Back in December I purchased and reviewed the 6isolator earphones from Eymotic. The were the first high-end earphone ‘s I had ever bought and over-all I was ‘wowed ‘ by them. I did have a few reservations, however. I found/find that the exceptionally long (5 ‘) cord is easily tangled and I was disappointed by the lack of an in-line mike. Over-all, though, I liked the 6isolators a lot and described them as ‘…HD for your ears! ‘
They quickly became, and have remained, my earphones of choice.
The kind folks at Etymotic have given me a chance to use their new hf2 headset and boy am I impressed. The sound quality is down right amazing. According to Etymotic the hf2 headset offers the same level of accurate sound quality as their premium ER-4P earphones.
If my 6isolators sound ‘great ‘, the hf2s sound… well… ‘greater ‘.
Etymotic even addressed both of the reservations I had with the 6isolators. At 4 ‘ long, the cord on the hf2s is a full foot shorter than the 5 ‘ cable on the 6isolators. In addition, it is made from a heavier grade rubberized material that is super light yet doesn’t get tangled.
Moreover, the hf2 headset adds a high quality in-line microphone. The microphone doesn ‘t add any noticeable weight to the cord so it is extremely comfortable to wear. It is also positioned in the absolute perfect location– close to the mouth– while remaining completely unobtrusive while wearing the earphones.
The end/answer button in the microphone can also be used to pause, restart and advance the current music track. And, of course, if you are listening to music when a call comes in the music fades out and stops until the call ends. Best of all, the call quality with the microphone is excellent for both both parties on the call.
A slider on the cord ensures a snug, comfortable fit.
In all, the hf2s are the ONLY iPhone headset you need.
If you noticed, I did not write ‘The hf2s are a perfect replacement for the stock Apple buds. ‘ They aren ‘t.
Yes, the hf2s serve the same function as the Apple buds. They are not, however, a ‘replacement ‘ for the stock iPhone buds any more than a Lexus is a replacement for a Yugo. Sure, both the Lexus and the Yugo get you from ‘Point A ‘ to ‘Point B ‘ but that is about as far as the comparison goes.
When I went back to the stock buds that come with the iPhone after using the hf2 headset for a few days I couldn ‘t believe the difference.
As with Etymotic ‘s entire line, the hf2 headset comes in a nice carrying case and includes a number of different sized inserts (these are the type of earphone that fits into the ear canal and fills it in order to physically block outside sound), replacement filters and a tool to change the filters. And while the plug on the 6i headphones will fit into the iPhone without an adapter (barely), the plug on the hf2 is narrower and provides a far better and secure fit.
After writing this review I took a look at what others are saying about the hf2 headset. PC Magazine rated them a 4 1/2 out of 5 and offered this–
Etymotic Research could charge twice as much for its $179 hf2 iPhone headset, which lets you make and receive cell-phone calls but also delivers some of the most accurate audio reproduction you’re likely to find in pair of sub-$300 earphones. And there’s a good reason for that: The more expensive ($299) ER-4P headset, on which the hf2 is modeled, is considered by many to be the industry standard for flat response. While some users may prefer more bass or crispness from their earphones, audiophiles looking for flat reproduction will marvel at the hf2′s performance. If music is your top priority, this is the best stereo headset for cell phones.
So should your next premium headset be the hf2 from Etymotic. Probably.
Perhaps it is best to answer these questions before making a decision–
Do you care enough about your music to want a high quality headset?
Are you willing to make sure that a high-end phone/music player isn ‘t crippled by low-end ear buds?
Are you okay with earphones that sit (safely) inside your ear canal and, by so doing, protect your hearing? (I am, my wife isn ‘t.)
Are you willing to take a perfectly ‘functional ‘ set of Apple earbuds and banish them to the back of your closet?
If you answered ‘yes ‘ to any or all of these questions the hf2 headset is for you.
They can be purchased directly from Etymotic (www.etymotic.com) or a number of other retailers for an MSRP of $179.