October 04, 2016

This article was written by Steve Guttenberg and originally published on CNET's website here.


Unboxing Jays' little u-Jays on-ear, my first impression was that these headphones look and feel are distinctly better than I'd expect for $120 (with free shipping on Amazon). I popped 'em on my head, they sounded really nice, so I kept listening. Checked the price again, yup, it's $120. So I listened some more.

Specifications aren't all that unusual, the lightweight (7.9 ounces), closed-back, on-ear design features a 40mm Japanese silk driver, and impedance is rated at 32 ohms. The u-Jays comes with a user-replaceable three-button remote cable for iOS or Android phones, and testament to the u-Jays build quality, it comes with a two-year warranty.

It sounds pretty refined with classical and jazz, lows are plenty deep, midrange is natural, and the highs are clear. On-ear designs can sound somewhat claustrophobic or cramped inside my noggin, but the u-Jays' soundstage was admirably spacious.

u-JAYS Review

 

Kicking back with Dinosaur Jr.'s "Farm," the u-Jays wasted no time establishing their rock credibility. The sound was nicely balanced, not too bright or grating, but there was no shortage of detail. This headphone isn't the least bit fussy about the sound of your music, it's friendly to all genres.


I next compared the u-Jays with Bowers & Wilkins' $300 P5 S2 on-ear headphones, which are more comfortable. The u-Jays' ear cushions put more pressure on the tops of my ears than the bottoms, and after extended listening they felt mildly uncomfortable. Still, everyone's head size and shape are different, so the u-Jays might be perfectly comfy on your head. The only way to know if any headphone is comfortable is to try it on.

 

Soundwise the P5 S2s are "darker;" much softer in the treble, while the u-Jays are brighter but never overly so. Switching back to the P5 S2s, their richer and fuller tonal balance may appeal to some listeners, but I prefer the u-Jays' clarity. I also felt the P5 S2s narrowed the stereo soundstage relative to the u-Jays'. Still, the P5 S2s' more generous low-end punch cannot be denied, if you crave bass oomph the P5 S2s would be a better choice.

Even so, returning to the u-Jays was never a letdown, but I'm drawn to headphones that let me hear every detail in a recording. The u-Jays really do come across like a more expensive headphone, it's a great deal for the money.

Talk to a Headphone Guru


Talk to a Headphone Guru

Information overload? Your Guru will find the best headphones keeping in mind your budget restrictions and brand preferences.



Also in Product Reviews

Is SoundMAGIC E80C a worthy upgrade from E80S?
Is SoundMAGIC E80C a worthy upgrade from E80S?

November 11, 2016

Read More
What the World Has to Say about the FiiO X1 (2nd Gen)
What the World Has to Say about the FiiO X1 (2nd Gen)

November 10, 2016

Read More
Headphone-Zone-Product-Review-Skullcandy-Smokin-Buds-2-Feature
"If massive bass is your thing, these earphones won't disappoint.": Tim Gideon from PCMAG Reviews the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 Wireless

October 08, 2016

Tim Gideon tells you all you need to know about the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 Wireless. Read the full review before getting hands on it.
Read More