Etymotic ER-4PT - Auriculares in-ear, negro
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Descripción del producto
Adaptador de enchufe: Si
Auriculares: 3.5 mm
Auriculares adicionales: Si
Color del producto: Negro
Enchufe para avión: Si
Frecuencia de auricular: 20 - 16000 Hz
Longitud de cable: 1,5m
Obstrucción: 27 Ohmio
Sensibilidad de auricular: 102 Db
Tecnología de conectividad: Alámbrico
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Most of these have either a higher price tag or is technically superior than the ER4-PT. (dual/triple-BA drivers)
When I took a trip to China earlier this year I had the chance to visit a Jaben store, and audition quite a few higher-end IEMs, including the JH-16 Custom (close to one thousand dollars). Amongst them was the ER4P, which was the one pair of IEMs that impressed me. After the trip I just could not stop thinking about them, and when amazon's price dropped to $192, I pulled the trigger.
I am happy to report that after getting the ER4-PTs, I've been slowly selling off my IEM collection. They are all gone now. I have no interest in my other IEMs any more and barely touched them after my ER4-PTs arrived.
The ER4-PT (Or any of the ER4 series) is a must have in anyone's collection. It has unmatched clarity and accuracy in all universal IEMs, and most custom IEMs.
If you are just starting out with IEMs, you will probably not appreciate what the ER4s have to offer. All the time I hear stories of newbies acquiring ER4s early on their journey, left unimpressed, but then a dozen other IEMs later, they suddenly regret letting them go. But anyone who's had his worthy share of high-end IEMs would be surprised at how pleasing a $200 single BA IEM can sound, even in comparison to SE535 which is double the price.
Let me get the cons out of the way:
- These things have horrible microphonic. Worst of any IEMs I've owned, especially considering the price tag. I think the cheaper HF series do better with microphonic than these because of their rubber cable coating. The shirt-clip helps a lot and is essential when using the IEM. However, when the cable scrapes against the collar or my face, I can still hear terrible microphonic. Suffice to say, you don't want to be running with these on.
- Long earpiece do not sit flush in ears. This poses a major problem when I'm on the bed or laying on the couch. I love these so much I listen to them before I go to bed. However, the tubes stick out quite a bit, making my ears hurt when I lay on my side.
While these flaws aren't exactly minor, and if this was any other IEM I'd totally destroy the rating for that. But the ER4-PTs offer so much in pure audio bliss that the flaws can be easily overlooked and bore with.
- They are still handmade in the USA. The build quality is typical of IEMs made in the USA: rough around the edges. You'll see unclean cuts, plastic stubs in one or two places. They don't affect the durability or sound in anyway, but a pair of $100 Japanese IEM from the likes of Audio-Technica or Sony will have perfect finish in every little detail.
- These are plastic through and through, and it's just painted pitch black, no gloss finish or color, and looks understated. However the earpiece tubes feel solid enough, and cable appears to be robust. Should last for a few years.
- To me, they are very comfortable. Many people, who haven't had much time sealing their ears with tiny speakers, dislike the long tubes and deep insertion. But I find the fit more secure and comfortable than even Shures and CK10. I use the smaller, transparent triple-flange tips. I can wear these for hours on without fatigue. I cannot say this for any of my other IEMs.
- Included there are also the comply foam tips, a pair of bigger sized tri-flange, and a weird-looking, phallic shaped foam tip called the glider tips. The glider tips work very well. As the name implies, they just glide into your ears and create a good seal. But the insertion is not as deep as the small tri-flanges that I prefer.
- Isolation is one of the best in passive noise isolation earphones, thanks to go deep insertion. You'll definitely be able to block out annoying parents, obnoxious roommates, etc. You'll still hear the rumbles of an airplane engine on an airplane, but it'll be muffled.
This is the most complicated and unique thing about the ER4s. But for the subjectivity of sound perception and preference, I'll just touch lightly and encourage you trying them out yourselves.
For me, I was 100% satisfied with the sound. I could ask for nothing more. Everything is as it should be. These IEMs are accurate, neutral, and accurate.
