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  • Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black)
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Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black)

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List Price: $149.00
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  • Super-high accuracy provides a near-perfect listening experience
  • 3-flanged earpiece provides up to 35dB of isolation
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 16kHz
  • Impedance: 16 Ohms (nominal)
  • 4-foot cable
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 16kHz and Impedance
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Frequently Bought Together

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black) + Etymotic Research ER38-14F Foam Replacement Eartips - 10 Pack - Black + Etymotic Research ER38-18 3-Flange Replacement Eartips - 10 Pack - Gray
Price for all three: $147.02

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Color: Black
  • Amazon Free 30-Day Tech Support: This item is eligible for free tech support for 30 days from the date of delivery. Over the phone, our trained technicians can help you set up, configure, connect, and troubleshoot so you can start enjoying your new purchase. Owners of qualifying products can reach Tech Support by calling 1-800-362-5703. Learn more


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This item: Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones (Black)
Customer Rating (393) (84) (1218) (395)
Price $ 109.40 $ 299.00 $ 98.00 $ 55.51
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Sold By Amazon.com Etymotic Research Rock-Rock Amazon.com
Color Black Black Black Black
Special Features Noise-Cancelling-Feature Noise-Cancelling-Feature Noise-Cancelling-Feature Noise-Cancelling-Feature
Fit In-Ear In-Ear In-Ear In-Ear
Dimensions 6 inches x 1.5 inches x 7.25 inches 5.63 inches x 6.63 inches x 2.06 inches 2 inches x 3 inches x 7 inches 6.5 inches x 3.75 inches x 2 inches
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Technical Details

Color: Black
  • Noise-Cancelling-Feature

Product Details

Color: Black
Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 6 inches ; 4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000XPG2QI
  • Item model number: HF5-Black
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (393 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 22, 2007
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Product Description

Color: Black

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

Customer Reviews

Great sound quality and excellent fit with very good sound isolation.
Amazon Customer
Also really like the tips that insert into the ear because they provide a great fit.
nenan57
I loved the detail in the high and mid range as well as the tight bass.
Ed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Eric Monse on October 16, 2008
Color Name: Black Verified Purchase
I've been using the Etymotic ER-4 for years and recently just bought the HF5. When I first got the ER-4's years ago, my friends first thought I was crazy for paying $275. But I listen to all my music while commuting on the train. If you loved music as much as I do, would you spend that much on a pair of speakers for your home stereo, or skimp and spend $50?

The ER-4 delivered like no other earphones, with not only the sound quality, but the noise reduction. As someone once said "It's the closest thing there is to injecting the music right into your brain." I completely agree. It took some getting used to 'listening' to the bass as opposed to feeling it, but now these are irreplaceable.

I have bought several pair of the ER-4's due to damage, losing them, etc. And it was time to replace my current pair. I decided to get Etymotics newest model, the HF5. I didn't expect a huge improvement over the ER-4's, but I was wrong.

At first I felt like the earphones didn't fit as well as the ER-4's. But then I realized that these actually go DEEPER into your ears than the ER-4's. And once I got them in there... WOW! The sound was actually so much bigger and brighter than the ER-4's. The ER-4's were great, but the HF5's is like watching High Definition Television compared to regular TV. The highs are brighter and the bass is bigger.

The only thing I wasn't happy with, at first, is the cord. They seem to have switched back to the more grabby rubbery style cord as opposed to the smoother plastic. While the rubbery feels nicer, I was worried it would grab onto my clothes too much. That hasn't been a problem so far.

