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.
- Soundstage is really good. From memory it is as wide as the TF10’s but doesn’t place you as far away from the stage as the TF10’s. There is good depth here as well. It definitely has out of head experience.
- Isolation isn’t as bad as some have expressed but it’s not great either. Actually these are perfect for an office atmosphere where you may need to hear the phone ringing; that is if you are not so engrossed in the music you miss it anyway. Oops, just missed a phone call.
- The digiZoid ZO mates well with these. It amplifies the entire spectrum and then lets you control/add bass presence. It’s not needed but it is sure fun and musical.
- These phones are tip dependant. It took some time to find the right ones. Contrary to your normal thoughts on tips, smaller tips than you normally use work better. Green Sony hybrids or white Monster foam supertips, as well as small Shure black soft flex sleeves (for the e2c) work great for me. I normally use mediums on all my other phones.
- The cable is really weird. It is too short to use without the extension, which makes it too long. Wait! Did I just mention a flaw? At least the connectors are iPhone case friendly including the bumper.
- The box or carrying case it comes with is pretty unique. Not really pocketable but nice.
- These IEM’s look beautiful to me. The wood looks really classy.
- Overall I think these would mate better with a brighter or neutral dap/amp than a warm one.
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.