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Replacement for Etymotic hf3 -- or just get another pair?

  1. mchang
    Hello. I haven't been on Head-Fi for sometime. Staying away cold turkey is the only way not to feed my addiction.

    Anyways... After several years of good service, both of my pairs of Etymotic hf3 are starting to die.

    I love the fit with olives. I love the clear highs and mids. I can tolerate the weaker bass. I have to have the iPhone mic and controls. Sound isolation is also a must.

    Can anyone recommend a different/newer headset that can match the Etys? Price range = $135-150.

    *No customs (I've had them in the past and for the Etys; didn't like them).

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. Jnjy
    It doesnt have a mic or controls but you can give the Final Audio's Heaven II a try.
     
  3. mchang
    Thanks for the suggestion, but the mic and iPhone controls are a must.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  4. mchang
    I just ordered the Westone W20. Probably should have stuck to the budget and gotten the W10, but with the replaceable cable/mic, I can see these lasting quite awhile.

    Hope they're worth the extra cash.
     
  5. bms44974
    Pardon me for asking the indelicate question... have you changed the filters?
     
  6. mchang
    Ha! While not meticulously maintained, the filters are not the issue. The cable is splitting/breaking on both sets of hf3. Mostly above the jack L-bend. And a bit at the Y split. When I walk around with the phone in my pocket, the sound crackles.

    Westone W20 should be here tomorrow! I haven't been this excited since my Denon D5000 arrived years ago.
     
  7. deepee
    I have the same problem with my HF5. I kept them well, actually I almost did not use them as I did not
    like very much their flat sound signature. Still, the wire cracks at many places, I think from just sitting
    in the provided case. I tried to use some magic glue in strategic places, such as near the earphone itself,
    but the wire looks almost like something was eating it. Not a compliment on how these earphones
    are built...
     
  8. nc8000 Contributor
    I've had my HF2 for 3 to 4 years and use them regularily and have had no problems what so ever with them. Have been using Etymotics for nearly 15 years, the tubes on the ER4 were known to crack and I had that happen twice but both times Etymotics replaced them with no charge despite them clearly being out of warranty.
     
  9. mchang
    FWIW... I'm still high on Etymotic. I used both pairs of hf3s several hours a day just about every day (one pair at work, one in the car). Nothing lasts forever, and they've served me well. My buddy is a big fan of his ER4 and had them recabled by Ety a year or two in and is still rocking out.

    I do wish I had received a response to the email I sent to the company asking for any options, but I'm sure they receive lots of messages.

    As I mentioned, the replaceable cables sold me on the Westones. Assuming the drivers hold up, I hope to get even more years and use out of the W20.

    I got them today and they sound different -- but good different -- out of the box compared to the hf3. So far there are positives and negatives about the form factor, sound, ease of use, etc. But I think overall they're a winner/keeper.
     
  10. mchang
    Here's what I typed up for my friend with the ER-4:

    "Got the Westone W20 yesterday. I find them to be quite opposite from the Ety hf3.

    Comfort and ease of use: Advantage hf3 pretty much all around.

    Cable: W20 because it is removable. However the mic is way smaller on hf3.

    Sound: It's very weird. The W20 sound muffled and congested compared to Etys. But the Etys place a huge emphasis on trebles compared to W20, which balances more evenly across the spectrum. Here is a very rough breakdown (treble/mids/bass):
    hf3 -- 60/20/20
    W20 -- 25/40/35

    I can't tell if I miss the "sparkle" of the Etys or like the "laid-back approach" of the W20. From memory, it's the same dilemma I faced when evaluating the bright Denon 5000 and the smooth Sennheiser 650. Obviously, I chose the Denons, but had to mod them, which isn't an option here."
     

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