Friday, 16 December 2011

JBL Roxy Reference 430 Headphones

Awhile back I reviewed JBL’s Roxy Reference 250 Earphones and now its time to check out its big brother, the Roxy Reference 430 headphones. They’re obviously aimed at the ladies, as they’re really colourful and have some sweet artwork on the headband. But who’s to say I can’t enjoy them for a day?
Design and Features
These headphones will definitely catch your eye, as they just pop! The ones I’m using have bright green ear cups with a baby blue cable and headband, which has this cool, trippy design. I really like the design, although I don’t know how many male readers will agree with me. 

The headphone earcups and the underside of the headband are coated with this soft, velvety padding which appears to be quite comfortable at first wear. However, all that changes once you've had them on for an hour or so. But we’ll get to that later. This pair of headphones has adjustable earcups, but they’re not foldable, so carrying them around can be a pain. However, JBL has provided this colourful carrying case which does add a little value to the product. 

One more thing that goes against the Roxy Reference 430 headphones is the build quality, which could’ve been better, especially since they’re coming from JBL. It really doesn’t feel like these headphones will last too long, especially if you’re on the go a lot.
Nice looking, but is that all?
Nice looking, but is that all?

Check out the specifications:

Color: Green - Blue Compatibility: iPod (all models); MP3, CD and DVD players; laptop computers (all platforms); satellite radio; home stereos; airline sound systems Case: Matching carry purse included Power: 2 x 50 mW Sensitivity: 91 dB SPL/mW @ 1kHz Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (–10dB) Input Impedance: 32 ohms Wire length: 1.3m
I like the sound that the Roxy 430s provide. Every genre I checked out sounded nice with no traces of harshness, although the mid frequencies did seem to suffer a little. Every time a good guitar riff kicked in, I felt that it got drowned out with the bass and drums. But the sound overall is more than just acceptable, and a lot better than many headphones I’ve tested.
The cool carrying case definitely adds value
The cool carrying case definitely adds value

One thing that really annoyed me about these headphones is that they’re not comfortable at all. One would think the soft velvet padding would make them bearable, but they don’t cover the entire ear, which makes them press against it. This made my ears ache after around an hour of keeping them on. This, of course, is subjective, but I don’t think too many people (except children) have ears that are small enough for these headphones to fit around completely. They also made my ears itch, so you can only imagine what’ll happen if you try and go for a run or walk wearing these.
The bottom line is that I don’t like these headphones too much, and I can't really recommend them unless you want something that just looks really cool. They might be trendy and may sound decent, but they haven’t got what it takes to make the cut. I give these headphones 2 ½ stars as they cost Rs. 3,490, which a little too expensive for the quality on offer. There’s also the fact that they want to chew my ears off every time I put them on and that the build quality could've been better.

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