Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › In-Ear › Universal Fit › Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black) › Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black) Reviews

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black) Reviews


Accuracy, thou now has a price point.


Pros: Amazing isolation, Transparent sounding, Extremely accurate, High degree of imaging in mid and treble

Cons: Bass is uninspiring, Product out of the box is a poor representation of the device -- burn in absolutely required.

First off let me preface by stating that I bought these on a whim.  I had read many things about Etymotic's penchant for accurate reproduction.   The initial impressions I got from these were a mixed bag.  First off, I love the isolation factor, putting these on in the middle of a crowded communal area was like stepping into a library.  I tried the various silicone pieces which were provided as well as the obnoxious chunks of foam and settled back on the medium sized triple flange which was installed on the unit from the factory.  These tend to sit a little further inside the ear canal, however once they are in I didn't find them to be any more uncomfortable...
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lots of punch in a small body


Pros: detail is fantasic, some of the best isolation around

Cons: bass might be too thin for some, fit takes some getting used to

  A few months ago, my trusty westone um1s died after 2 years of faithful service, so i got this pair to replace them, based purely on the reviews i had read about them online, seeing as i was unable to personally demo a pair. needless to say i was nothing short of entirely satisfied with them, and while i have owned the um1s, comparing them would be slightly pointless as they are completely different in character, so this review will be a simple standalone affair. the basic setup is the hf5s and an ipod classic (the latest gen not sure which one it is) un-amped, playing either lossless ALAC rips or 320 kbps mp3 tracks.   FIT/BUILD: the first impression i got when i removed...
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Very Good Neutral Headphone for the Price


Pros: Excellent detail retrieval, clear midrange, superb instrument separation

Cons: Constricted soundstage, not much bass to be satisfying, deep insertion

Build quality is good, plug is meaty and the cord is not as thin as most IEMs. Comes with a lot of accessories. Isolation is typical of Ety's which is superb.   Sound quality is very good overall and for the price. The bass is I would say is just neutral or for most people, a tad bass-shy and I definitely can understand that. I think this is my only earphone where I got a bit surprised that the bass quantity that I’m used to hearing to isn’t the same. It extends fairly low into the bass and it’s super tight but there’s simply not much quantity that would make you stomp your feet when listening to music that demands it.   Midrange is good, upper midrange is so slightly...
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Very good IEM


Pros: Sound quality, isolation, price?

Cons: price?

Bought new in Europe for $100 My best IEMs, very good analytic sounding, obviously not for bass-head even though my favorite headphones are Denon D2000! High isolation but might be uncomfortable (it goes deep in ear canal) I had RE-0 as well, to me HF5 are much better, they are not bass anemic like Hifiman's I still do not know how to evaluate the price, they are MANY newcomers in the market such as JVC FX series or VSonic which can be bought for less than $100. If you need very strong isolation, don't look elsewhere!

Awesome IEM's


Pros: Natural sound, sound isolation, comfort, price

Cons: none that i can think of

This is my first IEM. I owned Grados and LOVED them, but i'm going to college and wouldn't be able to listen to my Grados in many places as they are open back cans.   So started my search for an IEM that sounded like my Grados. I found the HF5's!    These have a very natural sound just like the grados. Bass is present, not overwhelming, just right. Mids make listening to classical, jazz, and vocals a real treat. Highs are excellent as well and don't hurt my ears like make in ears.    These are totally worth the $150 price tag. I much prefer them over the shure 215's or 315's. 
P.F. Jo

Quick evaulation


Pros: Awesome for the price

Cons: Somewhat congested soundstage but not terrible

These phones are great, for their value, even at retail price these are quite good.   Though I do not have past exp. with other etymotics, I could sum these as very clear, tight bass but not lacking, unless the track you're playing is. the mids are a little emphasized, but it's not too obvious the seperation is also very good, If I were to give an example these are like an artistic version of   That is regarding the soundstage, but it's not that big a of a con considering its other traits.   This is after a few hours of critical usage of these, source is a J3 with some EQing. Also, they are currently unamped.   Good luck,   Jo JS.
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