JAYS q-JAYS Review

jays q jays review main JAYS q JAYS Review

JAYS, the company formerly known as “Jens of Sweden”, lately shifted their focus from manufacturing well-designed audio players to equally classy looking in ear phones. After their relatively inexpensive j-JAYS and d-JAYS models they now launched their first dual armature driver phone, the q-JAYS. JAYS claims they managed to create the world’s smallest IEM (in ear monitor) to date, at a fraction of the size of most other single armature earphones, let alone dynamic driver models. They’re available in black and white, come with a boat-load of accessories, and are competitively priced to similar multi-armature phones.

We’ll try to find out how the q-JAYS hold up to the well established competition in the high-class ear monitor game…

  • Quick Look
  • Dual micro armature drivers, “AirBooster” (air chamber for bass enhancement)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 39 Ohm @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 95dB SPL @ 1kHz
  • Cable: 60cm (24″), Y-style, straight 3.5mm gold plated stereo plug – comes with two 90cm (35″) extension cords, with angled and straight plugs
  • Accessories: stereo splitter, airline adapter, carrying case, silicon sleeves (7 pairs), canal filters (4 pairs), user guide
jays q jays review 01 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 02 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 03 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 04 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 05 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 06 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 07 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 08 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 09 thumb JAYS q JAYS Reviewjays q jays review 10 thumb JAYS q JAYS Review

Accessories

The q-JAYS come with the biggest variety of accessories I’ve ever seen for an IEM. In the box there are two 90cm (35″) extension cords: one with a straight plug, the other with an angled one. They look and feel very well made. Similar to the high-end Sennheiser HD650′s cable, they’re coated with PVC and have Kevlar filling on the inside. The same goes for the 60cm (24″) cable that’s attached to the earphones. Furthermore there’s a whopping seven pairs of silicon rubber sleeves to provide perfect fit for even the tiniest ear canals (L, 2 x M, 2 x S, XS, XXS). There are four pairs of canal filters, in case the original ones get dirty or damaged. A stereo splitter, allowing you to attach two pairs of phones to one audio player, and an airline adapter for in-flight usage are also included. The stereo splitter is a bit on the large side; it might put too much strain on a player’s audio jack. I prefer splitters made with two separate cables instead of a solid block. They seem safer to use. A quite undersized white pleather carrying case (which barely has space for the phones plus one of the extension cords) and the nice looking user guide complete the huge selection of accessories.

All accessories are very well made, matching the appearance (and price tag) of the q-JAYS. Nothing generic to be found here, even the branded phone splitter and airline adapter fit the design of the phones very well.

Design

Wow, you almost need a microscope to see these ear monitors. The q-JAYS are smaller than any other IEMs I know of – and JAYS even managed to cram two armature drivers per phone in there – very respectable indeed. Small obviously means beautiful in this specific case: the q-JAYS’ design is clear and functional. “No-nonsense” seemed to be the objective of Urban Ahlgren, the designer – and in my opinion he certainly succeeded.

Build quality seems top notch: the plastic housing of the earphones appears to be sturdy, and parts of it are rubberized. The tone canal nozzles have a good diameter; they sure don’t break while trying to fit differently sized silicon flanges. These canals are covered by filters made from fine metal mesh, preventing ear wax and dust from entering the phones. Four pairs of replacement filters come in the box. The silicon sleeves themselves are of the basic variety, maybe a bit thicker than the ones that come with cheaper earphones. Don’t let the glossy advertising pictures fool you: the sleeves aren’t totally smooth like the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi or Future Sonics Atrio fittings, the q-JAYS sleeves do have injection mold ridges. Not that it matters – I feel no difference. Both styles of silicon fittings are comfortable for my ears.

The cables are PVC coated and contain Kevlar filling for improved strength. The strain-relief on the cables works well and feels as sturdy as the rest. As happy as I am with the cables’ solid feel and build quality, I’m not quite sure if the length of the cables provided with the q-JAYS is optimal for most people. The cable permanently attached to the earphones is 60cm short, which might be a good length if one uses the phones with a player attached to an armband, or a player with a cable remote. It’s definitely too short for any other use. However, the extension cables are 90cm long, which brings the total to a lengthy 150cm. In my opinion this is far too long for portable use: I’m no basketball player and I don’t store my audio player in a pocket at ankle-level. The excess cable I have to fit in my pockets is fairly bothersome. First I resorted to using a cable-wrapper; however, these things are quite bulky themselves and don’t work well. After that I just braided the cable to get them down to an acceptable length. Having to deal with the additional 3.5mm plug/jack connector between the two cables isn’t that great either. I find it somewhat confusing that JAYS caters to the minority of users wearing players on their upper arms while making life harder for the vast majority of people using their gear in trouser pockets or bags….

