Today I bring to you a wooden IEM from the majestic J+-, an in-house brand from our local grocery store; Superstore!!
First the unboxing.
Look at that quality packaging. Lets take a closer look shall we?
Well, what you see is what you get. Accessories? Hahahahahah. Here they are.
Here is the back of the box.
They don't look that bad actually. Not sure if they are real wood though...
Build quality is lacking (observe the crack in the body).
Packaging - 2/10
They came in a package that was clean in design, easy to open, and with the contents protected. No frills. Good enough.
Build Quality - 3/10
The cans are a mixture of metal and 'wood'. As you can see above, the wood casing on one side was cracked out of the box. Does not affect sound, at least not that I can notice. The stress relief nubs coming from the phones are short and stiff, but feel nice enough. They probably won't do anything to protect the cable. Stress relief on the plug is acceptable, and about the same as that found on my JVCs.
The cable itself is long enough, and made of a very springy rubber. I was expecting it to tangle easily, but in all honesty it's not bad. Better than a lot of my other IEMs (FR-201 and UE 100....I'm mainly looking at you...).
The tips are made of a weird rubber. It has a very smooth texture, almost felt-like...its odd. They are soft and seal well, so including only one size (equivalent of medium from most brands) is fine. It also requires some effort to remove them, so I doubt they will be falling off and getting lost.
Best of all, next to no driver flex! Woohoo.
Comfort and Isolation - 8/10
These are exceptionally comfortable, just don't try to insert them too far, as the edge of the can is kinda sharp. Not enough to cut, but enough to be annoying. I have been using them at work and at home, and they passively block quite a bit of sound without leaking any music (unless at absurd volumes).
Sound Quality - 6/10
These are bass monsters nice and bassy. Boomy, deep bass. Not overly well controlled, but still not bad. They actually remind me of my JVC HA-FR201, except with significantly diminished treble, and less detail. They have a very deep and surprisingly wide soundstage, probably due to the fact they are huge. They are almost as thick as the HA-FX3X, and a couple millimeters longer. I tried them for gaming (Dark Souls and Forza 4). Positioning of sound queues was decent enough, but nothing to write home about.
Out of the box, they sounded muffled and heavily veiled, but after only a couple hours of listening to hyper-low quality internet radio on low volume, the veil was starting to lift. After a few days of EDM at 60% volume on my Nexus S, they have really opened up and are a pretty fun headphone to listen to. The mids are much more detailed and significantly less recessed (ie. you can hear them without straining), and the treble has improved significantly. They are still overpowered by the bass though. *Edit - The bass has really settled down and mid and treble picked up. They are certainly more balanced than they were, but they are definitely not balanced. The highs have also picked up an odd metallic tinge on extremely high notes. Its weird, but I like it.*
Use of these for anything but EDM or more modern, bass heavy music, is not recommended. Supertramp's Crime of Century, King Crimson's Red, etc...they just fell flat. Guitars and vocals sounded nice, but this headphone is just too dark to do the genre any justice.
EL-P's Cancer for Cure is handled well, with evenly represented vocals and deep, rumbling bass. Infected Mushroom's last few albums sound awesome. Also tested them with a bunch of tunes found on Monstercat and SubSIL3NT (both mixed genre EDM channels), and they did a good job.
Overall Value - 7/10
Why 7/10 you ask? These things cost 4.95 CAD plus tax. They have a classy look, and while the build quality is mediocre, the materials used feel like they will last for a while. If you happen to break or lose them, it's not as if you are out of a significant amount of cash anyways.
They sound perfectly acceptable; miles beyond what I was expecting from a sub $10 headphone, and on par or better than my other sets purchased in high price brackets. Their performance is pretty genre specific, and they sound terrible for live music, but for EDM, hip hop, and other genres that are generally electronic-biased, they do a decent job.
5 bucks well spent I say!
Please leave your comments and feedback!
(I've also tried multiple times to fix the spacing, however it never ends up looking as it should in the preview.)
Edited by B9Scrambler - 5/2/14 at 10:00am