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Etymotic Research HF3 Reviews


Oh. My. God.


Pros: Sound, isolation, sound, durability, sound, looks, value, sound.....

Cons: What cons??

As I am still a bit of a noob, don't expect everything I say to be absolutely, 100% correct. I ordered the HF5's on Amazon for 99 a while back, and they arrived just last week.   Design:   Wonderfully classy and subtle design. Too many headphones out there are either boring and ugly, or garish and vulgar. The Hf's are fortunately neither of those. Looks great, but you won't see much of it anyway when they're in your ears.   Fit and Finish:   Top notch, as one would expect from Etymotic. They've spray painted the body with a matte-type finish, and it feels really, really nice. Cable is kevlar reinforced (or so I've heard) and feels really durable....
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HF3 - Custom Fit Makes all the Difference


Pros: Great sound & isolation with reasonable comfort

Cons: Hard to find in stores, buttons, cord is a bit too long

  After being disappointed by the Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic, I decided to explore a set from a well-regarded company in the audio world. I had to pick something with Apple's in-line iPhone controls that could get good isolation and fit. Those were my complaints with the Apple product. The HF3 seemed to be well designed, and more importantly, they offered a custom-fit program at a very reasonable price.   The first problem was tracking the product down in a store. Etymotic lists the Apple Store, London Drugs, and Carbon Computing as the only authorized Canadian dealers. Not a lot to choose from there. Several attempts to get the HF3 from Carbon were a...
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A Great Bang-for-your-Buck!


Pros: Superb balancing, nice soundstage, clarity, outstanding customer service

Cons: wish I would have gotten the custom tips

When considering the wide range of IEMs out there I was fairly perplexed when it came to making a decision, it's the classic "headfiier's dilemma." Nobody wants to miss out. I've owned a number of headphones and the HF3s are your best bet for outstanding IEMs under $200, not to mention their customer service is unbelievably helpful (especially you Charlene!).    Bass/Fit: There are a lot of reviews saying the Etymotics aren't great at the low end response--it seems they should try other tips to find a better seal. I found the HF3 response very flat (with an almost Grado-like sound signature) that's light and fun to listen to. I've had UE TF-10s (reshelled) and their...
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mr skurvy

Great out of the box - Custom Ear molds make it great


Pros: Very good sound, iPhone integration,

Cons: supplied ear tips never really fit right. Awareness software isnt prefected.

Great in ear headset. Very happy with the sound qualities and isolation out of the box. The supplied ear tips worked somewhat well but given my odd shaped ears I couldn't get a great fit and the comfort was ok but not great. Once I got custom molds done and back they made a worlds of difference.   Works well with the iPhone and Awareness software works if you set it up and are in a somewhat constant background environment. (To be honest the jury is still out o the software) Phone calls are crisp and isolation from background noise works better then expected.   Overall very happy with them and use them at least every other day.

I think I may be allergic to silicone


Pros: Good audio quality and isolation

Cons: Feels like it's tickling your brain

These are deep seated IEMs like all the others in Etymotic's range. Personally I would place them around the ER6i, and well under the ER4P in audio terms.   The only problem is that the tips, like all Ety's stuff for me, make my ears sore. It's bearable, but I can usually only listen to an album or two before I want to take them out. It's an acceptable payoff, but it means these are "sometimes" headphones that are exclusively for when I'm using the phone and where isolation isn't going to be dangerous; although that said, Ety have an app which feeds in background noise over a settable threshold.


Definitely a great earphone. For comparison sake I also own the LCD-2R2 and the Etymotic MC3.   Sound   These are very neutral and bordering on bass light. The bass is definitely there and it is very detailed but it lacks the punch due to the small driver size and the limited amount of air it can move. They will definitely be for someone who likes an analytic sound rather than a colored sound.   The mids and highs are very detailed. The sound is not tiring but I would not say it is laid back.   There is definitely some microphonics.   Fit   With universal IEMs everyone will have a different experience. However, I absolutely love the...
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Etymotic HF3 are very detailed budget IEMs..........


Pros: very detailed mids, clear highs, great instruments separation, good punchy bass...

Cons: highs are not very extended, cold sounding.

The Etymotic HF3 are surprisingly detailed in mids with good punchy bass( due to the tight seal no need of heavy deep bass like JVC FX700,  Sennheiser IE8) and highs are crisp, clear. The istrument separation, imaging is very good on these and they sound very good with instumental music like Jazz, pop, Country but they are little cold sounding.

Great sound quality comes with a price!


Pros: Amazing Isolation, Great Sound Quality, Great Mids

Cons: Uncomfortable Ear Tips, If your not going to use these as a portable solution look elsewhere (for the price)

To keep things short: These headphones are a step up from everything else that I have owned. The isolation is great (better than my Shure's) and I LOVE the sound signature. Like my previous headphones, I heard more detail in my music than I did before. For $180, you would expect these headphones to be perfect however the only complaint I have with them is the earbuds they come with are uncomfortable. While you are able to get custom earbuds made, it is difficult to get my ears molded where I live. Other than the uncomfortable buds that I will most likely get used to, the headphones have exceeded my expectations.   UPDATE 6/12/2011: I have tried different tips and I take back...
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capable of surprisingly good sound


Pros: excellent clarity and separation

Cons: bass a little weak, treble a bit harsh, but can be eq-ed

At first I was not overly impressed with these Etymotics. They did not blow me away and I didn't think they were that much better than your regular old standard-issue $30 earbuds.   But tonight, I decided to pull them out and give them another shot, this time using a CMOY headphone amp and also some eq-ing to pump up the bass and roll of the highs.   And boy was i surprised at how good they sounded! I mean, wow! Super clear highs and mids, and a much more robust bass than I heard before. I don't know all the fancy lingo and terminology, but I do know that I was having a great time listening to music with these Etymotics.    Do they sound as good as...
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