Another quite noticeable issue is the amount of cable microphonics. If I wear the q-JAYS with the cables hanging down and on the outside of my clothes, I notice scraping, rasping cable noise from even the slightest movement of my head, or from every step I take. Most of these cable noises, though, can be eliminated by wearing the q-JAYS with the cables going over the ears, around the back, and tucked away under the shirt or jacket. For the faint-of-heart, the manual even shows graphics of how to insert and wear the q-JAYS both ways.

At the risk of sounding like Statler and Waldorf (for those of you who still remember The Muppet Show), here’s my last beef with one of the q-JAYS’ design decisions: they’re not that easy to remove from t
he ear canals. Since they’re so incredibly small, there’s hardly any space to get a good grip on. The only way I can get them out of my ears is by tugging at the cable. There is no way to get a hold on the phones themselves. I hope they’re sturdy enough to survive this kind of abuse. It’s something I would never do with any other IEMs (except with the similarly built Etymotic ER-6), but there’s hardly any other option to get the q-JAYS out.

Enough of that… let’s look at some positive points for a change. Q-JAYS stealthy size and form factor makes them some of the most comfortable earphones I know of. Wearing them to sleep is very enjoyable. No sore ears in the morning at all, since they almost completely disappear into my ear canals. People keep talking to me when I’m wearing the q-JAYS, since the phones are more or less invisible when worn with the cables up around the ears – and I sure can’t hear those people going on about some thing or other. That’s the only downside to that… or is it?

Specifications

JAYS’ frequency response claim of 20Hz – 20kHz is fairly accurate. I assume they include the usual tolerance of (at least) +/- 3dB in that. Too bad the company didn’t publish specs about the q-JAYS’ loudness margins or a frequency response curve.

My trusty Miami Bass subwoofer test CD shows that the bass becomes quite perceptible at around 25Hz, but below that frequency, it’s not all that well defined. This is a quite good result for a balanced armature driver, since these kinds of drivers usually have issues with reaching low frequencies at decent volume levels as easily as traditional dynamic drivers. JAYS’ “AirBooster”, the air chamber around the drivers, seems to really help in correcting this shortcoming that plagues many other armature-equipped IEMs.

It’s not that easy to measure the opposite end of the spectrum with my own two ears – they just don’t go that far beyond 16kHz anymore. However, the q-JAYS certainly aren’t rolled off or lacking in the treble regions. They’ve got plenty of high frequency energy – nothing seems to be missing.

The q-JAYS’ rather high impedance of 39 Ohms and the low sensitivity of 95dB SPL are an excellent counter measure to prevent the background hiss from which most portable players seem to suffer when paired with efficient low impedance phones. My main player – the Cowon D2 – hisses with almost any phone you throw at it. Not so with the q-JAYS, they make the D2 perfectly “black” at all reasonable (and not so reasonable) volume levels. Sure, these specs mean that I have to turn the volume louder than with other ear monitors, but the q-JAYS are still efficient enough to work with the wimpiest players and weakest amps out there.

When I asked JAYS’ product manager if there was some kind of crossover circuitry inside the q-JAYS or if the two armature drivers are differently tuned, his answer was, “It’s a secret.” Oh well, I can understand JAYS’ engineers having some pretty nifty tricks up their sleeves which they don’t want to reveal to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. How else would they have come up with this miniature prodigy phone? It’s a rhetorical question; please don’t answer “magic.”

For the pursuit of knowledge and progression of mankind, I removed a perfectly good canal filter from the q-JAYS nozzle, trying to find out if they have one tone canal or two for each armature driver. Common wisdom suggests that a separate canal per armature is better than both sound drivers mixed together before they exit the phone’s housing. Two separate canals prevent blending of the sound coming from both armatures, thus preventing some interferences and phase cancellations, at least in theory. However, underneath the fine metal mesh of the so-called filter I found what I assume to be the “real” filter: a green piece of plastic, resembling the filters found in Etymotic phones. I didn’t try to remove that filter – so, in conclusion, I’m not sure if the q-JAYS sport two canals or one. Not that it matters, they definitely sound very good, be it with one or two canals.

