Drop + Etymotic ERX In-Ear Monitors
$249
$299

Drop + Etymotic ERX In-Ear Monitors

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$249
$299
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HoffmanMyster
569
Community
Aug 2, 2022
Stickied
Hey everyone! Etymotic has been hard at work to release a new collab IEM with us, the ERX In-Ear Monitors. These combine two aspects of some of their most popular products - the ER4 sound profile in their EVO shells - making for a more comfortable listening experience. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Please post any questions below and I'll do my best to answer. :) Reviews from external sources are in process and will be linked here once complete.
iNViSiBiLiTi
81
Aug 3, 2022
It would be nice to include what kind of measurement rig was used written on the graph too. B&K, GRAS, etc. (I'm assuming it was the GRAC 43AC or IEC60318-4 equivalent?)
(Edited)
EdTheNerd
232
Aug 4, 2022
Great thanks for the info
shotgunshane
102
Aug 14, 2022
Drop + Etymotic ERX Review MSRP $299 Pre-Order $249 Etymotic, hot on the heals of their 2021 first in-concha, over-the-ear wear style, multi-driver EVO, is now ready, in collaboration with Drop, to release a stripped down version of the EVO. Or is it a hot-rodded version of the ER4XR? The ERX utilizes the stainless steel housing of the EVO, with a matte black finish and dueling logos (Drop and ETY) on right and left faceplates. Inside is the single armature of the ER4XR but juiced up in tuning for a more fun, more dynamic, yet more-so easy to-get-along-with signature. That’s a whole lotta more.  The fit of the EVO shell is so much more (that word again) comfortable than the barrel, brain-tickling style fit of the old school Etys. Combined with the newer medium dual-flanged tips Ety provides, I can insert and remove the ERX much quicker and easier than the old school barrel Etys.  The cable is a version the Linum BaX with T2 connector. As far as I know, this connector is proprietary to Linum, however more manufacturers are starting to use it ( including Westone and Ultimate Ears). I prefer the Super BaX version, which comes on the EVO, as it is more supple and pliable but unfortunately costs double the regular BaX. The BaX version for the ERX is somewhat springy feeling and has a bit too aggressive preformed ear-hooks for my tastes but never-the-less is fairly friendly to the glasses wearer.   The ERX comes with some of the elongated Westone style single flange tips, as well as Ety dual and triple flange tips. For the me, the new duals in medium are so much more comfortable than any previous Ety tip; they are also slightly shorter, so perhaps this is part of the reason for that extra comfort.  Rounding out the accessories are a couple of extra filters, a tool to remove the old ones and Drop branded, oval zipper case. Simple and utilitarian.  As mentioned before, the ERX tuning is somewhat of a juiced up or hot-rodded ER4XR. Drop bills it as a tuning somewhere between the ER4XR and the EVO and I’d have to agree. While the ERX begins to stray a little more consumer than the ER4XR, it still doesn’t get too far removed from a reference and neutral-ish signature. The ERX is a downward sloping frequency response. Bass is full and pleasing, yet well controlled and nicely textured. The midrange is a little fuller and richer than the ER4XR, yet still maintains the trademark Ety clarity and transparency. Treble, on the ERX, is relaxed, smooth and a little dark. Overall it is a warm-neutral, yet musical presentation.  Comparisons via Mac Mini >> Pi2AES (via AES) >> RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Vs ER4XR The ERX bass is fuller and denser. It also comes across warmer and deeper sounding than the ER4XR. Even though I expect extension is similar, it's just that the boost just feels more palpable down low. Even though the ERX boost is fuller and richer, it isn’t necessarily better textured than the ER4XR. The ERX controls its bass boost well and doesn’t feel looser than the ER4XR. Overall I’d say the bass boost of the ERX is bit more pleasing and satisfying.  