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Etymotic Research ER7-MC3-BLUE-I-A MC3 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headset and Earphones for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch - Blue

3.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
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  • Made for Apple iPod®, iPhone® and iPad(TM) control functionality
  • 3-button micro-control pod with close-proximity high sensitivity microphone for easy control
  • Special driver design allows more compact size for greater in-ear comfort. Tight, accurate bass with crystal clear high frequency detail at all listening levels. 85%+ response accuracy--most accurate sounding noise-isolating ear phones in this price class
  • High degree of noise isolation enables lower-volume listening, protects hearing. The free Awareness! by Etymotic app that was offered with iOS-compatible headsets has been discontinued; however, a Pro version with extended features of the original app is available for purchase in the app store.
  • 8mm neodymium moving coil drivers with ACCU-Chamber technology that acts as a 3-band equalizer to enhance response accuracy and refine mid-range and high frequency sound quality.
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Technical Details

  • ios-phone-control
  • volume-control

Product Description

Etymotic's mc-3 headset offers best-in-class sound accuracy, noise isolation, fit and comfort and durability. Based on the breakthrough Etymotic ACCU-Technology platform, the MC-Series is the world's most accurate-sounding noise-isolating earphone series in its price class. The patent-pending, highly advanced ACCU-Chamber Acoustic Control Chamber technology modifies standard dynamic earphone drivers to perform at an accuracy response level equal to products costing twice as much. In addition, the MC-Series earphones are designed to be more comfortable for extended wear, and their high degree of noise isolation enables lower-volume listening, to help protect hearing. The mc-3 provides a 3-button micro-control pod with a noise-isolating close-proximity microphone, for easy control and superb call clarity - making it ideal for voice communications, conducting voice recording and iTunes memos as well as listening to music, videos, and other entertainment. The MC-3 earphone and headset, which is forward-compatible with the latest Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch products includes Made for ipod, Made for iPhone and Made for iPad certifications.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 16.5 x 9.2 x 12.5 inches
Item Weight 3.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 3.2 ounces
ASIN B007TCXGVW
Item model number ER7-MC3-BLUE-I-A
Customer Reviews
3.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #4,728 in Electronics > Headphones > Earbud Headphones
#41,660 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Player Accessories
#44,089 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater
Date first available at Amazon.com April 1, 2011

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Package Type: Frustration-Free PackagingColor: Blue Verified Purchase
I have owned the more expensive Etymotic HF3 earbuds for some time, and just bought the MC3 for my wife. This gave me a chance to do some side by side listening tests, both using the same grey foam eartips. These two are nearly identical iPhone headsets, except that the $170 HF3 is supposed to be higher sound fidelity than the $80 MC3.

Listening to something that has a pristine acoustic mix, say Taylor Swift's "Breathe", you can hear some subtle differences. The MC3 sound is a little more flat, whereas in the HF3 you can hear each intrument in a separate position on the stereo soundstage a little better. There is a little more live presence to Taylor's vocals and the brush slap on the snare drum in the HF3.

That said, the difference is pretty subtle and you would only notice it on careful listening of certain kinds of material. I would subjectively rate the MC3 at 90% to 95% of the sound quality of the HF3. So if cost is an issue, don't feel like you are shorting yourself much with the MC3. However, if you have the extra $90, the HF3's are a worthy investment in some high quality earbuds.

Comparisons aside, I think the sound quality on the MC3 is great. Many reviewers seem to object to insufficient bass. It is true that the Etymotic style is for an accurate mix that does not pump up the bass for its own sake. But there is plenty of clean bass in these headphones if you get a proper seal in the ear. That seal and physical connection is how these small headphones transmit the bass. Break the seal and all the bass drops out. That is why, for me at least, only the large grey foam eartips make any sense to use. You roll them down between your fingers, insert in the ear, and let the foam expand to make a complete and comfortable seal.
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Package Type: Frustration-Free PackagingColor: Black Verified Purchase
I honestly don't know why I didn't bite the bullet and buy a pair of these a long time ago. I've tried the ultimate ears among others, and nothing compares to these etymotics except for more-expensive etymotic models. Even then, these deliver fantastic audio across the entire range with very clean, clear and accurate sound. They're also by far the most comfortable in-ear headphones I've ever tried, and the mike and controls are also top-quality. It's important to choose the right attachments for comfort and sound quality for your ears, but they come with so many options, that you really can't go wrong. Durability has also been quite impressive, and I haven't had to worry about cable snags or fraying like I used to with other sets.
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Package Type: Frustration-Free PackagingColor: Black Verified Purchase
Unlike a couple of the other reviewers, I wasn't impressed with the noise-isolating qualities of the Etymotic ER7-MC3. For comparison's sake, I don't think they block out surrounding noise nearly as well as the Klipsch S4i (whose sound I love and short lifespan I hate). On the street, on the subway, and in other places where I've used the Klipsch earbuds on a regular basis, the Etymotics let significantly more noise through.

The other major disappointment was the lack of bass. Yes, I had read the reviews -- here and on other sites -- that said these are not the best choice if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music. I don't think I do. Hip-hop, for instance, takes up no more than 10% of what I listen to. But you want to hear *some* bass, of course, and it's barely there in these earbuds.

To make sure I wasn't going crazy, I picked five songs that I've listened to countless times and representing different genres: Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, "So What" by Miles Davis, "Ten Years Gone" by Led Zeppelin, "How to Disappear Completely" by Radiohead, and "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. On all of them, the bass/low end was very faint. Especially on those particular Davis and Radiohead pieces, the bass should be prominent -- not loud, just prominent -- but I had to strain to hear it.

The earbuds come with four different tips, and the company includes a note in the package that says it's essential that the listener uses the right ones. I get that. But the issues described above occurred no matter which tips I used.

My last gripe, though not the end of the world, is the placement of the controls at chin level. I know it doesn't take too long to remember where each button is by feel, but it still feels weird to reach up that high.
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Package Type: Frustration-Free PackagingColor: Blue Verified Purchase
I wear these under my motorcycle helmet, and when flying. Actually had to send back first set as they developed an intermittant in one ear (at the "Y" split) after only once use. 2nd pair is going well. I tend to use the default buds (with three rings), as they're easier to get in and out -- but if you don't get them in just right, suddenly with no perceived shift in fit / insertion, the blocking properties can diminish significantly in one ear or the other. Perhaps I just have a strange ear... just get them inserted right, and you'll learn what angle and depth is best for your ear, and WOW I can't even hear my engine. This allows you to keep the audio level MUCH LOWER and for sure helps preserve hearing. Highly recommended.
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Package Type: Frustration-Free PackagingColor: Blue Verified Purchase
I wear these under my helmet when riding my bike. They fit perfectly and there's no interference with the helmet at all. They COMPLETELY block all noise, I mean they are crazy effective. Without music playing they are better than any actual ear plug I've tried, and with music playing I might as well be the last man on earth.

This can get tricky as you have to be very careful with outside noises you do need to pay attention to, like emergency vehicles.

I use them on the Bart commuter train too, and anyone in the Bay Area knows the godawful shriek it makes in the tunnels. With these headphones it's totally silent. I mean you simply cannot hear it.

I've owned many Etyomics over the years, mainly replacing them because I lost them or the very frail cables on the early models would rip from repeated taking off of my helmet and pulling on the cords. But these are much better built and I have no problems like that anymore.

They don't sound as good as my B&W C5's, so when I'm just out walking I prefer those for their fuller sound. But the Etyomotics are still very good (a little light in the bass), and for the amazing noise isolation it's a small trade off. Especially considering they cost less than half of the B&W's.
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