Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Etymotic MC vs HF series and Foam Tip Recommendations?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Etymotic MC vs HF series and Foam Tip Recommendations?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

can you guys tell me the difference between the hf and the mc series?  i am thinking about buying a second pair but don't want to pay for the mc if i will be happy with the mc series.

 

also can someone recommend a good website to buy foam tips for these as i assume they are she way to go with these right?

post #2 of 16
I have the HF3 and on a whim picked up the MC5 at a store that was clearing them out.

The HF3 has very tight (many would say lacking) bass. Detailed very transparent midrange. Detailed and clear treble. Instrument separation is very good as well.

MC5 has more abundant bass that is a bit looser but more apparent for a lot of music. The mids are not as detailed and a bit warmer and fleshier. The treble is more rolled off and not as detailed as the HF3.

So in regards to foam tips. I use Shure olive tips (you have to be very very careful removing these and if stuck should just gently cut them off or risk breaking the stem of the IEM). I like this tip with the Hf3 as it help bass a bit and reduces the treble a bit which sometimes can be a bit fatiguing. But on the MC5 I found the tip just killed the already weak treble to much for me.

I have a pair of custom ACS tips coming today or tomorrow and will post what I find with them.

Overall the Hf3 is better for classical and any bass light music. The Mc5 is better for bass dependent music. Classic rock is a bit of a toss up as many rely on mids and treble while some also have a heavy bass oriented sound.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

very detailed info...thank you for the update.  looks like etymotic sells their own foam tips...are they any good?  are they any better than the rubber ones that come with the headphones?

post #4 of 16
I found the round mushrooms did not fit my ears well and the tough foam made them itch but you should try them before buying third party tips. Also try the triple flange to at least hear the difference in sound to see if you like it. I also bought some earplug store tips if you look in one of the Ety appreciation threads I give a link to the tips.

My customs came in today an they are he way to go if you find you really like the Ety sound. I tried them with both HF and MC series (they are designed for the HF series which does have a smaller IEM body so they don't fit as deep with the MC5 so this may have a very slight impact on sound) and I much much prefer the HF3 to the MC5 sonically speaking and that is from classic rock to classical music.

The custom tips really take these to the next level of sound and comfort (well comfort is still a bit out as I do fin some super soft tips like the Sony Hybrids possibly more comfortable but don't forget this hour 2 of using the customs so I may how to really love them comfort wise. They are insanely isolating better than anything I have ever owned, I am actually using the freebie Etymotic awareness app so I can hear outside sounds.
post #5 of 16
I find that of all the tips I've tried (only universal ones) the Comply Foam ones are most comfortable on my hf2. They just weren't very durable for me. The second most comfortable kind I've used are the Klipsch oval tips. Since the Klipsch ones aren't foam, they pretty much have lasted forever.

Just another choice to consider. I actually considered getting custom tips done, but there weren't any places in my area to be able to get the molds done at the time, and then ended up trying the Klipsch tips instead.
post #6 of 16

HF series is better. 

 

Olive tips are the best foam tips in comfort and durability imo (shared by many here). 

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

HF series is better. 

Olive tips are the best foam tips in comfort and durability imo (shared by many here). 

It's been a couple years since I tried those, but I seem to remember the Shure olives being dangerously tight on my Etymotics.
post #8 of 16

I mentioned the dangers of the Shure olives in my first response. I suggest the op decide on the model he should get then see what he can do with the included tips before trying anything else. BTW i2ehan had a pair of HF's for sale in the FS section if your looking for those but can't find a good deal on them.


Edited by dweaver - 1/17/12 at 8:53pm
post #9 of 16

what about soundstage on the etys? i read mixed statements about that. 

post #10 of 16
The soundstage is only average but they have very good instrument separation due to the added detail of the driver.
post #11 of 16

I just don't think Eys sound like Etys with anything (short of custom tips, maybe) except the triflanges. They take a little getting used to, but it's worth the effort. I hated the sound of the MC5 with the mushrooms (particularly awful) and the Ety foam tips, and that didn't encourage me to try anything else, since within a few days I got comfortable with the triflanges.

post #12 of 16

The HF is definitely better than the MC in terms of SQ.  The HF uses a true balanced armature driver, whereas the MC uses a new design "moving coil" driver that is a hybrid armature/dynamic driver.  The MC does have a bit more bass presence, but it just doesn't have the speed and cohesiveness of the HF -- it gets pretty over-whelmed on busy music passages (e.g., By itself the MC sounds good, but when you compare it to the HF, the HF is clearly better.  If you can find a gently used HF, you will be much happier, if SQ is you main goal.

 

About tips, the Shure Olives are extremely tight on the HF -- I didn't try them on the MC when I had it.  But I didn't like the foam tips, and to this day prefer the standard creamy-gray colored triple flange tips on the HF and my ER-4P.

post #13 of 16

Another thing to consider are the small frost tips.  Personally, out of all the Etymotic-brand tips, I liked those best.

post #14 of 16

I'm the minority and I haven't tried a wide range of tips. But I truly prefer the foamies that came with my HF3's. They are only itchy for a very short time, and now having used them for over 20 hours, they slide right in and also IMHO offer better sound than the triple flange. So, just saying, if you have those, give um 8 hours or so and then try something else and see what you think. Just try not to write them off on the out-of-the-box feel because they get substantially better.

post #15 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

Another thing to consider are the small frost tips.  Personally, out of all the Etymotic-brand tips, I liked those best.

Which ones are the frost tips?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Etymotic MC vs HF series and Foam Tip Recommendations?