"Great sound, incredible sound isolation"5.0 starson by jdouet
Pros: Great (not perfect, but great) sound; improved cord quality (over the ER6i); fantastic sound isolation perfect for travel, even on aircraft near the engines; even lawn mower sounds will be blocked out; casing build quality is high
Cons: Ear wax filters have to be replaced from time to time; they fit most people, but if you don't seat them correctly you won't get the best out of them (I suspect that's the problem other reviewers may have had)
Summary: I had a pair of ER6i's that I loved for their sound isolation qualities and their huge improvement over the standard buds you get with [name of your MP3 player]. The issue I had with them was that the cord was flimsy and its attachment to the 'buds seemed fragile. Well, after a vacuum cleaner ate them, it was time to get a replacement. I looked at products under $150 that had come out since I bought the 6i's; the only other product that truly interested me were the Skullcandy TiTans, which may actually have better overall sound, especially in the bass department (they're also about $50~$75 cheaper depending on your Google skills). However, I determined two things: 1. you cannot at this price or below find anything that comes close to the HF5's sound isolation, and 2. the difference in audio quality (based on viewing frequency response charts, other reviews, and published specs) would not be great enough so that I would notice.
I think, overall, if all I listened to was rap/hip-hop, and didn't value the noise-blocking capabilities, then a more bass-responsive set would be my choice. As it is, I listen to a wide range of music and the HF5's fit the bill just fine.
One note - most people's ears will be able to accept these, but you MUST place them correctly in your ear canal to get all their benefits. It's not difficult to do with some practice, and they come with several types and sizes of plugs, so if at first you aren't satisfied, try reseating them. After a few go-rounds, you should be very happy with what you hear!