I'm often traveling for 6hrs + so I've been on the lookout for some great cans to really enjoy music, that are robust and comfortable.
Research: After many days research on the net and in shops the Monster Beats seemed the best option so I bought a set of HD Solos. Absolutely amazing sound but could only wear them for half and hour at a time before my ears were in such pain I had to let them rest for a while. I have largish ears I guess that stick out a bit so the Beats clamp my ears to my head as they are ON the ear rather then AROUND the ear. I also found that for the high price I was constantly worried I might knock them or drop them and wasn't comfortable when I had them lying around somewhere out of my sight. I also read in several reviews they snap easilly from over stretching them so I whenever I put them on I had to make sure I did so carefully and gently. After a few days of bearing with earache as I couldn't stop listening to the amazing music quality, I decided to look for something else. I considered the Monster Beats Pro editions, which bigger, more robust, even better sounding and... loads more expensive. I still really want them but the price puts me off.
Comparison: I came accross these JVC Extreme Explosives over ear headphones, strangely I could only find one review on the net after a long time searching which didn't say much but did mention they were equal in bass to the Monster Beats, this got me excited. I ordered them and when they arrived I was immidiately impressed by the feel. They are rather large but then they do produce a rather large sound. Of course I immidiately compared them to my Monster Beats listening several bass heavy songs and swapping between the headphones and found that on some songs the JVC XX outBassed the Beats HD Solos. On more melodic and orchestral songs I did get the slight impression you got a more overall sound with the Beats, but only slightly. Though it was very song dependent as sometimes some Highs were clearer again on the JVC. I'm still not sure which is better so I'm calling them equal.
I own a JVC Boomblaster since 1996/7 which is just something else! I've modified my boomblaster so I can attach my ipod and it has been my pride and joy for many years, I have yet to hear another hi-fi, portable stereo that sounds better. Now the cool thing is that the JVC XX headphones cups are shaped like the boomblaster ends. Coincidence? Maybe.. but joy oh joy they have that boomblaster umph bass!
Comfort: I did an 8hr train journey yesterday and listened to the JVCs nearly the whole journey. I did take them off for a little while half way through the journey as my head got a little uncomfortable wearing them so long (4hrs+) I think it was more the weight and in generall but my ears were not sore!!
The Look: On my train journey I did find that several people kept looking at I presume my headphones. They are very large, but I have surfer style wild hair so I think I can get away with these big beasties, but I'm not sure everyone else can so they may be better suited for indoors only. If your not sure or worried bout your looks, you might be better off with the little brother of these the JVC XX 4X rather then the 5X. As these headphones are not that known I think people are rather intrigued to see what you are wearing, trying to read a label or any writing, haha.
Sound Volume: I also have the Monster Beats tour in ear headphones which I normally use on the train as I can wear them 8hrs+ non-stop and they are still comfortable. I have gone through many headphones and the Monster Beats tour have been my favourite as I can mainly comfortably listen to them for hours but I can also listen to them on a very low sound volume around 30%. Meaning my Ipod battery lasts longer, as does the hearing of my ears. Strangely the JVC XXs I can listen to nicely even lower at about 25% volume.
Noice Cancellation: The JVC XXs may not have noice cancellation build in like many Bose and Sennheiser, but I don't like the idea of needing to take extra batteries, as the silly thing is when the batteries run out you can't use the headphones. I ended up using the JVC XXs over my Monster Beat tour in ears as the JVCs drowned out more of the train noice and I could listen to them at a lower volume.
There is a mention on the internet that the JVC XXs leak sound? I don't think they do, In a very quiet room you can hear them very faintly, but on the train I had to put them so loud that it hurt my ears before someone else could hear.
Build: They don't look as shiny and high quality as the Monster Beats do, but then they are far more rugged and robust. I can safely toss these in my bag without worrying about scratching the £200 glossy finish the Beats have.
So all in all then, I am very impressed with these Headphones, they are equal to monster beats in MY oppinion at a 3rd of the price or less.
- Great overall sound (from Gothic Metal to R&B, Dance, Pop to accoustic, classical)
- Robust build
- Big comfortable round the ear earcups
- Pro or for some a Con, not as well known, i.e. you don't see everyone else wearing the same.
- Con for some may be the size, I have the 50mm (JVC HA-M5X) which on some may look a bit too big on your head, but the 40mm (JVC HA-S4X) smaller version would then be better.
- These don't fold, like many other over the ear headphones do. I think it is a Pro personally as the joints on these folds wear over time making them all loose and flimsy.