• The four-driver design, with a three-way crossover, provides improved sound quality and makes for very enjoyable listening.
• The detachable braided cables create a "breaking point" in case the earphones get tugged on too hard.
• The over-the-ear cable routing is superior in keeping the IEMs in the ear.
• The higher resolution could be interpreted as a slightly over-analytical sound.
• I found the included case (Music Vault) to be fragile - the hinge pin came loose and became nonfunctional.
• The passive sound-isolation capability is limited.
• The system lacks smartphone functionality.
Comparison and Competition
Again, the 4R has a multi-driver design that really makes this IEM sound better. In comparison to the Westone Adventure Series ADV Alpha earphones, which I recently listened to, the 4R is a step up. Of course, there is a drastic price difference, with the ADV Alpha costing half the price; however, the point is that the technology employed in the 4R does make a difference. Although the ADV Alpha earphones are great, the 4R's detail, clarity, accuracy, and overall sound are superior.
I found other IEMs that use multi-driver designs, but they were all much more expensive, creating somewhat of a niche for the 4R - it's actually budget-priced for the product category. The Ultimate Ears UE11 Pro would be a comparable product. Another multi-driver IEM worth looking into is the Shure SE846. Check out our Headphones category page for related reviews.
I have to admit, an in-ear monitor at this price point did not interest me at first but, after living with the 4R, I began to see the benefit of owning such a product. If you travel a lot and are always on the go, full-sized over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones can be inconvenient and/or bulky. The passive noise isolation of the 4R, although limited, was of some benefit, and its sound quality is definitely a step up from standard in-ear monitors.