Excerpt: I've tried to like these..I really have. But after six months of trying different ear tips ...I just can't. On ANY type of music...I can swith between these and my V-moda's , which were half the price..and the 'modas win every time. The hf5's always sound like the bass is at a minus 5. hence..the 5? Not a bass freak..but NO Bass?..Good for classical guitar ONLY ! 3 stars is for ambient isolation. Sorry I bought these. I thought more $$ = better sound..but it doesn't.
Excerpt: ...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.
Summary: Found the depth that these needed to be inserted into my head to get any decent sound rather uncomfortable after a very short space of time; it sometimes felt like they were going to meet in the middle. The sound, though good and clear in the mid and high ranges, was pretty thin, and lacked any real bass, which made the sound overall very unbalanced.
Summary: Headphones, & in particular, earphones are a tricky purchase. It is difficult to try before you buy & you are never quite sure what you are going to end up with, over priced tosh or a decent value product. The Etymotic HF5 fall into neither of these, coming up just short of the hurdle of being a good valued piece of kit.