I wrote around a week ago about the JAYS earphones I’ve been testing. Having completed my review, I thought rather than send them back – I’d give them away.
I’ve done alot so far, including a caller Paul to the podcast a week back talking Smartphones. I asked Paul to “let me know what he thought” of the Jays – and well – he has!
Paul has written a very detailed personal review, which I thought (with his permission) I would publish below!
a-Jays One mini-review
After a chat with Trevor on his “ Your Tech Life” podcast ,where he helped me out with some questions I had about smart phones, he offered to send me some spankin’ new a-Jays earphones, and asked if I would maybe do a mini-review on them after I had tried them out. Well I am happy to do that, as I am both a technology lover and lover of audio in general.
I happen to do audio mixing professionally, so I guess I am reasonably qualified to comment on my findings.
(NB I am not on the payroll of Y.T.L. just a grateful Y.T.L podcast subscriber/prize recipient!.)
OK so first impressions count, and this is in their favour. They come in a nice black rubberised-plastic case. It is strong, but a bit like Fort Knox to get into. You have to poke a flathead screwdriver in a slot then slide the inner section out.
That done and looking at the contents you are faced with numerous sized rubber “sleeves” to fit all users, the earphones themselves, and an instruction booklet which contains 12 pages of information in each of the numerous languages. I only consult manuals if I’m stuck so it was straight on to the earpieces which upon being picked up, I immediately noted just how light they were. I straight away way wondering if this meant they are a light-weight performer, coming from an audio world where heavier generally meant better performance and more robust, but this remains to be seen at this point…
The chord itself is black and rubberised. Some propriety design I would imagine.
Trevor mentioned in the podcast that the material and design means you cannot tangle them. I didn’t tell him at the time that I am the king of tangles, and in fact was given the nickname “Tangles” from a cameraman after working as a sound-recordist with him!. By the way I accidently rode the wheel of my chair over the lead during the test so that my full weight was baring down on the lead, but there was no sign break-up of the sound after this.
So I insert them into my ears to check the fit and realise the particular sleeves on them in the package were too big. No drama…there are three smaller sizes included.
A difference too here is that the back of the capsule is flat and 90 degrees in angle from the earphone driver itself, which makes pressing them in squarely is easier than for some I have tried that have a rounded back section.
With the correct size sleeves fitted I was ready for the listening tests.
I had noted two more things at this point. The moulded connector is a Gold-plated 3.5mm TRS or stereo jack which is the recipricle of the portable music players such as i-pods and mp3 players and this is in fact the main application for them. I also note that the label on the packaging suggests “heavy bass impact”. A good comparison then, would be for me to compare them with my everyday workhorse headphones, the Sennheiser HD25’s. I have favoured these as a sound-recordist throughout my 20 year career, as have many others. The comparison should be interesting as I am aware that the Sennheisers tend to be a tad bass-heavy also compared to other comparable professional models. But is it comparing apples with oranges as the Sennheisers are not in-ear earphones but rather on-the-ear headphones?. Well if these were the cheap specials you see everywhere I would think so, but they seem a cut above in the quality stakes, so humour me as we have a look anyway…
I will listen to both some 128kb/s .mp3 music files and 44.1k 16 bit CD music tracks.
I chose to play Christina Aguilera on my generic mp3 player. Why her?… She can really sing for a start, and the “Aint no other man” track has her highs, mids from the brass instruments and bass from a kick-drum in particular, so if something was missing you would hear it.
My Sennheisers gave me the predictable result that I am used to hearing. It is natural, and full range. No surprises. You can hear that the lossly data compression of the .mp3 format has effected some of the stereo image and dynamic range of the track but it still sounds pretty good.
The a-Jays followed. There was an increase in volume straight up due to the lower impedence, which is stated as 16 ohm. People need to be aware that they are therefore capable of extremely loud volume when turned up so care should be taken not to cause hearing damage!.
I head crisp high, but where was all the bass?… hang on a sec…there it is!…
I had forgotten for a sec that the amount of bass you hear with these types of in-ear ear buds is largely dependant on how far you press them in. I pushed them in more and there was loads of deep bass. More than from my Sennheiser headphones in fact. Without looking at the frequency curves it looks like they have indeed boosted the bass reproduction of the earphone driver. Many users like that extra thud, and again, pull them out a bit if it is too much. I think there was some less mids than the Sennheisers, again, many people go for that, when listening to pop music in particular.
On to the cd music. My Sennheisers immersed me in lovely sound and the higher bit rate factor was evident. You get full frequency range, and better dynamic range from CD over .mp3 and the Sennheisers could prove this. The a-Jays sounded good too but the difference from the mp3 format quality wasn’t as distinct.
So they definitely do the job of satisfying the masses of .mp3 type listeners who want a better than average build and performance over generic ear buds.
It’s worth keeping in mind too that my Sennheiser HD25’s cost $450 and are designed for professional use, such as studio and broadcast applications.
Thanks again for the a-Jays Trevor. They are the best ear buds that I have used and they look like they are going to last a long time. And the best thing is…you were right; No tangles!.