Etymotic announces 6i Isolator earphones now available in black to match new Apple iPods

Etymotic Research, Inc. announced today that its 6i Isolator earphones are now available in black, in addition to the original white. The 6i earphones are designed specifically for use with the Apple iPod and other small portable players, providing greater sound output and enhanced bass. The 6i earphones recently received the award for Best Headphones of 2005 by iLounge:

Industry analysts expect that by the end of 2005, more than 37 million iPods will have shipped, with black being an increasingly popular color choice. With the explosive popularity of digital music players, there is also a growing interest in matching accessories as well as earbuds that can deliver the ultimate sound experience. Etymotic has long been the leader in high
fidelity earphones.

“The mildly enhanced bass and greater output of these earphones retains the high frequency response accuracy that Etymotic is known for, said Mead Killion, Ph.D., founder and president of Etymotic Research, Inc. in the press release. “The 25-band accuracy score of these earphones still exceeds 80%, which is higher than any earphones not made by Etymotic.”

In January 2005, MacDailyNews’ SteveJack said of the 6i’s, “After the first 30 seconds of listening to the ER6i’s my first words were, ‘wow, wow, and wow!’ The 6i earphones are all about clarity and definition, featuring crisp, clean, accurate reproduction of sound. You will hear things within the music that you simply cannot hear with Apple’s earphones. And, in June 2005, SteveJack’s follow-up review stated, “After eight months of use now, I can report they sound absolutely amazing… the bass is there, but it’s there in the correct amounts, as the artist intended… The ER-6i earphones don’t need [EQ] help, you just have to acclimate your ears a bit. Apple’s earphones, while pretty good, tend to overemphasize the bass and introduce a muddy tone throughout… Within a week, I’d adjusted to the flatter, truer frequency response of the ER-6i earphones and I can no longer bear to listen to the Apple iPod earphones. My only wish is that I had the ER-6i’s earlier.”

When awarding the 6i with the iLounge award for Best Headphones of 2005, Jeremy Horowitz, editor-in-chief of iLounge, commented, “These headphones have all four of the key factors we look at when testing headphones: detail, balance, comfort, and value. Though many excellent headphones have been released this year, and we were tempted to make this award to a more expensive product, the fact is that 6i’s $149 price makes it affordable for everyone, and its performance benefits over standard earbuds are very considerable.”

Etymotic Research created the technology for in-the-ear earphones. 6i Isolator earphones can be purchased from the company’s website, through authorized Etymotic dealers and in Apple stores and other retail locations worldwide.

Features of the 6i Isolator Earphones include:
• Highly accurate music reproduction with greater sound output and enhanced bass
• Exceptional noise isolation
• In-the-ear secure fit for optimal performance

Etymotic Research is a Chicago-based research, development and manufacturing company that designs products to measure, improve, and protect hearing. For over two decades, Etymotic Research has been the world leader in high fidelity noise-isolating in-the-ear earphones. Etymotic products are used by musicians and others who insist on superior sound quality. Etymotic means “true to the ear.”

For more information, visit:

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Related article:
Review: Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator earphones – June 01, 2005


  1. I still think this news pales in comparison to the fact that we can now download episodes of KNIGHT RIDER in iTunes. Frigging KNIGHT RIDER!! By far the acting pinnacle of David Hasselhoff’s career, a special effects action extravaganza that made Star Wars look like the Muppet Show. Knight Rider, I salute thee!!!

  2. I own the more expensive pair, the 4p’s or whatever they are…anyway, these newer, cheaper 6i’s are supposed to be even more accurate then the ones I have. I got mine off of headroom cheeaper than directly from etymotic. they are for people who want to listen to the music and hear everything. i haven’t listened to the earphones that came with the ipod originally, but i can say that these things rock…much like Knight Rider. doing my best gay voice, “oh michael!”
    – john

  3. I have used the ER-6i for one year. They sound great and feel comfortable once you get used to fitting them inside your ear. Noise isolation is very good with these. They are very fragile so you must be over-cautious with them and even then, expect to have them repaired at least once; get the one year warranty soon after receiving them. The flanges and filters must be a few times every year so the cost of ownership is on-going. Being so good at reproducing sound, the ER-6i are not the best choice for listening to podcasts; these shows are always over-compressed and these headphones let you know it. Finally, Etymotic have excellent customer service so they come highly recommended.

