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Etymotic Research ER6i Isolator In-Ear Earphones (White) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

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  • Use with MP3, CD, DVD players and personal computers
  • Lightweight, compact, fits in your pocket; no battery required
  • Highest noise isolation (15 to 35dB)
  • Frequency range of 50 Hz - 16 kHz
  • Includes ER-6i earphones, cord with stereo plug, one pair two-flange eartips, one pair foam eartips, two replacement filters, filter changing tool, shirt clip, and pouch.

There is a newer model of this item:


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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Etymotic Research
  • Model: ER6I
  • Color Name: White
  • Headphones Form Factor: Binaural
  • Item Weight: 0.21 pounds

Product Details

Data Sheet [384kb PDF]| Product Manual [327kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches ; 3.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0002ZW5W4
  • California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
  • Item model number: ER6I
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (994 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

The Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator is a compact, earbud-style set of earphones that are ideal for travel and personal listening. If you've ever been a skeptic of earbud sound quality, the ER-6i will shatter the headphone myth that bigger is better.

The ER-6i features a noise isolation of 34-36 dB that far surpasses that of active noise-canceling earphones. This makes the ER-6i a perfect choice for travelers, because these earphones will actively cancel the white noise caused by traffic, trains, or airplanes. These tiny earbuds are perfect for CD, DVD, and MP3 players, as well as laptop computers. Plus, the ER-6i is designed to plug directly into most airline audio systems, so you'll never have to pay for those cheap, airline headphones again.

The Etymotic ER-6 Series
ER-6 series earphones come with everything you need for a perfect audio experience

The quality of these earphones is outstanding. They deliver such rich sound quality that even the most finicky audiophile will be impressed. The ER-6i earphones have a flat, real-ear response for reproducing CD and MP3 recordings. The sound accuracy is comparable to professional earphones, and provides surprising performance considering that the ER-6i is so compact and weighs less than an ounce.

Etymotic Research delivers outstanding comfort with the ER-6i. The flanged eartips fit snugly into most ear canals, but Etymotic goes one step further by providing disposable foam eartips. The foam eartips provide extra comfort and may offer a better seal in the ear canal. The ER-6i is designed to deliver excellent sound reproduction and big, rich bass tones. A good seal in your ear canal will ensure that you hear every detail of your favorite tunes. The ER-6i flanged eartips are easy to remove and should be cleaned regularly for the best listening experience. Etymotic Research provides you with the tools you need to keep your ER-6i clean and working properly.

The Etymotic ER-6 Series
The ER-6i earphones have 8 dB higher sound output and increased bass compared to the ER-6 for a slightly "beefier" response
Etymotic Design Means 100% Sonic Accuracy

A perfect recording of a live performance played through earphones with 100% accuracy would produce the same sound at the eardrum as a live performance. A complicating factor is that the acoustic resonance and "horn effects" of the ear can distort a flat signal entering the open ear from a headphone. A perfect earphone will create that same frequency characteristic (called the "target curve") at the eardrum.

Target curves on Etymotic Research graphs indicate 100% accuracy. Commercial recordings often have a high-frequency boost that compensates for the high frequency roll-off in studio monitor loudspeakers and high-quality stereo loudspeakers and earphones. The ER-6i earphones compensate for the high frequency boost added to high-quality recordings. This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings. In addition, the ER-6i adds 8dB sound output and increased bass for a slightly "beefier" response for those who like strong bass but still want 100% accuracy on the high end.

Other in-the-ear earphone manufacturers do not report accuracy scores, but Etymotic Research has tested all competitive products. The accuracy scores of Etymotic Research earphones are higher than those of most loudspeakers, and well above all competitive earphones, except electrostatic headphones that cost thousands of dollars.

What's in the Box

ER-6i earphones, cord with stereo plug, one pair two-flange eartips, one pair foam eartips, two replacement filters, filter changing tool, shirt clip, and pouch.

Which Etymotic Earphone is Right for You?

MC-5 ER-6i HF-5 ER-4, ER-4PT
Design Best in Class under $100 Best in Class under $100 Best in Class under $200 World leader in reference response accuracy
ACCU Technology Neodymium moving coil driver with ACCU-Chamber Technology High-performance balanced armature ACCU-Driver High-performance balanced armature ACCU-Driver Custom-tuned, balanced armature ACCU-Driver
Style Polished aluminum finish in 4 chromatic colors:
Black, Red, Blue, and Green
Available in White or Black 3 Soft-Touch colors:
Black, Ruby, Cobalt
In-ear monitor of choice of musicians, monitor engineers and technicians
Accuracy Score 85% 81% 85% 86%

Product Description

Etymotic Research ER6I-B Isolator Earphone ER6I-B Headphones & Earphones

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

The sound quality is very good.
C. List
FIT & COMFORT Because these phones go in your ear canal and require an airtight seal, proper fit is essential.
Nathaniel C. Moffat
I sent an email to Etymotic inquiring about a warranty replacement.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

806 of 822 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel C. Moffat on June 28, 2005
Color Name: White Verified Purchase
The white wires suggest Etymotic Research wants a bigger piece of the iPod upgrade market. But rather than simply giving the black-wired ER-6 a cosmetic makeover, they designed the ER-6i from the ground up to work around portables' puny output. Thus, they offer higher sensitivity (more sound for a given volume setting) and boosted bass response.

