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Just a quick plug for Etymotic's customer service.
I have a pair of ER-4's I've been using for years, mostly for travel on airplanes to block the noise while sounding good. As such, they've had kind of rough service.
Somewhere along about year five, six, or more, the right earbud started dropping out. Turns out it was an issue with the plug/socket connection between the cable and the transducers. I eventually gave up on jury-rigging them to work (usually in a hotel room on the road with no tools) and put them away in a drawer.
About two moves and another seven years later, I recently rediscovered them in a box, and got around to contacting Etymotic to see if there was help. They have a program where if you send in your out-of-warranty broken units, they will send you a coupon to buy replacements at an attractive discount. So, I did just that.
Subsequently, I received an email form Etymotic informing me that only the cable was bad, and asking did I want them to replace it and return it to me - for $50 plus S&H. I said yes, of course.
They've now arrived, along with a technician's report stating they'd salvaged the transducers, cleaned them, and replaced everything else (probably had to carbon-date them first). Nearly brand new for $59. Pretty good, I'd say.
Glad they worked for you. I have relatively small ear canals, and Etymotics were excruciatingly uncomfortable after only 10 min. I returned them and got Yuin earbuds, which are perfectly adequate for listening to an iPhone in less critical listening environments, such as while out for a walk.
You have my sympathy. But my (bottom of range) Etymotics came with various sized ear inserts including some made of deformable foam which can be squeezed pretty small. Did you try those?
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