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Etymotic Research hf5 Headphones Review

The hf5s are a solid pair of headphones, but they're somewhat scooped by Etymotic Research's other offering, the mc5s.

$102.89 at Amazon

Tour & Design

{{article.attachments['tour.jpg']}} Tour & Design  


• They're a set of in-ears.

• No in-line features or accessories.

• Decent cord guards.

{{article.attachments['left.jpg']}} Introduction Page 2 of 12 Sound Quality {{article.attachments['right.jpg']}}


The Etymotic Research hf5 headphones are a set of in-ears designed for portability. In typical Etymotic style, they have incredibly small ear buds with a splash of color. Our review unit was cobalt.



If the default sleeves pictured above just aren't doing it for you, don't fret: the hf5s come with three additional sleeves. From top to bottom, the hf5s' sleeve understudies are: foam, a larger triple-flange, and soft plastic.


The headphones end in the standard 1.8-inch audio plug, which has an adequate cord guard protecting its innards.



Below, youll find these cobalt beauties on our head and torso simulator, HATS. We put our headphones on HATS so you can get a sense for what they look like when worn. Pretend you're gazing through an internet portal and into another dimension, where you're an eyeless robot and you've already bought the hf5s—it makes the following pictures a lot more interesting.




In The Box

The Etymotic Research hf5 headphones come with a few extras. You'll get four sets of sleeves (two triple-flange, one foam, and one soft plastic), two nozzle filters and their insertion/extraction tool, and small pouch to hold everything together.



**Durability**     (*7.00**)*

The Etymotic Research hf5 headphones seem well made, but they're still a set of in-ears. In-ears often see much more wear and tear than on-ears or over-ears, since they're built for portability. People can't crumple a set of over-ears into a ball to shove in their pocket.


**Aesthetics**     (*6.00**)*

There's not a whole lot you can do with a set of in-ears to make them flashy. Sure, you can make them look like earrings or bedazzle them to your heart's content, but there's not a whole lot you can do with such a small surface area without coming off as gaudy. It's hard to rave about a simple design or a splash of color, which the hf5s have.


Comparable Products

Before you buy the Etymotic Research hf5, take a look at these other headphones.


  1. Tour & Design
  2. Sound Quality
  3. Isolation
  4. Comfort
  5. Usability
  6. Sony Triqii Comparison
  7. Sennheiser CX 980 Comparison
  8. Shure SE115 Comparison
  9. Etymotic Research mc5 Comparison
  10. Conclusion

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