Noob Etymotic Research HF2 review.
Feb 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1

bfielder

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Recently I was in the market for a set of IEM's that would give me good sound quality, good comfort, at a reasonable price.  After doing lots of research on sites like this, asking questions, and watching video reviews I finally made my decision on the Etymotic Research HF2.  Now as for my review take it with a grain of salt, I am not an audiophile and I haven't had much, if any experience in the past with HiFi, and especially with IEM's.  So remember that when reading my review.  I won't comment on packaging or accessories and things like that cuz that's out there everywhere.  The only earphones or ear buds that I've used in recent years were the stock ones that came with my Galaxy S4.
 
Comfort-  I first listened to them with the stock triple flange tips.  Comfort wise I was kind of torn, at first it was a very odd feeling because it felt like they were going in one ear and coming completely out the other ear.  After having them in though for a few minutes things were okay, but still didn't quite like the feel.  I tried the other flanged tips and didn't like those either.  The mushroom shaped tips didn't at all go into my ear and seal.  I then tried the stock Ety foam tips.  This is where I really started to enjoy them, they were very comfy and they still sounded great, my only complaint is that they were just slightly too large for my ear canal.  So I bought some Comply T-100 isolation in medium size.  Just received them today and they're great.  Sound is excellent and they're extremely comfortable.  I can hardly even tell that I have them in.
 
Isolation-  Isolation is excellent and is everything everyone has said about them.  Even without music playing it blocks out a majority of what's going on around you.  With music playing you really can't hear anything at all.  Really great in this area.
 
Sound-  Again remember I've had literal experience in this field.  I think they sound excellent.  My only concern when I purchased them is that people were saying they're a bit light in the bass department.  Seeing as how I listen to a little bit of everything, hip hop and metal and things like that with hard driving bass, I was worried it wouldn't have enough for me.  They don't thump real hard or anything like that but they certainly have plenty of low end punch for my taste, and the beauty of the low end is how quick, tight and accurate the bass is.  When listening to tracks that have really quick double bass, they have no problem at all keeping up.  The mid range is really pleasing to my ear as well.  Very smooth, very detailed and tight.  Vocals are good but not great.  Clear but a little bit laid back for my personal taste.  The treble is very enjoyable.  I find it to be accurate and detailed, but not overly pronounced or sharp. not fatiguing at all.  My original demoing of these came just using the stock DAC on my laptop and Galaxy S4.  I recently ordered the FiiO E18 and it came in the mail today.  What a difference, I felt they sounded pretty good before using a decent DAC, but after listening today for quite a while everything just got better.  The lows tightened up even more, and played even deeper.  Mids are super smooth and accurate, and the vocals before as I said I was a bit disappointed with but with the E18 it really seems to push the vocals forward if that makes sense.  They are much more pronounced.  The treble seemed to get even a bit more detailed, and sharper this time too, still not fatiguing though.  
 
Value-  For me I didn't really want to spend more than $200 seeing as how it's my first venture into the IEM world.  I found these for just under $100 on Amazon.  I can't imagine many other options sounding better for this price.  I think they sound excellent, and would recommend them to anyone looking to get good sound and on a budget.
 
Sorry if my review isn't great, it's my first one, but felt like it would still be beneficial to others looking to buy these.  If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free.  
 

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