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Durable Dynamic Value

A Review On: Etymotic MC5

Etymotic MC5

Rated # 223 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $85.00
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Pros: Isolation, Clarity, Cable, Durability

Cons: Very Deep Insertion, J-Connector Jack

Etymotic Mc5 vs. Etymotic Hf5


Both are are very ‘true to the ear’ as Etymotic would say... both have amazing tri-flange eartips for superb noise isolation, best in the business actually... and both led me to feel that clarity was an essential part of my music, perhaps even more so than dynamic bass and shiny treble... but in the end, well, lets just save it for the end, shall we?


Fullness of vocals, more bass quantity, slightly recessed.

Better construction of the housing

Memory free cable is just that... Memory free

More difficult to fit.


Great bass extension.

Bright treble, a pleasant shimmer on cymbal crashes

Articulation of stringed instruments

Smaller housing is comfortable in the ear


Owl City - Fireflies - BBE ViVA

Listening to this song, the first thing I notices about the Hf5 was the tinkling intro, sparkly, and close, as the song progresses the verse is laid out nicely, even tonality, and not much peaknesss throughout... then comes the chorus, a clashing crescendo of noise as more instruments are suddenly added to the mix, not gracefully, but with a sudden crash that is overpowering for a moment. Not so with the Mc5. It has a tighter, more controlled transition from verse to chorus in this particular song, it can handle the ‘dynamics’ better... pun intended.

Elton John - Can You Feel The Love Tonight - BBE ViVA 2

Stunning rendition piano in this track was heard on both earphones, though slight differences began to be apparent in the bass department. The low thrum heard in the background of this song extends progressively deeper with each note i the beginning of this song... and this is where the Hf5 came through the best, in its extension of the bass notes, which where satisfying on the Mc5, though not as deep as I heard them on the Hf5.

Beight - Invisible City - BBE ViVA

I listened to this song purely for is simplicity, and the use of warm vocal tones throughout. The presentation of the vocals, was, however, different regarding each phone. The Hf5 for example is stunningly accurate, more technically detailed, and clear, presenting the human voice as you would hear it from another person in an open area, with no reverberation, and no echo. While it was pleasant to hear something sound so precise with so natural an instrument, it wasn’t as ‘real’ as it could have been. It did not sound electronic, nor coloured, or fake in any way, but it was not a real as the Mc5. The Mc5 that made me anticipate the feeling of breath on my cheek, so close, I could touch it.

Overall, I think the Hf5 wins in the sound department, but by a minuscule amount because it’s not readily apparent that it sounds nicer in general, but after a while, I could see myself justifying spending $20 more... But not $40, and definitely not if it is going to break a few hours later from changing the eartips.

I the end, the dynamic won, by a small, but logical amount in the overall value department, helped by its durability and superior cabling job. Happy Hearing!


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