Etymotic ETY Kids 5 Earphone Review

The in-ear headphone market is massive, and it grows bigger every day. People turn to in-ear for the secure fit, the natural sound isolation and portability. While some people like their music very loud, earphones are often too loud due to their proximity to the ear drum. Etymotic is a company that has dealt in hearing loss research and safer in-ear earphones for over 30 years. Their ETY Kids5 model is designed with kids in mind, though it is for anyone who wants to protect their hearing while listening to music.

Packaging / Accessories

These earphones come in a small and modest box. Inside there is an informative user manual and a small carrying case. In the case there is clip that can be attacked to the cable and an alternate set of ear-tips. The cute, little case may appeal to the child-user demographic. The presentation is pleasantly understated, especially in contrast with the high-quality sound.

Specs

Frequency Response 20 Hz – 15 kHz
Accuracy Score 85+%
Transducers 6-mm neodymium moving coil drivers
Noise Isolation 35-42 dB
Impedance(@1kHz) 300 Ohms
Sensitivity (@1 kHz) SPL at 0.1v 76 dB
Cable  4 ft with 3.5 mm plug

High End

The high end is definitely this pair’s strength. The highs come through crisp, vivid and clean. When using the ETY Kids5 for the first time on a familiar song, you may catch high frequency details you’ve never noticed before.

Mid Range

Like the highs, the mids are very clear and detailed. They seem surprisingly natural for such an inexpensive pair. While the mids are by no means boosted, they are certainly realistic, and I am without complaint.

Bass

On a pair of earphones designed to protect hearing, the bass is bound to lose out more than the other frequency ranges. With that in mind, it is no surprise that the low range on this pair is lacking the force or punch of earphones without a volume limit. That being said, most competitors push their bass beyond what is natural or realistic, not to mention beyond what is safe. Also, children are considerably less picky than adult audiophiles as far as particular frequency ranges are concerned. The bottom line is that the bass is notably lacking in presence and power, though not without reason. This lack is by no means a deal-breaker and will likely pay off in the long run.

Isolation

The default, three-flange ear-tips provide astounding isolation. The extra small design allows the phones to go deeper into the ear canal, therefore providing a higher level of isolation than an average pair. This category is another big win for the Kids5.

Sound Stage

By virtue of their impressive isolation and sound quality, the Kids5’s have well above average sound stage for the price. On a well-mixed stereo track, the instruments separate fantastically, creating a surprisingly wide listening space.

Conclusion

One would assume that a pair of headphones named and marketed specifically for children would be hard to appreciate as an adult. As such, you may assume that the ETY Kids5’s single strength would be that they do not get too loud. While the volume limiting is a major strength, allowing for anyone to listen for hours on end without worrying about ear damage, the Kids5’s have much more to offer. The sound, particularly in the treble range, is way above par. The form factor allows for superior isolation. The sound stage greatly exceeds expectations. The small case and changeable ear tips are an added bonus. All-in-all this is a great pair of earphones for children and anyone who’s sensitive to loudness or concerned about the safety of their hearing.

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