Excerpt: 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.
Summary: I really liked my first pair of etymotic earbuds. I have had 3 pair. The first pair lasted about 6 months. So I thought, okay, maybe I was a little hard on them. The wires were fragile around the earbud. I bought another pair from Amazon but they only lasted 3 weeks. Amazon exchanged them free of charge without delay. But the third pair only lasted 5 days past the exchange date. So no more replacement. I was very careful with the last two pair.
Summary: Literally ordered the first pair of these from a seller on eBay. They arrived with a faulty left channel right out of the box. I returned them and ordered a pair from an independent amazon retailer who only offered 30 day returns. As soon as the 30th day expired, the left channel began to go faulty, eventually cutting out just a day later. I looked after these, carrying them in a hard acrylic plastic case. I wouldn't recommenced.
Summary: I cannot recommend the hf5s at all. Sound is decent and what you'd expect at this price, but they fall apart easily. My first pair - the inline controls stopped working 6 months in and etymotic took 6 MONTHS (!!!!) to get me a replacement under warranty (not purchased from amazon). The replacement call answer function doesn't work on the iPhone but given the time I had to wait for a replacement I won't even try returning these. Stay away I say.
Summary: The left earphone does not work anymore, I've had these just under two years. For a £100 I would have expected a longer life than that! If you want to waste your money look at the stars, because while they work they are good, however I am not the only one who has been let down...mine are now ready for the bin.
Summary: My previous Etymotic headphones served me well for 5 years until I sadly lost them. Excited about getting a new pair I purchased the HF5. Great sound, but after using them around 20 times in 2 months the right channel decided to stop working. Etymotic suggested that I send them to the US for diagnosis. Sorry, but for £80 I expect them to last a bit longer than 2 months.