SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Etymotic Research Inc MK5 Isolator Series

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If you are like me, you are always looking for the next best thing when it comes to audio reproduction. I’ve gone through many headphones over the last 5 years looking for the one that fits most of my situations. What I ended up with, however, are multiple sets of headphones for multiple situations. I have workout headphones, travel headphones, and headphones for working on the computer.

One big factor when buying new headphones is noise cancellation. Noise, as always, ruins any audio experience. The perfect listening experience would always be with no background noise. With our lives of distracting offices, workout equipment, or engine noise, the world is full of noise.

The options to buyers are noise cancellation, noise blocking, or traditional headphones with no noise cancellation. The problem with noise canceling headphones is they are typically expensive ($200+) and they don’t do well for the high frequencies. With traditional headphones, I have to compensate with background noise by turning up the headphones. This will end up damaging my hearing after long periods of listening. This leaves noise blocking headphones. These type of phones work by acting like ear plugs in their design. They work well for blocking out high and mid range noise, but not so well with low end base.

The Mk5 Isolator Series headphones were designed as noise blocking headphones. I was pleasantly surprised that they work very well at blocking noise. They even work well at blocking low range noise.

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Getting into these headphones, they come with two different types of earplugs. The rubber type pictured above and the foam type. Both work very well at blocking noise. Personally, I like the foam type much better because they are much more comfortable. They also come with a convenient carrying case. This feature is often overlooked for many headphones costing much more. I find the carrying case a must for headphones as I often carry the headphones in my backpack. If I don’t use a carrying case, they get tangled and is a major pain to unravel them.

There is one issue with these headphones. Since they are so small, they don’t produce much bass. This has to do with the size of the headphones. Normally, ear buds just don’t produce very good bass. If you are in the market for ear buds, don’t expect to get very good bass reproduction. If you want good bass, you should probably look at another design of a headphone.

There is one place where Mk5 Isolator Earphones perform very well which is working out in the gym. The gym is typically a noisy place, so the headphones need to limit the amount of external noise. Also, bulky headphones don’t work well as they typically bounce off your head or make working out difficult when moving the head. Last, they also need to be able to stay in the ear. The MK5 Isolator Headphones perform very well in the gym.

The bottom line is this, if you are looking for headphones to reproduce great sound, you shouldn’t look for ear buds. You should be looking at something a little bit bigger. However, if you want a good pair of headphones for working out that eliminate background noise, these are the headphones for you. You can pick them up for $59 from the link below.

Use the coupon code MK15TP for 15% off.

http://www.etymotic.com/consumer/earphones/mk5.html

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