The midrange is plenty clear on both models, however the ERX is richer and fuller with both male and female vocals. On the ER4XR they all leaner with more energy and greater sense of transparency. This leaner midrange is also more nuanced and resolving of lower level detail, for better or worse. In contrast the ERX is just the next level smoother and more forgiving. Where the ER4XR can present recorded sibilants more forward, the ERX tends to smooth them over, for an easier going, albeit somewhat less resolving presentation. The trend continues with rock distortion guitars. They are noticeably fuller sound on the ERX, as well as smoother, with comparatively more rounded transients. The ER4XR has greater bite and attack, giving rock guitars more crunch.  The ER4XR is brighter in lower treble, where the upper mid transitions into treble. The ERX sounds somewhat duller and darker here. Cymbals have less splash and sparkle and seem further back in the presentation.   There’s not a whole lot of difference in staging; both are pretty much in-head, like most Etys, but the ERX feels more dynamic with a bit better portrayal of depth. Overall the ERX comes across as a slightly safer, slightly more consumer oriented tuning compared to the more reference ER4XR tuning. While slightly less resolving and nuanced than the ER4XR, the ERX is easier to get along with, easier to just get lost in the music without concentrating quite so hard on the detail.  Vs ER2XR The ER2XR bass is fuller and more robust. It also lingers longer with more overt texturing. While extension seems ultimately similar, the ER2XR rumbles a good bit louder and longer, and the dynamic driver bass of the ER2XR has a bit more natural roundedness to it. In contrast, the ERX sounds much better controlled, and more tastefully restrained in its level of boost. The ER2XR bass is certainly fun but is obviously much more removed from a reference signature. The ER2XR places both male and female vocals much more forward and considerably richer, whereas the ERX is feels more neutrally balanced and natural in comparison. The ER2XR also pushed natural sibilants more forward and was overall less smooth throughout the midrange.  Rock guitars are thicker, yet more aggressive on the ER2XR, while acoustic guitar reverberations, if mic’d a bit hot, can be somewhat overwhelming on the ER2XR. The ERX maintains a more balanced composure that is both smoother and better nuanced of low level detail.  Both of the Ety’s are bit more forgiving in treble, compared to the more reference tunings in the ER4 series. Cymbals and hi-hats have a bit more more presence in the ER2XR, making the ERX sound just a bit too smoothed over in comparison.  Both, again, present a mostly in-head presentations. Perhaps the ER2XR sounds a little deeper front to back while staging everything much closer to the listener. The ERX places you a few rows further way, as well as sounding a little wider left to right.  End Note Drop and Ety have successfully pulled off their Frankensteined project. The ERX is different enough from either of its progenitors to be a unique and compelling offering. It looks good, its pretty comfortable for an Ety, and best of all, it sounds really good. Well done. On the Drop rating 1-5 scale and considering all the Etys I've heard, I'd give the ERX a 4.75.
EniGmA1987
572
Aug 14, 2022
So unfortunate these don't come with a .78mm connection :(
Bitvar
0
Aug 4, 2022
Wondering how this compares to the Moondrop Blessing 2.
sdentremont
17
Aug 5, 2022
I don't have the blessing 2 on hand, but from memory, I found the B2 to have superior bass, but I prefer the treble "quality" of the ERX. The B2 has a great treble response overall, but there was always some small niggle in there somewhere that made the treble sound less clear and transparent to me. Minor as it was, I'd take the EX treble, but the B2 bass...
