-james444 of headfi.
Edited by pinoyman - 4/14/11 at 10:58pm
Pros: Musicality, Bass, Treble, Details, Reverb, Timbre
Cons: Short cable, only sold in Japan
I’m not going to waste your time talking about accessories, fit, packaging, what songs I listened to or any other boring stuff because frankly none of that stuff matters when it comes to the JVC HA-FX700’s. The only thing that matters is the unbelievably good sound coming from these, so without further adieu-
MASSIVE. That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I put the JVC’s in my ears. Everything is massive; the bass, the treble, the sound stage, the notes and the musicality. For me these redefine what kind of sound can be attained from an IEM. Everything just sounds bigger. It really is a concert in your ears! They have a unique reverb I’ve not heard before that really lends itself to a live performance. The JVC’s are very energetic, engrossing and enveloping and at the same time very, very detailed. These are the most life-like sounding phones I’ve owned or listened to; to say these are the kings of timbre is no exaggeration. It’s very difficult for me not to just gush over them!
One of the first things you notice is the bass. It is full, robust and extremely textured. To my ears there seems to be equal sub and mid bass presentation and it extends deep. Bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar should; not just some incoherent or vague bass melody line. You can hear the tone, the plucks, the string vibrations and the fingers sliding across the fret boards. The bass presence seems to change from song to song, presenting it as it was recorded, instead of being omnipresent at the same levels for every song like some phones. Do some phones have more sub bass? Yes, the Future Sonics Atrios do. Do some phones have more mid bass? Yes the Westone 3 does. However the JVC’s present the total package: the best of both worlds and the most realistic, full and accurate bass of all my IEM’s.
The treble on the JVC’s rivals some of the best BA treble I’ve had the opportunity to hear. It doesn’t have the airiness of the UE TF10’s but it does have great sparkle, and more importantly it has micro detail in its treble. You can really hear the differences in cymbal rides and hi-hats. They never get lost in the music, which is an important feature in treble presentation for me. Cymbals sound amazing; the sparkle and reverb here are really special. I suppose if you are sensitive to hot treble, it may be a little much for you but it is not sibilant by any stretch, just a very forward and detailed presence. To put it in perspective, if you’ve heard the Panasonic HJE-900’s, the treble is similar. It is not as splashy and hot as the panny’s but very similar and much more detailed.
I find the midrange properly placed. It isn’t forward but it’s not recessed like the TF10’s. As mentioned before, the JVC’s present a concert like experience and as such vocals are not as intimate and close as some other phones that are more mid focused; while still other phones present mids that are too thick, resulting in vocals that sound chesty or nasally. The JVC’s vocals are clear, grain free and natural.
The JVC HA-FX700’s are a spectacular IEM in my book. It’s really too bad you can only get them in Japan but internet stores like Seyo-Shop and Musica Acoustics make them accessible to the rest of the world. In fact, I think JVC is nuts not to offer these in other countries. If you are looking for a neutral phone, you should look elsewhere but if you are looking for one with a natural presentation, unmatched timbre with superb bass and treble and amazing musicality, look no further than the JVC’s.
Pros: Class-Leading Timbre + Soundstage & Headstage, Incredibly sophisticated Micro-Detailing and Effortless Dynamic
Cons: Cable Length is awkward for outdoor active-use, Below-Average Isolation.
Before i fetch my FX700, There was many unknown speculation from within myself, A friend said its close to Westone 3's sound which i really scorned but still respected otherwise.
And i always have a hard-time getting along with a V-Curve Sound Signature and its likes. Which in turn caused me sleepless nights.
But now i am having them in my ears, all those wild-guesses are for naught. Yes these have more prominent Treble and Bass than its Mids, But when properly EQ'ed, Treble is easier to handle than the Spiky and Harsh Highs of the Denon C260 & C710.
[TREBLE] is easily one of the 'meat' of the FX700's sound-signature, The FX700 boasts plentiful sparkle usually towards the Mid~Low Treble.