Isolation is good on the q-JAYS. Their standard silicon tips isolate slightly above average in comparison to other IEMs. They isolate more than a Super.Fi, MylarOne, or Sennheiser CX300, but less than an Atrio or Etymotic. No wonder, since these two come with either double/triple flanged silicon or foam tips. It is noticeable that the q-JAYS keep bass and mids out very well, but they’re less efficient at blocking higher frequencies.

On a side note… it wouldn’t be normal if there wasn’t already some talk about “modification”, in the first few days of the q-JAYS’ release to the public: some people report good results with Shure foam tips on the q-JAYS instead of the stock silicon ones. This should improve isolation a bit, for those who need it. For what it’s worth, I’m perfectly happy with their regular level of outside noise attenuation.

Sound Quality

The first thing one is aware of after shoving the q-JAYS into the ear canals is their breathtaking clarity and detailedness, reminding of the most precise IEMs and headphones out there. The second impression might be that they’re not plain cold and analytic (which could be assumed by their clarity), but quite pleasantly balanced.

Testing them on various gear, ranging from low-end portable players over solid-state amps to a full-fledged Woo Audio 6 headphone tube amp, they show a slight tendency to reveal the attached source’s character, more so than many other earphones I know of. For example, while the Future Sonics Atrio or MylarOne XB sound (almost) the same when attached to the Cowon X5 or D2, the q-JAYS show some sonic differences between these otherwise quite similar sounding players (the X5 sounding warmer and fuller, the D2 colder and a bit more harsh). However, as mentioned before, they don’t need a strong amp by any means, despite their high impedance and low sensitivity. They work fine on any source you throw at them – as long as it is of good quality, and not too bright sounding.

Treble is smooth and silky, fast and precise: female vocals, saxophones, or hi-hats sound great on the q-JAYS. Certain frequencies shine and sparkle over these phones. They can have a tiny hint of sibilance on certain audio tracks, but this just shows faults in the recording or source, not the phones. They’re very revealing and definitely not forgiving to badly mastered or encoded audio material – or shoddy sounding MP3 players. So don’t even think about using them with your computer’s onboard sound chip or some dubious knockoff player. On bright sounding sources they can be a bit fatiguing, but not overly so. On good quality gear with less accent on treble they sound just fine.

Mids are natural and not as recessed as on many other IEMs. They might be a bit in the background compared to the energy coming from the treble frequencies, but nothing is missing or overly distant. Rock, jazz, string quartets, and similar small ensembles sound great on the q-JAYS. Every little detail can be heard – in an enjoyable way instead of simply being aggressively analytic. I don’t find them overly engaging with some dense orchestral pieces or movie soundtracks. Mind you: that’s only some, not all – but that might just be me. “Hot mastered”, compressed-to-hell music (aka victims of the “loudness war”), as found on MTV and in the charts sounds less intriguing over the q-JAYS, which is the same as on any other high-end audio equipment, for that matter. Constantly blasting at maximum SPL, lack of dynamics, and clipping is not something the q-JAYS are fond of reproducing. But that’s what other, less sophisticated earphones are for…

Bass is remarkably nice and warm, considering the dimensions of the q-JAYS’ housing and drivers. The best thing is that they reproduce “real” bass, not some midbass hump. They don’t output an excessive amount of bass, but the sound that comes out is tight and punchy. They’re not basshead phones by any means, but they respond very well to EQing. They can be tweaked to show some respectable botto
m end (for those who want it) without clipping, distortion, or veiling of the midrange or treble; provided that your source, amp, and EQ are of good quality, of course. Blasting some drum’n'bass or dancehall riddims over the q-JAYS is not entirely out of the question.

Soundstage (or headstage, for that matter) is not bad at all, compared to many other balanced armature IEMs. It could be better, seeing how some dynamic driver IEMs are able to deliver a quite impressive soundstage, first and foremost the Atrio and V-Moda Vibe. But considering the small size of the q-JAYS and how close the drivers sit to your ear drum, it just might not be possible to tweak them into creating a wider, larger out-of-the-head experience. I’m a sucker for a grand soundstage in general, but I’m fairly content with the q-JAYS portrayal of dimensionality.

They don’t sound their absolutely best on very quiet volume levels, but neither do many other earphones. Full-sized headphones and a strong amp generally seem to have an advantage for quiet listening, at least from my experience. However, it’s still very acceptable using the q-JAYS in bed, on the lowest volume level my MP3 player provides.

