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Panasonic HJE900 - vs Etymotic HF3 : An attempt to save my wallet

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I've been lurking these forums for a few years -- and have just decided to post.


I just got my Etymotic Hf3 in the mail. I also own the HJE900 - and while I can say I was happy with them, I wanted to try to get some more isolation, and iPhone controls.

 

The sounds are (obviously) vastly different -- to the point where I'm a bit in shock. 
I listen to Indie, Rock, Classical, Piano, and occasionally Hip-Hop. 

 

The HJE900 blows the Ety away in Bass - this was expected when I bought them. But the Ety's bring out more distinction in the music - instruments are better isolated.


I wanted to get some second opinions on these two IEMs, and experiences with them.

I've read the big thread by Joker - what's interesting is that the sounds, despite being so different, are both rated quite highly - and I agree.


I guess i'm trying to justify my purchase, but also decide which one of these will be the main one I use.


I'm very interested to hear experiences with these IEMS.

Thank you!

 

post #2 of 10
The HJE900s despite being fun, are muddy and uneven. Somehow the timbre sounds special but the tonal balance is very uneven. Sometimes I got the feeling that it was emphasizing certain regions in the music over the most important ones in the midrange. It's fun, but I think even the cheap Brookstone Dual Drives are much better with a similar "fun" sound.

HF3s are superior IEMs but I'm not surprised of the shock. Bass is pretty flat, which makes it a great thing with certain recordings, not so much with others. Fit is important with these, I'll recommend Shure Black foam olives. HF3 are more detailed because of their even response which does bring you closer to the true nature of the recordings. It isn't perfect but more superior to the HJEs than jokers ratings imply IMO. Give them a lot of time and you'll be rewarded if you can appreciate the more revealing sound.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

Give them a lot of time and you'll be rewarded if you can appreciate the more revealing sound.


...Or increasingly frustrated if you can't.  It depends on what you expect out of the experience of plugging phones into your ears.  If you want musicality and involvement - if you actually like the "fun" of the Panasonics - you might not like the Etys no matter how hard you try to adjust your tastes.  While much of the community at Head-Fi agrees that Etys are respectable hi-fi phones, there are those of us who have a different preference.  You could be one of us.  If you have always been unsatisfied with the sonic character of the Panasonics, on the other hand, then keep the Etys by all means.  You'll probably learn to love them very soon indeed.

 

Should you stay with the HJE900s (or go for another phone without Apple controls) there are add-on mics you can get that will - more or less - resolve this need.  If you buy a Made for I-devices mic/remote, there are also adapters (such as from Fiio) that will swap the polarity to work on your non-I-device.

 

For example:

http://www.amazon.com/Monster-iSoniTalk-Microphone-Headphone-Adapter/dp/B000V8RCTS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330447676&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/iLuv-iEA15BLK-3rd-Party-Headphone-VoiceOver/dp/B002RL9WDQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330447676&sr=8-2

 

and the Fiio adapter (others like it also exist)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/834115-REG/Fiio_LU1_LU1_Smart_Adapter_Cable.html

 

Let us know what you decide!

post #4 of 10

Oh, also, you might know this already but -

 

There are other headsets out there that only have one button with their mic.  If you want/need more than the simple "play/pause" functionality offered by that single button, there are Android apps (and I'm sure apps for other OSs) that allow you to program your own preference for how that button responds.  So that you could turn it into a "play/pause" button with a single click, and a volume button with a long click, etc.

post #5 of 10

And one more thing - welcome!  (as a participating member)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Scuderia and Inks for the input.


I'm listening the Hf3 more -- and I can definitely say it brings out a lot that was drowned out. I've listened to a couple of different songs using each headphone - it's ridiculious to go back and forth. The difference is really striking.

The HJE900 has tons of bass in comparison -- but I feel like it misses some of the 'other stuff'. Might be some mids that are drowned out, like the sound of an individual guitar. 

