JVC HA-FX700 Wooden Earphones comes with operating in the frequency of 6Hz to 26kHz at 16 ohms. It also has a weight of 9.6g and comes in small, medium and large sizes. You can get the JVC HA-FX700 Wooden Earphones with price for $ 330.
Well, i am a bass-addict and though the bass on this JVC's flagship iem is really outstanding, i really can not love it unless i am considering this bass separately. Yeah, it will be the most iem's subwoofer-likeness bass if it is standing alone. But in this case of the FX700s, the bass affects too much at the mids once you listen to a (semi)heavy bass song. For example: jpop, kpop, hiphop, dance and even R&B =.=
Besides, the general sound of the FX700 is too thick, too color (not dark though) and seriously lack of the detail in the mids, esp in the treble and having a plastic treble like that is existing on almost models of the Denon's sound signature.
Cons - Sound decent(but not Great) Terrible isolation for iem, must handle with great care (or they'll break!)
These earphones have the worst isolation amongst all my top tier iems. (SM3, TF10, IE8)
As a result, JVCs sound thin unless you try to hold them in position.
Also, these iems sound softer compared to the others on the same volume and they do not provide any discernible improve/edge in sound quality over SM3, TF10, IE8. (Unless you really want to nitpick- take the midrange/low/high/soundstage of this earphone and say it is better than that like this- earphone A > B = C... to me, it doesn't say much about the overall sound it produce.) End of the day, it boils down to whether the overall sound stands out to your ears.
Important rules I learnt from this purchase:
1) Always audition review with your own ears. (I auditioned the SM3, TF10,IE8 myself before buying)
2) Be wary of headphones that have little exposure- few users (1.Limited only to Japan 2. Not many dealers- if they were good, why wouldn't there be more dealers-eg westones, unique melody)
This review was done by comparison with my current iems - Ultimate Ears UE700, Sennheiser MX980, Earsonic SM3 and Grado SR325is, based only from the gears that ive tried and auditioned in our meets such as the Monster Turbine Pro Copper, Sennheiser ie8, Meelectronic M6, Soundmagic Pl50, Ultimate Ears MF220, Hifiman Rezero, Westone UM3X and Monster Diddy Beats. My past iems include the Ortofon EQ7, Panasonic HJE900, Moshi's Vortex iem and the Yuin PK2.
This is just my personal opinion and point of view. It may changed from time to time. I just wanted to share what i feel about an iem. I will update this more with more info and changes if something or if anything comes up. Take this as a pinch of salt. YMMV.
In The Beginning:.
in the beginning, there was an ie8.
i named this thread "FX700: the KING of DYNAMIC UNIVERSALS".
i believe, this title belonged to the Sennheiser IE8 before.
When i first join this community, this was the flavor of the month for so many months...
even before the qjays, the miles davis, and the fx700 came.
Now, this title belong to the right iem...
The JVC HA-FX700.
the fx700 is an iem that is oozing with elegancy.
from the chosen birch wood for the body, which changes color in direct light from black to dark red glossy glow, to the gold ring that holds phone and the cord, from its unique open backed design, gold color grilles at the back, something like a touch of glam overall. something that uplifts your soul. different than the usual and it gives you a feeling of exclusivity.
most iems ive reviewed in the past are made of aluminum (ortos eq7), plastics (ue700/sm3/yuin pk2) the others is zirconia (pannys hje900) or a steel (vortex, mx980).
but this time...its a wood.
BASS. in HIGH DEFINITION.
let's talk about buzz. bass.
well to be straight, its the best bass that ive heard in an iem. ever wonder why? from my reviews in the past, i gave the pannys the best defined bass. very deep that sometimes the iem is already vibrating, no more sound. i thought it was the best bass with a good definition. but all was in the past.
now, the fx700s bass wins the crown of the best bass in dynamic iem that ive heard.
in comparison to the fx700, the bass of pannys sounded hollow, ill defined, unnaturally done and lacks definition and texture of a real bass.
a bass that is so strong, natural, powerful, and well defined.
the ortofon (single moving BA), the SM3 (3 driver, 3 way crossover) has a BA kind of bass, but the ortos sound almost like a dynamic. all of this iem when compared to the fx700, will give you a kind of an artificially done bass.
