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Etymotic Research HF2 iPhone and iPod Headset - Black

3.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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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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Product details

  • Item Weight: 91 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 113 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
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  • Item model number: hf2
  • ASIN: B0012OP7HE
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 4 Dec. 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Product Description

Box Contains

  • High-fidelity, hands-free, noise-isolating headset + earphones with 4 ft. cable
  • Assorted eartips
  • Filter tool with 2 replacement filters
  • Storage pouch


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    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Colour Name: Red
    I got a set of these today in black, and let me say that they are damned fantastic.

    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.
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    Colour Name: Red Verified Purchase
    Reading some of the negative reviews I've been inspired to add my own.

    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.
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    Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase
    I have never got on with the standard iPhone headset. The earpieces don't stay in my ears. I liked the idea of stuffing something tight in my ear canals to block out outside noise.

    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.
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    Colour Name: Black
    I'm a lifelong, fully-confirmed, over-ear headphone wearer. I've moved away from closed back to open back, forgoing the comfort of fellow train users for the increased sound quality you get when you stop bouncing bass around a pair of fully sealed cans. And let's not even start on active noise cancellation. Ech. In addition, I've never enjoyed the experience of wearing in-ear headphones; prolonged use generally leads to discomfort and some mildly disturbing incidents involving 'waxy deposits'.

    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.
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