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JBL J33i IEMs (updated 06.02.2014)

Alright, so after being recommended these by @ShearMe , I got a pair of them. so I figured, why not review them after a while? Now, before we begin, I'd just like to say some things: all pictures are taken with my phone, in bad lighting, just on top of my mousemat.         The music I listen to is like 96% of the time Metal, varying from Heavy Metal by the likes of Judas Priest, Manowar, Grave Digger, to heavier stuff, like Lamb of God, to power and progressive metal, like Sonata Arctica, Pagan's Mind, Symphony X, Alestorm, Gloryhammer, and some Thrash Metal, mostly just Megadeth (though newer stuff is more heavy metal) and on to a little bit of Extreme Metal like Xerath, Keep of Kalessin, and the occasional video on YouTube, George Kollias drumming and Alex Rüdinger drumming to some songs, and some drumming educational videos from Mike Johnston. I might, very rarely, listen to a tiny bit of dubstep / brostep. but that's very rarely. 


have a picture! 



Alright, Build Quality! 


These seem very sturdy, the cables run through these anti-stretch-things, and they are flat. They barely tangle, and if they do, they're super easy to un-tangle. There is a metal-ring around the back end of them, which looks really nice, and seems like it can take a beating. The buttons and mic (not tested as they aren't compatible with my Nokia Lumia 920) seem not as well built as the IEMs themselves, but they are quite nice, but these aren't exactly expensive either, so at the pricepoint I find them very good. The connector is a little bit too large IMO. Oh, and they came with a nice carrying thingy, sort of a bowl with a mesh cover. the "bowl" is quite sturdy. 


Pic just taken from cdon.com, didn't bother turning on all the lights again to take a pic myself. 


Now for the sound!

Bass: it almost seems like these have a small bump in the lower bass, or a dip in mid-bass, so these are more like the type of shake-bass, and not the punch your eardrums bass. They sound very good with low frequency bass, just what I like, so kickdrums in most of my songs get a low thump, and slightly less attack compared to my M50's (very enjoyable actually). 


Mids: The mids are a little louder than my M50's, especially towards higher frequencies, so some snare drums (Firewind - I am the anger) almost have a sharp sound. Mids are also a little sibilant, giving a little "sh" tone to most of it, however this is something you get used to over a little time, as I've rarely heard it, I was taken by surprise. The mids are not as clear as my M50's though, but not by much, it's to the point where my nooby ears only hear a very small difference. 


highs: now here it gets good again. The mids are fairly present, and they have quite a clear presentation, and they roll off a little bit at the "top", so ridiculously high-pitched noises don't hurt your ears. For most cymbals in the music I listen to, these give a fairly accurate sound, and they don't get to the point where it hurts my ears, so that's good. 


overall, I find the sound to be very nice, the only thing to say really, is the sibilant mids, but it's not bad, it's just a small thing to take in consideration, but it's alright. 


Comfort: I tried all the sizes, starting with medium, going to small, and then to large, using them all an hour each. I can get them all into my ear, but the large ones put a little outwards pressure on my earcanals, and the medium and small ones sort of moved back when I tried inserting them, so the tip of the J33i's itself sort of scraped along my earcanals. Then I put on the comply tips that came with (the ones on the picture), compressed them, and put them in my ears, and then they expanded in my ears, giving me a very nice fit, it's not like I don't notice they're there, but it's the most comfortable IEM's I've used (not a lot). 


And then for the part that now has sealed the deal for me: Sound isolation. With the comply foam tips, they isolated a lot of sound, more than my M50's do. So they're absolutely amazing for me to use when drumming. I used them for about and hour and a half while drumming today, and they did a very good job of isolating my drums and cymbals, making it so that I could hear the music I played to very clearly, and then could play the songs as best I could, hearing what the guitars and vocals where, so I knew where in the song I was, very good indeed. 


Price: about 100 USD on Amazon, but white version is now on sale for ~70 USD, and the black version for ~80 USD at the time of writing this. 


This concludes my review of the JBL J33i. Please ask any questions if I've left something out. 

Edited by Lauen

Reviews: JBL J33i   M50s   SRH440   Soundmagic PL50           

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Uhm, so yeah.. The other day, I managed to drop my Lumia 920, and cracked the screen. Thankfully I got it through work, so support was peachy. so I sent my 920 for service, and in the meantime I am borrowing an iPhone 4. here's where the issues started (really). I plugged in the J33i's when I was heading home, so I could listen to music. during the first 30 seconds of playing music, I just wiggled the connector about till it finally played like it was supposed to. I was as careful as I could be, and also placed the phone in my inner pocket of the jacket, so then it worked alright. But the next day at work I connected them to the laptop there, and after about 30 minutes of low volume music, the right earbud went on and off a couple of times, then died entirely.. And then I realized JBL doesn't acknowledge the existence of Norway, as their site doesn't have a Norway option, and when I tried to register it in "Other countries" in Europe, I couldn't even get a list of products when I pressed the "Select a product" button.. yeah.. I have the recite though, so my mom (who bought it in a webshop for me, it was a x-mas gift) could return it for a new one, or getting it fixed. in the meantime, I also got a pair of J22a's, so I am using those, but they're so uncomfy ._. 

Reviews: JBL J33i   M50s   SRH440   Soundmagic PL50           

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Ohh, wow. Bookmarked this for your taste in music. Delicious! 

I once explained to my girlfriend what true love is. I said, "If you were a shit, I'd put you back in" and to this day, she is still my little shit. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, I've got my J33's now (I had issues trying to send back the J33i's, just bought a pair of the regular J33's, cheaper, sounds the same, gonna get my money back for the J33i's) and they're literally the same as the J33i's, just without the mic and remote thing. Had them for a few weeks now, no issues at all, so I was just a fool and did some stupid shit with the J33i's. 

Reviews: JBL J33i   M50s   SRH440   Soundmagic PL50           

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey! Great review! 

I have a friend who is in need of new earphones. Her concern was, it looks like they can fall out easy while running. 
I know all ears are different, but like - how are they while jogging? 

As well can you give some more light on the cable, she is not sure about a flat cable. Compared to just a normal one. 

NZXT Phantom windowed, Asus Z77 Sabertooth, Intel 2600K, Noctua NH-D14, EVGA 780 Classified, Crucial Ballistic Tactical, Crucial M4 128GB + Samsung 850 EVO, Corsair RM850, Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Peripherals: Sennheiser HD598, FinalMouse Classic, SteelSeries Qck Heavy, Ducky Shine Zero (MX Brown), AOC G2460PF & Qnix QX2710

Build Log: Phantom - Antique Noctua

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