Few did as much for the development of in-ear monitor as Etymotic. As pioneers of this form factor, they gave the world legendary ER4. Traditionally, the company’s developers do not rest, and recently a new budget model MK5 saw the world, which, however, clearly shows Etymotic’s experience in the creation of such solutions.
Younger models of Etymotic are somehow in the shadow of their famous older brothers, and they get undeservedly less public attention. In fact, all of their company’s products include the same seriousness and a lot of man-hours are spent on development.
These headphones are from Isolator line and really do what they promise: their sound insulation is very, very good, in the first place, for it we should thank the famous nozzles designed for ER4. Unlike the older model MC5, MK5 uses driver in a reduced size (only 6 mm), which made the sound guides thinner and improved the fit for the owners of small ears.
• Transmitter: 6 mm, dynamic
• Frequency: 20 Hz – 15 kHz
• Soundproofing: 35 – 42 dB
• Impedance: 32Ω
• Sensitivity: 95 dB/mW @ 1 kHz
• The maximum sound pressure level: 120 dB
• Cable: non-replaceable, 1.2 m
• Connector: 3.5mm TRS
Packaging and scope of delivery
The outer packaging of these headphones does not inspire much confidence, they are sold in conventional plastic blister, as many low-end models. It is complemented with the simple printing of the insert. Fortunately, the appearance is deceptive, and complete nozzles make it clear that the developers are “the very same” company.
In addition to the headphones, you will get instructions in multiple languages, a good bag-pouch, clothespin to attach the cable to your clothing, three-flanged nozzles of two sizes, and a pair of flat cylindrical nozzles familiar from the scope of supply of ER4.
In general, nothing superfluous. Developers just tried to bring value for money to the maximum level in Etymotic. Especially if you wish to purchase different nozzles for these headphones – it will be no problems.
The design and wearing comfort
The company developed the headphones targeted primarily for use in noisy conditions and active recreation. To do this, they tried to give them, firstly, the maximum sound isolation, and secondly – a deep fit, so these headphones can be put, for example, under the helmet. Overall, the company did not reinvent anything particularly and made cylindrical body similar to that used in the MC5. The glossy gray plastic looks quite simple, but we must remember that the headphones still low-end. Despite this fact, the overall build quality is at a good level, the only niggle is a very discreet marking of the left and right channels.
Cable is good enough, it does not harden in the cold much, it is not too prone to entanglement, but because of the deep fit of the headphones, it has a fairly pronounced microphone effect. We must fight it with the help of complete clothespin.
Headphones can be worn down the wire, and behind-way, but they are more designed for the normal option of wearing. With MK5 should be used the standard Etymotic fit as far as possible. There is even a video on Etymotic channel on how to screw the headphones deeper. Not all listeners can wear headphones so deep, but it is the price paid for the excellent sound insulation. In general, there is no much discomfort with MK5, but do not rule out that for many it can be a challenge.
Of course, these headphones are not a competitor to the older brother – ER4, but common parents Etymotic are clearly visible: a very flat frequency response, excellent performance speed and resolution. Naturally, they fall short for the ER4, but the price are less than 5 times.
Very, very good model. Its disadvantages can include not the most comfortable fit and not perfect HF. In the pros are soundproofing, excellent resolution and speed, budget price. In general, MK5 cope perfectly well with the task of headphones for a noisy environment and the active use. If we take into account the reasonable price and very good study of LF and MF – headphones are quite interesting for fans of quality music.