JVC Full-Size Headphones - Model HA-RX700 Wired Headphones

  1. audiophilefan
    JVC HA-RX700 - a legend in its own right
    Written by audiophilefan
    Published Oct 12, 2015
    Pros - Superb sound quality, great comfort, great price
    Cons - Some creaking noise, not for portable use, needs long burn-in for best sound
    First and foremost, this is not an expert review. You may call it amateur if you please. But it's more of an owner appreciating his gear and sharing his thoughts and opinions about it.
    After reading multiple reviews, mostly here in head-fi, I've decided to purchase the JVC HA-RX700. It struck me as a hidden gem since it has been compared multiple times to headphones several times more expensive. I bought it for $30+ in B&H and had it shipped here in the Philippines. We don't have that model here so it's safe to say that I was not able to test it before buying. Aside from reviews, my other basis for buying is I always loved the JVC sound. We had a component system before and unlike other component systems I've heard, JVC to me is the only system that doesn't have a "veil". Everything is so clear and open. So I thought maybe, just maybe, they'd keep that legacy in their headphones.
    So let's begin shall we? Please excuse any terms that are not head-fi worthy. [​IMG]
    *Packaging - The packaging looks average, in transparent plastic that is almost moulded to the shape of the headphones, except for the straight edges. You need cutters to really open it cleanly. It's sealed.
    *Size - When I first saw them out of the box, I would have to agree to one of the most consistent observations about these headphones. These are huge. I only know of a few headphones that are bigger, like the AKG K550.
    *Cord - The cord is really long, and I mean really long. You can walk around a small room not needing to unplug it from the source. It's safely more than 3 meters.
    *Build - The build, I would say, is tough. I've owned it for months now and I'm yet to see a scratch on it. The only issue were creaking sounds when you suddenly turn your head left or right or when you do some slight head banging while listening to lively music. I believe others have observed this as well but learned to ignore the problem. I just can't because it affected my listening experience at first. The solution? Upon further testing and observation, most of the creaking sound is coming from where the cord and drivers are joined. It's either loose or the cord's friction with whatever it's connected too creates the creaking sound. There is nothing that a simple electric tape can't fix. Wrap the connector with the cord then you're good to go. No more creaking sound. [​IMG]
    *Sources - Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 smartphone, iPad mini, Acer Aspire 4738z laptop, Fiio X1. Sorry but I do not own high end sources like amps and I'm hesitant to buy a portable amp since these gadgets can drive the RX700 quite easily. The iPad and X1 are not mine. I borrowed them from a relative and a friend respectively. And as I noted previously in the introductions thread, I'm a budget audio enthusiast, not an audiophile. If I can stick with the basics - a decent source and decent budget headphones, I’m good with that.
    *Music Samples (mostly MP3 at 320kbps and a few flacs) - Jazz (e.g. Spyro Gyra), Prog (e.g. Porcupine Tree), Hair Metal (e.g. Warrant), Acoustic (e.g. Disney Fairy Tale Weddings (an awesome guitar album)), Pop (e.g. Grammy Nominees (to really test that bass since newer music are mostly bass-oriented)), and everything else in between, including Jazz Fusion (Dave Matthews Band). Oh yes, I'm a music lover. :)
    *Out of the box – Out of the box, I would say that the sound is quite balanced yet ordinary. I wouldn’t say I was impressed at first but I was satisfied. Not as satisfied after more than 100 hours of burn in but it was enough for me to keep on listening. What struck me immediately is how mellow these headphones sound. But out of the box, the mids, I would say, would not show their true colors yet. There is just that feeling of wanting to hear more of the guitar and other instruments in the mid-frequency yet it really lacks volume and power in that area, especially acoustic guitars, again, out of the box.
    *After 100 hours of burn-in – Then I understood why this is highly regarded as one of the best budget full-size headphones there is. I believe reading one review saying that guitar sound reproduction is the most realistic among headphones he had listened to. Not that I listened to a lot of headphones. I auditioned a few and I must say it is quite true. Sometimes it feels like the guitar player is just sitting beside you plucking or strumming to his heart’s content.