But despite their light weight and sporty appearance, these phones are optimized for home listening, commuting, and plane trips; applications where sound isolation is a benefit, not a hazard. Compare them, therefore, to active noise-canceling headphones, not conventional earbuds.

FIT & COMFORT
Because these phones go in your ear canal and require an airtight seal, proper fit is essential. Without it, you will get no bass at all. None. I prefer the disposable foam ear tips to the 3-flange ones (both kinds are included). Your results may vary.

Here's the trick: After you compress the foam and insert them in your ears, it takes several seconds for the foam to expand. Focus on available background noise. When the sound drops suddenly over a second or two, you know a seal has been formed. Conversely, with music playing, you should notice the sound suddenly fill out, first in one ear and then the next.

The foam ear tips may feel uncomfortable for 2-3 minutes, but you quickly get used to them. This naturally depends on ear geometry and other factors, but be aware that you wouldn't buy these phones on comfort alone.

SOUND DAMPING
Properly inserted, the foam ear tips provide 34-36 dB noise reduction (the triple flanged ear tips are a few decibels less effective). To put this in perspective, this is even better than the 29-31 dB NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) provided by better-quality shooting ear muffs.
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161 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Ross A. Seymour on February 14, 2007
Color Name: Black
After trying many portable headphones for the last ten years, I've finally settled two: the Sennheiser PX100 (with the Koss Porta Pro a close runner up) and these Etymotic phones. The Sennheiser's are great for where you need a little sound to infiltrate the headphones, such as bike riding (not something I'd recomend to inexperienced bicyclists). But at the gym, where the machines are noisy, the spin cyclist class plays god-awful music at top volume and people talk (more on that later), these are the best. With the Sennheiser I had to turn the volume up so high that the batteries were quickly drained, not to mention the damage to my already fragile hearing.

A few pointers. I almost returned them after the first listen. But then I remembered that headphones need to be "broken in" by playing them for awhile. I hooked them up to my stereo and played CD's all night. Big difference the next day. Also, try the different ear plugs. The plastic ones were absolutely horrible for my ears. The grey foam pads worked better. On the Etymotic website they have white ones that are smaller than the grey ones. These worked best for me (narrow ear canals I guess). Order extra filters. I had one plug up on me fairly quickly. Finally, don't wear these where you need to speak with people. You can't hear people talk with these in your ears and music playing. You can barely hear people with the music off. Pulling them in and out is a pain (and people probably don't want to see your ear wax).

Oh, almost forgot. The sound. Great. With no outside noise, the sound comes through wonderfully. They may lack a bit on the bass, but compared to regular headphones at the gym, the improvement is astounding.

Addendum: I originally wrote the review above two years ago.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Fred Story on December 25, 2004
Color Name: White
A previous reviewer noted the lack of bass response in the ER-6i's, and he's probably right that if you're someone who cranks the bass on your home stereo you're likely to be disappointed in these phones.

If like me, however, you like a clean, flat frequency response - you will LOVE the ER-6i's. I'm a composer and recording studio owner and I work all day in front of industry standard studio monitor speakers. In recording sessions I use the best professional headphones. So my standards are pretty high, even when listening to compressed MP3's and AAC's on my iPod. I WAS using the Sony Fontopias, and liked them pretty well, even though the bass was too exaggerated for my taste. (If you're an aforementioned bass lover, you'll probably prefer the Sony's.) I just received a pair of the ER-6i's for a Christmas present, and I am in earbud heaven. To me, the bass response is clean and natural (despite Etymotic's accentuation of the low frequencies vs. the ER-6's.) More importantly, the mids and highs are clean and un-hyped. When it comes to music I've composed, arranged and produced - I KNOW what it's supposed to sound like. For in-ear phones, these reflect my mixes better than anything I've heard so far.

I like ER-6i's SO much, in fact, I suspect I'll even use them for work when I want to shut out the outside world and have nothing but the music inside my head.

Bravo, Etymotic! I may even start saving up for a pair of those ER-4's!

Fred Story

Charlotte, North Carolina
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