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If you are not familiar with the the high grade Etymotic products yet, it is time to get to know them. Etymotic has the world most accurate noise-isolating earphones in the categories under $100 and under $200. During CES 2011 they launched a new program with ACS Custom to have custom fit molds earplugs made for just $100 using the ACS Network Audiologist. These custom molds earplugs will give superb comfort, secure fit, consistent noise isolation and of course a perfect sound.

I have been using the Hf5 earphones for a year now and never went back to any other one. The Hf3 Headset and Earphones are very similar. The Hf3 has an added audio control with microphone specially designed for the Apple mobile products like the iPhone, iPod and iPad’s. These controls let you answer your calls and control your music. I have tested these Hf3’s with the new Windows Phone 7 and Android devices, but the microphone and the Volume up/down buttons don’t work. Play and Pause will work. On my iPhone 4 it all works perfectly. If you have a Windows Phone, Android device, Zune or any other music/ media player you should get the Hf5 earphones.

The sleek design of the Hf3 (as well as the Hf5) with the 4 different possible earplugs (different in material and shape)  gives you a great in-ear fit just for your ear. The earphones don’t sit in your ear, but actually goes into your ear canal. This gives it a optimal noise isolation and a quality sound. Included in the package are:

  • Headset/Earphone
  • 4 different ear tips
  • Manual
  • Flyer on Custom Fit
  • Zippered storage pouch

What I missed in the package is the special filter changing tool with an extra set of filters when you want to replace them. According to the site they should have been included.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequency Response – 20 Hz – 15 kHz
  • Accuracy Score – 85%
  • Transducers – High-performance balanced armature
  • Noise Isolation – 35-42 dB
  • Impedance (@1 kHz) – 16 Ohms
  • Sensitivity (@1 kHz) SPL at 0.1V – 105 dB
  • Maximum Output (SPL) – 120 dB
  • Accu Driver™ high performance, precision matched, balanced armature driver
  • Cable – 4 ft with 3.5 mm plug -Kevlar®-reinforced cable for durability
  • User Replaceable ACCU Filters™ – protects the balanced armature driver from ear wax
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • CUSTOM FIT Option
  • Soft touch finish in 3 color options: Black, Ruby and Cobalt
  • Documented highest noise isolation of any earphones or headphones on the market today
  • Close-proximity high sensitivity microphone
  • Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad compatible

Instructions for Use

I always had hard times of finding the right earphones for my ears. They always fell out, were uncomfortable, you name it. And I really didn’t want to be traveling with those over the ear headphones. But since I discovered the perfect solution of the Etymotic headphones it is going to be hard to replace these.

The manual and the site gives a great description how to select the right eartip and how to proper insert your earphones. Make sure to watch the video as well which will give you a great experience that I have as well.

Selecting an Eartip

The eartip that is most comfortable is the likely choice, but it MUST SEAL well in your ear. If you can easily hear others when the volume is off, you don’t have a good seal. Twist it in deeper, or choose another eartip.When changing eartips make sure the eartip fits securely on the stem of the earphone.

Proper Insertion

Important:Sound quality, full bass response and noise isolation all depend on a good eartip seal in the ear canal. View Earphone Insertion Video
  • Carefully insert the earphone while pulling up and out on the back of the ear.
  • Twist the earphone up into the ear canal while inserting, until outside noise is blocked out.
  • 3-flange eartip: Moistening eases insertion.
  • Foam eartip:Roll down or compress foam eartip before inserting. Hold the eartip in place for about 5 seconds while the foam expands to create a tight seal in the ear canal.
  • Glider eartip: Simply push into ear canal.


Remove earphones slowly with a twisting motion to gradually break the seal. Do not pull on the cable to remove the earphones.

In another week I will receiving the custom ear mold plugs from ACS custom to go along with the Hf3 that Etymotic has provided me to get the best niose isolation and sound experience possible. ACS Custom products are being used by the best in the music industry like U2,Pink Floyd, BBC Symphony Orchestra, etc.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article of my experiences of getting these custom molds fitted to actually receiving them and using them instead of the already quality noise isolation ear tips. “True to the Ear

The Etymotic Hf3 is available at the Etymotic site for $179


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