Σάββατο 15 Μαΐου 2021

JBL C100Si How can a JBL earphone cost only 8.5?

 Just 8.5 Eu ? Can this can be true for a company making the most powerful and high quality audio equipment? ? 

JBL i one of the latest companies I know wince this century . There are a lot of models sold from tis company in the local market together with Marshall especially in the big chain stores with high tech. Many of their products are priced a least 25 Eu as the Bluetooth speakers Go 2 series and the plastic headphones at Eu 29 These are the cheapest items  in the local market

I was quite curious  on ow this company wit the highest quality products could sell earphones at so lowe prices. 

As with last times, the price was found in ali -where else?- from the  JBL site. It is located in Hong Kong.



Total delivery time : 60 days relatively late but usual time in the covid period . She solution to the problem is clear : Plastic design instead of using metal materials ! But still the price is very low 

It was sent into a quite bulky pack of around 50x30 x15 for keeping the earphones box as safe as possible ... a kind of accordion  of air filled plastic airbags


These are all the things included inside the box : Double Info sheet mentioning Harman Kardon the first refers to security reasons of using it and the second for littering into waste . More than 40 languages are included into the folded paper except Greek.  Earphones are bonded with a twist tie nearby the plug and finally a set of tips of two types of width .The standard tips were OK for me 

BTW i was not sure that Harman Kardon is the mother company .This was one of the most HiFi system makers of the 80-90s

The cable is normally thicker than the typical earphones cable at around 1.4mm , similar to the RG14 AWG cable in  thickness. Your typical  smartcontrol is very simple just a push with the brand noticed in the button and the new diagonal designed earphones similar to most smartphone companies of today

Unfortunately the king is naked - lol . Many HIFi models offer the audio plug with a small plastic cover.  

 A nice closeup of the earphones It seems to me that the microphone is the mini hole under the tip BY the way these holes exist in both earbuds but also  in the control panel in the rear side under the button  


This is just a typical earphone? Just testing the sound is very huge similar to the headphones . I had the typical AKG81 DJ near that and tested both . The sound was as strong as the AKG headphone. Moreover the sound has more trebles than the 81DJ! 

Using the smartphone : Thai music is very clear with a but a little loss in basses
The same for the official Greek and Chinese music channels via Youtube
I have a lot of playlists from the SE Asia

Listening the same in the mini PC : bassier with little more treble The volume level is just 10 out of 15 volume steps with my standard Sennheiser headphones HD497.

Testing a song with my Amoi DAP and PC : nearly identical except the little higher bass in the PC (<3db )

Parallel listening between Soundmagic and JBL earphones. with SM in the left ear and JBL on the right ear for the same audio channel

Testing with my ear linear Soundmagic  E11c HIFi earphones using the parallel listening method and in A/B (changing earphones) : JBL has a little higher audio level than the SM (<3db ) but the sounds are quite treblier with little more bass .This is the typical U curve most earphones use today .


 This is on how the inbuilt microphones respond to a series of tones to form a curve JBL has smoother curves.

As in result the earphones are a real bargain for that price not only good for using them with smartphones but also i many other uses that need some natural by design increase of audio 

Rate 4/5 The only i could not like is the plastic design that makes the price lower than the normal as with the Soundmagic Surely SM is more sturdy and time resistant then the JBL

Κυριακή 9 Μαΐου 2021

Inkax HP31 Bluetooth headphones

After some time I finally won to replace my Ninsheng BY model with a better model that has not the quasi 3D sound. As noted there the previous model and its 'house siblings '  have the common of "spatializing" the sound into 3D and enhancing the basses and the middles. That means making a head full of low freq sounds and make me crazy !

This new model coded as HP31 comes with very nice design includes the same features: cabled  and wirless connectivity , SD card reader FM radio and microphone.

This is now the nicest model i have. It comes with aluminum blade as armature of ca 3 cm in eash side very nice color a. It is the flagship model of the Bluetooth of the companys headphone models . 

As you can see the blade is around 3 cm and relatively big speaker that is over the ear.  Nice leather like isolation over all the arm and mid heavy for just 200 grams 

 Hmm just 1 gram lower than 200! It doesn't matter so much 

In contrast with the other models the P31 has only 3 buttons with enhanced operations. the middle button powers on and off, stop music , while the two others do 2-3 operations : change the mode of operation , scan the radio, control the volume and jump to the next /previous song 

and the SD card slot 

In order to pick it the seller left me also check between a few company models company before picking it . The sound is quite bassy but with rich trebles and cross checked at the same time with mine AKG81DJ which has a bit narrower sound range(above the 10kHz part )  using the Q3 Tescun player recorder with test songs !!


