Decent pair of headphones are the main choice of audiophiles who need to be able to crank up the volume without disturbing anyone around them. Besides that obvious reason, headphones often offer a more personal experience with music.
Speakers are always the preferred choice, but when you don’t have conditions to enjoy top of the line stereo sound, you have to turn to the next best thing. It’s been known ever since headphones became commercially viable that you get what you pay for. This means that if you want the best possible performance, you need to be ready to drop some serious amount of money.
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This makes purchasing high end headphones pretty easy. On the other hand, finding a good pair of affordable headphones is a tricky territory to navigate. Most manufacturers will aim to design their affordable line of headphones to offer a pretense of owning an expensive pair.
This leads to a lot of flashy aesthetics without much substance. Good transducers will cost money no matter how pretty you make the headphones.
Budget headphones users are hence put in a very uncomfortable position. With that said, there are decent affordable headphones. One such model is the JVC HA-RX300.
Today we are going to take a closer look at this set, and see whether or nor they are worth your time and money.
One of the first things you need to accept is that affordable head phones wont have a fraction of the features you can find on more advanced models. You are essentially purchasing transducers with some padding.
Most big brands will do their best to pack in as much horsepower in an affordable set, while also making the comfortable to wear. After all, if you experience fatigue after a short period of use, no amount of sound quality will make those headphones good. So how does JVC HA-RX300 rank against these requirements? let’s find out.
Before we go into any technical details, lets focus a bit on the build quality and overall design of this headphones. On the first look, everything looks pretty decent. the headband is a basic design that comes with no padding at all, but it’s not too bad in terms of comfort. Most of the components on these headphones are made of plastic, however load bearing elements are made of metal.
On each side you will find a 40 mm transducer that is enclosed in a plastic housing. Speakers are mounted on the headband using a somewhat flexible swivel design that is supposed to increase comfort.
Color theme is all black with stylish JVC logo and details on speaker covers. Cable is fixed to the left speaker housing, and is rather thin. The jack is a 3.5mm type although it comes with a TRS adapter which enables you to plug these into more serious gear.
With that said, connectors are gold plated which is a nice addition. In terms of specs, you are looking a frequency response range that goes from 12 Hz to 22 kHz, sensitivity of 100 dB/1mW and nominal impedance of ohms. Nothing to write home about, however pretty okayish considering the price range we are talking about here.
In terms of the sound quality you get, things are pretty much along the lines of what you would expect. Those 40mm drivers are average in terms of frequency response, and offer a somewhat balanced experience. One thing that is a trend with most affordable headphones is accentuated low end.
Manufacturers figured out that budget users are looking for a nice bass, and are delivering that type of performance in order to make their headphones appear more refined.
However, those who know what’s up will easily see through this deception. JVC HA-RX300 is no different. Again, that is what you can expect in this price range, so no surprises there.
In terms of comfort, things are not so great. That headband is definitely lacking some ability to conform when placed on the head. At first everything is fine, but after a while you start to feel it. Speaker padding is cheap but does a decent job at providing a comfortable buffer between your ears and the speakers inside.
Finally, the cable is pretty cheap and doesn’t inspire confidence at all. We didn’t expect a braided cable, but something more robust would have been great. On top of that, it’s not all that long either, so you need to be careful not to move around too much.
What we like
Since we are talking about extremely affordable pair of headphones, an average performance is actually a good thing. It’s consistent and offers some music listening enjoyment. You won’t be disappointed unless you are an audiophile with a decent mileage when it comes to headphones. Then again, JVC HA-RX300 was not designed for that user profile.
What we don’t like
The only thing we can, and will complain about is the headband. Cheap cable and overall average performance is something that can be forgiven, but that headband? Not so much. Adding some cheap padding is literally going to increase the price of this model for few cents at best. However, JVC decided to go down a different path.
With all things considered, JVC HA-RX300 are a very decent pair of headphones that can get the job done for those who have reasonable expectations. The performance isn’t the best. Far from it, but it’s consistent and that is something we like to see in affordable range. With that said, they are definitely not without a flaw. Some things need work but the core quality is there.
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Would we recommend these to anyone? Sure. They were unreasonably priced when they first appeared, but the price has come down significantly since then. Now, JVC HA-RX300 is a pair of headphones which is definitely worth the money you are asked to pay for them.
Whether you need a decent set for home use, or a just a beater pair you won’t feel bad about misplacing, JVC HA-RX300 is something to consider.