What do the rockers from U2, Christina Aguilera, the guys from Van Halen and Katy Perry have in common? They are all musicians, but they work in completely different styles. However, at the concerts they all use stage in-channel monitors JH Audio by Jerry Harvey – the famous sound producer, the founder of the brand Ultimate Ears, and later – the company JH Audio. But in order to understand what kind of sound the celebrities hear, it’s not at all necessary to climb the musical Olympus. There is a way easier – to get acquainted with universal headphones from JH Audio. Well, let’s try the famous sound.
|Model||JH13v2 Pro||JH16v2 Pro||Roxanne|
|A type||intracanal closed|
|Number of Drivers||8 (2 LF + 2 MF + 4 HF)||10 (4 LF + 2 MF + 4 HF)||12 (4 LF + 4 MF + 4 HF)|
|Frequency range, Hz||10 – 20000||10 – 23000||10 – 23000|
|Sensitivity (@ 1 mW)||116 dB||118 dB||119 dB|
|Cable||Removable 1.2 m with low-frequency control|
|Connector||gold-plated, 3,5 mm|
|Remote with microphone||no|
|Weight (with cable)||38 grams||41 grams|
Packing and equipment
Packing for all three models is the same: high-quality rectangular black boxes with flip tops, fixed with silk ribbons. There are several compartments in the box: on top – headphones in foam rubber, the niche for the cable is neatly covered with a paper cover.
A little bit below – a box with accessories: five pairs of inserts (two pairs of silicone and three pairs of “foam”), a special tool for cleaning headphones, a miniature screwdriver to adjust the level of low frequencies and a small brochure with user manual and warranty (in English).
At the very bottom is a luxurious round aluminum case with a lid on the thread. The cable in the kit is one – 1.2 m long and without a console with a microphone.
Appearance and construction
The main specialization of JH Audio is the so-called “custom” -a-earphones (from English custom-issued by special order), which are made for a specific listener and therefore ideally suited to him. This ensures maximum comfort and sound quality. This is how in-channel stage monitors for musicians are made.
But there is a firm and a small line of “universal” (Universal) headphones, which, according to the producers, are suitable for everyone. The secret of successful landing is simple – for many years of analyzing customer’s earplugs, coming with orders to JH Audio laboratory, engineers managed to create anatomically correct case. It is to this line that all models belong to our review.
It is known that the shells were fabricated on a 3D printer (which confirms the guess about the polymers), and the waveguides that produce sound vibrations in the ear canal are made of steel. We note in passing that the tube on which the silicone nozzle is placed is smooth and almost does not limit the longitudinal movements of the inserts. They sit tight enough, so it is unlikely to get lost. But they can move. And their position greatly affects the frequency balance, so this should be monitored.
The cable is removable, from the well-known American company Moon Audio, connected with a four-pin connector with threaded fixation. On the one hand they have zaushiny for a more secure landing.
The first prototype, assembled on a knee of Japanese parts, was very successful. The musicians of the band Skid Row saw these devices from Van Halen and ordered the same ones. The demand turned out to be so great that Jerry created his firm Ultimate Ears, and placed an order for the production of headphones at Weston. With the model UE-5, released in 2000, it was a real success, and in-channel stage monitors became standard equipment on the rock scene, they were used by The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even the artists Cirque du Soleil. With the advent of the iPod Jerry began to develop simplified and cheaper versions of his headphones, optimized for use with portable music devices.
All this is told in order to become clear: the design of JH Audio headphones is genetically related to musical concerts. In order for the performers on the stage to adequately hear themselves and other participants in the show, the headphones must satisfy a number of requirements: to provide effective noise isolation, to have a high overload capability (to play without distortion at significant volume levels), to have the maximum smooth frequency response and not distort the timbre. These headphones are used in conjunction with a wireless receiver (which is attached to the belt of a musician), that is, in fact, with a portable source, so they must have high sensitivity and low impedance.
All these requirements can be met only with the help of a large number of reinforcement drivers. The separation into three bands makes it possible to use the most linear part of the characteristics of the emitters and obtain a smooth frequency as a result. And the installation of several drivers in parallel – increase the return, reduce the impedance and compensate for losses in crossovers. Can you imagine intra-channel headphones with eight dynamic drivers? They are too great for this. Therefore, only miniature reinforcing bars are used.
The main source is a smartphone LG V10 with Hi-Fi DAC on ESS Sabre32 ES9018KM2 chip and Saber 9602 amplifier. Optional is a stationary system with DAC MkII PS Audio PerfectWave DAC and a Schiit Valhalla 2 headphone amplifier.
Our duty set of records of different genres (jazz, rock, classical) in standard (16 bit / 44.1 kHz) and high (up to 24 bit / 192 kHz) resolution, only a few new albums were added to FLAC and DSD (DSD128). In particular, this is the release of the 2017 rockabilly diva Imelda May “Life. Love. Flesh. Blood “(the singer changed her image, became lyrically languid and, in fact, moved into the genre of pop-rock, although she retained the elements of the blues). The fusion collection was supplemented by the album “EST Symphony”, amazing in music and sound, at 24 bit / 96 kHz, recorded by the band’s surviving musicians in conjunction with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (it was easy to guess that the old compositions written under Esbjørn Svensson were performed). Especially note one more album – contrast, dynamic,
Before proceeding to the report on the audition, we will make some important remarks. Manufacturers of budget headphones are trying to please the mass tastes, and therefore form their so-called V-shaped characteristics, simply speaking, muffle the middle frequencies and raise the edges of the range. It turns out sonorous, bright, “sausage” sound, which many like. They get used to it and even begin to regard it as the norm. But professional technology should sound and sound quite differently: nothing embellishes and conveys exactly what was written down (naturally, ideally, as in this sphere there are equipment of different levels and classes). She has no right to lie. If you have been listening to consumer headphones for a long time, you will have to adapt to the sound of professional, the more stage ones. However, those music lovers who regularly attend live concerts,
One more remark. The sound of headphones strongly depends on the closed volume of air between the radiators and the eardrums. This applies to absolutely everyone, even full-size covering models, but in-channel ones – especially. The smaller this isolated volume, the better. Nozzles should be installed in the ear canal as deeply and tightly as possible, so it is necessary to choose the optimum insertion gauge so that when the diaphragm moves, no air is sucked into the ear canal. It is clear that when the silicone nozzles are slightly smaller than required, there is no discomfort. But normal bass does not work either. Of course, their shortage can be compensated in the headphones themselves or with the help of an equalizer, but the level of distortion will inevitably grow. By the way, real music lovers can order a nozzle for the impression of the ear, for example, in storesDr.Head .
We begin with the younger model JH13v2 Pro. First impression: they sound extremely smooth, neutral (in a good way) and gently. It seems that the high is not enough. It seems: in fact, it is high enough, but because of the lack of tint and a low level of distortion, there is a sense of deficiency. It takes just a few minutes. After that, about the sound does not even want to think – music captures and carries away.
These headphones have to adapt: they have a hard landing, listen preferably at high volume, and even, perhaps, change their established ideas about the “right sound”. But the reward for this will be a huge pleasure from music. The hierarchy of models in JH Audio is built extremely accurately and without “ponto”: the price is determined solely by design features and related differences in sound quality, and not by some abstract ideas of prestige or expensive finishing materials that are important only for self-evaluation, but in no way not for the perception of music.
- smooth, balanced in all senses sound;
- ability to accurately convey the intention of musicians;
- the highest quality of workmanship;
- thoughtful equipment.
- insufficiently accurate fixation of silicone attachments on the bodies.