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Jerry Harvey Audio Sirens Series Roxanne Universal IEM

Posted

Pros: The full frequency range is there, with nothing missing, according to my ears

Cons: Bulkiness (but then there are 12 BA drivers per side), Cost (but then if they are the best)

I have to say, when I first saw them, 12 bands per driver! Isn't that a bit over the top? But after listening to a demoed pair for just 5 mins with my iPod, I bought a pair, they are really that good! I got the AKR03 version though, not sure if they are the same as the JH Audio version.

 

ARK03

Posted

Pros: Everything (for an IEM)

Cons: Nothing yet (for an IEM), except the price

So when I got my HD800, they were so good from the first hour with every song and genre, when compared to other top tier flagship headphones, that I wrote a quick review to give them a no brainer five stars and then filled that review in slowly. Same deal here. These are getting close to the resolution, spatials and sound quality of a good full sized headphone. Not quite there yet -- for example, they're not as detailed, e.g., as my HD800 driven by a Burson Conductor ES9018, and they're similarly noticeably deficient in other respects when compared to a proper full sized -- but they're better than other high end IEMs in this respect, such as the Shure SE846 and IE800. I'll add more to this later, but basically right now every dimension of sound is better with these. Detail, spatials, treble (although these have a warmer sound signature than those other two), mids, bass (the SE846 has good sub-bass, but the Roxanne's bass is better defined; yes, there's detail in bass), balance between the frequencies, everything  . . . 

 

On comfort, they are definitely big (maybe twice the size of the SE846 in terms of volume? and much much bigger than the IE800) but I am having no problems whatsoever fitting them and so on. They're like the SE846 in that respect (but not as good as the IE800, which are super easy to pop in and out).

 

Edit1: They're clearly "warm" on the frequency scale, sort of like an Audeze LCD2. So if you want a bright headphone you may not like these. This is true even if you turn the bass all the way down (which you do via two screws on the line, one for the left ear and the other for the right ear). If I were designing them, I would have moved them a tad bit up on the frequency chart, but I can't criticize JH for that decision since you can't please everyone on the warm/neutral/bright debate. Note this is very slightly exacerbated if you move from the rubber/silicone type tips to the comply foam tips, which create a super air-tight seal and thus magnify the bass (and consequently cause you to perceive less treble).

 

Edit2: If you like the fact that IEMs put the music right  in your head, and you don't like the way full-sized headphones create some imagined distance between you and the sound, then you won't like these. It occurs to me that some people might like that closed in feel of a traditional IEM. It's a little odd listening to an IEM that presents music in this way.

 

 

Posted

Pros: adjustable bass

Cons: Dark treble, Poor quality control

At the moment, I have the original pair of roxannes with the left (what I noted as defective) earpiece replaced. Upon reopening them and listening, I heard very obvious channel imbalance. With the left earpiece being stronger, more clear and with a bit better balance. The right earpiece is from an original early set. The following review is based mostly on the original pair I owned which may not be representative of the quality of the product you would be receiving now.

EDIT:
Why did I give this 1/2 a star? Simply because the experience with these has been absolutely awful.
I found out after talking to a few audiophiles about my pair that the left earpiece may be broken in some way. Basically the mids were muffled and sounded off. Very noticeable if you paid attention to it/ know what to listen for. Otherwise it would just sound like something is off overall. This coming in after all the cosmetic defects and delays is REALLY disappointing. I send emails with no response. I call and get connected to Andy who listens to me and tells me he'll send me a pair first thing Monday morning (Monday being May 19th) and that he would quality check it himself. Well here I am updating this on June 12th with no further response and no replacement after confirming by email that he would send me a replacement on May 19th. This has been an overall awful experience dealing with JH for a $1300 pair of earbuds.


I'd like to start by reminding everyone these are my current impressions and can change depending on certain factors.

Date received:
March 27th, 2014
Last updated:
April 1st, 2014

So let's start this.
The source gear I'm using:
Nexus 5
Sansa clip zip

Music I listen to:
A bit of Jrock
Classical
Various instrumentals
Various types of soundtracks
Very little pop / electronic

Most of what I listen to is lossless with certain exceptions. However, I would not use those exceptions for reviewing purposes.

No, these are not audiophile DAPs. I understand that. If you wish to stop right here and ignore the rest of my impressions that's up to you.

Other sources I've had brief impressions with are:
Sony HAP S1
Sony PHA2
Woo WA7

Table of contents
1. Comfort
2. Build
3. Sound

1. Build quality
Well, I can't say much about durability in this area since I've only had it 5 days.
But right out of the box I noticed that the lock but on the cables had chipped paint revealing the silver aluminum underneath. This is before I even put them on.
Second, upon further inspection the carbon fiber faceplate on my right earpiece is smudged. Both of these defects don't lead me to be very optimistic of the durability and are the main reason for the 2 star rating. That and the fact that I waited over two months and still see poor quality control.

2. Comfort
I have small ears so often find myself using the small or medium eartips for most IEMs
I don't know if the shape of my ears is just abnormal (I've never had molds done) but these don't fit that well.
I've tried both the small and medium silicone tips included as well as the medium chord and major and the Sony silicone tips.
For my left ear the chord and major medium tip fits well and doesn't pressure my ear and seems to improve sound a bit. For my right ear I can't seem to get a seal using anything but the JH medium tips which are uncomfortable and pressure my ear.
Again, I might have abnormal ears, I've never had a mold done, but the fact that none of the included silicone eartips fits is a bit of a shame

New note: Using double flange tips I achieved good comfort and seal with a change in the sound to reduce bass and improve treble.

3. Sound
Probably these most important yet most biased section

To my ears:
Laid back treble with a thick sound but punchy, present bass.
About my sound preference:
I listen more for the vocals and treble
I enjoy a sweet treble with present but not intrusive bass.
I listen to a lot of instrumentals and vocals with emotion so texture and warmth are also important to me.
Soundstage isn't a primary concern. It's nice if it's there but otherwise it's not the end of the world.

Now onto the Roxannes.
A quick overall description:
Poor soundstage (keep in mind I'm coming from exclusively using TOTL open backs for the past 2 years)
Thick/slow sound
Weak/rolled of treble
Generally a bit dull sounding

I'll keep this updated every now and then as I try new DAPs and tips
Jerry Harvey Audio Sirens Series Roxanne Universal IEM
Description:

JH Audio's new Flagship CIEMs featuring FreqPhase and SoundrIVe technologies.

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