing with all the types and I found the foam tips, and small flange tips to be the most comfortable.

As for the looks, well, they look rather plain (which suits me, I like plain designs) but just a heads up, these are not a fashion accessory. However they were never intended to be one!

At first listen to my ears the sound seemed a little bit dead, but given some time to "burn-in" the sound improved dramatically.

The sound itself is pure brilliance, the sound quality is very natural, and clear. With excellent tonal balance between treble, mid and bass. The bass response is good without being overpowering, if this is what you are looking for you will be satisfied. However if you are a bass-head and want pounding bass, you should look elsewhere as you are not the kind of listener that needs accurate headphones like these. The dynamic response is excellent too. They are quite honestly the best earphones I have ever used, and would even go as far as to say they produce more accurate sound than my over-ear Sennheiser headphones (HD598).

The only real downsides I can think of are the price, (but for a high end product it is hard to moan about price) and the microphony of the cable. If you use these on the move, and the cable is rubbing against your clothes, the vibrations travel through the cable to the headphones, causing a "rumbling" sound to be heard. I would not recommend these for use when undergoing physical activity other than walking.

One thing to note however: Using these headphones with a low quality audio source (eg. compressed MP3/AAC) audio will not provide a very enjoyable listening experience). These earphones were intended to be used as monitors, in other words, for listening to high quality audio sources. I recommend you only listen to lossless audio sources (CD, FLAC/Apple Lossless, High definition studio quality audio) when using these headphones!!!

If you store your CDs in a lossy format like MP3, it will be worth re-ripping them into either WAV, or better FLAC or Apple Lossless (ALAC). Some compressed audio sounds perfectly acceptable, but some does not, so it is worth making the distinction between them. I recommend Exact Audio Copy or dB Poweramp when ripping CDs.

An example of what I do to separate high quality audio from low quality audio, is to make a Smart Playlist in your chosen media player, and specify in the settings to include high quality files only. This will leave you with a playlist with all your lossless audio. So you can easily browse through your lossless tracks, as any lossy tracks will not be included in the playlist.

However, if you are here and considering to buy these it is likely that you are an experienced listener who listens to high quality audio sources already, or a studio engineer/musician looking for earphones for a monitoring application.

Another thing to note, in the case of music which has been mastered poorly for the sake of volume maximisation may often sound bad on these headphones due to the loss in clarity, which will be made very obvious to an experienced listener by these earphones. An example: the most recent Evanescence album I find to be unlistenable with these earphones as the sound quality of the CD master is too poor.

Overall:

Pro:

Excellent sound reproduction, across all genres of music.
Solid Build quality.
Well packaged, with plenty of accessories.
Good warranty (2 years including repairs).

Con:
Microphony of cable, not suitable for sport use (though they were never intended for this).
Price (though they are meant to be a high end product).
Cable is a little on the short side, even at my computer I need to use a headphone extender.
May be uncomfortable at first, until your ears get used to the ear-tips.
Not really a "con" as such, but playback of lossy audio sources is not recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure sonic heaven!!!!!!!!!, 6 Jan 2014
By 
L. robinson "L robinson" (bedfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
As a musician,audiophile and absolute lover of music I feel it very important for anyone considering purchasing these headphones to have the prior guarantee that these are quite simply breathtaking!!!! I have in the past purchased so many iems from sennheiser, shure,ultimate ears triple 10s,klipsch all top end models costing a fortune,and sometimes got close to what I felt was that sonic nirvana, but these are by far in my opinion the best set I now own.Even out of the box first time you get that wow factor , these are a serious set of phones they sound absolutely superb. the first thing to say is that the sound of these is only as good as the source material im afraid, garbage in garbage out!!! but all this means is that if you are using an ipod make sure youve downloaded at high bit rates or apple lossless. I only use mine with an ipod and the sound that can be obtained is simply stunning, but I also suggest that you . use a headphone amplifier either the e11 or the new e12 (check out mine and others reviews) soundstage is spacious and the separation of each piece of instrumentation is amazing(these headphones are remarkably accurate in this respect).I can honestly say that this is the first time that ive really felt wow!! the realism that these create is superb.Bass is woderfully presented in a perfectly accurate way its punchy and crisp and if the recording produced thunderous bass then thats what youll get. Midrange is amazing ( particularly listen to a recording which includes cello and they will demonstrate this beautifully, and the clarity that the top end produces is so detailed, no wonder sound engineers use these I can hear why.these have made my whole listening experience so much more enjoyable.Oddly enough the phones had the small earpieces on I put them in and first time fit perfect and are comfortable over extended times. I have to say when you first get them out its apparent that they dont look very expensive, but to me im buying them for their sonic abilities, and other reviewers say that theyve owned them for years with no problem, most also report great customer service from Etymotic what more can you ask for? im so very happy with these they are brilliant and worth every penny of the 180 pounds that I paid for them. I promise that you can buy these with full confidence they are absolutely superb well done etymotic!!!!! and by the way I dont work for them!!! happy purchasing!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb balanced sound - came with the ER-4P to ER-4S adapter, 6 Jun 2014
By 
Harp (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
I own a couple of other IEMs, a pair of ACS T15's and an old set of Super Fi Pro 5's. I've been using the T15's with some custom sleeves exclusively for a couple of years but about a week ago decided to try the Super Fi's again. I was really surprised as the Super Fi's made the T15s sound shut in. However although the Super Fi's sound open they also exaggerate both the bass and treble which means the sound can get quite fatiguing especially the treble which can become a bit harsh.

