The CustomArt Harmony 8.2 (silicone) is more neutral sounding and is lighter in body. The Harmony, like the ES80, is a neutral tuned monitor with excellent clarity and precision. Layering is really good but not up to the level of the JH and it doesn’t reach down as deep. The 8.2 isn’t as wide and spacious sounding as the JH but it certainly isn’t bad either. The 8.2 does put more focus on the upper mids and vocals and in general it’s just lighter, more intimate and more neutral, yet musical and precise.
The Jomo Samba has incredible decay and it also likes the upper mids and vocals. Samba has a more neutral amount of body than the JH does but I’ve always been a fan of Joseph’s tunings. The voices sound very natural in the Samba but they’re more forward at the same time. Especially the amount of body in the mids between these two monitors is quite different, putting the vocals much more upfront in the Samba. They’re very smooth and natural though but the JH sounds smoother, bigger and warmer with a more balanced sound (thing integrated vocals).
In my collection there’s not a single monitor that sounds like the JH13V2 PRO does, and I mean that as a compliment to JH Audio as they absolutely managed to create their own sound.
For this chapter take into account that the bass (gain) on the JH is set to around 75%.
I’ll start of with one of the DAPs which has the best synergy with the JH13V2 PRO, the Sony WM1Z. Both units (in balanced mode) share the same characteristics: detail, great dynamics, musical, some warmth and smoothness and great extension.
Bass has good body and impact and really comes in with a punch. Bass detail is really good, bass reaches low with a good rumble and the layering is excellent. The mids share the same body and they are smooth, warm, spacious, deep and well layered. It’s musicality but while maintaining an excellent technical level.
The treble section is extended, yet soft. Treble is dynamic and energetic but is not the brightest or clearest even though the extension is good. All-in-all the combo sound analogue, natural, dynamic and oh so musical. To enjoy your favorite tunes, this is one of my most liked combos ever, and that says a lot.
The Astell&Kern SP1000 (also in balanced) is the complete opposite of the Sony and here you with the JH13V2 PRO get improved clarity and an even cleaner sound. The warmth and smoothness has made place for detail and precision and where the synergy with the Sony was about warmth and musicality, it here is more about analytics, precision and getting to the more neutral way of presenting sound.
The body in bass and mids here is a lot less present and you get a more balance, linear presentation. Bass is tighter and more punchy but it doesn’t have rumble down low or the layering of the Sony. The same basically goes for the mids which are lighter and more precise. They’re more neutral and detailed than they are smooth and layered.
The treble section here is sharper, more extended and more energetic, even though treble even in this combo never gets harsh. If you like the typical SP1000 sound it will be audible in the JH monitor, but the characteristics of both units are rather different.
The HiBy R6 PRO (balanced)is a DAP I probably should be using more often as it works very well with the JH13V2 PRO. You get a wide and deep, clean, spacious sound with excellent separation and a great stereo imaging. Body wise the HiBy DAP is more like the Sony but the overall sound isn’t as smooth or warm. It’s more linear, balanced and neutral and basically it’s like a mix of both previous players, but at a lower technical level.
Bass is tight and punchy and has a good, neutral, impact. Bass goes deep, has rumble down low but the detail and layering isn’t as precise as the top DAPs above. Same goes for the mids but they are very spacious and the vocals jump out a little to the front. It does wonders for the Bohemian Rhapsody OST. Treble is very extended, clean, clear and energetic. I love the decay of this player, a point where the Sony also scores big. A great combo for the JH monitor, yet not the technical best there is.
Luxury & Precision’s L6 DAP is all about musicality and it’s also a DAP that’s a mix between the WM1Z and the SP1000. Where the HiBy goes more to the detailed, neutral side, the L6 goes more to war musical, warmer and smooth side, but with a level of technicalities that’s up to the level of the Sony and the AK.
With the L6 (balanced) you get a wide, deep, spacious sound stage with excellent layering. The L6 and JH combo is linear, delivers a slightly above neutral amount of body in bass and mids and is oh so musical. Female vocals are to die for while treble is soft, yet extended, energetic and clear. The combination is really good and I put it up there with the Sony and AK, just looking at sound. Handling the L6, now that’s another, more frustrating story.
With the AK SP1000M (also balanced), the 2nd level flagship of Astell&Kern, the JH13V2 PRO sounds a bit more intimate as it isn’t as spacious or separated as its big brother. You get a more neutral presentation with a little bigger body but everything is very civilized. Personally to me, even though the technical level is very good, I am missing a bit of character here with the JH monitor.
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