JVC HA-FXT90 Review

114


Reviewed Jan 2012

Details: JVC’s high-tech take on the dual dynamic earphone
MSRP: est. $149.99 / manufacturer’s page
Current Price: $75 from ebay.com
Specs: Driver: Dual Dynamic | Imp: 12Ω | Sens: 107 dB | Freq: 8-25k Hz | Cable: 4′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: stock single-flanges, short bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), shirt clip, cable winder, and clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The plastic housings of the FXT90 may be rather ordinary-looking compared to the metal FX300 and wooden FX500/FX700 shells but it feels very well put together, in typical JVC fashion. The strain reliefs are long and the L-plug is beefy. The cord itself is reasonably thick, soft, flexible, and – best of all – not modular as it is with JVC’s FX500/FX700 models
Isolation (3/5) – Quite good with the ergonomic but shallow-fitting shells
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Very low when worn cable-down; nonexistent with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (4/5) – Despite the vertical arrangement of the dual dynamic drivers, the FXT90 is no less comfortable than most conventional straight-barrel IEMs. The ergonomic nozzle angle helps, as do the smooth surface and rounded edges of the housings. Over-the-ear wear is possible but may require longer eartips than those provided

Sound (8.9/10) – The FXT90 is JVC’s first attempt at a dual-dynamic earphone. Utilizing no crossover, the FXT90 relies on the differences between the materials of the two drivers to create a natural variance in their response. Like Fischer Audio’s similarly-priced Tandem, the FXT90 positions the drivers vertically in the ear. Unlike the Tandem, it offers up impressive presence across the frequency range without straying too far from the sound of JVC’s higher-end wooden in-ears.

The low end of the FXT90s is strong but not overly dominant, with a mild mid-bass hump and excellent note thickness – similar in quantity to the Sennheiser IE7, but quicker and more controlled. Impact is good and the bass sounds full and fleshed-out. Compared to JVC’s FX500, the bass of the FXT90 is less prone to overshadowing the midrange, partly because the note presentation is thicker in the midrange and partly because the FXT90 exercises better control over its bottom end. The bass may not be as fast and tight as that of the VSonic’s GR07, but it is more forward and has both greater body and more impact. The GR07 boasts shorter decay times and tends to be quick and punchy, but not as powerful in comparison. Fischer’s dual-dynamic Tandem, too, is flatter through the bass and midrange but yields to the FXT90 in both bass impact and depth.

The midrange of the FXT90 is strong and prominent – not as forward as the mids of the Sennheiser IE7 or Fischer SBA-03, but not in the least laid-back. The good note thickness of the low end is retained, as is a bit of warmth. Despite the presentation being airy and nicely layered, the mids tend towards intimacy. They are smooth and full, with excellent timbre and good transparency. Clarity is good – better than with the Sennheiser IE7 and Fischer Audio Tandem but not quite as impressive as with the more neutral-sounding GR07 or the armature-based ACS T15. Detail levels are nearly on-par with the GR07.

At the top end, the FXT90 is again prominent, yet very competent. The mild emphasis tends to point out and even exaggerate sibilance present on a track but the edginess of the FX500 is all but absent. The energy is still there, however, as it is with all of the higher-end JVC in-ears I’ve heard. Compared to the similarly-priced FA Tandem, the FXT90 is significantly brighter and more sparkly but – luckily – has quality to make the treble work. Treble detail is excellent and the resolution and transparency give the GR07 a run for its money. In comparison, the similarly-priced PureSound ClartyOne lacks separation and sounds both thinner and peakier while the Sennheiser IE7 sounds plasticky and lacks smoothness. Absolute extension at the top is decent but trails both the ClarityOne and the IE7 slightly.

Presentation is yet another strength of the FXT90 – the earphones are airy, well-separated, and nicely layered. Soundstage width is about average but the depth is quite good. Compared to the GR07, the FTX90 sounds narrower and less spacious but has slightly better imaging. Its presentation is more intimate compared to the GR07 and Tandem and more well-rounded than those of the similarly-priced ClarityOne and Fischer SBA-03. Dynamics are good and the efficiency is very impressive. That’s not to say there’s no upgrading from the FXT90 – there is a noticeable gap in detail, refinement, and soundstaging when moving to a higher-end set like the HiFiMan RE272, but for the asking price the FXT90 is a very impressive all-around performer.

Value (9/10) – The JVC FXT90 is not the first dual-dynamic earphone to hit the market, but it may just be the first one you’ll actually want to live with. From a usability standpoint it is clearly the best of the bunch, foregoing not only the awkward fit and questionable design of the dual-dynamic competition but also the modular cable and open-back housings of the other high-end JVC monitors. The sound of the FXT90 is balanced in an aggressive sort of way, with the intimate midrange giving up only a bit of emphasis to the prominent bass and sparkly treble. The sound is strengthened by good timbre and a nicely layered presentation – the same qualities that make the FX700 a cream-of-the-crop top-tier. Simply put, the FXT90 is one of the best deals in portable audio.

