21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Isolation that plays nicely with iOS devices,
This review is from: Etymotic Research ER23-HF3-BLACK HF3 In-Ear Headset with 3-Button Remote Control for iPod, iPhone, iPad (Black) (Electronics)
Alright, so these are my first pair of decent headphones. I was previously rocking a pair of Sony 7506's, but decided to invest in a pair of isolating headphones for use in a dorm.
==First impressions: Packaging was solid and there was no chance it was going to be harmed in the mail. It came with several different ear pieces; personally I liked the small flanges (pictured on Headroom), but there were large flanges and then two foamy ones (tear drop and cylindrical). The foamy ones seemed to be made out of a slightly better material then standard disposable earplugs. There's also replaceable filters (woo!) and a little shirt clip.
==Everything but the sound:
-The cord is pretty flexible and I really appreciate the 45° plug, but I being in ear, when the chord brushes up against something like a collar, the reverberations travel straight up to your ears. It's not horrible, but I would recommend using the included shirt clip if you're going to be bouncing around a lot.
-The remote is pretty ligament -- buttons are nice and responsive and do all the same things as the Apple remote. Gotta say though, Apple's buttons are easier to use. Etymotic's buttons are great (very "clicky", easy to use without looking, rarely accidental double press), but the design is certainly a step down.
-Ascetically wise, these things look sweet. They're not as flashy as some of the other ~$200 in ears, but frankly I prefer this subtle, classy, refined look. Feels like these will last a good long time.
-Comfort. Well, it took me an hour or so to get used to having something shoved so deep into my ear. After a month of heavy use, it seems as if they slip in and out super easy and I can wear them for hours on end without irritation. For the level of isolation, they seem fantastic. That being said, these aren't a padded pair of open back cans.
==Sound: Well, I'm not the best person to ask, but here's my best attempt.
-Volume off of an iPod sounded great. Slider is usually right around the middle for older tracks more dynamic tracks, while new pop songs are in the lower 1/3rd.
-Compared to the Sony MDR 7506s they have a WAY better low end response and everything seems "clearer" in general.
-Listening to "Providence" from King Crimson's Red, every instrument seems to have "it's place". Acoustic tracks from Sleepy Sun's Fever sounded extraordinary - minute reverberations of the strings, tiny reverbs, and the main part was gloriously delivered to me through these headphones.
-The microphone was equally exceptional. I only played around with it using "Voice Notes", but I was thoroughly impressed with it's clarity.
==Conclusion: If you're looking for isolation and a sleek pair of buds that interfaces with iDevices, Etymotic HF3 does a great job.