Review: u-Jays On-Ear Headphones - Aesthetic Post

Review: u-Jays On-Ear Headphones

U-Jays Headphones

U-Jays Headphones

U-Jays Headphones

u-Jays headphones are the result of two years research and development, with an emphasis on simplicity in design, balanced sound, and comfort, by the Stockholm-based audio brand Jays. The on-ear, closed-back design steps up Jays’ game, and places these headphones in the premium category, with their handsome, minimal form, based on ultra-durable construction. The form factor and matte-finishing put them right up there as some of the best looking headphones on the market; they aren’t flashy, but definitely read as smart design.

u-Jays are boxed with the exchangeable (available in limited metal finishes) ear cups detached, setup being very simple. They come in just under 8oz, and are built on a spring steel and wire core with integrated screws; because of this solid design, they do not completely fold, but the ear cups are capable of folding 90 degrees, allowing the headphones to fit perfectly into the included carrying bag. The viscoelastic ear cushions are designed to adapt to the shape of the wearer’s ears for a close fit without sound escape, and while this design is effective, like most on-ear headphones, they become slightly uncomfortable after some time worn; this might be because u-Jays clamp more to the wearer’s head than they rest on the ears. A rubber, slim-profile headband is comfortable on the head or when resting headphones on the neck, but the material choice is bit of a magnet for dust. A detachable audio cord is available for iOS, Windows, or Android systems, and includes a MEMS technology microphone and three-button remote. Technically speaking, the speakers consist of a 40mm Japanese-silk diaphragm dynamic speaker with a sensitivity of 100 dB, SPL @1 kHz, 32 Ohm @ 1 kHz of impedance and frequency response of 10 to 20,000 Hz.  For a richer bass response and air flow, they are surrounded by vent holes covered with acoustic tuning filters.

Not being too keen an audiophile, I found the sound quality to be very good on the u-Jays. I wouldn’t say these are the best headphones I’ve experienced, but considering the design/comfort factor alongside sound output, they are the most considered from an engineering standpoint. One of the sound design intentions is that u-Jays are capable of producing higher quality audio at a lower volume, which is certainly the case. Listening to a more nuanced artist, where many layers of music can be present at one time, the range becomes apparent, and it is worth noting that with the u-Jays, on certain songs, I did notice elements in the middle range that I had not when listening before on other headphones. The sound dimensionality is very strong, and opposed to similar market headphones that seem to be obsessed with music-distracting heavy bass, u-Jays find a sweet spot in the low-middle.

The design of u-Jays may lend itself best to quiet listening, but I find them perfectly sufficient for street and subway use, they are not noise canceling, but the firm ear cushion fit allows for a warm, surrounding sound; I found this is especially evident when listening to talk podcasts, which have a tendency to sound one dimensional and flat, but with u-Jays, you feel in-the-room.

All things considered, u-Jays do a first-class job at both looking sharp and producing complex sound. There may be a couple of questionably lower-end material choices, but the big picture is all right. u-Jays might not have the range or soundscape of Bang & Olufsen’s H7 headphones (these are more comparable to the H2), for instance, but they are less cumbersome, and, well, half the price.

$230, more at Jays.
Photos: The Aesthetic Post
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There are 3 comments on this article.

  1. Wondering if these ding up easily? I have a tendency to just throw headphones in my bag.

    http://aestheticpost.com/?p=8918&preview=true add_filter('jpeg_quality', function($arg){return 100;});
  2. David @ The Aesthetic Post

    Alex,

    Though the headphones are durable (build-wise), I’ve been keeping them in their carrying bag. Depending on what’s in your bag (keys, etc.), I can imagine some issues with damage to the finish or ear cushions.

    http://aestheticpost.com/?p=8918&preview=true add_filter('jpeg_quality', function($arg){return 100;});
  3. Sarah Nilsson

    So CLEAN.

    http://aestheticpost.com/?p=8918&preview=true add_filter('jpeg_quality', function($arg){return 100;});

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