Who is Etymotic and why are her headphones simply legendary?


The company has the world’s first “liners”, the first “fittings”, the first active noise reduction system. Not only in time: the sound quality of Etymotic has become a household name.

For many, the brand Etymotic has become the common name for any single-turn reinforcement headphones : the correct sound with the perfect reproduction of high frequencies. These reference (with an eloquently sound sound) audio system for 26 years are the standard. But that’s not all.

In fact, Etimotic gave the world a modern culture of listening to music without outside noise with the help of miniature emitters playing right in your head.


Birth of a legend

The name Etymotic Research arose in 1983. It was then that active sales began of the first hearing aids – already electronic. The hype around the phones pushed the company’s founders, Mead Killion (Mead Killion) and Ed DeVilbiss (Ed DeVilbiss) to create their own company.

At the dawn of its existence, Etymotic was engaged in theoretical research of hearing and the development of devices for diagnosing hearing ( audiometry ). What seems to be the norm today and is held in every room of the otolaryngologist, for the mid-80s, was a technological breakthrough.

The company quickly gained recognition in a professional environment, releasing several successful devices for simple and effective hearing testing and hearing aids of its own design.

The first among the company’s early achievements were the first in-line headphones souce: (http://headphonecode.com/ ) for laboratory sound research. The first model called ER-1 appeared in 1984 and became the prototype of all subsequent portable headphones of this class.
The first models of Etymotic were based on a radiator with a balanced armature, which came from hearing aids. The very thing that today is called “armature” or reinforcement driver (speaker) .

Combined with fundamentally new developments for high-quality insulation, these devices gave birth to a new culture.

How Etymotic changed the world

The idea to use the developments for the mass consumer came to the company’s engineers not immediately – it took several years to improve the musical quality of the drivers used in the headphones.

And in 1991 Etymotic presented to the general public the first ever in-channel portable headphones for listening to music – the legendary Etymotic ER-4 . The new form factor was called “Canalphones” , today known under the acronym IEM – In-ear-monitor.
Prior to the Etymotic ER-4, the world was content with overhead headphones of different shapes, with the strangest ambushurami. And of course, there were no consumer “armatures” either.

Another unique feature of consumer Etymotic headphones is a removable cable (for a long time – its own design with “protection from a fool”). No one before this did not know how to extend the life of accessories.

Thus Etymotic changed the audio equipment for years to come – today IEM has become the most popular form factor for portable acoustics. And it is unlikely to change in the near future.

Ageless legend: the classic “armature” ER-4
The first model of in-ear headphones Etymotic ER-4 was developed for listening to speech, there was no talk of music. But the task was not too long for a long time: in just a couple of years the original version received an index B from the word binaural.

The model of the lineup is ER-4S (Stereo). The headphones were demanding of the source, demanding serious power. Market needs in portable headphones were realized in ER-4P (“portable”) with softer sound and lower impedance.