Jh Audio Jolene Impressions and Discussion
May 20, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #646 of 1,017

CrocodileDundee

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In case you are interested in what's under the metal faceplates, voilà! (The flygirl was added after removal).

image0.jpeg
still pretty and now unique!
 
May 20, 2021 at 9:20 PM Post #647 of 1,017

Nace

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@Deezel177

Sounds like the Janis became something of an urban legend lol. Strange how far it got in development only to vanish without a trace... Too bad, a 3-way hybrid like that is exactly the type of innovation that keeps this industry moving forward!

reference can be a range of frequency curves, rather than one, specific, "golden" frequency curve
By this I take it you mean that the ultimate form of "reference" is actually a variety of frequency curves from a variety of speakers, as opposed to using only one as a point of reference? That would make a lot of sense. After all, an important part of mixing and mastering is determining how something will sound on a variety of set ups, such as in the car, phone speakers, consumer bluetooth headphones, etc.

And, its precision allows for easy soundscape-building as well.
I see you remembered me mentioning "soundscapes" forever ago! I am relieved you have found it comfortable enough to consistently use for mixing.

In regards to your comments on my concerns over the 8k peak, I'll put it this way... I think I'm picking up what you're putting down, and it's a relief. I am happy I can take it with a grain of salt and you yourself reached a different conclusion about the peak through your own frequency graph testing. In the end, my ears told me a different story in the demo, and it simply sounded perfect.

Last thing, this being my first pair of customs, I would love to ask you and everyone what your go-to routine is for the break-in process. This is something I want to be prepared for before I pick them up next week!
 
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May 21, 2021 at 3:09 AM Post #648 of 1,017

Deezel177

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@Deezel177

Sounds like the Janis became something of an urban legend lol. Strange how far it got in development only to vanish without a trace... Too bad, a 3-way hybrid like that is exactly the type of innovation that keeps this industry moving forward!


By this I take it you mean that the ultimate form of "reference" is actually a variety of frequency curves from a variety of speakers, as opposed to using only one as a point of reference? That would make a lot of sense. After all, an important part of mixing and mastering is determining how something will sound on a variety of set ups, such as in the car, phone speakers, consumer bluetooth headphones, etc.


I see you remembered me mentioning "soundscapes" forever ago! I am relieved you have found it comfortable enough to consistently use for mixing.

In regards to your comments on my concerns over the 8k peak, I'll put it this way... I think I'm picking up what you're putting down, and it's a relief. I am happy I can take it with a grain of salt and you yourself reached a different conclusion about the peak through your own frequency graph testing. In the end, my ears told me a different story in the demo, and it simply sounded perfect.

Last thing, this being my first pair of customs, I would love to ask you and everyone what your go-to routine is for the break-in process. This is something I want to be prepared for before I pick them up next week!
Well, not without a trace. Images from that press event still roam the net... :wink:

mmexport1544587921995.jpg

IMG-20181213-WA0007.jpg

IMG-20181213-WA0004.jpg

I actually feel the opposite. I commend JH for not forcing out an IEM that wasn't market-ready, just for the sake of having a 3-way hybrid out in the market. The fact that they're sticking with what they know best and improving on it, rather than jumping on what's new and hip, says to me that they're sound first and buzzwords second. Personally, while I'm all for innovation in the form of bleeding-edge technology, the healthier form of innovation to me is making quality, high-end performance available at cheaper prices, which is what JH is doing with the Jolene.

I agree with that interpretation of reference as well. One of my lecturers used to encourage us to test our mixes in car stereo systems or restaurant intercoms (if possible) to see what they'd sound like in the real world. But, what I was more so talking about in my initial post was a certain degree of tolerance in terms of what can be considered neutral or reference. There can be 1-2dB deviations here and there on a frequency chart, and it'll still be considered balanced or uncoloured. For example, I'm comfortable mixing and mastering on the Jolene, Layla and my 64 Audio A18s. I recently received Vision Ears' VE7, which fits in that range as well. None of those four IEMs sound alike, yet changes in recordings come through clearly on them all. So, that's what I mean when I say reference is a range, rather than one immovable, set-in-stone target response curve.

If these are your first pair of customs, you'll definitely have an adjustment period. I'd say put them on until you start to experience a bit of tightness or pressure, then take a 10-to-20-minute break, and repeat until your ears fully adjust. If you feel pain instead of tightness or pressure, you may need an adjustment in fit. But, since JH are the ones who took your impressions (right?), then I highly doubt that's necessary. I've had 20-30 customs from different companies made with impressions from all sorts of audiologists, and I've had zero refits, so it's definitely less common than you'd think. Finally, when inserting or removing them, use a twisting motion, rather than a pushing or pulling one. Start with the connectors facing the ground, then twist them inward. Then, do the reverse when you're taking them out.
 
