JH Roxanne Universals - My impressions

A Review On: Jerry Harvey Audio Sirens Series Roxanne Universal IEM

Jerry Harvey Audio Sirens Series Roxanne Universal IEM

Rated # 157 in In-Ear
See all 5 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $1,300.00
Posted · Updated · 29218 Views · 8 Comments

Pros: Adjustable Bass, Good balance, "Spacious" for an IEM

Cons: Poor quality control, Very large earpieces

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.

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.

After a whole long mess and some back and forth and other dealings I've ended up with a repaired pair of Roxannes UF. These are VERY different from the original pair I had in terms of sound and design. The new ones are larger, more bulbous, have much better treble response / clarity to my ears and are just superior in my opinion. I assume the previous ones may have just been a quick dash to get them out the doors considering the delays they were facing.

Date received:
March 27th, 2014
Last updated:
Aug 7th, 2014

So let's start this.
The source gear I'm using:
Fiio X5
Nexus 5
Sansa clip zip

Music I listen to:
A bit of Jrock
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 high end audiophile DAPs. I understand that. If you wish to stop right here and ignore the rest of my impressions that's up to you.

What I want from headphones are something balanced/neutral. I used to be more of a treble head but lately I'm finding myself wanting a present bass-line that I can tune in on if wanted while still having my mids and treble. I don't care as much about soundstaging, this is a secondary aspect to my ears. Spaciousness is something I do appreciate though. I like some sweetness to my headphones. I dislike the more dry/electronic headphones like the HD700, Beyer T1, AKG K701. If those are headphones you enjoy then I don't think my review will be overly applicable to your situation. My outer ears are fairly small. I guess in this case head size doesn't matter.

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

1. 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 quite a fair amount of tips from the Sony silicone tips to complies to the stock tips and more. The ONLY tips that give me a good seal with comfort are these black double flange tips my friend gave me. Everything else has either been uncomfortable or didn't seal. Even then the newer JH Roxanne UF are very large and have trouble fitting in my smaller ears. But it's more than manageable with these tips.

2. Build quality
The earpieces themselves feel very sturdy. I wouldn't worry about them at all. I do however wish there maybe was a locking mechanism for the eartips to stay in place because on several occasions I've had eartips slide off while I'm taking the Roxannes out of my ears leaving me carefully grabbing at the little bit of the eartip protruding.
I like the cable. Hopefully the new cable I received won't be as bad as the first one. Currently the cable seems fine but the first cable I had had the tendency to unravel itself.
The proprietary connectors feel quite secure.
I always feel like the box for the bass tuning is the weakest link but it's fairly out of the way and should fit in your pocket without a problem.

3. Sound
Probably the most important yet most biased section

I've been keeping the bass adjustments fairly high, despite me saying I prefer neutral, because it seems the double flange tips severely reduce bass.

To my ears:


Your profile states you used to the own the SE535. How do these compare to those? It's not fair to compare them to full sized headphones
That was quite a long time ago (I probably should have recorded dates that I owned those headphones to give people a better idea of timeframe)
But remembering back, the se535 had a ton of sibilance (not as much as the younger 425)
I would say besides the peak in for the sibilance the 535 and roxannes have more or less the same treble level in relation to other frequencies
The bass is definitely the biggest improvement between the two while the mids I'd have to say in terms of smoothness, the 535 were buttery as can be while the roxannes still feel a bit dull.
Hi, would you be able to clarify whether you were listening to files that were compressed, lossless or otherwise?  Also, if you were unable to achieve an adequate seal, that's an immediate red flag for me to take your review with a grain of salt.  That isn't to say you are not entitled to dislike the Roxannes, but to judge the sound quality without satisfying at least a sufficient seal, your review leaves much to be desired.  All things considered, I continue to hear that JH's customer service is notoriously bad.
Saw it's FR measurement......it lacks mid , and treble....it has huge peak on 7khz and rolls off so fast so it's barley reaches 10khz;;;i think you got the exact right impression  
My apologies, this review is the horrid result of a defective product and anger at extremely poor customer support that takes months to get anything out of.
I don't buy many IEMs and generally my ears are fairly "normal" shaped in that most headphones and IEMs will fit, though notably smaller than the average ear.
Using the double flange tips I had no issues with seal.
Most of my music is lossless. Some are poorly produced but enough of it is well produced, mastered and in lossless formats.
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.
What I'm wondering is if the earlier sets of Roxanne universals were just really poorly made (I preordered them mid Jan)
I'm going to leave the rating up and add a huge disclaimer.
Yet another note, if I do ever happen to get a fully functioning pair to use I'll go re-write the whole review
I need an advice I will to buy new pair of earphones which one is the best between those. Shure SE846 vs Roxanne vs JH Angie.