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Etymotic Research ER6i Isolator In-Ear Earphones (Black)
List Price: $99.99

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Product Description

The 6i Isolator Earphones are designed specifically for use with the Apple iPod and other small portable players, providing greater sound output and enhanced bass. The 6i Isolator Earphones feature in-the-ear secure fit for optimal performance, highly accurate music reproduction with greater sound output and enhanced bass and exceptional noise isolation.

  • Balanced armature transducer for full-range sound
  • Frequency range of 50 Hz - 16 kHz
  • Up to 36dB noise isolation
  • Choose between included flanges and foam eartips for best fit
  • Replacement filters, changing tool, shirt clip and pouch included

Customer Reviews:

  • Famous for a reason
    Quality for the money these earphones are outstanding, but they are not for everyone.
    They have a nice wide, open soundstage. Excellent detail and articulation, overall sound quality is excellent. They make the CX300 sound like fuzzy garbage. The reason they are not for everyone is that they are not "frequency enhanced" like most phones. They may feel less punchy to the average listener who is used to bass and treble boosted phones.

    I'd like to make a couple notes about the bass specifically. A lot of people have been saying these have no bass at all. Not true. You will not be able to over-emphasize it, but you can bring it to a neutral level if you do the following:

    1. Burn in the earphones. (Keep them playing straight for 24 hours minimum.) People disagree about whether or not this really makes a difference. All I can tell you is that my set sounded a bit thin, almost tinny out of the box, and sounded much warmer to my ear after the burn-in.

    2. Make sure they're inserted properly. You will not get good bass if you don't have a good seal. Read the instructions. The default tips need to go in pretty far to get a good seal. If they don't work for you try the other tips.

    Good luck and happy listening!...more info
  • Excellent noise reduction, very good sound quality
    I was looking for a earplug/ earphone and these are the best ones I have tried yet. When used with the foams they are the best set of earplugs I have had. Add to it real good sound. Decent base and range. Great for use with landscape power tools and working in the shop....more info
  • Generally Disapponting
    I was expecting great things from this set of rather expensive earphones.
    Their high end performance is quite good.
    The bass performance is somewhere between very bad to non-exitant even when adding equalizer boost,
    STAY AWAY FROM THIS MODEL!!...more info
  • less convenient for all but serious listening
    were it not for the excellent pre-xmas sale price ($50) from Amazon, I would not have bought these, nor would I have regretted it. these do indeed provide excellent sound rendition and isolation when audiophilic experience is what you seek-- i.e. sitting quiet and still at home or perhaps on an airplane to enjoy the music to it's fullest, while gaining a relaxing level of noise isolation.

    when being active and/or when you may need to keep putting them in and out frequently,however, such as when working out, running, bicycling, motorcycling, etc.I would not recommend using theses since they have to be inserted deeply, carefully and correctly, then very carefully removed anytime you need a break and, they will transmit many noises, including the wires rubbing, into your ear canals.

    compared to several other in-ear buds I've used- Sony, Phillips, Jabra, V-Moda, and Skull Candy, I find all the others equal, nearly equal or even superior in comfort and convenience, and nearly equal in noise isolation. I've found all the others far easier to use, including not having to worry about the wax cleaning process- a task you also must take seriously w/ the ER6i if you want them to keep working properly. My primary use of in-ear plugs is while riding my motorcycle, where I want a fairly high degree of isolation in order to keep the audio volume at the minimum but still hear the music in good detail while also monitoring other devices such as gps, radar detector, etc. I also need the plugs to remain comfortable when wearing a helmet over them, be easy in and out, yet stay in place once in, and not transmit other noises. I find those latter two items applicable even when listening to music at home, if I'm going to need to be moving around, multi-tasking, etc.