May 21, 2021 at 2:58 PM Post #649 of 1,017

Nace

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Well, not without a trace. Images from that press event still roam the net... :wink:

mmexport1544587921995.jpg
IMG-20181213-WA0007.jpg
IMG-20181213-WA0004.jpg

I actually feel the opposite. I commend JH for not forcing out an IEM that wasn't market-ready, just for the sake of having a 3-way hybrid out in the market. The fact that they're sticking with what they know best and improving on it, rather than jumping on what's new and hip, says to me that they're sound first and buzzwords second. Personally, while I'm all for innovation in the form of bleeding-edge technology, the healthier form of innovation to me is making quality, high-end performance available at cheaper prices, which is what JH is doing with the Jolene.

I agree with that interpretation of reference as well. One of my lecturers used to encourage us to test our mixes in car stereo systems or restaurant intercoms (if possible) to see what they'd sound like in the real world. But, what I was more so talking about in my initial post was a certain degree of tolerance in terms of what can be considered neutral or reference. There can be 1-2dB deviations here and there on a frequency chart, and it'll still be considered balanced or uncoloured. For example, I'm comfortable mixing and mastering on the Jolene, Layla and my 64 Audio A18s. I recently received Vision Ears' VE7, which fits in that range as well. None of those four IEMs sound alike, yet changes in recordings come through clearly on them all. So, that's what I mean when I say reference is a range, rather than one immovable, set-in-stone target response curve.

If these are your first pair of customs, you'll definitely have an adjustment period. I'd say put them on until you start to experience a bit of tightness or pressure, then take a 10-to-20-minute break, and repeat until your ears fully adjust. If you feel pain instead of tightness or pressure, you may need an adjustment in fit. But, since JH are the ones who took your impressions (right?), then I highly doubt that's necessary. I've had 20-30 customs from different companies made with impressions from all sorts of audiologists, and I've had zero refits, so it's definitely less common than you'd think. Finally, when inserting or removing them, use a twisting motion, rather than a pushing or pulling one. Start with the connectors facing the ground, then twist them inward. Then, do the reverse when you're taking them out.
The way you explain the business reasoning makes perfect sense and I'm glad they chose that route! I'm sure if JH Audio just kept pushing new boundaries, they wouldn't be able to master their current ground, and I'm certain I wouldn't have gotten the Jolene for the price I did (definitely going in person from now on :wink:)

So I take it you went to school for this type of thing? My major is audio production; I plan to do sound design for visual media. I'd be really interested to hear what path you chose academically if you are comfortable sharing.

Thanks for further clarifying your meaning of reference. I found the Layla to be rather bright during my demo, but that was on a universal without the benefit of good isolation for the bass as well as a smoothing of the treble as I believe you put it. No doubt that the A18s is on there, I loved your review of it over on theheadphonelist, although getting the Jolene for half the price was a no brainer. Either way, it's a beautiful thing that a variety of monitors can show your slightest of deviations in a DAW all while having their own flavor.

Lastly, I'm kicking myself because I meant to put "burn-in" rather than "break-in" lol! In what I realized was a goof on my end winded up teaching me something equally as helpful, thank you for taking the time to explain the expected discomfort and methods around it for a first-time custom user. Regarding the question I meant to ask, would you mind explaining the process you recommend for burning in a brand new pair of monitors? Thanks so much as always! :beyersmile:
 
May 21, 2021 at 6:01 PM Post #650 of 1,017

NJoyzAudio

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The way you explain the business reasoning makes perfect sense and I'm glad they chose that route! I'm sure if JH Audio just kept pushing new boundaries, they wouldn't be able to master their current ground, and I'm certain I wouldn't have gotten the Jolene for the price I did (definitely going in person from now on :wink:)

So I take it you went to school for this type of thing? My major is audio production; I plan to do sound design for visual media. I'd be really interested to hear what path you chose academically if you are comfortable sharing.

Thanks for further clarifying your meaning of reference. I found the Layla to be rather bright during my demo, but that was on a universal without the benefit of good isolation for the bass as well as a smoothing of the treble as I believe you put it. No doubt that the A18s is on there, I loved your review of it over on theheadphonelist, although getting the Jolene for half the price was a no brainer. Either way, it's a beautiful thing that a variety of monitors can show your slightest of deviations in a DAW all while having their own flavor.

