JVC HA-SW01 Headphones
$499
$550

JVC HA-SW01 Headphones

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$499
$550
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3 Sold
Product Description
Crafted by the award-winning audio engineers at JVC, the HA-SW01 headphones harness the natural characteristics of wood to deliver detailed and powerful audio. Inside, each headphone features 40-millimeter wood dome drivers with an impedance of 56 ohms—ideal for driving with today’s desktop amps Read More
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4.0
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Great sounding and good looking, but questionably durable.
Day 0 impressions: JVC packages the cans in a fairly slim box. The box itself appears to be for the Japanese market with an English instruction sheet stuffed in along with the original Japanese documentation.
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The cans came wrapped in a storage pouch with disposable cloth bags covering the earpieces. Accessories wise all you get is the storage bag. There is a single cable and no 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter. The cable itself has no text labels, so you best remember that red is right and blue is left. Luckily these use the same cable wiring as a large number of cans, so I snagged the balanced cable from my Meze 99.
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The earpads are standard crap pleather and super super thin, needing immediate replacement. The eacups themselves are super small, and may be a problem for people with large ears or lots of piercings. I'm barely able to stuff my ears into the cups and it is a rather tight fit with my gauge piercings. Luckily not overly uncomfortable. The rockers for the ear-cup assemblies don't have terribly much range of motion, and may cause problems for people with broad or angular faces. It fits my head, but just barely. There is a LOT of plastic in the construction of these things. Hopefully there is enough metal in critical locations to keep them from failing via busted plastic in a few years. So, after the unpacking and gronking at the places where they cheaped out, I got down to listening. I was already using my PA1502A APPJ (with JJ ECC803s and Reflekor 6P3S) for other cans, so I started with it. I figure these headphones are going to need some break-in time so tube amp for fun and later I'll spend quality time on the 789.
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My audio path was Roon -> Raspberry Pi4 running Ropieee -> SDAC-B -> Behringer XR-18 -> PA1502A. I used the following playlist to show off places where gear can be lacking (same as when testing all of my other Amplifiers, Headphones, IEM, and DAC so I'm rather familiar with how stuff is supposed to sound):
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Color me a bit surprised, but even without burn-in these are some very excellent sounding cans. Teardrop retains its lovely bass. Oxygene pt2 has all its treble bouncing around without being painful. The sounds of a record come across properly with Civilization. The tambourines and hats in Gypsy and Wonderous Stories don't make me want to gouge my ears out. Emotional Palette keeps its nice bass and ambient awesomeness. Hotel California nails it on these cans, giving a very intimate presentation. Because has a bit of sibilance, but nowhere near as painful as some other closed back cans (EMU Teak/Denon AH-D2000, I'm lookin' at you). The Sound of Silence has similar touches of sibilance, but not in a problematic way. Adagio for strings also comes across extremely well, with the wood in the cans giving the strings an extra bit of delicious resonance while still keeping the detail needed to hear the little non-music noises the orchestra makes while doing their musical thing. As it currently stands, I'm not unhappy with them. I would give them 5 stars right away if they at least came with good pads or a cable that wasn't kinda meh. As they ship, they're a solid 4 star, but absolutely need about $80 in upgrades (cable and pads). I'll see how they do after a hundred hours of use.
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Yep. A very large number of cans with the 3.5mm sockets use the same wiring setup. I'm currently using the first party Meze 99 Series 2.5 mm Balanced Upgrade cable which I nabbed from Amazon for my 99 Noir. Same cable works fine on T1.2, HE-35x, HE-5xx, HE-X4, HE-4xx (the new ones, not the OG version I've got with 2.5mm), Chan@EMU modified Teak, and Elex (probably all of the other Focal cans too). It isn't a bad little balanced cable. A bit expensive for what it is, but not bad.
SCARED_8988
6
Jun 24, 2021
ooooOOOOOoo... Fascinating!!!