After reading about cutting the inner tip of the ear flange, I'm now 100% happier with both the sound quality and the comfort of my new ER-6i. Before I really need to jam the tip right inside my ear (pretty painful after a few minutes of music), but now they just pop in like my old sony isolation ear-buds. The sound quality i can perceived is closely matched with the reviewer's, bass is immensely responsive and clear while all the treble is preserved. Definitely much better than any of the sony's ones I've tried. In conclusion, the mod has no adverse effect on the sound quality, but you ears will love you much much more!

Posted by Tan on November 22, 2004 at 3:57 AM (PDT) Comment 21

I must've received a defective pair because they sounded like poo. Tin can poo. I had a 30 day money back guarantee so I figured I'd order the ER-4P and A/B them - since well, for $80 extra I figured I had to get much better quality then what I was hearing since the ER-4P had been raved about and won awards galore. Anyway, when I received my ER-4P I was blown away! I mean there just isn't any comparison between the two but then again, my experience with the ER-6i were so unlike anything I've read on this page that I'm thinking I received a defected pair because come on, they sounded thin like you wouldn't believe - and I had a good seal because with the same seal I acheived mind-altering results with the ER-4P. At this point, all I can say is save yourself the return shipping cost and just get the ER-4P instead. You should be able to find the ER-4P for just around $200 which is just around $80 more then the ER-6i for a tantamount difference in sound quality. Once I A/B'd the two, it was an easy decision - ER-4P won by light years. But again, the ER-6i's were soooooooooo terrible in my experience that I'm thinking I received a dud pair, or earphonesolutions just wanted to test whether or not the pair that was returned really had been returned for a reason so they figured they'd ship it to someone else and see if they'd say the same thing... But I doubt the latter. Anywhoo, from this standpoint, I can't recommend the 6i. The ER-4P on the other hand, well, that's a different story.

Posted by neuromancer on November 22, 2004 at 8:02 AM (PDT) Comment 22

kilik75, I've owned the original ER-6's and now the ER-4P's. I absolutely love these headphones, but I don't like working out/running with them. When I get a good seal, I get microphonics from the cord and can really hear my footsteps. You can usually cure the cord noise by clipping it down, but the loud footsteps bother me. I usually just use the original buds or my sennheiser mx500 buds when working out, since I'm not really concerned with critical listening. I firmly believe that one set of headphones is not right for all situations.

Posted by phantom4 on November 22, 2004 at 1:55 PM (PDT) Comment 23

In conclusion, is ER-6i better or ER-6???

Posted by Xen on November 23, 2004 at 11:28 PM (PDT) Comment 24

I have been looking at the ER-6i for quite some time and still haven't decided whether I should make the purchase. I need a few questions to be answered first.

1) Is the cord of the ER-6i a single piece or a 2-piece separating cord like the sony's EX-81? I use the ipod remote all the time and if is is a single piece cord it would be too long and inconvenient to use for me.

2) I like the Sony's behind-the-neck cord, I found the usual Y-shaped-equal-length-to-each-ear cord often got in my way and would like to know how is the cord of ER-6i looks like.

3) Any other suggestions for in-canal earphones that fit my two criteria above? and how big the difference is between EX81s, E2C and ER-6i in terms of sound quality?

Posted by wesley1943 on November 26, 2004 at 12:53 PM (PDT) Comment 25

i've had the ER6 for 3+ years and have been RAVING to anyone who would listen. yes, there is quite a difference btwn er6 & er4, but your ultimate needs factor into the price dif...er4 is essentially for audiophiles. the response is VERY flat for an in-ear can. they are considered (and sound) close to "reference" (i.e. uncolored.) personally, i prefer the er6 to the er6i...don't like any "extended" frequency response. i also would strongly advise aqainst running with these phones (or chewing gum for that matter)...having such an in-ear seal (not for the squeemish) amplifies internal sounds (ie. heavy footsteps, jaw actions, blah blah) smoking, also temporarily changes the sound on inhale. sorry for the babble...these thing changed my life almost as much as the pod...

bonus....great earplugs for live shows, subways, planes (they have alleviated all that ear pressure BS on landing)


Posted by surly on November 30, 2004 at 12:17 AM (PDT) Comment 26

I have the Etys for three days now. First I got problems with the flames, because they hurt my ears. I cut off the biggest flame and now it's great. The sound is amazingly clear and dymanic, comfort is fine, I won't miss them anymore.