    For active usage such as described I've found the Skull Candy Ink'd units nearly perfect and really don't notice much difference in music rendition quality with them, nor do they transmit wire rubbing noise, etc. into the ear canals.I'd rate the V-Modas next, however for the very low price of the Skull Candy units(as low as $10) I can buy many sets of those for what one set of the ER6i's cost, even on sale....more info
  • Excellent sound quality and isolation!
    This is really a fantastic product. I spend about 40 minutes per day walking to and from various locations (I live in a city and don't have a car) and this is the best pair of earphones for that purpose I'ce her own. Previously I owned skull candy earphones. Not only were they poor at sound isolation, but the plastic earpieces would constantly fall off to the point where I lost two of them in my pocket/jacket. Then I stepped up to some higher quality earphones (the earphones) but these would constantly fall out of my ears in cold weather or when I was walking around. After only 6 months, one of the earphones stopped working and I was forced to get some new ones (these ones). So far I have had no problems whatsoever. They fit perfectly in my ears, stay in regardless of cold or motion (even exercise), and have allowed me to hear some of the compression in my 192 Kbps or lower bitrate MP3s. There is somewhat of a feeling of pressurization/ear popping if they are pushed in very far but they isolate perfectly without having to go that far. I often cannot hear people or cars a few feet away (which is great for the city as long as one is observant). The sound isolation also protects my hearing as I don't have to turn up the volume on the subway or on the sidewalk to hear my podcasts over the roar. I suppose there is a lack of bass to a certain degree but I seldom listen to bass-heavy music so this does not really bother me. Great product, especially for the price. I certainly hope these continue to work for a long time (I've only had them for 2 months). ...more info
  • Impressed with the Etymotic's. Much more versitile than Shure E2C.
    I picked up a pair of these for a recent international plane flight. They were fantastic. I also own a pair of Shure E2Cs which are about the same price. I find the Etymotic's to be better for air travel because the extra base boost makes up for the ambient noise issues of the aircraft. I use the foam earplug pieces rather than the rubber ones and get a great seal. I also found the weight of the Etymotics to be lighter and my ears didn't get fatigued as quickly. Now, they still stick out a little bit which is tougher for sleeping on your side, but again compared to the Shure's this was much improved. If I am listening in a quiet room for a couple of hours I will choose the Shures. If I am on a plane for 12 hours I will definately take the Etymotics....more info
  • Great On The Motorcycle
    I was using some cheapo ear buds with my iPod when on my motorcycle and thought they were pretty good. Now using the ER6i buds, its like black and white. As good as zero wind noise is heard at interstate speeds, just the music. I use them with a full face helmet and taking the helmet on or off does not dislodge or move them in the slightest. Also I found that by fitting with wires behind my head the is no chance of actually getting the wires caught and shredded in my jacket zipper and I dont have to get the wires out the way when doing the strap up on my helmet.

    When not listening to music I use them as ear plugs. Yeah, they are pricey but I could not be happier with how well they function and would buy them again....more info
  • These things ROCK!
    I ride a motorcycle and this was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Now I can hear my tunes no matter how fast I' driving or traffic conditions.. HIGHLY recommend.....more info
  • pretty good but...
    I got this based on the other reviews here. I wanted a set to replace my sennheisers(cx300). the reviews are right about them being clear, they do bring out the details and have excellent noise cancellation but they sorely lack bass. maybe it was because i was used to the bass of the sennheisers. i just couldnt bring out any thump no matter how they were inserted in my ears. i returned them and got a Denon AH-C452K. i am more satisfied with the denons....more info
  • Best in Sound Quality
    I have V-Mode Vibe for few years, and very satisfied with the sound quality of Vibe. However, Vibe is not very good in noise environment, such as in train or flight.

    Last month, I purchased Etymotic ER6i for the purpose of noise isolation. Be my surprising, I found ER6i has extremely clear and nice sound. In comparison, Vibe becomes warm but somewhat muddy. Most of the time, I listen to easy-listening and classical music with a Sansa View MP3 player.

    It is really a good earphone for people who can take care of it. Due to very thin cord, it may not be good for teenagers.
    ...more info
  • Disappointed from the start and 6 months later
    These headphones leave a lot to be desired and I was disappointed from day one. There is simply no bass punch. I wish I listened to the other reviews that mentioned this issue. I broke them in for a full week before using them. I used all of the ear flanges. I put them in my ears at all different depths and there was still no bass. They are great if you listen to Dave Matthews Band or jazz for their crystal clear high end, but there is simply no low end. I listen to mostly rock and like to hear the bass guitar and kick drum and it just wasn't there with these headphones. The only good news is you can't hear anything with them in. They are clearly noise isolating.

