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a-Jays Four review: a-Jays Four

They're not as high-end or as highly accessorised as other Jays headphones, but as a replacement for the stock iPhone headphones the a-Jays Four offers excellent value.

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Alex Kidman
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Alex Kidman

Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.

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3 min read

Design

It's all but impossible to open a review of iPhone-compatible headphones without commenting on the quality of the headphones you get in the box with every iPhone. They're rubbish. That's not a unique observation either, but it's surprising that a company that prides itself on being a "premium" brand such as Apple continues to keep shipping out such ordinary headphones by the million. Still, if nothing else, it keeps the third-party premium headphone manufacturers in business. That's exactly what the a-Jays Four offers; a replacement set of headphones specifically targeted at iPhone users.

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9.1

a-Jays Four

The Good

Easy to use iPhone controls. Flat cable makes for easy tangle-free use.

The Bad

Lacks high-end accessories found in other Jays headphones.

The Bottom Line

They're not as high-end or as highly accessorised as other Jays headphones, but as a replacement for the stock iPhone headphones the a-Jays Four offers excellent value.

We've been largely impressed with the Jays line of headphones in the past, and the best way to describe the a-Jays Four is that they superficially resemble the a-Jays One/Two/Three headphones in the use of a flat ribbon cable, multiple silicone ear buds to the preference of your fit and a hard plastic case for storage. The difference on the surface of the A-Jays Four is the inclusion of an in-line remote 15cm down the cable for the right ear bud. The buttons on the remote aren't labelled, although they are concave for volume and convex for speaker/play/skip controls.

Features

While they physically resemble the a-Jays One line, the a-Jays Four has slightly higher specifications, with a claimed sensitivity of 96dB @ 1kHz, 16 Ohm impedance and a frequency response of 20-21000Hz. This puts them in the middle of the claimed specifications of the a-Jays Two and Three headsets, at a slight price premium to both.

Given that price premium, it's surprising to note that you don't get any of the accessories that typify the higher numbers in the Jays range. There's no stereo splitter. There's no inflight adapter. These are pitched and designed solely for iPhone users (and potentially iPod Touch/Mac users), and so the accessory count is low.

Performance

We liked the flat ribbon cable style of the previous Jays headphones we've reviewed, and the a-Jays Four are no different in this respect. It's not impossible to tangle them together, but you'd certainly have to work at it, rather than deal with it in the way that so many straight round cables manage with minimal effort.

The selection of silicone sleeves is an important one. We found the stock buds a little small for our ears. The selection of sleeve sizes should fit most ears, although you may struggle a little changing the flexible tips around. Once they're securely locked in they're very secure, but getting them to flex the right way can be tricky.

The inline controls lack anything but curvature, but they're well placed on the right-hand side for easy volume and call manipulation. Southpaws and those with extraordinarily long chins might find them a little difficult to work with.

What then of audio quality? They're not the greatest and most balanced set of headphones we've ever tested, but then at this kind of price point it'd be surprising if they were. Low-end frequencies presented well with a predictable drop-off in higher frequencies in our testing, but this essentially means that the overall presentation of audio is quite good for most listening preferences. To clarify, we tested the a-Jays Four and then dropped back to the stock iPhone buds to check, and the difference was profound. If you're still making do with the stock buds, you're really missing out.

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