• Accessory Review: Etymotic Research MK5 Isolator Earphones

    The unboxing of a new smartphone is an art form in itself. If you’re like me, you typically throw everything to the side as you marvel at your new piece of technology. Within the discarded packaging, you normally find an accessory that will never leave the box: the low-quality earbuds.

    Smartphones have evolved over the last decade, from a simple communication tool to high-quality portable multimedia devices. Long gone are the days of carrying separate devices for music & communication. With this technological evolution comes the need for earbuds that can provide you with a superior quality of sound. Today, let me introduce you to a new product from one of the pioneers in the earbud industry, the Etymotic Research MK5 Isolator Earphones.

    Illinois-based Etymotic Research has been around since 1983. The name "Etymotic" means "true to the ear." With an extensive background in acoustic research and hearing aids, Etymotic are known for creating the ER-4, the first noise-isolating high-fidelity in-ear earphone in 1991.

    Tech Specs:

    • Driver units: 6mm
    • Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 15 kHz
    • Earphone Impedance: 32 ohms
    • Earphone Sensitivity: 95 dB
    • Maximum Output: 120 dB
    • Cable: flat cable, length approx.: 4ft
    • Plug: 3.5mm plug

    The design of the MK5 earphones is strikingly similar to that of the MC3, except without the microphone. Like most earphones made by Etymotic, the earpieces are long and thin, which means they go farther into the ear than many other noise-isolating sets, such as the Blue Ever Blue 1001s. The packaging provides two sizes of triple flange silicone fittings and one set of foam tips, giving you a trio of options for a perfect fit in your ear canal. That being said, I found no uncomfortable moments with any of the insert options.

    While they might look very barebone, the sound that comes out of the MK5 is anything but. Lows are rich and powerful, mids are solid, and the highs preserve detail without harshness. I have a tendency to crank my music a bit more than I should but the quality of the MK5 is clear & interference-free, so that you wont need to crank the music up to eleven.

    Superior Audio Quality (Lows, Mids, Highs)
    Premium Protective Carry Case
    Multiple sizes of ear tips & ear cushions included

    Lack of volume & talk/answer buttons
    Rigid headphone cord that lack flexibility
    Lack of color options (Grey only)

    If you are looking for some high-quality noise isolating earbuds to keep your beats pumping this fall, you won’t be disappointed with the Etymotic Research MK5 earbuds. At a reasonable cost of $60, these earphones outperform similar noise-isolating earbuds in $125+ range. They are worth every penny spent for the joy they will be bring to the audiophile in your life. You can purchase these directly online via Etymotic's website or Amazon.

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