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Etymotic Research hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt)

B&H # ETHF5C Mfr # ER5-HF5-COBALT
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
Sugg Retail Price: $129.00
Product Highlights
  • Noise-Isolating
  • Balanced Armature Drivers
  • Multiple Eartip Sizes
  • Replaceable Filters
  • Standard 3.5mm Plug
  • Storage Pouch Included

The hf5 in-ear stereo headphones from Etymotic Research provide reference-quality audio in a compact and noise isolating design. Balanced armature drivers and Etymotic's tuned acoustic-insert technology provide clear, crisp audio with plenty of detail to bring out all of the nuance in your music.

The headphones come with an assortment of eartips so you can find the best fit for comfort and noise isolation. A proper fit creates a seal in the ear to block out external sound, allowing you to focus on your music. It also allows you to listen at lower volume levels. Replaceable filters keep earwax and debris out of the headphones. The cable provides plenty of slack and has a Y-slider to adjust tension under the chin. The standard 3.5mm plug provides compatibility with MP3 players, CD players, and more. A handy carrying pouch is included for storage.

Balanced armature drives and tuned acoustic-insert technology provide clear, lifelike sound
In-ear design and assorted eartips provide a comfortable, stable fit with a high degree of noise isolation
Replaceable filters keep earwax and debris from getting into the speaker elements
Cable Y-slider adjusts tension under the chin
Standard 3.5mm plug for wide compatibility
Carrying pouch included
Type In-Ear
Frequency Range 20Hz - 15kHz
Impedance 16 Ohms
Sensitivity 105dB
Maximum Input Power Not Specified by Manufacturer
Connectors Standard 3.5mm Stereo Mini Plug
Cable Length 4' (1.2 m)
Weight 0.5 oz (14g)
Etymotic Research hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt)
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Assorted Eartips
  • 2 x Replacement Filters
  • Filter Tool
  • 2-Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Etymotic Researchhf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt)
     
    4.5

    (based on 42 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (28)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    89%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Comfortable (25)
    • Compact (23)
    • Great sound (15)
    • Great sound quality (14)
    • Lightweight (13)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Travel (14)
      • Music (12)
      • Portable devices (12)
      • Mobile device (8)
      • With my computer (6)
        • Primary use:
        • Personal (24), Business (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Quality oriented (17), Traveler (9), Audiophile (5), Gear head (4)
        • Primary Use:
        • Listening to ipod (5)
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac (8), PC (5)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (16)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Great sound, great noise canceling

      Up until now I have used a pair of the full cover popular brand of noise canceling earphones. Although they work great, they are a little bulky for travel so I thought I would...Read complete review

      Up until now I have used a pair of the full cover popular brand of noise canceling earphones. Although they work great, they are a little bulky for travel so I thought I would try something smaller. These earphones sound as good but what really surprised me was how well they canceled noise. I thought I would be giving that up with the smaller earphones. Granted they don't block out as much noise as the larger phones, but they do a very adequate job for travel situations and the trade off in size seals the deal. I didn't know how I would feel about them being stuck in my ears, but I have found them to be very comfortable and easily wear them hours at a time. I'm very happy with this purchase.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      They sound great...

      ...if you sit still and don't move a muscle. The microphony created by your own footfalls, the wire bouncing against your body or wind blowing on the wires or your ears is...Read complete review

      ...if you sit still and don't move a muscle. The microphony created by your own footfalls, the wire bouncing against your body or wind blowing on the wires or your ears is quite annoying and accounts for most of the bass frequencies you will hear. If you intend to wear these only while sitting on a plane or in a chair at home, by all means get these - they sound great with excellent imaging. If you actually move while listening to music, you have been warned.

      Reviewed by 42 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      5.0

      Great headphones

      By Sreinberg

      from Woodbury, CT

      Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

      Only Etymotic seal out all noise, making them perfect for the gym with its bad music. The sound quality is clean and crisp. Highs, midrange and bass all sound perfect.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Quality Headphones

      By musiclovin

      from CA

      About Me Quality Oriented

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

            I bought these for my dad for Father's Day based on online reviews and recommendations from friends. My dad loved them and already knew about the headphones reputation when he opened his gift. So far he's loving them!

