The exquisite JH16 Pro from JH Audio is at the top of the in-ear headphone market. Custom-built for your actual ear, it requires a quick visit to an audiologist to create molds. I had this done for my review sample, and the experience was as pleasant as could be expected when a stranger is forcing goo into your ears with a plunger.
The JH16 Pro arrives in an OtterBox case with your name labeled on the front. My review sample had the clear-casing option, the better to show off the multiple drivers. JH Audio’s top-of-the-line earphones have eight drivers per side (a pair of dual bass drivers, dual midrange, and dual high-frequency), and an integrated 3-way crossover. As you move down JH Audio’s range, the lower-end models have fewer drivers. JH Audio claims a frequency response of 10Hz to 20 kHz with these, and the ability to output 118 dB.
Fit is . . . well, the ’phones are made from molds taken from your ears, so it’s really good. Sound isolation is excellent. Mine initially sat really deep in my ears, which wasn’t terribly comfortable. If by chance you have the same problem, it’s any easy fix, though you’ll need to send the ’phones back to JH Audio.
The accuracy of the JH16 Pro’s sound is commendable, with faithful reproduction of timbres and ambience. The whistles and bells in “Sloop John B” from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds never took on the bite they often can. As long as the ’phones are seated in your ears correctly, bass is tight and strong, though not overpowering. One consequence of the excellent isolation is a necessarily more closed-in sound. So they’re perfect if you just want a visual world with nothing but your music as the soundtrack.
jhaudio.com; $1,149 and up
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