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Etymotic ER4XR
Apple EarPods (2016)
See Top Ranked Earphones

Etymotic ER4 (2016) vs Apple EarPods (2016)

Analysis:

The Apple EarPods (2016) makes for a good, if unremarkable, Earphone for people with a $10 budget.

The Etymotic ER4XR, however, is merely mediocre at its $299 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 $10 and $270 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 Apple EarPods (2016) and Etymotic ER4XR, however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:

The Apple EarPods (2016) has impressed reviewers from two sources that are among the most highly trusted on the internet, namely Rtings and SoundGuys. It did great in their objective hands-on roundups - it earned the "Best Wired Apple Earphones" and "Best for most people" awards from Rtings and SoundGuys, respectively. That's high praise from such reputable sources.

As for the Etymotic ER4XR - it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a great source that's known for conducting 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.

We analyzed all of the review data that we could find on these two Earphones. First, we examined sources that tested and scored both of these products - PCmag, Head-fi, Digitaltrends, and Rtings favored the Etymotic ER4XR over the Apple EarPods (2016), whereas reviewers at What Hi-Fi? haven't shown a preference for either.

Then we took a look at which sources liked them the most - we found that the Apple EarPods (2016) was best received by Pocket-lint - it gave it a score of 8, whereas the Etymotic ER4XR got its highest score of 10 from reviewers at PCmag.

Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The Etymotic ER4XR managed to get 8.7 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.3 review average of Earphones in general - whereas the Apple EarPods (2016) earned 6.8 points.

It should be said that doing a direct Apple EarPods (2016) vs. Etymotic ER4XR 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.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
SoundGuys
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
CNET
Head-fi
What Hi-Fi?
Expert Reviews
Macworld
Tech. Specs Comparison
Etymotic ER4XR
$299
Apple EarPods (2016)
$19
Canal Earphone
Yes
No
Earbud
No
Yes
In-Ear Monitor
No
No
Noise-cancelling
No
No
True Wireless
No
No
Wireless
No
No
Higher than average expert review 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: 19 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 19 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: 12 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Lightning headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Aug 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wired Apple Earphones
in “The Best Apple Earbuds of 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Jul 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Earbuds Under $50” 
Last updated: 17 days ago
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Earbuds” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 4 Best Earbuds For Gaming - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Earphones With A Mic - Fall 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago

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