There are plenty of wireless headphones available for under Rs. 5,000 today, and most of these options are from brands that a lot of us may not even have heard of or know very little about. That's why we find it particularly refreshing when an established brand with a history of making good products gives the segment a shot. Today, we're reviewing a new budget wireless headset from Swedish boutique headphone maker Jays.
The Jays x-Five Wireless is priced at Rs. 3,499 in India, and does little more than function as a basic wireless on-ear headset. However, the Jays brand name means that we expect big things from these headphones when it comes to sound quality. Does the Jays x-Five Wireless live up to these expectations? Find out in our review.
The x-Five Wireless is a basic, wireless, on-ear headset
We've come to expect somewhat ordinary design in the budget wireless segment, and our first impressions of the Jays x-Five Wireless weren't too great. There's a lot of plastic on the frames of the ear cups and parts of the headband, and the device didn't feel particularly sturdy. It was also rather easy to remove and re-attach the ear padding, which raised some questions as to how securely they'll stay in place. During our time with the headset though, we didn't have any issues with this - they stayed in place securely enough.
The left ear cup has a Micro-USB port for charging, while the right one has controls for volume, playback, power, and a 3.5mm jack for wired connectivity. There is also a microphone and an indicator light on the right.
The outer parts of the ear cups are metal with a Jays logo, but the dull finish makes these headphones feel like an affordable pair. The Jays x-Five Wireless is light, and the padding around the ear cups and the headband is decent enough, making for a fairly comfortable fit. Sound isolation is average considering that this is an on-ear headset, while sound leakage is mild and is only really a problem at very high volumes.
When it comes to specifications, there are a few hits and misses for the Jays x-Five Wireless. The headset has 40mm drivers and a frequency response range of 32-18,000Hz. There is Bluetooth 4.1, and support for the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs is listed. However, during our testing, we found that the headset only worked with the SBC codec - multiple devices including different Android smartphones and a MacBook Air were used to confirm this.
The Jays x-Five Wireless has a claimed battery life of 20 hours, and we were able to come close to this figure during our testing. While this isn't the best battery life we've seen on full-size headphones, it's pretty good for a headset that costs under Rs. 4,000.
We may not have been entirely impressed with the specifications and design of the Jays x-Five Wireless, but it made up for this with good sound quality. Despite the limitations of the SBC Bluetooth codec and the less-than-ideal sound isolation, the drivers in this headset are particularly well tuned, and produce sound that is far beyond the quality that we'd typically expect to hear for Rs. 3,499.
We tested the headphones with a variety of source devices, including a OnePlus 7T Pro (Review), an Apple iPad mini (2019), and a MacBook Air. While we largely listened to music using streaming services, we also tried some high-resolution audio tracks and videos, and also used the Jays x-Five Wireless as a hands-free headset for calls.
Kicking things off with Calabria by Rune, the Jays x-Five Wireless didn't quite produce the kind of sound we were expecting; there's definitely bass to be heard, but it isn't the punchy, aggressive kind that pushes itself above the rest of the sound. Instead, you get balanced sound output that gives the entire frequency range due attention. While this track is a fast-paced dance number, we quite enjoyed being able to hear detail in the mid-range as well as some brightness at the top.
This balanced sonic signature also meant that a fair amount of detail could be heard, particularly in the mid-range and highs. This was better audible in tracks with vocals, including the peppy Palast remix of Party Monster by The Weeknd. We did occasionally hear some shrillness in the highs, but this also made for excellent detail and a strong sense of direction and spaciousness in the soundstage. The vocals stayed strong alongside the lows and highs, making for an immersive, loud, and appealing sound.
Pulling out some of our more eclectic tracks, we played Pino D'Angio's Italian pop classic Okay Okay, and were quite impressed with how much more of the track we could hear - particularly D'Angio's raspy vocals. There was also plenty of response to be heard in the bass, but unlike most headphones at this price, it didn't audibly overpower the rest of the range.
Finally, we used the Jays x-Five Wireless headphones for voice calls. The experience wasn't terrible, but largely depended on ambient conditions. Voice quality could be good on both ends of the call in quiet surroundings, but in less-than-ideal conditions (which is what we had to deal with most of the time), sound was a bit unclear and the microphone also picked up a lot of background noise. While the functionality works, this pair of headphones is meant for music.
Brands such as Boat and Ant Audio offer affordable wireless on-ear headphones for less than Rs. 1,500 today, but you'd definitely be better off spending a bit more. If you're looking for detailed, vibrant, and clean sound, there isn't anything better than the Jays x-Five Wireless that you can buy for less than Rs. 4,000 in India right now.
The design and specifications aren't ideal even for the price, but the Jays x-Five Wireless makes up for these shortcomings with its excellent sound quality and decent battery life. It's a unique offering in a segment that sees very little experimentation, and it gives buyers the option of an established, reputed brand without breaking the bank. The x-Five Wireless is definitely our favourite pair of budget on-ear headphones right now.
Price: Rs. 3,499
Ratings (out of 5)
Buying a budget TV online? We discussed how you can pick the best one, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.