- They are very revealing of the source material. You'll notice a huge difference between MP3 files ripped at 192Kbps and 320Kbps. Of course, if you go Apple lossless or FLAC or WMA Lossless, you'll notice even bigger changes.
- Not a bass monster! BAs have always been weak on bass. No matter how many drivers there are, the kind of texture and feel of bass out of BA phones just can't compare with Dynamic drivers. So if you want oomph, look elsewhere. These have very clean, punchy bass. A little dry, not very fluid. Extension is very good, and the notes linger as long as they need to be. They also don't overwhelm or intrude the other frequencies.
- Mids - plain, flat, accurate. There really is not much to say about mids. Vocals are as they should be. There is not special coloration to make female vocals sound sweeter than originally recorded, like with more Japanese earphones. Nor is the midrange recessed like with TF10 or Monster Turbine Pro Copper
- Treble is limitless. Notes go as high as they need to be and beyond. It's just so crystal clear. But they are never shrill. My brains get scraped out every time I listen to my CK10s because there is a mid-treble bump in frequency response, which was done on purpose to flesh out little details in sound but makes it fatiguing to listen to. The ER4-PT never have this problem. It is awesome to listen to these when sleeping, because the crystal-clearness gives you peace so alluring you will be falling asleep in no time.
- Soundstage - not huge. You have one tiny little speaker in a little plastic tube - the soundstage is not supposed to be huge. I cannot stand those IEMs that purposefully tune their sounds to sound grand and enormous. It's fake and make the music sound bloated. Not to say the ER4-PT has small soundstage. For example, if you have a recording done in a large concert hall and properly recorded, you will hear all the soundstage, the echoes and the acoustics of the chamber, as they have been recorded.
Anyway, they have been my go-to pair of IEMs since the day they arrived. Ety also hand-match the earpieces, and includes a frequency response graph with technician's signature. This is a very pro feature that not many companies offer.
I think anyone who's looking for an awesome pair of IEM should get these, unless you specifically want bloated bass, warm vocals, etc. It's amazing that in a world of companies coming out with triple, quad driver universals, Etymotic still sticks to their original, 15-year-old design, and that design still beats some of the most expensive and technically advanced IEMs on several aspects.
The ER-4PT features one of the most comprehensive earphone packages for its price range. Opening the cardboard box reveals a well-built plastic case with the word “Etymōtic” in red on the lid. The case has a utilitarian, 90s IBM device look that characterizes the practical nature of Etymotic Research’s products. Opening the plastic case reveals the ER-4PT and a whole myriad of accessories. In addition, each ER-4PT earphone comes with a Channel-Matching Compliance Graph.
Starting with carrying case options, the ER-4PT can either be transported in a small carrying pouch or inside the large plastic case. The small carrying pouch will do just fine at accommodating the ER-4PT and its relatively long cable, but not much else. As I use a messenger bag on a daily basis though, I often found that it was easier just to bring the larger plastic case and toss all the accessories/ earphones inside. In addition, the plastic case comes with foam cut outs for the filter changer, 3.5mm to 6.3 mm adapter, 2 sets of flange tips, and the earphones themselves, which makes for much easier access than fumbling around with accessories strewn inside the small carrying pouch.
A wide range of eartips is included with the ER-4PT, including the proprietary glider tips and the black foam tips. However, neither of the above worked very well (glider kept falling out, black foam was a little rough and uncomfortable to wear). The classic triple flange worked brilliantly though, but a little tutorial (for first-time users) is in order. To achieve a good seal with the triple flange tips, gently pull your ear back with one hand before inserting the earphone at a slight angle with the other. Use a twisting motion to ensure the best seal possible. You’ll be able to tell that a seal has been achieved by the fact that you won’t be hearing much of the outside world afterwards. The isolation is so good that I was able to fall asleep on the sub (for the first time ever), during which I ended up missing my stop by several stations.
The last part in the ER-4PT’s extensive package is the ER-4PT to ER-4S converter cable. The ER-4PT features 10dB greater output at higher frequencies and 13 dB greater output at low frequencies than the ER-4S. The ER-4S will generally need an amp in order to be powered effectively. Interestingly enough, the ER-4S and the ER-4PT are being sold for the exact same price (MSRP).
