Etymotic ER4XR In-ear Monitors - Official Thread

This is the official spot to discuss the Etymotic ER4XR

I replaced a pair of well-loved (7yo) ER4s with these earlier this year. These are my everyday make-me-love-music-so-much-I-don’t-care-if-there-is-a-fire-alarm headphones.

I love Etymotics for their accuracy and clarity-- so I was worried about these “bass enhanced” versions, but the effect is subtle, and when I had the chance to compare these to the SRs I strongly preferred these. Also, thank-goodness they finally went to removable cables.

These are IEMS, so they can’t compete on soundstage, and you do have to stick them way (way) in your ear-- but I adore them.

Pair these with a Dragonfly Red, and you’ll have an outstanding audio rig that will fit easily in your briefcase.

Highly recommended.


I would add that they are my favorite IEMs for travel. With the foam tips they ship with and the distance they go in your earhole you can completely block the outside word - without any Active Noise Canceling (ANC).

You’re right about the effect of the bass boost. I would still call these very flat. @taronlissimore is a fan of exaggerated low end so he has predictable disdain for the ER4XRs.

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Exactly-- whenever I see someone with big ol’ Bose ANC headphones, I think about that (apocryphal) story where the US space program spent millions developing a pen to write in space, and the russians just used a pencil.


Excellent analogy

I agree, I use mine for travel and have not looked back. For the price, they are some of my favorite IEM’s.

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Disdain is a strong word. It’s more like hatred.

In all seriousness though they aren’t a bad earphone. They just don’t suit me.

Have you tried them with the Triple Flange tips? I know that’s what a lot of people use and say their eardrums are pretty much being tickled. Sounds unpleasant but whatever floats your boat!

I have. They were my goto before I found good foam tips. The triple flange felt like torture after about 45 mins, but I would put up with it for the sound and isolation.

I think I prefer the sound of the triple flange, but for sound isolation and comfort it’s foam all the way down.

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an issue I have with this series if the transfer of physical noise, through the actual cables. If you move while wearing, and the cables bounce against your shirt, you “hear” that contact in your ears; never had that happen before with in-ear units. I adjusted by clipping the cables to my shirt collar when walking or moving and that really minimizes the effect. Another thing with this series…you have to break them in not only for the units but for your body. The deeper they are set in your ears, the better the sound. Setting them deeper also increases physical sensitivity issues that you have to build up a tolerance for. All that said…mine get used quite a bit.

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Absolutely – though the microphonics were way worse on my ER4PTs. The clip does help, but honestly, it’s still bad enough that I wouldn’t go running in them.

I heard that story about NASA trying to develop an electric razor with vacuum and the Russians just used foam and a blade.


Run those wires over the top of your ears and down the back. No more wire noise.

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I have used the triple flange since the beginning but it does take a little getting used to. Replace them every once in a while or they can get loose on the earphones and come off in your ear. The first time that happens will give you a cold rush down your spine! Just put a toothpick or wooden match inside the rubber tip to pull it out.

Er-- the first time I did this I ended up pushing them farther in and heading off to the ER for an embarrassing visit. My recommend? Get someone you trust to do it with needle-nose pliers, plating tweezers, or if they are really in there-- a hook fashioned from a paper clip.

I’ve actually had that happen twice! Honestly twice to the ER with iem tips stuck in my ear. Happy to hear it’s happened to someone else.

Any recommendations on foam tips? I love the sound of my HF5s but the triple flange ear penetrators tips keep me away except when traveling.

I’d recommend using the Etymotic foam tips, if you haven’t tried and dismissed them already. Available cheaply in bulk from Amazon.

Thanks. I’ll see if I’ve still got the ones that came with them. I’ve heard that the Shure “olive” tips do pretty well too?

Not foam, but what about SpinFit? I find them more comfortable than foam tips.