At this point I started looking for a replacement for both sets of IEMs and thought I'd try the Etymotics as they have been very well reviewed for years now. I was a bit concerned that they may sound shut in like the T15's - I needn't have worried! I originally tried the silicon tips that come with the earphones but found that the silicon tips didn't seal very well which meant I heard no bass whatsoever and the entire sound was very thin. I then tried the foam tips, this improved the sound a lot however the seal still wasn't entirely there.

I've now found that with a good push I can get the Etys into the custom sleeves I had made for the ACS T15's - sonic nirvana! I now have a great seal, great isolation and can appreciate the sound fully but it doesn't end there! This ER-4PT set also came with the 75 ohm adapter that converts the ER-4P into the ER-4S, I use this as I've found that it makes the sound even more balanced and also makes the treble sound even sweeter - I love them - highly recommended.

which I would describe as being balanced with a lovely sweet treble.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Etymotic ER4-PT, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
These are amazing in ear earphones and are a replacement set. The sound insulation is fantastic as is the sound reproduction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product beats noise cancellation., 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
Stunning headphones with custom fit buds a huge improvement in comfort over long periods and bass response. Crisp throughout the range with tight bass punch. Ideal for musicians or listeners who want an accurate reproduction. Rewards quality recordings. I fly and use trains a lot and these beat noise cancellation products for clarity and background noise reduction in a noisy environment (especially with custom buds). Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true revelation!, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
These IEM's are a true revelation! I am listening mostly to classical music, both in the concert hall
and on CD's and digital music media. So I have a lot of experience with headphones, both on ears as
in ears. The problem with most headphones is the exaggeration of the bass, mostly represented by a sort of
rumbling in your ears, created by the headphone-manufacturer to give you a so called real bass experience.
You never feel this in the concert hall. There, you hear a clear distinction between viola's, celli and double basses.
Also you hear the differences in the brass section. These Etymotic IEM's are able to give you the real sound and colour
of these instruments; the sound of violins and woodwinds is also reproduced with clarity. On a good recording you also
experience the positioning of the instruments in your head, and you even feel the acoustics of the recording venue.
To summarize, listening with these very small in-ears gives you a very great pleasure. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sound quality, not so cool., 11 May 2013
This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
I have had a pair of these earphones for two years now, I got them on eBay at the beginning of 2007 for £70. The sound is very good, and you can hear the bass clearly compared to other earphones. The foam eartips are better as they have better noise isolation. They have lasted quite well, except for the right hand side speaker, where the plastic has perished and that tip has broken off. The sound however is unaffected and is still as good as when I bought them as far as I can tell. Etymotic were very good about sending spares the one time I bought some replacement eartips.

Overall I would say that they are good long-term investment if you are interested in good sound quality. I would say that they are ideal for monitoring recordings, and a lot cheaper than those quiet comfort earphones if you want to take them on aeroplane journeys. The noise isolation is very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable clarity and external noise exclusion., 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
These were for my wife - I've had a set of them for almost twenty years. We both have the custom ear pieces as well, which while not cheap is worth it. Especially on live recordings, the Etymotics put you in the audience with a sense of "air" not heard with other 'phones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quality headphones, 18 Mar 2014
By 
A. Thompson (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
Well presented, quality headphones, pure sound, great range.
Well manufactured and presented, all the buds you would ever need. Wax filter good too!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing for the right environment - very good elsewhere, 19 May 2012
This review is from: Etymotic ER-4PT Referenz In-Ear Earphones (Electronics)
I bought these just as a pair of everyday headphones for my phone, rather than some fancy In Ear Monitoring application. They sound fabulous, precise and detailed in ever way. Not too heavy on the bass though if that's what you're into. They are very comfortable and cut out a lot of background noise, in fact I use these in place of my old ear plugs at gigs, because they are more comfortable and fit better. The down side is that the cable transmits a lot of low end noise when it moves around. That means that while they sound insanely good when sitting still, it's not so good when walking around or in a gym or particularly when jogging or on a treadmill. That's a real pity, because they are great at blocking out the crappy gym music (without having to play your music at full volume) and they stay in place better than most headphones too. It's not actually so bad that I don't use them for those applications though, particularly since getting headphones to stay in place when jogging is such a pain. But it's probable that you could find something more suitable if using phones when out running is your main use for them.
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