Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Outstanding sound clarity and crispness, noise cancellation, eartips to suit most people, included case
- Cord too long and is easily tangled
Quite simply an excellent pair of earphones that provide outstanding sound clarity, the ER6i’s are a must have for any MP3 owner wishing to get the best out of their music player.
Price$ 239.00 (AUD)
Etymotic Research has long been associated with high-fidelity products, but in the ER6i they have produced a stunning consumer product that is a must have for those wishing to get the best out of their MP3 player.
Like all of Etymotic's products, the ER6i's are in-ear canal phones, which are designed to isolate outside noise in order to improve sound quality. The result is remarkable, with the ER6i's blocking out almost all outside noise during testing. In fact, the noise cancellation was so good that we had to remove our earphones when crossing the road because it was just too dangerous - extraordinary.
To achieve this noise cancellation, the ER6i's require insertion fairly deep into the ear canal. This may be uncomfortable for some and granted, it does take a while to get used to, but we were generally pleased with the comfort. We did experience a little soreness in the ear when using the earphones for longer than about two hours, but it is nothing that detracts from the overall package.
To help with comfort, Etymotic includes two different types of eartips in the ER6i sales package - foam eartips and rubber flange eartips. We much preferred the rubber flange eartips because they slid perfectly into our ear, but many people would prefer the foam option, as it can be pressed to fit into smaller ears. Because the earphones sit deep in the canal, wax builds up quickly so Etymotic recommend rinsing them in warm water regularly. The eartips are easily removed to do this - just twist and slide off.
The ER6i's use tiny filters in each earphone which prevents wax from getting into the sound components. After a period of time, the filters will become clogged and will need to be replaced - but thankfully Etymotic have provided replacement filters and a small screwdriver-like tool to do so. The process is simple - insert the tool into the filter and remove. It's a bizarre practice, but one that helps extend the life-time of the ER6i's and thus gets the thumbs up in our books.
The sound quality of the ER6i's can be described in one word - amazing. We were blown away by the crisp, clear quality and clarity that the earphones produce. Combined with the noise isolation features, we heard music tones and features that we've never heard before, such as underlying bass riffs. The treble was excellent and while the bass reproduction wasn't the best we've heard, it is more than adequate provided you've got the tips inserted deep enough into your ear. We tested the ER6i's with an iPod nano and they responded extremely well to equalisation settings, such as Bass Boost.
So what's wrong with the ER6i's? Well, not much at all to be honest. The only gripe we had with the earphones was the cord - it is too long, tangles easily and doesn't look like something you'd associate with a high quality product like this one. However in saying this, it is a minor issue and one that you will forget about when you listen to the earphones for the first time. To round out the package, the ER6i's include a handy pouch to store the earphones whilst not in use.
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