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JH Audio Layla and Angie - Head-Fi TV

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  1. NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.
    In this Head-Fi exclusive, we take a look at Jerry Harvey Audio's two new universal-fit Siren Series IEMs, the Layla and the Angie, which will be officially announced a little later in Tokyo.
    The JH Audio Layla is a 12-driver (quad-low, quad-mid, quad-high) in-ear monitor, and is the new flagship of the Jerry Harvey Audio line. The universal-fit Layla is priced at $2499.
    The JH Audio Angie is an 8-driver (dual-low, dual-mid, quad-high) in-ear monitor, and comes in as the most affordable model in Jerry Harvey Audio's Siren Series. The universal-fit Angie is priced at $1099.
    The universal-fit versions of the Layla and Angie are being offered exclusively through Astell&Kern, and Astell&Kern's distributors and dealers worldwide.
    The custom-fit versions of the Jerry Harvey Audio Layla and Angie will be offered directly through Jerry Harvey Audio in the first quarter of 2015.

    Products mentioned or shown in the video:

    1. Jerry Harvey Audio Siren Series Layla
    2. Jerry Harvey Audio Siren Series Angie
    3. Jerry Harvey Audio Siren Series Roxanne
    4. Jerry Harvey Audio Audio JH-3A
    5. Astell&Kern AK100 II
    6. Astell&Kern AK120 II
    7. Astell&Kern AK240


    Jerry Harvey Audio Siren Series Layla And Angie - Head-Fi TV produced by Joseph Cwik and Jude Mansilla


    We will occasionally post Q&A episodes of Head-Fi TV.  If you want to submit any questions (or comments), you can do so via email to tv@head-fi.org.

  2. JeremyLaurenson
    IEMs are starting to sound like razor blades...with all the drivers :) My biggest issue with the new products are cable connections and resulting inflexibility. How do you like them, and availability of after market cables?
    For the record, I have the JHA13Pros with my AK100II and love the setup.
    santacruise and BlinkST like this.
  3. acain
    WOW $2500 prices are just crazy!!!
    boomtube likes this.
  4. warrenpchi Administrator
    Presenting Jerry Harvey's New Sirens:  Layla & Angie
    Audio360.org>>IEMs >>Presenting Jerry Harvey's New Sirens:  Layla & Angie
    Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    by Warren Chi and Michael Mercer

    Knowing what we know, we can easily say that 2015 is going to be a mind-blowing year for high-end personal audio. Now, we'd love to say that we totally called this in our mission statement - back when we first started Audio360.org - so we're gonna!
    There is a tidal wave of new products and technologies about to burst onto the scene. And right here, right now, we're thrilled to bring you news of the first two products riding the leading edge of that wave. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the two newest Sirens in Jerry Harvey's Siren Series: the JH Audio Layla, and her little sister the JH Audio Angie.

    Now, in case you're a millennial that missed Rock (back when it still rocked), the name "Layla" comes from Eric Clapton's song of the same name. Back when he was with Derek and the Dominos, Clapton wrote and recorded "Layla" as a love anthem to express his unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend George Harrison. Wow, big surprise that she didn't love him back - what with her being married to someone else and all. Anywho...
    Like Roxanne, Layla is one well-endowed beauty with 12 drivers per side (quad-lows, quad-mids and quad-highs). And like any Siren, Layla is fully stacked with Jerry's amazing coherency waveguide (stainless steel), adjustable bass response (with up to 13 more dBs of badonkadonk at 60Hz on tap), a full carbon fiber body, and a black aluminum carrying case. She's a JH Siren through and through.
    But unlike Roxanne, Layla's proprietary drivers are different... newer, younger, taughter, tighter and better (at least in our opinion). And yes, because we know you're gonna ask, Layla is indeed the new flagship of the entire Siren Series line. Layla's also dressed-to-kill with a "burnt" titanium bezel and carbon fiber - um - inserts.
    Jerry Harvey, the founder of (and genius behind) Jerry Harvey Audio has this to say about the Layla: "The Layla is the first earpiece I've designed to be a  reference/mastering IEM. Most IEMs I design have a live rock and roll tuning with a little more emphasis on the lows and low mids, accurate but warm. The Layla bass response when turned down is perfectly flat and when fully turned up has +13db of boost at 60Hz.
    The Layla also has the most sophisticated crossover network ever put into a IEM. The shape of all crossover filters are all 4th order. This crossover circuit combined with the Freqphase waveguide and new proprietary quad drivers deliver a audio quality that will truly put you at the mix position in the recording studio whether it's hearing exactly what the mixer/producer and band wanted you to hear, mixing your own tracks or performing live."

