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JVC HA-FXZ200

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #146 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Alas! A basshead's IEM, brought justice!

Cons: Yet another Frankenstein-esque design, which I can live with, but can't say I prefer to.


Disclaimer #1: In my experience, I've come to discover that the term basshead is tossed around very loosely, and (more often than not) carries a negative connotation, when that need not be the case. Where I'm concerned, such terms must be put into context. As I've used it here, the term basshead merely implies a listener who admires (and/or maybe even prefers) a moderate to heavy bass lift. That, of course, says absolutely nothing about the quality of bass, as some of us are far more concerned with quality than others. I believe it's no mystery then, when I've made it clear that the FXZ200 is, in my honest opinion, a basshead's IEM done right!

 

Disclaimer #2: While this is hardly a review, think of it as merely a collection of my personal, preliminary thoughts behind JVC's newly released HA-FXZ200, which I acquired via Amazon.jp, with the help of Tenso's forwarding service. After nearly 30 hours of use, my impression is as follows:


1) Compared to the sound of the FXZ200 straight out of the box, versus 30 hours in, and testing them under the EXACT same conditions (same source, same AMP/DAC, and same track), is there an appreciable change/improvement in their sound?

 

Yes, there is an appreciable change. But, the key word here is appreciable. IMHO, the thread is plagued with confusion, with some listeners questioning whether or not these are basshead IEM's (was there ever any doubt?), while others still claiming that the bass isn't overemphasized (confused.gif), etc. Personally speaking, I can't imagine for the FXZ200 to be characterized as anything OTHER THAN a basshead's IEM, and to claim otherwise is, in my opinion, misleading to the reader(s) or prospective buyer(s) out there. In any case, I'll say this much. While the low end does seem to convey more control and sound less obtrusive overall, said change/improvement is heavily exaggerated, and hardly day and night, at least up until the 30 hour mark. The latter claims I'd have to attribute to brain burn-in, where the listener is merely becoming more and more acclimated to the FXZ200's sound signature.

 

2) Would I recommend the FXZ200?

 

Yes and no. Why yes? I've said it before, and I'll say it time and time again; the FXZ200 is the epitome of a basshead's IEM, brought justice & done right! Why no? Because I don't think the FXZ200 is nearly as versatile as, say, the e-Q5, EX600, PFE1xx, GR07 MK II (among others). Sure, the FXZ200 does cater to the audiophile, but most importantly, it caters to the basshead, in the audiophile, and that's my true one statement summary of the FXZ200. So, for those listeners wanting the best damn basshead IEM around, the FXZ200 will be welcomed with open arms. In fact, with the right track, the FXZ200 has a tendancy to bring out the closet basshead in us all. It's no jack-of-all-trades, but it IS the best bass-heavy IEM I've owned, to date. Yes, even above the MG7, FX700, and Miles Davis Trumpet & Tribute (all of which I've previously owned).

 

3) The big question; is the FXZ200 worth it?

 

That's entirely relative, of course. For me, since I was merely in search of a bass-heavy alternative to my GR07 MK II and FI-BA-SS, I'd have to say yes. On the other hand, if I was in search of a versatile IEM, capable of handling any genre, the FXZ200 would fall short of my list of recommendations. But, to someone who primarily listen to genres where a bass-heavy sound signature is desired, the FXZ200 is simply high and above the competition.


Furthermore, I hope my good friend james444 doesn't mind me sharing the following, which I'll quote below, directly from a PM james and I exchanged recently. When I came across james' review of Sennheiser's newly announced IE800, I couldn't help but think that his description of the IE800 was almost word for word, perfectly befitting of the FXZ200. And I quote:

