Posted 20 hours ago

Etymotic Research ER2-XR Extended Response - In Ear Noise Isolating IEM Earphones with Detachable Cable

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The weird sound issues were resulting from the fact that I wasn't fitting them deep enough. The proper way to fit them is to push them in until it starts feeling uncomfortable... And then push them in even deeper. Only the cable connector should protrude from your ear canal, the entire blue part should be in there. stars: The product is only about average or even somewhat below that and somewhat flawed/flawed in some areas. [neither "Thumbs Up" nor "Thumbs Down"] I've also been able to demo even more stuff, including some summit-fi gear and popular favourites. Since September, I have also been cataloguing all of it in a Google Sheets document, which has since grown into quite a sizeable database, if I might say so myself. In terms of speech intelligibility, the Ety are ahead due to their tuning as their entire midrange is more neutral, however the Shures’ retrieval of micro details in the mids is better in direct comparison.

In the end, the ER2XR actually sounds incredibly natural, coherent, and well-balanced. That slight elevation in the bass and sub-bass is just enough to give it a slightly warmer than neutral presentation which I absolutely fell in love with. What’s also great is that it’s the sub-bass which has the highest level within the entire bass spectrum, and this means that you get that nice deep sub-bass punch, but without overly colouring the upper bass and mids. It bleeds just a little bit into the upper bass, but it’s just enough to add some warmth to the signature without dominating any other region of the frequency response. With an impedance of 15 ohms and a sensitivity of 96dBm these buds are reasonably easy to drive, and you should get more than plenty of volume from even your mobile device. In fact, Etymotic now sells an iPhone compatible version. Since the model I’m testing has the regular 3.5mm termination, and I forgot my damn iPhone dongle, I’ve paired the ER2XR with my trusty Astell&Kern SA700 DAP.This is a review of the ER2XR, which I have owned for 3 days. I will compare it to trusty ER3XR with 20 ohm adapter, which basically turns it into an ER4XR in terms of frequency response, which is why I'll be referring to it as ER4WB (ER4 wannabe) from now on. Test music is Tidal lossless from my LG V30, various genres and artists since these things are relatively neutral and therefore handle most music quite well. No EQ was used because it was deemed unnecessary given the pleasant FR of both these IEMs. I did try a Harman curve, but the differences were relatively small and I don’t think it’s worth the effort in this case. Identical to the ER3 series. Less accessories than the ER4 series but still adequate. Includes both small and large tri-flange clear silicone tips and Comply foam tips. I personally prefer the large silicone ones as this allows me to get a good seal. The ER4 series come with a personally signed copy of the IEM's individually tested frequency response, channel matching, THD, etc, which you don't get with the lower priced ER2 series. Like most Etymotic earphones, the ER2s come in two versions: the ER2SE (Studio Edition) that promises dead neutral tonal balance and flat frequency response, and the ER2XR (Extended Response) that adds a generous but not egregious dollop of added bass lift. From the lower midrange on up, the two models sound more or less identical, so that bass output is the real differentiator between the two. Rest assured that whether we are talking about the ER2SE or XR-version earphones, Etymotic simply doesn’t do grotesque sonic colourations; it’s not in their corporate DNA. The mids have nice natural texture to it. All kind of male, female vocals and instrument; these make them sound really good. The transition from upper midrange to treble is really nice. I simply love the mids on these.

I don't know your situation. I don't have your ears. I do not listen to your playlist. I may not have the same preferences as you. Hell, the language of the audio hobby is so subjective that you might have a totally different idea when reading my words than what I meant while writing them. I try to be clear, articulate and use intuitive language instead of overly technical terms, but even still, what I think when I say that something sounds bloated (a boosted and slow bass response, crowding out other sounds) is not the same that someone who calls all mid-bass "bloat" would interpret it as. Etymotic’s target frequency response graph represents a “perceptibly flat” frequency response. Our goal is to have a flat frequency response curve when the music notes hit your eardrums. To achieve that, we need to account for the resonance inside the average ear canal, since IEMs bypass the outer ear structure. The result is the need for higher SPL in the 2-5k region (lower treble) for compensating said resonance. That is the reason for the “hump” in that region. Very high passive noise isolation (35-42dB) from the deep insertion design. Essential as hearing protection for an on-stage performer. Touted as the grandfather of portable audio, Etymotic’s original ER4B and ER4S came into the world in 1991 as the world’s first commercially available universal in-ear monitor. Etymotic continues its legacy with the ER4SR and ER4XR, which are updates to their legacy ER4 lineup with slight tweaks to their target curve to accomodate for more mainstream tastes.

Does the Etymotic ER2SE block out noise?

In the midrange and treble, the ER2XR follow the ER2SEs’ tonality almost exactly, which means that the ER2XR are highly linear and realistic sounding, which I cannot only confirm by listening to music (and performing acoustic measurements) but also when listening to sine sweeps that reveal a very even, linear tonal response without any unevenness, sudden peaks or dips; instead, the ER2XR, just like Etymotic’s other models that I am familiar with (ER-4S, ER4SR, ER4XR, ER3SE, ER3XR, ER2SE), show remarkable upper midrange and treble neutrality and evenness to my ears that is only very rarely achieved by other in-ears, resulting in a highly natural and realistic treble timbre reproduction (which is also the reason why I prefer my ER-4S and the ER4SR over the various other, much more expensive, technically more proficient in-ears that have a more or less neutral sound signature as well, for stationary music listening). Therefore the ER2XR also closely resemble the ER4XRs’ midrange and treble tuning, with slightly greater upper midrange and treble quantity compared to the ER3XR, and slightly less upper midrange/presence range quantity compared to the ER4SR.

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