As a result, Female Vocals especially Jazz Vocals, sounds nothing short of a heavenly experience, Listening to Patricia Barber, Chaka Khan and Ella Fitzgerald etc, it never felt so wonderful out of an In-Ear before.
Albeit some would still prefer the airiness from Triple-Fi 10 Pro, but the sparkle of FX700's Treble has a greater sense of realism as every high note is delicate and yet an appropriate amount of smoothness at the same time.
On the other hand, The Treble of FX700 falling on the hands of a mediocre format (64~192 kbps anyone?) of a generic girl group which can sound sibilant and at times, squeaky on several occasions (Talk about K-POP Groups like KARA & T-Ara)
The treble depending on the mileage of driver burn-in, can be quite a bit of a feverish disaster on those lowly bit-rated songs, dynamics can easily get mashed up by its unintended feverish treble and make it a less ideal listening experience. So, avoid bad bit-rate format songs of Girl Groups and Squeaking High-Pitch voice at all costs when using the FX700.
All in all, The treble of FX700 is generally top-notch, crushing and intimidating several competitors even from the B.A Realms such as SM3, Westone 3 & UM3X.
And i could imagine fervent fans of CK10 / CK100's treble seeking a good dynamic IEM without a horrific step-out of their comfort zone of preferred sound, will find an unequaled solace and joy in this lovely pair of FX700.
[MID] is impossibly clean and refined, and depending on tips-selection. source-synergy and possible equalizer tweaks going right / wrong, It is possible to be very recessed.
But fortunately, most of the time I don't find that to be the case for my experience with the FX700's mids. Rather i find vocals to be extremely detailed out of it, Such as the breathings, the nasal noise, the extremely subtle vibrato were easily presented naturally by the FX700.
In fact out of the Dynamic-Driver Realm, I felt that the Mids of FX700 were one of the most true-to-life without any serious coloration other than a really measly amount of warmth to it.
And right tips with suiting source and equalizer tweaks if applicable, can still add an intimate touch to the MIDs of FX700 albeit not as warm and intimate as those of Monster Miles Davis Tributes.
[BASS] can initially sounds over-whelming on stock-tips prior to burn-in, but as the burn-in goes on, Tips changed to Sony-Hybrids, the whole matter is always much more complicated than that.
Based on my experience with the FX700 so far, The bass of FX700 sounds neither boomy and over-powering mid-bass thump or intimidating sub-bass --- The FX700 is none of those.
Instead, The Bass of FX700 prides itself on impossible accuracy and the tactile texture.
As with most Dynamic Drivers, You can definitely feel the signature air-moving sensation out of FX700's bass.
As for the amount of the Bass from FX700, its truly hard to put a definite term and quantity to it --- Because the FX700 works their best to portray and reproduce the exact amount of bass which the recordings intended to.
And the meat of the FX700's bass is how articulate and quick is their ability and dexterity in detail-retrieval within the entirety of low-frequencies, all the subtle nuances and ghost beats, and yet i have never truly heard them on the Monster Miles Davis Tributes, Westone UM3X nor the Earsonics SM3
As a result, FX700 can sound over-detail to some, usually either within the Treble or the Bass regions, but hands down the FX700 is a epitome of a Dynamic Driver Testament that, the Balance Armature in clusters need not necessary be superior than a Single Dynamic Driver.
For an instance, i felt that the FX700 is within the same league as the 6-Driver UM Miracle (Demo Set which i have auditioned) when it comes to frequency coverage and its entirety.
[SOUNDSTAGE] is another trump card up to FX-700's sleeves, The size of the soundstage is not as wide as the Sennheiser IE8, but what it trumps above all, Is the uncanny ability of the FX700 to deliver supreme and natural spatial cue and seperation with its effortless dynamic capability.
