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The a-Jays Four + do make for a worthy upgrade over your phone's bundled in-ears, but they are much more than just that. They are hardy, stylish and sound pretty neat. If you like a fun or playful presentation this is what you should go for. The a-Jays Four + is coloured towards the brighter side. If you like a warmer, more full-bodied sound, you should look elsewhere.
The a-Jays Four plus comes in the most elaborate packaging you’ve ever seen! It’ll remind you of those oval boxes your dad’s oldschool perfumes used to come in. And yet, I can get why so much love went into the box. You see, Jays is a Swedish company known for making minimalist yet beautiful audio gear. I remember their over-the-ear u-Jays headphone and it too had the same attention given towards aesthetics. But is beauty skin deep? Not at all. I’d say the a-Jays Four+ is a misunderstood device. Because of the kind of hipster appeal it seems to have, most audiophiles might be inclined to dismiss it as one of those mindless upgrades for bundled in-ears. I found their sound quality to be much more than a simple upgrade. But before we get into that, let's look at the look and feel of the device.
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Let’s start with the box. For such a huge carton, you get very little inside. There’s no carry case (gasp!). But you do get 5 different sizes of silicon ear tips. The headphones are quite nice looking. We got the white variant, and I have to admit they exude a certain understated classy appeal. The tangle free flat cable while being a tad shorter than the norm, is absolutely tangle free. In fact, it’s the most tangle free cable we've experienced – more so than the erstwhile budget kind – the Cowon EM1. The three-button remote is specifically wired to be compatible with either iOS or Android depending on the version you opt for, so pick carefully when purchasing. In terms of build quality, the a-Jays Four Plus seems tough. You could get away with just throwing them in your backpack without a case and be just fine.
There nothing much to speak of with respect to features – the a-Jays Four Plus is your basic garden variety in-ear. The performance bit does need elaboration. The presentation on the a-Jays Four+ is super aggressive. It’s like this nice deep U shaped sound signature. Sure, the sound loses out being full bodied but the a-Jays more than compensates for it by performing exceptionally in the two extremes that it produces well. Take for instance our EDM-esque track Stereo Love. It didn’t sound as spacious as on the Brainwavz S3 for instance, but the thump was accurate and hard hitting. It’ll get anyone moving and grooving. Live performances sounded hollow and lacking body. Our live test track - Pink Floyd’s Shine On from the Pulse Tour sounded like a few microphones on stage got accidentally turned off. At the same time, tracks like Ed Sheran’s Shape of You sounded sharp and detailed; sparkly even (guess the mix was right for the a-Jays). The headphone had one of the better microphones we've come across but cable microphonics was a problem (i.e. bumps and nudges to the cable producing sound/vibrations which travel up to the ear).
Impedance (ohm) - 16 Ω
Frequency response - 20-20kHz
Cord length (m) - 1.15m
Weight (in grams) - 17g
Driver diameter (mm) - 8.6mm
Sensitivity - 96dB/mW
Type (balanced armature / dynamic) - Dynamic
For a price of Rs. 4,999 you get a nice looking, durable, and stylish pair of in-ear headphones. If we have one negative we'd like to mention, it would be the lack of a carrying case. The a-Jays Four+ sound signature will definitely appeal to the rock aficionado. But if you are a bass fanatic the Brainwavs M2 is a better option. If you like the analytical or neutral type of sound the RHA S500i and MeeAudio M6 Pro is always there. For a broader soundstage the Brainwavz S3 is your best bet.