    We'll get to our own sonic impressions a little later. But for now, we'd just like to say that we fully concur with what he just said. Yeah, she really is all that and a bag of chips. And in our opinion, she is worth every penny of her $2,495.00 USD purchase price.
    Okay, enough foreplay, let's get Layla undressed.




    Angie is jailbait plain and simple, at least for us Head-Fiers. And at only $999 for the universal fit version, it would take some degree of self-discipline to not jump on that right away. Here's the kind of trouble you'll be getting into if you do.
    Like all Sirens, Angie also comes with Jerry's stupefyingly good coherency waveguide and adjustable bass response. But being Layla's littler (and younger) sister does change a few things. For example, Angie isn't quite as curvaceous down low. Her 8-driver design only has dual-lows and dual-mids, which is why her bass augmentation only has 10 more dBs of junk in her trunk at 60Hz. She's still got plenty of big hair up top with her quad-highs though, so there is that.
    By the way - and again, for those of you who missed Rock n' Roll - "Angie" is named after a legendary rock track. If you wanna think that it was named for the Angie that works in JH Audio's customer service, hey, free country and all. But for Keith Richards, who crafted most of the music and lyrics for "Angie" back in 1972, she's something ENTIRELY different. In fact, she's not even a she. "Angie" - as far as Richards is concerned - is Heroin (don't scoff guys, Richards is still alive and rockin').
    NEWSFLASH! We've just received word that Angie will NOT be sporting the flashy red-chrome dressing that you've been seeing around town. It turns out that Angie is now getting decked out in an exclusive, black and red, kevlar fiber number. Angie's also rockin' a black and machined-aluminum bezel with her very own carbon-fiber inserts. It's a darker look overall, but gorgeous nonetheless... girl's growin' up and going through an Emo phase it seems.
    For Angie, Jerry let us in on his vision by adding that "Angie is the little sister to Layla. The dual low dual mid and quad high configuration gives a very accurate representation of whatever source it has to reproduce. The audio signature is reference quality. The Angie has the same 4th order crossover network as Layla. The Angie bass response is perfectly flat when attenuated or up to +10 db of bass boost at 60hz when boosted."
    Again, enough *****footing around, let's take a closer look shall we?




    It's not a secret around these parts, but we're huge fans of Astell&Kern products. Huge. Their relentless pursuit of portable sonic perfection, though costly at times, continues to push the envelope of portable fidelity. Yes, we know that it's a little nucking futs at times, but so are we, so we totally dig that about them.
    And guess what, we're not alone! Like he did with Roxanne last year, Jerry Harvey has gone to great lengths to voice both Layla and Angie so that they will produce the best sound possible through Astell&Kern's line of portable high-resolution audio players. This partnership between JH Audio and Astell&Kern is more than skin deep, it goes all the way down into the very sonic foundations of both their products.
    That's why you're seeing Astell&Kern's logo on all of the universal Laylas and Angies. That's why all Siren Series IEMs come with both 3.5mm unbalanced TRS and 2.5mm balanced TRRS cables. And that's why universal Laylas and Angies will be available EXCLUSIVELY through Astell&Kern. Of course, JH Audio will continue to do what they do best, and handle all custom IEM orders.
    But if you want a universal Layla, or a universal Angie, or even a universal Roxanne... Astell&Kern is your huckleberry.



