The use of a 40mm dynamic driver isn’t unusual, but this one uses a Japanese silk diaphragm which is at least a little bit interesting, although 40mm silk tweeters can often be found in speakers they can give very nice results actually. The frequency response is quoted at 10-20kHz but that really is completely meaningless. They are 32 Ohms and 100db SPL at 1k Hz so they are pretty easy to drive off of anything really!
The u-JAYS are pretty balanced compared to a lot of the bass emphasized headphones in this price range. I consider these to have a very pleasant more natural sound with a little boost in the upper mids, rolled off sub bass and very unfatiguing, relaxed treble.
The bass is probably the area of all audio-related equipment to divide opinion the most, if you like a really warm hard hitting thumping bass this headphone won’t be for you without a little EQ-ing. Right at the bottom end we don’t extend well but I am yet to hear an on-ear design that does so believe me when I say this is kind of a trade off with on-ear headphones. The mid-bass has a good amount of body but it isn’t as hard hitting or impactful as it could be. The most impressive things about the bass are the speed and the lack of bleed into the mid-range. Bass notes are able to dance and dive rhythmically and keep composure throughout. The vocal band remains unaffected unless you really do push the EQ (they really don’t need it) in favour of the bottom end. The only thing that is a little lacking is the overall texture and timbre of the bass, it’s not quite as accurate as it could be.
Mid-range is really inoffensive, it is very clear and importantly very open and separated from the rest of the soundstage, the openness and naturalness and touch of richness in the lower mid-band is really lovely. The upper mids are slightly forward but this has two effects, one positive and one not so. The positive is that it gives the sound a real energy and vibrancy in the mids that I like a lot! Unfortunately, it also shows the treble to be a little recessed and ‘glossed over’ if I’m being harsh. In reality, there is plenty of treble information to keep your music in check; it also makes for a very comfortable listen. Not once have I found them fatiguing which is a huge plus for this kind of headphone that is likely to be worn on the go for longer periods of time.
The soundstage is pretty good for this type of headphone with good width and decent height, just lacking in that 3rd dimension to give the sound that extra depth. Something important that I haven’t yet mentioned is the characteristic that these are transparent enough to really benefit from top quality sources and amplification but not so much that they become unlistenable with poor recordings although they will be shown up.
These are a really lovely headphone, the style, quality and sound come together to give the full package. If you want a bass driven headphone then something like the Meze 99 Classics will be more for you, if you are after a balanced presentation with great mid-range qualities I would take a long hard look at these! They look great on and off your head and are the perfect size for travelling, I shall be using them this weekend on my journey with Sonny to Munich for the High-End Show!
Keep it coming Jays, you are quickly becoming one of my top brands in the mid-fi area of the market!