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RE: IEM it is

I have limited experience with IEM's. Before the ER-4S I had Etymotic ER-6's. I purchased those maybe 8 years ago for somewhere in the $150 range. They were good, the ER-4S are better.

If you're going to purchase IEM's there are maybe two different classes: lower-impedance/high efficiency and higher-impedance/low-efficiency. I don't believe that the two classes necessarily impact on sound quality, each can sound good. However, the classes do have to do with the type of amplification you might be using.

Highly portable devices such as an iPod, iPhone, or similar generally have fairly low output power and do not do well with higher-impedance/low efficiency phones such as the ER-4S. Thus, for these devices a lower-impedance/high-efficiency IEM would be best. Etymotic promotes the ER-4P for these type of devices.

On the other hand, if you have a device that can adequately drive something like a Sennheiser HD600 you would do better with a higher-impedance/low-efficiency phone. When high efficiency IEM's are paired with more powerful amps people often complain that they have limited volume control because a very slight adjustment causes the phones to be too loud. Also, because they are running the device at the lowest volume level, some also complain of noise or hiss.

With that issue out of the way, there are many brands of IEMs that you might find satisfactory.

I suggest you wander over to www.head-fi.org , a site dedicated to headphone listening, to see what they suggest. With IEMs, like most everything else there tends to be a positive correlation with performance and price.


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  • RE: IEM it is - Audio Snob 11:06:39 02/03/12 (1)

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