If you’re still using headphones that came with your phone, you’re really missing out. Audio — especially music — can be so much more. For example: Q-Jays earphones which offer phenomenal build and sound quality, though they lack a few features found on several far cheaper products.
I used to think of headphones (and earphones) as somewhat disposable. An accessory that, while cool and useful in the present, would either become quickly out of date, out of style or would eventually break down. But Q-Jays are built to be different. They’re built for the long-haul. It’s hard to imagine the technology being bested anytime soon (although a purely wireless version would make me reconsider that statement), the pure-black aesthetic is essentially timeless and the materials and engineering principles are such that these headphones will certainly last far beyond most competitors.
And that premium quality comes with a premium price tag of between $425 to $494 (depending on the model). The question in your mind is whether or not that price tag is worth it for you and the answer is that it depends. While Q-Jays pump out delicious, satisfying sound — there’s no question about that — there are a few features many people will miss. I’ll go ahead and mention those now before I continue on to sing the praises of these prodigious audio instruments.
Complaint number one for me is that adding a remote and a mic to the setup costs significantly extra. For my testing Jays sent me the cheapest version of these earphones which, unfortunately, are remote-less. I brought the Q-Jays with me on a recent business trip and I can’t tell you how annoying it was to have to take my phone out of my pocket to pause, skip or restart tracks and change the volume. When you’re on a plane, for instance, with your seatbelt on, I’d consider it a major pain. And so if you own a smartphone, I’d caution against buying the cheapest version; spring for that upgrade.
Complaint number two is that Q-Jays are missing several features that you can find on many earphones priced under $100. A travel/carrying case (Q-Jays come with a storage case, but you’d have to unscrew the cord to store the earphones, which isn’t very convenient or likely), magnetic connectors to help prevent tangles, etc. Now I know why Q-Jays didn’t include some of these options: they set out to make earphones that sound amazing first and foremost AND they wanted to create the world’s smallest earphones with exchangeable cables. They successfully reached both goals but it meant leaving out some niceties.
But now let the gushing begin. Because Q-Jays embody high quality and extreme performance above all else, these headphones are audiophile-grade. They’re for people who care more about how the audio sounds than about any visible bells and whistles and gimmicks. So let’s talk about that quality and performance.
Q-Jays are small, but tough. They’re made of metal-injected molded stainless steel that gets polished, sandblasted and is then finished with a Physical Vapor Deposition process (which gives them a tough, scratch-resistant finish). It’s clear that Jays takes a lot of pride in the design and manufacturing process of the Q-Jays which they call, “Our most precise instrument made to date.” It remind me a lot of Apple under Steve Jobs: relentless obsession with perfection. But in this case the pursuit of insanely great consumer electronic products comes from Stockholm, Sweden, rather than Cupertino, California.
And while we’re talking about Apple, it’s worth mentioning that Q-Jays come with a 2-year warranty versus Apple’s 1-year warranty for it’s Beats headphones. That should speak volumes to you about Jay’s commitment to building supremely durable products.
One feature your ears can appreciate (but your eyes can’t) is the dual-speakers in each earphone. Each earphone, amazingly, contains a WideBand driver and a Woofer to provide a truly full range of audio from highs to mids to lows. And when I say full I mean rich, clear and utterly satisfying.
Listening to music using Q-Jays is different than any other earphone or headphone experience (naturally, as each device literally has it’s own sonic signature and tuning). But what I mean is that the Q-Jays are sound distinct. It’s almost like the audio becomes clearer than clear or more intelligible. I hear music the way artists must have meant for it to sound. I pickup on subtleties that I never knew existed before. It’s like a color-blind person being able to see the full range of colors, but for your ears. And it’s spectacular and thrilling and unique. I’ve liked the sound of a lot of headphones, but I can say unequivocally that I love the sound produced by Q-Jays. To say any earphones are “the best” is essentially a matter of preference; but I do prefer the sound of the Q-Jays over most competing brands.
The Q-Jays come with a variety of ear tips so you can find the size and material that is most comfortable for your specific ears. Personally, I’m loving the Comply Foam Ear Tips. Because the foam is so squishy, they were sort of difficult to install, but trust me when I say they are comfortable. And they do a better job of sealing out outside sounds than standard silicon-style tips because they mould to the shape of your ear better and they are also denser.
One interesting innovation I’ve come to appreciate with the Q-Jays is that you can wear them traditionally or over-the-ear. When worn over the ear you can eliminate a bit of the microphonics (that noise you hear when you accidentally knock into a cable that goes into your ear). Thanks to the exchangeable cords, you can simply unscrew them and switch them out to change the “mode” of listening. It’s nice to have the option, but personally I find old listening habits hard to break; plus, it takes slightly less time to wear them traditionally, and so I do.
Fans of L-shaped plugs will appreciate the Q-Jays phone-side jack — but some people will be displeased with it as it won’t fit their phone case without an adapter.
For me, using the Q-Jays goes beyond just enjoying music. I’ve been testing them out as video editing earphones and wow, they’re something else in that department too. Vocals sound super in FCP X.
Should you buy the Q-Jays? As long as you’re in the market for high-end earphones I’d say definitely. The sound and build quality will not disappoint. But if you’re going to be doing any listening at all with your phone upgrading to the remote/mic version is a must. These are headphones that are built to last and will be supremely enjoyable throughout their long lifetime.