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  #1  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:23 PM
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FrododorF FrododorF is offline
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Default JVC FX66 "Air Cushions" Review

The FX66 have been on the market for a while and after a price drop they are priced very reasonably. If you are interested in trying IEMs, or just upgrading from those tinny stock ear buds, they might be for you. They are affordable, comfortable, and offer decent sound quality.

This is my first review, and the fx66 are my first IEMs, so it may not have as much perspective as some other reviewers have to offer. I have not owned many other quality head phones so for the most part I will be comparing to my Sennheiser HD457 headphones for sound quality. All my testing was done on a Cowon D2. With that out of the way let’s have at it.

Specifications:
• Frequency response: 10Hz-23,000Hz
• Sensitivity: 101dB/1mW
• Nominal Impedance: 16 Ohms
• Cable length: 1m (3.24ft)
• Weight of each earpiece: 1.75g (.06oz)
• Plug type: straight
• Cable type: Y

Included Accessories:
• Plastic Case
• 3 pairs of silicone flanges ( large medium and small)
• 1 pair memory foam
• A twist tie


The plastic case is almost useless, although it holds the earpieces nicely and protects them from dust in pockets the cable storage is poorly designed and it is almost impossible to get the cable secured. Even if you were to get the cable in the case it would leave the ends going into the earpieces perfectly positioned to be crimped by accident.

Build Quality and General Design:
*UPDATE*
so after however many months it has been 5 i think, the rubber bits are falling apart, not the flanges, but the rubber "cushions:. Also the paper filters fell off. this has not effected the sound much, maybe a bit more harsh.I have not been rough on them, but they are falling apart.
The build quality is pretty decent; the enclosure is glossy plastic and silicon and seems sturdy. They have almost a half inch of semi stiff plastic stress relief on each earpiece.

The FX66’s look pretty good, and the glossy plastic is at least somewhat scratch resistant so they should stay that way. They are comfortable, and after I got used to having something in my ear, I totally forgot they were there. I wore them for several hours without any discomfort and feel asleep while wearing them. The cable is a Y design with a slider to change the size of the y, this is very useful for wearing the cable behind your head, it cuts down cable noise, and keeps the cable out of the way while walking, biking or doing other activities. I have noticed almost no wind noise with these; I tested them while walking on a mildly windy day, and then riding downhill on a bike. I could hear the wind, but there was no whistling or other unnatural noise.

I have two gripes with them, firstly they have R and L printed on the very back of the earpieces, why did they put it there? It is not like other people need to be able to read it to tell which ear is your right ear. If it was printed somewhere that did not show when inserted then it would not be as ugly. In fact for me the raised dot on the left stress relief, and a note that said that the dotted one was left would be enough. My other complaint I am not as adamant about because it could just be me, but I feel like they should go a little deeper into my ear. If it were not for the little “air cushion” knob, I think they would pop out quite easily. But I have deep ear canals I am told, so maybe this is more of a personal problem.

Sound Quality:

When I first listened to these I was unimpressed by the mids and highs, they had bass, and a lot of it, but the highs were a bit muted, and the mids were muddy. So I let them burn in for almost 3 days straight, this improved the sound considerably. The final result seem to be a well balanced sound, still a little bass heavy, but that is alright by me.

The highs are clear and well defined, much better than my hd457, which are “dark”. I listen to many artists with female vocals, and these iems served them well.

Mids are not as good, although they are well within the listenable range; they are still a little muddy. Compared to the hd457 they are about the same.

Bass is where the fx66 really shine, they have bass, and after some burn in time it is tight, and rich. I prefer their bass to that of the hd457’s, it is cleaner, and a little less muddy. I get much more bass while using the silicone tips rather than the memory foam, maybe I just did not get a good seal with the foam tips, but I tried several times and still got almost no bass.

Sound stage not very good, but that is the norm with iems I am told, so no surprise there. Not much to say about it besides that.

The FX66 isolate fairly well, with the D2 at volume 3 pretty much all background noise was cut out but I could still hear people talking to me within ten feet ( not sure what they were saying, but I could hear that they were talking. With the volume at six I was almost entirely isolated, loud noises and people very close to me were audible, but again unintelligible.

Overall the FX66 sound very good for the price, they have good bass, well defined highs, and the mids are decent. For an entry level IEM they are just about perfect, and will get you hooked on IEMs.

some pictures:








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Last edited by FrododorF; 11-03-2008 at 09:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2008, 10:56 PM
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My mini review was quite similar, except that burn in did not improve the sound enough for me, and the bass is good, but there is too much low-mids which ruins the sound.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2008, 05:50 AM
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FrododorF, don't listen to derf ... I enjoyed the read

btw, I’m convinced that burn in is a waste of time and I prefer to listen to any changes along the way … remember the MylarOne’s
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2008, 11:19 AM
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hum i did not even realize this sub sub forum was here.
anyway derf, i just read you review, we did have similar conclusions, although i found the final sound enjoyable. they are by no means perfect, but for the price they are good.
walkgood, to each his own i guess, I had to work so it was not really a waste of time since i could not listen to them during those periods anyway. a waste of power...yeah maybe.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:30 PM
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FrododorF, I should reword my statement, burn-in is not a waste of time but rather a loss of pleasurable listening time during the critical settling in stage and one might just miss out on a good encounter
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2008, 02:32 PM
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Good review, Frododorf!
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:21 PM
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Might be worth buying-to replace my dead E828's. Good and detailled review.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2008, 04:21 PM
lauinbeta lauinbeta is offline
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i agree with your review. i bought myself a pair of these IEM's about 4 months ago. I had never gotten any other haedphones except for the ones that came with my DAP. I thought they were bass heavy, but i concluded that i was just missing out on bass the whole time.
they are mostly comfortable, but as always, i get tired of having things in my ears.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2008, 11:45 AM
neotron neotron is offline
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How are these headphones compared to CX300's, EP630's or JBL Reference 220's?
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2009, 03:49 PM
rangel28 rangel28 is offline
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Thanks for the review! I have been thinking of getting these as replacement for my JVC Marshmalows, as the ear cushions are flaking away. Sounds like these will do the job (I use hte marshmallows at the gym).
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:04 PM
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I just purchased these today, and so far I like them. I do not find the bass as deep as the V-Moda bass frequencies which broke on me, but I will see after a few days after they "burn in". The highs are much better then the frequencies, however. I needed a replacement pair, so I figured for 21 bucks, how can one go wrong? I have a pair of the white earbuds, but I wouldn't be caught dead wearing them. Just to play it safe, I purchased another pair of the bass frequencies.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:33 AM
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THESE HEADPHONES HAVE TERRIBLE BUILD QUALITY
I wont say I've been particualry carful with them, but I certainly havn't abused the 'phones, and they have been totally wrecked over 6 months. The 'cushion' rips and falls apart, the the plastic around the jack becomes loose, and just today the bit that goes in your ear fell off on both side
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2009, 12:24 AM
rangel28 rangel28 is offline
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I also had a problem with the build quality.. Mine were only six months old and one of the earphones just separated on me one day. I baby all of my headphones, and I didn't even use these everyday.
I called JVC and sent them proof of purchase (I bought them on Amazon.com). They immediately sent me a new pair.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2009, 09:31 AM
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i've been using mine for over 6 months, i use to pair regularly, one pair at work, and one for working out...both are still going strong with not build quality issues yet...
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:36 PM
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You can't really expect much for $30.

For the price, built quality isn't too bad.
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