The JVC HA-S680 - S400's and S500's big brother is here!
Nov 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1,066

BenF

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Posts
3,816
Likes
1,263
JVC HA-S680 is the next generation of HA-S400 and HA-S500, with the carbon nanotube technology.
Just like them, it's not meant to be sold outside of Japan
tongue_smile.gif

Nevertheless, here we are!
 

 
They utilize a 40mm driver, but it's not the same driver as in S500 - it is the next generation!
 
Output sound pressure level: 102dB/1mW
Playback frequency: 8Hz ~ 26.000Hz
Impedance: 32Ω

 
S500 is louder (106dB/1mW) and has 1 Khz less extension at the top.
I own S400, so I will be using it for comparison.
 

 
Sound Quality - upon receiving them, I gave them a short audition. They sounded nothing special, but I had good reasons to believe they would improve:
 
1) It took me over 200 hours to fully burn-in my S400s, and they didn't sound great until the process was finished.
2) These are Japan-only headphones, and Japanese usually keep the best stuff to themselves
3) SQ was scaling up with better sources - always a good sign.
 
So I started burning them with this noise:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rnrj5g0mmbldj58/ZhYIByMYOE/White-Pink-Brown%20Noise%20%28For%20burn%20in%29.wav
 
12 hours in - Small changes here and there
24 hours in - Oh my god, did they burn in already? All the frequencies sound so much better, especially the bass.
                      I compared them to S400, and it became clear that there was still a long way to go - the bass wasn't as tight
                      and vocals weren't as emotional.
48 hours in - Now this a clearly superior headphone to S400.
                      Sound is balanced, similar to S400's sound signature, but the bass hits harder (although just as tight) and the
                      larger pads helped improve soundstage and imaging. Instrument separation is better too. The vocals are very
                      engaging.
72 hours in - No audible differences.
 
This is where I believed that this is a new improved driver, and not just an old repackaged one.
The old driver took over 200 hours to burn in, but they perfected the formula and the new one is done in 48!
 
There are a few significant design changes in S680 - 1) Bass ports 2) Larger pads

 
The bass ports are necessary for the harder hitting bass, what surprises me is that the bass is still just as tight as before, despite increase in volume. There is no leakage into the mids either.
 



 
Comfort - the larger pads increase both soundstage and comfort. For some people, especially women, these may be around-the-ear, for me they are still on-the-ear. However, they are much more comfortable then S400, because they press on the more remote parts of the ear.
I've tried the Shure HPAEC840 pads - they are too big, may need to be modified to fit properly.
BrainWavz HM5 pads are a perfect fit, but have the same effect as on S400 - soundstage improves, but the bass becomes a little boomy. The HM5 look like they were made for S680, on S400 they looked monstrous.
 

 
Isolation - the larger pads make it better, but the bass ports make it worse. They are OK to use in an office, but not on a mass transport. Sound leakage is minimal, can be used in a library.
 
Overall, this is a fantastic portable closed phone, my new #1, ahead of HA-S400 and ATH-ES700.
They scale well with better equipment, but aren't hard to drive.
They also makes a decent desktop speaker - I can put my NFB-11.32 on high gain and volume at 1-2PM - the sound fills the room
basshead.gif

 
Price - I have bought it from White Rabbit Express for 96$ including shipping.
I've asked one of my Japanese eBay sellers to list it, and he listed all 3 models for 80$ including shipping!!!
I guess the pioneers always pay a price...
 
The black one is here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Victor-JVC-HA-S680-B-Black-color-Outdoor-type-Headphone-Carbon-Nanotube-F-S-/281216875091
The red one is here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Victor-JVC-HA-S680-R-Red-color-Outdoor-type-Headphone-Carbon-Nanotube-F-S-/271332332176
The white one is here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Victor-JVC-HA-S680-W-White-color-Outdoor-type-Headphone-Carbon-Nanotube-F-S-/271333864823
 
 
I've bought some audiophile items from him before, he's really good.
 