Quote:
Sound signature: The IE800’s overall sound signature is reasonably balanced throughout the highs and mids, with a gradual emphasis towards low bass. See post #2, if you want to (re-)read my detailed listening impressions and comparisons from the IE800 thread.
Quote:
Bass: Awesome extension and kick for such a small driver. Good clarity, control and definition at low to medium volume, but ultimately a bit too bloated. More emphasis on low bass than on mid/upper bass (similar to the Yamaha EPH-100 and Sony MH1). As a result, mids remain widely unaffected, though there’s a gradual decrease of clarity/control in bass and increase of lower midrange warmth as you crank up the volume.
Quote:
Mids: The IE800’s undisputed strong point. Extremely clear and hyper-detailed, but not at all in an aggressive or artificially dissecting way. To the contrary: the Senn‘s mids are probably the most natural and refined of all IEMs I’ve heard (including the custom UERM and JH13). Very good timbre with voices and acoustic instruments. Vocals in particular have a sublime quality of just „being there“, eerily lifelike and tangible.
Quote:
Highs: Almost at eye level with the mids, extended, smooth and highly resolving. The level of detail is stunning at first, but on careful listening treble turns out to be slightly too thin for a realistic timbre. Nitpicking, I know, but think drumsticks sounding a bit like pencils, audience applause reminiscent of crumpling cellophane, and you get the idea. Depending on fit (see next chapter) there’s also a tendency to exaggerate sibilance, though as a whole, treble is far from sounding harsh or overly aggressive.
Quote:
Transparency: Source transparency is excellent throughout the midrange and highs, but noticeably impaired by exaggerated bass. However, it's worth mentoning that on the go the IE800’s bass boost compensates for the masking effect of ambient noise, and perceived transparency is better than in quiet surroundings.
Quote:
Dynamics / Soundstage / Separation / Imaging: The Senn‘s super-clear mids convey a feeling of directness and intimacy without much forward projection, but the driver‘s good dynamics make for excellent depth and layering. Owing to their very high resolution, the IE800’s separation is impeccable, with well defined space for instruments and vocalists. Stage width and presence of a center image vary a bit between downward and over-ear, and I’ve found imaging a bit more coherent with cables worn downward (see post #2 for details). Overall I’d characterize the IE800’s soundstage as neither overly spacious like the IE8's, nor lacking or closed-in, but above all with a quite extraordinary sense of depth.

The above statements, which I've shown in red and bold, are WORD FOR WORD, EXACTLY how I'd describe the FXZ200. With the exception of whatever isn't in bold, it's almost as though james' was describing the FXZ200's. blink.gif

 

It'll be interesting to see comparisons between the two within the coming weeks/months. Meanwhile, I'll update my FXZ200 impressions as is necessary, and where appropriate. Feel free to PM me with any questions. Oh, and Happy New year guys and gals! cool.gif

 

Lastly, a word from JVC, with regard to the drivers and technology implemented in the FXZ200 (translated to English). (Click to show)

HA-FXZ200/100 using a newly developed "LIVE BEAT" system, designed to take into account the strong low-frequency and high-resolution high-frequency. The system consists of a woofer and two treble unit.
 

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Woofer

240017_s.jpg 240018_s.jpg
Specially designed draft tube, an inner diameter of 0.4mm, length 30mm

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And attenuates higher than 100Hz audio

Woofer diameter of 8.8mm, diaphragm carbon fiber material, the unit uses a Kelton-type speaker design, closed with a metal shell constructed acoustic space, through the draft tube specially designed to attenuate the audio above 100Hz, which lead to a more realistic, pure low frequencies.

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Two treble unit

In the high frequency part consists of two parallel arrangement of 5.8mm diameter neodymium magnet driver unit responsible for the above unit "carbon nanotubes" diaphragm following unit uses a carbon fiber diaphragm material, in order to obtain higher resolution in the high-frequency.

Oh, and a little something for the listeners... wink.gif

 

Posted

Pros: Great Bass, Soundstage, Cable

Cons: Ergonomics, Size, Slightly Source Dependent

Let gets started a little background i have tried over 20 dedicated bass head iem's ranging from the well know Future Sonic Atrios to the lesser priced Skull candy 50/50. I know hardly should be able to compare the two but everyone's journey starts somewhere. Anyway it has to be said these are the best bass heavy iem i have heard to date hopefully this review will shed some light on why so lets get in to it. 

