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[REVIEW] JVC HA-FX1000: The Big V

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

JVC HA-FX1000 Review

 

Intro

JVC do not really need any explaining on who they are as I have hazarded a guess that you are all aware of whom they are. If you really do not know then they are simply a household electronics manufacturer not to dissimilar to Sony and Phillips. So obviously they make all sorts of products and IEMs and headphones are a range of their products. Now in the UK, EU and US they make still popular but mainly budget priced earphones and headphones. However that is not the case for them in Japan as they have a few higher end products and that’s were these fall in. They are the product that sits behind their flagship the FX700 and are both wooden earphones. I would also like to point out these are the same earphones as they FX500.

 

So what is JVCs attempt at making a top IEM like and that is what I will be looking at in this review.

 

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to Head-Fier TegR for loaning these to me so I could carry out this review.

 

Image.jpg

 

Set-up

The set-up I have used is a bit different to normal, as I have started using a new portable rig, which is the Hippo CriCri amplifier connected through a LOD to an iPod Nano 3G with Apple Lossless and MP3 on it.

 

I also used my old set-ups of my iPhone 4, Cowon J3 (with FLAC) and my iMac with my Objective 2 amplifier.

 

As for these having an extremely large nozzle I only had a few other tips that fitted so I ended up using the medium stock tips.

 

IMG_1513.jpg

 

Build Quality/Design

To me wooden headphones and IEMs are the best aesthetic style with headphones like the Denon D7000 and Audio Technicha ESW-9 as some great examples. I think they are classy and the older audiophile will really appreciate it and me at 16 years old appreciated it as much. Now I have had a pair of wooden IEMs before, the Thinksound ms01 which I reviewed some time a go, and I thought they were nice but these are just another level of how pleasing they are too the eye. The dark wood is complimented perfectly by the silver vent at the back of the housings and they do truly look great.

 

They do have a design flaw though in my opinion and that is the silly short cable, something I have encountered quite a bit lately (Shure SE530 and TDK BA100/200), and I just find it pointless and frustrating because you have unnecessary connection.

 

As for their build they do not have any glaring faults with a nice flexible strain relief going into the housing, which is connected, to a metal base. The housing is a combination of a plastic nozzle and front of the housing (solid), a wooden main part of the housing (solid) and a metal rear, which is the port (solid). The cable is extremely flexible but maybe a tad weak because of that. It has a cable cinch, which is great and an extremely hard plastic y-split. The jack is terminated with a gold plated plug and has a straight, “I” plug design and a very low profile housing to it.

 

IMG_1514.jpg

 

 

 

Accessories

As for accessories being a loan pair of earphones I could not evaluate the quality of what they come with but they do come with a fair bit.

 

This is what they come with:

 

Small/medium/large tips and some olive style foam tips medium size. Also comes with extension cord as these have a frustratingly short cable.

 

P1060068.JPG

 

They also come with an oval shaped case. TegR who loaned me this is not a fan of the case and this is what he had to say about it.

 

“It's a really solid case, but why it's so tight, I have no idea, the original won't even fit crystals, it's that tight.”

 

You can see a bit more by what he means in the picture.

 

P1060079.JPG

 

Comfort/Fit

I only had the medium stock tips with earphones on the loan and with them alone I managed to find a right seal and good fit so I guess that was standard enough.

 

These can be worn both over the ear and cable down but I do not find it as comfortable and as deep a fit over the ear so I wear cable down.

 

These are fairly comfortable due to a shallow insertion from their larger housing, the way that they ergonomically angle into your cable and the fact they are on the lighter side of things.

 

IMG_1515.jpg

 

Isolation

The isolation is really quite poor and that is just a combination of their large vent on the back of the housings and their shallow insertion depth. If you want something that blocks out a lot (or any) ambient noise then this is not the right place to look by any means.

 

Microphonics (Cable Noise)

Even though these are worn cable down they as satisfyingly low. They can be made non-existent by wearing over the ear but I did not feel that was ideal wearing style.

 

Soundstage and instrument separation

These are vented and have a clear, airy and fairly wide soundstage. Their presentation is perhaps not ideal as the vocals are more distant to the instruments, which are quite intimate, but other that little niggle the soundstage is pretty darn good.

 

The separation of these is actually rather impressive for a dynamic driver, which I normally find to be slow (with the exception of the EX1000) and these have a really rather speedy driver (still no EX1000) which separates instruments rather greatly while sounding airy.

 

Bass

In my eyes the bass is what these are all about. The mid-bass is not blatantly elevated but does have a big quantity. The quality is exceptionally good and like I have already mentioned the driver is rather fast and so is the bass. Tight is another word I would use, well tight enough to still allow for these to hit with a strong well textured body.

 

The sub-bass is also awesomely done, as it is not to other top and demanding. It uses air to get that awesome rumble feeling but is not other top or perhaps exaggerated like some could find the sub-bass of the Hippo VB and FAD Adagio III. In fact I will say it is very similar in sub-bass quantity than my Sony MDR-EX1000, which I see as the perfect amount!

 

Midrange

The mid range is deeply recessed making these have a V shaped signature but fortunately the vocals are clearly hearable almost most of the time. They sound fairly airy but also wispy thin.  It gets thinner the higher up the mids get. The body of the mids feels wrong and just so empty compared to how full the bass is as well as the treble. These also do not seem to get the tone right of male vocals and while female vocals sound accurate to a point, male voices sound a bit measly and not warm enough. On a positive side, the mids are not affected by the bass of these, with no bleed or unnecessary warmth or coloration.