Violette
77
Aug 3, 2022
I have a mmcx Fiio UWS5, is there an adapter?
dom1234
79
Aug 3, 2022
Please included a cable with BALANCED termination. These T2 connectors are nowhere to be found.
dentReviews
1
Aug 3, 2022
Where to start? Well, first, I will say that I have tried almost every Etymotic IEM since the ER4S - ER4S, HF5, ER2XR, ER2SR, ER3SE, ER3XR, ER4SR, ER4XR, EVO... Needless to say, I'm very familiar with the Etymotic tuning and form factor. So I'll be honest, I wasn't ecstatic about the idea of a possible re-shelled ER4XR (one of my favorite Etys). Bigger perhaps? But why? Any good reason? Let me start by saying that I'm a fan of the Ety original barrel housing design as well. However, the ERX has brought two new improvements I wasn't expecting. First, the shell is more semi-custom ear-shaped (like EVO) and actually feels more stable in my ear. No real movement. The older barrel design can be torqued somewhat no matter how deep and could cause discomfort. Second, they have included a new tip design I haven't seen before. It is reminiscent of the Shure star tips if I'm remembering correctly. However, they are molded to fit the Ety barrel nozzle and are long enough to allow full insertion. The most amazing part (for me at least) is that they are SO much easier to insert fully, acquire a seal, and not cause discomfort. I'm actually very pleasantly surprised. This is the single biggest improvement in the new model. I think this could literally appeal to listeners that otherwise would shy away due to discomfort issues. There is still a sense of pressure and deep fitment, and new users should give some time to adapt to a deep fit IEM, but it is vastly improved in my opinion. So what about the sound? Well, like most Etymotic IEMs, the general tuning is very "Etymotic" in nature. Also like most Ety IEMS, it doesn't vary too drastically from other models. The ERX seems to align most with the ER4XR tuning with a slightly more laid back treble. The sound so far to my ears is smooth and clean and relaxed, while still maintaining Etymotic's superb neutrality overall. I'll have to give them more time to solidify my opinion of the sound, but take a look at some graphs: Keep in mind the resonance peak around 10k will shift depending on insertion depth.
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With the resonance peaks aligned, you can see the treble is more laid back in the lower area compared to the ER4XR. This isn't as objectionable as I would expect when listening, in fact it reminds me of the difference between the HD600 and the HD650 if you've heard those. It's just a more relaxed slope without losing too much of the classic Ety treble shape.
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Compared to the original ER4S you can see the similar bass boost in as the XR model and the more laid back treble as well.
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Regarding other aspects of the sound, I'll compare more before doing a video review, but I feel like the treble is cleaner than the ER4XR, but I'm not completely sure yet if it's simply the response or not. It has a liquid smooth treble. I feel like it's right at home with the ER4 line of IEMs overall. The technical performance seems very good. Stereo width is good for an Etymotic. They are relatively easy to drive as well. One thing to note is that adding impedance to the cable does create a very slight upward tilt in the treble. This is measured with the Etymotic 75ohm adapter added:
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It's nothing major, but does add just a touch of openness to the sound. It does make them noticeably harder to drive, but with a decent amp and a 100ohm adapter or more it might give some people a bit more of the classic treble curve while keeping the new form factor. That will probably be a very personal preference, but it's nice there is even a slight possibility of tweaking the response. So what are my thoughts on the ERX? I'm actually pleasantly surprised overall. The new tips are absolutely worth trying. The form factor wears nicely. While many people vary on their cable preferences, I am a fan of the sold sheath rubber design of the included cable. Small cable split section. Cord cinch built in. Wraps very compactly. It has a slight elasticity to it (it resists being wound somewhat) but I've seen worse. Overall, it seems like a decent cable. I would have preferred MMCX, but at least it's replaceable if needed. The included case is also something I'm a huge fan of. Historically, Ety has included small pouches and large cases, but nothing in between. I like the pouches for pocket sized carry, but they aren't very protective. The cases are moreso, but overtly large. This comes with an excellent molded pill shaped case that is semi hard and has a small pocket inside and a nice quality zipper from what I can tell. So fairly pocket-able and just a good small size with good protection. There is also a filter removal tool and a set of spare filters. The included eartips are essentially one of each tip and size. No typical foam tips are included, which is a bummer for anyone trying out tips, but the inclusion of the new long silicon tips is very welcome. So the accessories are pretty basic but nice. It's one of the more minimal but well made packages of accessories IMO. For returning Etymotic customers, if you don't have an ER4 yet, this could be a great entry into the model series. If you like Etymotic but want a slightly more laid back ER4, this fits the bill nicely. The build feels excellent and tough, the cable is replaceable, the tips are the most comfortable to date for Etymotic, and the sound is what you'd expect from them - neutral and revealing. Stay tuned for a more in depth video review, but for now I would say I would definitely recommend these for the price. There are many Etymotic models now, and choice can be a pain. However, this does sit well in the ER4 territory. As such, the price seems reasonable. If they could lower it more permanently to $250 or even $200, I think that would seat this as an extremely attractive option for a wide audience. I look forward to spending a lot more time with them in the coming days...
