Design and features
The Jays A-Jays Four headphones are almost the exact same design as the A-Jays Three set we gave a positive review last year, but the $70 Four pair adds a remote on the cord that gives you the power to skip, change, stop, and play tracks on your iOS device. They're $10 cheaper than the flimsy Apple In-Ears and we recommend the A-Jays Fours to anyone shopping for a replacement.
The A-Jays Four headphones are the ideal marriage of sartorial design and executive professionalism, so they don't scream for attention like the multicolored Radius Atomic Bass buds. Instead, the silver and black color scheme matches the iPhone 4 and the "fettuccine"-style flat cable is coated in rubber to prevent it from tangling in your pocket or purse.
The headphone cord is longer than average and measures 45 inches, or slightly more than 3 inches longer than the cord on the stock Apple earbuds. The extra material means less drag if you decide to leave your player in your pocket, purse, or backpack. Finally, the A-Jays Fours feature a new silver-plated L-shaped plug reinforced in rubber that puts less stress on the plug and prevents bending.
The in-line remote control sits almost 6 inches down from the right earbud and we appreciate its unobtrusive, lightweight design since we often complain about bulky remotes that pull and create tension on the bud. One side of the remote has three buttons that you can use for a variety of features--we assume most of you will press them once or twice to play, pause, advance, rewind, and control the volume levels, but you can also fast-forward and perform in-call commands. The complete set of controls works flawlessly with an iPhone 4, but 3G users can only play, pause, and rewind with no volume manipulation.
The iPhone 4 also lets you use the A-Jays Fours to call contacts and access your music with voice commands; click to the Jays remote instructions for more detailed controls.
The back of the remote has a small hole that houses the silicon microphone that picks up your voice when you use the headphones for voice calls or commands, but the 360-degree pickup means you don't need to hold the piece up to your mouth to isolate the sound of your voice. Call quality is standard for a pair of wired headphones, and our test call recipient reported no problem maintaining a conversation, even on a busy avenue in New York.