on 9 August 2016
I love these so much, I'm going to town with the review!
I generally prefer over-the-ear headphones to sticking something in my ear, but I needed something small and portable that I could take to the gym. All in all, I have been happy with it. Here's some of my thoughts:
Fit and comfort
I was really worried about this when buying them. Overall, it hasn't been too much of an issue. I have been using the three-flange earpieces, and they are comfortable enough to wear for a couple of hours while working out. I haven't tried to use them for any really long period of time (5+ hours), but I am not entirely sure I could stand wearing them all day.
You do have to be sure to get them in right; otherwise, they can slip out over time. Additionally, once they are in, you get to experience the noise isolation they offer.
Wow. They are absolutely fantastic at providing noise isolation. I have some of the original Bose QuietComfort headphones for years (which use active noise cancellation), but they have nothing on these. You can't have a normal conversation with these on. While at the gym, just about all of the background noise (music, other people) is eliminated while wearing these.
I am not sure I qualify as an 'audiophile' or not, but I do like to use speakers that don't add too much of their own colouration to the music that I am listening to. I have been fairly happy with these earphones in this regard; I feel like I can really hear a lot of the detail in the music I listen to.
One of the reasons I picked these up is because they are compatible with Android phones. So far, the button and headset functionality has worked out just fine. It's nice not to have to take my phone out to take a call.
As good as these earphones are, they are not perfect. Some complaints:
Yes, they are bad. The clip helps, but I am sure there are other earphones that do much better in this regard. I have learned to adjust the fit and otherwise put up with it.
Since these go deep into my ear, they get waxy. It's simple enough to clean the earpieces, but it's not the sort of thing I have needed to do with over-the-ear headphones or other in-ear devices.
It's long enough that haven't found any problems while using it at the gym. However, when using this at my desk, I have found that the cord length can be an issue. Of course, I can use an extension for this circumstance.
My final thoughts after a few months of use is that these is a very good headset. At some point, I will most likely get the custom earpieces made to go with it. I am hoping this will improve both the comfort and noise isolation.
on 3 June 2013
Echoing reviews around the 'net, these earphones have excellent sound reproduction and separation but they are truly weak on the bass. As such they are good for most classical music, and some classical tracks sound sublime. For example Janos Starker's Bach Cello Suites really do shine, as do Bach's Psalm 51. However put on anything which needs even a little bass to hit the mark, for example A Perfect Circle's Mer de Noms or Thirteenth Step, or really just about any rock or metal track, and things start to suffer. For example, take Pink Floyd's "High Hopes" which relies on a mixture of bass and mids to kick off the second part of the song with a bang. Unfortunately the Etymotic HF set just doesn't deliver. On the other hand, David Gilmour's exquisite guitar work in "Lost for Words" comes through brilliantly. Using EQ does improve things but not quite enough, and the need to use EQ is always a bad sign.
I've been using the foam tips, with excellent seal and reasonable comfort, with the best results. I do have fairly large ear canals. The other tips were even worse for bass.
So if you can really live with weak bass, or if separation and accurate reproduction is important to you, then the Etymotic HF could be for you. Otherwise they come across as a little clinical, a bit too perfect, and not that much fun.