First Look: Etymotic mc3 Headset + Earphones With 3-Button Remote
Revealed at the 2010 CES but for whatever reason not finalized until much later in the year, Etymotic's mc3 ($99) is the company's most aggressively-priced in-ear headphone to feature Apple-ready three-button remote and microphone functionality. Using tuned moving coil drivers that the company selected to offer the best accuracy possible in a budget product, mc3 also promises the maximum passive noise isolation when listening in loud environments, and high microphone sensitivity -- though largely identical to Apple's own microphone performance. The metallic-bodied earpieces ship with four types of isolating tips ranging from foams to triple-flange silicones in two sizes, plus a carrying case, extra filters, and a cleaning tool. A less expensive version called mc5 ($80) notably won a 2010 Best of Show Finalist Award from iLounge, removing the in-line volume controls while preserving the central play/pause/call answer/end button and featuring a different microphone.