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Comparing Etymotic Er3se w/adapter vs Er4sr

Dec 12, 2018
I was curious and got the Er4, after having the Er3 for a while, using it with an impedance adapter, which supposedly makes the two close or the same. So I did a little comparison today, the Er4 just arriving. First impression of the E4 was extra sparkle with less bass. Hard to get the fit exactly the same and the new flanges were stiffer, wondering if that made the difference.

Looking closely I noticed the eartips on the Er3 were not the same as the ones fitted to the Er4, a little longer and wider. When I put them on the Er4 the two sounded exactly the same to me. I got a little annoyed at this thinking I'd wasted money. But when I sat back and had a more extended relaxed listen, and got more immersed in music and away from the slightly agitated state when I'm in gear comparison mode, I started noticing a difference. I feel the Er4sr are in fact different and have a touch more detail and focus, more airyness. A little more sparkle/ sheen. Subtle, but I am hearing it. Also in one piano recording the piano image shifted some, more to the right side. Tentatively I am going to conclude that Er3se with adapter is not the same as the Er4sr. The Er4 does provide a little extra.
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