The t-JAYS is the mid-range line of in-ear headphones from Swedish-brand audio specialists JAYS. There are 4 variants in the t-JAYS lineup which only slightly varies in frequency response and the accessories included.
The t-JAYS Four is made for iPhone users being the only one in the lineup which includes a music control and microphone for the iPhone. I’ve been using this as my primary cans for my iPhone 5 for a couple of weeks now and now I’m finding it hard to switch to other earphones. Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the t-JAYS Four.
Out of the box, the t-JAYS Four is loaded with various sized silicone sleeves from XXS to L so you’ll definitely find a snug fit for your ear. The fixed cable was made short at just 60cm for runners wearing their iPhone on their arm but there’s also a 70cm extension cord to keep to accommodate most type of usage. Also included in the package is a cable clip and this flat Pokeball-like carrying case.
The t-JAYS Four, just like its siblings, has an angled sound tube and flat design with a vented bass port on the back on a rubber black matte finish. It can be worn the regular way or with the cable over and behind your ear. I find these earphones comfortable enough to wear for hours straight.
Unlike the flat cable of the a-JAYS, the cable on the t-JAYS are regular ones (although kevlar reinforced) and a bit tricky to untangle. The t-JAYS Four has a 3-button remote made for the iPhone and other Apple devices. You’ll get volume controls and the center button is used to pause/play/skip track and to answer and end calls.
The control also has a digital active, surface-mountain MEMS silicon microphone that works in 360 degrees and strong enough that you don’t have to bring it close to your mouth while speaking. It does a good job in suppressing outside noise so the receiver can only hear your voice. Loud and very clear according to my wife as we tested it. It also works on Facetime, Skype, Siri and other voice apps for the iPhone.
This earphone doesn’t have active noise cancelling so it won’t give you total noise isolation when worn without anything playing. It does give really good cancellation when a track is playing in medium volume. Sound leakage is very minimal as long as you fit it properly.
Now for the sound quality of this fine earphones, let’s just say it’s among the best I’ve heard for an IEM. The full range of spectrum is well represented but it gives more emphasis to bass, not overwhelming though to drown out the mids. I would say bass is smooth without affecting the clarity of the treble. Sound stage is also quite good, like you’re in a room with the artist performing for a small group.
Dirac HD Sound technology via Curves iOS app
On its own I find the t-JAYS Four very, very enjoyable, but JAYS is not done yet as they released the JAYS Curves app for iOS ($2.99). This is a paid app made exclusively for the t-JAYS Four (not the other t-JAYS) and was made free for download last December.
JAYS Curves is first and foremost a Music app replacement for iOS. However, with a click of a button, the app calibrates the t-JAYS Four with your iPhone to output the purest possible sound reproduction. If you ask any audiophiles out there, they want their sound equalizer profile flat so as to hear what the sound engineers have intended when they record the song. That’s what the Curves app does via digital sound processing that is custom-made by Swedish audio research firm, Dirac Research, just for the t-JAYS Four.
For a more techie review of how this Curves work, you might want to read this.
The result of t-JAYS Four with the Curves app? Music sounded much better to my ears. Bass and treble are balanced and much cleaner while listening to Golden Cage by TWBA. The mids and highs are better represented with really good range on 311’s I’ll Be Here Awhile. It doesn’t have that enclosed stage atmosphere like when listening without the Curves app but I’m guessing it is how it sounds when you’re listening to a recording inside the studio with a professional headphones on.
The t-JAYS Four costs a hefty Php6,699 bringing it to the upper end of mid-range in-ears. However, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth if you’re going to use it on the iPhone and if you have the Curves app. It’s a purists’ pair of earphones and the Curves app even brought it closer to professional-grade IEMs.
On its own, without the Curves app, it still sounds really good but if you don’t have an iPhone, might as well stick to the t-JAYS Three (Php5,299) and save some money. If you have an iPhone though, the t-JAYS Four and the Curves app becomes its perfect companions.