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Etymotic ER2XR vs Etymotic ER4 (2004)
The Etymotic ER2XR makes for a good, if unremarkable, In-Ear Monitor for people with a $95 budget.
The Etymotic ER4S (2004), however, is merely mediocre at its $295 asking price, when compared to similarly priced products, and won't satisfy the needs of most people.
In either case, we suggest that you first take a look at some other options at the $95 and $280 price points before committing to one of these - it's likely that you'll be able to find some better alternatives.
If you're still interested in learning more about the Etymotic ER2XR and Etymotic ER4S (2004), however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:
The Etymotic ER2XR managed to earn a spot in roundups from two sources that are known for their trustworthy review methodology - Head-fi and Wirecutter (NYTimes) - but fell short of making it to the top of their lists.
As for the Etymotic ER4S (2004) - Head-fi, a source that conducts reliable hands-on testing, has featured it in its Etymotic Research ER4S MicroPro Reference Earphones review roundup. However, it didn't make it to any of the top spots.
When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both In-Ear Monitors, including Head-fi, preferred the Etymotic ER2XR over the Etymotic ER4S (2004).
We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Etymotic ER2XR was liked best by Head-fi, which gave it a score of 10, while the Etymotic ER4S (2004) got its highest, 9, score from Head-fi.
Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The Etymotic ER4S (2004) managed to get 9.0 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.7 review average of In-Ear Monitors in general - whereas the Etymotic ER2XR earned 10.0 points.
It should be said that doing a direct Etymotic ER2XR vs. Etymotic ER4S (2004) comparison might not be entirely fair due to the difference in their prices - some sources don't put much weight on value for money and thus tend to give better review scores to more expensive products.