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Old 03-17-2009, 09:33 AM
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ka-boom ka-boom is offline
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Lightbulb JAYS d-Jays review with pictures and s-jays comparisons!

I was fortunate enough to have been given these to review, so I cannot say that I paid for them, although I will take their price into perspective as if I had paid for them. I just want to be clear - even though these were given to me I do not owe Jays a favorable review. If they sounded terrible and fit badly I would definitely report this. I don't do them any favors by churning out good reviews, constant pats on the back leave no room for improvement so I will be as critical as I can.

d-jays (white) next to s-jays (black)

First impressions: Looks - beautiful! They are certainly small, and look to be very easy to slide into my ear. The red looks nice with the white, a lot better than plain black does. The red is shiny, almost like a piece of jewelry. If I saw these one someone I would certainly ask about them, they just look cool. Let's see how these micro armatures sound!

Total time listening to the d-jays
4 hours in the gym, roughly 6 hours at home listening to audio books, and a 30 hour burn in using my iAudio 7 at volume 17. I don't know even know that these IEM's require a "burn in" period, but I did it just to be thorough. The sound appears to be the same after all the use as it did straight out of the box.

Good professional packaging. Not overkill, not overly difficult to open. Simple plastic sleeve around box, cardboard type box, no special tools (scissors or knife) needed to open. As with the s-jays, the cord was not wound ridiculously tight but loosely with a twist tie so there are less kinks in the cord once you begin to use them. No complaints at all with the packaging.

What you get
4 different size silicone tips
2 of the same size foam tip sets
A couple pairs of screen fiters
Extendor cable
Small carrying case

The carrying case is absolutely useless, and although it looks fancy, it would be best served as a carrying case for loose pocket change - not IEM's. It is very small, no bigger than a matchbox, and is not large enough to house the IEMs for everyday use. You would need to wind the cables very tight to stuff them into here. I will never use this, and find this a waste of resource.

Fit & Isolation
The fit, for me, is very good. I tried all the sizes and for me, the medium fit the best and the smallest fit my wife the best. The fit is a lot better than the s-jays which had troubles staying in mainly because of their awkward design. The d-Jays are angled in such a manner that they slide right in, forming a nice seal. The silicone is nice and thick and easy to bend around to clean also.

Like the s-jays, the d-jays fit best going the standard route with the cable hanging down to the side. I tried over the ear and it just felt silly and didn't fit right. The way that the d-jays are made, the red armature section fits nicely into your main ear opening while the nozzle and tip go right into your canal.

I really had no problem getting a fit, under any circumstances. Sitting upright in a chair, at the coffee shop, or at the gym - these were very easy to put in and get the correct seal in a matter of seconds. The s-jays required more work.

The noise isolating works as advertised, and although I don't have dB levels to prove this, take my word that the thick silicone does a great job at isolation. I did a a/b/a/b/ comparison of the isolation abilities this afternoon while in the coffee shop with my Klipsch Custom 3's and the d-jays provide superior noise isolation over the Klipsch and the s-jays. I would wager this is because of the thicker silicone being used, but I'm no scientist...

The in ear part of the IEM is very light, and angled inwards so it makes a nice fit with your (my) ear. The red part is nice and shiny, and doesn't look to flake off easily or scratch. The white is a nice visual touch also. The cables themselves are great; not too thick, and not too thin, kevlar insulated. I find virtually NO kink or tangle with them, same as the s-jays. Whereas my month old Custom 3's STILL kink and get knotted up very easy. There are no complaints about the build quality, very light weight and ergonomic.
Thankfully, there each ear piece is clearly labeled "Left" and "Right" on the respective piece, although it's easy to tell which one goes into which ear by looking at it. Trying to find out which was which on the s-jays turns out to be a real chore because they're not easily labeled.

I didn't read any reviews about these before I got them, so my impressions were formed on a clean slate. As mentioned, the sound straight out of the box is indistinguishable from the sound after more than 40 hours of listening. The sound, to put it simply, is fantastic.

