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JVC HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives review

Andrew Williams



Our Score



  • Powerful bass
  • Low price


  • Large earpieces
  • Artificial-sounding
  • Poor mid-range

Review Price £17.99

Key Features: 10mm neodymium driver; 1.2m cable; Straight 3.5mm jack; Carry case

Manufacturer: JVC

There comes a time in every music lover's life when you have to throw away those Apple earphones, or those little buds that came with that Samsung phone, and enter the world of real headphones. It's a dangerous path that can, if you're not careful, lead to you spending £500 on the custom ACS T2. And the JVC HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives earphones could prove the perfect gateway drug.


JVC has played a clever game with its latest budget earphones. Using an eye-catching red cable and a chunky bud design, the HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives look just like the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre iBeats. Except that these cost about a quarter of the price.


It's sure to appeal to many an HMV shelf-browsing youngster, but introduces problems. The earpieces are very large, and although they're not particularly heavy they do rest a little uneasily in your ear canals, demanding careful fitting.

Big, black and inlaid with ridges and an embossed "XX" logo on the back, there is something a little vulgar about the JVC HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives earphones. There's something unusual too - they appear to use a near-open back design, with a large grill-covered port on the rear designed to let the low-end frequencies percolate to a fearsome, rib-trembling level. JVC calls it the "extreme deep bass port". Impressive-sounding stuff.


Noise isolation

This doesn't leave the earphones with woeful noise isolation, though. It's not up there with the best, but can match ultra-budget pairs and is capable of taking on the noise of public transport. They don't leak sound too much, either, the vast majority of it coming out of the front rather than the back.

The overly ornate design of the earbuds, similarly, is largely for show. Made of a single piece of moulded black plastic aside from the back rubberised grill protector, they're more pedestrian than they look. They do use rather large apertures, though, which may be of concern if you have truly tiny ear holes.


At around £17, that the JVC HAFX1X earphones do not have a microphone or remote control comes as no surprise. The cable also has a slightly cheap-feeling plasticky finish that the more rubbery rival Creative EP-630 and Sennheiser CX 300 don't suffer from. However, it doesn’t create too much microphonic "rustling" noise while you're walking around and the relatively low-friction finish means it's not particularly prone to tangles.

We understand what the JVC HAFX1X are trying to do. They want to stand out from vanilla budget pairs in a manner more reminiscent of Beats by Dr. Dre than Skullcandy. Commercially, it's likely to pay off, but we prefer the smaller, more accessible (for those over the age of 21) design of Sennheiser and Sony's budget earphones.


The case is a bit "punch me, I have rock-hard abs"


Inside the near-impenetrable blister-pack packaging, JVC supplies three sets of rubber tips in the standard small, medium and large sizes, and a basic carry case. At the price, you couldn’t ask for much more. The 1.2m cable ends in a simple straight 3.5mm jack.

JVC jack

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November 12, 2013, 8:56 pm

A fair review and very close to reality than pumped-up reviews from other sites that praise this pair of headphones more than it should. I have a pair of these and have to agree with you on all levels. Not the best headphones, but not the worst. 6 is the right score for them. Nice job!


January 2, 2014, 5:50 pm

Great sound quality! There's just one problem... They only lasted for a month! Think twice before buying them.


January 22, 2014, 3:04 pm

I have had these earphones for about a year and a half and they still haven't broke also I did use them for playing Xbox until I bought the PX 22 turtle beaches and found that the bass was brilliant and i am thinking of buying my bro some because he love the bass out of the song so perfect for him.
overall i thank they should get a 9

Jahan Aquil

September 9, 2014, 1:16 am

If you are thinking about buying earbuds under $30 look no further, these earbuds are AMAZING....better than most actually. Im not sure what the author was on about, these are wonderful. When you factor the price, looks, carrying case (actually really useful) and their incredible range you will fall in love. I have tried $400 studio headphones that were only a tiny bit better. They blow the entire Beats range out of the water. I have had them around 2 years and they have performed flawlessly. GET THESE HEADPHONES, the only reason i am writing a review 2 years after i bought them is because i want to spread the word.


October 14, 2014, 9:15 pm

I have had a pair of the latest model ones, and the bass is pure, and thumping, great for dubstep, and hip-hop, and rap, i very much do recommend these for only 20$!! they are better than beats tour by dr dre. the price, and bass, and sound quality!!! these earbuds frequency is 5hz-23,000hz, compared to beats only 20hz-20,000hz. i DO RECCOMEND THESE!!!


March 28, 2015, 5:17 pm

People cant hear below 20hz why most stop at 20 and I have seen earbuds/headphones/speakers rated below 20hz that still had weak bass to which I prefer beats or sony for earbuds


March 28, 2015, 5:22 pm

The word does not need to be spread as people are a pretty good judge for themselves..While there are some earbuds that come close to beats in bass for less most fall short


September 6, 2015, 1:07 pm

We are organic, and all different. We are not designed like Microsoft robots with certain limitations.
As for the limits, its like a V8, you dont have to go flat out to enjoy its performance at legal speeds.


September 6, 2015, 1:08 pm

Stop self-flagellating with em then. Treat em wiv reespec

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