Pros: Lively, competent sound; solidly built; low microphonics
Cons: N/A


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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.

114 Comments

  1. Sharon Bava on

    Hello, I really appreciate your hardwork. I have bought a few pairs of IEM from your recommendation and they are:

    1) JVC HA-FXT90
    2) DUNU Titan 1

    I would like to know whether you have plans to review

    1) JVC HA-FXT100
    2) JVC HA-FXT200

  2. Remus on

    Hey joker, I’m wondering how the FXT90 stacks up to the JVC FX700’s. Both seem to be great earphones but I’m not sure if the FX700 is worth the heftier price (some guys still sell ’em here). Thanks again!

    • ljokerl on

      Very different price ranges, but both are a few years old now and today I’d say the FXT90 is more competitive for what it costs than the FX700. FX700 has more of a warm and thick sound, while the FXT90 is more of a conventional v-shaped signature – a little thinner in the midrange, crisp but not as smooth up top, etc. But it’s not a night and day difference and I think you’ll be happy with the FXT90 if you’re after a v-shaped sounding earphone.

      • Remus on

        Thanks again for the advice!

  3. Odesos on

    Hi, I love your reviews I wanted to give a try on these JVC (and the chinese selling them dirt cheap a try lol). The sound is actually quite good so I think the are the real thing … my problem is that they are really, like really uncomfortable to me >> (unless I wear them upside down) … any ideas on replace ear tips ( . ___.) should I try foam tips??

    • ljokerl on

      These have a fairly large “footprint” in the ear. If the issue is how large (tall) the housing is and it’s hurting your outer ear, it’s unlikely that swapping tips will help.

      If discomfort comes from your canal, then yes, foam tips are worth a try.

    • Ryan Gwilliams on

      May I ask where you found yours? I’ve been using mine for a few years and I love them. However, the housing broke and I need a new pair (the plastic housing came apart with 6 months but I was able to fix it. 2 years later they’re toast) I’d love to find a new pair even if they’re knockoffs.

    • Ryan Gwilliams on

      And I agree with ljokerl. I’ve used foam tips with these almost since day one as I found them uncomfortable with the supplied tips.

  4. Ivan on

    I ordered the Dunu Titan 1 back in June and I am pretty happy with the choice, but now I want to try something new… What would you recommend, would this pair of JVC HA-FXT90 be a good choice, the Vsonic VSD1s( the gr 07 would be an expensive choice) or maybe I should go with xiaomi pistons 4?

    Thank you in advance!

    • ljokerl on

      The FXT90 will give you more of a sound contrast than a VSonic unit. They are also less of a step down in sound quality than the Piston 4 – since you’re coming from the super-clear Titan 1, the Xiaomi Piston will sound very muddy. The FXT90 a little less so. If you’re looking for variety, I think the JVCs are solid.

      • Ivan on

        What would you say about the hifiman re400? Despite the build problems, I’ve heard good things about the analytical and detailed sound, something I’m looking for.
        Thank you for helping 🙂

        • ljokerl on

          I have reviewed the RE-400 extensively, don’t really have anything to add to that. It will give you a good contrast but it doesn’t sound anything like the FXT90 or the Piston 4. It’s really up to you to decide what you want from your next earphones – comparing sets that sound so different isn’t going to be very helpful.

  5. BLT Max on

    Hey Joker. Great review as always. I’ve been considering getting a party earphone for a while and I’m really considering to bite on these. I would like to have an earphone to have the bass level/style of the EPH-100, how do the bass of the FXT90 compare to the Yamaha’s? Thanks

    • BLT Max on

      Can you also give some insight on soundstage and presentation? Thanks

      • ljokerl on

        I think the Yamahas have better bass – it’s more linear and has better depth. FXT90 is a little more mid-bassy and quite not as controlled, though impact is similarly excellent.

        Presentation is more similar than different, both are forward-sounding and have good dynamics and layering. FXT90 is a little wider, EPH-100 is a little cleaner, but compared to something like a GR07 the differences in presentation between them are pretty much negligible.

      • BLT Max on

        Thanks again for the fast reply. Looks like I’ll be getting the FXT90 then!

  6. greenturtleshell on

    Hey Joker, I was wondering if you could do a comparison between the RE-400 and the FXT90. I’m looking for an upgrade from the Klipsch S4is and was wondering what key differences there are between the two. I listen to pop, post-hardcore, indie, electronic, so a variety of genres. Looking for a pretty balanced sound, my budget’s around $100. Thank you so much

    • greenturtleshell on

      I would appreciate any other recommendations as well.

      • ljokerl on

        Very, very different earphones. The RE-400 is quite flat, even a little mid-centric. The FXT90 is v-shaped, meaning the bass and highs are boosted relative to the midrange. This is much more similar to the S4 sound signature, except the FXT90 is not as severe of a v-shape and avoids some of the biggest issues that plague the S4 as a result. If balanced is what you want, the RE-400 is better, but it’s going to sound very different from your S4.

