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JAYS m-Seven True Wireless

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. jwbrent
    A Serious Contender In The Affordable TWS Category
    Written by jwbrent
    Published Aug 7, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Nice build quality considering the affordable price, fun sounding with big bass, excellent wireless performance, very long battery life, AAC codec support
    Cons - Small variety of tips
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    Introduction

    For those unfamiliar with JAYS, they are a Swedish company that's been in business for 13 years. Their most famous product is the q-JAYS ($279), a dual BA design in a tiny metal shell that has developed quite a following ever since it first came out in 2006, and then improved upon in 2015. I owned the Anniversary Edition ($349) and it was a constant companion for a couple years until I gifted it to a dear friend, the sound being brilliant in the upper frequencies. JAYS has been focused lately on releasing wireless models of different styles, both headphones and IEMs, and now have a nice lineup. I reviewed the m-SIX Wireless ($99) IEM about a year ago when it was released, and I found it to be a good value for its level of sound and Bluetooth performance.

    Today's review is on the about to be released m-SEVEN True Wireless ($129), the first such product from JAYS. The future of portable IEMs is clear (no doubt due to the ubiquity of Apple's AirPods), and true wireless designs are being released from many companies at a heightened pace since there's no denying their allure. As wireless technology gets even better in regards to audio quality, I predict even higher priced/higher performance brands will follow suit.

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    Impressions

    I'd like to thank Martin Nilsson from JAYS for providing me a free sample of the m-SEVEN for my forthright observations. My source component for my listening sessions was an iPhone SE. The source material was lossless music streamed from Radio Paradise, my favorite donation-based internet radio station owned and operated by a former DJ who personally curates his eclectic playlists. Downloads of his playlists in lossy and lossless formats are also featured.

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    The m-SEVEN comes in a simple but sturdy cardboard box and includes the battery case, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, three pairs of silicone tips in different sizes, and a multi-language manual. It uses Bluetooth v5.0 with its greater range than earlier versions, but the source device must also be v5.0 to take advantage of this greater capability—v4.2 and earlier are compatible. There is a microphone embedded in the right shell for voice commands (both iOS and Android) and telephony. Additionally, both shells have touch functions that allow for volume control, play, pause, skip, etc.

    The battery life is specified to last 9.5 hours, and with three additional charges from the battery case, total usage is 38 hours. I don't think I've read about any other TWS design that runs as long. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the volume level you like to listen at, and I found this to be the case since the low sensitivity (85dB/16 ohms) of the m-SEVEN required me to use the higher volume range of my iPhone. Still, I was very satisfied with the battery performance.

    The shells on the m-SEVEN are made from plastic, but they have a very nice texture to them so they don't come across as cheaply made, the opposite, in fact, since the seams all line up perfectly. The m-SEVEN is IPx5 certified which simply means it can handle moisture well, JAYS referring to this capability as "Sweatproof." The compact battery case is made from the same material, and the lid with its nicely made hinge opens and closes smoothly. The IEMs attach inside the case magnetically, so no worries about them falling out by accident. There are four small white LEDs on the front of the case to indicate its battery level, and this is activated by a small round button on the rear of the case. Finally, "Designed in Sweden" is proudly engraved below this button. All in all, I'm quite impressed with the build quality of the m-SEVEN especially considering its modest price.

    Before I get to the sound, I want to mention the fit. I recall when the AirPods first came out, there was a lot of angst about them falling out of one's ears. I don't believe this is a concern any longer, and it won't be with the m-SEVEN—their contoured design with its nicely textured plastic ensures they will stay put, even with vigorous movement. I tested this by quickly shaking my head in all directions, and they didn't budge. My only quibble is I wish JAYS had packed a couple more pairs of different sized tips since I found the medium to be almost perfect, yet the large to be too big. Since the nozzles are short without lips, finding aftermarket tips that won't come off without modification, i.e., glue, may pose a challenge.

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    Following my normal practice, I burned-in the m-SEVEN for about 75 hours before I did any critical listening. What we have here from the 6mm dynamic drivers are a big sounding, bass heavy tone; out of the box the bass was of the one-note variety, but as more play time occurred, this characteristic settled down. Let there be no mistake about it, though, this design is oriented for those who like accentuated bass. Yes, there is a little bleed into the lower mids that can obscure its detail, but I didn't mind this given the intended use of these IEMs. I can imagine those using the m-SEVEN during their exercise routines will find this characteristic quite appealing. I certainly did.

    The midrange is v-shaped sounding, so it's as if one is sitting towards the back of the stage, in my view. The upper frequencies are nicely detailed with a little bit of the quality that I recall on the q-JAYS, just not to the same degree. There is absolutely no edginess or sibilance that calls itself out, so I found long listening sessions to be very enjoyable. Finally, the soundstage is atmospheric, surprisingly so, and it reaches outside of one's head provided the recording captures this quality.

    One thing on the Bluetooth circuitry of the m-SEVEN ... there are no higher quality codecs like aptX or AAC included, just the default SBC codec that is standard with all current Bluetooth headphones/IEMs. Some may view this as a non-starter, but hear me out: I listened to lossless music in my evaluation which means there was only one compression process. As a result, SBC sounded fine for the application. If, however, lossy music is used, then two compression stages take place (e.g., lossless file to MP3/AAC then another compression stage for Bluetooth), and that is something to be considered for those whom would classify themselves as critical listeners. Given the price point of the m-SEVEN and its intended use, I doubt there will be many who complain about the audio quality unless one prefers a different tonal signature.

    UPDATE - 08/19/19

    I’ve been informed the m-SEVEN does support the AAC codec.



    Conclusion

    At $129, the m-SEVEN True Wireless is an outstanding value, in my view. The build quality is excellent for this price range, the fit secure, the battery life exceptional, the Bluetooth connectivity stable (and can be further improved upon with a v5.0 source device), and the audio quite fun sounding, especially during exercise routines. I normally gift free samples I receive in exchange for reviews, spreading the wealth to my family and friends, but the m-Seven True Wireless is a real keeper. My preconceptions of a wireless IEM in this price range have been shattered. Well done, JAYS!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. lpzep
      Ok thanks a lot for clarifying. I suppose that really is the weak point (at this price range) of those otherwise very interesting IEM.
      lpzep, Aug 17, 2019
      jwbrent likes this.
    3. jwbrent
      I just received an email from Martin at JAYS that his initial comment on AAC was incorrect, that the m-SEVEN does support the AAC codec. Good news!
      jwbrent, Aug 19, 2019
      lpzep likes this.
    4. lpzep
      That settles it then.
      I'll probably buy those if the cheap Anbes 359 I ordered in the meantime are not good enough.
      Thanks for everything!
      lpzep, Aug 20, 2019
      jwbrent likes this.