Etymotic’s new variations of the classic ER4 In-Ear have been up and running for a few months now and the response has been well received. The SR and XR both retail for $349 with the SR featuring more of a reference voicing and the XR with a little more bass emphasis (hence the extended response). The set of portable universal-fit IEMs is based around balanced armature technology and even features MMCX connectors for easy cable swapping.
Etymotic is based out of the Chicago area, so it was really welcoming to see a local company make it way out to the IL-orinented AXPONA audio show (local Shure was also in attendance). Like many things IEM, the Etymotic (which means “true to ear”) got its start in the hearing assistance, but the company also has dabbled extensively with research and ear plug products. Ear plugs should be in the pocket of any true audiophile (young or old) to keep your auditory “money makers” operating at their peek performance, so we were excited to see that Etymotic was launching an update to their hybrid switchable Music Pro product.
The Music Pro utilizes electronic hearing protection, so in addition to a base of 25dB of reduction, as external noise rises the earphone will scale appropriately with up to 15 dB more of attenuation. In addition to all that safety savvy, the new ear plug will include small button that switches the device into “soft sound enhancement” which acts as a booster and clarifier – a mode that emulates a hearing aid of sorts. Since the technology packed into the Music Pro does require batteries, the new update will include a revised rechargeable option that connects to a energy source via a case, similar to Apple’s execution with their new AirPods.
More info: https://www.etymotic.com
While many audiophiles may be slow to admit, the “aid” portion of this product probably hits home for many avid lovers of the hobby. On the other side of the coin, the scalable reduction is fairly ingenious for on-the-go protection in shifting auditory climates. Both sides together bring an interesting proposition for both the concert goer and audio aficionado alike. The new Music Pro is launching at the Summer NAMM show, slotted for July 13th in Nashville, TN. The retail price at the time of launch should be around $349. Al Arends, VP of Sales and Marketing for Etymotic sat down with us at AXPONA’s Ear Gear Expo to help elaborate on the new products in person, check it all out in the video embed below.