a-JAYS Three (Black) review: a-JAYS Three (Black)

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The Good The Jays A-Jays Three earphones are inexpensive and provide impressive sound quality for the money. They also offer a sleek, compact design with a durable ribbon-style cable, and the package includes a splitter accessory.

The Bad The A-Jays Three earphones aren't comfortable for everyone. Jays headphones are hard to find in the U.S, and highs are slightly muddled at times.

The Bottom Line The Jays A-Jays Three earphones look good and sound impressive for the price, but not all genres of music perform equally, and comfort will no doubt be a problem for some.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7

Swedish headphone maker Jays isn't exactly a newcomer to the market, but the company's products don't get a ton of attention in the United States--probably because they're so hard to find here. But if you can find them (because they are, in fact, sold here), you'll likely be rewarded with a stylish, solid-sounding set for a reasonable price. Such is the case with the A-Jays Three earphones, a pair of $60 ultracompact in-ear 'buds with a ribbon cable.

The Jays A-Jays Three earphones are stylish in a low-key way. The all-black design is sleek but not eye-catching; it's certainly understated enough to appeal to most tastes. We're particularly fond of the flat, ribbon-style cable, which not only looks nice but also seems more durable than the standard cords found on most headphones. However, the connections at the earpieces and plug do seem slightly susceptible to damage. The plug housing is reinforced with flexible rubber, but the fact that it's straight rather than L-shaped may cause some issues during the typical user's wear and tear.

The earpieces of the A-Jays Three earphones are supertiny in terms of depth. That is, they resemble a little ball that has been pressed down flat. They aren't very large around, either, but this reviewer found the shape terribly uncomfortable right away. In fact, they actually chafed the inside of the ears to the point where the earbuds could no longer be worn at all. Of course, this likely won't be the case for all people, and Jays does include five sets of silicone eartips to help with fit. In addition, the package includes a disc-shaped case, an airplane adapter, and a headphone splitter. This last item is a nice touch that we don't see with many sets.

We tested the A-Jays Three earphones with a Sony S-Series Walkman and were not disappointed by the results. Indeed, the set sounds great for the money. The low end is present and thumping without being overpowering; mids sound warm and encompassing. The highs are not quite precise enough to support a lot of classical listening, but there's a reasonable amount of detail for most other genres. Electronic and dance music really shine here, with mellower rock taking a close second. In other words, the Threes may not satisfy eclectic listeners, but they're a great choice for specific genres.

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