Awesome sound – punchy & clear; tangle-free cable; great all round ear bud
Less flexibility than the Three’s with less accessories; “fettuccine” cable has a tendency to hang at an odd angle from your ear
On the back of my recent review of the a-JAYS Threes, I thought it was worth trying a pair of the lower-end a-JAYS Ones for a back-to-back comparison. I’m a big fan of the a-JAYS Threes and aside from their heady high-end, they are practically faultless. So much of a fan, that should I not be still enjoying the use of my review unit, I would have bought myself a pair. There is no higher sign of approval than the hand over of cold hard cash. To that end, my father has invested in a pair, as has a friend of mine who produces prog. trance in his spare time. His comment was that they were “great for imaging”.
The a-JAYS Ones are very similar to the Threes, with a few key differences that are worth noting. It may turn out that in fact these lower-priced earphones suit you better and save you some cash at the same time.
What you get
Inside the same matte-black packaging, with the a-JAYS One’s you’ll find a little less equipment;
- One pair of a-JAYS Ones in-ear headphones with tangle-free cabling
- A comprehensive instruction/specification booklet
- Five rubber ear buds in sizes from XXS to L
As I mentioned in the previous review, the packaging is so well designed you’ll want to keep it as a place to store your new ear buds. That’s more important with the a-JAYS Ones, as there’s no other storage/portability solution provided.
Fit & finish
Outwardly, the only difference between the a-JAYS Ones and Threes is the print on the upper end of the fettuccine-like cable. The fit & finish is identical, they’re well put together, they fit the ear canal as satisfyingly as the Threes, and they’re a fantastically well finished product for the price. Again, the only fault, and we’re really drawing at straws here, is that at the point where the flat cabling joins the headphone jack, it feels as if this may become a weak point over time. Having said this, at $49.95 this is far from a deal-breaker.
How do they sound?
In short: well balanced. My primary criticism of the a-JAYS Threes was that they had too high an emphasis on the top end of the dynamic range. So much so that they required equalisaton to make listening comfortable and pleasurable. The beauty of the a-JAYS Ones is that this lack of balance is addressed simply by the specification of a dynamic range with less high end reach. Where the Threes range from 20 – 22,000 Hz, the Ones range from 20 – 18,000 Hz. The latter, to my ears, was a very well balanced and warm sound with enough precision and imaging to allow for a quality listening experience across a broad range of musical styles. These are a bass-full earbud: the sound is rich and full and along with the correctly chosen silicone ear fitting these are quite a strong noise isolating earphone. Wind noise is far from a problem and the strong bottom end really helps your music live on in the noisy environment that is the tram/train/bus trip to and from home.
Australian Macworld’s buying advice
At a scratch under $50 these have go to be the best value pair of ear buds that I have ever tried. In comparison to the a-JAYS Threes, the lower peak dynamic range suited my listening preferences. And if you’re a gadget man like me, you probably already have somewhere to store your headphones, a double adapter, and an airplane seat adapter which will render the thirty odd dollar jump to the Threes unjustified.
If all you’re after is a great set of all-round ear buds and don’t have a need for all the accessories, you definitely won’t be disappointed with a set of a-JAYS Ones.