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The short answer to the question of whether the English phoneme /ɛ/ “has more than one sound” is simply yes, sometimes it can — but you aren’t supposed to notice. :) The IPA symbol you used, ɛ, represents the open-mid (or low-mid) front unrounded vowel. It is typically heard in the English words you mentioned: bet, get, employ, friend. You can also hear it ...

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