I have used Etymotic for at last 15 years. I only use them when working at a client and when traveling on jets. They are fabulous, but honestly, I can't recommend them for folks here. The bass is too lean (I never heard the XR model) and they are just plain uncomfortable. And expensive. For traveling on jets, they just block the noise... fabulous! I tried noise canceling phones and find they not only sound like crap, but create some awful phasy pressures on my head. Bleck.
Bruce in Philly
Nice to see someone else likes Etymoticâ€™s earphones. My Etymotic earphones make traveling around NYC on the subway a pleasant auditory experience, lol. I never wear them on the street, they attenuate noise so effectively that youâ€™ll get run over by a bus or a bike delivery person.
Bass is felt by the whole body, mainly by the largest organs. No in-ear earphone can replicate that. I suppose the bass-bumped model helps a little, I donâ€™t know, I have the Standard Reference model, and they sound amazing. I had the old ER-4Ps before that and they were also excellent. Yes, theyâ€™re expensive but quality costs money. I actually think theyâ€™re reasonably priced. Iâ€™ve seen in ear monitors that are far more expensive. The old 4Ps could be found for less, I suppose. They have cheaper models on their website.
The company has been good to me. They sent me a replacement pair after I broke one driver after using them for many years and the set was out of warranty. The folks at Etymotic are great people and they care about their customers. I believe they get their expertise in building tiny drivers by building hearing aids.
I would suggest treating the earphones gently and always putting them in the included case after each use.
I would recommend them. As for being uncomfortable, I find the foam earplugs to be more comfortable than the silicon earplugs. I order the big yellow foam plugs. I sleep with foam earplugs, made by Flents, and those are excellent.