PROS: Good VFM proposition in its price segment, excellent craftsmanship, build and finish, snug and deep fit, very well-tuned fun take on Etymotic style of reference tuning, good accurate tonality of instruments, good clarity and resolution for the price.
CONS: Not the best upper-treble extension, proprietary nozzle and Estron T2 cable connector not the best for people who like using their favourite eartips and premium 3rd party cables, need a good snug and deep fit to sound its true self.
The product was sent to me free of charge for the review in exchange for my honest opinion.
About ERX Collaboration.
Links – DROP x Etymotic ERX ($249)
- Drop + Etymotic
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 16KHz
- Transducers: Single high-performance balanced armature per channel
- Nominal Impedance: 45 Ohms @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 98 dB SPL for a 0.1Vrms input into IEC60318-4 ear simulator @1KHz
- Maximum Output: 120dB SPL
- Cable: 4 ft length, user-replaceable, with Estron T2 connectors
Included in the box.
- ERX Earphone Pair
- ER T2 Cable with Earhook
- 2 Dampers
- Filter Tool
- Eartips – Single Flange (S, M & L) Double Flange (M & L), Triple Flange (L)
- Carry Pouch
Build Quality, Fit and Comfort.
ERX has EVO’s shells but are made of stainless steel instead of aluminium that the EVO shells were made of. They are very well built and have DROP’s logo on the left faceplate and Etymotic’s on the right. They have a snug and deep fitting fit and form factor like most Etymotics but one that is much better than the violating fit of the tubular Etymotic IEMs. Sadly, ERX too has the proprietary long and slender nozzle of the EVO, which restricts everyone from using and tip rolling their favourite tips since it can only fit the proprietary Etymotic tips. However, you do get single, double and triple flange tips in the package to customise the fit and comfort as per your preference. All in all, ERX is an IEM that has a very secure fit, one that remains comfortable for long hours and can even fit under your helmet without any discomfort.
Cable – I can appreciate Etymotic for designing a better rubber cable than most, one that doesn’t entangle as easily and isn’t too microphonic but I wish they had gone with 2-pin/MMCX connectors over the less popular Estron T2 connectors. I actually like T2 as a connector more than MMCX but it’s more about T2 not being widely adopted and mainly the inability to use the several 2-pin/MMCX premium cables audiophiles generally already own. Otherwise, T2 is actually a better design than MMCX; is highly durable, has no intermittence problem, there is minimal socket wear to last a long time (unlike MMCX), has a stable pull force, has an IP-67 rating and is highly reliable (enough to be used in medical industry).
Luckily, some brands like Effect Audio, PlusSound and Satin Audio already offer T2 (IPX) connector as an option on custom cables. Effect Audio have also now started offering the T2 (IPX) connector in their excellent ConX system (swappable connectors). So, if you own ConX cables from Effect Audio, maybe you already have an IPX (T2) connector in the box or can order just the connector for yourself instead of a new cable.