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C-Jays review

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
The box has arrived.

Well, first thing is omg how quick was that coming from Sweden! Clearly they have a first rate postal service but what’s with the root vegetable stamps?

Right, so let’s get the box open and have a look at what’s inside.

Well the box does indeed look rather pretty, the photo doesn’t do it justice in the slightest. It has that very Apple-like feel of being thick quality plastic. Yes, packaging may not be that important but when you hold the box, it feels like the whole package is a quality item. Bodes well for the future.

Right, Jays what were you thinking? Why is the box glued closed? Again I know it’s not really that important but I would have been much happier with a box that I could reclose and tuck in, I don’t like that I had to take a sharp object to a box of expensive goodies.

I asked Jays about this and they its because retailers wanted it, I certainly don’t but it’s not really a big deal.

The contents of the box is a really snug fit, gravity alone isn’t going to shift it, camera down and will pull it out and see what it looks like in the flesh.

Ooh, immediately these things look much better in the flesh than they do in pictures. However, since I took a ton of pics, here’s a few.

Accessories: Very nicely put together and gives the impression of the C-Jays being a quality product. In fact the feel of the C-Jays themselves in my hand is pleasantly surprising they feel much more solid than I was expecting. The cable is wonderful, nice texture, soft, flexible and yet feels absolutely solid. However I’d rather not have use scissors to remove a label telling me how good they are. Time to put them on I think.

Source is a 5G ipod, no eq.

First impressions:, The first thing that came to mind was ‘muddy’, but this starts clearing up after a min or two but where are the highs? Well they have been on my ears about 10 min and I already have the big foam pad on them. They mostly go around my ears rather than sitting on them, and when I press them down closing the gaps where at the bottom they sit on my ear itself, the bass line becomes much nicer and smoother. Actually these big pads are becoming rapidly uncomfortable. I think these might need a couple of days of burn in on them.

Four days later: Fit wise I think I’ve settled on the large foam pads, they tame the mid and upper bass that the small pads spit out by the truck load and provide the best treble. Unfortunately in my pad swapping I’ve already managed to tear the large foams slightly, they are still useable though. Comfort wise I’m just not really loving any of the pads, the most I can do is about 3 hours with the large foams then it just gets so uncomfortable they just have to come off. I can’t help but feel if the foam pad was even larger and sat on my head rather than my ears comfort would be massively improved and so would the lower bass.

Sound wise, thankfully, they have improved somewhat, quite a lot in fact the clarity has improved in spades and the mid bass has calmed down now longer throwing itself all over everything. However it’s still early days but already these are beginning to show signs of promise. The highs too have begun to show themselves without splashing in a most uncomfortable manner, the level of detail in them is increasing but they seem to be quite distant and lacking in the higher end of the spectrum.

The highs feel compressed into a very narrow range, and while this is getting better it’s still got a long way to go. The bass line too in fact feels somewhat compressed, all mid and upper bass that just seems to at times dominate in a way that it shouldn’t be, I know the sub bass is there as if I cup my hands and hold the edges of the big foamies down is appears and the bass suddenly fills out. This might make them even more bass heavy but it sounds much more realistic and natural, C-Jays I know you can do low but the fit just won’t let you.

At this stage I can’t help but feel the fit is the problem I’m having and it’s affecting the sound. I’ve discovered that the fit means the louder I turn them the brighter they get. So each song has its own optimised volume and this isn’t terribly loud. So no cranking the volume up on a favourite song.

Ten days later: Now they’ve really opened up, they now have highs and they really aren’t too bad highs either on the big foamies there in a reasonable quantity and quite detailed too. You know what I’m beginning to actually like them yesterday I had to go out for a few hours and put in my 10’s and when I got home I put the C-Jays back on and I didn’t find the highs lacking, that’s how much they have changed. Time I think to get more systematic.

Midrange: The mids are good, nice clear and solid. Very neutral in their presentation but tending towards being ever so slightly recessed. If I’m honest id rather they were more forward, I like forward mids but for the money they are really very good. Right now missy Higgins voice sounds that lovely combination of lush with hint of raspy breathiness.

Highs: These have improved a lot too and now sound delicate and quite detailed. They do however work better when there isn’t a lot going on musically. I find that when things get complicated the highs are the first things to start breaking up however I found this improves if you play lossy mp3’s since they break up the highs anyway it doesn’t have the same impact.

Fit: I don’t like it, it is a totally personal thing but with each of the pad there was something that just bothered me. The pad changed the sound quite a lot and for me the best sound was with the large foamies but they just sounded sooooo much better in the low end when I held the foam down and created a more closed environment. However since that’s impractical I’m going to judge them as is.

Btw, jays you realise you can’t see where it says right or left when the big pads are on?

Medium pads
Frankly I don’t these pads at all, I find them really not very comfortable and sound wise they don’t do the bass better much better than the big ones and the highs aren’t as good. Mostly I just really find these too uncomfortable to wear for any real length of time.

Small pads

Actually there’s a part of me that really does and part that really doesn’t like them, the bass on these is really greatly improved and there is a lot of it too. The bass is very warm and very well controlled, if you like songs with lots of mid and upper bass these are easily the pads you want to use. On “as heaven is wide” the bass line is really a lot of fun, it makes me smile.
Mids are just as good as they have been with the other tips but on some tracks they can begin to blend in with the very warm upper bass. It’s not a huge problem but it is noticeable.