- The highs are balanced, with slight roll off, and nicely separated. Steve Nicks sounds amazing, the vocals come across as if she was sitting 5 feet in front of me. Male voices like Don Henley and Peter Frampton also sound extremely well, defined, and clear as a bell. The male readers of the audio book I have been listening to all sounds good, nothing to complain about here. I wouldn't change a thing about this. The d-jays trump the s-jays in the highs & treble department for cleanliness and accuracy. Soundstage is impressive, clearly better than the s-jays, and almost as good as my Custom 3's. Certainly a lot better than the V-moda vibes. Wide open and spacious, bright and crisp.

- The mids are strong, and present, but not over-powering. In a/b/a/b comparison, the s-jays sound a little more heavy in the mids than the d-jays do. I listened to 2 full Rage Against The Machine albums while washing & waxing my car the other day and everything came across very well. RATM is a very heavy, bass guitar, snare drum type of band with wild licks that drop off into melodic acoustics so this was a good sampling. Nothing sounded bad in this area, the mid sounds are more of a balanced nature compared to the s-jays heavier sound (and even to my Custom 3's) and would probably be described as "accurate". In general I thought I preferred a "warmer" sounding mid/low range but I've grown to like this more balanced, flat approach.

- Lows are nice and solid, very apparent but more defined than the s-jays. The s-jays are not bad for what they are, the d-jays just sound *different*, more grown up. I tested the lows with classic tracks from The Crystal Method "High Roller" and Big Tymers "Get Your Roll On" and they came through with real grip. (Mach3Bass at 4, BBE at 5) Bass is well produced, not bloated or forced, and certainly not what you would call a bass fart. It's clean, forceful, and punchy with surprisingly good extension. The s-jays have more of it, although not as clean (if that makes sense). While the d-jays are very adequate in the bass department, I don't think they're as warm in the low end as the Custom 3's are. But then again, the Klipsch were $300 while the d-jays are around $100. There is a nice subtle bass in men's voices reading audio books too.

- Volume levels, I can't honestly say I blasted these at anything higher than 21 or 22 on my iAudio7. I'm not trying to go deaf, but even with volumes at that level I never once thought it sounded messy. There is also very, very minimal hiss with tracks paused.

If I went to the store right now, and paid $100 of my own money for these, I would NOT be disappointed. I would, in fact, find very little to gripe about in any area (fit, value, isolation, sound, durability). Jays does something that I wish other companies would do, and that is offer and extended cable WITH your purchase. I prefer a longer cable, and while other companies give you 1 length to work with, Jays gives the option of 2 totaling 60 inches. Sweet! There is absolutely NOT sound deterioration using the extender either.

The d-jays are probably one of the more balanced IEM's I've listened to, and one of the most enjoyable ones I've heard. I favor them over the s-jays for a couple reasons: better fit, better isolation, and a more neutral sound. The s-jays are a solid choice for electronic, reggae, and electro while the d-jays really shine at about everything else.

I like that Jays gives a 2-year warranty with these, too. In fact, I really like this. This pisses all over Klipsch's lousy 1-year warranty on their Custom 3's, a product which costs $200+ more dollars. There is nothing I can really say bad about these; they're lightweight, clean sounding, nicely packaged with many accessories, and a solid value for around $100. I would like to think they give Phonak and Shure a run for their money, but I have never heard Phonaks and have only heard the SCL3 and SCL4. Of the two Shure models mentioned, the d-Jays blow them away in every category (although the Shure cables are thicker... whoopde doo).

I don't know if I will be fortunate enough to do any future reviews for Jays. I could only wish to do a Q-Jays as those seem to be their flagship product, and seem to get a lot of very favorable reviews. I would like to know how the q-jays stack up against the d-jays, and how much better they really are because I think the d-jays are great. But we'll see.... *cross fingers*

++ IF you have questions, please feel free to ask!

Soundstage: 8/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
Value: 10/10
Packaging: 9/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Accessories: 10/10
Comfort: 8/10
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