    After 6 months, I gave up and bought the Klipsch X5 headphones. The difference is night and day. While they are a lot more expensive (double at $167) the Klipsch is also a single armature design, like the ER6i. I also listened to them both at 75% volume. The Klipsch clearly have a more full sound stage. I ended up sending the ER6i set to my mother, instead of throwing them out, because I clearly prefer the $12 Koss Sparkplugs I use in my office over the $80 Etymotics....more info
  • Good Enough

    Excellent voice clarity at rock / voice. Foam buds available.

    Bass good if you close Ears properly, otherwise no Bass. Connecting Wire should have more quality, its thin....more info
  • Blocks the sound you don't want to hear
    I am a PhD student now living in the city, in an apartment complex where there are many kids in the afternoon running around, and other noises throughout the day and night.

    For a long while I was using regular earplugs, but these not only don't entirely block out sound they also don't allow for any other listening.

    My goal is not the highest sound quality, but rather the best way to hear what I want to hear while blocking out that which I don't, so that I can focus when reading and writing.

    These are perfect at that task. Noise even right outside my window is blocked--basketballs, talking, kids playing. Most voices are blocked as well, to a large degree even when there is no sound coming from the earphones. I was used to using foam earplugs and the sometimes frustrating process of putting them in the ear.

    These, however, slid in significantly easier right of the box. A little moisture, pull back the ear a bit, and they slide right in. I've learned that I don't have particularly large ear canals, and sometimes have trouble with other earplugs. But no trouble with these. If it didn't fit I still have options. The ER6i come with a selection of different plugs that can replace the basic set, a smaller pair, a thicker foam pair, and another style. There are replacement filters included, with a replacement tool, for when earwax buildup interrupts sound quality.

    As to the sound, there was a little loss of bass that I noticed, but as I don't tend to listen to heavy bass a great deal I'm not bothered. I also was able to turn up the bass a bit in my mp3 player and found it quite adequate--and more than adequate if I add the fact I couldn't hear anything else besides the music, and could hear in the music stronger details.

    I'm not an audiophile by any means. But, I like music, listen to a wide variety, mostly classical while reading or writing, and am sensitive to outside noise. I was a bit worried at first the cost of these would not be justified as even if there was good sound, the outside sound would leak through. Happy to say I'm more than pleased with the quality of both sound and sound isolation. ...more info
  • Not nearly as good as expected
    As I was planning to take a nice long motorcycle ride I figured it was time to invest in some decent ear buds so I could listen to music along the way rather than just road noise.

    I did quite a bit of research on the Internet...Motorcycle touring forums, these very Amazon reviews, many many different sites on the subject. It came down to the Etymotics and the Shure E2cs. After reading and re-reading many different reviews, the Etymotics won me over.

    As soon as they arrived, I popped them in my ears (yes, the recommended way) and plugged them directly into iTunes on my computer.

    What an incredible let down. Perhaps it's my music background (musician for over 20 years), but I'm fairly certain I didn't hear a lick of bass response from the Etymotics. I mean nothing. I made sure to get a good seal in the ear as recommended and tried several different genres of music - rock, rap, jazz, you name it. There is literally little to no bass response with these ear buds. I then tried different tips to make sure I was getting the best seal possible. Nothing. I then gave them to my wife and asked her to call me a liar. She plugged them into her iPod and agreed 100%. No bass.

    Bottom line - as others have said here - maybe it's just the "build" of my ears, but these things have no bottom end at all.

    As a side note, I sent them back to Amazon just hoping they would at least give me a partial refund. In other words, I was so disappointed, I was willing to take a loss on this transaction. (They refunded 100% - Thanks Amazon!).

    I then purchased the Shure E2c set and was immediately happier. There's bass response! Not to mention they simply seem much more sturdy.

