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  • Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Ruby) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Ruby) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

21 customer reviews
| 31 answered questions

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  • Super-high accuracy provides a near-perfect listening experience
  • 3-flanged earpiece provides up to 35dB of noise isolation
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 16kHz
  • Impedance: 16 Ohms (nominal)
  • 4-foot cable
  • 3-flanged earpiece provides up to 35dB of isolation
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 16kHz and Impedance: 16 Ohms (nominal)
  • To guarantee you are purchasing from an Authorized Dealer of Etymotic Research products, please select "ships from & sold by Amazon" product only
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Technical Details

  • Noise-Isolation

Product Description

Product Description

Etymotic's 5th generation of high-fidelity in-ear earphones has finally arrived. The HF5 delivers a near-perfect music experience, even in high surrounding noise conditions. Like Etymotic's earlier generations of in-ear earphones, the HF5 is built on superior noise isolation, so you experience total sound immersion when listening to your music. The HF5 is compatible with all iPod models and music players that accept a 3.5mm plug. This package includes the HF5 in-ear earphones, assorted eartips for your comfort, a filter changing tool with filters, and a protective carrying pouch.

From the Manufacturer

Etymotic Research HF5--High Clarity, Great Fit, and Maximum Noise Isolation

Made by Etymotic Research, the people who created in-ear earphones, the HF5 delivers Etymotic's world-renowned sound quality in a pair of comfortable, convenient earphones. The HF5 provides a near-perfect music experience.

The HF5 works with all MP3 players and iPod models, as well as the iPhone and any other device that operates with a 3.5 mm stereo plug. The HF5 can be worn with the cables in front or in back of the head, and the cable slider can be adjusted by moving it up or down for a snug fit.


The HF5 comes in black, Ruby, and Cobalt to match your style

Amazing response accuracy means unmatched crystal-clear sound

Designing the HF5: Etymotic Research Focuses on Noise Isolation and Response Accuracy

Keeping Things Quiet with 35+ dB Noise Isolation

The special 3-flanged earpieces that come with the HF5 provide 35 dB noise isolation or more (depending on the eartip used), making it one of the highest-rated products on the market for both active and passive noise-canceling headphones. With 35 dB of isolation, you won't need to turn the music up as loud to hear every nuance of your favorite artists, saving your hearing and preventing "ear fatigue". Once you obtain a proper seal in the ear, watch the world disappear, leaving you with your favorite music reproduced with remarkable clarity.

How Etymotic Research Measures Response Accuracy

The accuracy score is perhaps the single most important tool for earphone design. A perfect recording of a live performance played through earphones with 100% accuracy would produce the same sound at the eardrum as the live performance. A complicating factor is that the acoustic resonance and horn effects of the ear change a flat signal entering the open ear to an eardrum signal with the approximate frequency characteristic of the target curve. A perfect earphone will create that same frequency characteristic at the eardrum.

Hitting the "Target Curve"

Target curves on Etymotic Research graphs indicate 100% accuracy: The open ear diffuse-field response of the KEMAR® mannequin modified to compensate for the high frequency boost added to high-quality recordings. This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings. Commercial recordings have a high-frequency boost that compensates for the high frequency roll-off in studio monitor loudspeakers and high-quality stereo loudspeakers and earphones.

Earphone response is measured on a KEMAR® manikin that has the same acoustic properties as the average head and ear. 25-band accuracy scores are calculated by summing the difference between the earphone response and the target response in each 1.3 -octave band from 50 Hz to 12.5 kHz.

In the 1970s, Consumers Union used an "Accuracy Score" to rate loudspeakers. Consumer Reports reported that it was possible to predict listeners' loudspeaker ratings within 8% from a calculation based on one-third-octave frequency response measurements converted to loudness in sones. The average error in loudness from a perfect system, subtracted from 100%, gives the accuracy score. Etymotic Research extended this 21-band calculation to a 25-band calculation and routinely uses the 25-band accuracy score in all earphone designs.

Other in-the-ear earphone manufacturers do not report accuracy scores, but Etymotic Research has tested all competitive products. The accuracy scores of Etymotic Research earphones are higher than those of most loudspeakers, and well above all competitive earphones, except electrostatic headphones that cost thousands of dollars.

What Critics Are Saying

"They're cool looking (with the right tips, they look like sci-fi laser pistols), have little to no cable movement noise and reproduce sound in a way that is both perfectly clear and highly enjoyable. Everything about these gives the impression of quality, from the brushed aluminum finish to the way that music suddenly sounds distinctly layered in a way that it didn't before, and that it doesn't on many similarly priced units. [...] The tighter seal that these offer to most people is conducive to better listening, and the isolation properties are superb. You can't hear anything else with these guys in. Every manufacturer should have something like this." --John Herman, Gizmodo.com


Technical Specifications

  • Frequency response: 20 Hz -16 kHz
  • Noise isolation: 35- 42 dB (depending on eartip used)
  • Acoustic polarity: + electrical = + acoustic
  • Transducer type: Balanced armature
  • Sensitivity (1 kHz): 105 dB SPL for a 0.1 VRMS input
  • Impedance: 16 Ohms (nominal)
  • Maximum output: 120 dB SPL
  • Cable: 4 ft
  • Weight: less than 1 oz


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 6 inches ; 3.2 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000XPE3LO
  • Item model number: HF5-Red
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 14, 2004
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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Taikero on December 17, 2008
Package Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
Packaging: Simple packaging that wasn't difficult to get into. No tools/scissors required. No excessive plastic or cardboard.

