Astell&Kern Billie Jean : Reviewed by Jayavarma J

by Jayavarma Jayadevan October 19, 2020 3 min read

Astell&Kern Billie Jean : Reviewed by Jayavarma J

INTRODUCTION:

Billie Jean is the end product of Jerry Harvey Audio, one of the most acclaimed brands in the IEM industry with Astell&Kern another acclaimed brand in the field of Digital Audio Players. It’s actual MRP is 349USD in the international markets, but Headphone Zone retails them for 9,000INR at the time of this review.

DISCLAIMER:

Billie Jean was sent to me by Headphone Zone as a loaner for my honest thoughts. I am not affiliated with any of the 3 brands that are mentioned here and not compensated for my thoughts. Headphone Zone is one of the pioneers in the audiophile world here in India. They have been constantly working towards bringing in new products that are not usually available to purchase in India and also at a reasonable price.

PACKAGING:

Open up the sleeve which is Stealth black with blood red naming on them and you are greeted with a black box. Opening up the box is like opening up a book cover. Inside you’ll find the IEM neatly placed in a well cutout cushion with a small carry case, JH Audio proprietary 3.5mm SE cable and two pairs of silicone ear tips (S and L, M is already installed in the unit). Even though the box looks pretty decent, the accessory department is a little disappointing to be honest. The included carry case is made of fabric with a nice zipper. IEMs below 50USD these days come with better a carry case. Considering its original price point of 349USD or 25000INR I must say A&K takes its Billie Jean customers for granted by providing sub par accessories.

DESIGN:

Billie Jean is a work of art. Made of plastic, usually comes in three colours (Red, Blue and Purple). The one I am reviewing here is the Red one. They look simply stunning with the shiny red body with a black face plate which in turn has both JH Audio and A&K Logo imprinted on either side. Fit and fit finish appears to be excellent with no rough edges. The included SE cable is a thin one with a braided design. It looks fragile with it being thin, but I feel it can endure the daily usage and occasional rough usage too. L shaped 3.5mm, solid Y splitter and the 0.75mm 2 pin connector are good and no complaints there. Billie Jean has Dual Balanced Armature drivers on each side with their proprietary freqphase technology.

Astell_Kern-Billie-Jean-as-Reviewed-by-Jayaverma-J

FIT & COMFORT:

Size wise Billie Jean is a medium sized (Might be a little smaller than your usual medium sized IEMs) which can sit well within most people’s ears. They don’t protrude outside, unless you have small ears with narrow ear canal. The stock M ear tips provided me the right fit and seal. Once you wear them, they kind of disappear after that, which is a good thing as you can wear them for long hours. I haven’t had any issues with fit and comfort during the review period( About 3 weeks). They also offer pretty good passive noise isolation.

SOUND:

Pairing:
A. iBasso DX160 >> 3.5mm out >>Billie Jean
B. iPhone X >> Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter>>Billie Jean
C. iPad 6th Gen >>3.5mm out >>Billie Jean

Lows:
Bass on the Billie Jean is the classic BA Bass. Natural bass response with a pretty good Mid bass. It has a nice slam to it, but lacks in the sub bass department. Fast and tight bass with decent quantity kind of sums it up. It will not satisfy bass heads and people who are used to DD Bass. Percussion instruments don't sound full bodied. It still does a pretty decent job given that it’s a BA setup.

Mids:
Neutral mids with very good sounding vocals. There’s absolutely no bass bleeds into the mids and because of that the mids sound pretty natural. Vocals don’t sound full bodied like in a Dynamic Driver. Since the Billie Jean has an airy presentation, it has a pretty good mid transparency. Singers’ emotions can be heard pretty clear if you’re a vocal lover.

Highs:
Pretty detailed treble without any sibilance, They’re airy and extend well to a point where you can hear most of the details in a song. They’re by no means bright in this spectrum.

Staging, Imaging and Separation:
Wide soundstage with decent height in staging. It has very good instrument separation and imaging for an IEM. Nothing to complain about here

Astell_Kern-Billie-Jean-as-Reviewed-by-Jayaverma-J

CONCLUSION:

Billie Jean is a well balanced sounding IEM which is totally worth at it’s discounted price(Under 10,000INR) but not at it’s full price. If you want a balanced sounding IEM with very good detail retrieval and instrument separation, look nowhere else.

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Jayavarma Jayadevan
Jayavarma Jayadevan



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