        If you want something a little safer, you can try to split the difference with an earphone that still has a balanced sound profile, but with a bit more bass and treble than the RE-400 – for example the VSonic GR07 Classic or the Philips Fidelio S2. I recommend these very often as a first “hi-fi” IEM purchase because of how versatile they are. They let you dip your toes into balanced sound with a slightly “safer” (coming from the S4) tuning.

  7. Robert on

    Joker,

    You are the man when it comes to iem! I’ve been reading and was hoping you could give me some direction? I am looking for iem that will sound good with hip hop, house, and heavy metal. I like bass and don’t want treble that’s fatiguing (my ears are pretty sensitive to bright treble). What would be a could choices price wise?

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      Probably don’t want the FXT90 if you’re worried about treble smoothness. In the ~$100-120 price range something like a Yamaha EPH-100 or RHA MA750 would be better. If you’re looking to stay under $80, the Sony MH1C is very good, assuming you can live with its flat asymmetrical cable.

      • Robert on

        Joker,

        Thank you for your kind recommendations! I read your reviews on the specified iems. I think I’m going to choose the Yamaha EPH-100. They sound like exactly what I’m looking for. Have an Happy 4th of July!

        • ljokerl on

          Thanks, enjoy the EPH-100!

    • ljokerl on

      I haven’t seen any confirmed cases of fake FXT90s, but there’s always a chance. No way to really know from the listing.

    • Mulai on

      I think they are fake, because those headphones come without his box, and the seller is from china.
      Can you recommend for me headphones?
      My budget: 70$~
      My music: house, electro house, deep house, trance.
      Thanks man !!

      • ljokerl on

        You were right to try and find an FXT90, it works very well for that type of music.

        Alternatives under $70 would be something like a VSonic GR02 Bass Edition or Brainwavz S1. Philips SHE3580 (or 3590) would be awesome too. Don’t let the price of these fool you, they’re among the best sub-$50 IEMs.

  8. Ayo on

    Have you or will you have the opportunity to compare these to the JVC-FXH30 any time soon?
    I agreed with your review of the FXT90 and was recently contemplating getting the FXH30 but wasn’t sure how they compare.
    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      I don’t think so – so far all I’ve been sent by JVC is the Xtreme Xplosives series.

  9. Sai on

    Would you be able to do a quick comparison between the FXT90 and the RHA MA750? I was set to get the MA750 a say next upgrade from the Ostry KC06A, but the £35 price tag (vs £70 for the MA750) is making me think twice if they’re pretty comparable IEMs.

    If it helps, I listen to a lot of house and garage.

    Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      They’re pretty comparable IEMs but the MA750 is a little more versatile and also “safer” in the sense that it’s more forgiving and a little less colored overall. The FXT90 will also be a bigger change from your KC06A with its more mid-bassy sound and more aggressive presentation. The MA750, while still more on the warm/smooth side of things compared to an Ostry, is at least comparable to the KC06 in soundstage size.

      • Sai on

        Is there anything else you’d recommend having a look at that’s more similar to the Ostrys in a sense that they ‘re v shaped without taking a huge hit in emphasis for vocals? (My FXD80 for example had quite recessed mids so vocals really lacked any shine)

        • ljokerl on

          Yeah, I usually recommend the DUNU Titan 1 as an Ostry upgrade. Really like these earphones as a KC06 step up for their wide soundstage, punchy bass, bright highs, and forward vocals.

          • Sai on

            one last question – how do the DUNU Titan and the RHA MA750 compare?

            • ljokerl on

              They’re very different. The MA750 is tuned for a mildly v-shaped sound, has a warmer tone, and tends to be pretty smooth. The Titan 1 is brighter, significantly more mid-forward, and has a bit less emphasis on the low end.

  10. f0xyyy on

    Hey ljokerl

    I just love your work… and have been following your work for how long even I can’t remember

    I’ve been looking for something to upgrade my Pistons 3… But I don’t know where to start

    These are selling on ebay and they seem relatively real

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ORIGINAL-JVC-HA-FXT90-TWO-MICRO-HD-High-Definition-Sound-TWIN-SYSTEM-Earphones-/252301775283?hash=item3abe5b91b3:g:W4cAAOSwzgRW0eZA

    I was also looking at multiple other IEMS like the VSD3S, B3 PRO 1, KC06 and the RE-400, to name a few

    I also found this bargain

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/272101850367?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    (VSD1S) for $17 USD but am unsure whether its much of an upgrade from the pistons

    I thank you for all the work and I hope you do respond ASAP

    <3 you

    • ljokerl on

      Haha, thanks!

