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Etymotic MC5 In-Ear Earphones - Black
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- Tight and accurate bass with crystal clear high-frequency detail
- High-definition 8mm drivers with ACCU-Chamber Technology
- High noise isolation of 98% (35-42 dB)
- ACCU-Filters protect the moving coil drivers
- Kevlar-reinforced cable for extended durability
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|Sold By||Amazon.co.uk||UTM Inc.||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||HIFIMAN UK||Expo Japan|
|Colour||Black||Colbalt||Black||Black & White||Silver||Black|
|Headphones Form Factor||earbuds||earbuds||In-ear headphones||earbuds||earbuds||earbuds|
|Speaker Connectivity||Wired||3.5 mm jack||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired|
Colour Name: Black
Etymotic makes the world's most accurate noise-isolating headsets and earphones in all price categories. All low-cost earphones are made with dynamic (moving coil) drivers that have undesirable frequency response peaks and weak highs.
Etymotic created a design that makes dynamic drivers sound like high-end drivers by inserting a proprietary acoustic side-branch to redistribute energy, smooth the peaks and compensate for weak highs.
The Etymotic MC5 are the world’s most accurate noise-isolating earphones. With tight, accurate bass with crystal clear high frequency detail at all listening levels. 35 dB - 42 dB of noise isolation and an assortment of noise-isolating ACCU•Fit eartip options that provide proper sealing of the ear canal and maximises comfort. In a stylish black colour these headphone come complete with a microphone especially for the iPhone.See all Product description
From the manufacturer
Etymotic Research, Inc. is an engineering-driven research, development and manufacturing company. The name "Etymotic" (pronounced et-im-oh-tik) means "true to the ear". Innovation, education and hearing conservation are central to Etymotic's mission.
mc Series In-Ear Earphones
Most low-cost earphones are made with dynamic (moving coil) drivers that have undesirable frequency response peaks and weak highs. Etymotic created a dynamic driver that mimics high-end drivers by inserting a proprietary acoustic side-branch to redistribute energy, smooth the peaks and compensate for weak highs.
Etymotic designs products to measure, protect and improve hearing, and enhance the listening experience of music lovers everywhere. Together, audio engineers, musicians and audiologists at Etymotic have generated over 100 patents issued and pending. Etymotic has the distinction of being the first company to develop and patent noise isolating, high-fidelity in-ear earphones.
Best Noise Isolation
Etymotic's earphones have the highest noise isolation of all in-ear earphones, as measured by an independent laboratory accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Reduction of outside noise lowers the risk of listening at unsafe levels. 35-42dB of noise isolation when inserted properly.
Best Sound Accuracy
mc series earphones utilize a proprietary acoustic side branch and dampers to redistribute energy, smooth out response peaks and compensate for weak highs normally found in moving coil drivers.
The result is tight, accurate bass and crystal clear high-frequency detail at all listening levels.
Best Fit and Style
The mc series offers best fit and comfort in its class style, with high-gloss, polished anodized aluminum finish. An assortment of eartips is included to ensure proper seal and comfort.
Durability and Warranty
2-year replacement warranty
Reinforced cable for durability
User-replaceable filters to protect the moving coil drivers from earwax and other debris.
In The Box
Filter removal tool and replacement filters
Top customer reviews
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The downside, and the reason this doesn't get 5 stars, is build quality. No where near as robust as my old er6i, both buds snapped at the 90 degree angle within months of purchasing them and repairing them is virtually impossible (the er6i could be taken apart and resoldered, etc as required which I did many times over the 5-6 years I had them). I solved the breakage by superglueing and slipping heat shrink tubing over the affected areas to hold everything together - 1.5 years later and they're still going strong.
Would I buy another pair? Maybe. I'd look into the newer earphones produced by Etymotic first but the price of these is really good considering the sound quality produced and that could sway my decision especially as (with a bit of tinkering) these have lasted 2 years and I expect will last another 2 before I need a replacement pair.
The bass is well rounded, not ridiculously strong like the Senn CX series. The expanding foam tips are probably going to be the choice for bassheads, the triple flange tips don't fit my ears and I've heard from friends who've had a go on my MC5s that they shallow out the low end a bit. The Glider tips are really uncomfortable. I guess you just have to experiment to find the right ones.
The treble is bright and airy; classical, trance & ambient sound amazing. You can hear every little detail (although sometimes that means they show up artifacts in the sound that others might mask).
The obvious aim of these things is accuracy and if that's what you're going for, these are the 'phones to get. Etymotic started out as an audiology research lab after all.
If you like meaty bass, or you prefer your music to have character over accuracy, these aren't for you and you're better off looking elsewhere.
Unfortunately you cannot do comparative tests with headphones that are designed for in ear use, due to health reasons (although I'm sure a good clean would solve these issues).
Firstly the HC5 headphones as supplied. As mentioned else where, the cable design is such that rubbing noise passes from the cable to the ear phones. Therefore it is essential to run the cable behind the ears. This deadens most of this noise, unless you are wearing a hat.The flexible cable distance from the headphones to the Y join is 333mm. This is enough for me to wrap the cable around my ears and under my chin. A sliding ring can be used to tighten this under the chin, to help prevent the cable from coming out of behind the ears. the remaining cable to the connector is about 880mm, ending in a 90degree gold plated plug.
As for audio quality, my ears are past their best due to hearing damage (which is why I want ambient noise reduction). All comments about lack of bass are correct, especially that you need to push the ear pieces a long way in to the ear. The better the seal in the ear, the better the sound. There are plenty of headphone end options to choose from. I had the large 3 way cone in the right ear and the foam in the left.
Compared to other head phones, there was definitely only a little base. The rest was fine. Once fitted properly, there was definitely more noise ambient noise reduction than any noise cancelling headphones I tried, including the Bose ones. The plugs were a little uncomfortable after an hour or more. this persuaded me to try the moulded ear plugs.
The headphones allow you to visit the ACS web site and get a voucher for ear mouldings. I did this and visited one of the places listed on the web site for the procedure. Unfortunately my left ear had too much wax in it and I had to get it unblocked via the doctors. A slightly unpleasant process. I then got the moulding done; took about 15 minutes. Two days later I got an Email for £80 from ACS. Paid this and was told 4 week delivery. Took 7 weeks.
Initially they don't look much, but the translucent silicone moulding are easy to fit on the head phones. Once you know what orientation to fit them in to your ear, they go in easily, and come out easily as well. Definitely the best noise isolation I've experienced. All frequencies are suppressed dramatically. The only noise that comes through is when you rest your head on something and noise is transmitted through the bone.
The sound quality has also improved, with the whole range being sharper. I still find the base weak though.
I would love to try the mouldings with the more expensive headphones in the range, but unfortunately they are not interchangeable.
When walking the jarring of the feet on the ground can cause noise in the headphones. Something I experienced with all headphones pushed firmly in the ear.
The ACS web site says you have to pay extra for the company to keep you moulding information. The fitter said they do that automatically now, but they only keep them for four years. this is because your ears are continuously growing, and will have changed in four years. Does this mean I will need new mouldings in four years time?
So, If you are looking for the ultimate isolation from outside noise, so that you can use low volumes to protect your hearing, then I would recommend these. If you want a headphone with the best sound quality and plenty of base, look else where. I hope there is enough here to help your purchase decision.
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