The company claims that if the bass seems weak, it’s because you don’t have them in right. However, I’ve used these for a long time and I’m pretty convincedÂ these really are missing a lot of low end. They seal quite well in my ears, and do a fantastic job of noise isolation, but the bass is rather weak. This observation has also been made in reviews by respectable sources, such as c|net. That said, the mid- and high-range is incredibly detailed, and makes these earphones worth every penny. You can hear details in recordings that you completely miss with the standard iPod earbuds. For the price, they are quite good. If I had to do it over again, though, I might have gone with the Shure EC-3s for their broader response.
Don’t be too swayed by the claims by Etymotic that their earphones are the most ‘accurate’. There’s no generally accepted way to define that; it’s just a marketing gimmick. You don’t have to be a hip hop listener to miss the fullness of actually having bass in your music. Symphonic music, especially, suffers and sounds thin. But the low price and incredible sound quality otherwise make these a good buy. You’ll finally get the full value out of your MP3 player.