    Just make sure these are the ear buds you really want for good reason before purchasing. I just don't get the great reviews....more info
  • ER6i vs Ultimate Ears Super fi. 3
    I decided to write this review for those people out there that are thinking about purchasing their first set of high fidelity In-Ears. For my first set I chose the Ultimate Ears Super fi. 3 and I was very satisfied with them. But after a year of use the cord wore out, which isn't a big deal with them because you can replace the cord. However I decided to buy a new pair of in ears anyway because the ultimate ears although sounding great, never quite fit my ears. the plugs were just a large enough that they didn't fit as well as my old sony fontopia's. I decided against the Shure E2c's because although in the same price range, I don't think they use armature drivers. So I found myself looking at the Etymotic ER6i's and worried they wouldn't have the smooth bass of the Ultimate ears. To my shock they have more bass and even more clarity. When listening to a track of accordian music with the ER6i's I sound myself hearing the fingers of the musician clacking the keys of the accordian. Out of curiosity I put in my old Super fi 3's and found that I could barely notice such detail. So the Etymotic Fits better, isolates better and has more bass without the loss of clarity. Needless to say I'm happy I chose ER6i';s...more info
  • Great Isolation, Good Sound
    These are a good option for those circumstances when you want to block out noise or keep the sound of your music from bothering others. I use them in bed without my ultra-sensitive wife complaining. They also do a good job of keeping me from hearing my wife when she does complain (Forget to do a chore? Just point at earphone in ear and shake head with an innocent expression). I use them on airliners where they do a good job of eliminating most of that terrible drone that will keep you from enjoying your music. At the same time you absolutely cannot use them in circumstances where it would be unsafe to be unable to hear. Using any isolating earphone while riding a bike, jogging or even walking down the sidewalk would be asking for trouble.

    With this isolation comes compromise. They sound good - but not as good as some of the folks posting here would have you believe. Nor do they sound as bad as some other posters make out. The sound is really very decent, and certainly much better than than the cheapo buds that come with Ipods and MP3 players. But don't expect thundering base or audiophile quality sound. Also, as with just about any in-ear isolator, noise from the wires being rustled will be transmitted to your ear so using these while exercising may not be the way to go. The cord is super long, but I simply use the clip that comes with it to bind it to the length I want. They are very, very good at isolating you from the outside environment, but if you don't need that and can make do with normal headphones, there are better and cheaper options such as the Sennheiser PX 100.

    These earphones come with a number of tips to customize the fit, and I found the set that fit me well on the second try. As others have said, it's important that these sit fairly deep within the ear canal. It truly does make a tremendous difference in the sound quality. There have been occasions when I found myself wondering why they seemed to have lost all their mid-range all of a sudden, only to realize that I was sloppy and didn't put one or the other in properly. It's not as daunting as it sounds. Tug back on your ear and push gently. You'll be able to tell when you have a good seal when you feel just a bit of suction. You can get optimal sound with the volume relatively low. I find that they become somewhat uncomfortable after about two hours or so, simply from the rubber seal pressing continuously against the inside of your ear. They come out with a gentle tug.

    I'm glad I got these for moments when I want or need the isolation. While I would not want them to be my only earphone/headphone, they do fill a niche quite well.