The ER-4PT has a low-profile, cylindrical plastic housing. The stem of the earphone is quite thin, which has caused some users trouble in the past. In addition, as a model-kit hobbyist, I wasn’t a huge fan of the fact that plastic flashing/mold lines were still visible on the earphone. However, while plastic isn’t my material of choice, it does make the ER-4PT lightweight (and will ensure that it can survive more than a few drops).
The cable is well built. The top half is braided, while the bottom half is a shiny reinforced plastic similar to those found on flexible bike locks. Strain relief is present where it counts, and the split is robust (if not a little hefty). The 3.5 mm plug is 90 degrees, and similarly durable. My only complaint is that microphonics is moderately noticeable, but that can be easily resolved with the use of the provided clothing clip (albeit not the most elegant solution).
Overall, the various aspects of the ER-4PT’s build work together to create a very coherent design. The weight of the earphones and the thin stem are well suited for the deep-insertion seal, which ultimately betters the sound quality. And that is always a plus!
The ER-4PT defines the classic “Etymotics Sound”. It features an analytical and crystal clear SQ. Be prepared to hear things that you may never have heard before in your tracks, including any imperfections in source material. Starting with the bass, the ER-4PT doesn’t break any conventions. It has good impact and speed, but lacks a certain fullness due to the obvious limitations of a single balanced armature driver in a plastic housing (which helps to tighten decay, for better or for worse). This is perhaps the biggest complaint regarding the ER4 series -that it’s far too tight and clean, and lacks musicality due to its bass signature. I shared similar feelings to start, but extended really began to engage my ability to appreciate the ER4.
The mids are good, with very little coloration and a generally neutral sound. It’s very clean and reminds me a bit of its headphone cousin, the T1. The treble on the ER-4PT is amazingly clear and thoroughly detailed. Unlike some earphones, the ER-4PT is not afraid to establish its treble presence. However, harshness was never a problem with the ER-4PT, and the highs are well connected with the rest of the frequency range (with an amazing smoothness, might I add).
It should thus come of no surprise that the ER-4PT has some of the best instrument separation around. It never failed to render different instruments, no matter how busy or congested a track may be. This may even make for a slightly odd and disorienting listening experience at first! Soundstage is moderately sized, but the instrument separation does help significantly. That said, the emphasis on the high frequency notes, sound isolation, and extreme clarity can make things slightly fatiguing at times.
Popping on the adapter to convert the ER-4PT to ER-4S, I felt that a touch of air was added to the earphones. The same clarity and detail is maintained, but the sound is a bit more neutral. Purists will definitely find this option more appealing. However, this will come at the expense of convenience, as a portable headphone amp is highly advisable with the ER-4S.
Overall, the ER-4PT is a great pair of earphones when it comes to clarity of sound and accuracy of reproduction. And while in recent years, the ER-4 series has faced increased competition in the rapidly expanding IEM market, it’s safe to say that the earphones still offer a truly impressive sound signature. It’s one of those earphones that simply can’t be missed in one’s audio journey, and I would gladly recommend these to users who enjoy an analytical and extremely clear sound.
This will be my second set of MicroPro's. My first set, lasted me around 6-7 years until they fell out of my pocket on a crowded night downtown, and were lost. I was devastated, and really couldn't bear the idea of spending the money again, because I really considered them an investment. But, after a couple months of using some Klipsch Image S4-II's and Kilpsch R6's, which were just sort of kick-around pairs, I decided I absolutely needed to have the Ety's back. I'm not an audiophile, but I do know a fair bit about good sound.
I'll start by addressing a few things I have seen frequently in other reviews:
---"Flat" or uninteresting sound"---
I "know" what people mean when they say this. These do have a "cool", and perhaps a slight, but not overt, "brightness" to them. The thing is, the detailed resolution that the ER4P's have makes it impossible for me to go to any of the more "warm" or "colorful" (mostly cheaper) earphones I've tried. It may take some getting used to, but I think anyone who purchases these who has a similar background as myself, and wants REALLY good sound, high isolation, and wants to drive them very frequently direct with only an iPhone, Macbook, or iPad, will come to love these. I can see how "audiophiles", musicians, studio engineers, etc, may prefer different or more expensive options, but these are really great earphones for $300--so much so that I have bought them twice at around that price.
