Originally Posted by spatzi
I know that the Koss K35's are over the ear, and the q-jays are in ear, but for $179, I fully expect that the q-jays are a lot better than the Koss K35's.
I don't think that's a reasonable expectation. While I haven't spent much time with Koss KSC35 phones, I have demoed them and they sounded pretty decent. q-JAYS might have the edge on the KSC35 in terms of detail but there's no way they'll be 'a lot better'. In fact, there will be areas in which the Koss phones will have an edge.
Another point of note is that IEM sound quality comes down to fit and seal. q-JAYS are shipped with silicone tips of various sizes but no foamies and no double or triple flanges. If, like myself and others, you find yourself needing other tips to get a proper fit, the cost goes up again. In my case, I paid about $200 for the q-JAYS and another $45 for a set of tripple flanges, foamies, and shipping. That's still cheaper than I could get SE530 here shipped but not a lot.
My next stop will be Shure SE530.
As far as sound quality goes, it varies with fit. That seems normal with any IEM. They are certainly capable of wonderful detail. iLounge slams the q-JAYS for their high frequency roll off but this has not been my experience. Still, they are far from the best sounding headphones I've heard. They are very good, though.
One of my biggest concerns with q-JAYS is the testimonials and support from this site. After purchasing a set, I came to realize they are talked about here and reviews on other boards are pretty much exclusively from posters here trying to spread the word. If anything negative is said about q-JAYS in this forum, a bunch of supporters will jump in and defend the q-JAYS. The hype is all coming form this forum.
In fact, if you read back a little ways, you will find someone telling me it wasn't right to post a slightly negative review based on poor fit problems. Well, I paid $200 and still haven't heard great sound unless I hold the modules with my fingertips in a very specific way. When I do that, I get very good sound. Otherwise, the SQ is modest.
I'm going to continue experimenting with tips and I hope to get better performance out of my pair of q-JAYS but in the mean time, I'm going to order a pair of SE530. If I were doing it again, I would go straight to the SE530. The SE530, of course, comes with a fit kit.
On the plus side for the q-JAYS.... they are delightfully small. I'll live with the big Shure modules but I wish the q-JAYS worked for me because their size is a treat. Also, the short cable/extension is the best thing going. I've heard complaints but I think the short cable is genius. They are a y-cable too and that's always good too.
There is a lot to like about the q-JAYS but they may not be the bargain they seem to be.