Etymotic announced Limited Edition ER-6i earphones formulated especially for Apple iPod

Building on its two-decade commitment to produce devices that help people hear better, Etymotic Research Inc. of Elk Grove Village, IL ( today introduced the 6i Isolator Earphones developed especially for use with Apple iPods. The 6i is being introduced as a limited edition and will be available beginning in late July.

“The 6i was developed for Apple iPod users with the goal of providing greater sensitivity and enhanced bass without compromising fidelity,” explained Mead Killion, Ph.D., founder and president of Etymotic Research, Inc. They come in white to complement the design and image of Apple products. The 6i is supplied with additional eartips, extra filters and a small carrying case. The black ER-6, Etymotic’s most popular product, will continue to be available. The ER-6 is designed to provide a flat frequency response, the most accurate response of any product other than the ER-4S. The 6i will have an MSRP of $149 while the ER-6 has an MSRP of $139.”

Etymotic earphones have received excellent reviews from Business Week, Newsweek, Macworld, CNET, Audio and many other publications. Stephen Wildstrom of Business Week states that during air travel “you can’t do anything about the seating, the beverage carts, or the air quality, but a good personal sound system can make those annoyances easy to take,” and recommends combining Etymotic earphones with the Apple iPod.

The first to introduce high-fidelity in-ear earphone technology in 1984, Etymotic Research remains the leader in designing earphones that produce sound as close as possible to the sound of a live performance. Etymotic’s ER-6 Isolator Earphones and the new 6i were developed as lower cost alternatives to the widely acclaimed ER-4 MicroPro Earphones that have had a loyal following among audiophiles and musicians for over a decade. All of Etymotic’s earphones seal in the ear like earplugs to eliminate surrounding noise naturally, making them more effective than active noise-canceling headphones. No batteries are needed and these tiny earphones fit in a pocket, making them ideal for traveling.

Earphones are available directly from [url=][/url], J&R Music,,,, and other websites listed on the Etymotic site, and at many stores that sell MP3, CD and DVD players.


  1. Mr. Rich:

    Can you read?
    “‘The 6i was developed for Apple iPod users with the goal of providing greater sensitivity and enhanced bass without compromising fidelity,’ explained Mead Killion, Ph.D., founder and president of Etymotic Research, Inc.”

    So, yes, the volume (sensitivity) and bass will be “boosted.”

  2. I actually purchased a pair of ER-6s last year, and the sound is so clear that it seams like the music is crawling around in my head (any Autechre fans?). However, the frequency response is perfectly flat, which means not nearly enough bass for me.

    I’m glad to hear the the 6i is more consumer oriented. I look forward to picking up a pair when released. For the record, the ER-6s are the only headphones I’ve ever used with no peripheral sound at maximum volume, meaning you can listen as loud as you want in quiet environments without fear of disturbing others. Also, with those double-flanged eartips, I used to call them my “crying baby killers” when I flew frequently. Who needs noise-cancelers anyway?

  3. * – Yes I can read very well. The quote does not state whether or not these new earphones will sound any different from the current ER6s, only that they are an alternative earphone, now in white, for current iPod owners.

    I also hope that the i6 is more rugged than the ER-6

  4. nplastic – another Autechre fan here! (seen them 3 times). have you tried listening to Casino vs. Japan or Akufen?

    I also have a pair of ER-6s which I love for the very same reasons. In Toronto, I take the streetcar every day, and am frequently on the Subway, and also fly a regular amount. The ER-6s make regular use of the modes of transport, more than bearable, they make it fun! My music becomes my personal soundtrack to my getting around – it’s hilarious!

    On my first flight using the ER-6s, I was sitting two rows away from a screaming baby (late at night when others were trying to sleep), and I hadn’t even realized the baby was screaming for about 10 minutes because of the noise blocking quality of the headphones. When I was about to try and sleep myself, I just unplugged the iPod, but left the ER-6s in for a nice quite sleep.

    Wow, I am totally going to snap up some of the ER-6i’s when they show up here… My friends have been so impressed with the quality of the ER-6s, I will probably be able to sell them for a pretty good price.

    Anyway, I know this next comment will seem superficial and maybe kinda sad but: There is a sort of social status that goes with wearing Apple iPod headphones, and to wear what appear to be regular black ones, and not be a part of the elite “iPod crowd” (without waving the iPod around at people!), has kinda sucked – even though I know the ER-6s are vastly superior to Apple’s headphones (although as regular ear buds, the Apple headphones are top notch). All I’m saying is that it will be good to be considered part of the “iPod crowd” again – while still having the best pair of headphones on the block.

    I did a pile of research before buying the ER-6s – I looked first at all of the noise-cancelling headphones and ear-buds (by Bose and Sony among others), and generally they only pull down about 10 dBs of sound (and that is not flat response, either). There wasn’t as many noise-blocking headphones out then, but the Etymotic ER-6s even came out on top of a bunch of other Noise blocking (and noise cancelling) headphones 6 months later in a review in Macworld (I think).

    Anyway – highly recommended!

  5. Izod:

    Shoots, you think that’s bad (about the ‘iPod Crowd’. How about all those people buying the iPod earphones and using it with their CD players. What’s up with that?

  6. izod: Akufen I am keen on. Casino vs. Japan I’ve never really explored. But I am a very big fan of Funckarma/Quench.

    I think Steve said it best about white headphone fakers:

    “But then you meet the girl, and she says, ‘Let me see what’s on your iPod.’ You pull out a tape player, and she walks away.”


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