Lastly, I'm kicking myself because I meant to put "burn-in" rather than "break-in" lol! In what I realized was a goof on my end winded up teaching me something equally as helpful, thank you for taking the time to explain the expected discomfort and methods around it for a first-time custom user. Regarding the question I meant to ask, would you mind explaining the process you recommend for burning in a brand new pair of monitors? Thanks so much as always! :beyersmile:
Nace

As mentioned in one of my posts in this room 2 things have sparked religious wars here in Head-Fi, so your asking about Burn-In your going to get ALOT of opinions both pro and con Burn-In. (The other being changing/tuning IEMs via cable changes)

From my posts you'll gather I believe in it.
I personally think its more than the placebo effect as I can swear I have heard changes both good and bad (Actually had an item, shall remain nameless that its sound signature was worse than it was out of the box as burn in progressed)

From my asking around directly to the manufacturers reps on several different products I usually get a range of 75/80hrs min to around 150 hours on the high end before these reps say the device will sound its best and only get incrementally better with your own tuning. To these cutoffs, they all seam to indicated your tuning will change as the hours rack up. (The highest I've read in these forums is around 200 hours FYI)

Personal experience with other JH products it is around 100 hours to reach that point, but realistically can start your listening with around 75 hours of burn in, and before I launch another round of wars, this is "In My Opinion (IMO) and "Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV)

Take this estimate with grain of salt, and maybe use this experience as part of your audio engineering education and start burning in alternating with programmed material/files and some audio files or source material you know well that you can check at specific intervals, and keep going until you can't hear any changes or subtle differences, and then look at the clock to gain a point of reference.
I do the audio file checks at about 24 hour intervals, and along with the various manufacturers recommendations how I came up with my approx 100 hours as my personal benchmark for burn in time.
Others will gladly give you their opinions so use what rings true with you!

Hope this helps
 
May 21, 2021 at 6:15 PM Post #651 of 1,017

mashuto

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Yes yes the burn in debate is not one you want to start. It gets heated.

My personal thought is that burn in is likely mostly brain burn in and just the process of our brains adjusting to something new until it becomes normal.

Regardless though, my opinion is that you should just use them straight out of the box. If you don't believe in burn in, then there's nothing to gain by doing a whole process. And if you do, I would say just use them and listen through any potential changes and enjoy the ride. And that way you don't have to waste a bunch of time on a separate procedure.
 
May 22, 2021 at 10:27 AM Post #652 of 1,017

Aeneas

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I’ve had mine for a few hours now and I’m happy! Initial thoughts below.

Not as dark as I initially expected, which seems to be in line with other people’s impressions so far and is not a criticism. Bass is far from overwhelming even with the dials turned all the way up. Pretty neutral and versatile basically.


About the 8K spike and such: I’m trying get used to them first, without EQ. Vocals on some albums felt sibilant, but that seems to have worn off a little already and it might be because I’m currently accustomed to W60 and Powerbeats Pro (and AirPods Max). My last CIEM was A12, but I lost it more than a couple of years ago.

Even compared to the not-tiny A12, Jolene is very big. Despite the size and protrusion, it’s comfortable and secure. A few years ago I was put off by the size of Layla after trying a universal, but custom is a different proposition. Some irritation on my antihelical folds right now, but I think that’s inevitable if you haven’t worn customs for a long time.

I got the balanced cable (and bought a Qudelix 5K and FiiO K3 at the same time). It’s a hefty, but very solid feeling cable and connectors. The 2.5mm plug is AK branded.
(FYI the bass attenuator can be adjusted with the small “screwdriver” head on the can opener tool of a Swiss Army knife.)
 
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May 24, 2021 at 4:32 PM Post #653 of 1,017

Aeneas

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A couple of days in now...

I typically have the bass dial at the default 5 o'clock, and sometimes at 3 o'clock. From this thread I thought 3 would be best, but I dial it back up for some genres where you just think punchier bass will help, and then I don't get round to dial it down again.

I've made an EQ preset with a slight 6-8K reduction that made some music sound better, but took away some lustre from other music, so I don't use it. Likewise for opera arias, to bring out the vocals over the orchestra – EQ helps a little and people with a better mastery of frequencies than me will have even more success.

I do wonder if my sources are significant and could be improved. Right now, wireless Qudelix 5K over AAC sounds no worse than wired FiiO K3. In fact, I'd say 5K pairs a little better in regard to harshness, plus easier EQ. Both have more than enough power, and I use both in their standard/lower gain modes.
I was open to spending a lot more on a desktop amp but K3 seemed very convenient – USB-C with no external power needed, and very few others had 2.5mm balanced output. Maybe Apple Music lossless next month will make a difference too.
 
