Review Price £69.99
Jamo wEAR In20m - Sound Quality and Value
The Jamo wEAR In20m use dynamic drivers, like the vast majority of budget earphones. At the £70 mark, they're perched around the point where the more audiophile-friendly balanced armature drivers start to become more prevalent - renowned for their tonal accuracy, or at least the potential for it.
While the price of these earphones is getting close to the ballpark of "serious" earphones, their sound unfortunately is left in another league entirely. Bass response is bombastic, in a rather boomy sense, but isn't the most expansive or accurate. However, it's at the other end of the scale that things are really disappointing.
The treble lacks detail and clarity, which can leave more complicated arrangements sounding as if they've been passed through a transistor radio before reaching your ears. For all this lack of detail though, the high-end is still harsh in a way that will soon tire out ear drums. There's plenty of sibilance and more fizz than a freshly-opened bottle of Coke.
It leaves us suspecting that the Jamo wEAR In20m earphones are just a re-branded budget Klipsch S2m pair, as they share the same look, a similar sound and the same parent company. In no way does this warrant a £70 price tag - they themselves are flawed, and were available for as little as £25 on our last web search.
With the simplest of musical arrangements, the Jamo wEAR In20m can fool you into thinking their sound is half-decent - thanks to the reasonably rich bass - but as soon as anything more challenging is piped into their drivers, these earphones sound artificial and downright poor for the price. Skipping between these earphones and the cheaper, but better, Sennheiser CX300 the effect seems similar to downgrading your encoding rate. In short, the wEAR In20m can make 320kbps MP3s sound as if they're 96kbps MP3s from five years ago. That's some feat.
Admittedly, we might not be so cruel if the wEAR In20m were available around the price mark where they'd be truly at home, the £20-25 zone (heck, even £40), but they're not. For the same cash right now, you could buy the Ultimate Ears 400vi - a pair with more bass (a bit too much for our tastes in fact) and a high-end that positively stream-rolls what you get here. It's as if the Jamo wEAR In20m have somehow accidentally been enrolled into university when they were meant to have just started secondary school, complete with a tearful goodbye to mummy at the gate.
Klipsch may argue that it has used a different driver in the Jamo wEAR In20m than the Klipsch S2, but our ears tell us there's little real difference. They sound similar to the Klipsch S3, which disappoint at their £40 RRP but win a thumbs-up at the £17.99 price they've already fallen to. But £70, for the same audio fidelity? If we're meant to be fooled, we're not.
The wEAR In20m mark Jamo's entry to the earphone market, and while there's a bang involved it's the sound of the bubble bursting. Over-priced and seemingly using components already seen in Klipsch's own much-cheaper (and far from perfect) budget earphones, the sound quality on offer here does not impress. There's enough bass, but treble quality is poor. Hard on the ears and hard on the wallet, if you want to spend £50 on earphones there are much better choices out there - including some of Klipsch's own models.
Scores In Detail
- Design & Features
- Sound Quality