A noob's review of the JVC HA-RX700 and Audio Technica FC700s
Dec 22, 2009 at 1:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15


1000+ Head-Fier
Dec 12, 2009
[size=small]A Noob's Review[/size]
Hey guys, just thought I'd contribute back to this community that helped me tons. In another thread I asked for advice as to which headphones to get my sis as an early Christmas present. My sister has had the ATH-FC700A s for a week now, and I've had the HA-RX700 s for a couple of days. While my sister tends towards rock, I listen to pretty much everything you can think of, and at balanced proportions... You name a genre, chances are I have it on my playlist.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to give the best assessment, but I am quite enjoying these headphones, easily the best 2 we've had(previous best were old bose QC1s... lol). I'm really new to all this, although I've done quite a bit of research, so forgive me as I will probably sound very noobish. My set up is extremely basic: me and my sister's integrated sound cards in our laptops, and my sisters iPod Touch. Almost everything I listened to was 256-320 kbps mp3s, with a couple of Vorbis and Flac files.

Comfort wise, they are both pretty comfortable. The FC700A is supra-aural, while the RX700 is circum. I have heard people mentioning discomfort with the ATs, but neither I nor my sis have felt any after hours of listening. The JVCs are quite comfortable as well. Neither are the most comfortable headphones I've ever tried, but they are still very wearable. I actually pefer the ATs, if only because I can rest on my side or lean my head on my arm if I'm laying on the bead or something, because they are smaller.

Speaking of size, the HARX700s are HUGE,the press pictures don't do them justice. It might be also jus the wide headband giving that impression, but, yea its a pretty large set. The FC700 in it's folded form is only slightly bigger than a single RX700 earcup. The RX700s actually look a good deal nicer than I expected though, the construction is quite nice for almost fully plastic. Just the pads aren't as squishy as I'd like =P

Now what matters, the sound. Unfortunately, this is the area I can detail the least, since I just don't know my ways around the terminology much yet, but I'll try. I don't own any uber awesome headphones or other audio reference point, so I will compare the phones to eachother. It should go without saying they are light years better than my Gummies or my sisters stock iPod phones. I have however been able to try out a few other headphones at J&R, just I can't really compare because they were short listening sessions.

The ATH-FC700s were impressive from the start. Big, punchy bas, but detailed mids and highs. The only stand-out issue was excessive sibilance, which got pretty annoying and which I've seen in other reviews. Luckily, a week after purchased, this problem seems to have pretty much disappeared. The big bass makes this great and fun for movies or movie soundtracks, I find. They also have impressive soundtage imo. I find it harder to decide whether it has better soundstaging than the JVCs or not. Overall, there seems to be a bit of emphasis on the lower end, but it does not really sacrifice the highs for this. It definitely sounds great for much contemporary music.

The JVCs are very dissapointing when you first try them. They sound muddy, the bass too boomy, and there is a lack of detail overall. If I hadn't read about the burn-in times needed to get these headphones at optimum(about 150 hours, but they start sounding a lot better by 10 hours), I would've been quite sad. After 6 hours of continuous play or something, I noticed a substantial improvement in clarity and balance, and really it's only gotten better from there. There was still a small, but noticeable, muffling of the mids and highs. Fortunately I found a found a mod for the RX900 which was applicable to the RX700 that worked wonders, involving removing some felt above the drivers. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/jvc...-about-381303/

I only did the first mod because I was fine with the bass one the RX700, which is already smaller than that on the 900s, it seems, so no need to subdue it even more. The mod I did perform though totally cleared up the mids and highs, things sound much more natural, and soundstaging was seemingly much improved as well. It wasn't necessarily bigger or smaller, but less "blurry" if that makes any sense.

[size=x-small]Comparison, Conclusion, and Other Thoughts[/size]
Comparing them to eachother, the RX700s are the more balanced and detailed sounding headphones imo, but the FC700s might be more fun for things big on bass. They both have quite nice soundstaging, and burn in helps them both a good deal, though moreso on the JVCs(like seriously, the effect is amazing). I prefer the JVCs though, they are comparable to many headphones I've heard costing multiples of its own price. If anything they blow the Dr Dres and anything bose I've heard out the water, all for 34 bucks XD.

As for leakage, both keep sound in decently. They aren't totally devoid of leakage, but good enough for me. The FC700s leak less. They won't block out noise by only having them on, but once the music starts, they both do this quite well.

Well, hope this is helpful to someone, I'm very happy to have joined this community, I'm enjoying music like never before! My only regret for having bought the RX700s is that I've heard many accounts of them being better than triply expensive headphones, which will make it hard for me to choose my next set of cans unless I save up for HD800s or something!

Any questions, ask away.

P.S. Sorry for the image quality, my celphone was the best I could do.

Dec 22, 2009 at 7:20 AM Post #2 of 15
Thanks very much for the very informative and interesting review, Napilopez. Pretty sweet for one of your first few posts. Especially nice to see impressions about the FC700. They don't get much attention around here, and people are often curious about them.
Dec 22, 2009 at 8:07 AM Post #3 of 15
Thanks for the review. I myself am getting my first pair of headphones soon, also. I eventually picked the HA-RX700!
These should be fun listening to once I get them.
Dec 22, 2009 at 10:29 AM Post #4 of 15
Very nice review, it is always nice to see people participate in the community. It is uncommon for a new head-fier to post a review of their new gear after receiving it, so this is refreshing to see! I hope that we'll see more of your impressions and comments in the future!
Dec 22, 2009 at 2:03 PM Post #5 of 15
Thanks guys, and twas my pleasure!

