Ears-on with the Etymotic hf2 for iPhone: Sweet Sound, Little Noise

EtymoticI had a chance to quickly try out Etymotic’s new premium hf2 headset with my own iPhone. It promises not only exceptional sound quality but the best noise isolation of all competing headsets. The hf2 did a nice job of blocking out the din of the Macworld show floor, and our The Hives tracks sounded loud and clear but a little harsh with our iPhone set on the Rock equalizer setting. One booth rep told me that most Etymotic employees prefer the Flat setting, so you can hear songs the way they were recorded. Things improved when I switched to this mode. Is this thing worth $179? Stay tuned for a full review. We’ll put it head to head against the Editors’ Choice-winning Shure MPA with SE110 combo as soon as we get a set in.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Ralph Selvaggi Says:

    I did a lot of research prior to buying earbuds. I wanted to take advantage of separate drivers for bass, high end and treble. Everything I read compared the products reviewed against the Shure SE530. I bought a pair without the PTH (push-to-hear) option. I bought the Shure attachment that was required to make the phones work with my IPhone. This attachment allows you to pause the IPOD and answer the phone, having a mic built in to the cord. Needless to say, those Shure SE530 earbuds are fantastic. I hear things I never knew were there, and as the volume increases the music stays defined. They also give you a plethora of bud choices in three sizes. Like everything else, you can save buy buying on-line or on auction sites.

  2. AJ Says:

    I got a pair of these Hf2s after reading the reviews. Sound was indeed great for the first few hours… then they came apart. Well, I unfortunately snagged the cord on the desk. They did not pop out of the ear as one expects with other in ear designs, instead the cord tore out of the ear piece. For portable use one would hope they would be made a little more robust than for studio listening. I am waiting to hear from the company if they believe this would be covered or not under manufacturing warranty… in which case it was a one of fault and they would replace them for me. If not, then I guess they are porly designed/made.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options