Pros: Deep, powerful and detailed bass, looks, packaging
Cons: Potentially too much bass
When I received these I was astounded by the packaging. It is elegant, small and informative. The oval shaped matte black plastic with a cover wrapped around it houses the t-JAYS and it's fantastic set of accessories. The cover is a 4 inch or so high sticker that has a picture of the t-JAYS on the front as well as some product information and included accessories. The back has a picture of the contents, specifications, a picture indicating they can be worn over ear or down. The outside is sleek and entices the eye. On the back there's a sticker that the user must peel off to reach the toggle he/she must push down while pulling out to open the case up.
When the case slides up you're greeted to a sleek and detailed instruction manual that is matte black to fit the theme and it simply says "User Manual" in small white print. Very minimalistic, but inside there's a lot of good information in many languages that I highly advise those to read! The next thing you'll see is a black rubberized half circle that says JAYS, which turns out to be a nifty plastic case. The case is beautiful the bottom half is a black rubberized plastic the top half swings out from inside to close up and is a glossy black. It is hard plastic but it sadly isn't padded inside.
Taking out the user manual reveals the t-JAYS, 4 extra mushroom silicon tips, an airline adaptor, a stereo splitter and an extension cord. The provided silicon tips are nothing special, typical of what's expected, the airline adaptor and stereo splitter, while of no use to me, is a nice addition. The extension cord is necessary though. Without the cord the t-JAYS are roughly 1.5 feet from tips to end. I've come to like the extension cord though, it's helped me with protecting the t-JAYS already as the cord got stuck in a door as I was walking and kept the t-JAYS from being ripped from my ears, so I welcome the extension cord.
Overall the packaging is sleek and maintains it's uniform theme. From the hard plastic matte box these came in, to the detailed user manual the t-JAYS just scream elegant.
Design and Build Quality
Everything from the packaging to the accessories feel well made, to get a bit detailed I'll start with the accessories. The silicon tips feel just as good as any other companies, nothing else to say here. The airline adaptor and stereo splitter are gold plated on the connections and are housed in a hard glossy plastic that has a design on them. They both look well made and classy. The half rubberized matte, half glossy plastic carrying case feels a bit thin and I wish there was a soft lining on the inside, but it feels sturdy enough to keep the t-JAYS safe.
The t-JAYS are well made. They are a nice rubberized plastic that's light weight and feels well made. On the end of each IEM there's a rectangular glossy section, I suppose as a contrast. It adds to the eye appeal though. On the inside of each IEM there's an indicator for left and right printed in white, on the outside t-JAYS is engraved into the rubber. The cable feels durable and rubbery with little to no microphonics. The cable terminated into a sleek straight plug also rubberized. Overall the build quality is nice, but how do they feel?
JAYS claims these can be worn down or over ear. While the stamps on the IEMs would have you believe they should be worn down I found a much better fit over ear. I've read others prefer them down though, so it's really up to the user. The fit is comfortable, I barely notice them in my ears. They are rather shallow insertion though, but they feel secure in my ears. They did feel a bit awkward getting into my ears at first, but after getting used to them they're easy to get in and out.
There's nothing that shines or glares about these headphones other than looks. The build quality is a bit above average, for instance I feel them to be slightly higher quality than my A151, and they do look sleek.
I gave these 50 hours of burn-in before testing the sound quality to allow the drivers to settle in. After the 50 hours I put these on through my normal listening. The first thing that was apparent is that these definitely have bass. The lows are punchy, deep and definitely the highlight of the t-JAYS. Now the bass is definitely the prominent feature of the t-JAYS, but does it do it right? In my opinion the bass is excellent on these. It's a bit pushy and a bit too much for me, but it's accurate, detailed, extends well and punchy. It gives bass heavy songs the punch and fullness that larger drivers would.
The mids aren't bad, not by any means, but unfortunately the bass has a way of overshadowing the mids on some songs causing vocals to sound recessed a tad. The mids by themselves are clean and smooth, but I found them to be really lacking when the bass kicks in, especially for alternative rock songs. The highs are also nice, but they don't sparkle. They are a bit rolled off and while they're a bit more forward than the mids, they don't really shine either. I found myself struggling sometimes to hear the hi-hat on some bass heavier songs, for instance. The soundstage is decent on these, I don't feel congested and the notes linger when necessary giving a feeling of being in a hall sometimes, but not as if you're shouting into a canyon.
Overall the sound is definitely more for bass lovers. It has a slight V-shape, but the bass is definitely the selling point on these for sound. I don't find these good for alternative rock or acoustic songs, but on electronic tracks and hip-hop these things are rather killer.
The Raconteurs - Top Yourself
Right off the bat the guitar sound great, the low notes are a bit more prominent than the rest, but overall they sound great. The vocals have a nice natural sound to them as well. Once the bass line comes in though the guitars and vocals take a seat and the kick drum is actually a bit overshadowed by the bass line. As I said these are a bit too heavy for alternative rock, in the second verse, for instance, the banjo in my left ear is hard to hear and the shadowed vocals are definitely in the background rather more to the mid.
Radiohead - Where I End and You Begin
Another alternative rock song, which has a more prominent bass line. The sound effects are able to be heard, but the low ends of them are more prominent. The drums can be heard clean though while the repetitive bass line goes. The haunting vocals sound like they're struggling to stay on the same level with the bass. I can definitely hear it clearly, but the bass it right on the same level where as it should be a step below. The crunchy guitar comes in an it sounds just a tad thin, but it lacks the impact it should have. Again I feel the bass is just a bit too much for alternative rock.
Kid Cudi - Make Her Say
If you like your hip-hop with a lot of impact in the bass, then these are for you. The bass on this song has a lot of slam without messing up the vocals. The vocals sound clear, they're a bit recessed, but they will sound great for fans of hip-hop. Lady GaGa's sample in the back is definitely not the focus of this song with these headphones. If you want heavy bass, this song is currently bumping hard. There's a lot of impact and extension.
Duo Infernale - Feeling Blue
Let's give a liquid dnb tune a go. This song has a lot of samples going through it that really carry the song outside of the repetitive drums and heavy smooth bass. During the intro they sound fine, a bit heavy on the lows, but clear and balanced. Once the bass comes in, it's heavy. It's slightly rumbling my head and I definitely feel it. The drums are still heard clearly and have nice impact. The piano is heard easily, a bit recessed, but clear as are the other samples. The bass is definitely prominent, but it sounds good with this song, it's silky smooth and carries the tune. Each bass note change is easily heard with detail.
James Blake - Limit To Your Love
Yup, I had to! The piano sounds clear and the notes ring out. The vocals are smooth and also ring out nicely. The bass is really what I'm testing here though and it's incredible. The bass is fast, detailed and I feel it. The vocals still sound wonderful and the drum is easily heard with clarity, but man the bass is fantastic. It easily keeps up with the note changes and fluctuations.
Florence + The Machine - Cosmic Love
I chose this to test for sibilance and unfortunately there's slight sibilance on some parts. It's not overwhelming, but it is definitely there. The rest of the song sounds as usual, a bit bass heavy, but the harp actually is a bit prominent here, as is her voice, then again they're more in the upper mid frequencies which are less recessed.
If you want a bass heavy IEM in a sleek package then look no further. These have some of the best bass I've ever heard in a headphone in detail and extension, unfortunately it just doesn't work for every genre. Some jazz, electronic and hip-hop sounded good on these, while most rock and acoustic stuff sounded too dark for my liking. For $80 they can be found for online they are definitely priced well for bass heads, others look elsewhere.