Pros: very transparent, low sibilance, excellent build and sound quality
Cons: no cord cinch, large housing, no case included
This "moving armature" descendant of the Ortofon e-Q7 makes no sacrifices in terms of quality, despite being introduced at a more affordable price point. The introduction of a new cord and strain relief system help tame microphonics and make the model easy to wear both down and over the ear. The all-aluminum housing is large and may not fit all ears, but the design is simple and stylish. The e-Q5s come in a small tin with replacement filters, three sizes of standard tips, and one set of Comply foam tips. The stock tips isolate well enough to make train use enjoyable.
Bass is punchy and clear, more powerful than in most balanced armature IEMs, but less prominent than in bass-heavy dynamic IEMs. Mids and vocals are a pleasure, particularly on live recordings. The e-Q5 is slightly warm, but a tad more analytical than the e-Q7. Sibilance is minimal and separation is excellent. The overall result is a well-balanced presentation with a good soundstage and excellent transparency. Highly recommended if you are comfortable with the size.