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JVC HA-FXC50 “Micro HD”

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Reviewed Dec 2009

 

Details: JVC’s unique IEM utilizing a microdriver positioned at the tip of the nozzle
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $39.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16 Ω | Sens: 103 dB | Freq: 10-24k Hz | Cable: 3.3’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (2/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes) and carrying pouch
Build Quality (2.5/5) – Plastic housing with molded strain reliefs. I like the design and the beveled JVC logo but I’ve had two pairs of these where one of the channels went out so I’m wary of the build quality. Cabling is thinner than on the other JVC IEMs and more prone to tangling
Isolation (3/5) – Much better than I expected. I think the fact that the driver is at the very tip of the nozzle helps with the isolation
Microphonics (2.5/5) – These are meant to be worn cable-down; the microphonics aren’t particularly bothersome but definitely present
Comfort (3/5) – This driver of the earphone is right inside the nozzle and the housing is completely empty. JVC could’ve shaped it any way imaginable, but after the impossibly comfortable aircushions, the FXC50s are a disappointment. They are nearly impossible to wear over-the-ear and while it does hold them in place well, the rubber-padded plastic bit on the side causes the strain relief to put unpleasant pressure on the bottom of my ears

Sound (5.8/10) – The HA-FXC50 is characterized by the 5.8mm “Micro HD” driver positioned at the very tip of the nozzle, right inside your ear. The overall signature is bright and detailed. They remind me of the Head-Direct RE2s but with less smoothness and more bass. Due to the peculiar positioning of the drivers their sound is extremely sensitive to the seal. Without a proper seal they sound tinny, flat, and distant. With a good seal, however, they are quite balanced and intimate. The soundstage is small but they still mange to convey depth. The bass is punchy and slightly above average in quantity. Mids are fairly present, though not a forward as the treble. The treble is bright and at times slightly harsh, but no worse than some much higher-end earphones. Overall the signature is pretty unique at the price point and can be quite enjoyable.

Value (7.5/10) – At the current market price the FXC50s are excellent budget earphones. They offer superior detail and clarity to JVC’s other budget earphones and are quite good performers all around. I just wish JVC had made these as practical as the Marshmallows and AirCushions. Better QC, thicker cabling, and a way to wear them over-the-ear comfortably would truly make these top contenders.

Pros: Very detailed, good balance and clarity
Cons: QC issues, brightness can be tiring


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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