THEY DONT CARE ABOUT US. Michael Jackson.
Here, youll hear how the bass is done in a right way. Fx700 will show you that way. It will make you feel like youve been fooled all along on how much bass was really missing in your music when you listen to a BA driver iems. Im really dissapointed myself when i heard how much bass was supposedly there in this track, that the BA cant produce even the half of it.
in Sm3, the sound is tamed. relaxed. No extremes. No energy that will keep you moving. It sounded hollow next to the fx700.
The SM3 sounded so gentle to my ears. While the fx700 is full of brute force and energy, all in a good way.
but overall, something lacking is not good. if you read my review and comparison of sm3 and ortofon eq7, i really like the eq7 more due to its HIGH presentation. its convincingly alive and upbeat. while the sm3 is lacking some inspiration, some kicks in the highs to make you move.
The SM3 is a very detailed iem. But how about the fx700? Well, upon doing a head to head comparison in a certain track, i conclude that what the SM3 can do, can be done also by the fx700.
where the BA is stronger can be beaten by a dynamic. You think that the sm3 and any BA iems is a master of details? Youre wrong. Im hearing more forward details in the fx700 than in the SM3.
The mids detail in the SM3 is gentle and boring... everybody might agree. but to some extent it is also good in its own way. its useful in times when you want just the mild music in your ears. time when you want to relax, good for times when you want peace...you and your music.
The sm3 wont hit you with punches like what the fx700 can do. The mids detail on the Fx700 is more alive, along with a strong presentation of bass is a clear, sibilant-free highs.
the vocal may not be as forward as the sm3's but, the overall presentation of voice and instrument is right and spot on. it is more dynamic in quality, more real and almost tangible, you can almost feel that defined bass.
in the dictionary, the timbre is:
timbre |ˈtambər; ˈtä n brə|
the character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity : trumpet mutes with different timbres | a voice high in pitch but rich in timbre.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French, from medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon ‘drum.’
When you got to listen to the Panasonic HJE900 and the FX700, youll hear what a good timbre sound. the sm3 may be good in the tones of a piano and strings, but the fx700 is a lot better.
to me, a timbre is realism. something that makes the music natural. If you strum a guitar, you should really hear that guitar, the wooden body, the vibration of the strings, and the echo of the sound that moves with the instrument and along in the air.
The sound of drums is just isnt true on the SM3. But the voice is where this iem shined like i said. still the smoothness and liquidness cant be matched by the fx700.
the ortofon may also be good in vocals and pianos, and to some extent, strings. the ue700 may be also good for vocals, with a 3d soundstage, a lively feel overall in presentation but this two, and add there the sm3, would sound unnatural next to the fx700.
the pannys is also a good dynamic iem with a good timbre. i heard excellent strums of guitar, pianos, a real sound of cello, a cry of a violin, the hard hit of wooden stick to drums...any instruments, you name it, the panasonic can reproduce it.
But what really made me sell the pannys was its highs. it is sibilant in nature. it is extreme. it sounded excessive to me. its too much for my ears.
you may hear it at some certain tracks, but still, it kills the experience, the fun, the moment of enjoyment. its just really annoying in the long run... and disturbing.
comparing the fx700 to the pannys, think of all the pannys goodness, without those extreme fatiguing highs. its the fx700.
here, i will apply something too much is not good. the extremity of highs that the pannys presented is really disturbing...and killed my enjoyment.
DYNAMICS. DYNAMICS. OTHER DYNAMICS.
i have the vortex iem before by moshi. a dynamic. ive heard a lot of dynamic iems before, including the ie8, the copper, the diddybeats, the metrofi220...etc.
most of this iems are tuned to the fun side. smooth. sweet. big sounding bass. all unnatural. they are never close to the sound of the fx700's bass. they may sound enjoyable, but in reality, it is far from natural.
cons, well, to be honest, its the cords length. its too short. its bothersome. i think, this iem is designed in a specific people only - the JAPANESE. it would really be helpful and more friendly to everyone if they made this on regular length like all the other iems in the market. why did they have to cut it short? and throw in the accessories an extension cord?
another thing is the build. well, its just me. and i think, its also a con. this iem is really made of birch wood. is this lasting? i do not know. this is my first time to have this kind of iem. doesnt this break when it fall? can it outlast the life of most iems that are made of steel? plastics? or aluminums? well, lets see....
ill update this more when this iem is still intact within 5-10 years of regular use.
