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JVC HAFX1X - Sound Quality and Value

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


Sound Quality

Just as the JVC HAFX1X earphones dress to impress a certain audience with their design, their sound wants to make a big impact too. It does this by putting a big emphasis on treble and bass, relegating the mid-range and resulting in what's often called a "v-shaped" or "scooped" sound.

If you're attracted by the eye-catching XX, "Xtreme Xplosives" branding of these earphones, it's likely you'll be quite impressed by the bass response here. It's deep and powerful for a budget IEM, and while also a bit flabby and ill-mannered, it doesn't turn music into too thick a bassy fog.


The powerful low-end gives the JVC HAFX1X earphones that important sense of fun. Compared to the rival Ultimate Ears 200, they're all-out good time earphones.

Performance elsewhere is less impressive. The top-end has almost as emphatic a presence as the bottom, but it tends towards sharpness and harshness more than alternatives like the popular, bassy Sennheiser CX300.

More problematic, though, is the neglected mid-range. It leaves vocals sounding flat and lacking in texture, with only the power of the treble left to paint the personality of singers' voices.

The bass-led sound does a good job of making beat-based music sound exciting, making electronic kick drums pound convincingly. But, given more challenging material, it all starts to sound a little unnatural. A little skewed, a little hollow.


Like someone trying a little too hard at a job interview or a film star with a few too many plastic surgeries under their belt, the JVC HAFX1X focus a little too much on making the right impression, where a slightly more relaxed approach would bring better results. However, these remain decent headphones at the price, and to get the step up to the next level from a respected name in audio, you will generally need to spend a little more. JVC HAFX1X 3

If you can afford the extra, the SoundMagic E10 and Sennheiser CX 300-II are both significant upgrades, offering much more even sound balance while providing meaty bass response. Really can't afford to leap above £20? The £15 Cresyn 415E offer a much more mature signature, with much tauter - if less voluminous - bass.


Available for under £20, the JVC HAFX1X are an obvious upgrade to freebie earphones, and from a distance they look a lot more expensive than they are too. If you're out for the "Xtreme" bass advertised on their packaging, you're unlikely to be disappointed by the beefy, deep bottom end, but other less try-hard pairs offer more natural, balanced sound.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 7
  • Sound Quality 6
  • Value 7


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

darron evans

October 6, 2016, 11:17 pm

five pairs in a year worst head phones ever bar none cunts jvc

warren peace

November 24, 2016, 4:46 am

These comments are fantastic. Just look at the one by Jahan Aquil; it's a veritable masterpiece in the field of youthful ignorance! Makes you really wish you could be a kid again, up until you remember that junior high school comes right afterwards.

George Lucas didn't ruin your childhood, junior high and these crappy JVC Xtreme Xplosives did!

warren peace

November 24, 2016, 4:47 am

Why did you keep buying them? Did you know you're insane?

warren peace

November 24, 2016, 4:50 am

While you're right about human hearing limits, those numbers aren't necessarily meaningless. Going well above 20 khz *might* suggest a fastest, more reactive driver, since speed is the only way to reach those high freqs. Doesn't always come out that way in practice though

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