Alternatives to Etymotic HF2
Dec 30, 2012 at 8:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

NRWalker

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Hi all,
 
I was very happy with my Etymotic HF2 that I picked up for £30 second-hand a year and a half ago, but sadly the cable has broken and the right earpiece isn't working properly. My first thought had been to get a replacement. However, I'm sure that new IEMs have been released and prices in the UK are a bit skewed, so I thought I'd come back to Head-Fi.
 
 
I'm looking at the following replacements:
 
  1. Etymotic HF2 - £85
  2. Phonak PFE-012 Perfect Bass - £65
  3. VSonic GR06 - £35
  4. Brainwavz R1 - £30
 
I listen to a wide range of music from electronica to indie (but not normally metal or dubstep). The phones are to be used on the move because I prefer full-size cans for home use. Any comparisons to the Etymotic HF2, Sunrise X-Cape version 2, the Shure 840s or the AD700s would be appreciated.
 
Will I be disappointed if I switch from the Etymotic to a cheaper IEM?
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Nick
 
Jan 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM Post #3 of 22

pacman46

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you gotta love the etymotics,, you can never go wrong with them,,and i dont think its worth changing and being dissapointed,,,just my opinion,,,chris
beyersmile.png

 
Jan 6, 2013 at 12:51 AM Post #4 of 22

eastPride

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I'm not sure how the Sunrise XCape v.2s, PFE012s, or the Shure SRH840s sound...but I'll do my best.
 
The GR06s and the R1s are not flat response and treble lifted like the AD700s or the HF2s, so you will likely be disappointed. The GR06s will have a forward and warm midrange with less clarity than the neutral HF2 and AD700s. The bass will be slower and much more impactful, far from the flatness you may be used to, but it can extend lower than the HF2s.  At the top, the GR06s can still boast good extension and have a decent treble sparkle, but coming from the extensive and detailed HF2s, you will be disappointed. On a brighter note, the GR06s have a much better build than the HF2s, with a robust cable and nicely put together shell.
 
The R1s are also warmish sounding like the GR06s, but with slightly recessed mids. The low end is very impactful, a bit too much so coming from the HF2s. At the top of the response, the R1s have a good extension and are nicely sparkly, more so than the GR06s.
 
It is quite likely that you would be disappointed coming from the HF2s, as you will miss the detail in these other options. They are different beasts: the mid-forward GR06s, the v-shaped R1s, and the analytical HF2s.
 
Oh, but just in case you decide to get the GR06 or the R1, they both are fine unamped.
 
Jan 6, 2013 at 7:09 PM Post #5 of 22

NRWalker

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Thank you both. I'm going to bide my time and see if any HF2 come up cheaply on ebay, otherwise I'll probably bite the bullet and buy it full price! (Although seeing a PFE 112 go for £60 the other day was very tempting!)
 
Feb 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM Post #6 of 22

pacman46

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Good choice in waiting ..I have a pair of hf2a and really I think for the price your better off waiting..I also have a pair of the er4s and I think for like half the price there isn't really a world of difference like you'd think there should be ..would like to hear what you settled on ?
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM Post #7 of 22

bass fan

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I think the Vsonic VC02 will satisfy you (considering the price), maybe it won't be as analytical as HF2 (never heard HF2, but used to have the ER6i), but the mid is smoother & the mid bass is better and the sub bass goes a little bit deeper, the overall sound is more relaxing than the etymotic (dynamic vs BA driver).
Hope this can help you :D
 
 
Mar 1, 2013 at 11:53 AM Post #8 of 22

pacman46

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I'm not sure how much you want to spend..but I have a pair off b&w c5s ..they were here in Canada 205.00 with tax...they to are a dynamic driver so after they burn in I think sound fantastic..almost like listening to a pair of their loudspeakers in your ears..nice baas..nice sound stage..some audiofiers don't like them but if you want to put a pair of ear phones in and just listen and enjoy I think they are great and for 200.00. Ya can't go wrong..just my option of course..
 
May 17, 2013 at 1:52 AM Post #12 of 22

Nachiket

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If u can wait for a couple of weeks, just let me know, I will give u my first hand opinion on the HF2s which will reach me by the end of the month (I live in India)..
However, as far as I have read, you can't go wrong with the HF2s except if u want a lot of bass. If bass is more important, then try SE215 instead...
 
And by the way, I paid the full price for these...will tell you if I regret paying full or not :)
 
May 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM Post #13 of 22

pacman46

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Wow you live in India.wow.lol I live in Canada..that's pretty cool that we can talk and you more then half way around the world..lol well hope you like them when you get them...mine had a accident lol I ran them over with a vacuum lol..ya I contacted etymotic to See about warranty lol let's just say that was a waiste of time lol..I plan on getting another pair in the near future though...
 
May 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM Post #15 of 22

pacman46

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Have you seen Ety's replacement policy? You can send in a broken pair, out of warranty, and have them replaced at a much lower cost.

Best of all, you can get the discount on an upgraded model like the HF5 or ER2!

http://www.etymotic.com/cs/outwarranty.html

-sheldon
yes I was talking to them about it..I live in Canada so with the price of shipping and stuff from etymotic the price wouldn't be to much off of if I buy them from another place where I bought them..so not really worth buying them even with that program from etymotic.. Thanks buddy
 

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