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Etymotic hf3 Review - Page 6

post #76 of 89
Guys, I had a different experience than you in some regards so I'm goin to copy and paste my little quick review I did elsewhere.
Just in case I need a rep or something ridulous for me to gain credibility...
I test speakers and raw drivers for various websites with hardware and software that runs well over $10k.
I have a home reference setup consisting of scanspeak towers well placed in a very large room.
I have an ego the size of king kong. Just kidding. wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinH;14255 
Thanks to this review, I purchased a set of these last month and was pretty happy with the overall sound.  They don't have the bite like the Triple Fi Pro 10's did but these, IMHO, are much more close to reference than those were.  The TFP10's were very lively but unnaturally so and made more out of the music than what was there.  In other words, they weren't what I'd call reference.  They were just fun.  wink.gif
The ety's are much more a true to the original sound than with anything else I've used.  For $130 on amazon, I was very, very pleased.  

Upon purchasing the HF3's, I promptly located a local audiologist who participated in Ety's "Custom Fit" Program.  I called them up, asked for an appt, they said stop by anytime, so I did.  I was in and out of the office in about 15 minutes; molds done.  The staff knew exactly what I was getting and had already done a few molds for the custom fit program before.  I didn't have to pay at that point.  They said they'd take care of everything from there...

Fast forward to now.

Just picked up my molds today.  So, it took about only 3 weeks.  Sweet!

They fit great.  I must admit, however, they feel funky in my ears.  Not bad or uncomfortable... just odd.  Sure it has more to do with the fact they actually enter the canal rather than are just a bud sticking in your ear.  wink.gif

With a few tracks in, comparing back and forth the molded tips vs the oem tips, the bass response is much better.  Not earth shattering bass, but present and smooth.  It is more robust than with the original tips I chose (the ones that fit the best out of the 3-4 sets that came with the hf3's) but, again, not in a bad way at all.  Quite honestly, I think it's damn near perfect.  I consider it very much 'reference' quality.  
The overall sound of these, IMHO, is that these are stellar.  I can't say for sure the tighter fit has allowed me to notice things or if it's that I've been critically listening a lot lately and taking notes to better myself as a listener, but I just listened to Janis Ian's Breaking Silence and wound up writing down 3 things in the song I hadn't noticed before.  


I can't say for sure whether or not they do a better job at blocking ambient noise, though.  First take seems to be that they're no better than the ones that I had been using but I haven't really done anything scientific to prove this one way or another.  They do sound, however, at least close to as good as before and I'm pretty sure, given the fit, they do block ambient noise better to some degree; even if it's not night and day.  


Overall, for $108 (tax is 8% here), I'm very pleased for the molds.  These are going to work great for the long plane rides where the headphones don't leave my ears from the time I board to the time I exit.  I was becoming very disgruntled with the supplied tips because after about an hour or so they'd start to work themselves loose and the weight of the chamber and cabling didn't seem to help (side note: a small remedy is to wrap the slack cord around your neck).  I couldn't really work out with them, either because they'd fall out of my ears.  So I tested the molded tips for 'exercise capability' (ie: I shook my head all over the place) and the headphones stayed put with no budge at all.  :thumbsup:

Overall, I'm about $250 in to these and must say that, to me, it's money very well spent.  I can't say that if you don't care to listen critically or have relaxation sessions at night before bed or need a good set of headphones for travel that you'd appreciate the cost/value but if you fit any of those three and you love music (which you should because you're on an audio forum reading this) then it's very much worth the price of getting these headphones and the molds.  I honestly feel like the headphones are a cheaper way to get you closer to great sound.  You can start off with the hf3's at a value price and pay for the molds which take them above and beyond the final $250 price tag
Hope that helps some of you guys who might have been on the fence.

- Erin

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post #77 of 89

 Very informative review. I'll have to try those sometime. About your otterbox, you may be better off just cuting the flap that covers the headphone jack. Eventually it's just going to make the entire silicone covering get loose, and it'll tear eventually.

post #78 of 89

Thanks for the review and pics. Glad you are happy with the customs!

 

The construction looks identical to mine, shapes are obviously different.

 

I think that the price point and nature of them being custom TIPS (not a true custom earphone) make the commitment fairly low. And if the stock tips and Shure olives don't work for you, this is certainly a good alternative to keep the Ety sound.

