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Etymotic HF5

alaTest has collected and analyzed 1014 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the usability and bass quality. The comfort and value for money also get good feedback, but some have doubts about the soundstage and reliability. There are some mixed opinions about the build quality.

sound, value for money, comfort, bass quality, usability

reliability, soundstage

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Headphones the Etymotic HF5 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 85/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 1014 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 83 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 83 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (31)

Expert review by:

Etymotic Research hf2


Apple's signature white earbuds are nothing if not iconic. It's just too bad that they're all style and little substance.

Excellent noise isolation and sound quality. Sturdy construction

Earbuds require deep insertion into ear canals, which can take some getting used to. Pricey

Although the in-ear 'buds take a little getting used to, Etymotic's hf2 headset is perfect for frequent travelers or iPhone owners who often find themselves in noisy environments.

Expert review by:

Etymotic Research HF5 Portable (Cobalt)


If you've ever shopped around for a pair of headphones, you've probably noticed a trend: there is a seemingly endless array of choices in the ultracheap, sub-$50 range; plenty of options in the $80 to $110 range; and quite a few luxury selections that...

The Etymotic hf5 earphones offer great sound quality for the price, superior noise isolation capability, and a sleek, understated design available in a handful of colors. Package includes a handy travel pouch.

The Etymotic hf5 earphones may not be comfortable for all users, and they don't include a wide variety of sleeves. Not the best option for hip-hop lovers.

The Etymotic hf5 earphones are an excellent option for those who want the highest level of sound isolation without sacrificing sound quality, portability, or style.


Expert review by:

Etymotic hf2


Etymotic's hf2 is a redesign of the company's hyper-accurate ER4P in-ear headphones, adding iPhone compatibility via an inline mic and call button. At $179 USD, the hf2 aims squarely at iPhone owners who are audio purists and favor 256Kbps or higher...

Excellent sound; effectively blocks noise

Weak bass; intrusive eartips; suffers from "cable" thump

As you'd expect from a company that designs hearing aids, Etymotic put a lot of effort into call quality.


Expert review by:

Etymotic hf2


The hf2 works with the iPhone and sounds amazing.

Superb audio performance. Reasonable price, considering sound quality. Works with iPhone to place and answer calls.

The unattractive foam tips will fit some users better than the flanges. Not gym-friendly.

If you're looking for excellent audio performance from a cell-phone headset, look no further.

Staff Recommended

Expert review by:

The Etymotic Hf5


A Fusion of Design and Quality

The noise isolation capability is top notch making the sound quality some of the best period. It's fully portable and comes with its own pouch for storage and travel. The look is clean and sleek. The headphones come in three distinct colors

The fit of the bud itself may not be the most comfortable of fits

Great noise isolation, Nice Colors, Slightly uncomfortable ear piece.

Expert review by:

Etymotic Research hf5


The hf5s are a solid pair of headphones, but they're somewhat scooped by Etymotic Research's other offering, the mc5s.


Expert review by:

Etymotic HF5 In-Ear Earphones


Etymotic's HF5, are one of the most popular in-ear earphones in the audiophile world. The HF5 are exactly like the Etymotic HF2 model, except the HF5 do not have a headset feature. The Etymotic HF5 are one of the best sound-isolaters I have ever tried,...

With the help of outstanding sound-isolation, you will feel like you are one with your music. There is nothing that will distract you from enjoying every little instrument in your music with brilliant clear and crisp sound quality! The HF5 are truly an...

Expert review by:

Etymotic HF2


The HF2 by Etymotic are very popular in the audiophile community and so are other products by Etymotic. I am very impressed by the sound quality they produce, the highs are silky crisp and clear and that makes the HF2 the ideal earphones for classical...

In the box you get a nice handy carry pouch, ear tips and a filter changing tool with extra filters. The HF2 are available in a non headset version called the HF5 that is also costs less. The HF2 are available in 3 colors. Price is $179. Available for...

Expert review by:

Review: Etymotic hf5 earphones


If you are looking for a new set of earbuds, the $150 price point is generally a very good place to start. It is by no means cheap, and at this price they will probably cost about the same amount as your phone or portable media player, but this is the...

Expert review by:

Review: Etymotic hf5 High-Fidelity Earphones


We briefly reviewed hf5 in our 2009 Buyers' Guide, largely making reference to the text above and noting that this is a "great, comfortable earpiece to reveal secrets in songs," offering slightly more punch than the ER-4P, with tight, non-aggressive bass

We briefly reviewed hf5 in our 2009 Buyers' Guide, largely making reference to the text above and noting that this is a "great, comfortable earpiece to reveal secrets in songs," offering slightly more punch than the ER-4P, with tight, non-aggressive bass

Product Specifications

Etymotic's 5th generation of high-fidelity in-ear earphones delivers a near-perfect music experience, even in high surrounding-noise conditions. hf5 earphones use Etymotic's acclaimed tuned acoustic-insert technology for the clearest, truest sound you can find. Research confirms that users choose lower (safer) levels when earphones seal the ear canal. Etymotic in-ear earphones are the highest-rated product on the market for passive noise-isolation.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono

Audio Output

Connectivity Technology:Wired
Headphones Form Factor:In-ear ear-bud
Headphones Type:Binaural
Product Type:Headphones
Response Bandwidth:20 - 15000Hz/20 - 16000Hz
Sound Output Mode:Stereo

Audio System

Recommended Use:Cellular phone / Portable audio system/Portable audio system

Dimensions & Weight



Manufacturer:Etymotic Research
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Etymotic hf2 Headset + Earphones/Etymotic hf5 High-Fidelity Earphones

Service & Support

Type:2 years warranty