These affordable audiophile in-ear headphones banish noise

CNET | 6/1/2019 | Steve Guttenberg
finter (Posted by) Level 4
Click For Photo: https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/BbnECciTq99wBLk6n2ouWbqLN7M=/756x567/2019/05/30/c51d8aba-99e2-47bd-9f70-9ab801f6fa34/er2se.jpg

The Etymotic ER2 in-ear headphones

Etymotic made a big splash in 1991 with its ER4 in-ear headphones, which brought professional audio monitoring into the mainstream.

Etymotic - ER4 - Headphone - Years - Line

The Etymotic ER4 headphone was my go-to in-ear for years, and in 2017 the line was refreshed with the ER4SR (Studio Reference) and ER4XR (Extended Response) at $349/£360 each.

This model was quickly followed by the ER3SE/XR ($179/£199), and it was the Audiophiliac affordable Headphone of the Year for 2018.

ER2 - In-ear - Versions - ER2SE - Studio

Now in 2019 we have the ER2 in-ear, which also comes in two versions, the ER2SE (Studio Edition) and the ER2XR (Extended Response). The two models look the same, it's just that the XR version has slightly more bass. Each one retails for $159 in the US and £169 in the UK.

Both ER2SE/XR models use dynamic, not balanced, armature drivers featured in the ER3 and ER4 models. The ER2's impedance is rated at 15 ohms, the 4 foot (1.2 meter) long cable is user replaceable. The ER2's warranty is two years.

Foam - Silicone - Tips - ER2 - Quietude

Use the included foam or flanged silicone ear tips with the ER2 and you'll bask in the quietude of 35 dB of noise isolation, that's so much better than average. There's one catch, to achieve the maximum noise hushing you'll have to jam the tips deeper into your ear canals than most in-ear headphones' tips. Some folks aren't comfortable with the feeling, but I don't mind. True, comfort isn't stellar, but the ER2's superior noise isolation on the New York City subway was excellent while listening with my iPhone 8. The ER2 doesn't use batteries; its deep insertion tips hush noise with their airtight seal.

I listened to the ER2XR for a few weeks before I compared it...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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