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JVC HA-FX40 | Believe the hype!

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 

Got them today (black version from amazon.com, $17) and I'm so impressed I am doing a review on them. These definitely need to be more well known. A forewarning: I don't believe in the drivers burning in and I generally listen to my headphones out of the box immediately. I believe in the brain burning in because during the first 30 minutes, I found them trebly and annoying, but after that I got used to their bright/aggressive signature.

My source is a Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ which I consider ideal for critically assessing IEMs due to the low output impedance and transparent sound quality. My music collection is strictly rock and metal.

Fresh out of the box, I immediately connected it to the Clip+ and began listening to Led Zeppelin IV (FLAC). I was disappointed as I mentioned earlier. The snares and hi-hat were very loud and aggressive. Vocals were pronounced and sibilant, and the guitar was recessed. I could not gauge the bass performance as these recordings are quite bass light. But I could hear everything clearly, despite the guitar being distant.

Then as the album reached the last song (Levee) I experienced aural nirvana. I found myself enjoying the signature. It was bright and detailed to a whole new level. When I say bright, I don't mean like a Grado headphone, but a bit more like the old Sony SA5000. I'm not saying it's as great as the SA5000, but the treble and detail remind me of it. They are like the HA-FXC51 / HA-FXC80 on steroids.

I needed more demanding music so I fired up some Slayer's Reign In Blood (famous for its double bass). The FX40's handled it with ease, which makes me firmly believe that these are V-shaped in signature. Yes the vocals are a bit pronounced (upper midrange) and the treble is pronounced but the guitar did not seem as loud as my reference for tonal accuracy (Etymotic ER4P). It's definitely not for bassheads, because the treble is what dominate the tonal balance, it's for the trebleheads (the very few of us).

 

If you like relaxing headphones such as the HD650, stay away. If you like analytical headphones, by all means check them out.

Mini comparison with Etymotic ER4P

Clarity is about the same. The treble is far more pronounced on the FX40. Vocals are louder on the FX40. The FX40 is sibilant while the ER4P rarely displays sibilance. The FX40 has more bass but not much more, I'm guessing 3-4 db more. I consider the ER4P the most accurate headphone in terms of tonal balance (yes, I know of the ER4S, but I think the ER4P is flatter). The ER4P is much more refined. The FX40 comes close though.

Mini comparison with JVC HA-FXC51 / HA-FXC80

The bass is roughly the same. But the FX40 is more aggressive sounding on the treble and upper midrange. The FXC51's have a better clarity when displaying electric guitars. I should add that I can't wear the FXC51/80 for long periods of time due to the driver being positioned in-ear.

Build Quality / Comfort

They are built like they are priced unfortunately. You can't have everything. redface.gif
There is no strain relief and the cord is microphonic (I wear them over ear to reduce this). I am not experiencing any comfort issues like the FXC51/80.

 

Pros: Amazing value, great clarity similar to $100+ IEMs, satisfying bass response
Cons: Electric guitars sound distant, sibilant (especially on bad recordings), average build quality, can be too bright and aggressive at times


I will update my review as I listen more with these. Thanks for reading.

post #2 of 189
First, These earphones should have their own thread, they deserve it. So thanks for starting this thread.

Second, i only got a few cheap iems, but NONE sound as good as this fx40, see my sig. I would gladly trade all of them for only two fx40. I dont care about them anymore.

Third. How much hours of burn in they got? If they have less than 100 hours, then you are NO WAY near hearing the full potential of these gems. Mines got 500 hours, brightness is way under control, no silibance, no pearcing or harsh highs, just a beatiful sounding iem. Bass is faster, thighter, microdetails microdetails microdetails... So, they need at last 100 hours of Agresive burn in. Your description is from a fx40 with way less than 100 hours me think,so give them 4 more days of nonstop burning and you will be blown away with these things, vocals guitars etc will go straight to the front.



This nanotubes things need agresive burn in. Its not hype i am telling you all, even if you are a bass head this can hit low and CLEAN on the subass. Its all about clarity and HD.


FX40 FTW!
Edited by rickdohc - 8/30/12 at 5:44pm
post #3 of 189

Funny. I had some alone time with my FX40 this week, and I was so impressed that I contemplated writing a fully detailed review on them today. They're definitely in that "every head-fi'er should hear this" category.

post #4 of 189

I was not a big believer in burn-in until my JVC HA-S500's. It's so massive a difference with those that I think there's not even any room for doubt. If these are anything like that, burn-in is going to have a substantial effect. I'll know soon enough, because I ordered a set of FX40's today!

post #5 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwong View Post

I was not a big believer in burn-in until my JVC HA-S500's. It's so massive a difference with those that I think there's not even any room for doubt. If these are anything like that, burn-in is going to have a substantial effect. I'll know soon enough, because I ordered a set of FX40's today!

These carbon nanotubes dont need "burn in", they need "agressive burn in", in my personal exprience with the fx40 ans s500, the fx40 nees more burn in than the s500. I got three fx40's, red = 500 hours, white = 50 hours , blue = less than 5 hours.

