Etymotic Research MC5 review

In-ears with slightly leaner sound than rivals Tested at £57

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Leaner sound to rivals and not too bass heavy


  • +

    Energetic sound

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    optional custom-fitting service


  • -

    A little bass-light

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Etymotic provides a smorgasbord of eartips with the MC5s to help ensure the perfect fit. And, if you want the snuggest placement possible, there's even an optional custom-fitting service.

Where some in-ears can overdose on bass, the MC5s don't sound boomy in the slightest. They're a real contrast to the likes of the Skullcandy FIX as they promote a slightly leaner sound.

Despite being a little bass-light, one of the benefits is that bass notes don't lag. Instead, they're agile enough to bob around energetically during Michael Jackson's You Rock My World. Timing is top-drawer and there's good clarity where instruments and Jacko's vocals are concerned.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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