[My First Review] Etymotic MC3 (MC5) - Going In Deep. 56k Warning!
Sep 11, 2010 at 7:24 PM Post #17 of 24

a_recording

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Quote:
So, how do feel about these vs your CK90Pro and did you do the foam removal mod on those?


Interesting comparison, because the MC5 and the CK90Pro are so different in character (and price). I did do the foam mod to lighten up the sound a little, but to be honest the amount of foam doesn't have as much of an impact as actual source selection for the CK90Pro - for instance, I used to get slight sibilance on my old iPhone 3G and Walkman S739 on the 90Pros that I thought was frequency uneveness, but using the 90Pro with a uDAC or my new iPhone 4 that sibilance disappears - so it may actually have been peaks in the frequency output caused by a weak amp distorting. On these sources I find I can remove the foam entirely and not get any sibilance.
 
In general though, the 90Pro is a much bassier sounding phone, and while the MC5 is a treble detail orientated, slightly forward IEM, the 90Pro is more neutral - though more on the darker side of neutral. It's darker than say, the RE252 for instance. Instrument separation and soundstage are more pronounced on the 90Pro than the MC3, but the 90Pros do not have that same sense of treble airiness. The other important difference in the sound, and the key signature of the 90Pro is its speed - the CK90Pro has such fast attack and decay times, meaning that bass is punchy and at the same time has no time to really "soak" in. So while this makes the CK90Pro my favourite IEM for electronic music, since it does pure tones and glitchy effects so well, it can actually sounds less realistic and transparent than the MC5 when playing natural instruments, particularly cellos which sound a bit plasticky.
 
It's hard to compare the realism of the two IEMs, because one sounds like how natural instruments would sound if you took away most of the feeling of airmovement from bass sounds, and the other sounds like how natural instruments would sound if you were trying very hard to replicate natural sound with no resonance.
 
In terms of comfort and build quality, the CK90Pro is more comfortable by a pretty big margin, especially because I have no trouble wearing the 90Pro over the ear whereas I can't with the MC5. Of course isolation is king on the Ety. Build quality, the cables are much nicer and less microphonic on the Ety. Whereas I used to think the build quality on the 90Pro was pretty good, lately the cable sheathing on my set has detached from the neck divider, so I can only give a reserved recommendation on those terms.
 
Sorry for the long winded explanation - I wouldn't be able to pick out exactly which one I like more, since the 90Pro is really very fun to listen to for modern studio recorded electronic music (which I listen to quite a lot) but the MC5 is nicer for acoustic, classical etc. I hope that helps!
 
 
 
Sep 12, 2010 at 12:40 AM Post #18 of 24

james444

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Thanks @a_recording for your excellent and detailed review! Interesting music choice as well, Karen O is an extraordinarily gifted singer and 'Zero' one of their best tracks IMO. I also like the John Adams piece, didn't know that one before.
 
Tbo I've never been all too interested in Etys, but these are the first ones that tempt me. There are not many IEMs with great isolation and decent SQ at this price point. I might have to try them myself.
rolleyes.gif

 
Sep 12, 2010 at 3:41 AM Post #20 of 24

Inks

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very nice review @ a_recording, very informative and i get a nice picture of what they'll sound like. Really like your approach to reviewing/analyzing the iem, giving importance to that realism that's crucial to enjoyment.
 
These also look very nice in that color, very classy and slick. They looked a bit dull in other pictures I looked at, but these pics do them justice.
 
Sep 12, 2010 at 5:51 AM Post #21 of 24

a_recording

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Thanks for the comments guys!
 
Quote:
Thanks @a_recording for your excellent and detailed review! Interesting music choice as well, Karen O is an extraordinarily gifted singer and 'Zero' one of their best tracks IMO. I also like the John Adams piece, didn't know that one before.
 
Tbo I've never been all too interested in Etys, but these are the first ones that tempt me. There are not many IEMs with great isolation and decent SQ at this price point. I might have to try them myself.
rolleyes.gif


It's worth a go, though I still don't find any tracks on It's Blitz to be particularly enjoyable on the MC3's. The combination of piercing vocals and razor sharp studio mastering doesn't play so well with the MC5s. 
 
Glad you like the John Adams :D I've often listened to it to try fall asleep on long journeys. The image of being carried through the clouds is so strong, yet its not your usual John Williams hollywood rendition of the idea.
 
I think the isolation is a really strong strength, considering that with other headphones, regardless of their better SQ it might all be lost simply because the noise around you eliminates both the bass and the treble detail!

 
Quote:
very nice review @ a_recording, very informative and i get a nice picture of what they'll sound like. Really like your approach to reviewing/analyzing the iem, giving importance to that realism that's crucial to enjoyment.
 
These also look very nice in that color, very classy and slick. They looked a bit dull in other pictures I looked at, but these pics do them justice.

 
[size=medium]
 
I was also a bit hesitant about the colour, but in the end I thought black would attract the least attention. When I finally got them I was struck by how classy they actually looked. :)
[/size]

 
Sep 15, 2010 at 10:58 AM Post #22 of 24

project86

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Great review, thanks! When doing my own reviews, I've often thought of posting links to music like you have done here. But I always have difficulty getting it done for one reason or another (often sheer laziness) so I've given up on the idea. Nice to see it done and done well I might add.
 
I feel just about the same way about the MC3/5. They are not for everyone, but I think anyone who gravitates towards that type of sound sig should give them a try. Phenomenal value for the price.
 
Sep 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM Post #23 of 24

--connor--

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Would it be possible for you to take a picture of the smaller silicone bi-flanges on and inside your ear so i can see how far they stick out as i would imagine i would be using these with a smaller then average sized ear canal.
Thanks
 
Sep 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM Post #24 of 24

SactoMan101

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Good review on the Etymotic MC3. 
happy_face1.gif

 
Question though: has anyone tried a third-party ear tip such as the Comply T-100 or Tx-100 or the Shure medium foam sleeves designed for the Shure SE-series IEM's? I have a set of Comply Tx-100 ear tips and it'll be nice if I can use them with the MC3.
 

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