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Panasonic HJE900 or Etymotic MC5?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

This is a tricky one, because I'm not buying for myself, but a present for my son.  He formerly used some lower-level Philips IEMs (9350 maybe?  not sure), but they broke.  I discovered that he has been using my Sennheiser 580s with his Ipod, so I am buying him some IEMs for a replacement and to reclaim my homeboys.  I've pretty much narrowed it down to these 2.  It's virtually impossible to pin him down on what sound he likes, although he did notice the improvement from the Apple buds to the Philips.  If anyone has heard both, a comparison is appreciated.  Thanks

post #2 of 46

I would be glad to help, but I haven't heard either one. Although, I could shed a bit of light on the situation.

 

I don't doubt that both are great headphones, but the Etymotic can be tricky. Due to it's extremely deep fit, many users find it uncomfortable. Uncomfortable or not, they provide "the best" isolation in the headphone industry. Although, I believe it may come with an miniature assortment of different kind of tips, although I don't know for sure. Color might be a bit tricky deciding as well, as they are quite flamboyant, with exclusion of the gray/black color.

 

The HJE900 is a great headphone not only because of it's sound, but because of it's outstanding durability. The casing is made of Cubic Zirconium, which users have reported is impossible to scratch, yet alone break. The cables (as you may know) are replaceable, which is great feature, as rigorous daily uses posses no threat to "ruining" the headphones, due to the availability to replace them. Overall, a very durable and excellent sounding headphone. Also, these are also smaller than the HF5, which look better in the ear, and are easier to travel with. One of the highest regarded IEM's here on Head-Fi.

 

Between the two, the HJE900 easily has the overall better sound quality. I'll have to say my vote goes for the HJE900. Overall just a stellar headphone.

 

By the way, if you hurry, J&R and J&R through Amazon has the HJE900 on sale for $90! Only $10 more than the MC5. Incredible deal. (Assuming you choose that one)


Edited by Katun - 9/1/10 at 12:06pm
post #3 of 46

MC5s ship with one pair each of: standard and small triflanges (best sound by far, but fit may be an acquired taste), foams, and the mushroom-shaped "gliders" (comfortable but IMHO awful-sounding).

post #4 of 46

2 thumbs up for the HJE900, having owned those and the ones that I own now I can say without a doubt they they are really good.

post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKang25 View Post

2 thumbs up for the HJE900, having owned those and the ones that I own now I can say without a doubt they they are really good.


Are they OK driven by an Ipod?  I use an amp, but he wouldn't.

post #6 of 46

Of course. That is what they are made for.

 

Here is a quote from dfkt's review:

 

"Panasonic’s spec sheet suggests the HJE900’s drivers sport an impedance of 26 Ohm and sensitivity of 100dB/mW. In plain English (and tested with my ears) this means that the phones are loud enough to be driven properly by even the wimpiest MP3 player out there, yet they’re well enough behaved as to not hiss."

post #7 of 46

You haven't heard either one? In other words, your post is sort of not really helpful at all. I'm new here, but know enough not to call a headphone great or say one sounds better than the other without having heard them both. Anyway, there is a new review of the MC5 posted today, and the guy owns BOTH. OP might want to read it. It convinced me to try the MC3s (for use with Touch or iPhone).

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/510261/totally-insane-quality-for-a-totally-insane-price-the-etymotic-mc5-mini-review
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

I would be glad to help, but I haven't heard either one. Although, I could shed a bit of light on the situation.

 

I don't doubt that both are great headphones, but the Etymotic can be tricky. Due to it's extremely deep fit, many users find it uncomfortable. Uncomfortable or not, they provide "the best" isolation in the headphone industry. Although, I believe it may come with an miniature assortment of different kind of tips, although I don't know for sure. Color might be a bit tricky deciding as well, as they are quite flamboyant, with exclusion of the gray/black color.

 

The HJE900 is a great headphone not only because of it's sound, but because of it's outstanding durability. The casing is made of Cubic Zirconium, which users have reported is impossible to scratch, yet alone break. The cables (as you may know) are replaceable, which is great feature, as rigorous daily uses posses no threat to "ruining" the headphones, due to the availability to replace them. Overall, a very durable and excellent sounding headphone. Also, these are also smaller than the HF5, which look better in the ear, and are easier to travel with. One of the highest regarded IEM's here on Head-Fi.

