Etymotic ER-4P IEMs

I like good earphones. A few years ago, I wanted to try Etyomtic’s ER-4 IEMs but I was turned off by two things: The price ($300) and the reported lack of bass. Last night, on a late-night iPad-based canalphone research binge, I discovered that Etymotic’s ER-4P is highly regarded for my kind of use (no amp) and has a new price (since I last looked) of $169.95. That’s a compelling price for me so I ran it by the wife this morning and, with her “Go for it!” I pulled the trigger and added overnight Prime shipping for an additional four bucks.

I can’t want until they arrive tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday.

23 September 2010 Update: While their sound was bright and detailed and their construction excellent, I returned my ER-4Ps to Amazon this week. To get the best sound out of them, I had to jam them so far into my ears that it made my ear canals uncomfortable for days. Not hurt, just kinda stretched out. I may have gotten used to this, but there was a second problem: My eardrums hurt. I wasn’t cranking my music, so it wasn’t due to that kind of sound overload. But I didn’t like this sensation. For what it’s worth, I liked my ER4s best with the clear small tri-flange tips and my Comply Tx100 foam tips. (No insertion problem with the Ety foamies of course, but they were not my favorite tips.

Also, amped by my Fiio E5 headphone amp, with bass boost on, the ER-4Ps really sounded the best for me. I liked the fuller sound I got using the amp, especially for songs with women singing and acoustic instruments. It also helped with songs from Bob Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind album.