I want to talk about the BASS.
everyone might ask:
how was the bass on this iem. is it good. the answer is definitely YES. is it too much? NO. it would be if you came from BA iems in many years. Is it distorted in High volume? NO. is it fatiguing? No. Is the bass on this iem excessive? NO.
is it really too much?
To me, NO. I am no basshead. I came from ue700, the sm3, the MX980, the ortofon eq7... im more into we call detailfreak. But i believe, the fx700 can give you more details than a BA iems. specially in the lower frequency.
if you want something too much, its the panasonic hje900. extreme highs.
if you want something lacking, its the sm3.
but how about if you have the chance to have something that is RIGHT?
would it be a real fun? something that doesnt fool you, that would not sound just convincing but very TRUE.
and that's the FX700.
In The End.
In no time, i believe the fx700 can reign as the best universal in dynamic. i once named the SM3 - the darklord of all universal. well, now, it is almost dethroned, it will be renamed the DARKLORD OF ALL BA UNIVERSALS. Because the truth is, BA's cannot conquer the dynamics.
theres been magic to most iems. they tuned to be likable. no matter what brand, no matter what design, most of them sounded unnaturally true. most ba's have the power to define space, soundstage, making most vocals upfront (ue700/sm3) and some dynamics, like the hje900 have a unbelievable deep bass, some have bigger bass (ie8, vortex) that helps to make the sound big.
some where tuned to be intimate. to sound captivating. to sound too much. to sound excessive. to sound shining. to sound according to their liking...on what most companies think would really be the selling point of an iem. something unrealistic compared to the honest sound of the recording or performance.
I’m not going to waste your time talking about accessories, fit, packaging, what songs I listened to or any other boring stuff because frankly none of that stuff matters when it comes to the JVC HA-FX700’s. The onlything that matters is the unbelievably good sound coming from these, so without further adieu-
The sound: MASSIVE. That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I put the JVC’s in my ears. Everything is massive; the bass, the treble, the sound stage, the notes and the musicality. For me these redefine what kind of sound can be attained from an IEM. Everything just sounds bigger. It really is a concert in your ears! They have a unique reverb I’ve not heard before that really lends itself to a live performance. The JVC’s are very energetic, engrossing and enveloping and at the same time very, very detailed. These are the most life-like sounding phones I’ve owned or listened to; to say these are the kings of timbre is no exaggeration. It’s very difficult for me not to just gush over them!
One of the first things you notice is the bass. It is full, robust and extremely textured. To my ears there seems to be equal sub and mid bass presentation and it extends deep. Bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar should; not just some incoherent or vague bass melody line. You can hear the tone, the plucks, the string vibrations and the fingers sliding across the fret boards. The bass presence seems to change from song to song, presenting it as it was recorded, instead of being omnipresent at the same levels for every song like some phones. Do some phones have more sub bass? Yes, the Future Sonics Atrios do. Do some phones have more mid bass? Yes the Westone 3 does. However the JVC’s present the total package: the best of both worlds and the most realistic, full and accurate bass of all my IEM’s.
The treble on the JVC’s rivals some of the best BA treble I’ve had the opportunity to hear. It doesn’t have the airiness of the UE TF10’s but it does have great sparkle, and more importantly it has micro detail in its treble. You can really hear the differences in cymbal rides and hi-hats. They never get lost in the music, which is an important feature in treble presentation for me. Cymbals sound amazing; the sparkle and reverb here are really special. I suppose if you are sensitive to hot treble, it may be a little much for you but it is not sibilant by any stretch, just a very forward and detailed presence. To put it in perspective, if you’ve heard the Panasonic HJE-900’s, the treble is similar. It is not as splashy and hot as the panny’s but very similar and much more detailed.
