Etymotic Research Etymotic Research ER3SE

Else where on this forum I have a review on the New FiiO BTR5. I pulled out a pair of fragile Etymōtic Hf3’s to try out. They had not been used in all most 5 years retired with the iPhone 6S. Once the settings in the BTR5 were adjusted for the correct impedance and sensitivity I was reacquainted to why the Ety’s are my favorite earphones. Because of my past experience I knew the ER3SE (Studio Edition) was the right choice. The fact they once again have replaceable MMCX cables makes it just that much sweeter. Ety’s do not really need extended bass if the music you are listening has a strong bass line the SE version will provide it. Fellow Ety’s owners know the fit in your ears are very important to get all of the sound these earphones have, they must fit deep in to ears to get this. For new users at first this can be very uncomfortable. My suggestion to new users is to fit the expanding foam sleeves that are supplied. They provide the correct fit, their disadvantage is they don’t last very long.

The Sound;
Like the Hf3’s the ER3SE’s are very detailed but neutral. They are the closest thing I have heard in earphones to “The English Sound”. The way I describe this sound is you can hear the interior of the sound stage the mid voices, brass, woodwinds, etc. The SE (original sound?) Ety’s are luscious listening to small room jazz, chamber music is a religious experience. But if you really want to get weirded out listen to binaural sounds, and music.

I am so happy to be back with my favorites.


You inspired me. I have a pair of Etymotic ER6 around somewhere that I lost over 3 years ago. So I went looking on eBay and pulled the trigger on Etymotic ER3XR used. The ER6 had no frikk…fugg…dang bass at all. So I am guessing that the ER3XR might be better. And at the used price, I can always resell, give away and think about ER4.


I Understand difference between the SE, and the XR is quite subtle. I purchased my ER3SE on Amazon for $119.00. For the wax plugs and such it is much cheaper to purchase them directly from Etymōtic Research. You will find replacement cables as well, you can install the same cable the ER4 uses.


The idea of a custom fit intrigues me. Maybe after the virus is conquered, I’ll get the custom fit option. And perhaps that will also be transferable to the ER4XR if I should decide to spring for one. I did like the old ER6 despite the weak bass.


I’d be willing to part with mine. I have too many IEMs now…

Thank you @generic, but I just shelled out fairly minimal $$ for the ER3XR. If I’d known you might want to part with your ER4XR, I might have held back. On the other hand, if you are referring to your custom fit tips, I doubt that it would fit in my big old ears. WWDW (What Would Dumbo Wear).

You can go to Etymōtic listed audiologist to do the fitting. This is done by musicians who want to hear the output of The mixing board And at the same time protecting their hearing

I looked up your ER6’s you had a Ety model that did not have the balanced-armature
drivers are you in for a treat.


Nice writeup. Enjoy.

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The ER3SE is pretty much a ER4P with EQ or 23ohm adaptor it becomes a ER4SR.

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Apparently not. I had to return them. Extended description said sound came out of one side. Sort of went without saying that it did not come out of the other channel. I think it was the cord/jack, but I decided to return.

I’m really looking for something that will sound better than my Kanas Pro and/or my Sennheiser IE 40 Pro that will not take my wallet into the stratosphere.

There seems to be a big gap in the middle of IEMs that in headphones is filled by Sennheiser 650/6xx or Grado RS series or a bunch of the entry to mid level planars.


Let me just jump in here and say I’ve ordered an ER3XR to complement my ER2XR. I’ve seen the threads and graphs talking about and displaying the impedance adapter’s effect on the ER3xx. I found a 30 ohm adapter on AliExpress for cheap and ordered it. I think it is the same one Oluv links in his video on Youtube.

Using mu FiiO BTR5, I have been switching back and forth between my ER3SE’s and my Shure SE-215’s. I like both of them. The big thing I did with the Shures is to go to a balanced feed cable set. It made a big improvement in both sound and wearability. On Amazon, you can pick up either for about the same prince.

Here is the csble set, $29 ehole bucks a big improvement.

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