I dont use the white and blue, i use them as evidence that burn in is not a myth on the fx40.

Gave my wife the blue one while for a listen, she was "dont like them, to bright", A few minutes later gave her the red one, shes ask me "are these the same model? They sound better, got better bass and they are not harsh at all".

Burn in is not a myth on these carbon nanotubes.


JVC should label the packge "Burn Them, Enjoy Them". biggrin.gif
post #6 of 189

Lets do a straw poll, those who believe the FX40 must be burn-in to sound their best please copy, paste and add to the below and those who don't, can also add your vote:

 

Burn them like there's no tomorrow

 

1) rickdohc

2) ghostfit

3)

4)

5)

 

Nah !   ...it's all in your mind

 

1) hvymetal

2)

3)

4)

5)

post #7 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostfit View Post

Lets do a straw poll, those who believe the FX40 must be burn-in to sound their best please copy, paste and add to the below and those who don't, can also add your vote:

 

Burn them like there's no tomorrow

 

1) rickdohc

2) ghostfit

3)

4)

5)

 

Nah !   ...it's all in your mind

 

1) hvymetal

2)

3)

4)

5)

LOL. I love the I don't believe it but my brain really likes them better after 30 hours. Do your other phones still sound the same? How many hearing memories do your ears have? Trick and rhetorical question so no need to answer.

 

I need to find a pair of these to listen to.

post #8 of 189

I treasure my broken in pair so much, I splurged on an after-market Westone zippered hard case to ferry them in. Case cost almost as much as the FX40's.

post #9 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

LOL. I love the I don't believe it but my brain really likes them better after 30 hours. Do your other phones still sound the same? How many hearing memories do your ears have? Trick and rhetorical question so no need to answer.

 

I need to find a pair of these to listen to.

 

I don't believe or trust in memories, they have a way of distorting the truth !

The one and only way is to A/B a burned and an out of box pair.

 

...perhaps that explains why I'm like having 4 pairs of them FX40 at this current point in time biggrin.gif

6 pairs if you count the 2 that was given away to nieces earlier.

 

The wife knows that after they're burned-in, some lucky relative's gonna be enjoying them so she doesn't get on my back about them.

post #10 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostfit View Post

 

I don't believe or trust in memories, they have a way of distorting the truth !

The one and only way is to A/B a burned and an out of box pair.

 

...perhaps that explains why I'm like having 4 pairs of them FX40 at this current point in time biggrin.gif

6 pairs if you count the 2 that was given away to nieces earlier.

 

The wife knows that after they're burned-in, some lucky relative's gonna be enjoying them so she doesn't get on my back about them.

My point exactly. Hearing memeory is short and therefore brain burn in is a rationalization for a belief. If you don't percieve a change, that's fine but if you do, you can't explain it away to brain burn in, especially when you have other phones around that you also use.

post #11 of 189

I put Complys on mine, changed EQ to bass booster... ERMAHGERD smily_headphones1.gif

post #12 of 189

These were my first pair of IEMs. They sound fantastic. One problem that I have though, the only thing I can really think since using them on a daily basis is "Wow, if these sound so good for $20, I should buy some $xxx ones for realz". Gotta love being a broke college kid.

post #13 of 189

Hi all,

 

This is my 1st forum post in Head-Fi forum ever (pointers are definitely welcome).  My preferred listening volume will always be the lowest setting possible on any device.  I do not consider myself an audiophile: most of my music has been purchased from Amazon (at the highest quality available) but it is definitely not wav or flac.  That being said, I have many musician friends who are very discriminating when it comes to the listening experience and have followed their recommendations over the years.  Then I discovered Head-Fi...

 

A big thank you must go to the Head-Fi members who wrote in the Amazon reviews section, I purchased these IEM solely from your recommendations.  For their budget friendly price on Amazon, I was expecting sound slightly above the stock Apple buds quality.  However, even the out-of-box sound quality was enough to do away with my auditory skepticism.  Currently, the HA-FX40 have about 8 hours of burn-in and the highs are slightly more tolerable than the virgin state.  Of course, I plan to give these IEM the appropriate burn-in treatment and will provide a more detailed update at 200 hours.  Plan: Pandora Dubstep radio station at 40% max volume on iPod 4G for another 192 hours...

post #14 of 189
I believed the hype! For me the iem first became great when using Sony Hybrid tips.
The male vocals now sounds full and a little bit more foreward.
Bass is even more focused and precise.
The shrill highs and sibilanse is almost all gone.
Still got great treble/highs,something I am missing with my Monster Pro Copper.
Sometimes the bass can be a little owerpowering, ecpecially on dense metal tracks. I find a little looser fit will compensate for this. smily_headphones1.gif
post #15 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post

I treasure my broken in pair so much, I splurged on an after-market Westone zippered hard case to ferry them in. Case cost almost as much as the FX40's.


Or you have gotten a pair of MEElectronics M6 or M9 for a little less.....you'd have a nice zippered case to use an ok pair of iems's and about 20 extra tips.wink.gif

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