Etymotic Research had some new kit on show at its CES stand. Back in 2008 Etymotic launched its hf2 headset for the iPhone, and it proved to be a real winner. Not only did it allow you to take calls on your iPhone without taking it out of your pocket, but the sound quality was great, especially considering the £100 price point.
Now Etymotic has updated the hf2 headset with the, you guessed it, hf3 headset. As far as the drivers go, nothing has changed in the hf3s, which means that they sound every bit as good as the hf2s they’re replacing.
The real change comes in the form of the inline remote/microphone unit. The old one button configuration has been changed to a three button affair – play/pause and volume up/down. Obviously this means that the hf3s will work with the latest iPod Shuffle, which as I’m sure everyone knows, has no physical controls on it at all.
One last update is that Etymotic has completely changed the headphone connector, since the original design on the hf2 connector reportedly failed on some units.
Etymotic is also launching its mc series, which consists of the mc5 earphones and mc3 headset. Both use the same drivers, based on moving coil technology, rather than the balanced armature drivers seen in the hf3s. This has allowed Etymotic to make the new mc series more affordable than its existing hf series.
As with the hf3s, the mc3s have a three button remote, which allows control of music phones, as well as iPods, including the Shuffle. US pricing for the mc5s is $79, while the mc3 headset will cost slightly more at $99.