---"Lack of bass"---
Yes, compared to perhaps 80% of consumer-oriented earphones (especially cheaper ones like Klipsch and Bose), the bass on the ER4P's will seem underwhelming. However, the bass that is there, is tight and accurate, with absolutely no boominess. I really have become accustomed to the sound signature of ER4P's and find that I don't miss the exaggerated bass that most ear/headphones have. Additionally, it must be said that there will be absolutely NO bass audible whatsoever if the wearer isn't truly getting an adequate seal, and placing the phones deep enough in the ear canal.
---"Cables transmit a lot of microphonic noise"---
This is also true. They do, plain and simple. For me, using the provided clip to attach the plastic "barrel" (where the cord separates into individual L/R cables" is a must. I always clip this barrel to my shirt or collar, to "lift" the portion of the cable closest to the ears, and relieve it of any tension or it's own weight. That being said, honestly I run long distances with these in all the time.
---"Poor build quality, breaks easily"---
Like I said, my first set still worked fine until I lost them. I did have the cable replaced for free once under warranty, and I think the replacement cable (the current design with the red/blue dot), is better than the original (which had red/blue plastic where it connects to the can). I take good care of them in general, however, and am very careful never to tug or place strain anywhere on them. I also wind them neatly and carefully each time when I am done with them, and never "ball them up" or cram them in pockets. If you don't plan on being able to handle these with at least a reasonable degree of care, then they aren't for you. They aren't designed to be used in a gym or during active use; more like for when sitting still in a room. But I use them all the time, and love them.
The ER4PT seems to come with the adapter to turn these into the ER4S (100Ω impedance as opposed to 27Ω--this may prove useful if you use an amp or have a slightly noisy output). The price hasn't changed much over the years so it's nice to see them tossing this into the package now (or maybe it was a mistake in my box). You'll spend a bit of cash on different tips and replacement filters over the years. Etymotic offers a really affordable custom-fit option too which I'll probably use soon.
If you absolutely need a microphone, consider some third-party cables from manufacturers like null-audio. Although the cable isn't touted as replaceable, the cables actually have a 2-pronged plug that plug into the back of the drivers and if you're careful, you can remove them (especially using your thumbnail, etc.).
The problem with an overly colored sound is that it won't hold up well across different kinds of music. One rock track may sound superb while another sounds brash, one symphony moment harrowing and the next hollow. Worse yet, some devices will quickly induce ear fatigue depending on the brightness of the listening material.
The ER-4 was designed with a signature curve that attempts to model the acoustics of the naked, open ear as closely as possible. The result is a sound that rings remarkably true across all genres of music and audio material.
You will need to be patient, and you will need to achieve a good seal in your ears. Not everything will leap out and grab you. Listen, and it will come to you. It will reveal itself in all its beauty (or lack thereof). And the bass will be as tight as the drum that played it, the mids present at toe with the highs and lows, and the highs clear and cutting but not fatiguing.
And afterwards when you put your ear to any litany of other expensive devices you may find the grass there greener in parts and patches, but scant few matching that of the uniform edge to edge green of the ER-4 -- analogous to that of world-class sporting pitch.
Did I mention that they offer otherworldly sound isolation?
1. I prefer the black foam eartips. Roll them back and forth between your fingertips to compress the foam, insert them completely, hold them in your ear for 10 seconds and let the foam expand and seat properly in your ear. I used the silicone flanges for years before I finally tried the foam, and to my ears the foam delivers definitively better isolation and bass.
2. Use the "S" adapter for the most accurate sound. Use without the adaptor if desiring slightly louder bass, or to deliver louder sound from a weak portable device.
3. Cord micro-phonics can make these earphones frustrating to workout with as they will transmit dull sound to the ears when the cable bangs against your clothing or other objects. You will need to plan accordingly or simply use cheap earbuds for working out, like I do.
4. DO NOT use these earphones in places you need to hear outside sounds - for safety or otherwise. The outstanding noise isolation reduces outside noises in excess of 40 decibels.
Perfectionist and user/lover of ER-4 earphones for 15 years.