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The original Etymotic ER4 in-ear audiophile headphone began life over 20 years ago and has remained a steady beacon of clarity, definition and detail resolution above all else. Its newest iteration as the Etymotic ER-4SR ‘Studio Reference’ headphone keeps the same wide-ranging dynamics, razor fast sound and precise timbral accuracy of its predecessor. It also maintains the same tightly corralled bass response as before with a laser-tight low end response that avoids thump or hump and instead focuses on a dead-flat neutrality and sheer transparency to the source. If anything, the ER 4SR model does exhibit a slightly improved focus and smoothness over the old ER4S with a bit better sense of air and dimension compared to its forerunner.
For both portable audiophiles and studio mixing/mastering applications, the Etymotic ER4SR offers a direct red hotline to the smallest production details or sonic quirks obscured in the darkened corners of the music. The sole caveat for big bass lovers is the overall sound may perhaps be heard as tilting lean with a controlled extension in the lowest octave that actually serves to bring an even more intense level of bright detail resolution to the mids and highs. Yet the ER4SR somehow manages to avoid etching or sharp glare in the treble ranges, instead presenting the upper frequencies with a smooth, clear tone that showcases the completely impartial, objective drive of the sound. At this nice price, the Etymotic ER4SR is perhaps the clearest, best detailed in-ear headphone to be found in the business.
The Etymotic ER4SR employs machined, anodized laser-etched aluminum earpiece housings that are very lightweight, slim-profile and 100% engineered and manufactured in the USA. True to Etymotic origins, the internal design remains a balanced armature construction utilizing a single microdriver which Etymotic audio engineers claim to be more seamless and musically cohesive than multiple driver designs given their difficult frequency crossovers and time-phase alignment issues. The ER4SR earpiece snugs fairly deeply into the ear allowing for superb noise isolation, but some listeners may find the precise insertion a bit uncomfortable after a few hours. It’s important to try all the various eartips provided in the box to determine which set offers the most comfortable fit and best sound quality. Remember that a good eartip fit into the ears will also deliver the best bass presence!
We will again mention that the Etymotic ER4SR in-ear headphones offer perhaps the best audiophile bang-for-the-buck value in all of in-ear headphone land. At this affordable price, we think discerning listeners seeking a serious high-fidelity sound with utmost mids/highs clarity and an unhyped, accurate tone will be shocked when comparing these against more expensive earphones in their collection.
The updated Etymotic ER-4SR in-ear headphone features the same industry-exclusive, exacting 1dB match between left and right channels across all audible frequencies to ensure the most perfectly balanced audio performance possible. Individual channel-matching performance charts signed off and dated by Etymotic technicians are provided with each pair of new Etymotic ER4-series earphones. Also included in the package are five sets of eartips (2 grey foam sets, 3 silicon triple-flange tips in S/M/L sizes), a eartip filter removal tool, sets of replacement filters and a soft travel/storage case. The free 2-year Etymotic manufacturer’s ‘repair or replace’ product warranty remains in place with your headphone.com authorized dealer purchase
We know it’s not easy deciding among all our ridiculously great in-ear headphones, so feel free to give our expert headphone.com team a call and we’ll be glad to attempt to break it down even further. And keep in mind our easy 30-day return policy ensures you’ll love what your ears hear - or your money back!