Leader and innovator in the field of sound prostheses, Etymotic in the early 90's released its line of in-line headphones Etymotic Research ER4. Already then the company began to expand the model line, releasing ER4RB and a special version for travel (ER4PT), but it became widely known thanks to two models: ER4P and ER4S. The latter are recognized even by picky experts by the best in-channel reinforcement earphones in the history with almost linear frequency response and incredible accuracy. One reinforcing radiator and a decent source of sound (this is important) can give out literally the standard of music reproduction. Those who have ever listened to these headphones will not be lied to.
Etymotic ER4S with a third-party cable
In its Time audiophiles went from ER4S crazy – shared their impressions of the "peak at 3 kHz", adjusted the resistance with the help of original accessories. Came to the fact that they were interested in each other "Do you have a direct aural channel? After all, these headphones must be drowned as deep as possible. " Fever, not otherwise. But for her there were reasons. Did Etymotic reincarnation work, and if the manufacturer had to raise his hand "at all"? Let's try to answer this question.
The headphones ER4XR (Extended Response) and ER4SR (Studio Reference) are no different in appearance, except that the inscriptions on the boxes are different. Moreover, the main characteristics they also have the same – a resistance of 45 ohms and a sensitivity of 98 dB. For comparison, the old ER4P and ER4S had a resistance of 27 ohms and 100 ohms, and sensitivity was 102 dB and 90 dB, respectively. In other words, the manufacturer chose the average values: with reduced resistance, compatibility improved, and the sensitivity of some ER4S applications really did not suffice.
At the same time, a new radiator was made for the new models, and according to the sound characteristics, the headphones are different, according to the manufacturer. If the ER4SR has a more even sound, then the ER4XR clearly tends more towards the bass, there is a slight rise at low frequencies.
Characteristics of the Etymotic ER4SR and ER4XR
|] Driver Type||Reinforcing, one|
|The type of headphones||Closed|
|Frequency range||20 – 16000 Hz|
|Sound pressure of headphones (SPL)||122 dB|
Completion of the Etymotic ER4SR and ER4XR
A familiar, but spectacular box hides under itself one more, and only in a black rigid fabric case under all this design the headphones themselves hide. 1945 1945]
The delivery set is not just "rich" – it has everything you need: several pairs of silicone three-petalled baits of various sizes, a set of foam nozzles (it was It would be strange not to see it here), two pairs of replaceable acoustic filters with a tool for their replacement, an adapter from 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm if you want to be completely "bad", and a small clip for fixing the cable to clothing.
The case for carrying it deserves special attention – there is little where you will see such attention to me Locham. It is divided into several compartments, small pockets with a zipper. In general, it will accommodate not only the headphones themselves, but also a small player in addition, for example, our Astell & Kern AK 70, with which it was tested, was perfect in dimensions.
For headphones of this level, the equipment is more than sufficient, let's look at them closer.
External Appearance and innovations
First of all, it is worth noting the use, as it is now fashionable, of anodized aluminum, thanks to which both models look much more effective (and in many respects also because of laser engraving inscriptions), previously the manufacturer used black plastic. At the same time, the external headphones did not change much compared to those of the ER4S itself, Etymotic clearly wanted to retain the concept of its headphones, which was warmly received by the audiophiles of the whole world.
Significant changes touched Cable, which became more thin, soft and elastic and less susceptible to the microphone effect. Although it remained replaceable, but now has not its own branded connectors, but standard widespread mmcx. This solution will clearly please owners of steep quality cables, and the rest can easily replace a wire in a couple of movements if such a desire appears. In addition, the cable sits in the nest much more reliably, thanks to the presence of a holder, preventing the rotation of the plug. Perhaps it will seem to someone too long, but if you use the clip from the kit, the friction of the wire about the clothes does not affect the listening experience.
Owners of the previous model will remember for sure how the ledge around the cable plug did not allow connecting headphones to some models of players and mobile phones. In new versions, the manufacturer listened to its users: the cable is truly universal, there is a "slider" for fixing the headphones in place, and the clip began to look more solid.
The headphones are designed for deep landing in the ears (it seems, a joke about " Direct auditory canal "no longer seems so ridiculous), as evidenced by triple nozzles in the form of" fir trees ". With the unaccustomed insert them can be difficult, you need to very carefully rotate the body of the radiator, so as not to experience discomfort. In Etymotic they say that they have eliminated the drawbacks of this design, so now you can listen to the headphones for several hours, not tired, due to the lower sound pressure with complete isolation. This we still have to check, but running ahead we say that it took us 2-3 days to get used to it. Much in fact depends on the ear design, which is individual.
Both models are identical in design, only in the inscriptions on the headphones. It's good that Etymotic keeps its fidelity to traditions, the more tens years ago the manufacturer actually managed to create an attractive design. But we are not here to describe which headphones are beautiful, let's move on to the sound, because according to this criterion the devices are completely different. ] Sound
Coupled with Astell & Kern AK 70 and ER4SR, and ER4XR proved to be very good, although in general they can be shaken from a more budget player. If you insert the earphones as deeply as possible, in both cases you achieve excellent noise insulation, so in the literal sense you are left alone with the music. In the subway, music can be heard perfectly, and even if you are surrounded by several workers with jackhammers, the situation is unlikely to change.
It's best to start right away with the most interesting – the differences. ER4SR produces an even, but at the same time dynamic sound, the legendary accuracy of ER4 can really be traced in this reincarnation of the model, as well as the characteristic monitoredness. The frequency response of this version is smoother than that of the ER4XR, there is a slight rise after 2,000 kHz. Distortions, if they are, already at the very top, they can be captured only by a few.
But the ER4XR seemed created especially for those who were unhappy with the lack of bass In previous models. In this version of the bass is enough, the filling of low frequencies is carried out by a smooth transition, and not just a normal rise in the lower levels. The frequency response is less flat, the distortions, as the owners say, have a little more XR than the SR, but to recognize them, one must have a really sharp ear. Blindly you can not buy exactly: you have to listen to each model in advance and find out which one will be more to your liking. By the way, measurements on XR and SR separately.
] Etymotic ER4SR
The XR sound is clearly more voluminous and detailed, the upper frequencies are slightly more prominent, but the SR bribes with evenness and full sound, and both The models differ in decent accuracy, for which they once loved ER4S. So the choice here is not carried out on the characteristics, because the model is essentially the same, and the variations of sound are completely different. We now liked ER4XR more, but here, we repeat, we should rely only on our own feelings. The cost for both models is almost the same, and both are over 20 thousand rubles.
No longer pioneers
Nevertheless, Etymotic is famous for its achievements among headphones – the manufacturer seems to know in advance what kind of sound 99% of buyers need (it is not for nothing that he is an innovator in the field of sound prostheses). Pioneers of these guys can not be called, pleases that the company expectedly succeeded in repeating the success of past models. The main indicator of success, of course, will be customer feedback, but from what we have already found on the web, you can form a positive picture. Someone can scare off the price, but in this case it is justified, and 50% overpayment for the brand, as often happens, no. And who in our time is surprised by the phrase that quality sound should be paid.