JAYS is in no need of any introduction. We simply love them and everyone else seems to agree that JAYS are one of the top hitters when it comes down to extremely great sounding, affordable headphones. We've had the chance to review quite a few of JAYS' offerings and gave each and everyone very high marks and even our Editors' Choice award. This time we've got our hands on the c-Jays headphones, a very unique pair to say the least. These are portable, foldable and customizable headphones that will make audiophiles pay attention to what they have to offer. The c-Jays might look harmless, but deep inside you might find weapons of mass destruction hidden underneath that naive looking exterior. More after the break!
Out of the box, the c-Jays come with all the goodies you could ever want. Starting with a nice and soft protective carrying pouch to store your headphones in while traveling. Also included is a stereo splitter in case you want to share your tunes with a buddy; as well as an airplane adapter and a golden 6.3mm upsizing plug to use with high-end audio sources like a rock star. Last but not least an extension audio cable with a slim 3.5mm plug that will fit your bulky, tight fitting cases and those deeply recessed headphone ports.
Just when you think the accessory haul was over, we got hit with additional foam ear cushions that are what make the c-Jays shine differently from others. Each foam cushions has a different density, size and impact on how your music will sound. You can customize the sound based on which foam ear cushion best suits you. I've never seen such humongous ear cushions made out of foam and I bet you haven't either. My advice is to try them all before passing judgement because each foam ear cushion greatly differs from one another.
Switching between the foam cushions can be somewhat daunting. It's like going back in time to when foam ear cushions plagued every headphone. I never came to like these type of ear cushions only because they always seemed to rip apart and were a pain in the ass to change. Unless you're accustomed to changing these types of foam cushions, you'll find yourself spending some time exchanging them in order to find the ones that best suit your needs.
It really isn't possible for the c-Jays headphones to not be extremely comfortable with all of that cushioned foam everywhere you look. With that being said, the smallest foam cushions are also the thinnest in material and weren't nearly as comfortable on my ears as the rest. The bigger foam cushions you slip on the c-Jays, the more comfortable your listening experience will get. What's also great about having these different sizes of foam cushions is that the c-Jays can one day be on-ear headphones while the next day you can change them into over-ear headphones. But bare in mind that every single change you make will in turn affect the way the sound fires towards your ears. More on that in the 'sound quality' category.
The c-Jays don't come with any in-line remote controls and mic functionalities. Instead, they can fold up into a more portable form that's ideal for travel. That is if you don't use the oversized foam ear cushions. It's worth noting that the headband isn't foldable.
The build quality has disappointed me most about the c-Jays. They feel like a pair of airplane headphones for the most part. Flimsy and fragile. Nothing clicks into place and the joints don't seem like they can handle too much abuse. As portable cans, the c-Jays definitely need a protein shake and get buffed up quick before someone sits on them and crushes them to pieces. I mean come on, they feel like they were 3D printed. As far as build quality, I've never been so disappointed in a JAYS product. At least they are one of the lightest pair of headphones I've ever used. If this was all to sacrifice build quality for a more lightweight design, JAYS did a great job. Any headband padding? Nope. Just a thin piece of some sort of suede material instead of exposing bare plastic.
Before we get into how these actually sound, we shall bore you with specs! The c-Jays conceal what JAYS calls 'EML' - Elastic Multi Layer diaphragm which are 40mm dynamic speakers that have been finely tuned with a semi-open design. This all results in a much easy-to-drive speakers that don't require any external amping or help to get to their optimal performance. Like their lightweight characteristics, the c-Jays sound airy. So airy that you would think a built-in fan circulates the air inside the housing. But that's not why these sound so light. It's because the c-Jays have an opened air design which airs out the sound to not have a very warm dynamic sound, but instead a more fresh and light sound signature. JAYS states that the c-Jays can deliver powerful bass, but unfortunately the truth couldn't be further away.
Lows aren't the c-Jays' strongest feature. Bass sounds just as weak as the way they look on the outside. Punch-less, non-thumpy and quite honestly unsatisfying. At least for my personal taste as well as compared to JAYS' other offerings. But we can't blame the bass to be weak due to the opened design of the c-Jays which lets a lot of sound leak thru the openings and foam ear cushions. The c-Jays might be portable to some degree, but you definitely don't want to crank up the volume with people nearby.
Other than lack of bass, you can beat that the c-Jays pump out clean, amazingly opened highs and mids. I've found the mid sized foam cushions were really comfortable for me and also balanced out the sound the best for my taste. The smaller foam cushions will bring the sound much closer to your ears while the largest foam cushions will disperse sound more openly. The c-Jays sound signature is very close to the q-Jays; very light, treble infused and extremely well detailed throughout. I only wish for more bass, everything else sounds fantastic.
The price for all of this? Not as affordable as we thought, especially for what the c-Jays delivered to the table. At $120, the c-Jays leave a lot to be desired. We cannot recommend them over more affordable offerings JAYS has like the a-Jays line. If you like your music with less bass and more treble, the c-Jays will get the job done but at a price. We expected more knowing JAYS makes some stunning audio gear.