Jesbod QY13 Review by mark2410
First Impressions: Oh my, normally stuff from China from companies I’ve not heard of before, their boxes are flimsy bits of junk. Now a box isn’t important but it can give you a sense of the attention to detail a company puts into to things. This box, wow. All natural unbleached card, double layered in its construction, even the plastic baggies are frosted. Holy crap this all looks so good, god damn it’s good. So freakishly minimalist, just the company name on the top and a little QR code. This box, this would absolutely look at home in a John Lewis or apple store. It’s so well designed its freakish.
Inside the thing, god it’s so pretty and well made, we have a little micro USB cable, oh and a selection of ear tips and ear guides? Really we need three ear guide sizes? Anyway time to charge them a bit before playing with them. That done, nooooo, omg you turn them on by pulling them apart. Then you turn them off by letting them magnetically join up again. How clever is that??? Not sure it’s the most practical as what if you accidently split them, but hey, it’s cool. The bids themselves beside that magnificent box look a bit ordinary. I’m not sure about the ear guides but I’ll give them a try anyway. On the ears they go and it’s all not bad. They are a bit big as buds go but then they are Bluetooth so must contain the electronics for that and the battery. These are really pretty good.
Acoustically they are rather bassy as you would probably expect. Clarity is really rather good though, for the price and them being wireless too. Better than I’d have expected for their price of just £19. First thought are they are as good if not better than a wired earphone should be at £19. I’m rather liking these.
Source: Predominantly a Lumia 735 and Moto G 4G.
Lows: Shocker, they are rather bass heavy. Though not bad, not at all bad, given them being Bluetooth and thus containing all the bits needed for that I’d expect not that much of their price goes to their audio but they sound pretty good. It’s on the heavy, weighty side of things. Even Owl City’s “Cave In” is a bit slower, bit more billowy and expansive than it ought to be. It’s a naturally very clean and hard bass, here it’s had a dash of softness added but you know, I really can’t fault it for the price. Still flicking to something wired, the M6 in this case and you begin to hear the differences, the M6 being sealed it’s got a vigorous depth and body that the more open QY13 has not. These are more of a balanced and grown up signature. Their balance however starts to shine in more random things, loss bass centric pop, Enya’s “Book Of Days” for example just popped up and you know what, it’s really good. Sure I know it can be better but out of the M6 bass cannon it just sounds wrong, the Qy13 has really quite a versatile bottom end to it. Now I might want a hit more depth over the slant towards the mid bassy but hey. The thing costs £19 and it’s Bluetooth.
Tonally while it’s somewhat heavy and full it lacks a touch of agility and rumble. Still it’s relieve balance is nice and it’s pretty even handed so it should be pretty reasonable a pairing with any bass line you throw at it.
Mids: They are a bit recessed, there is a slight reticence to them but they are very easy on the ear. That big weighty bottom in countered by a reality more dry mid in comparison. It’s pretty tame too, no inclination to getting out of place or leaping forward at you. Tooting back and forth with the M6 and there are so much more restrained and controlled. With a dark background, an almost black but with hint of brown, there is a bit of that flavouring to all vocals. They want to go dark with a smidge of added richness. The more slow the vocal the more apparent this was. The more I listened the more I was drawn to thicker vocals and it grew increasingly heavy on my ears. The fullness and weight gradually inclined me to lower the volume and start skipping big and beef tracks. There is a richness like eating some sticky toffee pudding. You love it but offer a bit you begin to crave something more light.
Quantity wise they a little bit behind the bass but not a huge amount. Mostly they are a pretty evenly balanced signature that has a general slant to warm. A very agreeable balance and one that instantly works from the first listen.
Highs: Pretty good. The detail level is more than sufficient for the price, just be warned don’t go crazy with it. At this price range treble is never going to be perfect and thusly they have wisely dialled it downward. This adds to the overall heavy, solid sound of the QY13. Being rather treble sensitive myself I think that’s great move. I’d much rather things play to their strengths and shy away from what they can’t nail, thus the treble should be subdued a touch and not scratch your ears out. They are very gentle on the ears in regards to the uppers. Sweeping and melodic, the treble at times come cutting through but mostly it’s an accompaniment.