Also, you can buy them directly from Kakaku for 65$-75$ depending on color and your location:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/75#post_10051650
 
Other users' impressions:
Painful Chafe:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/75#post_10054263
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/75#post_10054585
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/210#post_10125322
 
MichaelGordon:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/195#post_10122273
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/225#post_10126378
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/285#post_10171649
 
yay101:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/270#post_10170918
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/285#post_10171599
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/300#post_10173065
 
GeneralPsycho:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/330#post_10185348
 
Lifted Andreas:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/270#post_10167502
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/270#post_10171131
 
Aillas:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/390#post_10200915
 
Ji-L87:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/450#post_10235981
 
Jdg711:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/480#post_10279173
 
Ebrian:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/555#post_10378905
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/570#post_10386751
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/600#post_10393919
 
K.T.:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/630#post_10412522
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/630#post_10412626
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/645#post_10416493
 
Nzhao20:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/660#post_10420014
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/660#post_10420308
 
Misubi1000:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/555#post_10381373
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/570#post_10387157
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/630#post_10412710
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/675#post_10424944
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/675#post_10431184
 
Marcswede:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/690493/the-jvc-ha-s680-s400s-and-s500s-big-brother-is-here/750#post_10514928
 
The burn-in procedure:
1) Use https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rnrj5g0mmbldj58/ZhYIByMYOE/White-Pink-Brown%20Noise%20%28For%20burn%20in%29.wav
2) Adjust the volume so that the middle noise is too loud for comfort
3) Take the headphones off, and add another 20-30% volume
4) Keep burning 24/7
5) Give it at least 48 hours
6) Once burn-in of the driver is done, please let your brain burn-in as well - it will take a few days for the brain to adjust to the sound. At first, the brain will refuse to process the soundstage and clarity that HA-S680 can produce, but it will give in eventually.
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM Post #3 of 1,066

RoMee

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Posts
1,174
Likes
123
They look pretty. If I didn't just pick up a CAL!2 I would definitely grab me a pair.
Your description of the bass port sound similar to the bass port on my modded S500 .
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM Post #5 of 1,066

BenF

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Posts
3,816
Likes
1,263
Nov 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM Post #6 of 1,066

7S Cameron

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Posts
1,439
Likes
77
Location
Arizona
Nov 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM Post #7 of 1,066

BenF

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Posts
3,816
Likes
1,263
  How are these compared to the S500s with the stock pads?

 
I don't have S500, but they should be the same as S400.
HA-S680 stock pads are much better (because of the size), HM5 pads make them circumaural - doesn't get any better.
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM Post #8 of 1,066

7S Cameron

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Posts
1,439
Likes
77
Location
Arizona
   
I don't have S500, but they should be the same as S400.
HA-S680 stock pads are much better (because of the size), HM5 pads make them circumaural - doesn't get any better.

I was more curious about the sound signature, but since you don't have the S500s... 
tongue_smile.gif
 Uhh, would you label these headphones as more mid-centric and flat? Or do they have more of a U-shaped signature?
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 9:08 PM Post #9 of 1,066

waynes world

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Posts
11,831
Likes
4,733
  Overall, this is a fantastic portable closed phone, my new #1, ahead of HA-S400 and ATH-ES700.

 
eek.gif

 
popcorn.gif

 
Thanks for the overview. Looks interesting!
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 9:11 PM Post #10 of 1,066

BenF

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Posts
3,816
Likes
1,263
  I was more curious about the sound signature, but since you don't have the S500s... 
tongue_smile.gif
 Uhh, would you label these headphones as more mid-centric and flat? Or do they have more of a U-shaped signature?


It's a balanced signature (similar to S400), but with harder hitting bass. Seems like the best of both worlds - more treble could cause sibilance.
Bass and mids rule here, treble is slightly relaxed but present too.
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 9:37 PM Post #11 of 1,066

TekeRugburn

aka. ThePhoenix84, ThePhoenix84md, SUZAKUreturns
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Posts
2,523
Likes
115
Hmmm interested. As I've been on a huge splurge lately and was about to order the ue6000. And loving the red s400 btw.
 
Nov 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM Post #12 of 1,066

shockdoc

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Posts
2,912
Likes
725
  HM5 pads are 17$ with free worldwide shipping - http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-hm5-spare-earpad-1pc
Total cost would be 98$ - for a sound worth much more.
 

Have the S400's and the HM5 pads on them. Unless it's a jump in SQ (or as I said designed as overear) not sure I see a reason to jump on these. Although I do like the idea of improved imaging and soundstage.  Overear versions of these and the S500's have been a fastasy of many since this hype train started.
bigsmile_face.gif

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top