In-ear headphones for iPhone

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by guitargoddsjm, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. guitargoddsjm macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    I posted about this in a different thread but I've decided to start a new one since I'm looking for something a little more specific:

    I'm looking for a in-ear headphones for use with my iPhone and my Macbook Pro (i.e., they need to have a mic and a 3-button remote). I've narrowed it to:
    • Klipsch s4i
    • Etymotic HF3
    • Bose mie2i

    I had almost decided on the Klipsch s4i's, but I'm worried about the cable. I'm not super rough with my gear, but these will be the headphones of choice when I'm walking around campus and the city, so they will have to be durable enough. Along came the Etymotic HF3s with its kevlar-reinforced cables...

    My other concern with the Klipsch and Etymotic is that the in-canal phones will be terribly uncomfortable. I can get bad earwax :)o) and naturally I don't want the headphones to either hurt or get ruined by the wax. I'm also concerned they could be dangerous when walking around busier areas.

    Finally, is the extra cost associated with the Bose and Etymotic sets worth the $30-50? This is getting difficult because I've heard rave reviews about all three!

    As I mentioned, I'll be using these when I walk around campus/the city, and when I'm not home and I want to listen to music or use FaceTime. I have a set of Bose QC2s for traveling, HK Soundsticks for my desk, and Sony workout headphones for the gym, so I don't need a set that fulfills those needs.
  2. guitargoddsjm thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    Ordered the Etymotics from Amazon so they could be delivered by Friday, will follow up after they get in!
  3. mike1123 macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    Etys are good IEMs but generally lack in bass. I would have steered you towards the Westone 2 for that kind of money, but you might love the ones you ordered. They are known to have very accurate highs.
  4. guitargoddsjm thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    Headphones came in last Friday. Reviews were pretty much spot on about the lack of bass, but I don't really mind too much. The isolation is also ridiculous. People mentioned the possibility of these IEMs being dangerous, and I can completely see how that would be true. I just discovered the Awareness! for Etymotics app by Essency, so I'm going to see if I can get that to help with the isolation in public.

    Unfortunately, I have two issues with these headphones:
    1. VERY noticeable microphonics. I've been using the shirt clip, but I've only really noticed it reducing cable pull, not microphonics. I have the clip attached to the main portion of the cable (before the split to each ear) and clipped to my shirt collar. Is this right?

    2. When on a call, the microphone picks up everything in my vicinity. It's kind of distracting to say the least.

    Other than those annoyances, I really like these. When I get a chance, I'm going to try to compare them to apple earbuds and my Bose QC2s to get a better idea of the sound.
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I've owned a set of the Etymotics for about a year now and I've really enjoyed it. It's a great sound and after a while you will really appreciate the accurate bass. It's a very different sound than most headphones but you'll find it's much closer to the sound the engineer's wanted. If you ever have the chance to listen to a set of calibrated speakers or a proper set of studio monitors, you'll immediately recognize that the Etymotics' bass is very similar. I consider these to be the most accurate and enjoyable audio-gear I've go.

    Regarding the microphonics, all I can suggest is you use the clip the best you can. It helps a lot. The other thing that makes it worse is that these IEMs block so much of the outside noise that it makes the microphonics much more noticeable. Personally it doesn't bother me at all, but I don't tend to move around that much when I'm using them.

    If you are having problems hearing whats going on around you, just swap out the silicon ear tips for something else. There's a huge range available that can bring in more sound from the world around you. That will also reduce the effects of the microphonics. :)
  6. Merkava_4 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2010
  7. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I just purchased some HF3 from Best Buy today for $78 and the sound quality really impresses me. And I've own Shure e4c and SE310 and Etymotic ER4 IEMs.

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