Ety Hf5 or Klipsch S4
Mar 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Asyntyche

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I've been looking at upgrading my IEMs for a while now, but haven't been able to decide which is right for me. I've had CX300s for going on 4 years, but the cable to one of the drivers has now broken, so its forcing my hand a bit.

Put simply, my budget is ~£75, and I'd hope to get quite a step up in SQ from the CX300s. Looking around a little I've seen a few pairs that interest me:
Klipsch S4
Etymotic Hf5
Shure SE210 (or 115s?)
Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5

It seems all of these have their supporters on here, which makes it harder for me to decide, as there isn't really anywhere locally that I can try them out.

I'm tempted to try the Hf5s, but having used the CX300s for so long, I'm accustomed to the heavy bass response sound, and whilst I am comfortable listening to music with a much softer bass, I'd probably still prefer something with a solid low end. Though hopefully much cleaner than the sound of the 300s. For this reason, the S4's seem like a good option as they are said to have quite a lot of low end.

Having not really owned a 'decent' quality pair of phones (my best cans are Audio Technica ATH-M40fs), I don't have much experience with evaluating soundstage, so I don't really know if that would affect my preference.

Any recommendations?
 
Mar 13, 2010 at 10:24 AM Post #2 of 9

Marcus_C

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I believe the hf5's are better all around phones than the klipsch s4 although being used to the sennheiser bass they will fell like they have none. I never got on well with shures so personally wouldn't recommend them and havent tried the UE so can't comment on those. If you like the idea of the ety's but want more bass the mc5's may be for you when then come out (not sure when that is but i imagine fairly soon). Maybe consider the beyer dtx100 too.

https://www.etymotic.com/aer/press-mc5.aspx
 
Mar 13, 2010 at 1:23 PM Post #3 of 9

SactoMan101

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I've heard the hf5 but I have one big gripe about them: they sound almost like the Apple Dual-Drive In-Ear Monitor (ADDIEM), except with a tad more treble. And the hf5 is a lot more expensive, too.

Hopefully, when the Etymotic mc3/mc5 finally arrives (hopefully in about a month or so!), it will offer more bass without losing the clear highs the hf5 is well-known for.

If you want decently strong bass, I'd recommend the Klipsch Image S4/S4i model, though I'd recommending replacing the Klipsch-supplied ear tips with either the Comply T-100/Tx-100 ear tips or the medium-sized "foam" ear tips from Shure for their SE-series IEMs.
 
Mar 13, 2010 at 7:35 PM Post #4 of 9

ljokerl

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I don't like the S4 much but they are definitely an upgrade from the CX300 in every way while maintaining similar levels of bass quantity. But really, as per your title question, this is a must-read if you haven't already.
 
Mar 14, 2010 at 11:07 PM Post #5 of 9

Asyntyche

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Thanks for the link, there's a lot of useful info in that thread. That the OP changed his mind from preferring the S4's to the Hf5's is intriguing, as I wonder if, after spending some time with the Hf5s I would get used to the difference in bass level between what I am used to now and what they offer.

I like the prospect of a much more balanced sound from the Hf5, but at the same time, I am worried that music may sound a little clinical.

As for sound stage, the S4s are described as having a wider stage than the Hf5s. Could anyone explain to me what this means in practice? I would think it refers to the spatial positioning of the instruments in the mix, though some comments seem to imply it is more to do with the perceived location of the overall source, not individual parts of the mix.

EDIT:

I found this post by Young Spade in another thread that clears up my confusion on sound stage. I was getting it confused with separation.

I think the question i really wanted to ask was that, even if the S4 have a wider soundstage, is it still possible that sounds may be isolated better with the Hf5 if it has superior separation?

I think separation is more important to me, as i'm used to the feel of the sound coming from right between the ears with IEMs.
 
Mar 16, 2010 at 6:33 PM Post #6 of 9

Asyntyche

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thanks for the help guys, I am tempted to buy the Hf5's, but I want to wait and see how the mc5's compare, so for now I'm going to pick up some Klipsch S2's to keep me going 'til then. This also means I'll have some of the Klipsch tips to try out with the Hf5's if I get them later on.
 
Mar 16, 2010 at 7:00 PM Post #7 of 9

davidcotton

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I think I'm right in saying that the x1 on amazon is the same as the s2 but £20 cheaper!
 
Mar 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM Post #9 of 9

bcpk

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I love my X1s
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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