      Others have been posting about those inexpensive JVCs and they seem like a great deal to me. To the best of my knowledge noone has reported back regarding them being genuine, which is probably a good thing (I’d like to think if they weren’t, THL readers would come back and let the rest of us know).

      If what you’re looking for compared to your Piston 3 is a slightly warmer and fuller sound that still maintains a somewhat v-shaped balance and high clarity, I’d go for the FXT90 over the alternatives. If you want something more specific from your new IEMs, like a flatter sound or a wider soundstage, then the other options you’re looking at may be better but in the absence of such requirements I don’t think you can do better than the FXT90.

  11. Michael on

    May I ask is FXT90 is good for jazz, soul, funk? My source is iBasso DX50. Thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      They’ll work well as long as you don’t mind the emphasis being on the bass and treble, rather than on the midrange.

  12. Kaki on

    Hi joker , i tried looking for this iem but was referred to its successor instead the 208 instead so was wondering if theres a review for the new one

    • ljokerl on

      Sorry, never tried any of the updated versions of this. I know there have been a couple.

  13. Som on

    Hello
    I recently bought fxt90 and 2 months before brought piston 3..and I would say piston 3 were quite an upgrade from my earlier earphones..but I’m switching back between piston 3 and fxt90…I find fxt90 a little harsh compared to smoother piston..though I have burn in them for am out 10-12 hours till now..Do these earphones require more burn in and will it sound any better?

    • ljokerl on

      The Piston 3 and FXT90 have different treatments of treble. The FXT90 is more energetic overall, so don’t expect it to smooth out to Piston 3 level. I don’t recommend relying on physical burn-in to improve an earphone, either. “Brain” burn-in (i.e. getting used to a new sound signature) is a different matter, but beyond that you’re much better off taking things into your own hands by experimenting with fit and eartips. Those can make quite a sizable difference.

      • Som on

        Hello Joker
        I don’t know its in head burning or what..but I find now the jvc with a little more spark in treble and better soundstage compared to the piston.Maybe these have grown on me :)..thanks for the recommendations for both of the earphones..
        Though if I was to upgrade from fxt90 with the same type of sound signature-which earphone would you recommend under $200?

        • ljokerl on

          Glad to hear they’re growing on you!

          As for an upgrade, you have a couple of of options. You found the FXT90 a little harsh initially, so you can go back to a smoother type of sound with the RHA MA750. It’s still mildly v-shaped, but it also has a warm and pleasant tone with much less harshness. The MA750 also has an upgrade of its own, the T20, but those are brand new and currently a little outside of your budget at $230-240.

          The other option is to gain more accuracy while still maintaining the v-shaped sound with something like the DUNU DN-1000. This is my preference and the IEM I recommend most often for v-shaped sound under $200, but it’s more finicky in terms of fit and not as smooth as the MA750. You do, however, get excellent midrange and treble clarity/detailing as well as deep and solid bass.

  14. Wizzard on

    Hello there
    First, thanks for your excellent work. Your reviews guided me in my early days of foraying into the world of iems and headphones at headfi.
    My focus and priorities changed in the past few years but I am now returning to exploring good sound. With all the iems I tried I have found that my favorite is still the FXT90. Even though it is V-shaped, the layering does not make me feel like I am missing the mids in the least bit.
    With that said, I would like to “upgrade” from the FXT90 but the only requirement for that is more focus on the sub-bass than the mid-bass and perhaps highs that are just a little less harsh.
    Do you have any recommendations?

    • ljokerl on

      Hmm.. in the most general sense a lot of higher-end V-shaped earphones will do all this, especially the better balancing of sub-bass and mid-bass. For instance, the DUNU DN-1000 still has a sizable amount of bass but it’s both more extended and more controlled compared to the FXT90. In the sub-$200 range, the DN-1000 is what I normally recommend for v-shaped sound. However, with the DN-1000 and many of the clearer-sounding hybrid earphones you’ll also hear the v-shaped signature more pronounced, meaning the mids sound will more recessed than on the FXT90.

      As you go up in price, these types of earphones tend to become more balanced, clear, and detailed, and less noticeably v-shaped. For example the DUNU DN-2000 is like a re-balanced DN-1000 with more linear bass and less recessed mids. The higher-end FLC Technology FLC8 can be made even more balanced than the DN-2000.

      If you’re not married to something that sounds v-shaped in the most general sense, you can go for a smoother earphone like the Yamaha EPH-100. The EPH-100 tends to be bassier than the FXT90 but still does what you want with the sub-bass and has less recessed mids and smoother treble compared to v-shaped IEMs in its price range.

      If you want to go high-end, I think the 1964EARS 1964-V3 is the best FXT90 upgrade you can get overall – it provides a a much more accurate interpretation of a similar sort of sound, preserving the energy of a slightly v-shaped signature without any of the drawbacks. You don’t get quite as much bass as with the FXT90, but there’s still more of it compared to the majority of custom IEMs and it is the IEM that comes to mind when I think “v-shaped feel but not really missing mids”.

