Published by Abney Road on 11th April 2012
In Ear Monitors
I received my JH Audio, “Jerry Harvey,” JH16Pro’s, about a month ago. I have only used them in the studio at this point. I am a long time Sony MDR7506 user in the studio. While I am used to Sony MDR7506’s, and it is nice to be able to pull one cup slightly off one ear to be able to hear my “head voice” better, the problem with using any headphones while recording is click leakage. This is especially apparent while recording acoustic stringed instruments but, in particular, acoustic guitar. In using my JH16Pro’s I had zero click leakage. I have used other IEM’s for recording but neither liked the sound or the bleed from the click was still very much audible. I had given up on finding a pair of IEM’s that did not color my sound so much as to compromise a performance, i.e. what I recorded.
I did not use the DSP module with my 16’s but I have experienced the difference and I can tell you that it is worth the extra cost if you like to really tweak the bass response. There are other benefits that I will get into in another review that will discuss that pairing.
If you are on a never ending quest for sonic purity then you have found the Holy Grail in the JH16Pro’s. I compare these to the warmth that I used to love from Clair S4’s, the new Neumann KH120’s, or a pair of Genelec 8260A’s. This is not to say that my favorite line arrays do not compare but S4’s were very forgiving and just had this body that most line arrays come close to but still come off as sterile. The JH16Pro’s are not sterile! They have a very organic sound that, beyond the fact you have something plugging your ears, have a very natural auditory response.
As for comfort the fit is snug and the ears slip in with minimal effort. I do not find it fatiguing to wear these for an extended period. I did not feel as though I was shut off from the world or that it was an artificial state of being.
It comes down to personal preference regarding sound and fit for most people. Price is always a consideration but I refer back to an ad I saw in a motorcycle shop back in the seventies, “If you have a ten dollar head…buy a ten dollar helmet!” Excellence will cost you but the last place you want to cut corners is with your personal IEM’s. If you are a purist and you have used Clair12AM’s, or your favorite wedge for years, you might struggle with the transition to ears. If you have used IEM’s for years and just cannot dig that disconnect I think that you will find that the sterility of most IEM’s will not be found in any of the JH Audio IEM’s but especially, the JH16Pro’s.