They got the sound right but...

A Review On: Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Cobalt)

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Cobalt)

Rated # 178 in Universal Fit
See all 4 reviews
Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Posted · 1768 Views · 2 Comments

Pros: accurate yet analytical sound

Cons: microphonics, stock tips everything else wrong. Take this mini-review with a grain of salt because YMMV with these IEMs. You may even get a great fit with comfort, but I didn't.

Tried all the tips. The gliders don't stay. The foams are itchy. The grey flanges are itchy and too big. The only one that works are the stock small flanges. They fit well and isolate well, BUT they are uncomfortable as HELL. I am considering upgrading to the custom tips or even buying some other tips, however I've seen users whose HF5's broke due to using other tips, so be careful.

The sound is great. When doing an A/B comparison to the EX600, I found that the HF5 has a higher resolution sound and weaker bass. The BA driver is much quicker than the dynamic driver, one is not better than the other IMO. The soundstage is much much smaller than the EX600.

Oh and they're exceptionally microphonic, can be worn over the ear though. But it doesn't fit as well as the EX600 which was designed for over the ear wearing.


I've had the same problems but please try Comply T100 foam tips before getting rid of them. I tried the Shure foam tips, and those fit great, but have to be careful when removing the foam tips. I was the one who broke my HF5
Looks comfortable, I've just ordered a pack. I have a JVC IEM with memory foam and it's pretty comfortable, it's probably the only tip I liked.

I really like the hf5's sound, they are keepers.

Thanks, and I hope you get yours fixed