Soundstage: Okay, nothing special in any direction. They have a moderate scale, size is a reasonable sized room. Placement is a little nebulous around you and to the front. Vocals however can be quite close in and square in front of you. Placement is a little bit fuzzy with the vocals being centre stage with the bass being bigger but behind, thus a touch more diffused. The treble isn’t far off but it’s not easy to place, it’s just there somewhere in between the vocals and the bass.
Fit: Actually, pretty great. I thought with those ear guides on I’d have issues but no, I didn’t even feel the need to pull them off. On the ears they went and a tiny bit of fiddling to get the left one seated properly and that was it. The buds are a bit big so others might have an issue but they fit me perfectly.
Comfort: Great. Once they were seated and the Comply’s had expanded back out then they were perfectly comfortable to wear for hours on end. Even jumping up and down in them and they were absolutely fine.
Microphonics: None, for the most part. If I turned my head from side to side it would hit my collar and make a little noise but nothing really anything to bother about.
Phone Use: Well, being Bluetooth they are basically always used with a phone. For phone calls, it worked fine as you’d expect, I was told I could be heard fine and I could hear them fine. One thing to note, the double press of the main button and the windows phone insisted on wanting to be recall last number rather than track skip. I’ve no idea why it was doing this so I’ll assume it’s something Microsoft broke with WP10.
Cable: The cable joining the two half’s is pretty long for its task, a little tie of some sort might be nice though its frankly still short enough I wouldn’t think it a big problem for anyone.
Accessories: Erm you get 3 pairs of ear tips and 3 pairs of ear guides (why???) and a micro USB cable. Sadly no case which I very strongly suggest you do or you’ll end up turning them on by mistake all the time.
Build Quality: Very nice: they aren’t the best lookers in the world but hey they feel alright in the hand.
Aesthetics: They look fine. Okay they look a bit meh, so so, boxy and boring. Still they sound great so who cares?
Isolation: Well the isolation is so so. It’s fine for maybe in the gym or perhaps out for a run but if it was me, for normal commuter buses or walking, I’d want more. You could get by with them for those things but they just aren’t high isolators. Flights and the Tube I’d definitely give a miss.
Battery life: They seemed to be pretty good. However, while it never happened to me that the on/off control is by them being magnetically held together, which is cool but it means they could very easily be switched on by accident. You think they are off, on they go and when you got to use them they are dead. Otherwise they lasted for a handful and more hours. They claim 5 to 7 hours and that seems reasonable to me. I wasn’t going to test from full charge to dead in one killer session to find out.
Value: More than once I went back to the price to check I’d not made a mistake. At £19 or US$26 they are a steal. Sure they aren’t perfect but their audio quality and balance are both super for that price and with Bluetooth. I know some will want more of bass heavy sound as there are a bit pushed in an audiophile tuning direction. These are a little more balanced, even handed and level. They would make a for a great Bluetooth capable, head-fi peeps, beater for the gym, earphone. Really nice for the money.
Conclusion: I look at these and they looks so clunky, so inelegant and frumpy. Not to mention they are a bit on big side too. Then you listen to them. I know the electronic bits in these sort of things have gotten cheap but these sound good for the money even if they had a wire. Of course they aren’t perfect, they excel though for the price. In particular the highs I think are really impressively well poised. They are actually rather easy on the ear and not grating. Yeah, despite being so dirt cheap. While visually I might not be loving them, audio wise I am.
Now I do have some reservations about that magnetic turning on and off, I think it means these absolutely must have a case yet they don’t come with one. That strikes me as weird. Still hit up eBay and you’ll find plenty. Seriously these a right little stunners.
So should you/ would I buy one? Yes. If you want a cheap Bluetooth earphone for the gym, jogging whatever it is “sporty” people do. Damn yeah, I mean they are cheap that when you eventually break or lose them you won’t be too heart (or wallet) broken about it. Plus they have a sufficiently capable driver and tuning to be acceptable to crazy audio people. (If you’re reading this that probably includes you.) They are simply put, great value, priced as they are they are acoustically faultless and Bluetooth is just icing on that cake. Or protein bar, you whatever it is “sporty” people eat.