Bought a pair of these at Heathrow en route to South Africa. With the long flight ahead and only the standard iPhone4 cans in my bag, needed a pair of in-ears for the flight.
High quality packaging, carry pouch containing the other 3 ear moulds and wax filters + removal tool. Overall Etymotic have gone to great lengths to design a superior product and it shows. The minimilist design of the earphones and in-line mic/controls make these some of the slickest earphones around. The cable is kevlar reinforced and the product feels very strong all round. Another bonus was the free 3 year guarantee thrown in by Dixons.
Once I had a tight seal, could hardly hear noise from the aircraft and sound quality, highs, mids and lows were crystal clear. Not only were they comfortable, they dampened the sound enough for me to get in a good nights rest. Will definitely be getting the ear-moulds done for these and sticking with Etymotic for the foreseeable future. Majorly underated and highly recommended.
These are designed for accuracy, not for making the music sound better than it actually is (like the very popular monster beats which tampers with the bass response). As far as the ear tips are concerned, it comes with 3 different types, i found the cylindrical ones to be the best fit for my ears to block out the external voices as you can roll and squash it, and it will sort of take the shape of your ear, it does its job really well, after all it says in the box that you are buying earphones from the inventors of the in-ear technology. I didn't get custom mould tips, but you can apparently get it for 100 dollars or something with an appointment. Well its your choice really, for the price, it is probably one of the most accurate earphones you will get, but if you enjoy turning the volume up in your car with your friends, then you are probably a monster beats person who just wants to enjoy. I admit, bass is enjoyable but if you are more into how the song really sounds you should stay away from any earphone that makes the music synthetically better sounding.
These headphones have very mixed reviews and I was taking a chance as they are not cheap.
Upside: Wide frequency response, clear sound, good/acceptable bass response and near total noise block (when used/fitted correctly) and ... Full function controls for iPhone 3/4/5 (volume, stop/start/next./back and microphone).
Cables are soft and seem to catch (e.g. on the collar) a little less than most similar headphones
I am overall pleased with them and it seems it me that the success you will have is based on two things: 1) Your tolerance of the initial discomfort they definitely give you (or should I say: Gave me) 2) The nature and shape of your ear canal
There are numerous adapters - only one of which were useful for me, the others just did not work. The default adapters are relatively hard silicon rubber (I think) and these need to be pushed hard into the ears using a little finesse and it is a little uncomfortable. Once in place however the noise cancelling (pr to be correct: Blocking) is fabulous on aircraft or underground trains. Better I would say than the ultra expensive noise cancelling headphones that I bought but wished I had not bought. The block is near total which is impressive and remember these are NOT over the ear phones that need their own suitcase, they are just ear buds!
Downside: It took me literally weeks to get used to them and that was even having watched the (I think) mandatory video showing you how to insert them into the ears as they are quite unlike most other headsets.
I would imagine that for some people they may not experience so much discomfort, as above, depending upon the shape/size of their ear canal.
The video recommends that you may need to moisten (with saliva) the ear buds to get them fitted properly (ugg) :)
Despite the bud being relatively small on the outside, they still project too much to rest one's head on, say, a pillow, without knocking them out or causing further discomfort - only a problem on long distance flights, not a problem on the underground.
Summary: Not for the faint hearted as fitting them feels as if they are going to touch your brains!
If you can tolerate them they work great and I am pleased with them all round.
Lovely earphones, with excellent reproduction at all levels (some reviews criticise them for a lack of bass response, I do not agree). Provided with a pouch, gazillions of ear tip options, and spare dirt filters - with fitting tool - these will give years of pleasure.
The remote hangs at just about the right jaw, and is easy to operate. There is an app available that sets maximum levels and provides ducking when ambient noise is at a conversational level, but it's too intricate for everyday use.
Great sound if you're after a flat neutral response. Amazing isolation, I happily play drums with these in and can easily hear the music without even needing full volume like I used to with other IEMs.
Downsides are as expects, they certainly won't be for everyone due to the deep fit which is uncomfortable at first and takes getting used to as well as the flat sound. I knew this and that's why I purchased them.
These are head headphones that cut out a huge amount of background noise whilst giving excellent soudn quality. My only slight complaint is the earplugs are much longer than the ER6i earplugs I previously, but they're still comfortable under my motorbike helmet.