PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
When the q-Jays arrived, I was greeted with a medium sized box (about right size for a retail boxed premium earphone), but which was quite heavy. My first thought was – wow these things must be huge. How wrong could I be?
On opening the courier box, I found myself looking at a beautifully printed and presented outer box (mostly in black). It had a photograph of the q-Jays on the front, and a frequency response graph on the back with a description of what Jays were trying to achieve with the new q-Jays. I’m a sucker for a good story, and I have to admit, reading their rear blurb is like slipping into an intriguing tale. Jays originally talked about creating an experience, and they do this from the first encounter with the outer box. The final sentence on the box is simply “welcome to the q-JAYS reference series”.
The outer box is actually a sleeve, and sliding that out reveals a second black box – with an inner which slides out like a drawer. Opening that, and finally you are greeted with the extensive Jays manual and a bed of foam housing the smaller boxes for the cable, tips, and of course the case for the q-Jays themselves.
Lifting the manual out revealed the reason for the weight of the box. It is mainly the manual, and it is gorgeously crafted. It is multilingual, beautifully photographed, and covers information on the dual BA drivers, acoustic filters used, protective filters, IEM body design, cable – you name it, they have it covered. It is a really well made manual – and further enhances the experience of seeing these for the first time.
The carry case is round, wonderfully crafted, hard so that it completely protects, and still small enough to comfortably fit into a jeans pocket. It has a foam inner – and inside is nestled the tiny q-Jays. The foam is removable, and I now use just the case to transport the q-Jays wherever I go. The case measures approximately 8cm across and 2cm deep.
In the other two boxes are the cable (more on that shortly), and a selection of 10 different sized silicone tips, and one pair of genuine Comply T-100 tips.
The overall presentation of accessories and packaging feels extremely high end. Discovering it is indeed an experience.
|Type||Balanced armature IEM|
|Drivers||Custom dual balanced armatures|
|Frequency Range||2 Hz – 20 kHz (full), 8 Hz – 16 kHz (+/- 5 dB)|
|Impedance||50 ohm @ 1 kHz|
|Sensitivity||103 dB @ 1 kHz|
|IEM Body||Stainless steel inner with PVD matte outer|
|Cable Material||OFC copper with Kevlar reinforced TPE outer|
|Cable Type||Replaceable, 120 cm, threaded SSMCX connectors|
|Jack||Right angled, gold plated|
|Isolation||-40 dB @ 2 kHz|
The graph below is generated by a new measuring system I’m trialing – using the Vibro Veritas and ARTA software. I don’t have the calibration 100% correct yet – but the graphs I am getting are relatively close to Innerfidelity’s raw data (on other earphones), and I think are “close enough” to get a reasonable idea of the frequency response for the q-Jays. I’ve also used the graphs later in the review to compare the q-Jays with my DUNU DN-2000J and Trinity Delta IEMs.
What I’m hearing though:
- A very balanced frequency response from bass through to treble with reasonable extension, but rolled off lower bass and treble
- Very clear mid-range
- Smooth and cohesive transitions – particularly through mid-bass, lower mid-range, upper mid-range, and lower treble
- Cohesive and quick bass – but a little light on impact
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
The q-Jays shells are tiny, but also immaculate. Each earpiece (sans tips and cables) only weighs 2-3 grams, and the entire earphone (cable and tips included) is only around 12g. Each earpiece is only 20mm long from end to end and approximate 8mm wide. The nozzle is approximately 5mm long and 4mm wide. In short (pardon the pun), the q-Jays are tiny! The build on them is all-precision though. They are injection molded stainless steel into a one piece unit, and then precision CNC machined, and polished. They are then sand blasted and completed by application of a PVD coating to create a smooth matte finish. There are some great pictures on their website that show the entire process.
At the end of each nozzle is a protective filter which can be removed by unscrewing it – and by holding it to a light source you can actually see the precision used (55 precise laser cut holes in a honey comb pattern). According to Jay’s documentation, each q-Jays IEM takes more than 40 hours to machine and manufacture.
The bodies are slightly angled to improve fit. The sockets are very small, very precise, and the ssmcx connectors simply screw in. It is one of the best mmcx type connectors I have ever seen – and how I wish this was an industry standard! After connecting, the cable appears very secure, and I can’t see how you would ever lose connection or have issues with this set-up.
There are no left or right markings, but the angle of the earpieces is easy to work out which is which. The right hand plug (on the cable) has a small indicator to show which socket should be plugged into the right earpiece. The cable is 120 cm long, and at first glance I immediately though it was overly flimsy and not at all appropriate for the IEM. However, looks can be deceiving, and although the wires are quite thin, they are Kevlar reinforced, the cable is extremely flexible with virtually no microphonics (worn over ear), and I really have no initial worries now about their durability. There is excellent strain relief at all pressure points on the cable (including both sides of the Y-split), and at the right angled jack.
After spending 3 weeks with the q-Jays, I can’t say that I have any misgivings about any part of their design.
It continues on page 3, after the click here or below