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Etymotic HF5 Earphones/Headset (Blue)


Price: CDN$ 152.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
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25 new from CDN$ 138.47 1 used from CDN$ 187.01
Cobalt Blue
  • 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

System Requirements

Color Name: Cobalt Blue
  • Platform: Not Machine Specific
  • Media: Electronics
  • Item Quantity: 1

Product Details

Color Name: Cobalt Blue
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 5.1 x 17.1 cm ; 113 g
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Item model number: HF5-Cobalt
  • ASIN: B000XP8DJC
  • Date first available at Amazon.ca: July 26 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,198 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Product Description

Color Name: Cobalt Blue

Amazon.ca 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 3.5 mm plug. Included in the package: In-ear earphones; assorted eartips for your comfort; filter changing tool with filters; 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 Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By vlukic on May 16 2011
Color Name: Black
Having had the chance to really test out the headphones over the last couple of months or so, I've got nothing but high praise for them - with one caveat: the tips that come with the headphones are terrible. The large/small flanges, the foam tips, the weird mushroom-looking ones - they are either extremely uncomfortable for extended listening, or provide poor isolation and fit, and really don't do the sound quality any favours. Now, like with most canalphones, the proper positioning is key, but if you'd rather spend your time listening to your headphones and not growing callouses in your ear canals getting used to the bad tips Etymotic provides, shell out for a pack of Klipsch Gels which fit the HF5 perfectly (you get four pairs, and since they are silicone and washable, the four-pack will last you a very long time). They will provide solid isolation with infinitely more comfort, and really let the headphones shine.

As for the sound - it's solid, well rounded, with very clear detail and resolution. The bass is there, detailed and clear (especially with a solid seal), and highs are nice and crisp, and best of all, the sound is not fatiguing. There is some microphonics going on with the cables, but a shirt clip provided alleviates that significantly.

Etymotic also provides a nice little carrying case with the headphones, as well as a pair of replacement filters.

All in all, I'm very happy with the purchase, and in this price range the HF5 is definitely a solid buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Birenbaum on March 4 2014
Color Name: Cobalt Blue Verified Purchase
Pros:
-FANTASTIC noise isolation with the triple flange, had Shures before and these are WAY better
-excellent clear response. Combined with the noise isolation I'm hearing all sorts of little detail I never heard before
-Very light

Cons:
-Not bass heavy. I've gotten so used to earbuds/headphones with bass boost it sometimes sounds wrong. This isn't really a con, but you should know.
-For the first week I'd thought I'd wasted my money, I actually bruised my ear canal putting them in. I thought my ear canal was too small. Later realized I had large each canals, and I needed the large tip so that it would properly seal (I guess before I was ramming the small tip too far in my ear.

Tips for wearing:
-You MUST get it in your each canal. Once you get used to it, it's easy, but it takes a while to find them consistently.
-Try the different tips.
-I usually put a tiny bit of moisture on the first flange (it's gross but I touch it to my inner lip). Not too much, or it'll just out (and feel really disgusting and itch).
-Put it in 90-180 degrees from the angle you want and "twist" it in to place as you're inserting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By batman on Nov. 19 2014
Color Name: Black Verified Purchase
Good IEM's, I paid about $70-80 at the time wouldn't pay the regular price going on.

Bought them because they were highly sought at. The tips aren't that great, probably going to buy some different ones but they're ok when you fiddle with them enough.

The sound is very detailed in the high and mids. I'm not a bass heavy person and I think these lack a little bass response from what the true mix should sound like. A little EQ should fix it, but the flat natural sound of these is more in the highs. Could be the tips though too not sealing as well as I think they should. Even when I do get it right, the bass should definitely be more present.
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Color Name: Black
I am returning these for a few reasons:

1) The tips they come with are incredibly uncomfortable. I read reviews stating as much but did not think it would be so pronounced and chalked it up to people not knowing how to properly insert them. I was wrong. They do not sit well at all. I ended up using my concert plugs from EarPeace which were far more comfortable.

2) The bass is really lacking. I initially thought this was due to the poor fit of the tips but again after switching to my concert plugs which sit right in the canal and create a nice seal I still felt the bass to be entirely inadequate. After boosting through EQ they were significantly better and they definitely have the range to support it but I don't feel as if I should resort to this given the price I paid.

That being said, the clarity was exceptional and were it not for all the other factors I would have kept these. When listening to acoustic songs the earphones really shined.
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Color Name: Black Verified Purchase
These are simply awesome. They have one of the best sound reproductions I've ever experienced. If it's all bass you're looking for then this is not the sort of product you are looking for. This is for the subtle details and the nuances in music that you won't even know were there until you play your songs through these.

Excellent isolation as well. Sat through a fire alarm in my building without even realizing it until I saw my roommate running around. A bit too good!

If you don't like the sound out of the box then they respond very well to eq as well. You can always boost up the bass and it'll work with it. Definitely a safe buy.
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Color Name: Cobalt Blue Verified Purchase
Superb sound quality, clarity, definition, once you've found the right earplug caps to seal your ear canal. No need for equalizer fine-tuning, just enjoy the sound as it was meant to be heard. Classical pieces, progressive rock and jazz sound amazing when encoded in a lossless format. In fact, these earphones are approaching the quality of my trusty Sennheiser HD 430's. If you're into bass-heavy hip hop, then you will hate these earphones. But if you're something of an audiophile, these are the best I've heard in that price range.
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Color Name: Cobalt Blue