I find the midrange properly placed. It isn’t forward but it’s not recessed like the TF10’s. As mentioned before, the JVC’s present a concert like experience and as such vocals are not as intimate and close as some other phones that are more mid focused; while still other phones present mids that are too thick, resulting in vocals that sound chesty or nasally. The JVC’s vocals are clear, grain free and natural.
Soundstage is really good. From memory it is as wide as the TF10’s but doesn’t place you as far away from the stage as the TF10’s. There is good depth here as well. It definitely has out of head experience.
Isolation isn’t as bad as some have expressed but it’s not great either. Actually these are perfect for an office atmosphere where you may need to hear the phone ringing; that is if you are not so engrossed in the music you miss it anyway. Oops, just missed a phone call.
The digiZoid ZO mates well with these. It amplifies the entire spectrum and then lets you control/add bass presence. It’s not needed but it is sure fun and musical.
These phones are tip dependant. It took some time to find the right ones. Contrary to your normal thoughts on tips, smaller tips than you normally use work better. Green Sony hybrids or white Monster foam supertips, as well as small Shure black soft flex sleeves (for the e2c) work great for me. I normally use mediums on all my other phones.
The cable is really weird. It is too short to use without the extension, which makes it too long. Wait! Did I just mention a flaw? At least the connectors are iPhone case friendly including the bumper.
The box or carrying case it comes with is pretty unique. Not really pocketable but nice.
These IEM’s look beautiful to me. The wood looks really classy.
Overall I think these would mate better with a brighter or neutral dap/amp than a warm one.
The JVC HA-FX700’s are a spectacular IEM in my book. It’s really too bad you can only get them in Japan but internet stores like Seyo-Shop and Musica Acoustics make them accessible to the rest of the world. In fact, I think JVC is nuts not to offer these in other countries. If you are looking for a neutral phone, you should look elsewhere but if you are looking for one with a natural presentation, unmatched timbre with superb bass and treble and amazing musicality, look no further than the JVC’s.
Cons - Cable Length is awkward for outdoor active-use, Below-Average Isolation.
Before i fetch my FX700, There was many unknown speculation from within myself, A friend said its close to Westone 3's sound which i really scorned but still respected otherwise.
And i always have a hard-time getting along with a V-Curve Sound Signature and its likes. Which in turn caused me sleepless nights.
But now i am having them in my ears, all those wild-guesses are for naught. Yes these have more prominent Treble and Bass than its Mids, But when properly EQ'ed, Treble is easier to handle than the Spiky and Harsh Highs of the Denon C260 & C710.
[TREBLE] is easily one of the 'meat' of the FX700's sound-signature, The FX700 boasts plentiful sparkle usually towards the Mid~Low Treble.
As a result, Female Vocals especially Jazz Vocals, sounds nothing short of a heavenly experience, Listening to Patricia Barber, Chaka Khan and Ella Fitzgerald etc, it never felt so wonderful out of an In-Ear before.
Albeit some would still prefer the airiness from Triple-Fi 10 Pro, but the sparkle of FX700's Treble has a greater sense of realism as every high note is delicate and yet an appropriate amount of smoothness at the same time.
On the other hand, The Treble of FX700 falling on the hands of a mediocre format (64~192 kbps anyone?) of a generic girl group which can sound sibilant and at times, squeaky on several occasions (Talk about K-POP Groups like KARA & T-Ara)
The treble depending on the mileage of driver burn-in, can be quite a bit of a feverish disaster on those lowly bit-rated songs, dynamics can easily get mashed up by its unintended feverish treble and make it a less ideal listening experience. So, avoid bad bit-rate format songs of Girl Groups and Squeaking High-Pitch voice at all costs when using the FX700.
All in all, The treble of FX700 is generally top-notch, crushing and intimidating several competitors even from the B.A Realms such as SM3, Westone 3 & UM3X.
And i could imagine fervent fans of CK10 / CK100's treble seeking a good dynamic IEM without a horrific step-out of their comfort zone of preferred sound, will find an unequaled solace and joy in this lovely pair of FX700.
[MID] is impossibly clean and refined, and depending on tips-selection. source-synergy and possible equalizer tweaks going right / wrong, It is possible to be very recessed.
