This article first appeared in HWM July 2012.
Right out of the box, the a-Jays One+ earphones seem like a savvy and smartly designed product. Its matte-black looks are the signature of Jays, the Swedish audio product manufacturer, the flat tangle-free cable is a godsend for those who like to carry their earphones crumpled up in a pocket. Similarly, the L-shaped, silver plated 3.5mm jack is designed to be more resistant to being accidentally yanked out of your music player.
The "+" denotes compatibility with Android smartphones, with a single button which helps control playback and microphone housed in the in-line pod. Unfortunately, there is no volume control provided on the in-line pod, which can be a deal breaker of sorts.
Plugging the earphones in, we found them to have a comfortable fit. However, some of our colleagues with smaller ears did complain about the flange of the housing digging into their skin. Though slightly on the smaller side, the hardware seems appropriate for the price point the earphones are being sold for.
Audio duties are handled by a single 8.6mm neodymium driver in each earpiece. We would characterize the One+ as having a bright, metallic tone. This works brilliantly on particular guitar tracks, such as those from Eric Clapton’s Slowhand days, where the treble is crisp and bright. But when the song requires warmth, such as with "Melt My Heart To Stone" by Adele, the metallic nature of the One + fails to deliver the required feel. Bass frequencies were a bit subdued during our listening tests. Though sufficiently deep, the lower frequencies seemed to lack impact.
On the whole, the One+ gives an admirable showing, though the lack of volume controls can be irritating. Its bright performance quality will also undoubtedly have its admirers, although we would have preferred a more neutral showing. Nevertheless, as far as Android-compatible earphones are concerned, you can hardly do worse than to give these a shot.