                **Lows – The bass! Good lord! How accurate and quick and visceral it is (at least in my opinion)! In almost all of the reviews, I believe this is the strongest characteristic of these headphones. You would never hear it boomy or artificially extended. It’s just there, thumping and guttural if it needs to, and quite clear and groovy when it comes to bass guitars.
                **Mids – Clear, clean, and mellow. Overall, I think this is what gives the impressive fullness to the sound of these headphones. Of course instrument separation is very decent yet not too far to enjoy the song as a whole.
                **Highs – Just the right blend with the rest of the spectrum. Some people, especially audiophiles, may crave for more but again, I would say JVC balanced it all throughout to produce a very mellow, music-friendly sound.
    *Samsung smartphone – Volume needs to be at least half way to produce that decent sound. Not sure about other smartphones but Samsung’s built in player and amp sound strong and powerful enough to play music with enough definition and clarity.
    *iPad mini – The sound becomes more “surround”. As an analogy, it’s like watching a movie in a Dolby Surround Sound cinema, even with music. This gives a whole new listening experience as the sound turns darker overall. If you’re looking for more warmth, I believe a mid-range smartphone will do.
    *Acer laptop – This gives the best sound overall, at least for me. The soundstage becomes considerably wider; the lows quicker and more visceral even at lower volumes and the mids and highs become considerably more powerful and clear. I believe it’s because of the more powerful built-in amp as compared to a smartphone or a tablet.
    *Fiio X1 – Almost sounds like the laptop but not quite, even if you tweak the EQ. I think it would benefit from an additional amp with bass boost like the Kilimanjaro or E11. I haven’t tried that but I think it needs that add-on for a complete mobile listening experience.
    *Jazz – This is perfect for jazz. You hear everything, probably even the small nuances that you haven’t heard before, especially for multi-instrumental and complex arrangements from bands like Spyro Gyra (try listening to their song “After Hours” with these and you’ll know what I mean).
    *Rock – This is fun for rock. You may not find the “forwardness” you’d normally find in rock-specific headphones like the Marshall Major, but it gives this certain crispness to rock music that eventually you start stomping your feet and banging your head a little bit without you noticing. I believe the secret is in its fullness of sound.
    *Pop – I’m surprised how good it sounds for pop, especially with the iPad mini’s “surround” sound reproduction. But I need to warn bass heads. These may lack the “boom boom boom” you’re looking for. As I noted earlier, the bass is quick and visceral but will not give you the usual “boom” sound.
    *Acoustic – See my comments in “After 100 hours of burn-in”.
    *Everything else in between – This is a good all-rounder. I’m willing to bet, the best at this price point.
    I meant no offense to anyone who owns and likes any of these headphones. These are mere personal comparisons and initial impressions since I never had long listening hours for some of these headphones, except for the K511, the Awei and the Samsung in-ears.
    *Sennheiser HD-201 – The Sen is a tad brighter, which might be preferred by treble heads but it lacks the fullness I’m referring to earlier. It also lacks the mellowness and crispness of sound for any music as compared to the RX700. But where the JVC outshines it the most is in the bass department, especially when played with a decent player like the X1. The JVC also has better isolation and comfort overall. The JVC for me wins hands down.
    *AKG K511 – Out of the box, the AKG wins in the mids department. It is immediately great for acoustic music and rock because of the enhanced bass response. It also wins in clarity, again, out of the box. But after about similar number of hours of burn-in the difference becomes very noticeable. The enhanced bass response of the AKG becomes even more enhanced, giving it that unwanted veil where the bass rules everything else. It creates a sound signature too dark for my tastes that if I can push the other frequencies up physically, I would. The AKG is better for gaming though since it sounds more immersive. Isolation is about the same, pretty decent. Both are very comfortable for long listening sessions. Again, after burn-in, it’s a no contest.