 

Treble

The trebles presence sits in line with the mid-bass in front of the mids making a V signature. The trebles are lively and energetic. The extension is great so these have a great amount of sparkle to them. However at times words such as harsh and sharp have crossed my mind but I think this is actually down to their energy and aggression mixed with the fact although they are clean and prominent they are not smooth at all which could be seen as being actually more accurate.

 

Overall

As V signatures go, this is to this date the second best I have heard behind the UE Tripe Fi 10, which is not a bad statement. Personally I do not like these signatures and therefore these are not for me but for big fans of EDM and other genres when vocals are absent or no big deal, then these are almost perfect as it was the mids and vocals that were just a bit to lifeless for my liking. They are also complimented by a gorgeous design and good build.

 

One problem these have always had is availability outside Japan and the amount of fakes of these made but one positive that I can say is that they can be had at around £70 in the UK right new which is nothing short of a steal if this signature appeals to you.

 

EDIT: The deal which could have them for about £70 is now gone and you will be having to pay around £115+ no which is no were near as appetising a deal.


Edited by Swimsonny - 6/27/12 at 10:29am
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Reserved in case that i get to review the JVC HA-FX700 in the future!

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

My YouTube Review:

 

post #4 of 14

Good review, concise but still thorough.

 

These are well worth the money imo, if you can get them for £70. That said, care to disclose where you found them for that cheap, all offers I see are > £100?

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Good review, concise but still thorough.

These are well worth the money imo, if you can get them for £70. That said, care to disclose where you found them for that cheap, all offers I see are > £100?
Thanks and Yeh this was indeed briefer than my usual reviews but I did try and include the important points.

I have actually just checked the store were TegR, who loaned me these, got them for £70 and they are now up for £164. IMO this makes them a less exciting deal and I don't think they are worth that to be honest, I would have a TF10 at that price any day over these.

I will have to adjust the price on my round-up and in the summary of this then.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

I have actually just checked the store were TegR, who loaned me these, got them for £70 and they are now up for £164.

 

Cheapest I found was £119 from here.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Cheapest I found was £119 from here
.

Hmm, I guess that is a correct price or them, not great value but not bad either.
Sorry for misleading you to think you can get them for £70, shoulda done a quick check on the price first.

Well I guess you could shoot an email to the store that did sell them for £70, you never no, they were that price h[=http://discounteddigital.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=1737&utm_source=google-simple&utm_medium=product_search&utm_campaign=google-simple&sa=X&ei=rE3pT7PyA4Gs0QWNhrCqAQ&ved=0CEEQgwgwAQ][/]ere.
post #8 of 14

nice one!beerchug.gif

too much V-shaped is not for me though. sounds different from the FXT90

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuka View Post

nice one!beerchug.gif

too much V-shaped is not for me though. sounds different from the FXT90

Thanks buddy!

Me neither, i can appreciate the technical ability of a V shaped IEM but will probably never enjoy it as much as a flat or mid centric IEM.

 

I made a lil edit at the end of the review about price.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuka View Post

nice one!beerchug.gif

too much V-shaped is not for me though. sounds different from the FXT90

 

I haven't heard FX500/1000, but if they are close to FX700 in character, than I think they are quite different from FXT90 indeed. FXT90 is quite a bit more balanced than FX700 and suitable for a far wider range of music genres. FXT90 has tighter, better defined bass, more present lower mids that sound like they are where they should be most of the time whereas FX700 mids were definitely too far in the background for some music, like Jpop for instance. The highs are similar though and have what seems to be a signature JVC emphasis on upper mids/lower treble which gives music a nice lively quality but without going overboard and making the sound too colored - it remains nice and natural. I think FXT90 may have somewhat more refined highs than FX700. Not sure how they compare to FX500. Both are great in overall sound quality, but FXT90 is definitely the more balanced and versatile of the two.

 

Great review BTW! Very well written for today's 16 year old. Most of them probably can't spell their own names correctly. wink_face.gif


Edited by Pianist - 6/27/12 at 3:37pm
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

The FXT90 seems more up my street in that respect. I just could get used to the mids.

 

Thanks buddy!

post #12 of 14

Hello - I am new to head-fi and I'm slightly confused at the moment. 


I am in the market for my first high end IEM's and having shortlisted the FX1000's I have located a genuine pair on ebay for £79.99. 

 

I know you mentioned that these are a steal at £70 - what do you think at £79.99? Is there a better IEM for the money at that price. I want something small at the triple-fi's seem a little big?

 

Thanks. 

 

Orion

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi Orion,

 

Welcome to Head-Fi.

 

These have a similar signature to the Tf10, not quite as good but do some things better like sub bass. Have a fun signature and also look and feel great being wooden. SO these may be what your looking for. They do have a more dynamic timbre than the BA tf10 which is lighter and less heavy.

 

For £80 thats real good a steal really of you guarantee autenticy. 

post #14 of 14

I own the Fx 1000 for over a month now and these are my absolute favourite now.  I am listening more now and have prefered this over Panas hje 900.  I have heard couple of other headphones like akg 3003, heir audio 3 universal fits, hisound popos and also own fostex t50 rp unmodded.  

 

I agree with your excellent review, except that I dont find the voices recessed compared to the bass.   Not sure if this is only with my earphones.  The bass is just perfect for low volume listening. 

 

This earphone has such an enjoyable and open sound, that I dont get in other iems.   Call me crazy, I find this close to quite near to fostex t50 rp.  

 

Would love to hear if there are others who think so...

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