  15. KC33 on

    Hiya Joker, I need some help. I’ve been listening to the Dunu 2Kj’a for the past few weeks, which I love, But, all my other iem’s sound dull and lifeless now. I don’t think the 2Kj is a great match for classic rock, allman bros, hendrix, etc. I need something gritty with a good portion of bass and fairly bright and can handle high volume without breaking up.

    Think these could fit the bill? I was also considering the Fidue A73 and maybe the EPH 100. Any suggestions would be great.

    • ljokerl on

      While far from dull and lifeless, I’m not sure the v-shaped sound of these is an especially good fit for classic rock, either. The EPH-100 will be much smoother but not sure if has the bright highs you’re looking for. I guess it would help if you could clarify where you want the bass and treble levels to be in comparison to the DN-2000J, because to me that already has a good portion of bass and fairly bright treble.

      Maybe the Alpha & Delta AD01 is worth considering: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/alpha-delta-ad01-in-ear-earphone-review/ . It has more of a deep bass focus than the FXT90 and is a bit less bright. I thought it had a slightly dry and gritty sound compared to most other similarly-tuned sets and worked better for rock.

      • KC33 on

        I think i figured it out. I needed to adjust my ears to the some other earphones before judging their capabilities. There’s just nothing in my arsenal that comes close to the definition and separation of the 2Kj. I grabbed my Dunu 1K and changed the tips from Comply to some of the stock silicone tips that came with the 2Kj which opened up the 1K, particularly the highs, and sound wonderful.

        Thanks again Joker, you Sir are the greatest. 🙂

        • ljokerl on

          Hah, I should question recommendation requests more often :p

          Both the DN-1000 and DN-2000J in your collection – very nice. That should go a long way towards satisfying different needs.

          • KC33 on

            Thanks, I’m really happy with Dunu, I’d still have the Titan, as well, but I couldn’t get use to the fit. Next step, which won’t be until the middle of next year is something like the Noble 4S, UM Miracle or V6 Stage Drivers.

            Thanks again Joker, it’s always a pleasure to stop by for a visit. 🙂

          • ljokerl on

            Thank you! THL 1.1 is coming soon, and it’s our readers’ support that’s made it possible. We’ll be working on THL 2.0 from there.

            P.S. V6-Stage at black friday prices (assuming they run a sale again this year) is very hard to beat 🙂

  16. Randy on

    How would these FXT90s do with classical orchestral music?

    • ljokerl on

      Quite well if you don’t mind a colored (non-neutral) sound – the FXT90 provides quite a bit of impact and the highs are quite energetic compared to a balanced/reference earphone. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on the listener. The layering and soundstage depth of the FXT90 are an asset.

  17. Roy pan on

    Hi |joker|, really appreciate all your reviews on these iems and helpful replies 🙂 I currently own a jvc fxt90 and a ue900 and am thinking of going into customs, which custom would you recommend for a less V shaped response of the fxt90 with better details and nice mids as compared to the ue900?
    Personally find the fxt90 more fun but the more neutral ue900 is less fatiguing and more true to life

    • ljokerl on

      I suppose it depends on your budget, as well as how much of that v-shape you want to retain (if any). All of the customs I’ve tried are less v-shaped than the FXT90 – it’s just a matter of degrees. The most v-shaped one in my collection, the 1964EARS 1964-V3, maintains much of that “fun factor” of the JVCs without sounding quite so colored, but it is more fatiguing than the UE900, for example. I still like it quite a bit and it’s always been my recommendation for a more fun-sounding custom in the sub-$500 range, but if you want something closer to the flat UE900s, the V3 isn’t it.

      On the smooth end of the spectrum you have sets like the Custom Art Pro330v2 (if you budget is in the $500-600 range). It has great mids and clarity, with a detail and resolving (compared to UE900) but still smooth (especially compared to 1964-V3 and FXT90). If your budget is in the $500-600 range, this is the one I’d consider most strongly for a smooth, yet accurate sound.

  18. Arjav Mehta on

    Hey Joker,

    JVC seems to have recently released FXT90’s successors – FXT100 and FXT200 with even more tech and at very competitive prices.

    Any chances of a review/impression and how they compare to the FXT90s?

    • ljokerl on

      Sorry, I don’t have any experience with these new models.

  19. Dave on

    You have been incredibly helpful!!! How would you compare these to the Philips Fidelio S2 and Vsonic GR07 BE? You gave these an 8.9 for sound. How would you rate the Philips in sound and the other categories?

    • ljokerl on

      All three are on the same performance level more or less. Philips would probably fall right between these and the VSonics in terms of scoring, but with a sound signature way more similar to the GR07 BE than the FXT90. The FXT90 has more of a mid-bass hump, brighter and more sparkly highs, and a more forward overall presentation. The GR07 BE and Fidelio S2 both tend to sound more spacious and laid-back, and both have more balanced/neutral sound than the FXT90.

