These tiny in-ear earphones have excellent sound and build quality, a monster set of accessories and are very comfortable to wear for long periods because of their lightweight compact design and thick rubber earcups. Aside from one grumble about the boxed cable length, and a lofty price tag, there is precious little going wrong here.
Compared to other in-ear models from Shure, Denon and Etymotic, on sound quality we think these q-JAYS have plenty to be confident about. It's a very neutral and revealing display with dynamic bass handling within a reasonable volume range. The bass loosens at high volume, but only at a volume where comfortable listening ends, so in practice there's nothing to worry about.
The q-JAYS cut away ambient noise with thick rubber earcups, which wedge out sound, then inside the tiny enclosure to get twin armature-type drivers. Interestingly, the design includes a pocket of air in the structure that acts as a bass booster, which is a clever way to produce audio heft without added weight.
The connection jack and cord are good quality. However, the standard cord is short at only 60cm, and when you add the 90cm extension cord it all becomes way too long. Why we didn't just get a standard metre is a mystery.
In the box are accessories for about every occasion you could think of. You get a travel pouch and seven sleeve pairs in different sizes, the cords and two signal adaptors (one for planes and one stereo splitter). The materials used are good quality, with Kevlar inside the cords, and gold plated jacks.
Using our normal range of soundfiles (Mahler, Lee Perry and some live recordings), all played through our iPod, we got very good results across the spectrum. If only the price could drop by 50 quid or so, our wallets would come more readily out of hiding.