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Etymotic ER4XR
AKG N40 (2016)
See Top Ranked Canal Earphones

Etymotic ER4 (2016) vs AKG N40 (2016)

Analysis:

The AKG N40 (2016) and the Etymotic ER4XR are decent Canal Earphones at their respective price points, but don't manage to stand out from their direct competitors in any meaningful way. We suggest that you also look at some alternatives that can be found for around $210 or $300.

If you're still interested in learning a bit more about the AKG N40 (2016) and the Etymotic ER4XR, however, read on for a summary of what we could gather about them:

The AKG N40 (2016) managed to impress reviewers from two reliable and unbiased sources that conduct their own hands-on testing, namely What Hi-Fi? and Gear Patrol. It performed great in their roundups - it earned the "Customisable in-ear headphones make the most of high-quality tracks." title from What Hi-Fi? and "Ranked 3 out of 5" from Gear Patrol, which makes it a product worthy of consideration.

As for the Etymotic ER4XR, it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best Studio Headphones for 2020" roundup and was named its "Best for Budget-Minded Sound Engineers", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. What Hi-Fi?, for example, preferred the AKG N40 (2016), while Head-fi rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the AKG N40 (2016) got reviewed the highest by What Hi-Fi? - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Etymotic ER4XR most impressed reviewers at PCmag, which gave it a score of 10.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Canal Earphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Canal Earphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the AKG N40 (2016) and Etymotic ER4XR managed averages of 9.5 and 8.7 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct AKG N40 (2016) vs. Etymotic ER4XR comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
Tom's Guide
Head-fi
What Hi-Fi?
Gear Patrol
TechHive
Digitaltrends
Lifewire
Tech. Specs Comparison
Etymotic ER4XR
$299
AKG N40 (2016)
$165
Higher than average expert review score
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Canal Earphones
9.5
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: 23 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 23 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: 16 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “20 Best Galaxy S8 Accessories” 
Last updated: 19 Dec 2017
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “5 Great In-Ear Headphones for Hi-Fi Sound” 
Last updated: 28 Aug 2019

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