Posted by nutella825g on December 1, 2004 at 9:47 PM (PDT) Comment 27

And another plus is because of the colour your misses won't realise you've spent stacks of cash on a new set of headphones!!!

Posted by spikeuk76 on December 2, 2004 at 7:24 AM (PDT) Comment 28

I have these and the sound is fantastic IF you can find the perfect fit. I think my ears must be odd or something because I could not get a good fit with either the triple flanges or by cutting off either the smallest or the largest flange.

I found the best sound came from just using the largest flange, which make the ER6is looks like Sony EX70s but cause a hollow I-hear-myself-breathing sort of noise (which reminded me of my EX70s I used to use a long time ago).

I'm now awaiting Etymotics's alternate flanges, and in the meantime I have trimmed a triple flange such that it has one large flange and 2 small ones. That seems to offer the best fit without the echos in the meantime

Posted by Popjunkie on December 4, 2004 at 11:07 AM (PDT) Comment 29

it looks like the flanges would pop off the earphone itself. Does this happen, if so, how do you fix it?

Posted by kunas on December 4, 2004 at 8:08 PM (PDT) Comment 30

The flanges are removeable, but they don't fall out during normal use.

Posted by Popjunkie on December 5, 2004 at 9:31 AM (PDT) Comment 31

When you pull out the earphones, do they fall off? How much effort does it take for them to fall off?

Posted by kunas on December 5, 2004 at 1:34 PM (PDT) Comment 32

You would have to pull them quite hard for that to happen (something you would probably want to refrain from doing!)

Posted by Popjunkie on December 6, 2004 at 1:53 PM (PDT) Comment 33

Just got my ER-6i's today, got them sent from the US and only paid £77. These headphones are brilliant. There more comfortable than my Sony EX70's and the sound is in another league. I could never get the Sony's to stay in my ears. The Medium insert would fall out after a couple of minutes and the large insert wouldn't even go in my ear. The ER-6i's flange fits perfectly and is surprisingly secure. They seem to suit most types of music. I had the new Eminem album on in the gym and now I've got an Eric Clapton Blues Album on at the moment, I can hear detail in both i've never heard before and the clarity on the blues album is amazing. The bass for me is spot on, I always felt the Sony's were let down because of their exagerrated bass. I'm not an audio buff but you don't need to be to know when something sounds good.
The case they come in is functional with a mesh section for the spare bits you get with the headphones. My only gripe is that the case smells like a wetsuit thats been in the sea for a couple of years! I've put the case out the window for now, hopefully some fresh air will sort it out!!

Overall, well impressed!

Posted by spikeuk76 on December 7, 2004 at 4:26 AM (PDT) Comment 34

I have used the Apple buds, the Ety6 and the Ety6i. I use a Grado SR80 for standard reference, and for long listening. I wanted a better headphone for my long 1 hour 15 min daily commute on the commuter train and metro. I wanted one with noise minimization of some kind, because of other commuters loud conversations. I started out using the Grados even before I had my 3G ipod when i listened to CDs. I alwys loved there sound, the accuracy and bass where superb for its price point. However the Grados seem to make more sound on the opposite side of the can such that people would always look at me like i was blowing my ears off eventhough the sound was not that loud in my ears. I used the regular buds for the 3G for a year or more. When I purchased the 4G because the 3G stopped working, I wanted to get better earbuds. I started with the Ety ER6 and was unimpressed by the bass and also how loud you had to turn them up to get moderate level sound. But they sounded great overall and they fit my ears perfectly straight out the box. I could hear things that I never noticed before except ith the Grados in a very uiet room. Also the ER6 required no break-in. However, the drivers were not efficient enough for the ipod and the bass was thin. When Ety came out with the ER6i model, I knew they worked on those specific issues, so i purchased them. This is a slpit post see part 2....

