Review Price £29.99
The Jays a-JAYS One use the same size speaker as the rest of the a-JAYS series. It's an 8.6mm dynamic driver, the type used in virtually all sub-£80 earphones, and known for its ability to bring plenty of bass to the table.
Predictably, the One has a sound signature very similar to the rest of the a-JAYS series. In a head-to-head test, we found this new model has slightly better treble performance than the original One set, offering better high-end resolution and a tone that's a shade brighter.
Other than that, the sonic personality remains exactly the same. They're bassy, smooth and thoroughly easy-going. Completely free of harshness, they're earphones you can plug in and while the hours away with, with no fear of wearing out your ears with an over-zealous treble. It's the sumptuous smoothness that makes us keep coming back to the a-JAYS One, and makes them a good alternative to Sennheiser's excellent CX400/500. Sennheiser offers a big more oomph and power, but both offer sonic personalities worth getting to know a lot better.
As with the previous a-JAYS models, our one lingering criticism is that the bass is expanded beyond what's truly accurate. This is in part what helps to bring warmth in, further taming tracks that might sound harsh through other buds, but it also ensures that they miss out on producing high-end sound. It becomes most apparent in music with a prominent kick drum, where the low-end thuds sound like they need a few more cracks of the whip before being fully tamed.
But should we really expect more at this price? The a-JAYS One 's biggest problem in our eyes is that if you're willing to forego the mic housing, you can cut a significant chunk out of the price - and while we did note some difference in sound, it's a step or three rather than a giant leap. However, the slightly different tone does suggest that the One benefit from some of the sound improvements applied to the a-JAYS Three and Four models. Jays's website does not reflect this.
Whether you can stomach the extra £20 or not, the Jays a-JAYS One cement our opinion that, alongside other smaller industry players like SoundMagic, Jays should be taken more seriously by a lot more people. Their products can certainly compete with the big names, at a price that makes a lot of sense too.
Jays's latest addition to the a-JAYS range is another winner, bringing the warm sound we admired in the series's previous sets. New to this model is a versatile one-button handsfree kit-come-remote, the right-angle jack of the "high-end" a-JAYS pairs and sound quality that edges out the basic One set with increased clarity. Smooth and easy-going, they provide an enjoyable all-day listen.
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