Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator Earphones | iLounge

Reviews

41

icadoor: Maybe you should check out the Sumajin Smartwraps. (http://www.sumajin.com) 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 in U.S. on December 12, 2004 at 9:07 PM (PDT)

42

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

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

43

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 in Brisbane, Australia on December 13, 2004 at 10:41 PM (PDT)

44

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)

45

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 in California on December 16, 2004 at 10:36 AM (PDT)

46

Can humans hear a 20kHz tone? I'm not sure but if you can't that would explain why it's not included in compression techniques

Posted by spikeuk76 in Devon, UK on December 16, 2004 at 1:04 PM (PDT)

47

I got my er-6i's yesterday and they were really pretty uncomfortable. They go so far into the ear that all you see is the back of the clear case and the cord. You can't actually see the earphone. I first tried cutting off the largest flange which did nothing to ease the comfort. Then I cut off the smaller one and they still hurt. Maybe I am overly sensitive but they made my ears ache on the outside. They just aren't comfortable for me. I called the company and they are sending me some alternative earpieces but if the comfort is not improved, I am going to return them. I tried on a pair of Shure e3s at the airport and found them to be a lot more comfortable with incredible sound quality. We shall see.

Posted by JeffNNJ on December 16, 2004 at 3:30 PM (PDT)

48

The ER-6i are not comfortable compared to conventional headphones but that is the compromise you have to make for the better sound. As for cutting flanges, personally I would not do it. The headphones cost me AUD $220 and that makes them too valuable to modify.

Besides, the foam rubber earpieces are included in the kit and not only are they comfortable, but they also do a better job of blocking atmospheric sound. Before anyone else reads the comments on this page and starts cutting the flanges of their new ER-6i's they should first read the instructions and use the foam rubber earpieces.

Posted by Sol in Brisbane, Australia on December 16, 2004 at 6:21 PM (PDT)

49

The point that I made may have been understated. It's not that they are mearly uncomfortable, it's that they actually make my ears ache. As for cutting the flanges, if you search er-6i on eBay, there is a seller who offers a package of 10 for $12. Cutting the flanges did not affect their ability to seal correctly in my ear. I tried the foam a few times and they did not work for me at all. Comfort aside, they are an incredible value.

Posted by JeffNNJ on December 17, 2004 at 6:04 AM (PDT)

50

I agree foams are comfortable and seal well, but my experience with foams is that they need more frequent replacing than flanges. I used the foams for a couple of weeks and they were no longer as squishy or space-filling as brand new foams. Rather than paying money for new foams every few weeks, I thought it was more economical to use the flanges. If I had more money, I'd probably stick with the foams, as I like the feel of them better than flanges to begin with.

Posted by d.w.chin in U.S. on December 17, 2004 at 4:16 PM (PDT)

51

STOP THE MADNESS!!!!! These phones sound small and tinny and actually produce static in the highs!!! I tried old and new recordings (Steely Dan to Radiohead to Gwen Stefani) and every bitrate to FLAC and Apple Lossless. These phones produce a shallow and dim bass, muted (blended) mids and without question highs that you would expect from a transistor radio. I have owned the ER4p's, the e2c's (muddy and blended), the e3c's (better, but still soupy bass), er-6i's and finally, the e5c's, which now provide me joy and SOUNDSTAGE!!!!

Posted by biff lipshitz on December 17, 2004 at 7:29 PM (PDT)

52

Anyone have a good method for keeping these earphones from tangling in the pouch?

Posted by toppie on December 18, 2004 at 10:15 PM (PDT)

53

Yeah I definitely found the foam plugs the easiest initially to get a good fit with, but it was clear after a week that they had to go for the sake of my personal hygine!

Considering how much they cost to replace, cutting a set of flanges to size is really the most practical way to get a good fit.

Try cutting down the sizes of the various flanges if simply snipping off the large or small flange doesn't seem to work; it certainly solved my problems!

Posted by Popjunkie in Singapore on December 20, 2004 at 1:09 AM (PDT)

54

Goodness gracious... Are you people for real?

I bought these headphones, thinking that it was my Sony MDR-NC11's that was causing the iPod to go "hiss.. hiss" when playing bass. Those headphones sounded amazing with my now dead Rio Nitrus, with absolutely booming sounds. At the time, I thought maybe, after a year's use, that the machinery inside the Sony's were dead.

Nope, the iPod still sounds like garbage compared to Rio. It's really pathetic how people here consider themselves Audiophiles when they can't even hear the distinction between machines. Or is it just because everyone here are fanboys who are afraid to try anything other than iPods?

Don't get me wrong, the Etys sounds amazing on my Computer's audio card, but the difference between that and the iPod makes me want to throw up. Please write better reviews about both these headphones and the iPod from now on. Bias sucks.

Posted by MaestroLi on December 21, 2004 at 5:07 AM (PDT)

55

Okay I figured this out. Etymotic send me replacement flanges that fit much better but still not great. Then I actually followed the directions that said to moisten them before putting them in my ears. I basically licked each one (I know that it sounds gross) and they actually fit much better. I LOVE them now.

Posted by JeffNNJ on December 22, 2004 at 10:37 AM (PDT)

56

We like our Ex81sl earphones but still have a small problem with the fittinh of these. They fit better than the Ex71sl series earphones but still slip or move a little have tried the different size plugs to with not much luck. Wondered if others had the same problem with the Sony earphones and then moved to these?

Posted by ipod cases in New Zealand on December 22, 2004 at 8:02 PM (PDT)

57

I've been on the hunt for something to improve my iPod enjoyment. White was a fashion prerequisite. The included apple earbuds were OK for sound but were a little sloppy in my ears. I was contemplating an investment in some Etymotic Research’s ER-6i Isolators or maybe some Sony MDR-EX81s, but I hate to drop that kind of cash without being able to listen first. I found some Sony MDR-J20's that are a compromise I can live with. In fact, I can't even call them a compromise because they couldn't sound any better and they are perfectly comfortable and secure in my ears. And WHITE! Can't beat the price -- 18 bucks versus 150 smackers? Those isolators better sound REALLY good. I think I'll live happily ever after with my MDR's, thank you anyway.

Posted by ismith in Calgary, Canada on December 23, 2004 at 1:20 AM (PDT)

58

i got these headphones for xmas because i read good reviews and they look cool, but i must admit i had mixed feelings when i heard them. The good: noise isolation is fantastic, but the Bad: it didnt have as much bass response than what i had hooped/thought there was. but i found as i wiggled it around in my ear i would get a bit more bass in certain positions, but it wouldnt hold there. has anyone else experienced this?

Posted by Matty C in Australia on December 24, 2004 at 7:49 PM (PDT)

59

When I first got mine, the bass was not impressive either. It took me about a week to get it to seal decently, and when I switched to the small flanges from Ety, the bass improved 10 times over for me, which means the fit of the original flanges was simply not as good. It sounds like, if you can wiggle them and get better bass in certain positions, your seal could be better. Try Ety's suggestion of moistening them (just slightly) before putting them in. I do not recommend licking them, heh. Or, you can try modding your flanges like others have done, or you can contact Ety to have them send you smaller Flanges if you think the pack-ins are too large. Also, give yourself a week to get used to positioning them. And Ety's suggestion is to put them in using two hands... one should be pulling on your ear upwards to open the ear canal, while the other inserts it in, so that you can get the best seal possible.

Posted by d.w.chin in U.S. on December 25, 2004 at 9:08 AM (PDT)

60

Where can these be purchased for a reasonable price in Canada? or a site that will ship to Canada?

Thanks.

Posted by McPaul in Calgary, Canada on December 25, 2004 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

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