After hearing all the buzz about Jerry Harvey's JH13 Pro custom in-ear monitor (IEM) I knew I just had to get my hands (ears) on a pair of them. I was not disappointed – Jerry didn't just hit a home run with these, he crushed the ball screaming halfway across the world, umm yeah that good. The JH13 Pro headphones are not to be confused with "high end" ear buds or earphones, they are simply in a different class altogether "“ the Super Earf*cking Freakingly Bitchin High End. The sound quality is nothing short of stunning.
Let me start off by getting the one-and-only negative out of the way, the JH13 Pro's aren't cheap, they will set you back $1099 plus a visit to the audiologist (about $50-$100). With that said, let me tell you why I am more than willing to pull out my wallet for a pair of JH13 Pro's (which should last you 10+ years). I have tried the so-called "high end" earphones from Audio-Technica, Klipsch, Shure, Koss, Bose, etc, and most were good, but when it comes to music, "good" kinda hovers between seven to nine and the JH13 go to eleven! Read on for a detailed review of the JH13 Pro's,
First off, you have to buy the headphones here. Then you find an audiologist in your area here. At the audiologist ($50-$100) you will get a custom mold/impression of each ear canal made. The process is painless and only takes about 15 minutes. The audiologist basically injects a soft putty into your ear canal which forms into an impression. This does not feel as weird as it may sound "“ nothing like a wet willy. Mail the impressions to JH Audio, and after a couple of weeks you should have your JH13 Pro's delivered.
The JH13 Pro IEM's come in their own custom water resistant OtterBox with your name engraved on the outer case "“ classy touch. Open up the cool hard case and there, in a black velvet pouch, you find your custom made invitation to an ear-orgy (the monitors), a cleaning tool, and a user's manual.
When I removed the JH13 Pro monitors I immediately understood the cost. They are as smooth as glass with virtually no seams or rough edges, my initials and a unique serial number printed on the clear plastic, you can see the six individual speakers, a tangle-proof cord, and more. Before even connecting the IEM's to an audio source I put them in my ears. The fit is amazing "“ hard to beat custom fit "“ waaaay better than that time in band camp "“ and the sound isolation is shockingly good.
As the copious audible ear fornication begins the first thing you notice is the purity of the sound – the unparalleled noise cancellation provided by the monitors sets the stage for you to "hear" your music in its true unpolluted form. The fit is comfortable and snug, you don't feel like they are going to fall out of your ears like other ear buds.
The JH13 Pro has the most well balanced and natural sound I have heard from any headphone or in-ear at any range or frequency. They have dual drivers for the highs, mids, and lows. Crazy but true, they fit 6 separate drivers and a high-tech crossover network into this small package.
I am truly hearing sounds in my music collection that I have not heard before. The separation is razor sharp and allows you to enjoy each instrument on its own. Bass extension, impact, and quality is clean and hits the lowest of notes with no sloppiness. The highs are crisp and sharp while still being pleasant and substantial. The mids are warm and comfortable.
Overall I have to say, yet again, the JH13 Pro in-ear monitors are the best and most engagingly rich earphones I have ever listened to. The soundstage is alive, brilliant, and dramatic. The whole experience has that decadently Roman, Caligula pimpin' , eargasmic feel to it. It is an absolute pleasure to re-experience my music collection with the JH13 Pros.