 

Between the two, the HJE900 easily has the overall better sound quality. I'll have to say my vote goes for the HJE900. Hands down. Overall just a stellar headphone.

 

By the way, if you hurry, J&R and J&R through Amazon has the HJE900 on sale for $90! Only $10 more than the MC5. Incredible deal. (Assuming you choose that one)


Edited by panthers2012 - 9/1/10 at 9:05am
post #8 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by panthers2012 View Post

You haven't heard either one? In other words, your post is sort of not really helpful at all. I'm new here, but know enough not to call a headphone great or say one sounds better than the other without having heard them both. Anyway, there is a new review of the MC5 posted today, and the guy owns BOTH. OP might want to read it. It convinced me to try the MC3s (for use with Touch or iPhone).

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/510261/totally-insane-quality-for-a-totally-insane-price-the-etymotic-mc5-mini-review
 


 


Agreed!  "Hands down the better of the two" + " I haven't heard either" don't mix.  

 

Personally, the MC5 gets my vote, as the last impression I got of the Panasonic was people saying it has a very odd sound sig due to the housing, some not liking it.  I haven't heard either, but I would read more reviews on the Panasonic before I jump in.  Then again, he might not like the deep insertion of the Etys, which takes some getting used to.  But once you do, isolation, and details are great.  Definitely not for running/riding bike/use in car if he's inclined to do that sort of stuff with them (due to isolation).

post #9 of 46

You don't say how old your son is, but here's my suggestion, coming from a dad of a 15 year old who is on his 3rd pair of earphones because he doesn't want to take care of them (wraps them tightly around his Fuze and sticks the whole wad straight into his pants pockets, tosses them around, etc.).

 

Buy him a set of Meelectronics M9 (http://www.meelec.com/M9_Series_earphones_s/244.htm) for $25 + $3SH.  For a good listening ear, they will sound excellent.  99% of all teenagers won't sit down long enough to actually listen to music to tell the difference between a good $25 earphone and a really good $120 earphone (the HJE900).  And some of the stuff he's listening too may be 128kbps, and the HJE900 will reveal all sorts of poor sound quality.  Heck, buy him 2 pair and save one for when he loses or breaks the first set.  My son pays for his own now!

 

If this doesn't describe your son, then no offense intended.

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by panthers2012 View Post

You haven't heard either one? In other words, your post is sort of not really helpful at all. I'm new here, but know enough not to call a headphone great or say one sounds better than the other without having heard them both. Anyway, there is a new review of the MC5 posted today, and the guy owns BOTH. OP might want to read it. It convinced me to try the MC3s (for use with Touch or iPhone).

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/510261/totally-insane-quality-for-a-totally-insane-price-the-etymotic-mc5-mini-review


By reading your statement there, I assume that nobody here is helpful then. You have it wrong both ways.

 

When you are in the market for a headphone, what do you do? You read reviews, you ask for advice, you seek people who have great experience, correct? Why do you do that? So you can see how "good" or "valuable" something is. You look at something that someone will recommend, or something that fits your needs. By saying my post is not at all helpful, is simply not the case. First off, you are not the one I responded to, you have no say on whether I helped the individual who started the thread. Second, where on earth do you think I am getting my information from? This isn't a science fiction novel, I'm not making this stuff up. I am transferring information from other users to whomever I am speaking to. In other words, I am giving suggestions off what I have read. I'm getting my info from a plethora of users, some of which have heard both, and have had more experience in the aspect.

 

The funny thing is, right after you tell me my post isn't helpful at all, you directly contradict yourself by saying, "Hey guys, this guy owns both! Let's listen to him instead. He has more experience." Once again, the information I am giving is based off people just like the user you have mentioned. They are actual users, using the same headphones that have been mentioned. I gather all my knowledge on the specified headphone that I have learned from others, and try and put some of it together to help someone out. Now, every single Head-Fi'er SHOULD know that sound is subjective. What someone says is the best headphone in the world, may be a piece of garbage to another user. I'm not inferring that this is the case here, but you get what I mean. That review that you linked is one person that prefers one headphone over another. So, that user has an opinion and a preference. As we all do. What I have stated, is that the majority of users have preferred the HJE900 to the MC5, or other headphones in that sepcified range. The HJE900 is a very nice IEM indeed, I know this from what I've read, but some don't like it's "interesting and new" sound signature due to it's material. So all we have is a single preference here, and you can't base that individual preference off something as subjective as sound quality or sound signatures.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David58117 View Post

Agreed!  "Hands down the better of the two" + " I haven't heard either" don't mix.  