But fortunately, most of the time I don't find that to be the case for my experience with the FX700's mids. Rather i find vocals to be extremely detailed out of it, Such as the breathings, the nasal noise, the extremely subtle vibrato were easily presented naturally by the FX700.
In fact out of the Dynamic-Driver Realm, I felt that the Mids of FX700 were one of the most true-to-life without any serious coloration other than a really measly amount of warmth to it.
And right tips with suiting source and equalizer tweaks if applicable, can still add an intimate touch to the MIDs of FX700 albeit not as warm and intimate as those of Monster Miles Davis Tributes.
[BASS] can initially sounds over-whelming on stock-tips prior to burn-in, but as the burn-in goes on, Tips changed to Sony-Hybrids, the whole matter is always much more complicated than that.
Based on my experience with the FX700 so far, The bass of FX700 sounds neither boomy and over-powering mid-bass thump or intimidating sub-bass --- The FX700 is none of those.
Instead, The Bass of FX700 prides itself on impossible accuracy and the tactile texture.
As with most Dynamic Drivers, You can definitely feel the signature air-moving sensation out of FX700's bass.
As for the amount of the Bass from FX700, its truly hard to put a definite term and quantity to it --- Because the FX700 works their best to portray and reproduce the exact amount of bass which the recordings intended to.
And the meat of the FX700's bass is how articulate and quick is their ability and dexterity in detail-retrieval within the entirety of low-frequencies, all the subtle nuances and ghost beats, and yet i have never truly heard them on the Monster Miles Davis Tributes, Westone UM3X nor the Earsonics SM3
As a result, FX700 can sound over-detail to some, usually either within the Treble or the Bass regions, but hands down the FX700 is a epitome of a Dynamic Driver Testament that, the Balance Armature in clusters need not necessary be superior than a Single Dynamic Driver.
For an instance, i felt that the FX700 is within the same league as the 6-Driver UM Miracle(Demo Set which i have auditioned) when it comes to frequency coverage and its entirety.
[SOUNDSTAGE] is another trump card up to FX-700's sleeves, The size of the soundstage is not as wide as the Sennheiser IE8, but what it trumps above all, Is the uncanny ability of the FX700 to deliver supreme and natural spatial cue and seperation with its effortless dynamic capability.
Headstage and its quality is easily surpassing than that of the Sennheiser IE8 too. Despite that its not as wide as the Ortofon e-Q7 / RE-262 or depth of the SM3, the unmatched natural headstage and presentation of the FX-700 are hard and nearly impossible to beat in the realm of IEM.
Conclusively, I would strongly recommend this to people who doesn't mind sub-par isolation and are seeking uncompromised sound-quality, frequency coverage, detailing and accuracy.
If you are reading this, considering this and have yet to give this a chance, Hop on to James' Comparative Review on the FX700, I felt that what James said and the review from ljokerl pretty much nailed the thing.
And lastly, If any biggest reason why this wood babe deserves your chance, will be its timbre, Instruments sounds big, grand and alive. When coupled with its spacious soundstage and headstage backed by its superb excellent spatial cued done accurately --- Grand Instrumental / Acoustic Compositions are a pure nirvana to enjoy listening to!
I've owned these incredible IEM's twice. The bass and extreme details these beautiful things pick up in music is mind blowing. I've made comments about these sounding close to my RS2. The materials and quality is top notch. It's younger brother, the FX500 was part of my "Got Wood" posse, but was sold because I found the mids lacking. The FX700 remedies all the deficiencies of the FX500 and takes the bass the FX500 is known for and cleans it up and makes it sound more impacting. The mids flowed like butter and the micro details, well, has pretty much been summed up at the beginning of my review, and the sound stage is much wider over the FX500.
I would've still owned them if it wasn't for the damn short cord. It is indeed tailored to the Japanese market (no pun intended) as on few occasions, the lack of cable length made them get yanked out my ears. The other is lack of isolation which is partially due to the included tips that never really fit me well. Small to medium size ear canals should be fine, but the largest size didn't fit well. However, the sound quality isn't impacted too much, if at all.
These are superb sounding IEM that are better suited to quiet and safe listening environments such as home because of its weight and material would most likely break them should they hit a hard surface.
In short the FX700 is beautiful in all regards (sound and asthetics)