Posted by iJazzy on December 9, 2004 at 7:26 AM (PDT) Comment 35

part 2

First use of the ER 6i, they sounded horrible and I knew from other posts that fit was everything with regard to earplug phones. So I trimmed the last flange off the 3 flange plug, to make them closer to the ER6 2 flange and lo and behold they started to sound really good. I broke them in more for about 2 hours came back the next day and listened to them again and was very impressed. The bass was perfect and listen with the EQ in the ipod off, except when i experiment. The ER6i and ER6 are very small, almost to a fragile extent. Like someone said in another post there is a time and place for different types of phones. With plugs you can hear those swallowing sounds when you swallow, breating sounds become more apparent and any knocks to your body are heard. Its like when you put your head underwater and you can hear different things but to a lesser extent. Earplug phones need to not be thin of tinny because of how they deliver the sound. They should create warm and diffuse powerful sound with less directness and more of a blended sound. Headphones are another matter altogether.
Overall, I love the Ety ER6i, they are accurate, bass is perfect, efficient with the ipod and financially make sense. I wouldnt pay more than approx 1/3 the cost of the ipod for and accessory. The only phoes that i havent tested are the Shure E3c but they are at the very top end of what I would pay and I have read that the bass is thin which whuld lead to tinny sound, which is exactly what i dont want. But as mentioned earlier the fit of these earplug phones makes a huge difference. One type may have a better fit but be a lesser sounding and still sound better to you based solely on fit.
Bottom line try em, you will find one that appeals to you, maybe not at first, but try other brands and experiment with fit.

Posted by iJazzy on December 9, 2004 at 7:27 AM (PDT) Comment 36

I bought my ER-6is from for $100 (on sale) and I have to say I am very, very pleased with them.

Some commenters have complained about the 3-flange design. I bought the ER-6s first since they were cheaper at the time, and I found their 2-flange design to be very difficult to create a consistent seal with. One ear always seemed to be stronger than the other, throwing off proper stereo separation. When I exchanged the ER-6s for the ER-6is, I noticed the difference the first time I inserted the new phones. For my ears, the 3-flange tip is perfect. I always get the same great seal and a perfect stereo canvas. Also, after leaving the flanges in for about 5 minutes I can hardly notice their presence.

For the money, these headphones cannot be beat. I use the ER-6is for when I need the sound isolation, such as during critical listening. But I find them a bit too fragile for general use. I still use the Apple Earbuds when working out or in situations where I might want to hear something or someone outside my music. The ER-6is are not good for exercising, since you can hear the cord banging against your body and the ear seal is harder to maintain due to your constant movement.

As far as sound quality, these earphones are unmatched for the price. Just like the review says, details come out in the music that you never knew where there. You WILL notice a vast improvement over the Apple Earbuds. I've found myself re-ripping a lot of my music in the Apple Lossless format now, since MP3 compression becomes much more noticeable with the ER-6is. These headphones are very aurally satisfying.

If you have the money and want a great pair of headphones for critical listening, the ER-6is are perfect. I'd also like to recommend you buy your pair from since I had a great buying experience with them.

Posted by CaptainValor on December 9, 2004 at 1:35 PM (PDT) Comment 37

I purchased my Er6i from earphoneSolutions for $118 and free shipping. They arrived yesterday and I tried them on immediately with my ipod. Here are some of my impressions:

Look -- The cord is very thin and the earbuds really look small and fragile. I just hope they won't break easily like the ipod earbuds. Definitely not for workout or exercise. The good thing is they are really light weight. The cord is too long for me since I use the remote, I have to wind the cords in-and-out of my pocket so that it won't get in my way. Previously I had the Sony MDR-Q55 and their cord is behind-the-neck, I now need to adjust to putting the Er6i cords in front of myself.

Feel -- the triple flange fits perfectly into my ears in my very first try. I figured that I got a good fit since I couldn't even hear myself typing on a keyboard. I don't even bother to try the foam ones as I'm afraid that I may break the fragile earbuds. The earbuds are very comfortable and I hardly notice their presence in my ears compared to the clip-on Sony MDR-Q55.

Use -- I brought my ipod and Er6i today to my school and walked around on the campus. The sound isolation is great and I couldn't hear people talking, especially on a bus. I could listen to my music quitely and the person sitting next to me wouldn't notice what I'm listening. My Sony MDR-Q55 is noisy when I listen it in a quiet place like in a library and people would stare at me, now with the Er6i, I could listen to music in a library without turning the volumn down. The only bad thing is I could hear myself breathing and swallowing.