Very interesting impressions and great to see FR comparison thank you! FYI, the new tips you mentioned are Westone tips (the ones pictured in the drop).
ScroogeMcDuck
254
Aug 3, 2022
At this price , single armature IEM? SO many better choices for less $.
ScroogeMcDuck
254
Aug 10, 2022
you're happy, then I'm happy you're happy
EniGmA1987
572
Aug 14, 2022
Mangird Tea as well. Very nice sounding IEM that fits amazingly well in most ears.
CHLi
13
Aug 3, 2022
Any frequency response curve vs EVO?
(Edited)
CHLi
13
Aug 5, 2022
Thank you for the detailed review. Seems there is less pinna gain than both EVO and ER4XR.
sdentremont
17
Aug 5, 2022
indeed. and that is part of the Ety "cool" treble quality I like, so I wasn't expecting to like this, but I'm pleasantly surprised. I still might prefer the ER4XR overall, but this is a nice relaxed alternative. The dip in pinna gives the upper treble a slightly more "crisp" quality to some degree. But that also accounts for the more "dry" texture too imo.
yamashiro
7
Aug 2, 2022
Put in the ER2XR drivers and drop it to 150 and I would definitely buy them.
sdentremont
17
Aug 6, 2022
er2xr is underrated. throw in brown filters and it's very closer to er4sr with better bass.
jchandy
91
Aug 6, 2022
That's awesome to hear!
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Drop + Etymotic ERX Review MSRP $299 Pre-Order $249 Etymotic, hot on the heals of their 2021 first in-concha, over-the-ear wear style, multi-driver EVO, is now ready, in collaboration with Drop, to release a stripped down version of the EVO. Or is it a hot-rodded version of the ER4XR? The ERX utilizes the stainless steel housing of the EVO, with a matte black finish and dueling logos (Drop and ETY) on right and left faceplates. Inside is the single armature of the ER4XR but juiced up in tuning for a more fun, more dynamic, yet more-so easy to-get-along-with signature. That’s a whole lotta more.  The fit of the EVO shell is so much more (that word again) comfortable than the barrel, brain-tickling style fit of the old school Etys. Combined with the newer medium dual-flanged tips Ety provides, I can insert and remove the ERX much quicker and easier than the old school barrel Etys.  The cable is a version the Linum BaX with T2 connector. As far as I know, this connector is proprietary to Linum, however more manufacturers are starting to use it ( including Westone and Ultimate Ears). I prefer the Super BaX version, which comes on the EVO, as it is more supple and pliable but unfortunately costs double the regular BaX. The BaX version for the ERX is somewhat springy feeling and has a bit too aggressive preformed ear-hooks for my tastes but never-the-less is fairly friendly to the glasses wearer.   The ERX comes with some of the elongated Westone style single flange tips, as well as Ety dual and triple flange tips. For the me, the new duals in medium are so much more comfortable than any previous Ety tip; they are also slightly shorter, so perhaps this is part of the reason for that extra comfort.  Rounding out the accessories are a couple of extra filters, a tool to remove the old ones and Drop branded, oval zipper case. Simple and utilitarian.  As mentioned before, the ERX tuning is somewhat of a juiced up or hot-rodded ER4XR. Drop bills it as a tuning somewhere between the ER4XR and the EVO and I’d have to agree. While the ERX begins to stray a little more consumer than the ER4XR, it still doesn’t get too far removed from a reference and neutral-ish signature. The ERX is a downward sloping frequency response. Bass is full and pleasing, yet well controlled and nicely textured. The midrange is a little fuller and richer than the ER4XR, yet still maintains the trademark Ety clarity and transparency. Treble, on the ERX, is relaxed, smooth and a little dark. Overall it is a warm-neutral, yet musical presentation.  