What can I say? If you like the AKG K701 or Sennheiser HD650, you most likely might find the q-JAYS very appealing to use on-the-go. If you like the Etymotic house sound or the way Future Sonics sounds, you might find a very interesting alternative in the q-JAYS. I’m well aware I just mentioned polar opposites, sound signature wise. For me, the q-JAYS stand pretty much in the middle. They rock, they whisper, they punch, they shine, they growl, they croon, they sing, they sparkle… just try them for yourself. I really like what they do to my music collection. I found myself listening more closely to the tunes stored on my portable players – not just because I’m writing this review, but because they make me hear things I usually only hear over my full-sized amp and headphones. Am I gushing? Well, sue me…

Conclusion

Calling the q-JAYS the “Volvo of IEMs” would probably sound rude. Yes, they’re Swedish, they’re well built, and they perform nicely. However, while Volvo’s design is debatable, the q-JAYS certainly are very pleasing to the eye, even to the most discriminating design aficionado.

All joking aside, the q-JAYS are truly great sounding phones. They surpass the Super.Fi 5 Pro, Etymotic ER-6, and similar phones in almost every aspect, giving these big boys a run for their money. They offer excellent clarity and instrument separation, silky treble, realistic midrange, quite good bass response, and a halfway decent soundstage (compared to other balanced armature IEMs). They’re very comfortable, incredibly tiny, and they seem quite sturdy. While they certainly could be considered to be analytic phones, they’re still fun to listen to. They’re neither bass heavy nor anemic and dull. They’re neither particularly “warm” nor “cold” sounding. They can be a bit sibilant and fatiguing (depending on your source and audio quality of your files), but not overly so. However, since the q-JAYS respond really well to EQing, they can be tailored to fit almost anyone’s sound preference.

There are no substantial negative points in respect of their audio quality, just some inconveniences with some hardware design decisions (microphonic cables, annoying cable lengths, awkward to remove from the ear canals). However, this could be considered nitpicking, since it really doesn’t distract from thoroughly enjoying how these phones sound.

The q-JAYS are definitely recommended for anyone owning a good sounding player and well encoded audio files. If those conditions are met, they’re worth their price.

Pros

  • Great clarity and detail, balanced sound response, refined across the whole frequency spectrum
  • Decent bass for a dual armature IEM
  • High impedance, low sensitivity – prevents background hiss on most portable audio players
  • Very small, stealthy, and comfortable
  • Good build quality and design
  • Comes with lots of accessories

Cons

  • Very microphonic cables (unless worn over the ears), rather unfavorable cable lengths
  • Somewhat difficult to remove from the ear canals due to their tiny size
  • They can sound a bit too bright and fatiguing on some players (without proper EQing), soundstage could be larger

Purchase

In the US you can purchase the q-JAYS from HeadRoom which is the only official US distributor i know of; In the EU or UK, you can buy them directly from JAYS, or look for a local reseller/distributor.




53 Comments

anon on October 7, 2007 3:14 PM

Nice review. More confirmation on my suspicions that the q-Jays might usurp the Etymotic ER-4s.

WalkGood on October 7, 2007 4:08 PM

Martin,Another excellent review, thanks for the great read ;) WalkGood,Ramon

HeadphoneAddict on October 8, 2007 4:07 AM

The description of sound quality seems close the description of my Livewires (custom fit 2-way monitors), but at 3/4 the price. Nice. The Livewires do have a wide soundstage however.

Zeddicus on October 8, 2007 4:48 AM

First rate review Martin, I really want to hear these now.

Nodspy on October 8, 2007 3:06 PM

Is 192kbps and up with the random 128kbps track(very few) considered ok encoding or do I need to beef up my tracks(how would I do that)?

dfkt on October 8, 2007 5:47 PM

Sure, proper 192k MP3s should work fine for most people. Even 128k can be somehow acceptable at times when ripped/encoded with EAC/LAME – however, the q-JAYS are really picky about what you feed them.The only way to beef up your tracks is re-ripping them from CD, you can’t do anything with stuff that’s already compressed.Here’s a good address to start: http://www.fryth.com/eacfaq/

Skobbolop on October 8, 2007 6:28 PM

how do the sound comapred to the vibes from v-moda?

dfkt on October 8, 2007 7:01 PM

There is no comparison at all between these two. The q-JAYS sound better in every aspect (except soundstage). They also seem to have better build quality.

ashxcore on October 8, 2007 9:46 PM

So how do these compare to the Atrio M5?I might consider picking up these babies! ^_^

