Pros: Highly detailed, well controlled bass, good tonal balance
Cons: Cost, comes in two versions (coupled with JH's own amp)
Paid about US$1200, including custom fit, and am overseas.
A very highly detailed and balanced IEM. I have an iPod only filled with audiophile grade music. Put in anything else, and you hear warts and all of lesser recordings. I use this with my portable set up, which is played through the CypherLabs DAC and the Go-Vibe Porta Tube amplifier. Cables are ALO but I really did not notice any difference with any good quality cable used.
One criticism I often read seems to centre on the bass heavy skew in terms of tonal balance. I have a different opinion on this. I have played the electric bass guitar for many years, in live sessions as well as in the studio, and I can feel the bottom end which is not muddy. I rarely find this in headphones, and the punchy thump of the bass is different from a headphone that can extend all the way down to the lowest note of the 5- or 6-string bass (the sixth string does not count as it is in the higher octave). Again, the bass amps/speaker sound different with a 15 inch woofer and say, a 4x10 bass cabinet. Depending on the soundtrack, the bass can be dominating or laid back, but this is just merely an accurate portrayal of the source. In short, I find the JH16 able to portray the deepest regions well without drowning the mid or higher frequencies.
Nothing more to add to the higher frequencies as they sound highly revealing, but without any unwanted sizzle. I love the phones, but still am wondering why they cost so much. The UE TF10 which I have, comes very close to it, but with less extension at the bottom and the highs sound a bit harsh only when compared with the JH16. Without the comparison, I would be happy to continure to use the UE TF10 which I have for some time now. (must be at least two years).
Overall, the JH16 is accurate, but not sterile in any way in its presentation with the gear I'm pairing it with. Very good low extension, where it becomes exceptionally difficult to reproduce with each Hz below 30Hz.