    ...more info
  • Great Earphones!
    These Earphones are awsome for any player. They have the best sound quality and noise canceling of any Earbud I have had. They are comfortable, have several earplug options, and they sound amazing with no outside noise! Just to give you an idea I wore these on the race track on my motorcycle a cbr600rr at 175 mph you can hear a little wind and some engine hum but thats all! Music is still loud and clear! Now thats saying something! At normal speeds like city and freeway no wind sound at all! you still hear the light engine huming noise around the time its ready to shift after shifting the hum gos away the fact that the earbuds dont cancel out engine hum is great still can hear when to shift just listen for the light hum as it winds out. You wont hear the engine hum till it gets ready to be shifted or your going realy fast. Youl feel when to shift too after you get use to your bike at that point like me I dont notice the hum anymore just shift when I feel it. Now I just listen to great crystal clear music! Now even tho they are pricy there worth every cent and if your a Biker like me wanting to listen to toons not wind then get these youl be amazed I sure was! and if your worried abought comfortability in your helmet they go inside the base of your ear so no more struggling to ceep the earbud in your ear when puting your helmet on and they never have once fallen out there super secure! they are so small they dont stick out past the ear at all. So when you put your helmet on nothing gets bumped. Infact if a person looked at you from the front they would just see the two wires hanging out your ear. I would be shocked if one ever fell out during any ride! Oh and incase your worried they dont get stuck in your ear and they come out just as easy as they went in. So get these and enjoy the music on your ride!...more info
  • Hopefully my pair was defective
    I was excited to compare these in-ear headphones to other such as vmoda and Bose. I was very disappointed in the ER6i headphones, they had absolutely NO BASS. Hopefully this pair was defective because I have always heard good things about the Etymotic headphones....more info
  • cables keep giving out, should i buy a 3rd pair??!
    I bought these because I was looking for a pair that would have an accurate fidelity, i.e. no crazy bass or other changes. The sound is great, and the noise cancellation is wonderful. But, the cables keep breaking. After about a year of use, they would give out (as in you can't hear sound from one side). I've gone through two pairs already and the same thing happens. I don't use them in any special way, just sitting in front of my laptop. I don't take them running, etc. So I consider my use normal, and these cables just low quality. I don't think I'm buying a third pair. Time to shop the other brands....more info
  • Nice noise-cancelling feature
    I bought it to replace my iPod earphone. the bass is very weak but the main feature, noise cancelling, is adequate. since they go quite deep in the ears, need to pay special attentions to keep both earphone tips clean....more info
  • Shure 110s are much better
    I had a pair of Shure's EC3s prior to buying these Etymotics. I bought these because I lost my EC3s. After listening to them for a day or so, and having completed the "Burn in", I wasn't convinced that they sound as good as the Shures. So, I bought a pair of Shure 110s to do a side by side comparison, using my iPod Classic. The Shures were much better, both in crisp, clear delivery, as well as the Bass drivers. I'm not a professional musician, but I very much enjoy the best in electronics, both video and audio. The Shures were also more sturdy and well manufactured. The Etymotics seemed much more fragile. Buy the Shures... and know you got the best for a few dollars more....more info
  • Fantastic Earphones!
    My second pair. My only complaint is after wearing the earphones for a while the silicone earplugs get loose. This can not be helped though. it's just ear wax building up in the ear canal. It's the design of the "In Ear" earphone. Plus i use my earphones about 8 hours straight a day! Fantastic sound! It's true you do hear things in your music that you might not have heard before. I use these earphones with my 4th generation iPod Nano....more info
  • Etymotics ER 6i - Great Choice!
    This is the second pair of Etymotics ER6i's that I have purchased. The first pair was for me. I bought them about 5 years ago for several different uses - business travel, jogging and motorcycling. I still travel with them; I still jog with them; I crashed my motorcycle; but the ER6i's continue to deliver outstanding sound and a comfortable, private listening experience. I bought the second pair for my son for Christmas this year to get him off of the Apple earbuds before he destroys his hearing. Some of the best benefits of these in-ear plugs are: their comfort (with multiple options for in-ear cushioning; the sound! (You WILL hear sounds you rarely hear with most earbuds or when listening to a CD); and you can hear this your music much clearer at about half the volume you might normally listen to on other buds. Mine are still going strong and I'll buy another pair when these finally wear out. My brother bought the top of the line model from Etymotics and he is equally happy with his purchase. Etymotics has one issue they have to fix - making replacement filters available! It is darn near impossible to find a supplier to buy replacement filters. I finally went straight to Etymotics and a very kind customer service person said she would send me some for free...and she did! I highly recommend these. They are worth the money...and so is your hearing!...more info
  • Great Earphones
    After trying other earphones, the Etymotic's are by far the best I have
    tried. I would highly recommend these....more info
  • Excellent noise reduction, very good sound quality
    I was looking for a earplug/ earphone and these are the best ones I have tried yet. When used with the foams they are the best set of earplugs I have had. Add to it real good sound. Decent base and range. Great for use with landscape power tools and working in the shop....more info
  • Etymotic ER6i's, pretty darn good
    I bought these on Black Friday(well, technically Saturday, but they were still available) in 2008. The isolation is EXCELLENT(I can't hear people talking on the bus), the tips seal well and you won't feel discomfort like similar in-ears that have a larger frame. Bass is somewhat lacking(I'm a bit spoiled by bassy cans such as RP-21's), but detail and other stuff like that is good.

