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(REVIEW): Etymotic HF5 - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 

yeh i reckon these could really be boosted in performance with a better seal from custom tips!

post #17 of 68

About the custom eartip option, there have been a couple of head-fi'ers who went that route with their HF5 or ER4 who did NOT get any improvement in the fit and isolation, so again it 100% depends on the personal fit you get with the stock tips.  I have used the milky-gray 3-flange tips for almost 2 years now, and get excellent seal and comfort with them.

 

For people with smaller ear canals you will probably find that out of all the stock Ety tips, only the 3-flange tips will fit.  I literally cannot get the mushroom-shaped grey foam tips into my ear canal no matter how hard I pinch them down, and with the big gray cylinder foam tips, the center hard tube literally scrapes the insides of my ear canals.

 

With the milky-grey 3-flange tips, you will get used to the pressure of having them deep into your ear canal.  Take you time over a couple of weeks, building up the time with them in your ears, and going slightly deeper.  You will get used to the pressure and it won't cause pain after a period of time.  Also, the tips themselves will start to soften by the warmth and wax in your ear.  I wash mine about every 1-2 weeks -- remove them, wash them in warm soapy water.  They are very soft after more than a year with the same pair of tips.

post #18 of 68

I have owned some HF5s for a few months now... I thought they inserted quite deep with the triple-flange tips. Last weekend I was messing about with them and found that if I rotated them so that the wires could be worn over my ear I could get them even deeper basshead.gif 

 

I can quite literally get the cable touching the inside of my pinna. I thought I had quite good isolation, but this is something else ! They also seem more comfortable too.

 

I was contemplating upgrading to the ER-4PT or maybe getting custom tips for the HF5s, but I don't think I'll bother now.

post #19 of 68

You found the O2 to be a good match with the HF? I remember trying my ER-4S with the O2 and I hated the combo. It was much too shrill, thin, and much too cold for my liking. It makes sense that the HF may match better with the O2 because I found the HF to be warmer sounding that the ER-4S, as written on my review comparing the two. I really like amping Ety products with warmer sounding amp because that way you get more musicality without losing the detail at the same time. Shame how your HF broke, I would consider sending them back to Ety as they are very generous with Customer Service and fixing/replacing.

post #20 of 68

I got a chance to hear the HF5 a few months back in an airport next to the likes of the W4, and I came away more impressed by the HF. I was so impressed that I decided right then and there that I had to have them and, months later, I finally have the HF3.

 

I find the mid-bass to be just about perfect, and it has just the slightest rumble in the sub regions. It's not a sub-bass  The treble is a dream come true in refinement and timbre, and the vocals are fantastic ( forwardness depends a lot on the track). 

 

The soundstage size is nothing really to write home about. It's not lacking by ANY means, but the imaging is what makes it shine like a million watt bulb. The stage utterly 3D, a quality I adore in my ASG-1.2. 

 

Timbre is a sticky subject for me, especially since I LOVE to play the drums. The HF3 delivers here in spades. The only thing is that they fall below the GR07 in the snap of the snare. Otherwise, they're great in power, speed, and they just get the tone of the instruments perfectly. It bests the GR07 in cymbal reproduction too.

 

The only bad thing about them is that I have to insert them in a slow, twisting motion to avoid feeling like my ear cherry is being popped.

 

The last word I thought I would be using to describe an Etymotic is "natural." Yet, here I am. I don't know why I waited so long.

post #21 of 68
Thread Starter 

Nice impressions and you seem to be loving them. These are my go to isolation headphones. Say i am working with my dad and need some extra isolation because of noisy tools, these still manage to sound great but yes insertion is some fun!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by planx View Post

You found the O2 to be a good match with the HF? I remember trying my ER-4S with the O2 and I hated the combo. It was much too shrill, thin, and much too cold for my liking. It makes sense that the HF may match better with the O2 because I found the HF to be warmer sounding that the ER-4S, as written on my review comparing the two. I really like amping Ety products with warmer sounding amp because that way you get more musicality without losing the detail at the same time. Shame how your HF broke, I would consider sending them back to Ety as they are very generous with Customer Service and fixing/replacing.

Yes i found it was just great, with adapter as well. It is a transparent amp for a neutral headphone. I do not want warmth with them as that is not what the HF5 are about. They are about the detail and the neutrality and the O2 just helps that!

post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

Yes i found it was just great, with adapter as well. It is a transparent amp for a neutral headphone. I do not want warmth with them as that is not what the HF5 are about. They are about the detail and the neutrality and the O2 just helps that!

