April 14, 2016

The sub-5000 category of earphones is starting to heat up; with more consumers demanding good audio quality, buyer consciousness about high-standard audio products has drastically increased.

To start your journey towards high-end audio, this is a great budget, where offerings have a solid build, polished sound and extras that were missing from lower end earbuds.

Today, we’ll be comparing two contenders, arguably some of the best in this price segment that have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses, each geared towards a specific set of consumers. The two nominees are the JAYS-a-Jays Five and the Sony XB70AP.


JAYS a-JAYS Five 


MINIMALISTIC SWEDISH DESIGN FOR SOPHISTICATED SOUND

SONY - XB70AP


ADDITIONAL BASS FOR BASS LOVERS

 


DESIGN: JAYS a-JAYS FIVE VS SONY MDR-XB70AP

The a-Jays Five boast a rather understated and minimalist styling that’s a slight departure from their existing design language. This is because it's geared more towards practicality rather than only aesthetics It's not that they don’t look good, because oh they do. Premium materials such as machined aluminium and thermoplastic have been used in the construction, which gives it a classy look.

Practicality is the key basis in their design. They are more comfortable to wear than any other previous iteration of the JAYS’ series of headsets in this price range.

JAYS'S SIMPLE DESIGN & PREMIUM METAL HOUSING CRUSHES SONY'S PLASTIC BUILD

Striking is the word that comes to the mind while looking at these buds, unlike the a-JAYS Five, they are anything but understated. They are big, too big compared to an average run of the mill earbud, but darn they look good. The metal parts have been crafted well. The cable is a quality offering with thick high quality polymer coating.

While the XB70AP aces the design, the large profile and the unusual style may not fit everyone correctly, or even comfortably for that matter. The earbuds are heavy, if a proper fit is not achieved, they do tend to fall off even slight activity of the head. The noise isolation is passable at best. 


COMFORT: JAYS a-JAYS FIVE VS SONY MDR-XB70AP


a-JAYS Five is very comfortable for long hours of music listening and comes with 5 pairs of eartips. Noise Isolation is on par with some of the best, owing to the great fit that’s achievable using suitable eartips, a plethora of which are bundled with the earbuds.

The a-JAYS Five has a remarkable mic that consists of an acoustic sensor, a low noise input buffer, and an output amplifier resulting in incredible speech quality. The built-in echo cancellation is especially good as it reduces surrounding noise and won’t degrade over time as it auto-recharges the mic-magnets each time you connect your earphones to your phone. 

SAY GOODBYE TO FRUSTRATION AND UPGRADE TO TANGLE FREE EXPERIENCE 
They also come in different variants according to their mic and three-button remote compatibility. So, you can get different ones if you have an iOS, Android or Windows phone.

The XB70AP comes with pretty design and the fit may vary from person to person. The earbuds can be a little heavy for some. If a comfortable fit is not achieved, it becomes very uncomfortable. If the eartips fit perfectly they provide good noise isolation. Instead  of using foam tips could improve the noise isolation provided.

SOUND: JAYS a-JAYS FIVE VS SONY MDR-XB70AP

The audio quality of the Jays Five is interesting. Their sound resembles that of earphones with micro-drivers, despite that, bass is still admirably present and little bits of detail are reproduced well. But where they really tend to surprise are the mids, vocals are reproduced with the desirable texture. Jazz, blues, soul and country music lovers will love the fairly balanced and decently detailed sound.

There could have been a little more detail, undoubtedly they have a slightly warm touch, but as a whole, the sound is mature. The soundstage could definitely be better though. They aren’t gonna win the hearts of audiophiles, but possibly they're some of the best sounding in this price range. There’s a touch of neatness in the audio, and are probably the least distorting earbuds in this price point, a noteworthy achievement.

JAYS'S PLEASANT, WARM DETAIL OR SONY'S BOLD BASS FORWARD SOUND?

XB stands for Xtra Bass. That’s pretty much the crux of the XB70’s sound. The bass is astronomical, too intense at times to overshadow the mids completely. The highs are slightly emphasized to sound sparkly and shimmery. Basically, this is a very fun sounding earphone. The frequency response resembles a steep ‘V’. EDM, hip-hop, disco pop, etc basically any bass-centric genre will sound good though.

Something that was a complete surprise was the sound stage, it’s got probably some of the widest soundstages out there. The average crowd these days will actually enjoy the forward fun sound of the XB70’s especially owing to the immersive feel of their because of their wide stereo imaging.


Summary


JAYS a-JAYS FIVE

  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Elegant Design
  • Amazing Comfort & Isolation
  • Unblemished Authentic Sound
  • Lots of bundled accessories
  • Flat Cables
SONY MDR-XB70AP

  • Robust Design
  • Large Earpieces
  • Poor Comfort
  • Fun Forward sound with lots of Bass
  • Average Noise Isolation
  • Flat Serrated Cables

Our Verdict

This is a difficult task, especially given when the contenders are all champs in their own ways.

For the Basshead, there’s no two ways about this, the Sony XB70AP is a convincing choice.

For the discerning ear, the enthusiast audiophile on a budget, a referrer of classily designed products, the Jays-A-Jays Five fits the bill best.

Overall, in terms of design, comfort, accessories, Sound, etc basically as a package, the A-Jays Five probably trumps the competition.


 

Which earphones do you prefer?

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