android
  #1  
Old 12-10-2010, 06:17 PM
dfkt's Avatar
dfkt dfkt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 15,330
Default Quick Look: Etymotic MC5





The MC5 are the cheapest Etymotic phones available, and they use dynamic drivers, contrary to the often mentioned (and overly hyped) balanced armature ones, such as the ER-4 and ER-6.

It's somewhat amusing that Etymotic claims "best in class under $100" on their website for the MC5. True to the standard Etymotic house sound, the MC5 suck every last bit of excitement, emotion, and musicality out of the sound. They make everything sound dull, lifeless, and boring, no matter how good the recording quality of the source material. Off the top of my head, I can think of about a dozen other IEMs that sound better than the MC5 in the sub-$100 class.

Everything about the MC5 is mediocre. Nothing is really overly bad with their sound, but everything is far from being good. The bass doesn't extend deep, it has little texture, sounds muddled, lacks dynamics, attack speed and punch. It has more bass quantity than other Etys, but less quality. Midrange is anemic, instrument separation isn't anything special. It lacks all the precision one is accustomed to from Etymotic's armature IEMs, it's less detailed sounding than even some $30 Hippo IEMs. Treble is so-so, it neither sparkles, nor is it recessed or rolled off. It's just frequencies, not music.

To add insult to injury, the MC5 are some of the absolutely quietest IEMs I ever heard. Even the Phonak PFE are quite a bit louder than them. This means, they're absolutely unusable with players like the Sansa Clip+ and similar. Of course amping them would be futile, since they're just no good phones - money would be better spent on another pair of IEMs. Personally, I usually listen at quieter volume levels, but the MC5 are too quiet to be useful.

Build quality is good - better than ER6 - strain reliefs and cable seem to be sturdy. Isolation is very good, up there with the SE530 and such. Two extremely stupid design decisions however make them worse than they have to be: the strain reliefs at the earbuds are 45° angled, so it's hard wearing them with the cables over the ears. Wearing them with the cables hanging down results in terrible noise, there's no reason why they didn't make them have a proper over-the-ear fit. The 3.5mm plug is 45° angled as well, which is the worst plug one could come up with. It's neither low profile 90° nor is it a straight plug. A 45° plug acts like a catch-all, hooking on everything, always being in the way. Extremely annoying. So much for Etymotic's "best-in-class fit and style" claim.

Verdict: Absolutely not recommended. Decent build quality (despite the stupid 45° angled earphone strain reliefs and 3.5mm plug), good isolation, but disappointingly anemic and boring sound, and incredibly inefficient. No clarity (for Etymotic standards), no precision, no punch, no dynamics. No music.
__________________
Please don't PM me with questions that can be answered in a forum thread. Don't be an idiot.
My Gear and Reviews | My RMAA Tests | IRC: #anythingbutipod on Freenode | Last.fm | Album Art Exchange | Rockbox | Replaygain
Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]

  #2  
Old 12-11-2010, 12:21 AM
JxK's Avatar
JxK JxK is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 439
Default

On the bright side, they do manage to beat the dealextreme orange IEMs.
__________________
Home: Laptop > TBAAM > Audio Technica M50, Grado SR-60
Portable: Sansa Clip (rockbox) > Phonak Audéo PFE,
Meelectronics M6, Koss ksc75
Pulvis et umbra sumus.
-Horace
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 12-11-2010, 02:18 AM
james444 james444 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 55
Default

Once again I entrusted you with one of my beloved IEMs, only to find them shot down in flames shortly afterwards. Why am I doing this?
I really need to see a shrink.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 12-11-2010, 04:17 AM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

ouch... but dfkt loves the Panas
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 12-11-2010, 04:28 AM
dfkt's Avatar
dfkt dfkt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 15,330
Default

If you'd have added the word "beloved" when you gave them to me, I would have reconsidered my wording, for sure. Seriously, I'm allergic to all that "best in class" and "85% accuracy (on some made-up fantasy scale)" nonsense Etymotic's marketing department came up with. It's ok to make a mediocre phone, such things happen to the best of them - but advertising them like they're god's gift to the audio aficionado on a budget needs to be counteracted with some stronger wording...

On the other hand, the Heaven-S are really lovely sounding phones. Now that the MC5 are out of the way, I can concentrate on listening to some fine tunes with them.
__________________
Please don't PM me with questions that can be answered in a forum thread. Don't be an idiot.
My Gear and Reviews | My RMAA Tests | IRC: #anythingbutipod on Freenode | Last.fm | Album Art Exchange | Rockbox | Replaygain
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 12-11-2010, 05:00 AM
WalkGood's Avatar
WalkGood WalkGood is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 12,579
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Once again I entrusted you with one of my beloved IEMs, only to find them shot down in flames shortly afterwards. Why am I doing this?
I really need to see a shrink.
The truth may hurt for a little while but a lie hurts your wallet forever, don’t tell me you’d rather hear lies

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
… but advertising them like they're god's gift to the audio aficionado on a budget needs to be counteracted with some stronger wording ...
This brings thoughts of many companies’ products, even forums that pose as being helpful recommending/hyping products and snake oil just to line their own pockets, you’ll soon need an army and your work will never be over

BTW nice product outing.
__________________
WalkGood,
Ramón

abi >> | Forum Rules | Glossary | Why Rockbox | FLAC or MP3? | irc
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 12-12-2010, 01:48 AM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

The 2 posts above from dfkt and walkgood are at the core of why I love ABi so much. Honest, no marketing-BS appraisals of gear, regardless of price.

Don't ever change guys....
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 12-12-2010, 06:06 AM
nodirectionhome nodirectionhome is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Salisbury UK
Posts: 677
Default

it's good that you put up reviews of the mediocre as well as the good stuff.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 12-12-2010, 08:59 AM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 255
Default

This reads to me more like a drunken rant than an actual review. But I suppose it may have some value to someone.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old 12-12-2010, 09:10 AM
Marvin the Martian's Avatar
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: east central NY state
Posts: 10,565
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
This reads to me more like a drunken rant than an actual review. But I suppose it may have some value to someone.
You mean like post #9 in this thread?
__________________
Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB<-All RB'd Clip Sport 8GB, Cowon D2+20GB
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB,Touch 2G 8GB,2012 Nexus 7 32GB(4.4.2),Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB(4.2.2)
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:56 AM
Lawk Lawk is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1
Default

Are you selling these? Looking for a local dealer in Vienna to pick up a pair....
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:32 AM
dfkt's Avatar
dfkt dfkt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 15,330
Default

They aren't mine, they were loaned.
__________________
Please don't PM me with questions that can be answered in a forum thread. Don't be an idiot.
My Gear and Reviews | My RMAA Tests | IRC: #anythingbutipod on Freenode | Last.fm | Album Art Exchange | Rockbox | Replaygain
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:05 AM.