They could have also included a few extra filters.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A. Simmons on August 27, 2008
Color Name: Cobalt Blue
I can unequivocally recommend these earphones. I have used a broad variety of earphones, including the Shure se530's Ultimate Ears triple-fi 10's and several Sennheisers. For this price, I've never heard sound so balanced, and with such clarity, coming out of an iPod. I feel like I'm in a sealed sound chamber when I listen with these, even when I'm on the bus. It's almost too isolating - sometimes I really lose touch with what's going on around me. I am a musician, and when I've done studio recordings, we listen for nuances in the instrumentation and music that you typically do not hear when playing back an MP3 file or CD. With the Etymotic hf5's, I'm getting the kind of clarity I get in the studio. And for just $150! There's no over-exaggerated bass, and I can hear every instrument and every voice. There's nothing like listening to an a capella group like Take 6 with the hf5. Or to an unplugged session where all kinds of things can happen in the tracks - if you can hear them. Oh, and the blue and red ones are cool-looking. Pretty much everyone replaces the earphones that come with your MP3 player, and you can spend a lot more on earphones than this, but I recommend $150 spent on these earphones as the biggest bang for your buck.
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113 of 130 people found the following review helpful By TAFB on August 16, 2008
Color Name: Black
I have a number of different earphones/headphones, including Etymotic ER-4P, Jays Q-Jays, Ultimate Ears 5 Pro and 4vi. The ER-4Ps sound the best to me (but lack in the design category -- they stick out too far when inserted in your ear and the cable feels somewhat flimsy). The ER-4Ps have a level of clarity and detail (and treble) that the others do not match.

I bought these headphones thinking that I would now have the best of both worlds: the sound of the ER-4Ps with a better design. I was wrong. The design of the Hf5 headphone itself is better than the ER-4P, but the sound of the Hf5 does not match the ER-4P. To my ears, the ER-4P and Hf5 are very similar at the low end (neither is particularly strong in bass). However, at the mid-range and especially the high end, the ER-4Ps have more detail and clarity between different instruments and vocals. The Hf5 tends to sound more muddy IN COMPARISON to the ER-4Ps and the high end of the Hf5 has more roll off than the ER-4Ps (i.e., the highs on the Hf5 won't go as high as they do on the ER-4P). Vocals and mid-range on the ER-4P sound so much better than the Hf5 that I wonder whether I had a bad set of Hf5s.

Looking at Amazon's prices, the ER-4Ps are only $20 more than the Hf5. If you are spending that much money on headphones, the ER-4Ps are a better deal.

This is not to say that the Hf5s are a bad set of headphones. To the contrary, I found them to compare very favorably to the Q-Jays. The Q-Jays had better low end (bass) than the Hf5, but the Hf5 was better than the Q-Jays on the high end and the Hf5 seemed to have a better soundstage (more clarity and detail). The Q-Jays are smaller and fit better than the Hf5; HF5 are slightly better than the Q-Jays at blocking external noises.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Smilin' Kev on April 11, 2012
Color Name: Cobalt Blue Verified Purchase
I purchased the HF5s after enjoying a pair of Etymotic MC3s from Amazon for the last several weeks. I gave the MC3s a very positive review and I will continue to use and enjoy them, but the HF5s are a SIGNIFICANT improvement. Especially at the reduced price offered by Amazon, the cobalt blue model is a fantastic bargain!

I'm mystified by the reviewers who find that the HF5s "don't have any bass." I can only assume that these folks have an unusual ear canal structure that prevents them from inserting the HF5s to an appropriate depth. When I use either the triple flange or memory foam tips, the HF5s deliver very tangible and musical bass that complements a beautifully balanced and musical presentation of the entire audible spectrum. This is true not only with vocal and acoustic music, but also with pop, rock, dance and electronica. For example, it did a great job of delivering all of the "thump" and "crunch" that punctuates the great set of performances on Pitbull's most recent CD, "Planet Pit." It also does an excellent job of doing justice to all the emphasis on the lower registers that you'll find in performances by Chemical Brothers, David Guetta, Skrillex and other folks who make music that demands a headphone with fast, solid bass response.

The HF5s are also exceptional at revealing details and nuances in the music they deliver, but there is nothing "cold" or "analytical" about them. One of my favorite CDs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is "Mojo" - and listening to it last night through the HF5s allowed me to appreciate masterful subtleties that I've never heard before, especially Mike Campbell's command of his 1959 Les Paul Sunburst and Benmont Tench's ability to wring fantastic shades of emotion from his Hammond C-3 Organ.
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