DevilJIN on October 9, 2007 1:32 AM

aite dfkt,time for u return my pair qjays u stole for the review,thx.p.s.-nice review!

dfkt on October 9, 2007 1:55 PM

/me kicks DevilJIN ;)

dfkt on October 9, 2007 2:02 PM

Ashxcore, the Atrio is dark sounding, laid-back, bass heavy (but not veiled or boomy), slightly rolled-off treble, good soundstage, not the tiniest hint of sibilance or fatigue, very well isolating, almost non-microphonic cables, a hassle to insert and getting a good seal.The q-JAYS has more precision/clarity, a lot more treble energy (which can be sibilant and fatiguing), less recessed (more natural) midrange, less bass, less isolation, easier to insert, a lot smaller (and better design, IMO).Both are great – it’s up to you and your own sound preferences which one you’d prefer.

joebobski on October 9, 2007 3:05 PM

~180$was it hard to include a price in this review while mentioning the word “price” ???

dfkt on October 9, 2007 3:08 PM

Joebobski – not everyone lives in the USA. Prices are quite different in other places. That’s why I provided links to international resellers at the bottom.

jmcobb on October 13, 2007 11:59 AM

not everyone, true, but for the majority of your reaers it would be uber helpful. thanks for nothing though..jk great review these have officially been added to my try out list.

Skippyg on October 18, 2007 1:10 AM

Dftk, im thinking about phones at that moment. would these be sufficient to be able to tell the difference between mp3 players in sound quality? would there be a HUGE difference in sound quality from these and the Shure SE530′s ? what about the Denon AHC700

Henrik Svensson on October 18, 2007 6:32 AM

Thanks for the review!Just a note; Jens of Sweden never manufactured anything, as opposed to what the review says. JoS merely rebranded cheap Korean audio players and sold them at twice their “normal” price.If anyone’s inclined and have the time, they could probably find out what these headphones used to be called before “JAYS” relabelled them and jacked up the price, and where to buy them cheaper. Please post here in that case!When JAYS’ “product manager” says “it’s a secret” when asked about technology specifics, he probably really meant “how the hell should I know?”

Peter from JAYS on October 20, 2007 5:11 AM

I must answer this since it makes me angry. People shoiuld be careful telling stories which isn’t true. We do develope the q-JAYS from scratch. That means design, sound and manufacturing+packaging. If you find q-JAYS somewhere else it is a copy of our earphones and I want you to contact me since that will be illegal. We are as much original as Shure, Ultimate Ears and so on.Regards Peter from JAYS

Mikey on October 23, 2007 5:51 PM

Speaking of Shure, you don’t mention a comparison to them. How would you stack them together?

Tom on October 28, 2007 10:46 PM

My copy of q-JAYS provide tremendous detail and they sound good but I’m having fit problems and the SQ issues that go with it.If I apply pressure with my fingers and get it just right, they sound really good. I don’t feel they’re the best out there but they are very good and probably toward the top of their price range.The issue is, if you have fit problems, or they keep slipping out of your canals like mine do, there are no sleeve options available.There’s lots to like about these earphones. I wish mine worked for me.

Lesley on November 14, 2007 5:16 PM

Just wondering if the dual drivers are real or not. Most of the above mentioned brands has drawings on their website or a clear colour product what shows the inside. Q-jays easily can be single driver earphones with some tuning, and nobody will be sure about this until some proof is coming from the manufacturer or until some crazy customers take one apart.

dfkt on November 24, 2007 9:50 AM

Lesley, there are drawings of the drivers in the manual that comes with the q-Jays, and I saw driver images in several threads on Head-Fi as well.I don’t know what drivers the q-Jays use, but I gathered that Sonion developed really tiny armatures lately.

allhaildawg on December 6, 2007 12:29 AM

So, how do they compares Shures? SE310?? SE420?? SE530??

