JVC HAFX34V Marshmallow Headphones


Unmodified = Not worth listening to.
Pros: Economical cost, easy to purchase
Cons: I've realized I'm not a big fan of the "marshmallow" pads and prefer silicone a bit better
I purchased these headphones (ear buds) on my way into work yesterday after desiring something that works - and, hopefully a bit better than my Skull Candy Ink'd ear buds (which have one dead channel) and better than my Sennheiser in-ear ear buds that, for some reason, are no longer producing a nice level of bass - mainly a lot of higher frequency screeching.
After fighting with the JVC packaging on these phones for a few minutes to carefully open them in the event of a desire to return them, I was able to get them out of the package.  The buds were pre-fitted with smaller ear pads and the mediums were still in the container for use, if desired.  I realized that I'd need the smaller pads - which were still a slight amount bigger than I'd actually need.  Having access to even a smaller small ear pad for these would be nice.
I plugged them into my Sony Walkman and listened to some Cowboy Junkies and Lucinda Williams and noticed that the sound blockage wasn't ultimate.  So, I fiddled with twisting them into my ear canal a bit better - and, then, more of the outside noises were blocked out, making me more pleased.  As the day went along, I was beginning to have less appreciation for the quality of bass that these buds were providing.  Sure, there was plenty of it, but it was also a bit bloated and not so well defined and I started to get kind of ear and head fatigue from using these.
They're a fair headphone for the price.  Surprisingly, the bass is there - for an under $20 ear bud.  However, I think it's up to the listener to see if the bass is of a good enough quality for them.  I know in my case, the foam pads being wedged in my ear with a bloaty bass kind of made me feel a little too closed in.
I don't think these are the right buds for me.  At lunch today, I did pick up the Klipsch S4 (at 4x the price of the JVCs and am also considering the Etymotic MC5 (also at 4x the price of the Marshmallows).  So far, the Klipsch is sounding pretty sweet - but, needs more break-in time.  The Etymotic ... well, it all depends on if my other local Apple store carries them.  The first one I went to at lunch time didn't have the MC5s.  I'll add respective reviews for both of those ear buds after I've had a chance to utilize them appropriately.
I couldn't use the foam pads that were in the package. Most of the silicone tips I have did not give me a good fit. I ended up settling on the large silicone tips that are supplied with Ultimate Ears. It's the only tip that works.....and they're PERFECT. The only other tips that worked, but not as well, were the triple flanged type. But once these are fitted correctly I truely feel this is very close to high end sound. Of course the low level detail might not all be there.....but I've done A/B tests and a good amount is there. A VERY Grado like sound. Balanced but with a nice sparkly top end and VERY sufficient bass. Mid presencve is forward enough but without being grating and giving an overall agressive sound that I do like very much. They work well with all types of music which I can't say the same for some headphones I have.
I removed the paper filter and feel they sound the best with no foam stuffed inside the tube as some suggest. For the price these things are I'm AMAZED at the sound hooked up to my computer rig which is only hooked up to a mid level Pioneer receiver. I need to hear some highly rated IEM's to know what I'm missing.....but these do the trick for me at the moment. I liked them so much I have seven pairs so I'll hopefully never run out.
Heres the true test for me.... I'll go for one of my Audio Technica full size cans. And many times I end up switching out for the JVC buds and never take them off. I have a set of Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 4 and I rarely go for them. They just sit in the drawer. Not so with my JVC's. They're my musical buddy I'm completely satisfied with these buds


Pros: Cheap, decent sound for the price and a noticeable improvement over Apple Stock earbuds
Cons: Sound is very laid back, almost lethargic, not the best-fitting IEM's I've tried
First Impressions: I actually picked these up for my youngest sister, who couldn't stand the fit and sound of the Apple iPod Stock Earbuds. I was looking for value more than sound quality, and out of the box these seemed to deliver that.

Sound Quality: There's nothing particularly special here, but nothing too off-putting either. I found the overall sound signature to be dull--almost lethargic in quality, similar to the Bose IEM's but lacking the huge midbass hump and with slightly more forward highs and more recessed mids. I haven't listened to them very recently, but I don't remember anything particularly mentionable about the soundstage and imaging. With some equalization, I was able to get a more energetic signature out of these (unfortunately, the iPod Touch does not allow custom equalizer settings).

Build Quality: They feel like what I paid for them. They don't seem like they'll fall apart, but we're talking plastic and average cords.

Fit, seal and isolation: It might just be me and the fact that only 2 different kinds of tips were included, but I didn't really like the fit of these. While they were light and comfortable, they didn't feel secure. Isolation was great though, so if you listen to music during a noisy commute, these are a plus. Although almost too good--I fear that it's easy to lose focus of your surroundings while wearing these.

Overall: My younger sister was happy with them and they were only $20. I'm not particularly impressed, but I'm definitely not disappointed.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Easy Fit, Comfortable, Cheap, Sturdy
Cons: Relatively Short Cable, Casting
The JVC Marshmallows are in my opinion, a great low budget IEM. They are very user-friendly and the marshmallow tips are very comfortable in ear to the point where you can almost forget that they are even their. The sound is better than the standard earbuds you get with an iPod. The bass is pretty strong and the sound is decent for the price. The build quality on these IEMs are quite sturdy although the casting as bad with visible seamlines, the cable is quite good with little to no memory and microphonics are pretty low. They also come with 2 spare marshmallow tips. Isolation is pretty good (I use them in the bus and they isolate quite a good amound of chatter).
In all I think these are great for anyone on a really tight budget. Easy to use and pretty sturdy.