Etymotic Earjacks

Q: I would like to know why earjacks come either straight or angled. I recently purchased a set of Etymotic ER-6i in black and noticed they come with an angled earjack, while their white counterparts come with a straight jack.

– Stefano

A: We went straight to the source and contacted Etymotic with this question. Here is what they had to say:

The first 6i earphones were white. The plug was straight because the plugs on the Apple earbuds and aftermarket earphones were straight. Funny story: We sent George Bush (at his request) a prototype pair of 6i white earphones. He uses them when he listens to his iPod on his mountain bike. His assistant called with very positive feedback about the earphones and we asked what they thought about straight vs. angle plugs. They asked around the room while I was on the phone with them, and the consensus was straight. So, we thought, well, the leader of the free world said straight, so we went with straight. Fast forward to the black ones: A large number of people pull on the plug when they tightly wrap their earphones around their iPods. The strain relief on the straight plug was a weak link and we’ve had intermittency problems. So we went with a much better strain relief and an angle plug for the 6i black. We’ve always had angle plugs on the ER-4 series. We are not going to do straight plugs on any other earphones, as far as I can foresee. The angle plugs stand up to heavy use/abuse much better.

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