CES 2008: Etymotic Reasearch Hf2's Sound Simply Amazing

So last night at Showstoppers I had the time to stop by the Etymotic Research booth and check out their latest products. The first products they showed me were these hf2's which stands for High Fidelity Hands Free.

Let me assure you, they are most definitely high fidelity. The gentleman sized me up for what size ear insert I needed just by looking at my ear, and then he put them in, and without even turning on any music the ear buds themselves blocked out almost all the noise.

He asked what kind of music I listened to, and I said hip-hop and he said he wasn't sure he had any, and he handed me his iPhone to select what I wanted to hear; it was already on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and I just can't turn down the opportunity to listen to "Money" on some high end headphones because that song is a great test for audio quality, and it worked. I could hear everything and no one sound (highs, mids or bass) overpowered the other, it was perfectly balanced; I checked the EQ and sure enough he wasn't pulling a fast one, they were just great earphones.

The Hands Free part is in regards to phone calls because there is both a microphone and a pause/play and send/receive call button, depending on what you are doing. What I really like though, is that usually when you are using an in-line microphone it's way down by where the wires for the ear buds split, but this one was on the right side, and it hung naturally right by my mouth.

I didn't get to test the call quality but if it was anything even remotely close to what it was like with the music, it must be amazing. They're designed for the iPhone, and if you want a pair, they'll cost $179; they couldn't sell me a pair last night or I'd be listening to them right now, but they'll be selling them at MacWorld and I'll be there, with my $179 waiting.