Jays a-Jays Five for iOS earbuds

Jays’ latest instalment of the a-Jays series earbuds is a durable, yet sleek-looking product that provides great all-round sound

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Jays a-Jays Five for iOS
  • Jays a-Jays Five for iOS
  • Jays a-Jays Five for iOS
  • Jays a-Jays Five for iOS
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Great sound
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Heavy cord can pull out the earpiece
  • Remote only works with iOS (Android and Windows Phone are also available)

Bottom Line

The a-Jays Five are a great set of earbuds for the price. Their noise isolation is impressive, and we like the fact that they didn’t leak sound people nearby unless we used very high volume. They have a design that’s durable, and they produced good sound across a wide variety of musical genres during our testing.

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Jays has released the latest instalment in its a-Jays range of earbuds, the top of the line a-Jays Five, and they are an impressive piece of kit. They are available in black or white, and in three different versions for iOS, Android, and Windows. We reviewed the iOS version using an iPhone 4S primarily.

The a-Jays Five come with four different-sized tips, which makes them suitable for most ear sizes, a handy cord clip, and a solid carry case that helps protect the earbuds when they are not in use.

Design

The design of the a-Jays Five earbuds is sleek, and we like the fact that a-Jays has not tried to do too much with them. In a market seemingly saturated with multi-coloured, protrusion-heavy products that are often more like fashion accessories than simple devices, it is nice to find a design where form follows function.

The earbuds sit snugly in the ear, providing excellent ambient noise reduction. Furthermore, they don’t subject your co-workers or fellow commuters to whatever music you may be listening to at the time. The cable is a good length at 115cm and allows your iPhone, iPad or iPod to sit in your pocket or bag comfortably while still allowing for reasonable levels of movement.

The cord weight is one of the only issues we found with the design. At times, the cord can pull on the bud itself, inhibiting the fit in the ear if it’s not sitting properly. This problem can be easily overcome by pulling slightly on the outer ear during the insertion of the earbuds, and by using the clip provided to stop the cord from moving. The weight of the cord then becomes less of an issue. There are benefits to the heavy cord though. Mainly, the heavy cord reflects the quality of construction of the earbuds and it means that they are more durable than many competing products.

None

There is nothing more frustrating than forking out over $100 on a pair of earbuds and within a couple of months having one channel loose sound due to crimping of the cord. The flat cord means that there are fewer problems associated with twisting and tangling. The cable can sometimes brush against your shirt and this produces an audible sound, even at higher volumes. With the use of the clip, this becomes less of an issue, and even without it the problem is a minor hindrance.

The remote microphone is situated higher up than many others on the market and the simple three button design provides functionality while not being too inhibiting. The main button can be used to play and pause music, answer calls, and skip tracks forwards and backwards depending on the number of times it is pressed. Combined with the up and down volume buttons, it gives great control over your device without you having to dig into your pocket or bag.

Sound Quality

Overall, the sound quality is of a very high level for the price range. There is no discernible distortion at loud volumes regardless of the style of music being played. When dealing with MP3, there is obviously a reduced frequency range. Most of the tracks we tested were at 320Kbps, and we also plugged the earphones into a record player to see if there was any difference when listening to vinyl. The results were impressive. While we can’t envisage many users listening to their vinyl collections through in-ear headphones such as these, it’s nice to know that they are up to the task.

Bass-heavy tracks like Jay-Z’s Holy Grail gave immersive sound that is more akin to over-ear models than similarly priced in-ear products. When listening to less heavily produced songs like The Rolling Stones’ Beast of Burden the sound comes through with warmth, clarity, and crispness that makes an enjoyable listening experience.

Heavier, more frantic tracks like Bad Religion’s True North or The Mars Volta’s Intergalactic E.S.P don’t distort and come through as clear at high volume levels as they do at lower levels. When listening to podcasts, vocals were as clear and crisp as they need to be, and the in-ear style of the buds means that audio can be heard at low levels even in noisy environments.

As an accompaniment to your iOS device, the Jays a-Jays Five perform very well, and they do so under many different environments. We think they are well worth it for the price.

The a-Jays Five cost $120 and are available through Harvey Norman and Officeworks.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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