Headstage and its quality is easily surpassing than that of the Sennheiser IE8 too. Despite that its not as wide as the Ortofon e-Q7 / RE-262 or depth of the SM3, the unmatched natural headstage and presentation of the FX-700 are hard and nearly impossible to beat in the realm of IEM.
Conclusively, I would strongly recommend this to people who doesn't mind sub-par isolation and are seeking uncompromised sound-quality, frequency coverage, detailing and accuracy.
If you are reading this, considering this and have yet to give this a chance, Hop on to James' Comparative Review on the FX700, I felt that what James said and the review from ljokerl pretty much nailed the thing.
And lastly, If any biggest reason why this wood babe deserves your chance, will be its timbre, Instruments sounds big, grand and alive. When coupled with its spacious soundstage and headstage backed by its superb excellent spatial cued done accurately --- Grand Instrumental / Acoustic Compositions are a pure nirvana to enjoy listening to!
Pros: Details, bass, the whole package
Cons: Isolation, short cord
I've owned these incredible IEM's twice. The bass and extreme details these beautiful things pick up in music is mind blowing. I've made comments about these sounding close to my RS2. The materials and quality is top notch. It's younger brother, the FX500 was part of my "Got Wood" posse, but was sold because I found the mids lacking. The FX700 remedies all the deficiencies of the FX500 and takes the bass the FX500 is known for and cleans it up and makes it sound more impacting. The mids flowed like butter and the micro details, well, has pretty much been summed up at the beginning of my review, and the sound stage is much wider over the FX500.
I would've still owned them if it wasn't for the damn short cord. It is indeed tailored to the Japanese market (no pun intended) as on few occasions, the lack of cable length made them get yanked out my ears. The other is lack of isolation which is partially due to the included tips that never really fit me well. Small to medium size ear canals should be fine, but the largest size didn't fit well. However, the sound quality isn't impacted too much, if at all.
These are superb sounding IEM that are better suited to quiet and safe listening environments such as home because of its weight and material would most likely break them should they hit a hard surface.
In short the FX700 is beautiful in all regards (sound and asthetics)
Pros: Decent sound, comfortable, exotic wooden design
Cons: Sound decent(but not Great) Terrible isolation for iem, must handle with great care (or they'll break!)
These earphones have the worst isolation amongst all my top tier iems. (SM3, TF10, IE8)
As a result, JVCs sound thin unless you try to hold them in position.
Also, these iems sound softer compared to the others on the same volume and they do not provide any discernible improve/edge in sound quality over SM3, TF10, IE8. (Unless you really want to nitpick- take the midrange/low/high/soundstage of this earphone and say it is better than that like this- earphone A > B = C... to me, it doesn't say much about the overall sound it produce.) End of the day, it boils down to whether the overall sound stands out to your ears.
Important rules I learnt from this purchase:
1) Always audition review with your own ears. (I auditioned the SM3, TF10,IE8 myself before buying)
2) Be wary of headphones that have little exposure- few users (1.Limited only to Japan 2. Not many dealers- if they were good, why wouldn't there be more dealers-eg westones, unique melody)
Btw please check out my review of the IE8 & SM3
Pros: Very clear and smooth sound; deepest, fullest and most solid bass ever heard in the iem world, soundstage, luxury looking..
Cons: Plastic fake treble, none-detail sound,super overwhelm bass issue, color sound..
Well, i am a bass-addict and though the bass on this JVC's flagship iem is really outstanding, i really can not love it unless i am considering this bass separately. Yeah, it will be the most iem's subwoofer-likeness bass if it is standing alone. But in this case of the FX700s, the bass affects too much at the mids once you listen to a (semi)heavy bass song. For example: jpop, kpop, hiphop, dance and even R&B =.=
Besides, the general sound of the FX700 is too thick, too color (not dark though) and seriously lack of the detail in the mids, esp in the treble and having a plastic treble like that is existing on almost models of the Denon's sound signature.
Pros: this is the best phone ive owned ever.
Cons: wire length
well, here is my review: