Etymotic MK5 review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING
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  • Etymotic MK5
  • Etymotic MK5
  • Etymotic MK5
  • Etymotic MK5

Specs / Features


Specification
Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date January 16, 2018
Size 119 cm (46.9 in)
Weight N/A
Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Price
  • Great passive noise isolation
  • Neutral sound profile
  • Multiple tip options
  • Long cable

What's bad

  • Slightly bright at high volumes
  • Foam tips might cause discomfort
  • No in-line remote

The mid-tier market for earbuds and in-ear monitors can be a tricky place -- especially if you’re looking for a natural sound profile. With a history of higher-end audio and ear protection equipment, Etymotic seems equipped to tackle the task.

The features are straightforward. You’ll find a 4-foot Kevlar lined cable with an angled 3.5mm jack and three sets of ear tips. The triple-flange tips come in two sizes to help find a good fit and seal. The foam tips come in one large, chunky size.

While reviewers found the foam tips best for noise isolation, some noticed mild discomfort with extended use.

There’s also no in-line remote or mic, so you’re left using your phone or media player to switch tracks and take calls.

At first glance, the MK5 Isolators look like a fairly unassuming set of in-ear monitors -- complete with blister packaging. Unlike their higher-priced balanced-armature models, the MK5s use 6mm neodymium moving coil drivers.

However, reviewers loved the soundstage and balance of the audio produced. The tip design also works to block out ambient noise and allow you to listen to your audio at a lower level to reduce ear fatigue and lower the risk of hearing damage. Etymotic claims the earbuds offer 98% isolation in the 35-42 dB range.

If you’re looking for the bass-heavy profile of a pair of Beats or Skullcandy buds, you won’t like the MK5 isolators. The sound profile is mostly flat with just enough bass to balance things out. Reviewers noted a slight brightness, particularly in the upper-mids. Pushing volume levels accentuated this further.

While the earbuds won’t win any beauty contests, the basic tubular design received high marks for durability from most reviewers. The cord appears to be of decent quality and the angled 3.5mm jack should help to reduce stress on both the jack and the audio port of your media player.

Overall, reviewers loved the earbuds with one caveat -- they’re not for bass junkies. Player.One said, “The mk5s will definitely be in my carry-on next time I fly.” BassGear Magazine declared, “I feel confident that I can trust my ears with their products. The mk5 Isolator earphones sound great and seem very sturdy. These are definitely a great bang for the buck.”


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