After having listened to JAYS' a-Jays Four and t-Jays Three and absolutely loving both, my expectations out of JAYS' top of the line q-Jays in-ear headphones are higher than ever and I couldn't be more thrilled to review them. The q-Jays are audiophile grade in-ears with a price to match at $179. Despite their extremely small form, the q-Jays fit inside dual micro armature drivers making them the world's smallest pair of in-ears with dual armatures. Can such small in-ears really deliver audiophile grade sound quality without compromising anything else? Get past the break to find out in the full review!
Before we move any further, it's worth noting the large amount of goodies the q-Jays come with. Out of the box included are a series of different sized silicone ear tips as well as a pair of Comply foam tips, an extra extension 3.5mm audio cable, small storage case lined with protective green furry material and a pocket to keep a few of the extras that come included like the dual stereo splitter and airplane adapter that JAYS is so kind to include with almost every one of its headphones.
You thought it was over? No because the q-Jays also come with a sheet of replacement protective filters to block your ear gunk from plugging up the sound tubes. That's how you know you've got a pair of some audiophile in-ears.
Starting from the bottom ss we work our way up, the q-Jays are cabled with the exact breakaway cable at midpoint with gold plated connectors. The cables are thin and don't have the same durable feeling as the a-Jays series that sport the flat cable design. Though they are light so they don't pull down on your ears even when the connectors are added in the middle of the cable. The 3.5mm plug has an L shape design and will fit into tight spaces.
The q-Jays look like a tiny pair of fragile creatures, and there is some truth to the fact, however I'm not under the impression that these will break anytime soon. JAYS knows its stuff, each and every pair of in-ears that I've used in the past years have held up really well without even being stored inside their protective storage cases. The housing of the q-Jays is partly made from a shiny hard plastic with a rubbery end cap that adds a level of durability to these tiny jelly beans. I shouldn't say jelly beans because these are even smaller than your average bean! It's really amazing how small these are.
Comparing the popular a-Jays Four against the q-Jays would be like comparing apples and oranges. These two aren't in the same league and really meant for two completely different crowds. The a-Jays Four are more for the mobile user due to their tough durable design and headset functionality. Sound quality wise, the a-Jays Four will suit just about everyone's needs due to their dynamic sound quality and much cheaper price tag.
Comfort is the q-Jays expertise. Their lightweight, ultra small and fit inside your ears flush enough for you to fall asleep like a baby listening to your favorite music. The silicone ear tips block out a moderate amount of background noise and isolate very well without popping out with active use. Using the supplied pair of Comply foam tips will block the most background noise providing the best isolation and increasing the bass responce as well. Not to mention they fit flawlessly in any ear.
If for some odd reason I had to describe the q-Jays' sound quality in food terms, it would be like eating fresh whipped cream. Light, creamy and lightly sweetened to perfection. It really isn't far from that. I never in my entire life experienced such clear and bright sound signature that I have with the q-Jays. It's really something out of this world. The most amazing bright, sparkly vocals will make you feel right then and there with the artist recording the music. Micro armatures seem to do their job in delivering jaw dropping detailed highs and mids. Even headphones as big as the Sennheiser HD 598 who pride themselves over their highs, can't come near the highs of the q-Jays.
Using a MacBook Pro as the audio source and after letting the q-Jays to burn-in for 50 hours, they've opened up a bit more letting the bass response to shine a little more than it did out of the box. The lows aren't going to satisfy you if you're a bass nut. Due to the dual armature drivers, the bass sounds a whole lot more natural and accurate than most in-ear headphones with dynamic drivers like the rest of JAYS headphones. Bass is only brought when it's called for, and really shines thru with its thumpyness depending on the music you're listening to. Mids aren't drown out by the bass and highs, but aren't as pronounced at the highs. I haven't experienced distortion at higher than normal volume.
It's also worth mentioning that these don't require any power to drive making them fantastic for portable music players.
Overall the q-Jays will be the very best in-ears for the price surpassing even the more pricier headphones out there. Never underestimate the small nature of the q_jays as they pack a massive punch delivering life-like sound quality with all the right extras at a superb price. Although bass isn't their best feature, they are simply brilliant pair of in-ears that are in need of a successor with a more balanced sound performance. You hear that, Jays?