Highs are lacking, they are somewhat distant and while they can be brought back with treble boost on the eq this makes them sound just a little out of place (well the eq on the ipod is crap) so I think it’s better to leave it off.


The small pads are fine really, about maybe 2 hours or so before they start to bother me.

The mediums about 20 min before they start to become unpleasant about 10 more before they get removed, my ears really don’t like them.

The big ones are the most comfy, bout 3 hours before I want to remove them, I just wish they were bigger.

Build quality

Got to say that from pictures of the C-Jays they look a bit cheap and plasticy but when you have them in your hand this is just not the case. They look so much better and feel like quite a solid item. I especially like the cable, feels absolutely solid, has a nice texture and is easily flexible enough too. The pads feel quite good too but I did manage to accidently tear one of the big ones which surprised me. If any was going to rip I would have thought the uber thin small ones. Jays sent me out a new set so I can’t hold anything against them for a bit of foam ripping. The C-Jays themselves are really very, very nice.

Overall impressions

Well, this depends so much on the pads. With the small, they are very warm which can be fun – and with the large pads they’re bright and airy. The level of detail is really not bad for £80 but what does bother slightly is they don’t do so well the louder they get turned up, with more volume they seem to become more uncontrolled and splashy. The odd frequency spike here and there particularly in the upper bass and the upper mids means I don’t want to turn them up loud.

At moderate volumes they are much more stable and controlled and have a very pleasant sound, if a somewhat coloured one. The colour seems largely determined by the pads that you put on, so with some songs you need the small, and for others the large. Actually what I really want for all songs is the large pads held down around my ears. I just can’t help but keep feeling the drivers are rather good but the foam pads are just getting in the way, make a larger closed pad to go on them and I’m sure I would be much much happier with the C-Jays. As it stands they offer me the very very warm mid bassy sound from the small pads or the very airy but disappointing bass of the large foams.

If your music tastes mean that the music you want to listen to responds well to those sounds then the C-Jays will be great for you but for me I just kept wanting to change the pads every three or 4 songs. The mediums were a little more balanced but they weren’t great and I just couldn’t wear them for very long. I feel really frustrated with the C-Jays right now, I know they can sound great but they don’t right now. Maybe it’s that I have larger than average ears (I don’t think I do though) and that’s why the large pads sit on my ear itself and not my head.

What they really are good for, and I mean really really good for is movies and gaming. Both of them tend to be focused on the mids and lows and the C-Jays really really do them well. The size and ability to fold would make the C-Jays grate if you’re heading off to a LAN party. Vocals come through really nicely in movies.

You know if the C-Jays had only come with the small pads I think I would feel much more positive about them. I do like them, they do sound good and for the money they have some nice detail and clarity but knowing they can do so much better is such a bother. As it stands I can’t help but feel at £80 they are a touch over priced for the sound they produce but then I can’t think of any competition they have. If you want over the head and portable then the C-Jays are really pretty good. I just really wish they offered a pad big enough to surround my ear.

Edit: planning to do an update once my icon mobile arrives, see if an amp makes a difference.

icons been a here a bit now and from my listening i can safely say yet improved the C-Jays in terms of clarity, i can now see them justifying their £80 price tag but im still disappointed in them.

plain and simple i want a bigger more properly closed pad for them and then i think they would be stunning. right now im just not getting a fit im terribly happy with and the sound signature and the way it changes with the differing pads. i want them to sound like they do with the large pads and i hold them down properly sealing my ears in. when i do that i get a sound that i think becomes great value for £80.

grrr these would be soooooo much better in a closed headphone, thats my biggest problem with them. not that they arent quite good its that they could and should be better
post #2 of 16
Nice review man, they look very nice.
post #3 of 16
Good review. For £80, the c-Jays has plenty to proof here. You can easily get SR60, MS-1 or even SR80 at that price.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
yeah but neither of those are foldable and quite as portable
post #5 of 16
How is the cable length on these? It looks like it has the extender?
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
oh yeah it does, the cable atached to the headphones id qute long for a modular and the extension accordingly a bit shorter than most. tbh i never really gave a lot of thought to the length of the cable.

it is a really really nice cable though
post #7 of 16
Nice review, and the model looks nice too

How about the isolation?

Thank you.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
oh there is no isolation what so ever, but that not really a surprise
post #9 of 16
I have had these for about a month now using the Icon Mobile. It does make a difference especially with the large pads. The C-Jays really sound different after a couple hundred hours of burn-in. I found the large pads unusable at first, no bass whatsoever, but now, they sound great with the Icon Mobile. My biggest complaint is that you can't fit them into the bag with the pads installed. I would really rather not take the pads on/off any more than I have to.

At any rate, give them a weekend's worth of pink noise to loosen everything up and then try them wit the large pads again.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
well i havea icon sitting in parcelforces depot since the 2nd i found out today, so hopefully ill be able to go collect it tomorrow.

ill update how it is with the amp
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
small update now added

better but still not loving them
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post
small update now added

better but still not loving them
Mark, it must be nice to have a break from IEM's sometimes. Do you use the c-jays regularly or not?

From someone who hasn't tried everything...
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
lol, erm i cant say i do.

only really if i want to watch some loud tv stuff at a time or a volume i think is inconsiderate. like i said before they are really really good at films and tv
post #14 of 16

how about sounstage, i need it for positioning in gaming, also movie, sometimes music,


sorry my english its not good

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

tbh the V-Jays are not only cheaper but i found them to be better all round too, not sure if you had seen them.


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