JBL partnered with Roxy to launch these headphones a month ago and I have tested them for a few days. I like the bright and fun design that for sure is appealing to the young generation and might be targeted to the female audience, given the color palette (pink and orange) and the picture on the product page, however there is also a green and blue version, for the boys who do not dare to wear pink. The product comes with a cool looking pouch ornamented with bright colored drawings (see gallery), I like the subtle organic design that “grows” on the headband as well.
My first impression was a good sound quality, and then I tried the Roxy JBL against the Sony MDR-NC40, higher end headphones with noise cancellation, and then I compared them to regular earphones. When tested against the Sony headset, I listened electro music and classical music on my desktop computer, the difference between the Sony ($100) and the Roxy JBL Reference 430 ($70) is very subtle, and honestly, I could not tell whether one is better than the other. The obvious advantage of the Sony MDR-NC40 is to get noise cancellation, so you can still listen quietly to your music in a noisy environment, or use them to sleep in the plane. On the other hand, it is obvious that the Roxy JBL’s sound quality is better than regular earphones.
The padding covering the headphones is soft and comfortable, however the size might be too small for people who have bigger ears than mine, and I have pretty small ears. As I noticed earlier, the target audience might be girls and teenagers, so the average ear size of the customer-base should be ok for the product.
This is a cool looking headset with a good sound quality, perfect to show off while snowboarding or sunbathing on the beach. I would love to see the matching towel and cap.
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