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Etymotic ER4XR
See Top Ranked In-Ear Monitors

Etymotic ER4 (2016) vs JBL FreeX

Analysis:

While the Etymotic ER4XR makes for a fairly good In-Ear Monitor for people with a $320 budget, we weren't able to find enough data on the JBL FreeX to come to any reliable conclusions.

In either case, we suggest that you look at some other options before committing to one of these.

If you'd nonetheless like to learn more about the Etymotic ER4XR and JBL FreeX, however, we wrote a summary of what we know about them:

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 Wired Headphones for 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best for Sound Professionals", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Taking a look at the JBL FreeX, it got featured in roundups from two reliable sources that conduct their own testing - Rtings 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 Rtings, and learned that they all showed a preference for the JBL FreeX.

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 JBL FreeX got its highest, 7.2, score from reviewers at Rtings.

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 JBL FreeX managed an average of 7.2.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Etymotic ER4XR vs. JBL FreeX 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
JBL FreeX
Higher than average expert review score
Below average expert review score
7.8
Overall Avg. for In-Ear Monitors
7.2
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: 13 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 13 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: 6 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Workout Headphones” 
Last updated: 8 Jul 2020

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