JustHereAbit on December 13, 2007 4:34 AM

I owned a pair, for a while, and don’t like its signature.Someone said the Qjays is like quick jabs, it hits u and then it’s gone. I am the guy who likes a little after-taste, a little reverb, a little echo. The Qjays has none. It sounds synthesized, excellent synthesizing but nonetheless. I do not know if the small size casing contributes to its too-tightness. In contrast the also smallish size ER6i sounds more natural but less fun.The same person says the Qjay is lay-back. I concurr. To get more excitement out of these phones I have to turn it up, which doesn’t satisfy my low volume listening habit.About that fatiguing energy mentioned. A passage on “Going The Distance” on Rocky’s theme (bbbbrrrrr) actually hurt my ears. Maybe am sensitive to that frequency.These phones are “fun” (bass addition) but tiring overall. I guess that’s a price one pays. Would be interesting if it comes with level control for the bass armature.I did not have the chance to play with any EQ to tune it, too lazy. Prefer to judge my phones at their flat setting.Keeping my ER4, guess I still prefer the “wow, what’s that instrument I never hear b4r” to “wow, what cool bass.”And oh, soundstage… pretty narrow IMO. And I am guy who likes the surround effect.Your mileage may vary.

andy on December 22, 2007 11:34 AM

i have a archos 504 and ipod nano im looking for some good earbuds for them. so far ive looked at…Jbuds hi-fi noise reducing earbudsv-moda (a pair that are $30 and 1 $85)ive also looked for wireless earbud but have had no luck if anyone no’s of realy good earbuds please respond

MerleOne on December 26, 2007 2:54 PM

Hi,Based on this very helpful review and other factors, I just bought for Xmas a set of Q-Jays.It was actually a big disappointment : they sounded worse than my 5€ NeoNumeric Headphones… Almost no bass at all, very aggressive treble. Apart from this (it is difficult to describe), the sound, at medium frequencies, was more than OK, quite crips and clear.I even wondered if the bass circuit was out of order, but I don’t think that can happen on both R & L sides.I used to rely on V-moda Vibes and was expecting something even better, that is some headphones truly remarkable. Well it was not the case with the set I received.I am returning them but would like to know if you think I had a defective set or it is just that they are so different from the V-Moda Vibes ?Thanks for your advice !Merle1

Peter on January 9, 2008 10:55 AM

If you are used to the V-moda then you are used to heavy bass, not accurate bass. It do take some time for the ears to get used to a new sound source. If you would have given q-JAYS 1-2 weeks you would not go back to the Vibes. Well atleast 95% of the user wouldn’t. q-JAYS got the earphone of the year 2007 award by iLounge and have gotten great great reviews all over the world :) Cheers!

Paul on January 27, 2008 6:31 PM

The q-JAYS are wonderful. My normal pair of headphones are AKG K701 for critical listening and Sennheiser PX-100 for portability, and q-JAYS offer the isolation that I wanted plus a great sound. Plus, the tiny size makes it much more comfortable than I ever expected.This allows me to have a private listening environment on noisy subway trains, and that allows me to pay more attention to the music I’m listening to. It’s a good feeling.

Chris on January 30, 2008 3:24 AM

Are there any available foam tip replacements for these thick earphone stems? If not, are the silicon rubber tips any good for going to sleep?

Peter from JAYS on February 18, 2008 1:19 PM

Chris, we have many people sleeping with them daily without problems.Cheers!

Jim Walsh on February 25, 2008 12:46 PM

I’m curious about the volume. Typically, if the sensitivity is less than 105 dB SPL @ 1kHz for me, the player volume has to be pumped up so high that distortion comes into play. Is the volume adequate with a Sansa E series or a Zune? Is the fit so good that a lower volume suffices? I have never found a set of ear buds or IEMs that would stay in my ears for more than 5 minutes. $180 is more than both my players cost me, but it might be worth it if they fit properly.

JimW on February 25, 2008 12:47 PM

I’m curious about the volume. Typically, if the sensitivity is less than 105 dB SPL @ 1kHz for me, the player volume has to be pumped up so high that distortion comes into play. Is the volume adequate with a Sansa E series or a Zune? Is the fit so good that a lower volume suffices? I have never found a set of ear buds or IEMs that would stay in my ears for more than 5 minutes. $180 is more than both my players cost me, but it might be worth it if they fit properly.

rightslot on February 28, 2008 10:02 PM

Yea, the FIT is EVERYTHINGThey not only need to STAY IN, they need to fit good.Seems these fit the bill x 2.We’ll see.Can’t wait.

Lilac1 on March 5, 2008 5:23 PM

JimW on February 25, 2008 12:47 PMI’m curious about the volume. Typically, if the sensitivity is less than 105 dB SPL @ 1kHz for me, the player volume has to be pumped up so high that distortion comes into playI’d say that since most IEM’s are so high-sense that audible background distortion is heard at any volume level on any player, these are a step in the right direction. I do believe that no player over 50$ will have any trouble running these things at acceptable levels without inducing distortion.