 

For arguments sake we will start with my main gripes to get them out of the way:

 

COMFORT:

These have to be one of the most uncomfortable earphones without the correct tips, in fact i was about to dispose of them had it of not been for some comply tips i had lying around. I would encourage you to purchase these separately if looking to purchase these as its almost essential to enjoy them fully. Without the comply's installed i tried various tips from specialized tips such as the ear ports to bi flanges and triple flanges. ( Side note i spoke to the product manger of JVC based in the U.K and this information was taken on board :so for U.K users we may see a set included in future sets so fingers crossed) However with comply's installed fit isn't uncomfortable in fact they fit quite snugly seal is great and this does effect audio reproduction as we all know. 

 

DESIGN:

ok admittedly these do look ridiculous sticking out your ear they could have been better designed ergonomically. Although this is something that can easily overlooked when listening to them so i will leave this section as short as possible. Just to add the wires don't ever seem to tangle my earphone are always looked after inside a tin which can cause tangle issues but these happen to be ready to use every time so truly impressed.

 

  

ISOLATION:

It's fine but it doesn't block things out as much as others for example fischer audio eterna do a better job but its understandable considering the design. It's not a big issue unless you want to use them in the subway or a noisy area and once again i must add comply do a great job of boosting isolation but if you do chose silicone don't expect anything to substantial.

 

Now to the important bit how do these sound. 

 

Main source used Asus laptop K55V >  Gold / Silver Mundorf Interconnect > Neco V4 ( AD8065 ) 

 

Highs - Ok one thing that did catch me off guard was how well these earphones handle treble, detail and timber are top notch far more pronounced than the Atrios partially due to the difference in sound signature .There is a nice amount of air between each instrument and the treble never really becomes harsh i haven't noticed them being sibilant. In tracks with stringed instruments timber is conveyed very well natural and an added bit of sparkle, its quite beautiful to hear considering most bass heavy iem's usually go one of two ways dark or overly bright due to a v shape frequency.  

 

Mids -  Detailed and informative can lack full emotion on certain tracks but overall there is a great sense of balance as another reviewer previously noted there almost on eye level with the highs. There doesn't seem to be much coloration to the sound just personal preference i would like the mids slightly more forward, but then you would be changing the dynamic of how this beast works. Overall the mids are great far from recessed but not center stage by any means at least to my ear.

     

Bass - I am bass hear me roar lol. That isn't to say the bass messes or interferes with the rest of the spectrum however these do have a dedicated sub woofer so....  Admittedly i was initially disappointed with the overall quality even my silver bullets did a better job of producing deep bass. But this is where a bit of persistence was needed i would like to add before writing these things off make sure that they are burnt in and you have a good seal ! So with this in mind things have changed before these factors were added the bass was distorted and muddy, now however it has become a different story suddenly the bass has become deep controlled and incredibly addictive to listen to. I would love to add more to this section but i will say this in closing if you are after the best iem for bass in particular and overall sound quality i have yet to find an iem i would pick over them..

 

Soundstage - The soundstage is quite interesting i haven't really heard anything quite like it. In essence it reminds me slightly of the UE triple fi 10vi except not as wide but with more depth. I suppose having three drivers helps add to the effect it's quite three dimensional.

 

Overall if you are after a great bass head iem grab them without hesitation and a pair of complys :). I must add although not needed an amp is vital in bringing these beasts to life and seeing them shine in there full potential will require a fairly decent amp. In fact a brilliant combo is the dragonfly dac which i had the privilege of demoing the synergy was great really tighten up the whole sound anyway hope you enjoyed my first review. ( I'm not an audiophile just love earphones and music and sound is subjective just a thing to bare in mind and thanks again ) 

JVC HA-FXZ200
By:
Description:

"LIVE BEAT SYSTEM" reproduces real deep bass sound and high resolution sound "Stream Woofer" by Kelton-method reproduces rich and real deep bass sound with carbon diaphragm unit and the stream duct. Special tuned "Twin System Unit" with Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Diaphragm reproduce clear mid and high range frequency. "Brass unit base" reduce unnecessary virbation and distorstrion, reproduct high definitation sound. OFC copper cord coated with pure silver enhances the sharpness and the clarity of the sound.

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