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Yes these are best bang for the buck

            By Chickenless head

            from Brooklyn, ny

            Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

            Read my review of this model with the microphone option.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Great sound and outside noise cancelling

            By Frequent Flyer

            from New York City

            About Me Quality Oriented

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Compact Design
            • Easy To Use
            • Great Sound Quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Computer
              • Mobile Device
              • Music and Movies
              • Office Computer

              Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

              I used these on a recent trip from NYC to Buenos Aires to just cancel out airplane sound and they worked great! The fit is snug and read the instructions for insertion as the bass sounds only come thru when the fit is right! These unlike many, also stay in my ears and don't fall out.

              • Primary use:
              • Personal
              • Computer Platform:
              • PC

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Etymotic comes through again

              By Tom

              from San Diego,CA.

              About Me Audiophile

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Durable
              • Good Bass
              • Good Value
              • Great Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Music
                • Portable Devices
                • Working Out

                Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                I have used Etymotic for about 10 years now and for me, they have more than fulfilled the promises. The included earpieces are the best extra for my use. There are four different choices included with the hf5 buds and I found 2 that fit great. Last ...but best, are the way they perform. I never get distortion from these headphones...and I am usually cranked up to the max for my mp-3 player. They are durable and have served me well. They are particularly suited for me when I run as they stay put in my ear Big plus.I have also had a pair of er 6 isolators and they worked well for years.

                • Primary Use:
                • Working out
                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Exceptional Sound at Price Point

                By WLewis

                from Santa Monica, CA

                About Me Gear Head

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • Great Sound
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Music
                  • Portable Devices
                  • Traveling
                  • With My Computer

                  Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                  I haven't found a better option than the HF5's at this price point. Yes, Etymotic and a few other brands offer units with better quality but I feel that the HF5's offer the best sound quality/$ spent ratio by a fair margin.

                  • Primary Use:
                  • Listening to iPod
                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  1.0

                  Very Poor Bass Response!!

                  By none

                  from Santa Rosa, CA

                  About Me Frequent Traveler

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                        Do not purchase this product if you expect reasonable bass response. The manufacturer advises proper fitting -- i.e., deeper insertion of earphones but the bass is still woefully inadequate.

                        Treble, mid tones and distortion are reasonable but the lack of bass is a deal breaker. You will instantly recognize this if you have any auditory discretion at all.

                        I really looked forward to these earphones because I LOVE my Etymotic earplugs that I use to reduce volume when I play the drums for rehearsals and gigs and I like the way the plugs for both of their products fit.

                        • Primary Use:
                        • Traveling
                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Decent audio quality, but the fit is tri

                        By JB Smoove

                        from New York, NY

                        About Me Quality Oriented

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Nice Case

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                            They sounded decent, but I cant help but think they'd be much better if they fit properly. You can go the custom earpiece route, but that's a pricey solution.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • Mac

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Nice balanced sound

                            By Mike

                            from Chandler, AZ

                            About Me Quality Oriented

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Comfortable
                            • Compact Design
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Great Sound Quality

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Mobile Device
                              • Music and Movies

                              Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                              I wear these every day to the gym with an iPod shuffle. The sound quality is much better than cheap "sports" headphones. The isolating quality means that I don't have to crank them up loud to drown out distractions.
                              The triple flange tips fit my ear very well and they offer multiple sizes.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Pure, unadulterated listening experience

                              By Mike E

                              from Houston, Texas

                              About Me Audiophile, Nearly Retired

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate
                              • Good Value
                              • Isolation
                              • Sound Stage

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Airlines
                                • Office
                                • Public transportation

                                Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                I have owned the ER-4P's for 6 years. Used them daily while taking the bus. Since I now drive I only use them for air travel which makes today's commercial airline experience bearable. The isolation and sound quality of the ER-4P's was excellent so when I needed something for the office I researched to see what was available. Finally decided to stay with Etymotic since there were many reviews claiming the hf5 was close to the ER-4P.

                                I use the triple flanges. It took a few days at a few hours per setting to get used to the flanges. Of course the break in period took longer than I remember but it was all worth it. I prefer to have music reproduced as it was recorded. No booming bass and no extended highs. The hf5's deliver what I refer to as a level response throughout the frequency range.