Included Items: HF5 IEM, Small Etymotic pouch, Standard Etymotic tri-flange tips, Baby blue tri-flange tips, Large dark grey foamies (not the mushroom type), Filter changing tool, Spare filters

Cord: Seems sturdy enough. Has a slider above the "Y" junction. Shirt clip already on the cord. Cord doesn't seem too thin or too thick. Plug is straight instead of having a bent or "J" shape.

Initial Impression: Good lord, I have to insert these deep to get a seal with the stock tips!

Sound: Very clean. Bass is tight, fast, a little anemic for my taste, but definitely there and not completely disappointing. (Note to those who want warmer sound from these: With a small 4-5 dB boost in the 40-60 Hz range and a 2-3 dB boost in the 250-450 Hz range, the bass/low mid range is just about right) Mids are neutral. They don't sound either forward or recessed. Highs are fresh, airy, energetic, and crisp but without being piercing or shrill. These have the least sibilance I've heard from an IEM. I can only hear sibilance with "ch" sounds, not "s" or "sh". Even then it is barely detectable.

Recommended Genres: Pretty much anything but hip hop. These sound great with vocals, piano (wow), guitar, and anything which doesn't require massive bass response. I suppose you could even do a few hip hop songs, but they have to have the bass pretty much built in to the song (such as Flo Rida's "Low"). Anything with bass that focuses on a warm, constant mid-bass + low, low (30 Hz or less) bass in the background (Hurricane Chris's "Hand Clap") with few bass spikes will not sound good with these.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By I. Nikhamin on November 22, 2009
Package Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
After losing my noise canceling Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 headphones on a trip, I was miserable. I was forced to turn my music up to turn the outside world down. After 3 months, I just couldn't take it. Did a few days worth of research and decided on the HF5s finally.

WOW!!!

These earphones are exactly what I've always wanted, just never knew existed--excellent music inside my earplugs. I'm bad at handling noise that is out of place (neighbors stomping upstairs, blasting TV downstairs, extremely loud individuals on the subway (+ the subway noise itself), car alarms...). These guys completely block all of it out. I can sit and study in the middle of a cafeteria and not hear a soul. I'm no longer that grumpy old guy (24 is the new 75) that asks everyone to "pipe down you noisy kids." The noise isolation is so good that my wife constantly surprises me even if she's trying to get my attention--I just don't hear her calling me--as she comes up to me.

As far as the sound quality goes, these are far superior to the AT (just like in the noise dept). There's no hiss of the noise cancellation and the music is just much more clear. So many little sounds are heard hat I just didn't know were part of the music or the show. I'm periodically turning around when I think someone's behind me--nope it's just the 3D sound that these things give off.

PROS:
*Sound Isolation. 10/10. I use extreme ear plugs and these are better (plus there's music inside).
*Small Package. 10/10. Completely fit inside pinna (outer ear), so there's nothing protruding. Can sleep in these comfortably if so inclined.
*Sound Quality. 9/10. I'm not at all an audiophile. I just hear much more detail in a lot of the music I have and the shows I watch.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Wesley S. Rast on January 7, 2009
Package Type: Standard Packaging
After reading several glowing reviews of these headphones, I ordered a pair here on amazon just a couple of weeks ago. Upon receiving them, I opened up the package, jammed them into my iphone and ears, and cranked up some of my favorite tunes.

The first thing I was struck by was the understated bass. Bass guitar seemed to have vanished from every track I listened to. I was dismayed to find that bass solos sounded like they were coming through the wall from another room. This problem was identical with anything in the sub 500Hz range.

On the flip side, the mid- and high-range was absolutely stellar. Vocals were detailed in ways I had not experienced before with my Etymotic 6i's, Shure's, or my new pair of Apple's next-gen in-ear 'phones.

I figured that I'd get them to work, where I do most of my listening via Winamp on my PC. A little judicious work in the equalizer to make up the difference, and I'd be happy as a peach.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. Adjusting the equalizer on any device I tried resulted in crackling bass as the signal overwhelmed the inadequate drivers in the HF5's. Adjusting bass down on my PC and my Harmon-Kardon home receiver eliminated the problem. Adjusting back up slowly would let the crackling creep back in. This happened regardless of the source music, so long as there was bass content to be had. I wasn't using anything so powerful as drum & bass music, either. Metallica's Death Magnetic tracks all exhibited the problem, and they're known for being bass-averse. Nine Inch Nails, Mudvayne, Seether, Breaking Benjamin and even trance tracks exhibited the issue.

I am in the process of returning these. Anyone who enjoys music with accurate bass should stay far, far away from these earphones. I would only recommend these for someone who stuck to classical or jazz tracks, or wanted to listen to audiobooks.
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