As with most typical Bluetooth models  tested.  HP31 has quite deep basses that extend a bit to the normal voice band with audio range that covers up to 20 kHz A that is an extended U type curve with narrow lows.

Its most important feature excludes 3D sound ! This is the reason i took them! I now feel much better listening for indefinite time.

Interesting to notices  the voices frequencies are more linear than in Bluetooth mode

In SD card mode the sound is very close to the Bluetooth curve 

Bluetooth mode 

Tested with the mini transmitter and the latency is around 0.2 seconds  this is possibly due to the transmitter latency . use also with the digital TV receiver with very good audio.  

Cross Checked with Awei :more trebles NO 3D sound !

With my laptop : the laptop sound is unfortunately quite bassy but the results are OK and can be used for long time listening. Tested  in stream radio and in Youtube and is heard very well The same with remote radios from the Kiwi Net used by radio listeners and radio amateurs. This model can replace my standard headphone Sennheiser HD493 used since mid 2000s in other gear . The HD493 was repaired the last month but the technician damaged its sound linearity and i feel it now as also 3D


This is the typical options when he headphones are paired. IN headset mode  the sound is heard monophonic 

IN the bottom of  the control panel there is a typical 3.9mm stereo audio socket. 

Zoom to watch the  full photo . as you can see the lower part of the higher band is slightly lower.They re recorded in the same volume 

The above audio by amplitude

Distance range with BT gear
It can connect up to 7 meters with half meter wall
Around 12 meter direct length 

Radio: The only drawback as with other models which produce monophonic  sound and poor reception. I think that if the radio could have a terminal to touch the metallic armature the reception could be quite better for sure! 

SD operation : It plays all standard audio formats : WAV MP3 and WMA .Sound is quite bassy as in Bluetooth mode. Changing files is a bit awkward with continuous use of the next back buttons for 1-2 seconds to select the song in sequence, It does not play songs in the exact sequence.

Battery : this is its worst point . its battery lasts only 3 hours as tested so . Upon that i returned back to the seller the headphone only for a item only change but they denied. This company is bond "to their protocol" or the typical procedure disregarding to adapt to the reality As therte is no space in the house i always litter the box and separate all the accessories just in the case they will be used. I use it alone with  my standard accessories in a bag. its very possible that this battery will be expired very soon.
Its funny that after charging it to the full for 3 times without using it after , it operated for 5.5 hours continuously and still having more in its battery...It finally lasted 6 hours.

Verdict :8/10 it has a very good though bassy sound with the most typical features of its category . Very nice ergonomics  and design Its main use ids for remotely listening various TV programs 

Addition post-21 and 22
using it in another home with irregular shape and a fireplace in the middle reception was very problematic , with self-cancellation of signal while moving the head acrross the  room wall 

Just think a room of ca 6m long x5 m with a space of 2x2 missing in the right part (entrance ) . Inthe left part of the room there is a fireplace of 1.5x1.5 m in the middle of the room. This is  what i can suspect making propagation self cancellations :  the fireplace and the design of the whole saloon

Δευτέρα 3 Μαΐου 2021

Blon03 testing and comparing with SM E10c and Inkax EP01

 Blon 03 is my latest catch ,bought from a Ali seller after two more items bought earlier

The first is a Nintaus DAC player (tested long ago ) and little later a BT earphone set Ezear that operated for very short time  and then died

I had already read many reports from various sources before ordering it with very good reviews and kept a few screenshots with its frequency response . A u shaped in ear earphone with rather low levels of bass and trebles and good idea to replace my nearly linear sounded Soundmagic  E11c (upgraded E10 with microphone. AFAIK this model  won the award of WhatHiFi  on 2014 and possible its newer model for its sound )

Blon costed that time (Jan 21) at around 21EU pus shipping only a very good bargain price with  Microphone cable . At the time of writing (2 May 21) the seller hugely increased the price into 45Eu but at 9/5 the price was restored again to 21!

It has been received around 2.5 months after the order and tested immediately showing  bad audio I immediately told the seller and the next days i designed a drawing showing them its  grave shaped response curve. the person in communication was rather unable to understand and started unnecessary questions by reduplicating my requests.  It sounded with no bases but with increased lower trebles  that stop in their middles. 

This is nearly how it sounded in a graphic form. There is a peak on 3 kHz but the remain part above 5 kHZ was rather nil

After that I left them aside and tested a few times later with the same response and asked other users experience . All of them were very enthused with its sound. In the meantime the correspondence with the company was oriented towards faulty the Bluetooth ear pads. 