                                My coworkers know if I have them on they must wave to get my attention beacuse the isolation is so good talking can't be heard. I can't hear the telephone which is two feet behind me with these on even when listening at low volume. Cord induced noise can be noticed when moving about but I remain reasonably stationary when working at the computer so this is not a problem. For me, the biggest credit these earphones have is the soundstage. I can distinguish individual instruments and vocals. If the mixing engineers put the tracks together well the hf5's will let them be heard. For the price I feel the hf5's provide an excellent value and a pure, unadulterated listening experience.

                                • Primary Use:
                                • Listening to iPod
                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Great

                                By Dr Smith

                                from CT

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                      detailed, add bass in EQ w/precut for amazing bass

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      love them!

                                      By jg2150

                                      from los angeles, ca

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Comfortable
                                      • Easy To Use
                                      • Great Sound Quality

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                                          they actually fit in my ears which is great and they stay put without feeling them at all.

                                          • Primary use:
                                          • Personal

                                          Share this review

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Great for their price point

                                          By Scophotog

                                          from Dover, NJ

                                          About Me Quality Oriented

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Compact Design
                                          • Great Sound Quality

                                          Cons

                                          • Flimsy Cord

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Mobile Device

                                          Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                                          I use these everyday with my iPod Nano during my daily commute. Using the triple flanges, these things drown out the rest of the train as I listen to relatively low volumes. I think the only down to these is their cord seems a little on the flimsy side I worry it may fray or get caught on something. Though to counter this, the wires, nano, and all of it actually fit perfectly well into the pouch that is included.

                                          • Primary use:
                                          • Personal

                                          Share this review

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Couldn't think that was possible!

                                          By Posdiver

                                          from Sherbrooke,qc

                                          About Me Frequent Traveler

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Comfortable
                                          • Compact
                                          • Great Sound
                                          • Stylish

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                            • Relaxing
                                            • Traveling

                                            Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                            I've bought that pair of headphones because I travel a lot by plane and I always had to crank up the volume to hear part of the music. They are astounding! I now not only hear all the details of the music, but I don't even hear the plane and the flight attendants... oups! I don't even hear the lawnmower now!

                                            • Primary Use:
                                            • Traveling
                                            • Was this a gift?:
                                            • No

                                            Share this review

                                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                             
                                            5.0

                                            Audio Achievement

                                            By Retired and Loving It

                                            from Twin Cities, MN and London, UK

                                            About Me Frequent Traveler, Retired

                                            Verified Buyer

                                            Pros

                                            • Compact
                                            • Great Sound
                                            • Lightweight

                                            Cons

                                              Best Uses

                                              • Home Audio
                                              • Music
                                              • Portable Devices
                                              • Traveling
                                              • With My Computer
                                              • Working Out

                                              Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                              I've purchased both Etymotic mc-series and hf-series earphones at B&H. Their sound quality is astonishingly good, with a level of detail better than any of my circumaural (and often more expensive) headphones. In fact, the only comparable sound I can think of is that of my long-departed Koss ESP9 electrostatic headphones. As you might have already guessed, I listen almost exclusively to so-called 'classical' music.The two series are very similar in sound; the mc-series seem a little cleaner in louder/denser passages, but the hf-series seem to reach a little deeper into the bass frequencies. However, these differences are of a more subtle nature, at least to my ears.I will reiterate what others have said: a good ear seal is critical to both the sound quality and isolation; obtaining it requires some experimentation. For me, the 'glider' versions have proven most effective. In fact, the sound isolation with them is so complete that it takes some getting used to, especially on airplanes! Their only negative is that they make my ears itch over a period of hours.

                                              • Was this a gift?:
                                              • No

                                              Share this review

                                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                               
                                              5.0

                                              Great Sound Quality and Isolation

                                              By Tz

                                              from New York, NY

                                              About Me Quality Oriented

                                              Pros

                                              • Comfortable
                                              • Compact Design
                                              • Great Sound Quality
                                              • Sound isolation

                                              Cons

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Commuting
                                                • Flying
                                                • Music and Movies

                                                Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                                                I first bought a pair of Sony MDR-NC200D active noise canceling headphones and after using them 1 day for my commute I decided to return them.

