I purchased a set of ER 6i Isolator Earphones back in the summer of 2007 from Amazon after hearing Leo Laporte rave about them on TWiT and other TWiT Network shows. First of all, for someone who works in downtown Washington, DC and rides the very noisy Metro every day, these Earphones are fantastic. Their rubber grips go down inside your ear canal blocking out 80%+ of any exterior noise. They produce high fidelity sound for their size, and albeit a bit pricey, are very nice. They have an extra-long chord for reach into a messenger bag or a backpack if you do not wish to store your iPod in your pocket and feature a nifty little clip to latch the chord onto your clothing so as to not allow it to get caught on objects as you walk by.
Now all of this is very well, except that I am very rough on my equipment. Within about 8 months of my owning these, the left earphone began to cut out. The connection of the earbuds to the mini-jack began to become stretched or frayed (I'm guessing). I was kind of frustrated but found out they came with a 1 year warranty. I called up Etymotics and to my surprise, did not hear a phone tree when the line picked up, but instead, a nice woman on the other end who promptly diagnosed my problem. She happily told me that it was covered under the warranty and told me that Etymotic Research would replace them for me. After getting an RMA number I shipped these back to Etymotic the next day, and within a week, had my replacement set back.
Fast forward to this last week. I now have an iPhone (as of December 2008) and purchased a set of Hf2 high-fidelity hands-free headset + earphones. These have even better sound quality than the ER6i's, but are made specifically for the iPhone, duplicating the functionality of the microphone built into the chord along with the single button for controlling the answering of calls or flipping through music when in iPod-mode. I love this set of Earphone, or at least I did until I took them out of my bag last Friday to discover one of the plastic housings around the base of the left earbud had become cracked. I SUSPECT it was my fault in that they were crushed inside my bag up against something. I called Etymotic Research and once again, a very cheerful customer service rep who answered gladly told me they would replace them, gave me an RMA number and told me they would ship a replacement as soon as their recieved my damaged ones. As of right now, it is the Friday after that call, and my UPS tracking number says that UPS will be delivering my replacement set today.
Etymotic Research is awesome.