JVC had a heck of a year in 2012 producing some great options at low prices the carbon nanotube drivers in the fxd-80, fx-40 and HA-s500 offerings were much praised. Another set did gain some popularity and that was from the bass orientated XX range of phones. Targeted directly at the standard consumer do the XX have anything to offer the budget audiophile market. Read on to find out.
THE MEAT OF THE REVIEW
These are both budget sets of phones so i wont go into too much detail the fx-101 can be had for £12 and the 101 for under 10 when still available.
Both come packaged in the annoying blister pack and given the price that is acceptable, the 101 come with tips in small medium and large size and thats it. The 1x1 on the other hand come with tips and a plastic JVC XX branded hard case which is a nice touch.
Build quality on both is reasonable and the share almost the exact same design on the housing the difference here is that the 101 are slightly smaller and shows that JVC were working to refine the original design. both are plastic and fee reasonably robust in the hand. A major difference here is the cable, the original 1x1 has quite a nice cable (not exceptional but nice none the less) its red and one piece is relatively tangle resistant and not overly prone to microphonics. Looking at them side by side you would think the first iteration is the pricier of the 2 models by some margin. The cable on the 101 is terrible its that old 2 strand glued together in the middle, its simply horrible tangles easily and has some prety bad microphonics.
Obviously with one being a evolution of the other there are going to be some vast similarities here. Both phones have thunderous bass that extends well down into the lower frequencies at almost subwoofer style response it thumps you hard. Both go low, this is true but both also perform very well in the rest of the sound spectrum when compared to other bass orientated consumer phones. I would take either of these over the beats tours based on sound quality alone as well which obviously wasn't a favourite but not nearly as bad as others like to mention.
The 1x1 has a tendency to create some sibilance at the top end which can be annoying but this was mostly shown in times when I was using genres that you probably wouldn't be using the XX line for such as jazz and classical. it is there however and possibly something someone may want to consider if these are going to be your only set of IEM's mids on the 1x1 are acceptable but do find themselves smothered by the lows.
The fx-101 however took the issues with the 1x1 and went to work ousting them. The mids in the 101 are far more balanced in a central position and acutally work well with the bass although the are still positioned behind it which is to be expected when there is just so much. The treble also has been tweaked and while it still does get a little hot at times its nothing I would be worried about.
Both these phones give ludicrous bass and overall relatively acceptable sound quality and and at the prices they are at it is an excellent addition to any audiophiles lineup when you want to just get slamed in the face upon taking a break from your perfectly linear and flat armature phones.
Based on sound quality I would recommend that you pick up the 101 version of these phones, the are a good little addition at not much cost if you are more fashion conscious get the 1x1 and additionally you should be shot as life is not a pony show................lol just kidding there the 1x1 were actually my Gym phones for some time they look good and have that thump that will get you through a workout.
However if you are an audiophile and you are on a budget looking for much more than just bass and want to see what high end sound is all about there really should be only one stop for you and that is the Sony MH1C (Review here: https://stozz-audio.jux.com/1083028).