The user guide uses very good and comprehensive easy to use engish. 

Two weeks  after I made a minimal experiment by replacing  the thin tips with wider ones (T). They were the tips as provided by the  Soundmagic model  . It standard tip was replaced by a foam ComplyTM   clone type. It adds some more bass than the standard tip including deep bass.

The same time I was also testing the sound . Each step of replacements provided a better stage towards  sound excellence The wide silicone tip corrected the sound curve towards what most reviewers know but still the trebles were 'bleeding trebles but bassier' to my ears comparing to the SM E11  . The foam tip provided even better sound with deeper bases. All these tips complied with the standard T400 size


copy photo from the sellers page

The model has been then compared with two more models for this review  :

  • My main SM/ Soundmagic E11c ie the E10 with built in microphone with Comply eartip.
  • A Inkax EP01 model of only 8.5Eu with same eartip It was  found from the local market Also with microphone
  • A 3.9mm audio splitter  cable with two outputs 
  • Q3 my standard type recorder and player.Sounds are from my personal Malay  music collection  with increased trebles and the Chinese test songs included in the sold Nintaus SD card but copied in my Amoi player . I m a fan of Asian music sine my birth


a bit messy table with the earphones and the connectivity cabling


 My results were very good:

Soundmagic shows a relatively bassy neutral sound. Cross testing them with sounds from a Tescun Q3  player and 2:1 splitter cable shown
(a) mini increase of basses over SM
(b) mini  increases of low trebles again in Blon
(c) SM has  some sounds that are near to the 15 kHz that are not audible in the BL
(d) same sound stage
(e) similar audio and span in parallel stereo listening with buds of the same channel The sound is shifting by 2/10 towards the BL that means around 1.5-2db* (read below for the process)

The frequency response complies with the drawings  noted by other reviewers 

from primeaudio page

-Inkax shown a bit higher and extended trebles over the BLON and lower basses. When using the (e) test the sounds the "correlation distance" is +3 for the basses to -4 for the higher trebles


      The above picture is the frequency response of these three earphones as recorded with a Aufgeld dynamic microphone in my smartphone, using a file with a set of 17 tones from 20 to 17 kHz as  played in the same volume in the Q3 in a totaly noise isolated room . Just open the photo in a separate widow to study them
Νοτιce that such type microphones is a compromise of testing earphones. They dont respond so well in lower frequencies but i think still  they can do partially the job in the mid and higher freqs. This is a simple amateur approach to get some  simplified frequency responses the easy way   The professional approach costs more than 6000 Eu.


Verdict  4/5 : The Eu 21 BLON is still a very good earphone that goes the job very well but still cant compare the nearly neutral Eu45 Sound magic.  


------My parallel listening idea--- 

this is my idea  : the same audio channel  with different bud in each ear.
I tried to keep as deep possible the buds in the ears


A further notice on the photos above  . It was a rather funny experience to use these earphones. it took some time to get accustomed with these weird cables.I preferred not to turn the cable around the ear in order to remove and put it again asap.

Notice:* this idea is very simple :  putting buds of the same channel from both earphones in your ears Therefore  you get a monophonic  sound that is heard over  your nose if volumes are identical. Any variations of sound volumes in frequency components  can shift this point towards the higher sounded bud. You can now think of an linear axis with 0 for the middle point (nose) and -10/10 for each bud In the following photo the INAX are in the left ear and he BLON in the ear at right


replacing the ST1 with the BL03 bud for test

Now adding towards TRN ST1 that seemed to be very close to the BLON03 by chance, i tested them with the A/B switch with the following results:
ST1 was heard with a rather "flat" sound that introduces a sudden raise on the higher treble band towards to the ear . this is the band part that BLON cant play
BLON seemed to be quite richer in sound with a sudden raise on the 3 kHz band 

Graphically using the BLONin the right ear and TRN in the left ear the graphic can be shown roughly with  this picture


I have made this idea many times over the years before testing various earphones

I would like very much if you comment below in this review with your opinions and my interesting I hope graphical method



Addition : after finding the bug with the BLON 3 that was simply the mistaken use of the mid- bud and changed into the widest tips, the sound  was clearly much better and didn't fell from the ear. The buds with the wide 'sponges' offered even bassier sound with near to AKJ  headphones audio quality Checking them with the Inkax model i found them to be quite treblier with both buds: their standard  silicone tips and also with the large 4.5mm tips !