Remember Jens of Sweden? The Scandinavia-based MP3 player boutique has produced some feature-packed and nicely designed flash-based players, including a 24k gold model, briefly went out of business last year (the site is alive and kicking again). Founder Jens Nylander is now focusing his efforts on headphones, and the $99.95 in-ear style d-Jays are the first to arrive.
Available in white or black, the d-Jays are one of a growing number of quality sub-$100 in-ear style headphones. Featuring what Jays calls a "patented micro armature driver," the d-Jays offer tight , balanced sound and decent sound isolation in an extremely lightweight and low-profile design. They are similar to thein terms of style, price, and performance.
The d-Jays ship with four sets of silicone ear sleeves (XS, S, M, L), and though I personally prefer foam sleeves, the medium and large size worked well for me. Each sleekly designed earphone fits nicely within the ear and stays snug, even with extreme physical movement. One can barely see them; they do not protrude as some in-ear models do (including the Aurvanas). In terms of pure design, the d-Jays look and feel great.
The earphones are rated to block out 90 percent of ambient sound and seem to do a slightly better job of this than the Aurvanas. The individual earphone cables are the same length, thankfully, while the entire cable measures an impractical 24 inches. A gold-plated extender cable gives you an ample 60 inches. In addition, the package ships with tiny protective filters that stick on the ends of the earphones underneath the rubber sleeves. These are designed to protect the drivers from gunk and are a tad difficult to remove and apply.
Since the d-Jays' passive sound isolation works well, you can listen to your music at lower volumes. Sound quality is very good for sub-$100 earphones. Bass lines are tight and present, though not overpowering, and the mids and highs are nicely balanced. These are nice-sounding 'phones that are nearly indistinguishable from the aforementioned Creatives (the Aurvanas have a lower street price). The sound stage doesn't really compare to my current favorites, the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pros, which produce much brighter and punchier sound all around. But the added richness will cost you $250, though we've seen them for $179.
Overall, the d-Jays won't disappoint; currently, they are available only from the Jays Web site. Just make sure to consider the similar Creative Aurvanas, the superaffordable Sennheiser CX300, the Etymotic ER-6, and the bulkier Shure e2C headphones in this price range. The d-Jays compare positively with these models in terms of sound and also offer comfort and a low profile.