 

The HF3 might be me better for me 'overall' - it suffers when it comes to certain music tracks that have heavy bass - a kick drum sounds punchy and great, but there are definitely times when I know the HJE900 would produce deeper bass. 

 

They're both good - they offer different things it seems. I'm definitely growing on the HF3, and am going to give it a lot more time (it's not even been a day) - and report back.

 

I guess the 'fun' factor definitely goes to the hje900 - most tracks have nice bass and without spending too much time thinking about it, it sounds good. The HF3 have more 'clarity' and balance though.

 

 

It makes me wonder what those high end IEMS have to offer -- Westone 4 -- Shure SE535 etc.


I guess i've been sort of searching for one IEM that can do it all - isolation, bass, comfort etc.

 

I'm also welcome more insight on this topic.

 

post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by ScuderiaHeadFi View Post
...Or increasingly frustrated if you can't.  It depends on what you expect out of the experience of plugging phones into your ears.  If you want musicality and involvement - if you actually like the "fun" of the Panasonics - you might not like the Etys no matter how hard you try to adjust your tastes.  While much of the community at Head-Fi agrees that Etys are respectable hi-fi phones, there are those of us who have a different preference.  You could be one of us.  If you have always been unsatisfied with the sonic character of the Panasonics, on the other hand, then keep the Etys by all means.  You'll probably learn to love them very soon indeed.

It should lead to understanding, not frustration. No IEMs are perfect, so cherry picking is the best thing to do in this hobby and having patience is a virtue that is highly underrated here. I have gone back to several IEMs I hadn't heard in years and have been surprised positively and negatively, your perceptions change with experience which the OP lacks. I find it highly contracting to go into Headfi, looking for a something with more resolution only to resolve back to your average highly colored IEM. That clarity, detail and speed can also be fun, more bass isn't always fun either, a lot of the more experienced users are actually very strict on the bass levels they tolerate. 

 

 

There are stuff that won't compromise that much clarity while having more bass than the HF3s without the bloating levels of the HJE900s, so the HF3s may just be your first step in a different direction. You don't have to spend that much money to get at the level of the SE535s, SM3s, etc. 

 

 


Edited by Inks - 2/28/12 at 3:28pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
There are stuff that won't compromise that much clarity while having more bass than the HF3s without the bloating levels of the HJE900s, so the HF3s may just be your first step in a different direction. You don't have to spend that much money to get at the level of the SE535s, SM3s, etc. 

What kind of stuff?  ksc75smile.gif

 

I'm definitely enjoying the HF3 a lot more as the hours go by..

post #9 of 10

I think if you want the clarity and deep punchy bass then Senheiser IE80, JVC FX700, Westone 3 are great sounding IEMs and they all offers wide soundstage. The HF5 are even better in terms of soundquality compared to HF3 and bass canbe improve if add ZO in chain.


Edited by ZARIM - 2/28/12 at 5:39pm
post #10 of 10

Those don't have a mic and are more in the level of the HJE900s in terms of bass, which still compromise the midrange despite having more control, they are also most likely above the price range and isolation is what the OP is looking for. No offense, but do you read threads Zarim? This is one of the many times I have seen you recommend stuff missing out information the OP mentions in the first post and I wonder if you've heard most of the IEMs you mention.

 

LOL, HF3 and HF5s are the same thing, the only difference is that one has a mic and the other doesn't. HF5 stands for 5th generation Ety, HF3 because of the 3 button control, but they're the same. ZO doesn't "improve" the bass, it's like an EQ enhancement that focuses on subbass. 

 

@OP. PFEs 022 with grey filters (sold separately) are a good alternative, similar with a bit more bass. UE600vi is said to be the SE535 on a budget with more bass than the PFEs and HF3s will still far below the HJE900s muddy levels. The upcoming Sony XBA-1 may also interest you as well as it also has a mic option. 


Edited by Inks - 2/28/12 at 7:30pm
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