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Old 10-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #151
Lost Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smallberries View Post
I've tried many different earbuds for riding and found the Etymotic ER6i to be a great solution for 1) isolating wind noise, 2) providing excellent sound quality and 3) not sticking out of my ear to rub against my helmet liner, 4) reasonable price ($110 delivered to my door).


What is the next best choice in the same price range (or less).?


I've been using the ER4-P for years while riding and traveling. Excellent noise isolation, ridiculously excellent sound quality and very small for a good fit in a helmet.

I recently lost my well used pair while traveling overseas and just scored a barely used set on ebay for $140. It's a good buyers market for lightly used ones on ebay right now it seems, and you can have the best of the best for less than the HF's. I was looking at the HF series but wasn't sure how they would fit in my helmet so I stuck with what I know works very well.



http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er4.html
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by GI_JO_NATHAN View Post
Ok so I've decided some people just have more money than I do.

Fixed that for ya'.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:45 PM   #153
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I've been using these since last Spring as a replacement for the etymotic until I find better. $37

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Image-.../dp/B0044TVYWG

They're just a little bit larger than the etymotics and you'll need the triple fin plugs from the etymotic earphones for them to work. The tips are hard to get on, but they go.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #154
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On our last trip i got tired of the 5 yr old ER-6i tips slipping off the barrel during extraction, requiring pulling out the tweezers for tip-extraction from the canals. So, clever me, used a small dab of super glue. It fixed the problem, but created another - too much glue and the tips are now a bit stiff!

Looking for replacements. Tried a friend's HF-3's - too big for my canals. May give the HF-5 a whirl? Any other suggestions? I looked at the ER-4, but didn't think they'd fit inside a helmet?

The isolation factor is critical - some of the less expensive devices don't afford the isolation, even when the tips are sealed. I suppose it has to do with a 'vented' back (air path into the canal)? Just a guess.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:11 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic578 View Post
On our last trip i got tired of the 5 yr old ER-6i tips slipping off the barrel during extraction, requiring pulling out the tweezers for tip-extraction from the canals. So, clever me, used a small dab of super glue. It fixed the problem, but created another - too much glue and the tips are now a bit stiff!
The tips are supposed to be replaced a little less often than the filters. When they're slipping off the posts, you're supposed to put a fresh set on. The original assortment you get when you buy the monitors are more of a sample pack. Decide which ones you like the best then order a six pack (or more) of replacement tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic578 View Post
Looking for replacements. Tried a friend's HF-3's - too big for my canals. May give the HF-5 a whirl? Any other suggestions? I looked at the ER-4, but didn't think they'd fit inside a helmet?

The isolation factor is critical - some of the less expensive devices don't afford the isolation, even when the tips are sealed. I suppose it has to do with a 'vented' back (air path into the canal)? Just a guess.
Try the MC5s. They're the "replacement" for the ER6s. I have a pair and they're every bit as good as the ER6iSolators and they fit just fine under a helmet. I'm even suspicious that the "MC" stands for "motorcycle".
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by swimmer View Post
+1. Had my ER6i's for a couple of years. I can't believe how well these things hold up. Far surpassed expectations.
Yes, I am amazed by their durability. I do have to replace filters incessantly because I am a dirty dirty dog.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #157
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Lick 'em before putting them in. Yup, it sounds gross but it works just fine.
That's what I do.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:23 AM   #158
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I also found that when warmed, one can just get the newer three-flange eartips on the Er6, despite the size difference.

Much more secure/comfortable.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux View Post
The tips are supposed to be replaced a little less often than the filters. When they're slipping off the posts, you're supposed to put a fresh set on. The original assortment you get when you buy the monitors are more of a sample pack. Decide which ones you like the best then order a six pack (or more) of replacement tips.

Try the MC5s. They're the "replacement" for the ER6s. I have a pair and they're every bit as good as the ER6iSolators and they fit just fine under a helmet. I'm even suspicious that the "MC" stands for "motorcycle".
In 5 years of hard wear, I've never had to replace the filters of the ER-6i. I do inspect often, and clean the tips with alcohol, but apparently debris never found its way down into the filters. just lucky i guess.

I lied... I never tried the HF3 (senior moment), my friend tells me they were the MC5. I actually didn't listen to them so this is not a commentary on audio quality, but the MC5 barrel was too large and was uncomfortable in my smallish ear canal.

i guess i'll try the HF5's next.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux View Post
Try the MC5s. They're the "replacement" for the ER6s. I have a pair and they're every bit as good as the ER6iSolators and they fit just fine under a helmet. I'm even suspicious that the "MC" stands for "motorcycle".
I tried the MC5's and the reinforced angled wires coming out of the ear pieces touch the inside of my helmet and make them unusable for me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:15 PM   #161
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What I've discovered from you all + experimenting

I should start by thanking everyone who's chimed in to all the threads on this topic. Like many here I've been fixated on finding the ideal ear protection/music listening setup for quite a while and have benefited from others input. Hopefully any rehashing I do is helpful by virtue of having multiple ideas in one place.

