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Preliminary FXZ200 Impressions

A Review On: JVC HA-FXZ200


Rated # 115 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $237.25
Night Crawler
Posted · 15978 Views · 5 Comments

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:

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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

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.

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



Nicely done sir
Thank you, as my love for music is reignited with the newly acquired FX200.
@Dsnuts: thank you.
@turokrocks: you're very welcome. I'm enjoying them all the same. :D
I haven't got myself a pair of this earphones yet but I already had several eargasms while listening to that Exist Strategy u posted up with my awsome Beyerdynamics DT 990 Pro + Asus Xonar STX (49860 Op-amps). Gotta say I was floored by the amount of air that my dt 990 pushes to my ear...smooth, fluid, so airy with great bass imaging and definition.
Like the very expensive Senny's WOW
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