Richard Hart

Head of Something @ Somewhere
Kent, UK

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In search of better earphones : Etymotic ER•6

The lead on my Sony EX-71s was really coming to the end of its un-natural life, so it was time to find some new ones. I ordered a set of replacement EX-71s but then began thinking, there must be a better option. So I did some searching and came across a company called Etymotic and their ER•6 Isolatior earphones looked like just what I needed. And so £79.99 later…

On the face of it, they are the same ear-plug flange type as the EX-71s, but dual flanged (The ER•6i is tri-flanged) and more fiddly to put in. They really do cancel out a lot of noise though. The EX-71s mearly muffled outside noise, but these really do block it out complete. With no music they are close to what it would be like wearing ear-plugs.

At first I was really really really disappointed with the sound and thought I had just wasted a whole load of money. But after playing around a bit at home I realised I had to angle them slightly when inserting them and even moisten the tips to get a really good seal. And then a few hours later after letting them break-in all I could think was “WOW these sound amazing”. The clarity and noise re-creation is extremely good, plus the noise isolation means I don’t have to blast my ears to hear whats going on. The angled stereo plug is a bit of a pain and has meant I’ve had to ditch the remote on my i-river, but with the long cord I couldn’t have used it anyways without looking like a sea of black cable.

If you are in the market for some good quality noise isolation headphones, I can’t recommend these enough. If mine broke, I wouldn’t hesitate in replacing them with the same ones.

– Excellent noise isolation
– Excellent noise re-creation
– Look very cool and professional

– A tad expensive
– 90-degree stereo plug
– Fiddly to insert and remove
– Makes my ears itchy after a few hours