    *Marshall Major – The Marshalls are significantly more forward sounding. I’m also impressed how clear-sounding those are given their forwardness. For rock, especially metal and other heavier sub-genres, it’s hard to beat the Marshalls. For prog though, I’d go with the JVC. I listen to more prog than standard metal so if you’re a purist metal fan, go with the Marhalls. For isolation, I have never worn headphones with better passive noise cancellation than the Marshalls. For a piece of on-ears, that is impressive. The Marshall wins in that department. But comfort wise, I’ve never been comfortable wearing on-ears. They become painful for me in the long run. Between the JVC and the Marshall, sound preference is a matter of choice. I’d still go with the JVC’s more balanced and mellow sound.
    *AKG Y50 – They are both balanced sounding but the AKG lacks the definition and power the JVC has. It may be with the drivers but I am not sure. And again, I have this bias with over-ears. I love the comfort and sound staging that they can bring.
    *Samsung and Awei ES500i in-ears – I think the big difference is the listening experience overall. The in-ears give me a more immersive listening experience but they lack in sound stage and comfort. Again, they’re too different for a fair comparison.
    There are the all-stars and superstars, the high-ends, and the stuff of legends like the Sennheiser HD-650, Sony MDR-7506, AKG K550, or the Audio Technica ATH M50x. But also, in the further (or more appropriately, the cheaper) reaches of the headphones galaxy, there are the assassins, the phantoms, the mercenaries. They may be hidden from popularity or has a small but loyal following and yet, in their own special way, in their own right, they are legends. For me, the JVC HA-RX700 is one such legend. 
    I would recommend it to anyone looking for great value at a very low price point.
    I hope this helps. Until the next review audio masters! Happy listening everyone! Cheers! [​IMG] 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. audiophilefan
      Thanks, Kundi! I'm glad that I'm able to help someone make a value purchase. I'm sorry for the very delayed response. So busy with my little kid and work. I know you'll make great use of it. My portable set up now includes an Fiio X1 (DAP) + E11k (HP amp) + mostly flac files and I must say, I'm rediscovering my music collection again with these headphones. IMO I'd be hard-pressed to find a worthy upgrade in the future. Anyway, enjoy!
      audiophilefan, Apr 4, 2016
    3. ayachicago
      hi there.
      will you able to tell me how is the sound stage on these? thanks
      ayachicago, Jun 7, 2016
    4. audiophilefan
      Hi ayachicago! I apologize for the delayed response. Soundstage is above average for a closed set (some say this is semi-open but I'm still not sure) - decent width, complimented by some depth and height if it's present in the recording. Imaging is very good. You can easily tell instrument placement. Overall impressive soundstage. I hope this helps. :)
      audiophilefan, Jun 19, 2016
  2. neratoblogo
    Muddy and no details. There are better choices for the same price.
    Written by neratoblogo
    Published Nov 14, 2013
    Pros - Cable on single side. Nice build quality. Good noice isolation.
    Cons - Mids muddy, lacking lower highs. Heavy.
    My  Panasonic RP-HTF600E has broken and i wanted to replace them.
    After reading numerous reviews about these JVC RX700, i decided to give a try.
    And... i was very dissapointed.
    Sound is muddy, because of lacking upper middles. Sound details are lost in bass... 
    They can't stand close to panasonics HTF600 in detail and bass controling.
    Things didn't get better even after 60 hours burnout.
    Cannot listen music with them now - decided to "glue and tape" old Panasonic cans.
    Only good thing these JVC cans have - good outside noise isolation. 
  3. crz
    Absolutely amazing headphones for the price
    Written by crz
    Published Oct 25, 2013
    Pros - bass, comfortable, great value, great entry headphones
    Cons - really big
    Me: music lover, budget audiophile
    These are my second pair of grown up headphones. The first were Bose( I know) triport over ear headphones
    laptop>fiio e7>JVC HA-RX700
    I was looking for some over-ear, closed headphones under $50 and after reading tons of great reviews on these, I decided to purchase them even though they are semi-open. Like others will say, you can't have a pair of headphones that is perfect for everything. These work great for many types of types of music but the kind that shines the most is EDM! The bass isn't overwhelming, the highs and mids sound great.
