Etymotics 6i earphones

For years, I’ve been using custom-made earphones for listening to my iPod while riding. I really loved them but the wires had a nasty tendency to break off right at the earphone piece. After my third such breakage in four years, I decided to try something new.

On the advice of many riders, I just bought a pair of Etymotic 6i Isolater earphones.

So far I’m very pleased with them.

They come with three sizes of ear tips: the standard “medium” 3-flanged pair as in the photo above, and a pair each of 2-flanged small and large tips. The small pair are perfect for my mutantly small head. They also come with a pair of foam ear tips if you find the flanged ones uncomfortable.

I listened to a podcast on my way in to work today and the Etymotics were great. I’m learning Spanish via podcast and so sound quality is important — my brain can’t pattern match on the unfamiliar sounds. There was a little more road noise than I’d like, but I might have just needed to increase the volume a little. At any rate, I was able to hear and understand the new Spanish words with no problem.

The only downside to the Etymotics so far is that the flanged ear tips tickle my ear canal a little bit. It’s distracting to want to scratch the inside of your ear when you’re wearing a helmet on the freeway! Hopefully the edges of the flanges will soften a little or my ears will get used to them.

Overall, I give the 6is a thumbs up!

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