  20. Kingo64 on

    Just an FYI for current or potential HA-FXT90 owners, I’ve already had two pairs of the earphones fall apart due to failed glue on the earphone housing making them completely usable but potentially fixable. It’s strange since one day the earphones appear to be in perfect condition, the next day you pick them up from your desk and they have all separated at the glue seams.

    • Kingo64 on

      Repaired both pairs of earphones with a hot glue gun minding sure to avoid the side air vents. Both sets of earphones work flawlessly once again and I would highly recommend running over glue seems with epoxy/hot glue to reinforce the earphones as they are clearly fragile out of the factory.

  21. Anthony on

    Hey Joker,

    Would you consider the FXT90 to be a good all-arounder? I currently have a pair of RE-400s, and while I really like them, they aren’t great with a lot of the electronic-based music that I’ve been listening to as of late.

    • ljokerl on

      I don’t know if it’s the best all-rounder because it has a rather strong sonic flavor (with lifted bass and treble, and just quite forward overall) but it is very good for EDM and such.

      • Anthony on

        Hey Joker,

        I ended up going with the JVC FX40s just to get a taste of JVC’s carbon nanotube technology, and I must say that I find them quite capable for a $15 pair of earphones. The V-shaped sound of the FX40s with it’s tight bass at bright treble only make me want to experience the higher-end JVC IEMs more.

        I have come across three in my price range: the FXT90s, the FXT100/200s, and the FXZ200s. I’ve read your review on the FXT90s, but was wondering if you’ve listed to the other two that I’ve listed. I really think I’ve found my prefer sound in JVC and am now considering one of these three earphones as my first mid/upper tier IEM purchase.

        Thanks!

        • ljokerl on

          For that kind of price the FX40 is excellent – even more so if you listen to EDM. The FXD80 has a similar sort of sound as well, and to a lesser extent T-Peos sets like the H-100 and Altone200.

          Haven’t tried the higher-end FXTs or the FXZ models (although the latter were supposed to be quite a bit bassier so I don’t know if they can be a direct upgrade to the FX40s).

  22. JTMusicGuy on

    Hi joker, would like to ask if this earphone has a different sound signature compared to the ATH-CKM99 which i own. From what i read these have a v-shaped sound signature and airy presentation like the CKM99s but i would like to know if they sound really different or just slightly different before i make purchase.

    • ljokerl on

      Yeah, they are similar in the very general sense of being somewhat v-shaped sounding but the CKM99 is generally more full-sounding while the FXT90 is more on the lean and fast side with a more aggressive, in-your-face presentation. Unless you want to try something other than a v-shape I don’t think they will be redundant in your collection.

      • Brandon on

        Sir,

        This is the best site I’ve come to in my weeks long research on headphones. The way you’ve subdivided the list –V-shaped, balanced, etc.– is so spot on, wise and useful. (Since “best” depends on what type pf sound you want. Some sites are okay to have a best bass headphone section, but that is touching only the surface. You consider the entire range and group many products according to these subdividions.) Your descriptions are so informed, so tangible/real, I can “hear” the quality of sound without even trying them on. These descriptions tell me exactly what I need to know it a cohesive and relative way—-you weave in and other models to give the reader a sense of how the particular model stacks up to a brand we may have experienced or a popular brand we may have read about.

        I’ve looked at sooooooooo many websites—-cnet, wirecutter, headfonics, head-fi or whatever it’s called haha–and have seen soooo many videos; and you know your sh*t. Your level of knowledge is so apparent: I was just reading up on multiple drivers (dynamic and BA and crosswiring or whatever to make a harmonious union between the drivers) and sure enough… YOU CASUALLY EDUCATE US ON MULTI-DRIVERS GENERALLY–thank you!–AND HOW THIS BRAND IMPLEMENTS MULTIPLE DRIVERS SUCCESSFULLY.

        Sorry to be so excited. Haha. I just felt it important to let you know that you’re quite gifted, intelligent, awesome, well-thought-out to the consumer’s benefit. I’m not sure who your teachers were or how many hours of reading you put in to be who you are, but I thank you–because you’re the sh*t. Haha. Pardon my rambling… It’s Saturday and I’m not even in work or writer mode… I just HAD TO GIVE YOU PROPS. Thanks.

        • ljokerl on

          Thank you very much – I really appreciate that!

          That was the intent of this site (and originally my Head-Fi thread) – to provide a slightly different approach to reviews, with an emphasis on consistency, lack of bias, and a more sound signature-centric approach, in contrast to the “latest and greatest” mentality of more standalone reviews. Very glad to hear that my vision and reviews have had such an effect. Many more are on the way :).

  23. Btuned on

    Hi ljokerl. Long time fan of your work! Thanks for all your dedication to your reviews.

    Just wanted your opinion of how these headphones would compare against the Yamaha EPH-100 (price wise these would be slightly cheaper in AUD). I mainly listen to EDM, RNB and Pop music and I do like my bass.

