Portable cans have a certain magic that I don’t find with bigger and more serious headphones, and also with IEMs. The simplicity of a portable headphone set up makes you concentrate on your music than your gear. You never worry about an amplifier, or a recording. You just plug it and you enjoy good music through it. It can’t get any simpler. It’s the epitome of “plug and play” in the HiFi world.
Everyone knows how to wear a portable, and the newer generation of portables have evolved to products with superb ergonomics and sonics. I never really worry about the technicalities when I listen to a portable. Obvious things like bass quantity and treble quantity still matters, but other than that I just enjoy the music through them. The new generation of portables are all very competitive products, all with their own sound signature. Surprising as it may seem, lately I’ve been enjoying music the most out of these portable headphones. They are so simple, and yet they are a lot of fun. In a paradoxical way, they get out of the way of the music, in a way that big full size set ups can’t.
So, now the battle for the funest sounding portable headphone continues. After the PX100-II and the AIAIAI Tracks, I’m now investigating the sound on two Jays portable cans.
The V-Jays is my first encounter with a Jays portable headphone. I had a very good impression of the V-Jays that I decided to get the higher line up C-Jays and compare the two.
You can really tell when a company puts a lot of effort in designing their products. The frame is on the V-Jays is very light, significantly lighter than the competitor, the PX100-II, and perhaps about the same weight as the AIAIAI Tracks. Among the three, however, the V-Jays is the most comfortable to wear. Somehow their headband design utilizes a type of plastic with the perfect blend of rigidity and elasticity. This results in a very light, spring-like, headband that puts just enough force to remain steady even when you’re on the treadmill, and yet it feels very comfortable and light on your head. The V-Jays is very comfortable, far more than the AIAIAI or the PX100-II, and even more than older popular offerings like the PortaPro. I think the key is in the pads. The pads are also very smooth and very soft, perhaps the best one so far among all portables. Having a square shaped pads seem to help as it gives a bigger area for the headphones to rest on your head.
The C-Jays is the higher end model, and the build is almost identical to the V-Jays except for the outer cover of the housing. Both headphones have cables that’s thicker than the competition, yet still maintaining good flexibility. I like the cables on the Jays, as the thicker cable is not as prone to breaking as the thinner cables offered by Sennheiser and AIAIAI. The cables are also fairly short at 60cm, so you can use it with a small player like the Ipod Shuffle and not have to worry about dangling cables when you’re just clipping the Shuffle on our shirt pocket. When longer lengths are needed, 70cm extension cables are supplied with both Jays headphones, extending the length to a standard portable headphone cable length.
If the V-Jays only come with an extra spare pads and an extension cable, the C-Jays does come with a complete line of accessories: a carrying bag made from suede leather, an airplane adapter, a headphone sharing adapter, a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, and three different pairs of pads with different sizes. It’s quite luxurious for a portable. And it better be, for the C-Jays is not cheap at $125 (the V-Jays is cheaper, but still not cheap at about $95).
The Jays are foldable, but they can’t be folded as compact as the PX100. The good thing is that their folding mechanism seems less flimsy than the PX100’s. So it’s a give and take situation on this case.