Despite being available overseas for several years, Australia has missed out on the wonders of the Jays range until a local distributor picked them up recently. Based on previous in-ear models, we've found the 'phones consistently offer high quality sound for the amount of money paid. But, what if you don't like using headphones that intrude on your ear canal?
Jays has come up with a solution by offering its first on-ear model, the v-Jays. With it, Jays is also taking on the dominance of Sennheiser in this sector.
Like the legendary Sennheiser PX-100s the v-Jays are designed to be portable, foldable headphones. Unlike the PX100's, the Jays are a bit more awkward to fold together — you need to push the arms back into the body and then tuck the headpieces back. The result isn't quite as flat or compact as the Sennheisers, but they are lightweight at only 59 grams.
Fit is also not quite as comfortable, and the plastic headband feels a bit cheap. The earpieces are a little smaller than those of their rivals and they push against your ear a little more urgently. We do, however, like the provision of a plug-in extension cord which provides an additional 70cm of length. This also works to provide a degree of strain relief — if the headphones get snagged the cable simply disconnects.
Sound quality is much better than we expected, and while the v-Jays offer the bottom end that the Sennheisers are famed for they don't do so at the expense of mid-range detail. Rock, vocals and even gentler styles of music aren't dominated by "one note bass" but are treated with an exciting-yet-balanced sound. Only a slight tendency for grainy and not truly extended treble threatens to spoil proceedings.
Having recommended every Jays product we've seen before we're reluctant to do so again. But the product itself has almost demanded it: it is indeed very good.
While it's one of the best portable options around, and certainly better than the disappointingthere are other options. For example, the "hi-fi" Grado SR60i's are currently selling online for the ridiculously cheap AU$99.