Excerpt: Because these earphones will look familiar to some people, it’s worth mentioning a few details about their heritage, particularly given that the JH Audio name mightn’t initially ring a bell. JH Audio is a relatively young earphone manufacturer started by industry veteran and Ultimate Ears founder Jerry Harvey, who is now competing directly with the custom-fit division of his former company.
Conclusion: For reference, my iPhone 3G has an output impedance of 3.1 ohms across the band; my iPod Classic 160GB's output impedance varies from 6 ohms at 20Hz to 4.5 ohms at 1kHz and 5 ohms at 20kHz. Using the iPod Classic will shelve the JH16's low frequencies down by about 1.5dB compared with the level at 1kHz. By contrast, the Ray Samuels headphone amp, which has a source impedance of <0.5 ohm, will give the same SPL at 20Hz as it does at 1kHz.
JH Audio JH16 Pro Custom-Fit In-Ear Monitor (Playback 35)
14 July 2011
Excerpt: In the world of high-end, high-accuracy in-ear monitors, Jerry Harvey is regarded as a both a pioneer and as a bit of a legend. Harvey’s work in this area began at Ultimate Ears—a company that he helped found and for which he created a number of custom-fit in-ear headphone designs that have come to be regarded as classics by the performance-minded musicians and audiophiles who know and love them.
Conclusion: Only Jerry Harvey, the founder of Ultimate Ears, would know how to match his former company (and primary competition) so perfectly. JH Audio's JH16 Pro custom-molded earphones sound sublime, but just like the competition, they cost a small fortune.
Pros: Top-notch audio performance. Superb fit—assuming you go to a reputable audiologist for your ear molds. Near-perfect ear-to-ear matching of frequency response.
Conclusion: Obviously $1,200 (after paying for ear molds) is a lot of money to spend, even on fancy earbuds. If music is your passion -- or profession -- then yeah, they’re probably worth it. But for everyone else, plenty of great earbuds can be had at a fraction of the cost.
Pros: Absolutely stunning sound quality.
Cons: Price puts them out of reach for all but the most dedicated music fans. Included waterproof OtterBox case is unnecessarily bulky (but tough).
Excerpt: If the name JH Audio is new to your ears, fear not. Founder Jerry Harvey is the man behind many of the popular IEM designs from Ultimate Ears. Now that he’s got his own company, he has continued to innovate with new products that raise the bar for in-ear monitor (IEM) development, and plenty of pros are already putting his JH-branded products to use with great success.
Summary: This über high end offering from Jerry Harvey Audio will undoubtedly serve as sound quality benchmark for a long time. The innovative design and perfect performance over a wide variety of aspects makes them stunning to listen to. On the downside we can mention the cable which could be less microphonic, but we understand the need for a durable cable as well.
Pros: Incredible performance across the line, Neutral sounding albeit with a slightly over emphasized bass, Well made and durable cable, Otterbox accessory, Neutral sounding, Very good build quality of both cable and ear pieces
Cons: High cost, Not the least microphonic cable out there, Pouch sheds fibers, Otterbox without foam lining, Small sound stage