Jogging Phones for the Apple iPod Nano

staxguy -- Sun, 04/10/2011 - 20:19

Hi there, has anyone tried the Etymotic ER-4S with the Apple iPod Nano?
I had a pair and liked em before getting the Nano, but had them stolen at a gig.
After those, I tried some cheap Skull Candy inkD, which broke, but were ok, for the price (ok for skaters), but broke.
Temporarily, I have a pair of Panasonic Ergo Fit earbuds, which were very cheap and recomended at the store, but sound broke (poor highs and mids, but ok bass delivery).

I know the Etymotics were ok (not as nice as Sennheiser HD580's say imo, but a different beast), and could sound like music, but am unsure of the other in-ear phones on the market.
Ideally, I'd like something small, rugged, and that won't fall out when jogging on a treadmill, since that will be the main (and almost only) use, since I prefer Stax for regular listening at home.

How about other phones, as good as the Etymotic, say with less isolation? I don't mind the sound of the treadmill, and it's better to hear some noise around me, if others are talking, and I should be listening to be polite. :)


quadlover -- Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:50

I have not used a Nano but I have used both the Classic (160gb) and Touch with the ER-4P's.  They work excellent.  I also have a set of Shure 500's that also work great as well but I find the ER-4P's more comfortable for long time listening.

Steven Stone -- Mon, 07/02/2012 - 14:59

 I just returned from the gym where I used the ER-4s with my iPod Classic. It's one of the least colored earphones I've heard. 
If you're on a budget you could look at my $100 faves, the Shure SE-215s.
If you can live with less isolation you might want to look at the $200 B&W P3 as well...

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Chris Martens -- Mon, 07/09/2012 - 11:20

Hi Staxguy,

I looked over your original post carefully and thought I might offer one suggestion that could seem counterintuitive at first: the B&W C5 earphone.

Here's my train of thought.

1) The B&W C5 uses an unorthodox but effective, adjustable "Secure Loop" system to hold the earphone in place and to carry most of the weight of the earpieces. I think the Loop system will address your need for an earphone that stays in place while exercisng.

2) In my experience the C5 not only allows but actually encourages the use of slightly smaller , looser-fitting ear tips than you would normally choose with most other earphones. NOTE: Unlike most earphones, the C5 actually sounds most neutrally balanced with semi-loose-fitting ear tips installed (if you switch to tighter fitting tips, the sound almost invariably becomes bass heavy). I think the loose-fit tip option may give you the desired balance of some isolation + some "situational awareness."

3) I found that, with looser-fitting tips installed, the overall sound of the C5 was very pleasant, articulate, and well-balanced. The fit is also extremely comfortable, though if you are accustomed to conventional earphones it does take a while to get used to the fact that the Secure Loop--not a super tight-fitting ear tip--is what's holding the earpieces in place. But that's really the differential advantage that potentially makes the C5 special.

4) One more thought: Like Steven and Quadlover (great username, BTW), I too respect and admire the Etymotics. But with that said, I would also mention that the fit of the ER-4P's (and the ER-4 models in general) can be pretty controversial. The ER-4Ps fit some users, like Steven, amazingly well. But for others, they must be inserted ultra-deeply within the ear canal in order to achieve decent bass (a problem several Playback staff members have encountered with the ER-4Ps). If they fit you (and it sounds like you enjoyed the pair you once had), well and good; but if not, they can take a lot of work to optimize for some ears (though happily, Etymotic offers a really wide range of specialty ear-tips to help you get a proper fit).

Good luck in your search.

Best, Chris Martens

Chris Martens
Editor, Perfect Vision 

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