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 # 162 in In-Ear
See all 4 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $1,300.00
Posted · Updated · 3250 Views · 7 Comments

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.

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
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


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