  4. I’ve got the ER-4S and E6i (for my girlfriend).

    The ER-4S have much more sound isolation than the E6i, which is better on planes and trains, etc. My girlfriend prefers the E6i because of LESS sound isolation, because she uses them with her iPod on the streets of Manhattan. I listen to CDs with the ER-4S in an office (and also for travel) with my PowerBook, so isolation is more important to me.

    The ER-4S are flatter and have deeper bass and seem to be more accurate than the E6i. There seems to be less listening fatigue with the E4s.

    I listen to a lot of classical and opera, where tonal accuracy is crucial and the ER-4S are MUCH better over all.

    The ER-4S is more accurate than the ER-4P, which have a bass boost and higher output. The ER6 is more accurate than the ER-4P. The ER-4S is more accurate than the ER6.

    Either way, they’re excellent earbuds! BTW, the iPod buds SUCK!

  5. My ER6i’s sound very good, except that base is lacking and about an hour and a half of listening starts to make my ears hurt. My eardrums get sore even if the volume isn’t high, maybe because they are very deep in ear headphones.

    The above note that they are fragile can’t be overstated. My first pair died in 7 months and after only a month with my new pair they started to have problems. The source seems to be a weak connection of the wires to the electronics within the bud. It’s made worse by the fact that the cord is very long, long enough that it gets caught on things often, and the outside plastic on the cord is pretty sticky and will catch against your skin. I’ve had them violently ripped out of my ears many times while getting out of a chair or just rearranging the way I’m sitting or standing. It isn’t painful but the scraping sound in my ear and the shock of a song dying in the middle of a note is really annoying. And the worst part is it contributes to the problem of the weak connection inside the bud.

    When I get back to America I am sending this second pair in again. The thing that makes this ongoing issue bearable is that their customer service really is very good. They are always friendly and knowledgeable and you can tell the company actually cares about making the customers happy. Most companies would tell a customer requesting replacement of a second pair of headphones within a year to go to hell, but they asked me to send mine in again and were very nice about it, didn’t try to blame me or convince me to live with the problem.

    I don’t agree with the note that the flanges and filters need to be replaced several times a year. I only replaced my filters because etymotic wanted to make sure they weren’t the reason the sound died. Gunk will get in there but in my experience, it’s easier and more hygenic to clean your ears out every week or so to prevent wax from making it’s way inside. Q tips will keep the insides clean but the flanged may turn a ear wax tinted shade after awhile and you might want to repace them just for aesthetic reasons. hope that helps someone make an informed decision.

  6. Hey Jay, don’t make it out like I do not clean my ears. The foam tips, which isolate sound better and feel more comfortable, did not last me one month in this hot climate; the material became soft and started falling to bits. The plastic flanges fared better so far but I have used them for less than a year and they must be sold in packs of five for a reason. As for the filters, new filters will always make in-ear headphones sound better than used filters, no matter how clean you keep your ears.

    I agree with the points you make about the cord. Too thin, too long and too unreliable. I also hate the position where it joins with the headphones. In my ears the cable gets bend sharply by the inside of my ear.

    Once again let me say that these headphones sound brilliant and Etymotic has excellent customer service but the product is far from perfect.

  7. I’ve had my 4p’s since 2002, and i’ve only changed the filters 1 time, and that was a couple of months ago. So, if yu have good hygene, you should be alright. my hooker wife used them and they came back nasty. i had to change the foam tips because she apparently has never seen a q-tip. anyway, the 4p’s are not delicate. don’t know about the 6i’s. they have an accuracy chart on their page that shows the different models. but, no other company’s headphones or earphones come close, unless you get into thousands of bucks. that’s what i’ve her, at least. the 6’s are something like 90% accurate…you don’t even get that from expensive speakers..unless you’re talking realllllly expensive.

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