    Our Early Layla Impressions
    So what do we think of the Layla and Angie so far?
    Well, at the risk of spoiling the impressions below, we can tell you one thing right away... Roxy better watch her back.
    We can't speak for little sister Angie just yet, but Layla's gonna give Roxy an epic beat down (in terms of neutrality and overall balance)... dragging her out of the club by her hair, leaving her outside all messed up and s**t, with mascara running while she's pissing in the alley. Metaphorically speaking of course. Hey, that's what happens when multiple girls go after the same guy (i.e. Head-Fier) - it ain't always pretty. Rawr! Catfight! Let's watch!

    One of the very best parts of being an audio columnist and reviewer is being granted early access. On occasion, we are allowed to audition new units, far in advance of their release dates. It's a genuine treat that makes our inner enthusiasts drunk with giddiness, especially if the pre-production unit sounds utterly fantastic! It's times like these that we consider ourselves truly fortunate, that a manufacturer would value our feedback, and trust in our discretion.
    And that's why we've been keeping our !@#$%& traps shut.
    We mention this somewhat casually now, because typing out these very words is a form of catharsis for us. But we would like to point out that the past several months have NOT been easy, euphemistically speaking. Our inner Head-Fiers have been dying to share some impressions of the Layla, only to be held back by unbreakable oaths of secrecy. Y'all need to understand - this is the mental equivalent of having to pee REALLY, REALLY BAD, but holding it, and holding it, and holding it.
    The only thing worse than holding it in, is having someone else pee while we're suffering and in agony, releasing their floodwaters without any regard, as was the case earlier this week when news of the Layla was leaked. Oh well, such is life. Things happen. It is what it is. But if we ever find out who leaked it, we're going to make sure the only thing that person leaks from now on are vital bodily fluids. That said... there's a story waiting to be told here.
    Warren: It's Saturday, October 11th, 2014... day two of the personal audio bacchanal known as CanJam 2014. I'm making my rounds, checking up on exhibitors and my fellow attendees alike, just to make sure that everyone is having a good time. All of a sudden-
         "Hey Warren, you got a minute? I wanna show you something."
    I immediately recognized the unmistakably husky, richly overtoned, baritone vocal stylings of our buddy Mr. Andy Regan, President of Jerry Harvey Audio. Eagerly and excitedly, I snap back a "sure, what's up?"
         "Wanna step outside and get some air?"
    "Yup, you bet!" And it was at this moment that I knew something special about to happen. It wasn't because I have a sense about these things, though I do. And it wasn't because Andy and I have such a deep rapport that we can shoot glances and communicate volumes, though that would be pretty ******* cool right? No, it was because nature had been a super bitch all morning long. It had been raining, and windy, and cold - and no one in their right minds wanted to be outside... which made it an ideal place to be clandestine.
         "Hey, where's Mercer?"
    "He's EVERYWHERE," I chuckled back, before realizing that the question wasn't rhetorical. And so, off we went to find Mercer. That proved to be easier said than done. We were on our second pass through the aisles of CanJam, before we found him hunched down behind the Pendulumic table.
    Mercer: The whole Layla listening experience at Canjam 2014 was a blast from beginning to end, and a total surprise! I was claiming my review pair of Pendulumic's Stance S1+ bluetooth cans, and shooting the s**t with Mike Johnson, when my friend & partner at Audio360, Warren Chi, runs by with Andy Regan, President of JH Audio, an ol' school friend of mine, and says "come with us, now" like I was at County or some s**t.
    Warren: Well, yeah bro, we had been looking for you for a while by then. We didn't know you'd be hiding back there behind Pendulumic's table like a Bluetooth Narc trying to make a headphone bust.
    Mercer: LMAO. So the next thing you know we're walking out to the back of the venue, and I figure we're havin' a smoke break because Warren smokes like a chimney.
    Warren: Lol, I do, I really do!
    Mercer: So Andy's like "hey, fellas, wanna hear something really cool?" No. C'mon jack, seriously? When he pulled Layla out of his pocket, and I had my trusty Glove Audio A1 from CEntrance, an Astell&Kern AK120 + DAC/amp combo, with me (thanks to Warren for askin' me to grab a portable reference from my bag before we walked outside) I knew I was in for something special. Talk about a golden opportunity for some ear-candy...
    The coolest thing, aside of the magic of the damned music (as I just got my Roxanne broken-in), was that Layla didn't look like previous JH CIEMs. It's tough to explain from memory, and I'm sure Jude has done a terrific job of covering all that with his video by now, but they were oval, or at least oval-esque. They looked like the freakin' future of CIEMs. Now, before I jump into my impression (damn these boys are audio crack-dealers) I have to say that the stand-out sonic difference for me, between my JH-13 Freqphase and the Roxanne, was the soundstage - the stereo imaging. My Roxy is the first custom in-ear-monitor I've ever heard that can throw an image far beyond my head when I close my eyes. I don't know the trick, don't need to. But the Roxy doesn't behave like any other CIEM to me, until I heard the JH Audio Layla (those bastids).
    Warren: So just as we're about to listen to it, Andy begins to tell us a little regarding the history of it's development. We won't deluge you with those details here, but the one thing that caught my attention was the word "neutral." Now, as many of you know, I am a devout adherent of the UERM. It's my baseline neutral reference, deservedly. So when someone says neutral, I begin to develop significant expectations. Andy could have said musical, or fun, or any number of other words, but he chose "neutral." Well aight then, now it's on up in here!
    Mercer: Listening to the Layla was like jumping off from another starting point well ahead of the Roxanne. I could throw comparisons out there, like going from Grado 325is (great headphones) to an Audeze LCD-X (one of my favorite cans of all-time). Or, from a stereo perspective, jumping from a pair of Nola Boxers into their Grand Reference System! Everything simply got bigger, wider, more dynamic in overall scope than my Roxanne.
    I remember picking Caribou's "All I Ever Need" from their new album Our Love (I reviewed the album for Positive Feedback) because of it's non-stop, drivy tech-house vibe. I wanted to feel Layla's impact, and few albums are better than Our Love from an acid track standpoint: the low end thump, lush mids and highs, and spaciousness are a sonic exploration in and of itself.
    The sound through Layla was huge. Pure and simple. It was much bigger in dynamic scope and emotive impact than I could have ever imagined before hearing it. Listening to Our Love via Layla felt like... during that track I made a note in my iPhone...
         Like hearing/experiencing my Roxannes X 10



