Thursday, September 05, 2013

Review : JVC FXT90 Dual-Drive In-Earphone

When i was given the Adixxion camera, i was loaned along with it a set of in-earphone. I do listen to music but in recent time, it was only during driving. I used to dabble with sound system in the car and with a family now, that has not progress beyond stock audio in the car. Even while running when I used to rely heavily on music for my run to cut the boredom out - and with me running more on the road, being and staying alert is essential. I've not listened to music on any outdoor run since.

The JVC FXT90 Dual-Drive In-Earphone
First let me clarify that the retail price for this set of in-earphone is RM499. If that doesn't puts you off, read on. If that piqued your curiosity, continue to read on.
As the unit was a loaned unit, I do not have the whole complete packaging to describe to you. However, a check at a local electrical shop showed me that it comes with a box that says "Twin system" and "Carbon nanotube" on it.

Nice casing
What was loaned to me consist of the earphone, a cable (rubberized) organiser, two extra sets of ear-bud for customized fit, the casing and the clip.
The Package (short of the box)
The Dual-drive in-earphone pride itself with the Twin driver system on single headphone. It claimed that one driver is for full range sound reproduction and the other is for crisp high definition sound with good bass utilising Carbon Nanotubes diaphragms. Description on the JVC Malaysia website is not much to be honest. Apparently this is not included i the US and UK line up as well. With that little information, I would require an ear-test to share and verify my findings.
I first removed the rubberised fittings and it revealed a casing made more plastic. Groove around the ear piece is to secure the rubber when inserted.
Left side rubber removed.
Upon closer inspection, the "Dual-drive" were visible as two separate-cylindrical shaped driver. the ear-piece is angle as well and when placed into the ear-canal, it actually fits nicely and flushes against he ear, held securely by the customised fit. 
The drive, visible. My camera took in too much detail in this macro shot
Built wise, I would say that it is better than most earphones I've owned. Notably the hardiest came from a close competitor (brand wise) and way better than those that came with my iDevices. 
How it looked on me ears, with the Y-cord reducer under my (attempting to grow beard) chin

Cord management is superb with the clip and cable organiser holding and preventing the earphones from being tangled by your hands or becoming loose while in use. The cord Y-organiser is sturdy and allows you to slide it up to under your chin for better securing. Some may not appreciate this feature but it actually allow the cord to be better managed and secured even while running.
The Y-cord reducer
The connector is 24K Gold plated with OFC cables. With a premium pricing on this earphone, I would not expect any lesser. Fitting of this 3.5mm connector was positive in my iPod.
24K Gold L-connector
While it is almost unfair to compare this Dual-drive against those more basic earphones, my expectation of it increased a few folds. 
First off, my choice of music is very much oldies and slow type. I enjoy more contemporary songs and also rock. In short, i listen to almost anything and everything that I can sing along. For this listening, Elvis, Barry White, Norah Jones, Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Jamiroqui, Metallica, G'n'R, Taylor Swift, Air Supply, Maroon5 were played. My iPod equaliser is set to NONE or FLAT and then to LOUDNESS, BASS priority and Treble priority. I did not bother with other setup as it is just minor propagation of these extremes. What I am looking for is a comparison of how the music present itself with and without enhancement. 

First off, with the equaliser OFF, the clarity of the music and voices were clearer than I've ever heard on an earphone. I was super impressed, and this is just listening to do-woops of 60's songs (Think Teen Angel from American Graffiti soundtrack or In The Still Of Night by Boys II Men). I was impressed. 
So, this is how RM499 earphone sounded like. 

The equaliser were then set to Loudness, Bass and Treble respectively. The performance at Loudness bowled me over. The reproduction at most audible frequencies were simply magical. Honestly, it made me want to listen to music on the earphone again. The lows were low, the high were high. Listening to Sultan of Swing and Money For Nothing (Dire Straits) on the FXT90 were just...indescribable. I pushed the envelope a bit further by playing Keiko Lee's Street Life and finding myself wanting more. The FXT90 puts me in the world of my own. It reminded me of my sound system setup in my old car that I took pride in. 

Isolation of the earphone is superb. Once put on, i could not hear other noises outside -which can be a pro or con. So, remember not to use this if you are running outdoor, as YOU will not hear anything other than the music. The pro would be complete isolation and you be in the world of your own with your music. Much awesome. The unit is not vented, so that explained the good isolation.

Now...if only the pricing is not this steep, I would had love to have this for my daily listening.

The technical specification of JVC HA FXT90 Dual Drive (for you tech geeks)

  • Playback frequency 8 Hz ~ 25,000 Hz
  • Sound Pressure Level 107 dB / 1 mW
  • The maximum allowable input 150 mW (IEC)
  • Impedance 12Ω
  • Cable OFC approximately 1.2 m (Y-type), φ3.5 mm stereo gold-plated with 24 L-type
This unit of JVC HA FXT90 Dual Drive earphone is on loan from JVC Kenwood Malaysia. It retail for RM499 and is available at major electrical and electronic stores nationwide. 


  1. Replies
    1. If you listen to it, you will know why it's 499... ;-)

  2. Hi. Thanks for review. RM499.00 is quite expensive. I like its Y-cord reducer. Is it rain and sweat resistance? I hope the ear piece does not come off easily from ear during sweating.

    1. This is not a sports model and so it is not really a sweat resistance. I use it sparingly for run on treadmill once and it stayed in the ears. No issues.

      Wait up as I will review the sports earphone soon.

  3. cable rub noise kuat tak?

    1. cable rub? As in the noise generated when the cable are rub (resonate to ear?)

    2. yes. most annoying