Human Blue on April 11, 2008 7:28 AM

My ears are used to Beyerdynamic DT 880′s and Tannoy R5A’s for reference so anything that colors the sound field is out of the question.Whilst I’m am certain the q-jays would make me smile, I just don’t have the budget for them right now. How well do the J-Jays perform by comparison? I realize there’s a good deal price difference but at what cost to the sound reproduction.Many thanks

sanus on June 4, 2008 8:25 PM

Although the Swedish-designed, Chinese-made Q-Jays’ SQ is good (better than most stock phones), it is an overpriced, overrated and overhyped piece of audio gear.Once you become a proud owner of this can, you have to deal with its filter issue. Jays designed a product that requires a filter switch every 10 hours of listening, so that you will be forced to buy their OEM filters at an inflated price. It’s a high maintenance IEM in terms of running costs!So consider these comments before you part with your moolah.

Martin Sägmüller on June 5, 2008 10:45 AM

Interesting… I’m still on my first pair of filters. I’m not using my q-Jays daily, but at least for 10-30 hours a week (since last October). Seems the q-Jays aren’t ideal for people with cerumen issues.

uche on June 25, 2008 10:10 AM

Nice review, but I don’t agree that they surpass the super.fi 5pro, the q-jays bass lacks a lot of punch and isn’t as “fun” sounding.

Enda Kirby on August 15, 2008 12:06 PM

I had to send these back today. Dreaded most common earphone problem – cable break! First it occured in extension cable which I replaced myself and then just on the cable coming from just underneath the earphone itself. Without getting into to much details here are my impressions after 3 months of use.1. Poor Soundstage.2. Rubber tips poor – I ended up using Shure’s grey silicon tips from a dead pair and seal was much better than anything provided from Jays – so the plethoa of accessories provided amounted to diddly squat.3. IMO size of unit does not equate to comfort, I’m currently using a backup pair of Denon AH-C351K, appox 3 times the size of q-jays and 3 times more comfortable at about 35euros! So where comfort of earphone is concerned formula = ((size/dimensions of your ear) V (size/dimesions of earphone)) and NOT (smaller size = more comfort).4. The stiffness of the cable makes it stick ourward from your ears rather that hanging limply down the side of your neck – so from a distance ya you might look like your wearing hoop earings :) This quaility does not add to the overall comfort of wearing them.5. I was disappointed with the sound quality as I had epected to be satisfied after the reviews I read. I though they were quite good for techno but average for everthing else and couldn’t handle anything complex so muddled sound when lots of instruments involved. To compare I have a pair of Yuin PK2′s (earbuds) and they are significantly superior in sound qality at less than half the price.Ok I was looking for very good sound quaity and comfort. These although good in some respects did not satisfy those needs. I think this reviewer significantly over estimates the sound quality of these and therin lies my biggest disappointent with them, cable issues aside.

Toby Davies on September 2, 2008 10:49 AM

I’ve had the q-Jays for just over a month and have finally given up trying to like them.I’ve been able to admire them for their extreme brightness and clarity, but I can honestly say that in the last month I just haven’t enjoyed listening to any music.For a dual armiture I’ve been incredibly disapointed in the bass. These are headphones the eally focus on the higher frequencies.They are just too bright and detailed – I find them incredibly fatiguing – with lots of “light” but very little “shade”.I mainly listen to classical music, so I’m not a bass-head by any means, but I really miss the sense of warmth, amibience and atmosphere that other headphones provide.I’m not suggesting that these are bad headphones, and I can understand other people raving about them, but they are definately not for me. I’ll be selling mine (probably at a rather large loss) as soon as I can.