    Warren: Okay, Mercer had his turn. Now gimme!
    As you can imagine, the first thing I asked of Andy was that he adjust the Layla to be as neutral as it could possibly be. While he did that, I grabbed the Glove A1 and desperately tried to search for something that Mercer and I had in common. You see, I had stupidly left my own portable rig back in my hotel room, as I honestly didn't think I'd be listening to anything that day - I usually don't get to listen to much at any show or meet that I'm working. I finally stumbled upon something I knew well - and I truly wish that I could tell you what that was - but it was a secret master for an album that has yet to be released. Anyway, that's not important right now.
    Donning the Layla, I was surprised to hear that it was indeed flat, carpenter's dream flat, and coherent, with spaciousness next to Godliness, IEM or not. But what stopped me in my tracks was just how precise the imaging was. Now, I wasn't in the studio when any of this was laid down, so I have no idea what the artist intended, but the soundscape that unfolded before me was incredibly vivid. I almost felt like I could see (and touch) instruments and musicians all around me. It was splendid, but on some level, unnerving as well.
    Here, let me frame that experience in Head-Fi-ese for y'all: imagine an in-ear monitor with the neutrality of the Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor (UERM), sprinkled with the pristine macro detail of an AKG K3003, and temper that with the coherency of a JH-13 Freqphase... now take that soundscape and unfurl it with the expansive and out-of-head staging of a Tralucent Audio 1Plus2... and finally, incorporate the uber precise sense of imaging and positioning found in some of the better summit-fi rigs you've heard... that's Layla.


