What happens when you take a surround sound system, shrink it down to the size of a pinto bean, and stick it in your ears?
Auditory awesomeness, of course. While it’s not actually a miniature surround sound system, the JH Audio JH13PRO custom in-ear monitors come close, with a whopping six drivers per ear.
Right out of the box and plugged straight into your digital audio player, the three sets of twin drivers funnel fantastically detailed sound directly to your cochleae. The proprietary drivers — two for the highs, two for the midrange and two for the lows — deliver nearly spotless sound.
How? JH audio founder Jerry Harvey explains:
“It’s all about how fast the driver can respond to the impulses of the sound, and the twin drivers in each range eliminate virtually all harmonic distortion, allowing you to hear deeper into the mix than ever before.”
But as we all know, talk is cheap. That’s why whenever we test headphones, we like to throw some audio curveballs. For this evaluation we compiled an eclectic selection of music in Apple Lossless format, from Miles Davis to P. Diddy and from Franz Ferdinand to Ella Fitzgerald. Most earbuds struggle to keep up with such a frantic sonic pace. Not the JH13s.
The buds delivered fantastic sound separation with uncompromising booming bass, rattling mids and crystalline highs.
For a lark, we tried mating the JH13s with the Ray Samuels Audio P-51 Mustang high-resolution headphone amp and ALO Audio’s 30-pin iPod line-out cable, just to see if that could improve on what we deemed to be aural perfection.
Adding these two (expensive) components opened the floodgates of unadulterated sound, yielding the richest, most complete experience we’ve ever coaxed out of a set of earbuds. Yes, the JH13s are terribly expensive, but they also make for the most luxurious listening this side of heaven.