FAQs and Troubleshooting

Weak/ Inaudible Sound

Etymotic earphones and headsets have special filters that smooth the frequency response and prevent ear wax from entering the earphones. Dirty filters reduce or block earphone output. Changing one or both filters can often restore sound.

The first thing to do when earphones sound weak or inaudible is check the filters.

Your product was shipped with extra filters and a special changing tool.

A filter can be blocked without appearing dirty.

If one earphone is weak (sound is louder in the other earphone), remove the filter and listen to the earphone. If sound returns, replace the filter according to the instructions below.

Changing Filters

NOTE: Filters are not reusable.

Replacement parts can be ordered online, check out the range of filters in our Accessories section. 

Filter Removal

Note: Use the tool to remove the filter.

Remove Filter Filter Removal Filter Removal
1. Remove eartip. 2. Insert tool into the filter. 3. Remove filter and discard.


Filter Replacement

Note: Do not use the tool to replace the filter.

Filter Install Filter Install Filter Install
1. Insert a new filter. 2. Press gently against a hard
    surface to secure it in place.
3. Re-attach eartip.

Sound cuts in and out

  • Intermittency could be device related (e.g., plug not in securely).
  • Intermittency at the earphone can result from tugging on the cord when removing the earphones.
  • Intermittency at the plug can result from winding the cord too tightly around your phone or music player causing stress on the connection between the plug and the cable.
  • A problem that persists during the warranty period usually requires a return for service or replacement. 

No bass

  • Eartip fit is the most common reason earphones seem to lack bass. Full bass is heard when eartips are inserted deeply in the ear canals.
  • Sound quality, full bass response and noise isolation all depend on a good eartip seal.
  • If you do not have a good seal in the ear canal, try other eartips included with your earphones, or consider the Custom-Fit option through one of the partners or outlets listed at our sister site PerfectFit Ears (Custom Fitted Ear Moulds)
  • Carefully insert the earphone while pulling up and out on the back of the ear.
  • Twist the earphone up into the ear canal while inserting, until outside noise is blocked out.

Distortion or crackling

  • A problem that persists during the warranty period usually requires a return for service or replacement. 

How often should I replace my 3 flanged eartips?

  • We suggest replacing eartips every 3 - 6 months depending on how much you use your earphones. 
  • Ideally eartips should be replaced after approximately 200 hours of use.   
  • Prolonged use results in exposure to elements such as wax and body oils cause the eartips to soften and the material often expands. The end result is a larger diameter (and a softer eartip) which results in a reduction of audio quality and means the eartip comes off the stem easily
  • When new 3-flange eartips are applied, not only will they appear to be a bit smaller than the older tips, but they will feel initially feel a bit stiff as well. Like a new pair of shoes eartips may require a bit of a break-in period and will begin to soften and feel more comfortable after a few uses

Can I get my earphones repaired?

  • Although most earphone repairs appear “straightforward, i.e. cable or jack replacement we do not offer a repair service in the UK through Etymotic Direct. We (Etymotic Direct by Just4Ears) operate as the UK distributor for Etymotic Research products and do not have a repair facility. 
  • Etymotic Research in the US can do repairs see http://www.etymotic.com/cs/er4service.html but you will have to factor in shipping costs if you wish to pursue this route and you would need to liase directly with customer-service@etymotic.com.
  • If your earphones are still under warranty and were not bought from us (1 or 2 years from date of purchase - see above) and you have proof of purchase we can check with Etymotic Research directly to see if we can accept your earphones for exchange on behalf of Etymotic Research US. 
  • Our warranty policy applies to any Etymotic earphone product purchased through us but in some cases we are able to exchange/refund on items bought elsewhere.

Can I get custom earmoulds made for my earphones/ noise protection?

  • Please use one of the partners or outlets listed at our sister site PerfectFit Ears

What is the difference between the different ER4 earphones?

  • ER•4PT earphones, intended for sound engineers and audiophiles in constant motion, comes equipped with extra accessories. ER•4PT earphones can be used with portable devices without an additional amplifier—or converted to the ER•4S response with the included P-to-S cable. Compared to the ER•4S, the ER•4PT has 10 dB greater output at high frequencies and 13 dB greater output at low frequencies. The higher sensitivity and enhanced bass of the ER•4PT have made it the most popular earphone in the series. Included with every pair of ER•4PT earphones is an industry-exclusive channel-matching compliance graph, signed by the Etymotic engineer who precision matched and custom tuned the balanced-armature drivers.

  • ER•4B earphones are for the binaural recording enthusiast. The ER•4B is an ideal earphone for use with material that has not been equalized for loudspeaker playback. It was developed from the ER-1 earphone that is referenced to a flat diffuse field and used primarily for speech reception research, where the goal is to produce the same frequency response at the eardrum as would be produced in the live situation.

  • ER•4S earphones were designed to compensate for the high frequency emphasis in all CD recordings, in order to provide accurate sound reproduction. Performing musicians often use them as in-ear monitors because the response of the ER•4S matches the response of most typical monitor loudspeakers. The high accuracy and exceptional sound isolation of the ER•4S have made these earphones popular with musicians, recording engineers and audiophiles. ER•4S earphones can be used with a headphone amplifier when using low power portable devices.

What is the difference between the GunSport earplugs GSP1 and GSP15?

  • The sole difference between the two GunSport Pro models is the adaptive attenuation feature of the GSP-15. This adaptive attenuation feature makes the GSP-15 more suitable for people exposed to continuous loud noise sources, such as shooting ranges, vehicles, and machinery. On the other hand, the GSP-1 is intended for hunters who wish to maintain complete natural hearing until they need blast protection from their firearm.
© 2018 Etymotic Direct. All rights reserved.