    Mercer: I was never a fan of ear-phones, and I still prefer over-ear or on-ear headphones, but JH Audio was the first to really grab me, grab my attention when the music was playing. What they offered was ahead of the game at the time of the JH-13, to me anyway. They were more immersive than other CIEMS.
    Now we have several great companies doing that. However, I think Layla sets yet another benchmark in musical imagery. All I know is, as Warren said: We've kept our mouths shut for months after Canjam, after experiencing that!" That was some tortuous s**t.
    With Layla, Jerry Harvey and company have outdone themselves this time in a way that truly shows the leaps and bounds this space has been innovating around lately: The most enjoyable connection to the music, period.
    Warren: One of the ways in which my audio life has evolved over the past year or two is that I no longer buy any gear, at least not for myself.
    With a never-ending stream of gear flowing in, through, and out of my place, buying any of it would be - more likely than not - gluttonous at best. There's simply no way I would ever have time to listen to it, outside of doing comparisons for reviews. For example, my own rig gets played less than 10% of the time, which is pretty sorry.
    That said, my first four words to Andy after my Layla audition were simply: "when, and how much?"
    It's sad to say, but with the introduction of the Layla, I think Roxanne's gonna have to put on the red light again. Turns out those days aren't over after all.


    Our Early Angie Impressions

    Actually, we haven't heard the Angie yet, so there's not a whole lot we can say about it at this point.
    Or, maybe we have heard it, and we're just not saying anything right now due to secret re-voicing plans? Maybe we're sitting here with Angies in our ears, taxing our mental bladders yet again, waiting for a press embargo to lift?
    Wait, even better, maybe we're actually here in Japan, at e-earphones's Personal Audio Festival... snapping some last minute pics with our phones?
    Hey, look at the red kevlar on that girl!


    One thing's for sure... YOU'LL NEVER KNOW! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! After all, we've been pretty darned good at keeping everything above tightly clenched betwixt our buttcheeks so far - so there's really no telling what we're hiding right now.
    Okay, we're just messing with you. We don't actually know what the Angie sounds like. We haven't heard it. Or have we?


    Exciting Stuff!

    We'll be bringing you full reviews of both the Layla and Angie as soon as we can. With any luck, we'll try to have these ready for you well before the custom fit versions become availble in the first quarter of 2015.
    But if you just can't wait, and you're itching to jump on either Layla or Angie (and we don't blame you for wanting to), their universal fit versions will be available from Astell&Kern by the end of December 2014.
    Happy, happy listening!

  5. midnightwalker
    It reminds me of Gillette [​IMG]
  6. Kunlun
  7. audionewbi
    Angie and layla, sadly this threesome is out of my league, I will focus on Angie for now...
  8. Dinerenblanc
    Very intriguing . . . Thanks for the comparison.
  9. steaxauce
    I was hoping the next JH monitors would target a reference sound, and it's great to see that it happened. So much money, though...
  10. JAG87
    $2500 for the universal! Lol, that's just retarded. It's safe the say the custom will be what, 3K? With that much money you can buy three separate quasi-flagship customs.
    Now on the other hand, the Angie.... that is quite enticing. I like that it keeps the quad high to maintain low impedance (Roxanne's HF extension is unmatched, and so is the soundstage). It seems Jerry compromised where he had room to, the bass and the mids headroom. If he prices the custom less than $1200, this might be the final nail in the coffin for the JH13, and he's going to have a huge seller on his hands, IMO.
    YoengJyh and Larethio like this.
  11. proedros
    seeing the name pattern here (rock songs named after a woman)

    next one will be...Julia ?
  12. acain
    All theses companies keep adding more and more and more drivers. Before you know it there will be a 13 or 14 driver ciem. People buy them so why not I would do the same thing if I owned a company. Someone should do a blind hearing session with a pair of universal iem's one pair with 2 drivers and another pair with 8 or more drivers, just to see the outcome.
    Aero Dynamik likes this.
  13. audionewbi
    Have we reached the peak of innovation when it comes for cross over designs?
  14. acain
    I can see why they cost $2500 some models of a single  balanced armatures cost $50 or more a piece, but I am sure JH Audio gets them a lot cheaper for buying in bulk. The more BA's doesn't mean its going to sound better, look at the UERM's they only have 3 drivers and there are one of the best sounding monitors in my opinion. I cant believe they can fit all those ba's and a crossover network in a shell.
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