    • ljokerl on

      They’re both very good earphones for the price. I tend to favor the EPH-100’s tuning with its slightly deeper bass, smoother treble, and overall less v-shaped response.

  24. fusrodah on

    Hello Joker.
    Would you consider this an upgrade from MH1C? How does it compare?
    Also, how does this render female vocals?
    Is the clarity and resolution better than Vsonic VSD3 or VSD3S

    Sorry for the many questions
    Thank you!

    • ljokerl on

      It’s a very different sound to the MH1C – brighter, more forward and intimate, not as smooth, and just more aggressive overall. It does fine with female vocals but it won’t be a smooth as the MH1C… good if you feel the Sonys are lacking in energy. Clarity and resolution are not better than the VSD3S – the VSD3S is actually more balanced than these, which helps.

  25. Jmop on

    How would you compare the sound of these to that of the Thinksound TS02 (bass, midrange, treble)?

    Would you prefer these or Shure 215 for rock/metal?

    • ljokerl on

      More forward mids and brighter sound on these compared to the TS02, but with better overall clarity, dynamics, etc. I’m having a hard time remembering the exact bass qty of the TS02 but it should be in the same ballpark as the FXT90. Certainly neither of them is bass-light. I prefer the FXT90 to both the SE215 and TS02 for rock and metal.

      • Jmop on

        Cool, thanks for your input. Just curious, would you have any suggestions for perhaps a colder sounding headphone that can still get down with the brutal tunes? The FXD80 sounds like the way to go but I’m not sure how I feel about the recessed vocals. Something not quite as sharp sounding as an Audio Technica but still in your face with a quick and solid low end, upfront vocals and clear highs. I know it’s a lot to ask but I really appreciate your feedback.

        • Jmop on

          Last time you suggested the TDK BA200 for another reason but would you recommend them for this one? Or would you say that it’s too neutral for what I’m asking? Keep in mind that I’m looking for a sound that will make me want to break things (not the headphones). The music, more specifically, is hardcore/punk with mostly shouting like vocals if that at all helps. Example below.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxMSy0ZcTEM

          • ljokerl on

            Yeah, the BA200 sounds nothing like these. For fidelity these are not in the same league as the TDKs but if you’re just looking for a fun sound, they more than hold their own. I wouldn’t say the FXT90 is cold-sounding though, not like the FXD80 or MOE-SS01 (http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/moe-audio-moe-ss01-review/). Signature-wise the SS01 might actually be the best match for what you’re after – cool tonal character and not very v-shaped or bassy, but more so than a BA200.

          • Jmop on

            I was looking at those but since you thought their edgy behavior was too much for rock music I was skeptical. Still keeping my options open though, thank you for your time you’ve been of great help.

  26. Someone from the other side on

    Wow, I truly I loved my sadly long dead FX500 (ignoring that little detail of nonexistent isolation) and I am sort of trying to decide between I guess this and a GR07 Bass (had the original one, with a bit of eqíng, it did have enough bass). I just destroyed a Brainwavz Dual Driver (plug has gone bad) and I am a little worried about getting another huge ass IEM now (thankfully I have big ears, big enough to need those humongous hifiman dual flanges)…

    I’ve been contemplating customs but at the rate I kill my IEMs, that is a dumb idea. So I guess it’s between these and the GR07 Bass.

    • Someone from the other side on

      Also, less someone recommends the RE400, I should add that I hated my original RE0 (the only good thing about that piece where the aforementioned giant tips). I am also not too fussed at paying more but seeing that I keep destroying IEMs, 100-150 seems the sweet spot (I have a competent stereo setup and a bunch of good circumaural cans for home use so these are strictly for on the go and the gym)

      • ljokerl on

        Actually customs (and other IEMs with replaceable cables) do make some sense if you go through a lot of high-end earphones. $50 replacement cables every year are cheaper than even $100 earphones, in the long run. Unfortunately some replacement cables (ahem… Sony) are unreasonably pricy.

        The FXT90 has more bass than a GR07 BE and a more full-bodied sound overall. The GR07 BE is clearer, more neutral and more accurate, but also about 60% more expensive even at the current discounted prices. I’d probably trust JVC’s construction over VSonic’s, too, and honestly these don’t feel as big as they look when they’re in your ears. JVC even has a triple-driver model that’s a hell of a lot bigger than these.

        • Someone from the other side on

          Thanks!

          Knowing myself, I’d manage to lose JH16s in a week or two if I ever decided to get them (though so far I dont think I ever lost IEMs but that’s just my luck)…

          I think I will go for the JVC (if I can find it from a reputable source that will ship to Switzerland, it’s not sold locally and I am a little wary of Chinese ebay vendors regarding fakes) then, less annoying if I destroy a 80USD one instead of a 120USD 🙂 (or 150, in case of the Altone). They ought to be good enough for commuting and the gym and if I find them too bad for the office I can always drag a closed can to the office and just keep it there…

          • ljokerl on

            Haven’t heard of fakes for this model, but it never hurts to be careful.

