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Etymotic HF2 review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all. Today I will be reviewing the Etymotic HF2 in-ear monitors and give in-depth details and descriptions about the sound. This is the only "real" IEM or truley portable headphone ive ever listened to, other than the Bose in-ears and Yuin PK3 earbuds. I bought these IEM's along with my MacBook Pro about 2 o 3 months back at the apple store. Ive had alot of time to listen to them at school , road trips, and home. Anyways, on to the review....

Bass in this headphone is tight. Kick drums are right on time with the music, even with very fast blast beats like in black metal. Its just that the kicks are lifeless and cold sounding. The bass is smooth sounding, just very soft and un-impactful. They go down low to 35hz clearly until 30hz where it starts dropping off. I think the bass was balanced very well but impact is a tad light and the tonality of bass guitar is too thin to sound real.

Mids: Very good. Guitar and Piano come out with a bit more life than the bass. Detail in the mids are really good too. Notes are easily distinguished from eachother. Soft and loud sounds are dealt with very well, and I can hear deep into the recording. The great isolation assists this. Voices sound unnartual sometimes. Distorted guitar comes out pretty natrually and has OK impact. Wind instuments are good. The mids are really good in this headphone, probably the best trait.

Treble: Good. The highs are well balanced and sound just right. Shimmering but not over-exaggerated. The highs are pretty fast sounding and respond well like the bass. But the highest of the highs, like 16Khz+ dont come out very well at all, so there might be a sense of something lacking with some electronic music. The cymbals tonality is good but Ive heard better. The highs are generally pretty faithful to the original recording.

Soundstage and Imaging: Small. The sound is very in your head as one might expect. The instuments are placed very close together, but the imaging and depth are really decent for such a small sound stage. The sound is upfront and immediate, but its still pretty easy to pinpoint the general direction the sound is coming from.

Comfort: Once they are in, they dont fall out. Inserting them is a little weird and itchy, but once they are in everything is forgotten. Ive tried all 3 tips and I find the standard grey tip to have an exceptional seal and better sound than the other two. The only thing that annoys me is having to take them and put them back in when people are trying to talk to you.

Isolation: Scary. I cant hear a friggin thing going on around me with music playing. Even a crowded classroom full of mis-behaving students quiets to a low muffle that relaxes me. I love it.

Value: It was worth it. I can have high fidelity sound without constant random noisy interruptions to my music. Im happy with the sound signature. Build quality could be better at this price, but these have been reliable so far.

I really like these IEMs. At $179, they really are a good deal and I dont see why you could go wrong with them unless you want a slammin headphone that is boomy in bass and unrefined in the mids (Bose IE).
By the way, in case your wondering about the mic, Ive never used it so I cant say anything about it.
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Im sorry, I just relised I should have posted this in the portable headphones section. Can a moderator please move it there? Thanks
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
MODS: ^^^^
post #4 of 5

no replies to a full length review!??

post #5 of 5
I have and love these, your review influenced my decision. Thank you for putting it out there for us!
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