R04R, Make sure you do the felt mod, especially if you find the mids and highs muddy. And more than anything, don't judge these till after substantial burn-in. The improvement really is palpable, especially in the highs and lows.

Hope you enjoy them; I think you'll find they are a great value.
Dec 22, 2009 at 6:05 PM Post #6 of 15
Some more impressions after some more listening. Overall impressions are still the same, but thought I'd go into more detail and relay anything new I've noticed.

The JVCs keep getting better, I love it. I'm only 15-20 hours into burning them in, I keep forgetting to leave them on overnight or when I go out D: . By now though, the sound is totally different from before. Overall response is the same, just much more "clean". Extremely clean actually. Violin solos sound wonderful on these. Soundstage is good, but more vertical than horizontal.

The FC700s are still have a more "fun" aspect to them I find, mostly because of that more impacting bass. I find them great for rock, along with my sister, but that's because we both love hearing the bass guitar, which tends to sound much recessed in contemporary rock genres. The bass is more physical, and you can still feel it at low volumes. I'm still amazed by the soundstage of these things. In the opening to MJs Thriller, with someone walking along hardwood floors, sounds almost speaker-like open. For that clip at least, it sounds more realistic to methan the JVCs, which is partially why I find these great for movies. I'm not sure what it is, the JVCs soundstage is plenty fine, but it feels more like I'm locked in a small room, though can be good for some genres. The FC700s don't quite sound as clean as the JVCs, especially on the mids. They are perhaps a bit more crisp, if slightly more sibilant.

Vocals sound excellent on both sets, I find.

Interesting to note about the JVCs. Since the cups are so large, you can position your ears differently along the cup, yielding different sound signatures. Positioning them towards the back of the cup brings out the bass and recesses the highs a bit, while the opposite has the opposite effect. I generally prefer them in the middle, but sometimes I'll adjust positioning a bit for certain details.

What are some tracks you guys like using to test out different ranges?

One of my personal faves is "The 13th Anthology" by Yoko Shimamura. She's one of my 3 favorite videogame composers, along with Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu, and is best known for her work in the Kingdom Hearts and Legend of Mana series. I really recommend you give that track a listen.

Any recs for some test tracks? I don't care about the genre, since I like them all =P
Jan 16, 2010 at 4:38 PM Post #9 of 15
The RX700s are balanced and reveal detail after a good burn in which gets better after a modification, cool.

Could you describe the bass? I really would like to know if the RX700s can compete with my MDR V6-es.
Jan 16, 2010 at 10:21 PM Post #10 of 15
Cool review Napilopez! I just received my RX700's today from Amazon... and after about an hour of burning it in I can already tell some advantages it has over my previous headphones (Senn HD202), like the increased soundstage and more detailed mids/highs. (I also did TopPop's felt mod to improve the mids/highs) The bass is there, very ample, but I'm sure it still needs time to tighten up. However it already sounds impressive out of the box, which excites me knowing that it should sound even better at about 100hrs. Best $34 I've spent in awhile!

Hey Deep Funk, I also ordered a set of MDR-V6's from Amazon but they don't get here til' Tuesday. Impulse buy lol but honestly I just wanted to compare the two, and depending on how I like 'em I might keep 'em or return 'em.... I'll post my impressions when I get to compare the two side by side.
Jan 17, 2010 at 6:23 AM Post #11 of 15
Glad you're enjoying them! Cuz I didn't enjoy mine so much out of the box, probably because my sister's FC700s sounded much better.

But now I have the last laugh, BUAHAHA!

Well, maybe not, since she can actually take hers out in public and stuff more =P

Deep Funk, I'm not sure how to compare it to the V6s, as I've never heard them or even know so much about them. However, I do enjoy the bass very much on the RX700s, which I find to be very present, but not at all overwhelming. Works great for DrumnBass imo.

My sisters FC700s, by comparison, have bigger boomier bass, but it's slower, not as tight or cleanly textured.

These headphones benefit greatly from Graphicism's 5.1 Surround for most genres. Only difference is that I use them with the "Free Surround" plug-in rather than the Channel mixer one, I find it works better overall. You won't believe it's sound on acoustic or binaural recordings.

Thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/5-...-files-447089/
Jan 18, 2010 at 9:40 AM Post #12 of 15
When you're playing Kyuss or another band with rather guitar and bass heavy music in the rock genre in good quality, I guess at least 192 kbps how does the RX700 handle the bass in the music?

I tested my Aurvana Lives with Kyuss in FLAC, they really lacked bass. Even The Offspring in 320 kbps WMAs made minced meat of the Aurvana Lives.
Jan 18, 2010 at 7:19 PM Post #14 of 15
They handle it well enough for me, but I mean, the CAL!s are clones of the D1001, they're supposed to be some of the better-bass headphones around. I'm not sure these would handle it as well, but I haven't heard the CALs to compare. All I know is that I great enjoy mine.
Jan 18, 2010 at 7:27 PM Post #15 of 15
Oh would also like to menton that I compared this against the Senn 238s at best buy, I prefered mine ^_^. Of course the Senn's mighta been damaged, and the environment and this and that, but I thought the RX700s were a good deal cleaner. The 700s clearly lose in the Soundstage department, and bass wasn't quite a impactful, but overall I'd say the sound was at least as good. This of course isn't a true A/Bing, but still.

Users who are viewing this thread