    The only things I don't like(being that I give it 4/5 stars) are that the filters need to be replaced(you are provided an extra pair, and replacements are pricey, going for about $15 for 3 pairs on Headroom), and the cables are rather thin.

    Overall though, they are solid headphones. I paid $50 for them, so no complaints here, because as of 1/6/09, they cost $76.25....more info
  • Great sound and noise isolation
    I got these after reading an article in Motorcyclist and they have far exceeded my expectations. I got them to wear while riding my motorcycle and they fit well under the helmet, stay in while putting on and removing the helmet, and their sound isolation is such that I can leave the volume low and still be able to hear audio books and music while riding. Overall a great value. They outperform the custom molded earphones I had previously used at significantly lower price....more info
  • they sound terrible!
    These stay in my ears really well while I'm jogging, and they do a good job of blocking out ambient sound, but the sound sucks. Just about anything on my iPod--hiphop, rock, classical--sounds like it's on tiny laptop speakers. Disappointing after spending all that money!...more info
  • Awesome.
    I was skeptical about these. I had tried a pair of Denon AH-C551 I bought at Target and took them back--enough said. The stock phones with my ipod are great if i don't care about how the music sounds or if I am sitting perfectly still and cram the phone in my ear canal for some bass--any bass please. So I bought these with some reservation, prepared to send them back. Not sure what people are talking about when they say that bass is lacking. I suggest they check their source material or insert the earphones so they act as earplugs--blocking out ambient noise--then press play. I found the ER6i to be very accurate and responsive to all types of music. I was listening to classical on the freeway doing 70mph on my motorcycle (in a full face helmet) and I could hear every nuance in the music. Plus i could feel and still sense the machine I was sitting on. Bass in music like The Roots, Aesop Rock, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cee-lo, Autolux, Black Angels, Portishead, Aphextwin, Chopin, Lucinda Williams... ...all sound AWESOME. Holy cow. I have a pair of full size Grado Labs SR80i (great phones) and these tiny buds sound just as true. Plus they fit under my helmet with no issues. I've used the foam plugs so far--the set that look like mushrooms. I tried the medium grey ones that come installed. A little too small for my right ear but fine for my left. The foam make up for imperfect ear canals. The case is less than great. but the sound and comfort make up for the error. So one word--AWESOME.

    BTW: the first thing I did when i got these was plug them in and I did 3hours of intense spring cleaning yard work. They stayed in and were so comfortable. A true test....more info
  • Ralliumindreview
    These have worked great with an adapter to my Pantech cell phone. With changeable tips I was able to "tailor" the earplugs to fit each ear (one ear being larger than the other). ...more info
  • Very good earphones, but you will sometimes miss the bass
    I have owned these earphones for two years, and I am quite satisfied with them.

    They provide crisp sound (great midrange and highs) - I have been surprised several times by the additional detail I can hear in my music that I have never noticed before. I am not an audiophile, but I can feel the difference from other earphones. Like others have commented, they just don't feel "muddy".

    The noise isolation is excellent - I have used them at several noisy places like trains, planes, airports and they block out most of the sound even when the music is playing. My observation is that they block out most of the lows (rumble of the plane etc.), but still let some sounds filter through (like the flight announcements). And, that works great for me. Having said that, though, once I play any music, I absolutely hear no ambient noise at all.

    On the negatives - there are times (not often, just sometimes) when I absolutely miss the bass. Several songs that are heavy on lows just don't sound that great on these phones. And, no, it is not about getting the right fit.

    Overall, having researched a lot of products online, I will buy these again....more info
  • excellent earphones
    I use the earphones when riding my BMW. They cancel the outside road noise and are very comfortable to wear....more info