 

post #79 of 89

Hi Mark2410. I always read your blog and frequently visits here. Is the sound quality of HF3 comparable to Brainwavz B2? or is it close or not, overall?

 

I had a dead RE0 whom I really really like(sound quality but lasted for 3months). Do you think I will not be disappointed with HF3/HF5?

post #80 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moracajay View Post

Hi Mark2410. I always read your blog and frequently visits here. Is the sound quality of HF3 comparable to Brainwavz B2? or is it close or not, overall?

 

I had a dead RE0 whom I really really like(sound quality but lasted for 3months). Do you think I will not be disappointed with HF3/HF5?



well thank you.

 

is it close, well yes it is close.  id say the B2 was more at the ER4 level but the hf3/hf5 is really close behind.  if you really liked the RE-0 then you should be quite happy with it.  it has a ibt less air but you get all that excellent isolation that easily makes up for it.

post #81 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchang View Post

Thanks for the review and pics. Glad you are happy with the customs!

 

The construction looks identical to mine, shapes are obviously different.

 

I think that the price point and nature of them being custom TIPS (not a true custom earphone) make the commitment fairly low. And if the stock tips and Shure olives don't work for you, this is certainly a good alternative to keep the Ety sound.

 

 

You could not be more right. The small Shure olives do the trick like no other tip I've tried. No need for customs. Complete seal every time.

post #82 of 89

To chip in with my views on the custom tips, if you're perfectly happy with generic tips then stick with them. However, I've never been able to find generic tips that fit really well and offer isolation without discomfort. So i absolutely love my custom tips and would hate to go back to generics.

 

My customs extend pretty far into the ear canal, much more so than the others on this thread seem to. At first that was disconcerting and a little painful but now I hardly notice them a second after they are inserted.

 

Sound-wise, I'm no expert but I don't think they make a huge difference. The extra isolation certainly helps, especially with making up for the shortfall in bass from which the Etys suffer.

 

For me the customs are all about comfort. In that respect, they're peerless. 

post #83 of 89

On a separate note, I've been disappointed by the resilience of the HF3s. After six months of daily use the cable near the connector frayed and maximum volume dropped by about 90%. So I've had to send them back. Currently they're out of stock on Amazon UK and, with the custom tips, I can't just go and buy a different set.

post #84 of 89

Dredging up an old thread...

 

My hf3 have gone AWOL. I'm so very bummed.

 

And considering I bought two pair (when Best Buy had them on clearance for ~$80) and now have lost both in about a year's time, I'm actually extremely bummed. First loss was flying-with-a-6-year-old forgetfulness. The second is just baffling; I had them on Saturday, then gone on Tuesday.

 

I'm debating whether to pay full retail on a new pair, buy from a sketchy Amazon Marketplace vendor, or get a (supposedly barely) used pair from eBay.

 

Using the iPhone 5 earbuds is simply unacceptable. Ugh. Thanks for reading my vent.

post #85 of 89
Thread Starter 

eek, i bet moving to ibuds is a bit of a jarring experience

 

btw RE-0's were going super cheap new if you can live without the isolation

post #86 of 89

Thanks for the reply, mark2410. Using the iBuds (especially the new ones that fit a lot worse than old styles) has been like nails on a chalkboard. A little part of me dies every time I put them into my ears.

 

Relief is on the way, though! I won an eBay auction for a supposedly "new, was a gift" pair of hf3. As I have two sets of accessories and a bag of olives, I don't care if its just a puffy with the Etys and a note that says "these were stolen off a hobo." I just want them to be in good shape and functional.

 

Tracking them as they head from California to Texas this week... Cannot get here soon enough.

post #87 of 89

And all is right in the world. "New" hf3 in ears -- cleaned, new filters, new olives. Ahhh....

post #88 of 89
Thread Starter 

yey

post #89 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchang View Post

And all is right in the world. "New" hf3 in ears -- cleaned, new filters, new olives. Ahhh....

 

With a tracking sensor attached in the event they get lost again?  biggrin.gif

 

But seriously, you probably should have a good back-up pair if your good phones go missing again.  There are a number of fairly decent earbuds that are $20 or less that can fill that roll -- my fav is the Philips SHE3590 -- shockingly clear and detailed for $15.  

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