Forget the noise and AirPods. Headphone review Etymoric HD5, MC5 and HF5

I got acquainted with Etymotic headphones about 12 years ago. They are famous for their excellent price-quality ratio, but most importantly – the strange appearance of the attachments from all possible for headphones.

The three-stage design of baits in the form of “Christmas trees” has become the company’s calling card. It provides the most dense landing and excellent passive noise reduction.

After many years, I again got the headphones of this company, and just three newest models: HD5 , MC5 and HF5 . They are sharpened to the maximum quality noise reduction in any conditions, but what about the sound quality?


Appearance and kit

Let’s start with the simplest model – HD5 . Immediately when unpacking, you can learn the level of noise reduction of headphones, depending on the nozzles, as well as read about the testing methods in different conditions.

The set contains two pairs of nozzles like “Christmas tree”, three foam nozzles and a clip, packed together with headphones in a tight fabric bag with a zippered lock and an inner pocket with Velcro. By default, the headphones are wearing the largest foam nozzles. The body is made of plastic.

Model MC5 has received a case with aluminum trim, but the same case, in which, however, only two sizes of nozzles: a medium-sized “herringbone” and large foam nozzles. In addition, there is a special metal thing for cleaning headphones and replacing filters.

HF5 – the coolest, most expensive and advanced headphones site: headphoneCode  from these three models. Despite this, their body is made of a simple soft-touch plastic, though very pleasant to the touch. The kit is almost the same as the MC5, but instead of a zippered bag there is a suede cover, and one of the “Christmas” baits is made of some very soft polymer.

Convenience of wearing and noise cancelling

For all models on the company’s website, you can order custom nozzles for the impression of your ear canal, but we will evaluate those that are included.

In the case of HD5, I was approached only by the smallest “Christmas tree” nozzles, while the foam did not hold at all in my ears. But “Christmas trees” require addiction, because they are inserted very deep into the ear canal.

But they are sitting there just tight and do not fall out at all. With the included songs, the headphones almost completely isolate from the noise of the laptop with the running video at an average volume. The company does not recommend wearing headphones for more than 10 hours a day and being in a room with a noise above 102-108 dB.

Headphones MC5 provide noise reduction 32-45 dB and this is the highest level for similar headphones on the market. Compared with HD5, it’s harder to find your type of baits, because they are slightly smaller, but as in the first case, the smallest “fir-trees” again came up to me.

Noise reduction is really more misunderstood here. With the included tracks, you can not hear anything but music, even if the nearby laptop yells at full volume.

HF5 offer the same noise suppression at 32-35 dB, but thanks to softer nozzles it is much more convenient and denser to sit in the ears. They were all the best models for planting them.

Sound quality

All three models use ACCU Chamber technology , the principle of which is explained in the video above. If in general terms, it works by the type of equalizer, providing the best reproduction of medium and high frequencies.

Even in the base model HD5, you can note the broadest stage, detail and transparency of the sound. Coupled with the Astell & Kern AK70 player, you can hear all the nuances of the recording. But loudness and basses with unaccustomedness will surely not be enough.

The sound of the MC5 model is even clearer and more detailed: the bass is more pronounced, and the maximum loudness is palpable. With them I do not want to twist the player to the maximum, and headphones start to croak in that case.

The loudest, detailed, powerful and bass headphones are HF5 . Where past models required 135-150 volume divisions, this is enough 110-120 to muffle any extraneous noise. A single favorite!


If you work in a noisy office, often ride public transport or just want to hear only music without extraneous sounds in maximum quality – these headphones will be an excellent choice.

On my own, I would recommend the older model HF5 , but from the two younger models, among other things, equal in price, I liked the MC5 more .