Steve Schuler on September 12, 2008 10:46 AM

Hey everybody,I got my Q-Jays a few days ago from HeadRoom.com and for the first day or so I was annoyed and disappointed that there was very weak bass, while the mids & highs sounded great. I’ve seen this critisism by others on this page and elsewhere in forums, but then again, I’ve also read tons of glowing reviews of people who say they sound great across the entire spectrum. How can both sides of this arguement be right?? I started to wonder if I was missing something or if my pair was broken or something. (Don’t get me wrong – I’m not listening to hip-hop or bass-heavy music here – I just wanted a well-rounded sound with some warmth, and good sounding realistic drums.)Well, I thought the default silicone sleeves that came on them fit my ears fine, since they sat in the opening of my ears well enough. I’d never had “in ear” monitors before, so it took some getting used to, since they don’t just sit on your ear lobes like typical earbuds with spongy foam sleeves, but actually go *in* your ears.In desperation, as a last ditch effort before going back to the earbuds that came with my MP3 player, I decided to change the silicone sleeves on my Q-Jays to one of the smallest sizes, just to see what the difference would be. When I did that, I noticed they went way further down my ear canal, and suddenly I could hear that bassy, low side of the spectrum I never could hear before!!So the moral to the story is, if you have Jays Q-Jays and you don’t think there’s enough bass, then try smaller sleeves (now I know why they come with 7 sizes!), and push them down into your ear further! It’s weird at first, but you get used to it. It’s a lot like wearing ear plugs. It really does allow them to sound MUCH better. I’m guessing this is the reason some people are complaining about not getting enough bass out of them: improper fit/angle.My only complaint about this is, it’s a little odd to have something *in* your ear! Now I have to be careful to always make sure my ears are as clean as possible to avoid any wax getting on my silicone! Oh well, I guess it’s a small price to pay for pristine sound quality. ;)

itc on October 9, 2008 11:08 AM

I’ve had these for about 6 months (also have Shures and UE’s) and too have had some difficulty with fit (as I have with the aforementioned phones as well.) I find that using the Shure flange tips (purchase separately at about $10) fit much better, seal in the sound better and stay in better than the other tips. Inserting them farther into the ear also doesn’t seem as painful. As a bonus, they seem to protect the filters which otherwise need regular replacement.

Macilaci457 on October 29, 2008 7:45 PM

For fitting and comfort issues, even for weak bass problems, You can use this really cheap solution:Do You know those orange 3M ear plugs? You can make it to fit Your q-Jays, and it is cheap! I personally use this for about 3 months, went back to the rubber eartips one time but I will never do again!I made a step by step instruction how to make them fit, it is actually in Hungarian, but the pictures speaks for themselves.Try it, and tell your experiences. See URL.Mines:-better fit-no pressure in ear-different (better) bass reproduction-(unfortunately) less isolation

Macilaci457 on October 29, 2008 7:46 PM

For the URL click on my name… of course.

Charles on December 14, 2008 5:41 AM

I have a question please don’t ignore it are these better then the Shure530′s if not then what is?

Peguin on December 25, 2008 1:46 PM

Martin whats your opinion on the q-jays filters, filters in general, can’t you just listen to them without filters???

av on April 24, 2009 11:03 PM

Absolutely love my q-jays. Much, much better than the ER-6′s that they upgraded from, and I now use them instead of my Sennheiser 580s.

Herbalist on May 11, 2009 4:21 AM

I’ve read man many reviews on the Q-Jays comparing them to other dual armatures for twice the price. These are some of the first postings I’ve seen complaining of the soundstage and lack of base. I am certain that it has more to do with the fit than it does the drivers. For anyone who is considerings Jays there is truly nothing close to this price range that will come close. Hearing can be subjective but I am sure you will love them!

Lee on July 16, 2009 2:43 AM

i love my q-jays sound fantastic compared to old generic sony ones you find in every store :P , only issue i have is with changing the filters so often no matter how well i clean my ears the right side always gets dull and the balance goes out ever so slightly (but it still annoys me :P ) but they are excellent phones and fit is perfect with Klipsch oval gels

ss on July 26, 2009 6:49 AM

I just go my q-jays and they sound great with fiio e5 headphone amp, bass EQ enabled. These headphones need good amp, my ipod couldn’t drive them properly without amp (resulted in thin bass & overall sound). With amp these sound much better, especially if you use EQ to get some more bass, overall these are amazing IEMs.

Sim on August 26, 2009 11:01 AM

I have d-jays and was curious how these compare to q-jays?the d-jays are really quite good but lacking some bass.

roger on August 30, 2009 4:15 PM

Q-jays sound great.They come with 8 pairs of replaceable filters.My ears produce a lot of wax, so, even though I clean my ears with qtips prior to use, I still need to replace at least 1 filter about every 2nd use! (QJay volume will drop dramatically with wax on filter, often, one phone will sound COMPLETELY DEAD, this is the signal that I need to change filter.) Unfortunately this happens as I am cycling, or at the gym. I don’t carry tweezers, pins, and spare filters at these times!)I honestly don’t recommend these for people who produce lots of earwax.(now, I need to find replacement supply of filters here in USA)

Ben on November 2, 2009 2:26 PM

I have owned two pairs of qJays and have found the experience to be very positive. Your findings are very similar to my experience. An excellent review for an excellent set of headphones.

Comments Closed. Please continue the discussion in the forums