Etymotic Research HF2 iPhone and iPod Headset - Black
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- Compatible with iPhone and other mobile phones
- Response accuracy of Etymotic's ER-4 earphones
- Highest noise isolation of all competing headsets
- 3.5mm stereo plug makes the hf2 compatible with any music player
- 4ft cable
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, the quality. Audio reproduction is awesome. Mids, highs and lows are all beautifully reproduced - I really don't own another pair of in-ear headphones like them. You can easily spend double on another pair but I don't think that you'd be able to distinguish them easily.
Be aware that many people have complained about lack of bass. This simply isn't the case - you just need to ensure that you have a good, deep, seal in your ear canal. The product ships with several replacement tips, but I found the default three-flange ones to be great for me. Many prefer the foam buds, however. Once they're in, I can hear virtually nothing of the surroundings which is fantastic whilst sitting at work.
Quality of the actual product itself is very good. Cabling is nice and not too noisy when rubbing against clothing, although some noise is inevitable. Microphone is excellent, having tested it in calls today and asking people what they thought!
Overall, I don't think you'll find a better pair of headphones for the price.
Etymotics are great but there are some significant issues you need to be aware of.
Firstly, you need a good quality bass boost or equalizer to compensate for the neutral bass; and that's assuming you've got a decent seal. The bass is very high quality (tight), but the bass sounds weak to the layman ear. Good quality equalizers are difficult to find. The one on older Ipods (gen 2) is atrocious (perhaps also true of older iphones, pre 3); it distorts almost immediately. Android needs 3rd party apps to get quality equalization. I can recommend the clip+ at £26 for the 2GB version: it has excellent equalization out of the box as well as hifi audio : google "clip+ nwavguy" . Better still, the clip+ and clipzip can have the rockbox firmware put on it.
2nd, Earwax: when I first got them I had a painful and squelchy feeling in one of my ears. I thought my ears were etymotics incompatible but in fact though being quite young I had an ear wax issue, which apparently is quite common. the (slight) pain continued even after taking them out so I went to the doctor and eventually got it sorted out by the local nurse. Hot damn, my hearing majorly improved.
3rd, player issues: the electricals mean that some player designs cut corners and have high 'output impedance'. Read more on that with a google "nwavguy output impedance" .To summarise: this is a serious issue for low impedance earphones (typical of consumer earbuds etc) and even worse for balanced armatures like the HF2/3/5. It weakens bass and treble: you won't be getting the promised audio fidelity. The iphone 3GS,and 4 are fine. But many older ipods have high output impedance.Read more ›
These come with a choice of tips (different diameters and materials). For music to sound good, it's important that they are pushed a long way into the ear – scarily so the first few times.
It's an odd experience to begin with and I found I couldn't go much more than an hour to start. However, the sound quality is great. I found myself listening to different music - more open, acoustic music with lots of dynamics - because these phones really work well with intimate music. Of course they are fine on stadium rock too.
One thing I noticed is that there is some mechanical noise from the cable moving which is passed through to the ears. Not a problem when sitting on a plane but more noticeable if used when out running.
The best thing about their effectiveness in keeping outside noise at bay is that I can now listen to music whilst mowing the lawn – far more enjoyable than using normal ear defenders.
I use these more for listening than making calls. They are odd when used on the phone because you don't hear your own voice through the phones and it's blocked out by the sealing of the buds inside your ears.
Etymotic offer a custom moulded earpiece service which I'm looking into.
All that considered, the Etymotic Research HF2 headphones were not preordained to please but, after a good bedding-in, I'm happy to say they perform and impress on every level. All frequencies (including bass), are present, correct and perfectly turned out. Yes, you do need a good seal for them to work but, no, this is not painful or difficult to achieve if you follow the instructions. Prolonged usage, weirdly, does not lead to painful ear canals... though some of the (admittedly easy to clean) ear tips supplied are more prone to collecting ear funk than others.
The other plus is the mic and control button. This works incredibly well and I use it on my bike all the time to receive calls, skip tracks etc. Anybody on the other end of the line can here me fine even with background wind, so that's really quite impressive. If you are using these on a bike, you should only ever ride with one ear in as otherwise you will be totally oblivious to even the most monstrous of trucks bearing down on you from behind. You have been warned.
So, in summary, a great pair of phones at a very reasonable price.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mine are nearly 4 years old but have given up the ghost. Too soon for this price. First one earpiece failed, then the other. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bramble
Sound quality is good. Isolation is good. Too large for my ears, which makes them somewhat uncomfortable. Klipsch X10i fits better. Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2014 by Alex J.
I've had several of these - I tend to lose only good headsets and this is a good one. I love it!Published on 25 Aug. 2013 by Thomas F. Lee
I've had 3 of these now and they are awesome. The cables on my first set perished after about a year of hard usage. Read morePublished on 8 May 2013 by Will Armstrong
Ordered these since I heard so many great things about Etymotic.
Amazon has the best price on these, I would not have purchased them at full price. Read more
These earbuds have fantastic audio response, particularly for high frequencies and instrumentals. The bass response is low relative to some competitors, so purchase expecting... Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2013 by David M Jolly
I have very narrow ear canals and it's taken some time to get used to them. Using the smallest tips they are a tight fit but sound great - I use them all the time on the train and... Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2013 by Mulberry
I bought these to replace my previous ER6i.
I wear these commuting to work on my bike. I know people will shake their heads and the manufacturers state they shouldn't be worn... Read more