Joinhandmade Jelly Doux Review
Thanks to Joinhandmade for the sample. (N.B. Chromes translate function may be of use)
First Impressions: Oh lordy, it would seem that loose polystyrene balls are still a thing. Be careful when you open the box, lol or you’ll be cleaning them up for weeks. Plucking out the case, where the buds and tips are located, it’s a substantial case. Interesting finish on it too, black but with a hint of glitter underneath. Inside we’ve got the buds, it would seem I got blue, curiously they call it Bleu de France while they don’t name any other colours in French. Hmm I can’t help wonder if it’s a cultural hangover from French colonial days. Yes I know Vietnam is probably most known for the Americans activities there but that all came off the back of its being part of French Indo-China. Still it’s a rather attractive colour, the visuals on there are going to be a big deal I think. You can tell from the pics on their site that they really care about the looks of these and that’s before you get to the customisability they can offer. I think that springs from them all being largely handmade, no great factory production line spitting out everything the same. Yeah, hand painted, polished and finished. They look good too.
In the ears and these are just like their visuals. Big, colourful, exuberant beasts. Party time, fun, playful dynamics and a big, BIG bottom end. Rather \ shaped a sound signature but I can tell this is gonna be one for mainstream poppy, bouncy stuff. Nicely firm a bottom given its expanse, vocals are a bit focused and like to jump out a little. Treble is nice, controlled and not too abundant, lacks a bit of bight but has a nicely smooth, and shimmery decay.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., HiFiMAN HM-650, 1G Ipod Shuffle, Nexus 5, Iphone 5 and Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear.
Lows: Playful. They are big, ebullient and exuberant. Is it me, not really but for the target market of playfully bouncy pop it works very well. It’s a big old heap of bass, depth suffers a bit and its errs towards a bit mid/ bass region but its enjoyably bouncy. It’s got a big heap of enthusiasm and it yearns for you to slap on some big heavy bassed pop. If you do it then launches itself headfirst into every bass note. It’s not subtle about it and it gives up finesse or control for bombastic party time. It’s fun, its playful, its energetic and explosive. I confess it’s had me track skipping a bit as the likes of Susan Wong, it wasn’t so well suited to. It doesn’t want to be composed it wants wildness. It wants to hurl from one bass thump to the next, it’s so cheerful and upbeat. Give a big and fast bass line, say Savage Garden’s “Affirmation” and it’ll just go wild in a smorgasbord of bass hurling all over the place, its super playfully fun. This is not trying to at all please an audiophile audience, its playing to those who like its visuals as much as its acoustics. It’s all party, all of the time.
In quantity terms it’s really rather elevated bass. Especially if you throw on bassy music it just runs away with itself and it rather overshadows the rest. Vocals are a bit over shadowed and the laid back treble stays in the back while the bass just takes over the show.
Mids: It rather depends on what you’re doing with them. You see when the bass has been put away the mids are rather softly melodic, neutral tonally with a gently pleasing lingering quality. There can be something so softly sweeping to them. However they don’t want to be that way. They can behave but they want to be let off their leash and go wild. Give them a playful and energising, poppy vocal and it’ll spring to life. Refinement and detail fade a bit but that’s not important. These are about party play time and so they respond best to music that lets them do so. No sitting there analysing anything it’s dance about your bedroom and sing along out loud, not caring that no one can hear the music. Enjoy yourself.
Highs: They are a little on the muted side, yey, that works great for my ears. Things of this price can’t do awesome treble so stay where you can shine and gloss over the really hard bits. Plus I think they’re are aimed at those who may not be using the best bit rates in the world. In low bit rate music the first thing to go to hell is the treble. This will casually gloss over treble that isn’t of the finest quality. It’s all about the poppy playfulness it’s not a tool for analysing music, it’s an instrument to put a smile on your face.
Detail levels are fine, nothing special but its soft shimmy nature works very well for the music it’s aimed at so I consider it to be the sound signature you should want at this market segment.
Soundstage: There isn’t a lot of particular placement going on. There is a good semblance of scale and authority, it’s a powerful sound. It’s just not very nuanced in their placement and it lacks in distance. It’s a moderately close in big, PA speaker powering out at you.
Fit: Very nice. I slapped no a pair of Comply’s as I usually do but not any issues. Not even any air pressure or lock of venting issues. If anything the only issues was they were a little lacking in grip to pull them out. The buds are so smooth and the lack of strain relief meant I pulled them out by the wire once or twice.
Comfort: Great. Worn up or down, no issues. Very light and simple.
