The first thing that will draw your attention to the a-JAYS Fours is their sleek modern styling. If these earbuds were judged solely on style points alone, then their sleek modern, styling, L-shaped plug and flat, stay-put cord would earn them top marks. Looks can only carry you so far when it comes to audio equipment, so the real question is…how do they sound? Fortunately, the answer is GREAT.
When I received the a-JAYS, it had been a while since I had worn earbuds that enter your ear canal, so at first the feeling was a little off-putting and almost like being under water. My previous headphones had been Ubanears Medis which rest just inside your ear, but do not actually enter the ear canal. However, once I swapped out the default silicone sleeves with a slightly smaller set (there are 5 pair to choose from) I was able to find a nice comfortable fit.
It may be just a matter of personal taste, but after several hours of constant listening with the a-JAYS, my ears do feel a little more fatigued than they did with my Urbanears, and I had to give my ears a break. Although, I will say that the a-JAYS do offer some particularly nice bonus features and benefits that my previous headphones did not.
For instance, my office is right off of the breakroom, so there is a lot of noisy distractions throughout the workday. The seal that the a-JAYS makes with my ears, really does a nice job of drowning out a lot of this unwanted noise and actually allows me to listen to my music at lower volumes, while still successfully canceling out idle lunchroom chatter.
The other huge benefit of the a-JAYS Four earbuds is their very cool three button remote that works much like the iPhone’s stock headphones (you know, the ones that don’t really stay in your ears). Located about six inches down from the right bud is a perfectly placed and specially-textured three-button remote that can control a number of functions of the iPhone app you curently are using on your device to listen to music or make calls. You can control the volume, play or pause a song or video, skip to the next (or previous) song or chapter of an audiobook or movie, fast forward, rewind, answer or end calls, switch calls, or decline incoming calls all just by using a specified number of button presses on the remote. You also have access to some voice commands as well. This button control panel is home to the earbud’s microphone as well. I’ve been using these earbuds for making phone calls, Facetime and Skype calls, all which sounded crystal clear for both parties. Controlling streaming music apps like Pandora and Songza also worked like a charm.
I’m an earbuds guy, I’ve always prefered them over the big honkin’ over the head DJ-style ones. I used to just buy whatever the cheapest pair I could find or use the freebies from Apple, but then one day I decided to treat myself to a $50 pair (getting over that hurdle was tough) and I quickly discovered how much of a difference a nice pair of buds can make. I know this isn’t always the case, but the sound was clearer and the quality was evident. Instead of only getting a few months worth of use, I was suddenly getting years of use and I’ve never looked back since.
From the packaging, to the build, everything about the a-JAYS Four earbuds make you feel like you are getting your money’s worth. While the a-JAYS are also compatible with some of the MacBooks, I was a bit bummed to see that without a neutral stereo plug adapter they are not very useful with my PC, fortunately I had one from a previous pair of headphones. But even then, the PC couldn’t take advantage of the remote control features.
I won’t pretend to be an audio-file who nitpicks over the range of sound, etc., I’m just a regular guy that likes listening to 80s and chiptunes music (among other genres). What I can tell you, is that I’ve been using these a-JAYS for several months now and they still look and sound great. Whether I’m listening to music or making a call, everything coming through these earbuds sounds crisp and clear. The flat cord stays tangle free (though when bumped, the cable does cause some noise). The conveniently located on-cord remote allows for quick, easy manipulation of my music and calls without having to actually pull out my phone.
If you are in the market for some new $50 to $60 earbuds for your iPhone (or iPad), you should definitely put these a-JAYS Four earbuds on your short list. You can pick them up in either black or white from Amazon for about $56, which I’d say is a very reasonable price for a pair of earbuds of this quality.