Up until early last summer my best (performance/price) had been the ER6i's with stock, 3 flange silicone tips: good noise isolation, decent sound, fairly fuss-free install/fit and at a manageable price ($75 a couple years back if I remember correctly). I'd occasionally get my head turned by the custom molded options but could never justify the cost despite being very capable at rationalizing quality kit (Held, Vendramini, Motoport.....). And on those occasions when I did get tempted by customs, reports of poor fittings (helmet pressure?) in this forum and others gave me cold feet. That plus the fact that I do loose/break/forget these things more often than I'd want to spend for them at the custom molded price.

So anyway, about 6 months ago my ER6i's go AWOL. Lost, lifted, I'm not sure, but regardless, I was back in the hunt and have discovered some new things from this latest processing that may help others.

1) Given my head and ear shape I need low profile headphones to avoid interference with my helmet. This is true, to some degree, for all of us who wear helmets. Even the ER6i's would occasionally cause me a little soreness in my ears after all day use or interact with my helmet in a way that would degrade the fit/performance despite always wearing a helmet liner (Buff) which minimizes interference. After loosing my ER6i's my quick-and-dirty replacement was a cheap ($25) pair of Phillips earphones which worked o.k but stuck out a little further than the ER6i's so they were a bit fussy to get and keep set properly. I experimented with aftermarket tips (Comply) with limited success but never was able to consistently duplicate the noise reduction of the ER6i's with any of the tips. After going through the summer with the Phillips I decided, based upon reviews in this thread, to try the ER hf5's. Unfortunately they stick way too far out of my ears with the only tips that provide a good seal which makes them unusable under a helmet (think: for sale). My next try and current set, the ME Electronics M6's (@ $27 shipped to my door), also recommended here, are fantastic in this regard. Very unobtrusive/low profile so once put in they stay put. I wore almost all my earphones with the wires up and over the ear, which these require, so that didn't take any getting used to. I find this method keeps small inadvertent wire tugs from ruining the fit/seal of the earphones.

2) After finding the best fitting tips on the M6's are the single flange silicone ones I augmented them with foam earplugs. I basically cut the foam earplug to just less than the silicone tip stem length, made a round hole centered down the foam earplug length and then slid this foam "donut" up under the silicone flange. This memory foam seems to "back up" the silicone creating a better seal to my ear canal. I haven't done an all day ride with this setup but have had them in over 4 hours at work with no discomfort. I'd say the noise isolation meets or exceeds the ER6i's.

3) A thin film of waterless hand soap on the silicone tip provides additional seal. It doesn't evaporate like water/saliva and it's surface tension bridges small gaps. I've heard of folks using lotion as well but I like the soap as my ears can always use cleaning and having a small container of waterless hand soap with me is convenient anyway. The quality of fit/seal has a huge impact on sound quality and comfort. The M6's are far from hi-end kit but with a good fit (and #4) they approximate the sound quality of the ER6i's. Even better actually.
NOTE: Be aware of too much noise isolation as is mentioned often on these forums.

4) For those of you using iPhones (and possibly other makes of smart phones) as your sound source, consider using a hearing test app (uHear is free) to evaluate your hearing and then use an equalization app (EQ 10 is 99), customized to your hearing profile and preferences, for playback. Reportedly, the more hearing loss you have at certain frequencies the more the customized EQ playback profile will improve your sound experience. You can setup different profiles for different headphones: one for moto earbuds and another for your home, over-the-ear variety for instance.

5) And finally - something I've yet to try - consider casting your own custom earbuds with Sugru or the homemade equivalent - Silicone adhesive mixed with corn starch or talc. Search the web for specific method and material instructions. There's a lot out there.

So in summary, for ~ $40, I'm with an easy-on/stay-in-place, comfortable, quality sounding, highly noise isolating setup that exceeds the ER6i's via:
Cheap, low profile earbuds - $27 (M6's for instance but I suspect there are others that meet this criteria)
Option: Buff ($30) or other helmet liner ($10) to further reduce earphone/helmet interference.
Option: waterless hand soap - $1 worth for this purpose would last a long time
Run earphone wires over the ear to minimize wire tugs effect on earphone fit/seal - $0
Cheap semi-custom ear tips (solution will vary per individual) - less than $1 for foam earplugs (as "backer") or aftermarket option - add $5.
(or add less than $8 for silicone/starch mix + misc to cast your own custom eartips)
Custom equalization playback app (if available) - $1

At this cost I can reproduce the whole setup annually if lost/stolen/broken and am, again, not inclined to invest in custom molded.

In case anyone cares, I listen to all types of music for much of my day, every day, but am not a musician myself.

Despite being satisfied with my current setup, I'll continue to follow these threads to keep up with other solutions and new developments.

Sorry so long - good luck to everyone in their search!
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #162
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A little heads up. Earphone Solutions is having a 25% off sale until 9:00 pm eastern time tonight. Use coupon code FLASH25.

No affiliation, just passing along what I think is a great sale.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #163
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Check these out VSONIC GR07 for a good mid priced IEM

http://inearaddiction.blogspot.ca/20...onic-gr07.html
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:41 PM   #164
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Check these out VSONIC GR07 for a good mid priced IEM

http://inearaddiction.blogspot.ca/20...onic-gr07.html
Have you tried them under a helmet?

Mid priced? Hmmm

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #165
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Form factor and frequency response looks promising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daysgoneby View Post
Check these out VSONIC GR07 for a good mid priced IEM

http://inearaddiction.blogspot.ca/20...onic-gr07.html
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