Sound -- One of my audiophile friends told me that such earphones need several weeks to break in perfectly. After just one day of use, I could say that it's really sounds great with R&B/Blues. I did not use any EQ and tried pop, electronic, and classical, they are okay but not very impressive. Perhaps the sound will get better in the future, this is true for my previous headphones and I bet the Er6i need some time to break in.

I should post my impressions again after some extended period of use. But overall, I think the Er6i is a great purchase for me.

Posted by wesley1943 on December 10, 2004 at 4:06 PM (PDT) Comment 38

the shure e3c review's bads: "Pricey for many iPod users. Bass, while accurate and clean, is not 'booming' or powerful by any means? not for bass lovers. Isolation when using grey Ultra-Soft sleeves is poor."


These er6i's are LESS bassy and are just about the same price.

Also, er6i's have more microphonic annoyance and are significantly more fragile than e3cs.. so keeping them in your pocket isn't a good idea.

Big plus for er6i's.. they've got a white chord. LOL.

e3cs beat er6i's 3/4 of the time on [url=][/url] if not just for durability and comfort. although both are very good as far as sound quality. Just make sure they SEAL properly.

Posted by mctriple on December 12, 2004 at 3:52 PM (PDT) Comment 39

I have had these for a few months now and can honestly say they are well worth the money.

A question for you, I use my headphones in conjunction with the iPod remote control that comes with the crappy apple headphones, but have found that the two combined for a total of about 7 feet of cord that I am having a hard time managing. Does anyone know of a solution for this? I have tried twist ties to shorten the cords, but they are not ideal. Is there a product out there that can solve this problem?

Posted by icadoor on December 12, 2004 at 8:35 PM (PDT) Comment 40

icadoor: Maybe you should check out the Sumajin Smartwraps. ( They're a simple cord management solution, and it sounds like you might like it. I've actually never used the Sumajin ones, but there is a similar wrap thing from Etymotic that I got in the mail and it works nicely.

Posted by d.w.chin on December 12, 2004 at 9:07 PM (PDT) Comment 41

Has anyone got custom molds made for these yet? Would like to know your impressions..

Posted by factor on December 13, 2004 at 7:17 AM (PDT) Comment 42

I received my ER-6i headphones yesterday and used them with my 4G iPod while jogging. First of all let me point out that the instructions included in the box recommend not using these headphones while jogging because the user would not hear anything dangerous approaching, like a car or a dog. This proved to be true on the road, as I could not hear any traffic unless I focused on it. Swallowing and footsteps were not a problem but the cross around my neck did create a thumping noise when it bounced on my chest. At first I could also hear the headphone cords as they bounced with the motion but strangely that noise went away after several minutes. Admittedly these headphones are not very comfortable and it is hard to judge how far into the ear they are supposed to go.

On the plus side they do produce a great sound. With the volume set to half-way everything sounded perfect. I am impressed by how tight the bass was and by the details that emerge from familiar tracks.

One detail that no-one has mentioned about the ER-6i is that the gold-mini-plug connector has a plastic washer at the point where it would touch the metalic part of the iPod. Some of you may know that when third-party headphone plugs make contact with the iPod's metal shell the hard-drive spinning noise can be heard for a few seconds. The size of the mini-plug is as thin as the standard iPod headphones' plug, making the ER-6i compatible with the Sportswrap. Details like this show how much thought has gone into the design of this product.

Overall I am very satisfied with the ER-6i headphones. They are not as comfortable or convenient as regular headphones but they deliver crystal clear audio from the iPod.

Posted by Sol on December 13, 2004 at 10:41 PM (PDT) Comment 43

Do the 6i's wrap around the ear or do they just plug into your ear?

Posted by Loungin on December 15, 2004 at 1:03 PM (PDT) Comment 44

Does anyone have any comments about the poor frequency response of these headphones? Normal hearing is 20hz-20khz and yet the 6i's range is20-16khz. I am also wondering if compression knocks off the high end frequencies anyway, which would mean you wouldn't notice the upper end loss.

Posted by I-dog on December 16, 2004 at 10:36 AM (PDT) Comment 45
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