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May 25, 2021 at 7:27 AM Post #654 of 1,017

Deezel177

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The way you explain the business reasoning makes perfect sense and I'm glad they chose that route! I'm sure if JH Audio just kept pushing new boundaries, they wouldn't be able to master their current ground, and I'm certain I wouldn't have gotten the Jolene for the price I did (definitely going in person from now on :wink:)

So I take it you went to school for this type of thing? My major is audio production; I plan to do sound design for visual media. I'd be really interested to hear what path you chose academically if you are comfortable sharing.

Thanks for further clarifying your meaning of reference. I found the Layla to be rather bright during my demo, but that was on a universal without the benefit of good isolation for the bass as well as a smoothing of the treble as I believe you put it. No doubt that the A18s is on there, I loved your review of it over on theheadphonelist, although getting the Jolene for half the price was a no brainer. Either way, it's a beautiful thing that a variety of monitors can show your slightest of deviations in a DAW all while having their own flavor.

Lastly, I'm kicking myself because I meant to put "burn-in" rather than "break-in" lol! In what I realized was a goof on my end winded up teaching me something equally as helpful, thank you for taking the time to explain the expected discomfort and methods around it for a first-time custom user. Regarding the question I meant to ask, would you mind explaining the process you recommend for burning in a brand new pair of monitors? Thanks so much as always! :beyersmile:
Sorry for the late reply! :) Yeah, I got my diploma in Music Production and Audio Engineering back in 2016, and I’ve been working as a recording and live-mixing engineer for my church ever since.

I dabbled in sound design for my diploma course as well. My final project for that module was to do sound for an entire scene from the climax of Batman Begins, which included ADR, foley, scoring, etc. I used a blanket for the flapping of Batman’s cape, an electric toothbrush for the whirring noises of the Batmobile, the computerised female voice from Google Translate for the Batmobile’s computer, etc. It was a ton of fun to do, and I got to flex my Christian-Bale-Batman voice at the same time, which was a cool bonus. :D

Burn-in for me is more of an obligatory task, rather than a functional one. I typically just let it run as a listen to it. Or, if I’m reviewing something else at the moment, I just let it run 24/7 on one of my spare DAPs. If I hear any changes, then great. If not, then that’s fine too. :D I personally believe brain burn-in has more of an impact than any sort of physical burn-in anyway, so I don’t tend to think about it that much.
 
May 25, 2021 at 7:38 AM Post #655 of 1,017

CrocodileDundee

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Sorry for the late reply! :) Yeah, I got my diploma in Music Production and Audio Engineering back in 2016, and I’ve been working as a recording and live-mixing engineer for my church ever since.

I dabbled in sound design for my diploma course as well. My final project for that module was to do sound for an entire scene from the climax of Batman Begins, which included ADR, foley, scoring, etc. I used a blanket for the flapping of Batman’s cape, an electric toothbrush for the whirring noises of the Batmobile, the computerised female voice from Google Translate for the Batmobile’s computer, etc. It was a ton of fun to do, and I got to flex my Christian-Bale-Batman voice at the same time, which was a cool bonus. :D

Burn-in for me is more of an obligatory task, rather than a functional one. I typically just let it run as a listen to it. Or, if I’m reviewing something else at the moment, I just let it run 24/7 on one of my spare DAPs. If I hear any changes, then great. If not, then that’s fine too. :D I personally believe brain burn-in has more of an impact than any sort of physical burn-in anyway, so I don’t tend to think about it that much.
Ditto! Every single word. :)
 
May 25, 2021 at 1:45 PM Post #656 of 1,017

ezekiel77

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Just a quick one because it's getting very late here.

I got back my Jolenes from warranty repairs today. As you might know from an earlier post, the bass on the left earpiece was missing, and I sent them back the day after I got them. Now that they're back, they sound great. Excellent bass texture, organic timbre, super-extended treble, large wide stage. I'm going to let them burn in and re-adjust my ears to the fit and sound signature. I don't hear any 8KHz peaks, not from my WM1A or FiiO M15. In short, they're really good and well worth the price of admission.
 
May 30, 2021 at 11:51 AM Post #659 of 1,017

mashuto

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PXL_20210530_154722196.jpg

Felt like a nice morning for some 90s rock with my refit Jolene and some Lego.

Still not 100% if I need to worry much more about the fit. The pressure point I had is gone but the two sides do feel like they fit slightly differently. But I'm pretty sure the seal isn't compromised. Just really happy to have them back.
 

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