This article first appeared in HWM April 2012.
The line-up of products designed and marketed to go along with Apple’s suite of devices seems to be never ending. Swedish Jays is but one brand on the bandwagon, and here, we have its new t-Jays Four on test. Not to be confused with the older a-Jays Four also intended for use with Apple iPhones, the t-Jays Four comes with a few additions and features that are supposed to up the ante versus the competition.
Matching most of the high end earphones in the market, the t-Jays Four sport 10mm dynamic drivers. They differ from the competition as they are equipped with vented bass ports on the back of the ear buds, which are supposed to improve bass performance. To earn its compatibility with iPhone moniker, the t-Jays Four is equipped with a surface mounted MEMS microphone, which provides a 360-degree speech pickup functionality.
In terms of looks, the t-Jays Four is quite nondescript. The earphones are solid, rubber-coated in matte-black with silver accents around the back of the ear-buds and the control pod. The control pod features three buttons, of which two are dedicated to controlling volume levels. The third button can be used to take calls and perform basic music functions such as playing, pausing and skipping tracks.
Earphones these days make all sorts of claims regarding how good their bass sounds. To test out Jay's claims about the t-Jays Four, we decided to test it with some dubstep, a genre of music that features heavy bass modulation. Skrillex’s “Scary Ghosts and Nice Sprites” was deftly handled with the bass really kicking through. Deadmau5’s “Cthulu Sleeps” was also traversed with ease with the DJ’s scratches sounding precise. It seems that the vented bass ports vindicate themselves, and the t-Jays Four delivers on its promise of low frequency performance.
However, bass is not everything, and we diversified our test materials to include more balanced tracks. We gave a listen to Adele’s multi-Grammy album 21. On tracks such as “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You”, the t-Jays Four displayed a nice natural tone. However on the whole, we found the renditions to lack color and warmth. While the bass did not overpower the rest of the sound spectrum, the mids and trebles still sounded slightly flat and anemic.
All in all, the t-Jays Four offers high quality performance with excellent transient response and good low frequency reproduction. Mids and trebles lack sparkle, but we would still classify these earphones as having a nice, natural tone.