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The Etymotic Research HF5 Earphones provide excellent noise cancellation capabilities thanks to their deep-penetrating design and great sound quality thanks to the balanced armature driver type. You can also repair them yourself if need be, but that tool is sold separately. For more on the best earbuds and in-ear earphones, check out our list!

Why We Like It – Etymotic Research HF5

The Etymotic Research HF5 in-ear headphones provide a sweet spot between “discount” or “bargain bin” earphones that won’t hurt your bank account but will drain your ears while listening to them and “high-end” earphones that will empty your bank account but provide you with much more sound quality than you probably need.

  • Balanced armature driver type for great sound
  • Superior noise cancellation capabilities
  • Affordable
  • Removal tool sold separately
  • May be uncomfortable for those with smaller ears


The Etymotic Research HF5 features a balanced armature driver type which is quite good in bringing out the mid-range and also keeps the high-end from hitting too hard which, in combination, produces great sound. If you’re looking for more brand recognition in your earphones, try the Bose QuietComfort 20. The HF5 noise isolating earphones also come with an extra set of filters which are inserted into the earphones to smooth frequency response and prevent earwax. This helps with self-preservation and self-repair, features generally not found in earphones nowadays.


The Etymotic HF5 ear headphones are long and thin and penetrate further into your ear canal than most other earphones, and this includes the Shure SE215. Because of this kind of deep, penetrating design, the HF5 earphones offer superior noise isolation capabilities. The Etymotic series of earphones also features a removal tool to assist with removing and replacing the filter. The downside is that this tool is sold separately, but it is only about $2.00. Still, it would have been nice if it came included.


The HF Series earphones come with two sizes of triple flange silicone fittings and one set of foam tips to provide the optimal listening experience for whatever type of ears you have. However, they are all still quite thin, so those uncomfortable with penetrating-ear earphones should look elsewhere. The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear should do the trick and still provide excellent sound quality. On a final note, the HF5 High-Fidelity earphones usually fall within the $150.00 range (when not on sale) which is a sweet spot between “bargain” and “ultra high end” earphones, which is refreshing.

Etymotic Research HF5 Wrap Up

The Etymotic Research HF5 Earphones will provide you with great sound quality without breaking the bank. That’s all you can really ask from a set of earphones, right? Sure, there may be some better ones, sound quality wise, out there, but do you really need to pay an arm and a leg for them when comparable sound quality is staring you in the face right here?

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Michael Iaboni

Michael Iaboni is a Canadian Freelance Writer and Editor. He graduated from York University with a Degree in English and Creative Writing and then attended Queen's University where he obtained a Professional Editing Standards Certificate. He is a member of Editor's Canada and, in his spare time, enjoys reading, writing, soccer, and gaming.

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