                                                Then I bought a pair of hf5's and realized truly how big a waste of money active noise canceling is. These noise isolating headphones make it sound like I'm in my own personal world during my commute. No more hearing the noise of the bus, cars, subway, and people. The sound quality is excellent and there isn't a nuance you don't hear at no more than half volume on an ipod in the noisy environment.

                                                The fit takes a few wearings to get used to, but they are very comfortable. I use the foam tips so it's like putting in earplugs with speakers inside. I recommend trying each tip a few times to see which works best though.

                                                Overall great headphones and definitely worth the money.

                                                • Primary use:
                                                • Personal
                                                • Computer Platform:
                                                • Mac

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                5.0

                                                Great product

                                                By PJ

                                                from QLD, AUSTRALIA

                                                About Me Audiophile, Gear Head

                                                Verified Buyer

                                                Pros

                                                • Comfortable
                                                • Good Value
                                                • Great Sound
                                                • Lightweight
                                                • Stylish

                                                Cons

                                                  Best Uses

                                                  • Music
                                                  • Portable Devices
                                                  • Traveling

                                                  Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                                  Have happily been using these day in day out for extended periods of time. Great sound & quality. Extremely happy.

                                                  • Primary Use:
                                                  • Listening to iPod
                                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                                  • No

                                                  Share this review

                                                   
                                                  4.0

                                                  A Definite Upgrade

                                                  By jimbo

                                                  from Salt Lake City, UT

                                                  About Me Quality Oriented

                                                  Verified Buyer

                                                  Pros

                                                  • Comfortable
                                                  • Great Sound Quality

                                                  Cons

                                                    Best Uses

                                                    • Mobile Device

                                                    Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                                                    Upgrading from cheap earphones....these sound way better than included buds with iphone, etc.

                                                    • Primary use:
                                                    • Personal
                                                    • Computer Platform:
                                                    • PC

                                                    Share this review

                                                     
                                                    5.0

                                                    hf5 IEM

                                                    By Regular Joe

                                                    from Atlanta, GA

                                                    About Me Regular joe

                                                    Verified Buyer

                                                    Pros

                                                    • Compact
                                                    • Great Sound
                                                    • Lightweight

                                                    Cons

                                                      Best Uses

                                                      • Portable Devices
                                                      • Traveling
                                                      • Working Out

                                                      Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Cobalt):

                                                      Pretty good IEM with solid, neutral sound. Someone would say it's not boomy or bright but I prefer more balanced sound.

                                                      Small size and noise isolation feature ia a bonus.

                                                      • Primary Use:
                                                      • Listening to iPod
                                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                                      • No

                                                      Share this review

                                                       
                                                      4.0

                                                      expensive, but wonderful

                                                      By aloiv2

                                                      from new york, ny

                                                      About Me Quality Oriented

                                                      Verified Buyer

                                                      Pros

                                                      • Comfortable
                                                      • Compact Design
                                                      • Great Sound Quality

                                                      Cons

                                                      • Flimsy cable

                                                      Best Uses

                                                      • Editing
                                                      • Mixing
                                                      • Transit

                                                      Comments about hf5 In-Ear Stereo Headphones (Black):

                                                      I originally bought the ER-4ps, which were excellent.
                                                      The HF-5s have a very flat response (which if you have been listening to something like the Sony MDR-7506s will sound a little dull at first).
                                                      They are the same drivers as the ER-4ps, but apparently aren't "hand tuned". For my money, they don't have quite the depth of field of the 4ps, but for 95% of what I do they are more than adequate (and for 50% of the cost).

                                                      These translate better than any other headphone I have (short of the ER-4ps. I also own a pair of the Sony MDR-7506 and a pair of Sennheiser HD-280).

                                                      The HF-5s lack just a little bit of the low end that you expect from most headphones, but the low end that is there translates very well.

                                                      My only complaint is that the cabling feels a little flimsy, and the first pair I bought seemed to have a defect that the jacketing on the cable to the left ear seemed to be somewhat self-destructive.

                                                      • Primary use:
                                                      • Business
                                                      • Computer Platform:
                                                      • Mac

                                                      Share this review

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