JH Audio Roxanne Review
If you want the early review conclusion about the JH Audio Roxannes here it is:
Get them. The best things we have heard and we're not sure if it's possible to get better HiFi in your ears for under $2000. The upcoming IEM's called the JH Audio Layla may be our next first choice to beat this but we haven't heard them yet. Just be prepared that these are not small, cute or petite but they are incredible. The best, no argument.
These IEM's from Jerry Harvey Audio have 12 drivers...in each ear...that got our attention. Yup - the JH Audio Roxannes come fitted with 3 x Quad BA drivers in each side and the ability to adjust the bass to your preference on a small inline adaptor (the demo set had a small flat-head screw driver but a tool is included in the retail kit). The cable shown is clear but the retail unit actually ships with a black cable. That makes it 12 drivers in each ear, and with those 12 drivers a few things become apparent. The first is these are not small - they are a little bulkier than most universal IEM's we sell, and at first we had to play with them until we got a good fit. Once we had a good fit (our trick was to keep rotating forward-clockwise until they just became perfectly fitted in) they did stick out from our ears just a little bit but were really surprisingly comfortable and we could imagine sitting on a plane, train or playing live on stage with them without any fears of them falling out. If you are purchasing these because your an audiophile with lots of money and a passion for great music it's important to wear these as they were designed - that is as an IEM down your back with the cable slider tightened at the back of your head to make a secure fit. If you're purchasing these for live music then you should be absolutely happy with the true audio replication they will provide for you. We just learned that AC/DC have chosen the Roxanne IEM's for the next world tour - so if you buy these, that's the calibre of people you're hanging out with - essentially you're in good company (not to mention other JH Audio artists like Adam Levine, Sam Smith etc). We've played with people using the JH13's and always been told how great they are.
We didn't get to try these playing live as monitors but can only imagine how a Strat through a Mesa or AC30 would sound overdriven in these = sublime. Or perhaps a Martin OM28...sigh...these are the first IEM's where we would be happy with someone putting our amp miked up in another room leaving us to play live using only the Roxannes for reference - you could really feel these so the passion of playing live would not be lost. I doesn't matter what you play - bass, piano, guitar, vocals etc etc.
The thing about the Roxanne's that seems to beat out the closest competitors is the depth. These things are deep, spacious and transparent more than anything we have heard before - and we listen to some of the best universal IEM's available. In saying that we first reviewed these just using an iPhone 6 Plus with Tidal HiFi streaming audio. Drums sound like drums, Piano elements resonant and even the proximity of the vocals to the Mic can be envisioned, acoustic instruments are clear and sharp. The bass did get heavier than we might endure for long periods of time after cranking the inline bass controls up to full so we tuned them down a tad - but we did like having it boom for a while just to show off how deep these things go, so we tuned it up again for fun. If you have a decent DAC/headphone amp like the Sennheiser HDVD 800 you're really going to loose your s**t - we predict. Try listening to London Grammar, Damien Rice, GoGo Penguin (the reverb on the Kit in the Murmuration intro will immediately pull you in), Dave Matthews live with Tim Reynolds lets you hear Dave's guitar is ever so slightly out of tune on Gravedigger, we could go on.
The inline bass control allows for left and right bass adjustment up to 15DB. The cable shown is clear but it ships with a black cable.
The case for these is a solid steel puck shaped screw-top case that will keep these well protected and if you don't find the perfect foams you can always get more from somewhere that stocks standard tips.
Don't expect salvation to show up in a box here but these things for $1550 are bang on, the more time you spend with them the better they get. It doesn't matter if you are listening to music on your iPhone or playing live at a stadium gig. One of the saddest things is that we had to send the demos back at the end of our review. We might have to buy a pair just for the office and studio work perhaps...
You can buy the JH Audio Roxanne in Canada here.
If you have questions or comments - add them below.