 

But doesn't the O2 make your Etys too cold? That's what I noticed with the ER-4S. Idk about you, but both myself and other users enjoy amping our Etys with warmer amps to make it sound more musical.

post #23 of 68
Thread Starter 

Yes, cold, analytical and superbly detailed. If i want musical sounding IEM i will go with something else, these are my go to IEMs for extreme cold analytical sound or super isolation, i do not really use that much but they are still awesome for the price and do benefit from amping!

post #24 of 68

SparkyXI: how do the comply P-series compare with the ACS tips?

post #25 of 68
Thread Starter 

Single BA Shoot Out Featuring These;

 

post #26 of 68

I picked these up a few weeks ago and I'm enjoying them so far.  Hooked them up with my zune and the bass is rather punchy.  At first started with the foam tips and unfortunately they fell apart in a few days.  Luckily that forced me to go back the the flanged tips and those are hands down better.  Might be uncomfortable but the sound difference is more than noticeable.  Next step would be to buy smaller tips than the stock included for better insertion.  Might write up a more detailed impression later.

post #27 of 68

I asked this elsewhere but did not receive a response.  My apologies for the repost:

 

 

I don't intend to derail this thread, but it's the most recently active I've found citing the HF5.

 

Could any current owners please listen to this bass test track?  I've received an HF5 today and on this and similar test clips I have found them to produce a very apparent "fluttering" sound on low notes that doesn't sound like the typical distortion heard with low-quality drivers.  Is this normal?  Is it inherent of IEMs?  I admittedly have very little experience with them.

post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly21029 View Post

I asked this elsewhere but did not receive a response.  My apologies for the repost:

 

 

I don't intend to derail this thread, but it's the most recently active I've found citing the HF5.

 

Could any current owners please listen to this bass test track?  I've received an HF5 today and on this and similar test clips I have found them to produce a very apparent "fluttering" sound on low notes that doesn't sound like the typical distortion heard with low-quality drivers.  Is this normal?  Is it inherent of IEMs?  I admittedly have very little experience with them.

I just gave those a listen (although I don't have another phone for reference, I'll have to try it out on my speakers later).  Are you referring to what sounds like a bit of a whine at the beginning and towards the end?  Mine are still fairly new though.

post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by please22 View Post

I just gave those a listen (although I don't have another phone for reference, I'll have to try it out on my speakers later).  Are you referring to what sounds like a bit of a whine at the beginning and towards the end?  Mine are still fairly new though.

 

I know what "whine" you're referencing and no, that isn't the issue. (not the cleanest test track I concede, but it was the one I could link directly to the easiest)  It's a definite "fluttering" of the drivers -- rapidly pulsating noise that subsides as track ramps up the frequency curve.  It's as if the clean bass can be heard beneath but the drivers are too loose to convey it cleanly.  If this isn't audible to others, I fear that I may have received a defective pair.  They were purchased through Amazon's warehouse deals, so perhaps they've seen a bit of undisclosed abuse.  A return for a brand new pair may be in order.

 

Interestingly, aside from that they sound (mostly) great while listening normally.  Bassy content isn't perfect as there is a bit of distortion in the lowest of lows, but as long as they stay out of that range and despite having more treble presence than I typically enjoy they sound fantastic!  Despite some reports, I've also found mid-bass (again, avoiding the distortion range) presence to be more than acceptable and I don't feel that I'm in need of any more for an earphone of this type.

 

As an aside, has anyone gotten custom molds done for these?  I've never been a fan of in-ears and indeed find these Etys to be uncomfortable, but I've done some research and it seems that the HF5 with custom molds would be my only option for an articulate, (mostly) neutral, comfortable, highly portable earphone/headphone for at or under my $200 budget.  It also needs to perform well enough as to not disappoint at home when the weight of wearing a full-size circumaural becomes aggravating.

 

I'll wait until tomorrow to see if there are any more responses to the above.  As it stands, I believe that my best course of action is to pursue an exchange.

post #30 of 68
Quote:
Idk about you, but both myself and other users enjoy amping our Etys with warmer amps to make it sound more musical.

 

I like amping my ER-4S' with the O2, the more detail the better.  I want to hear the music as accurately as possible.  If you want the detail that the Etys provide, why would you want to hide the details with a warm amp?  Buy a warm IEM and a warm amp confused_face(1).gif

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