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Etymotic ER4XR
Etymotic ER2XR
See Top Ranked In-Ear Monitors

Etymotic ER4 (2016) vs Etymotic ER2XR

Analysis:

The Etymotic ER4XR and Etymotic ER2XR make for good, if unremarkable, In-Ear Monitors at their respective budgets.

With that said, while they both should serve reasonably well, you might want to look into other options at the $320 and $120 price points - it's likely that there are some better alternatives available.

If you want to learn more about the Etymotic ER4XR and the Etymotic ER2XR, however, we prepared a summary of the information that we have:

The Etymotic ER4XR was loved by reviewers at PCmag, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best for Budget-Minded Sound Engineers", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Taking a look at the Etymotic ER2XR, it got featured in roundups from two reliable sources that conduct their own testing - Head-fi and Wirecutter (NYTimes) - but it fell short of earning a top spot in either.

We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like Head-fi, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Etymotic ER2XR.

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two In-Ear Monitors received. We found that the Etymotic ER4XR managed to earn a rating of 10 from PCmag, whereas the Etymotic ER2XR got its highest, 10, score from reviewers at Head-fi.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Etymotic ER4XR, with its 8.6 average, performed considerably better than most In-Ear Monitors - the mean score for the product category being 7.7 out of 10 - while the Etymotic ER2XR managed an average of 10.0.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Etymotic ER4XR vs. Etymotic ER2XR review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
The Verge
Head-fi
What Hi-Fi?
TechHive
Digitaltrends
Reddit
Tech. Specs Comparison
Etymotic ER4XR
$299
Etymotic ER2XR
$100
Higher than average expert review score
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.8
Overall Avg. for In-Ear Monitors
10.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Wired Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Studio Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Earbuds” 
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020

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