Comparisons via Mac Mini >> Pi2AES (via AES) >> RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Vs ER4XR The ERX bass is fuller and denser. It also comes across warmer and deeper sounding than the ER4XR. Even though I expect extension is similar, it's just that the boost just feels more palpable down low. Even though the ERX boost is fuller and richer, it isn’t necessarily better textured than the ER4XR. The ERX controls its bass boost well and doesn’t feel looser than the ER4XR. Overall I’d say the bass boost of the ERX is bit more pleasing and satisfying.  The midrange is plenty clear on both models, however the ERX is richer and fuller with both male and female vocals. On the ER4XR they all leaner with more energy and greater sense of transparency. This leaner midrange is also more nuanced and resolving of lower level detail, for better or worse. In contrast the ERX is just the next level smoother and more forgiving. Where the ER4XR can present recorded sibilants more forward, the ERX tends to smooth them over, for an easier going, albeit somewhat less resolving presentation. The trend continues with rock distortion guitars. They are noticeably fuller sound on the ERX, as well as smoother, with comparatively more rounded transients. The ER4XR has greater bite and attack, giving rock guitars more crunch.  The ER4XR is brighter in lower treble, where the upper mid transitions into treble. The ERX sounds somewhat duller and darker here. Cymbals have less splash and sparkle and seem further back in the presentation.   There’s not a whole lot of difference in staging; both are pretty much in-head, like most Etys, but the ERX feels more dynamic with a bit better portrayal of depth. Overall the ERX comes across as a slightly safer, slightly more consumer oriented tuning compared to the more reference ER4XR tuning. While slightly less resolving and nuanced than the ER4XR, the ERX is easier to get along with, easier to just get lost in the music without concentrating quite so hard on the detail.  Vs ER2XR The ER2XR bass is fuller and more robust. It also lingers longer with more overt texturing. While extension seems ultimately similar, the ER2XR rumbles a good bit louder and longer, and the dynamic driver bass of the ER2XR has a bit more natural roundedness to it. In contrast, the ERX sounds much better controlled, and more tastefully restrained in its level of boost. The ER2XR bass is certainly fun but is obviously much more removed from a reference signature. The ER2XR places both male and female vocals much more forward and considerably richer, whereas the ERX is feels more neutrally balanced and natural in comparison. The ER2XR also pushed natural sibilants more forward and was overall less smooth throughout the midrange.  Rock guitars are thicker, yet more aggressive on the ER2XR, while acoustic guitar reverberations, if mic’d a bit hot, can be somewhat overwhelming on the ER2XR. The ERX maintains a more balanced composure that is both smoother and better nuanced of low level detail.  Both of the Ety’s are bit more forgiving in treble, compared to the more reference tunings in the ER4 series. Cymbals and hi-hats have a bit more more presence in the ER2XR, making the ERX sound just a bit too smoothed over in comparison.  Both, again, present a mostly in-head presentations. Perhaps the ER2XR sounds a little deeper front to back while staging everything much closer to the listener. The ERX places you a few rows further way, as well as sounding a little wider left to right.  End Note Drop and Ety have successfully pulled off their Frankensteined project. The ERX is different enough from either of its progenitors to be a unique and compelling offering. It looks good, its pretty comfortable for an Ety, and best of all, it sounds really good. Well done. On the Drop rating 1-5 scale and considering all the Etys I've heard, I'd give the ERX a 4.75.