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I currently own the MK5 and I like the natural tonality and realistc rendering of higher frequencies (although they lack some brillance and sparkle in the upper most frequencies for me), but the entire balance is a bit off to my ears. They are too mid-focused and have a tad too little bass.
I wonder if the ER3XR would do the trick here? Or do the MK5 already have similar bass to the ER3XR, or rather comparable to the ER3SE?
Not quite sure if the ER3XR would really be a big step up compared to the MK5. Please if someone has heard both, let me know if I should order the ER3XR to replace my MK5.
Ok I have to reply myself obviously as my ER3XR have arrived and I had some time with them in the meantime.
They are definitely a big step up over the MK5 with more refinement to the sound, better treble and a nicer soundstage with better 3D sound. Many claim Etymotics to have a narrow sound stage which I personally cannot quite confirm. They do not exaggerate and make the stage broader like many other headphones. When I listen to my own binraual recordings the imaging is spot on, I can localize every aound source precisely while with many other headphones claimed to have a huge sound stage imaging is way off in this case.
But back to the ER3XR compared to the MK5. I had harder time to really get the best fit than with the MK5. The MK5 tend to sound thin and mid-focused compared but there is a trick to make them closer in sound to the ER3XR. Use the large tri-flange tips, shorten the stem until the biggest flange and then cut the lowest flange away. This way the mid honkiness get away, bass improves as well as treble.
So with the ER3XR with its stock smaller Triflanges compared to the MK5 bi-flange mod the tonality is quite similar but the ER3XR has more overall sparkle, something I was always missing from the MK5, there is also more air between instruments, it simply sounds more high-end.
When I tried the bi-flange mod on the ER3XR they became boomy and muddy at the same time. I definitely prefer them with the smaller stock tips. I would still like to try out of the ER4XR would give me additional improvement. I saw measurements suggesting that it has even better treble extension. The ER4XR might be my next purchase in case there will be another drop.
Unfortunately my ER3XR broke after 2 weeks of use. The right unit started to cut off and lose contact, swapping both sides didn't change anything, it must have been the driver unit itself or the connector on the driver part. I contacted Massdrop because of this and get my money back within some minutes. Respect for that kind of support!
Now waiting to grab the ER4XR hopefully soon!
Hey Oluv, since you have the Etymptic models in which i am interested, could you perhaps tell me is the MK5 has the same dimensions as the ER3/ER4 or if it has a smaller diameter?
The diameter of the nozzle or overall? The nozzle is the same on all Etymotic, so you can swap tips. Not sure about the main body but it’s also more or less the same, the overall length is different though, the MK5 is shorter than the others.
That was fast , thanks for the answer :)
I seem to have rather small ears. The er3xr i owned sounded great, but after 10 to 15 minutes it realy hurt in my ears. I read somewhere that the mk5 might be smaller but it was not mentioned if that meant shorter body or smaller diameter.
Maybe i will give the mk5 a try, or keep looking for a diffrent decent iem.