Thanks to the rather poor efforts that are typically supplied with most modern MP3 players, the in-ear headphone market plies a good trade amongst portable audio fans and this new s-series from JAYS boasts yet another new technology designed to improve performance.
The rather peculiar looking design features an elongated head that is necessary to utilise the headline ‘SIREN’ technology, which is designed to effectively combine high and mid tones but more importantly deliver thumping bass.
Before we get into how the s-Jays perform, though, we’ll take a quick look at the whole package, which is really quite impressive.
In the box you’ll find a total of six pairs of different sized rubber caps, one of which is pre-fitted to the buds themselves. There’s also a series of replacement filters to restore the clarity of the audio when the existing ones get clogged up with wax and other debris, a 3.5mm extension lead, stereo splitter, airline adaptor and a small leather carry case with a separate compartment for the other accessories.
It’s certainly a tidy collection and each item, along with the earphones themselves, feels very solid and well made, leaving an overall impression of quality.
The short, 24-inch cable that’s attached to the buds themselves makes for a tidy setup if you’re keeping your player close by, and the extension lead adds another foot-and-a-half for a bit more breathing room if you need it.
Obviously you could just plug the earphones straight into your music player and get started right away, but we wouldn’t recommend this as quite a bit of fiddling is required to get the most from the s-Jays. There are many permutations available and as well as working out which of the supplied rubber caps make for the best fit, JAYS says that they can be worn over or under the ear and, just for good measure, there’s no ‘R’ and ‘L’ printed on each cap to show you which is which.
You may also like to do some tweaking with the graphic equalizer on the source device, since the painstakingly created custom mode on ours, which has been tried and tested with a range of other similar ‘phones in the past, didn’t sound as good here.
After rather a lot of fiddling, twisting and turning we were convinced that we had squeezed the best possible sound from the ‘phones (which, incidentally, involved fitting them in the rather more unconventional ‘over-ear’ position) and were very pleased by the results.
Audio was generally quite well balanced from a generic point of view, but we did find that it fared better with certain types of music. The high-tones and mid-range were very distinct and in the case of ‘flightier’ tunes, such as classical and acoustic music, they didn’t combine as well as we’d hoped, resulting in an image that felt just a little too separated. Rock and dance music fared better and bass-oriented tracks are undoubtedly the earphones’ forte, which leads us to the headline SIREN technology.
While bass was certainly distinct, it was definitely more thumpy than punchy so you ‘hear’ the effect of the lower tones in tunes rather than feel them. We weren’t as bowled over in this area as we’d expected to be considering the orientation of the design, but the effect is still dramatic enough to offer a nice all-round sound environment.
We should note at this point that we’re being a tad picky in our analysis here, and the issues mentioned above should only really affect the decision of someone who puts unrivalled audio quality above all else. Generally speaking clarity was excellent and you’re getting quite a bit for your money when you consider everything else that’s thrown in.
At £64.99 the s-Jays are a mid-range product up against rivals like the Sennheiser CX-series, specifically the CX-500. As a direct comparison we’d say that the Sennheisers are a little easier to get to grips with and would be the preferred choice as an all-round solution, though the s-Jays are capable of marginally better sound in certain environments provided you’re willing to juggle with accessories and settings.
Contact: 08445 874116