    They sound great out of the box and even better with an amp. Even better after burn in! 
    Get these if you want great sound on a budget.
    Don't get these if:
    you want closed headphones. These are semi-open
    you don't want to wear huge headphones
      trellus likes this.
    1. Sokolnitz
  4. mashupAddict
    gateway 'phones to audiophilia
    Written by mashupAddict
    Published Oct 16, 2012
    Pros - decent sound, durable.
    Cons - hUUUge!
    I am a pro-sumer not an audiophile, so I will not speak to the sound as much as others have.
    I am not affiliated with the music industry in any way.
    I have a full head of hair, no glasses, no TMJ, normal hearing.
    As many others, I bought these based on the many positive reviews found elsewhere. (At the time of this writing there are no reviews here on head-fi for this product.) That and the fact that my wife was sick of having to turn off the lights to get my attention while listening to closed cans.
    Pulling these out of the box you understand why people say these are big. They are mammoth. On my small-headed wife they look absolutely ridiculous. Even on my large-ish man-head they look a bit big. They come with the headphones themselves and a 3.5mm-to-1/4inch snap on adapter.
    After unboxing, I plugged them in to check both ears produced sound, then started the burn-in process.
    Whether or not you believe in this, I did it and the entire review is after the 100+ hours of burn-in with no modifications performed.
    These are listed as circumaural and fit the bill. These easily fit my large noggin, and my large-ish ears stay inside the ears cups comfortably. My ears hit neither the cups nor the felt driver coverings. The headband-thing is comfortable as well.
    I took these on my 90-minute commute a couple times and even on a plane once, just to test. Do not try this, kids. The vents in the cups let in all the droning sound you would hope to keep out. Take these to the office and leave them there. (At $35 you can afford it if the cleaning crew decides to lift a pair.) Beware-- they are open-back and if you crank the volume your cube mates may hear your music.
    The cups swivel a tiny bit and rotate a tiny bit, but along with the headband adjustments this is all there is to adjusting these. While you are not going to dj with these, they are comfortable for normal listening sessions at work. I have never had to remove these due to fatigue of head or ears (though as I mentioned these are currently used in a quiet office environment).
    The sound on these really is quite good. The lows reach deep and are pretty quick. The mids do not disappoint, and the highs are not overbearing. They will teach you how good sound can be coming from a couple magnets strapped to your head. And from there you will begin to wonder what else there is that you are missing. The answer is, plenty. But its gonna cost you. For beginners wondering what all the fuss is about, pick these up.
    1. Price. At $35 these aren't exactly spendy.
    2. Decent sound. Good extension low and high. Plenty of volume, even on my phone, no amp.
    3. Single-sided cable entry. Enters left earcup. (L and R marked on cups.)
    4. Long, thick cable. (This is not a portable, so this is a plus.)
    5. Metal headband components. Feels nice and durable.
    6. Moddable. I have not done this, but understand these are great to get your feet wet in modding.
    1. Freaking humongous. I mean really. Long cord, big cups, large headband. (Though you can see from my ranking that I did not factor this in much.)
    2. Fixed cable. I prefer removable cables as accidentally rolling over cords often occurs for me.
    Now the question, when these fail/disappear will I repurchase? Not sure I would. As this is my office pair, I would likely shell out the extra $20 for the JVC HA-RX900 and see how I like those. (I could not audition these before purchase and was unsure if I wanted to spend 60% more and get the the 900s. Knowing now, I would probably just spend the extra $20.) But for those of you wondering if sound reproduction gets any better than your stock ipod ear buds, try these out. (Do not blame me if you realize you want to try the $200 V-MODAs in a couple months, though.)
      trellus likes this.