  27. Zubin on

    Hi Joker! big fan of yours, got my vsd1s when you helped out and still enjoying it. Now i just got the fxt-90 but using it with my Nexus 4 gives some crackling sound, i noticed this only with this and MH1c, all others sound fine, JVC’s work perfect on PC and with Nexus 7 tablet, so is there something in the JVC’s that make it crackle? its not a driver-flex, its independent of how its inserted or moved. So just wanted to make sure that the problem is with the source and they are fine. Also i am planning on buying a Fiio X3, would it be a better match with JVC’s?

    • ljokerl on

      Sounds like textbook distortion. If they play fine with your computer but not your phone, it’s probably some kind of electrical interaction – maybe a high noise floor or high output impedance on the Nexus, or something else causing distortion. The FXT90 doesn’t have a crossover but it’s a pretty sensitive earphone overall. Shouldn’t have any problems with the FIIO but I haven’t tried them in combination – only heard the X3 a couple of times and only with higher-end IEMs.

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  30. Carlos on

    Hey was wondering if these iems would be a good step up from the vsonic vsd1s. Im not really good with hi fi lingo but want something with the similar sound signature to the vsd1s. All help appreciated. Thanks.

    • ljokerl on

      The closest thing I know to a VSD1S upgrade is a GR07 Bass Edition (haven’t tried the new VSD3S yet).

      The FXT90 is a little different in sound signature – warmer, more mid-bassy, and with a more intimate presentation. It’s good but not really a straight upgrade from a VSD1S.

  31. internetcrawler on

    Hello, my good sir. I’m a big fan, and your reviews are the best:)
    I’ve a question to ask. I’m currently torn between these JVC HA-FXT90s and VSD3S/VSD3s(which are supposed to be upgrades from the GR06) and possibly even JVC FX500s.
    I like EDM, jazz and Rock, but I also listen to pop, classic, you name it. There isn’t much I don’t listen to, and that’s part of the reason I’m stumped. I seem to lean towards bass and like spaciousness/clarity in audio, though:)
    If you’d help, I’d be so glad. thanks!

    • ljokerl on

      I haven’t tried the VSD3S yet, but the FXT90s do have good bass and clarity. Their presentation is less about spaciousness and more about depth and layering, but that’s alright. It works well for EDM especially. I don’t think you can go wrong with them.

      By the way, be careful of fakes of the FX500. As far as I know it’s been discontinued and there have a been a lot of reports of counterfeit units.

      • internetcrawler on

        I did not know that. many thanks!

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  33. touji666 on

    Just got mine around 2weeks ago 🙂 this is great! It’s like brainwaz m1 with better everything! It still lacks sub bass weight and some detail on the mid bass and mid treble but it’s very tolerable and may change after physical or mental burn-in.

  34. Nick Nand on

    Hi thanks for your review. I’m very keen on these but to be honest I need something like this with a remote and mic for my Samsung phone because I listen to all my music on there while commuting and I need to be able to answer calls from customers and so on. I am guessing I like the V shaped sound because I do like something a bit exciting and a bit more balanced than just the bass heavy sound. I have had several altec lansing speakers and love all of them . I guess their sound is very expansive and clear and clean with higher treble (I think). A bit of bass is always welcome but clarity is more important to me . Any recommendations ??

  35. RedHunter on

    Hi, I’m interested in this headphones, are they good to be used with an Android phone, like my LG G2? I use them also on my mp3 player and pc. Now I have a pair of sennheiser cx 300 II but I want something better, you have reviewed the model cx 300, however I don’t think the model cx 300 II is much different, and this JVC seems better at everything, what you say?:-D Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      These are fine with Android phones – despite the crossover they’re really not very discriminating between sources. The only thing to watch out for is the treble – if you’re using a brighter source it might become excessive on the FXT90.

      And yes, these are much better than the old CX300. Still haven’t tried the CX300-II – sorry.

  36. 0258 on

    Would you recommend this for rock/metal music?

    • ljokerl on

      Sure, I think they sound fine with my rock and metal collection.

  37. drunkensky on

    Hey Joker,

    I am planning to upgrade from Klipsch S4’s, but I need a bit of advice. I listen to an even mix of hip hop, electronic, indie rock, and pop, and I was wondering if the FXT90 or the MA750 would be more versatile. Thanks for your help!

    • drunkensky on

      Or if you have any better recommendations haha.

      • ljokerl on

        Both of them are a step up from the S4 but if you’re looking for versatility I’d lean towards the MA750 with its deeper bass and slightly less pronounced top end. It’s a great earphone if you’re looking for “fun” sound as opposed to accurate/neutral.

        • drunkensky on

          Ok perfect thanks!

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