JVC HA-FX35B Headphones

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On Second Pair of Marshmallows, Good sound isolation.

Mar 24, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Good sound isolation

Cons:Closed sound.  Poor bass.

The Bottom Line: These are great for noisy environments and when there's no reason to be fussy about sound quality


I had a pair of Marshmallows, JVC HA-FX34s and liked them because in their price range they did the best job of isolating me from the noise of the busses and subway cars I ride to work.  The sound was edgy and brittle, and bass was light, but I was using them to listen to news and lack of sound quality was not a huge problem.

When my first pair of Marshmallows got lost, I went to the store, and bought a new pair; but these looked different, they're a second generation of the Marshmallow product, the HA-FX35.  The new model appears reasonably durable, has decent volume when attached to my smart phone, and they come in a rainbow of colors, including boring black and boring white.

Though the new and old models are similar, the new ones are a definite improvement!  The sound of the HA-FX35 earbuds is smoother and less fatiguing than their predecessors.

Other than that, how good do they sound? I won't say the JVC HA-FX35s sound great or sound awful because what you're used to has so much to do with  how you perceive sound quality.  If your last pair of ear buds were a $7 house brand set from the drug store, these will sound great to you.  If you're used to very high end headphones or earbuds, these will disappoint you.  I will say I think $20 is a fair price for what you get.

For reference, my day to day, go to headset is a pair of Sennheiser PX100 conventional walkman headphones, which are a great value at $35.  I generally use the Sennheisers for music, most of it classical.  For comparison I'm running some opera through the JVCs right now, and I'm struck by how thin and bass-free they sound and they have a closed-down sound about them compared to the Sennheisers.  The closed down feeling probably has something to do with them sitting so deep in my ear canal.   I won't be throwing away my conventional headsets any time soon, nor will I hold a grudge against the JVCs.  That aspect of the JVC's sound quality, I'll assume, is just a tradeoff of the form factor.

And is it fair to expect Carnegie Hall sound from $20 earbuds?  Probably not.  Many users listening to pop music may just go with them and not obsess over the sound.

What is unique and valuable about the JVCs is what I referenced earlier.  The earpiece uses cushy sound isolating foam instead of the silicone ear cup used by most other brands.  In noisy environments this is a very nice thing.


Recommend this product? Yes


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