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Good: Value for money/clarity/isolation/comfort
Bad: Could do with a bit more oomph
Comment: Having tried the Shure SE210 in-ear phones I found them very good at sound isolation and good overall sound, but there was just something lacking....probably the clarity to justify their £70-£90 price tag.
I was pretty sure the Etymotic Research ER-6i would be better and I was not disappointed.
The units are small and can fit in your ears in the normal way, so you are not forced to wear them upside down and over your ears like the Shures and Ultimate Ears. I tried the flanges but they did not give me a great seal. The foam tips were much better. You just squeeze, pull your ear lobes back and fit them in and wait a few seconds for them to expand. Once in they are very comfortable. You can also buy different sized foams OR even buy the black olive foams that Shure use!
Now for the sound: I listen to mostly acoustic and light rock, and these are a great match. They are very detailed and offer excellent clarity. Don't forget that these are designed to replicate how the source music was recorded - they will not give you extra bass or artificial enhancements. The main criticism seems to be a lack of bass, however, I find the bass tight and natural. It could do with a bit more bite, but for the type of music I listen to it's perfectly acceptable.
I would highly recommend these headphones - at a web price of around £60 they are light years ahead of the iPod buds and in my opinion, anything else in the price range for IEMs.
Good: sound quality
Bad: build quality, flange tips
Comment: Good enough sound wise. Though more bas definition would have been nice.
Main flaw for me was the fact that the flange tips supplied came off far too easily inside my ear canals and it was a physical impossibility to get them out with my fingers. In the end needlenose pliers had to be used (PAIN!). On one occasion when, oddly enough, i didnt have pliers with me, i had to walk around sheffield city centre for hours with a flange tip wedged in my head.
Conclusion: use with caution.
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