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Old 11-05-2010, 07:14 PM
glove4 glove4 is offline
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Default Etymotic MC5: Best IEM's Under $100

Yes, I went there.

After testing these out for a few days, I cannot conclude anything other than these are my favorite IEM's. The bass on these is just perfect. They are Etymotics, so not for bassheads, of which I am not. They have dynamic speakers, not balanced armatures, the latter of which I can't get into because of how cold and seemingly lifeless they are. But these, wow, just perfect, and for $80, Etymotic is ripping themselves off. Plenty detailed, clean and punchy. I hope Etymotic has more dynamic IEM's up their sleeves, because I would pay way more than $80 for these.

Read a REAL review here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...c5-mini-review

This guy compares them with the Head Direct RE0, of which I have never had the pleasure of trying, but he likes the MC5 better, so I am tempted to not even bother with the RE0 at this point, these things are precisely the sound quality I have been looking for. So, I suggest these to anyone on the fence about these. My only complaint is with the tips, the triple flange, glider and foam that come with them. Only the small triple flange fit decently, so I am using Comply Tx100's with them, which are recommended for good fit. They also reduce the potential of having to change the filters often as the Tx100's have their own inbuilt filters.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:24 AM
Xinz Xinz is offline
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They are the most accurate in that price range. But funny how you do not like armature drivers phones when you like this. Given Westone 1 a try yet(not the UM1)? Its lightly colored and so not that lifeless.

To add on, the bass you need to expect from this is basically almost the same as from Phonak Audeo. Its deep bass is almost not present

When I auditioned it at the store, they fitted it with the shure flex so the comfort was not such a big problem
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:39 AM
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glove4: bold words indeed! lol

I forget - what IEMs do you have/have had in your stable or have sampled...

And I hate you for bringing these to my attention...dammit! lol

cheers,
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:14 PM
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They seem pretty decent as far as their frequency response is concerned, aside from their drastic treble roll-off. With some EQ they could probably sound great for me if the bass can be toyed with enough, hopefully i can find them locally to check them out as i will need a cheap set of iems eventually.

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Old 11-09-2010, 02:35 PM
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Oh man. Good ole' Etymotic. I have a love/less-than-love (hate is too strong a word) relationship with them. On one hand they make IEMs that are clear enough to best 'phones twice their price. But on the other hand, they make 'phones that are incredibly flat and "bass challenged". Even the so-called "audiophiles" agree these could use a small bump at around 100hz. I'm not a bass-head by any means. But definitely like the lows to blend in with the rest of the sound.

I have both the Ety HF3's and the MC5's and both are great performers, with the exception of the low end. To me, there are better performers at the $100 price-point. The Klipsch Image S4's, for instance.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:06 PM
glove4 glove4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
glove4: bold words indeed! lol

I forget - what IEMs do you have/have had in your stable or have sampled...

And I hate you for bringing these to my attention...dammit! lol

cheers,
-les
I have used everything from Monster Turbine Pros to Ultimate Ear 700s, Klipsch X10 and X5, all of which are over $100. But these are only $80 for SQ that seems representative of $150. This is my impression of course.

Considering how bassless Etymotic's armature models are, these are superb as the bass is perfect for my tastes.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:11 PM
glove4 glove4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhantazm View Post
Oh man. Good ole' Etymotic. I have a love/less-than-love (hate is too strong a word) relationship with them. On one hand they make IEMs that are clear enough to best 'phones twice their price. But on the other hand, they make 'phones that are incredibly flat and "bass challenged". Even the so-called "audiophiles" agree these could use a small bump at around 100hz. I'm not a bass-head by any means. But definitely like lows to blend in with the rest of the sound.

I have both the Ety HF3's and the MC5's and both are great performers, with the exception of the low end. To me, there are better performers at the $100 price-point. The Klipsch Image S4's, for instance.
Very interesting, I have never heard somebody praise the S4 so highly. I have gotten the impression that I am the only one on here that thought the S4 are fantastic, everybody else seems to believe they are terribly overrated. To be fair, the S4 and the MC5 are drastically different in sound signature, and so it's not so much that one is better than the other, but rather that they are equally good, but very different sounding. I have a hard time going from the MC5 to the S4 because after listening to the MC5, the S4 sound almost muddy when they really are the furthest thing from it, and vice versa, the MC5 sound tinny by comparison with the S4. I don't really know which sound I prefer.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glove4 View Post
Very interesting, I have never heard somebody praise the S4 so highly. I have gotten the impression that I am the only one on here that thought the S4 are fantastic, everybody else seems to believe they are terribly overrated. To be fair, the S4 and the MC5 are drastically different in sound signature, and so it's not so much that one is better than the other, but rather that they are equally good, but very different sounding. I have a hard time going from the MC5 to the S4 because after listening to the MC5, the S4 sound almost muddy when they really are the furthest thing from it, and vice versa, the MC5 sound tinny by comparison with the S4. I don't really know which sound I prefer.
Roger that. I'm not saying the S4's are the end-all-be-all of IEMs, I just feel they have a better all around sound signature than that of the MC5's.

That being said, I agree with you. Both sound quite different, and it's not so much one is bad and the other good, as both are excellent (low end notwithstanding). But, there's quite a different tone to each pair.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhantazm View Post
Roger that. I'm not saying the S4's are the end-all-be-all of IEMs, I just feel they have a better all around sound signature than that of the MC5's.

That being said, I agree with you. Both sound quite different, and it's not so much one is bad and the other good, as both are excellent (low end notwithstanding). But, there's quite a different tone to each pair.
I continue to use all of my Klipsch models, the S3, S4 and X5, because they are in my opinion unrivaled as far as comfort goes. No IEM matches the ease with which I can use all of the above against every other IEM I have used, so all of the Klipsch IEM's have my highest recommendation usually anyway.

I am hoping to get my hands on their first over-ear model the Image One which is now finally available on some sites, but for $150, and some of the reviews popping up are all very positive. They'll be my next big splurge, no doubt.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glove4 View Post
I continue to use all of my Klipsch models, the S3, S4 and X5, because they are in my opinion unrivaled as far as comfort goes. No IEM matches the ease with which I can use all of the above against every other IEM I have used, so all of the Klipsch IEM's have my highest recommendation usually anyway.

I am hoping to get my hands on their first over-ear model the Image One which is now finally available on some sites, but for $150, and some of the reviews popping up are all very positive. They'll be my next big splurge, no doubt.
Coincidentally, I just picked up the Image One from the Apple Store 2 days ago and absolutely LOVE 'em! The build, although plastic, is really solid and the sound quality bests even my $350 x10i's. Crystal clear mids and highs, with perfectly balanced bass. There's none of that "fart canon" rubbish with these. They're truly amazing. The only ear/head phones I like better are the Bowers & Wilkins P5's, but those are $150 more.

I'm an Amazon reviewer and was going to do a review there, but I guess the Image One is still too new and they haven't uploaded it yet.
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