 

Personally, the MC5 gets my vote, as the last impression I got of the Panasonic was people saying it has a very odd sound sig due to the housing, some not liking it.  I haven't heard either, but I would read more reviews on the Panasonic before I jump in.  Then again, he might not like the deep insertion of the Etys, which takes some getting used to.  But once you do, isolation, and details are great.  Definitely not for running/riding bike/use in car if he's inclined to do that sort of stuff with them (due to isolation).

 

How about you read what I posted above as well.

 

I pretty much stated exactly what you have in your second paragraph in my original one, except you denounced it right on the spot? But I will admit, you are right about the "Hands down the better of the two" + "I haven't heard either" don't mix. They don't mix! Again, there is no such thing as "hands down the better of the two." It just doesn't exist; except in the person who formulated that opinion. You can't use one person's opinion, and apply it to everything in relation. Because it is just an opinion. Now, speaking of the other statement of "I haven't heard either one." If I haven't heard either one, don't you think I would be basing my stuff off people who have heard them? I'm not just making this stuff up, popular to contrary belief. I'm getting this knowledge from other users; just like the one user who you linked and PREFERS one over the other.

 

No people, I am not mad at all. So don't get offended if I shoot down your posts. I'm just clearing some misconceptions up.
 

post #11 of 46

Katun, let me just ask you - what makes the Panasonic have "easily the overall better sound quality" vs the MC5? 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

 

Between the two, the HJE900 easily has the overall better sound quality. I'll have to say my vote goes for the HJE900. Overall just a stellar headphone.

 

 

post #12 of 46

exactly. how can you have such strong opinions of a phone without hearing either one? if he wanted opinions based off reviews he could look up the reviews himself. granted stating the different sound signatures, build quality, etc. could save him some searching and would be fine. but recommending the hje900 over the mc5 without ever hearing them is just silly.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David58117 View Post

Katun, let me just ask you - what makes the Panasonic have "easily the overall better sound quality" vs the MC5? 

 


 


 
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David58117 View Post

Katun, let me just ask you - what makes the Panasonic have "easily the overall better sound quality" vs the MC5? 

 


First off, the HJE900 is in a higher league than the MC5. I would be more along the lines of HF5 vs HJE900, rather than MC5 vs HJE900.

 

Second, I base my advice off others advice, when I have no advice to give. No, not specifically how they sound, just in a general sense.

Take this for example. He puts the HJE900 with the other two "steller" IEM's, because that is the exact competition it belongs with. We are talking some of the "best of the best" here.

 

Third, I've read a fair share of MC5 reviews. Why? I was about to get one. Some throw me off a bit. Read this and this.

 

Here is a great one for the HJE900, that *suggests* how good it really is. Excellent review from well experience user.

 

Remember: All sound is subjective. Although, some generally just sound better. It just depends on the sound signatures we all individually prefer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephKim View Post

exactly. how can you have such strong opinions of a phone without hearing either one? if he wanted opinions based off reviews he could look up the reviews himself. granted stating the different sound signatures, build quality, etc. could save him some searching and would be fine. but recommending the hje900 over the mc5 without ever hearing them is just silly.
 


Who said I had "strong" opinion of it? Can you please draw the definate line between "opinion" and "strong opinion" ?

 

I can guarantee you that people recommend headphones without actually using them. Obviously, the ones who own them can go into further depth and review.

 

So please, just leave it at this. I'm done trying to explain things that others persist on wanting an explanation for.


Edited by Katun - 9/1/10 at 3:21pm
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

 

Between the two, the HJE900 easily has the overall better sound quality. I'll have to say my vote goes for the HJE900. Overall just a stellar headphone.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post


Who said I had "strong" opinion of it? Can you please draw the definate line between "opinion" and "strong opinion" ?

 

 

silly rabbit.
 

post #15 of 46

More of a "firm opinion" than a "strong" one. It would probably classify as a "strong opinion" if I owned the two, and went into more exuberant in-depth praise. Then I could definitely stand behind *my* opinion of the headphone, rather than basing my opinion, off others.

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