Aesthetics: Their looks are one of their most important qualities. The set I have here is a pretty basic version. Grey cable, blue buds, Bleu de France they are called. They look good, very nice, personally I rather like blue too but their lacquered finish with delicate little glitter sparkles underneath. They look good. Actually I kinda wish I had all of them in front of me, that Castleton Green I think could look spectacular. Oh and then if you like you can get the “Vouge” version where you can customise each bit to the colour of your choice. Clearly their looks are intended to matter to buyers. I don’t know of anyone else that anything like this level of customisation in colour options.
Microphonics: Nope, can’t say I really got any. A bit if you must wear them down, so don’t wear them down. Though if you’re like me, wearing collars all the time wearing down does have a habit of the mic hitting your collar from time to time.
Amped/Unamped: As a relatively cheap earphone it’s not likely that they will ever see a real amp in the wild. Thus they have been made with that in mind. Their output from the Iphone 5 was somewhat warmed, softened and smoothed out compared to more powerful outputs. Actually I rather thought they paired best with the Lumia 735 and its crisper sound. The Iphone made the bass even more emphasised and pushed things in the direction of it becoming oppressive. While I grant that making the bass even more prominent isn’t likely to put off but encourage most of its potential buyers, still I wasn’t loving it. With the soft, warm Iphone it just wacked up the relative wall and warmth of the bass.
Phone Use: Nexus 5, Iphone 5 and Lumia 735 all worked fine including the volume controls. However the Moto G 4G the volume controls didn’t. No idea why. Otherwise the mic was good all-round, no issues I noticed.
Isolation: Really rather good for a dynamic. They sounded sealed, which is a little unusual in dynamics but hey, the isolation therefore was at the upper end of what a dynamic can offer. Easily enough for on a bus or walking out and about. Probably not what you’d want for a daily Tube commute or long flight but you could get away with it if you must. Naturally it’s more than easily enough to get yourself run over if you forget to use your eves when out and about.
Cable: Nice. I have the grey one but you can also get it in white or black. Well the outer woven covering anyway, I’m sure their insides are all the same. Petty sturdy, fairly flexible but doesn’t feel super flexible. That seems to be common on woven covered cables though. The jack and Y-splitter’s are both fine too, simple but I do like their colour matching the buds. Well unless you get the Vogue version and chose what colour each comes in.
Accessories: You get 3 pairs of tips and a rather funky case. The case is weird, so different from anything I’ve seen elsewhere, I love that it has the same finish as the buds. That outer glossy, translucent layer over a faintly glittering lower layer. Though I find myself thinking wouldn’t it be lovely if it came in the same range of colours rather than just in black. The case is a little big for pockets maybe, that’s my only issue. It’s so peculiar.
Value: ATM they are still in their Indiegogo phase, you can order a pair of them with the standard 12 colours and the choice of a black or grey cable for US$25 plus postage. If you want to customise everything, a different colour for everything and a choice of white, black or grey cable then the “Vogue” version comes in at US$35. So in real money that’s just £16 or £23. Note that these prices will rise after the Indiegogo campaign, to US$35 and US$55. You can probably find a more audiophile pleasing IEM out there for the price but you’ll be hard pressed to find something as fun and as funky looking. The Jelly Doux are big on the visuals with their crazy customisability, what other earphones can you have coloured to match your wardrobe?
Conclusion: The Jelly Doux’s are a playful party time earphone. They are just what you think of when you look at their web site. Modern, clean, playful, all about the statement they make as much as they are about the music they make. That music, it’s just like their appearance too. Full of fun, playful and exuberantly eager to capture the attention of passers-by. Have a listen and you’ll soon be swept up in their party atmosphere. Joyful, playful no matter what they just want to be full of fun and have a good time.
I like these. I mean they are tuned to something that I personally would never buy but they are such eager little fellows you can’t help but love their eagerness to please and have a fun time. They belong to the youthful party time ages of the late teens to early twenties, where the world ahead is full of optimism and wonder. They are so full of enthusiasm and a sense that so long as you’re having a good time everything will be fine so just keep on dancing like the world isn’t watching. It’s all about you, the music and having a smile on your face.
So should you buy a pair? Well if you want grown up audiophile, then keep walking. These are what audiophiles might buy their offspring, mostly probably daughters who want some decent tunes and they simply must look fabulously fabulous too daaaarling!!! I can’t help feeling these would be as much if not more at home in a fashion boutique than they would in an electronics shop. As fun and entertaining as they are colourful.