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JH Audio IEM Guide: Everything You Need to Know

JH Audio IEMs: Made by a Music Pro for Music Pros


Moon Audio Founder and CEO Drew Baird, P.E. (center) with JH Audio Founder Jerry Harvey (left).

Before Jerry Harvey single-handedly turned the music industry on its head by inventing the first in-ear monitoring solution for touring musicians, he was a professional monitoring engineer. During that time, he mixed sound for some of the biggest names in music history, including Van Halen, KISS, The Cult, David Lee Roth, Motley Crue, and Linkin Park. Get to know Jerry Harvey and his company's spectacular lineup of IEMs. From product specs and sound signatures to Dragon Cables and connections, our guide to JH Audio IEMs has got you covered.


Table of Contents

 

The Jerry Harvey Story


As a monitoring engineer, it was Jerry Harvey's job to concoct a personalized, well-balanced blend of minimally processed audio signals for each member of a band. A skilled monitoring engineer is indispensable to a touring band, because they are closest to the artist’s vision, allowing each band member to hear an honest performance of what the others in the band are playing. A monitoring mix that’s personalized for each band member’s unique listening style is vital to the intimacy the musicians feel as they create a “vibe” together.

Back in the day, monitoring engineers provided personalized mixes to each band member through a series of loudspeakers positioned around the stage floor. But while fhile floor monitors help bands listen to each other on stage, they also present annoying problems, such as feedback. For example, when the singer’s flailing hand points the microphone points toward the floor during an adrenaline-pumped performance, the microphone’s magnets resonate with the floor monitor’s magnets, causing the ear-piercing clash of frequencies that no one’s a fan of. Another problem floor monitors introduce is the delivery of personalized monitoring mixes to each member of the band. When loudspeakers are used in place of in-ear monitoring systems, it can be a challenge for monitoring engineers to tailor the mixes that each artist hears to the unique personal preferences of everyone in the band. For example, when everyone in the band hears the others’ mix blaring out of the floor-monitors scattered across the stage all at once, dialing in just the right levels of signal to make everyone in the band happy is a juggling act monitoring engineers negotiate. These issues are compounded further on larger scale arenas where the singer has plenty of room to move around on the stage, and needs as many “personal” floor-monitors as the singer’s expressive theatrical antics require for entertaining large audiences.  

Performing music is all about call and response between musicians. One instrument player plays a riff or a musical phrase on an instrument, and another player responds with a complementary phrase. Without a good monitor mix, the artists performing on stage can’t hear themselves or the musical responses from the other band members.

For example, when Lady Gaga sings into her microphone during a live performance, the drummer, synth player, bass and guitar players all need to hear a raw, unprocessed and natural version of her voice as she sings into her microphone. Hearing Lady Gaga’s voice clearly allows the other band members to respond to the musicality of her singing, expressing themselves through their instruments. This is precisely how musicians listen to each other during a live concert, and why the monitoring engineer’s role is so personally intertwined with the artists’ vision. The monitoring engineer directly supports artists’ abilities to create the music their audiences expect to hear.

When Jerry was touring with Van Halen during the band's 1995 Balance tour, drummer Alex Van Halen approached Jerry with a highly sensitive matter. Alex told Jerry that the noise on stage was too much for him. The stage monitors were creating so much volume that it was making it difficult for the band members to hear one another, and the massive volume was damaging the drummer’s ears.

The band’s rehearsals ultimately revealed the extent of the damage that was occurring to their drummer’s ears. Important auditory cues normally distinguished with ease were becoming more difficult for Alex, making it apparent that he was suffering from hearing loss. At this point, Jerry and the band realized the damaging effects, relying on floor monitors since 1972 had finally done to catch up with the Grammy award-winning drummer. Fast forward to 1995, and what had been designed to serve Alex's talented ears was now robbing him of his ability to hear and play along with his bandmates.

Even though Alex was showing early signs of hearing loss before the tour, the band tapped Jerry with a seemingly impossible mission: preserve what could be salvaged from the famous musician’s hearing. This launched Jerry knowledge of both audio and electronics into uncharted territories, leading him to experiment with components previously unexplored.

JH Audio IEMs

What happens when one of the music industry’s most requested monitoring engineers starts his own in-ear monitoring brand?



As Jerry would quickly learn, Alex Van Halen’s picky ears wouldn’t be satisfied easily. At the time, the balanced armature driver was basically a “hot-rodded” hearing aid speaker or a Sony-designed diaphragm speaker, which were both incapable of reproducing complete frequency spectrums from lows to highs. One design was capable of reproducing good lows, decent mids, and highs, but no low sub-bass frequencies; while another could reproduce nice lows, but not enough top-end extension. The initial earpiece solutions Jerry Harvey brought forth to Alex’s discerning ears were immediately rejected by the drummer’s talented ear for tone, and exceptional attention to detail. Since balanced armature driver technology was still in its infancy at this time, Alex made it clear to Jerry that his ears wouldn’t accept the original trial-run of earbuds. Instead, the drummer instructed his monitoring engineer to “find something better.”

Realizing that no one makes anything better, Jerry immediately recognized a problem that didn’t have a clear solution. So, he went back to the drawing board, working from the ground up on the solution that would satisfy his famous boss’s musically trained ears. Combining his knowledge about great sound with his electrical engineering skills, Jerry Harvey eventually developed a totally new design. Through a combination of Jerry’s research and Alex's musical feedback, Jerry’s experiments with components eventually led him to a novel idea. One day while preparing for the tour with Van Halen, Jerry looked up at the band’s PA system. PA speaker systems have multiple speaker drivers to reproduce accurate lows, mids and highs in their frequency responses. Jerry thought, “If those large loudspeakers in PA systems could have multiple lows, mids and highs with crossovers, why not in a miniature earphone?”



Armed with his new idea, Jerry reached out to engineers and manufactures in the balanced armature and hearing-aid industries for samples of miniature speaker components to experiment with. Eventually, his efforts paid off. Jerry found components that could reproduce great mids and excellent top-end extension. However, finding components that could reproduce musical sub-bass frequencies that Alex Van Halen could feel in his body, and help the drummer combat his hearing loss was the most difficult challenge for Jerry to overcome.

One day, a manufacturer contacted Jerry about an interesting sample. It was a design that had been retired to the balanced armature “cemetery.” The sample was originally designed to be used with an implantable artificial cardiac pacemaker speaker. The little pacemaker speaker emitted a 130-140 dB tone through a patient’s chest to regulate a patient’s irregular heart rhythm. When Jerry received the pacemaker speaker, he conducted his experiment using an analyzer microphone to measure the speaker’s frequency response and shot a blast of pink noise through the miniature speaker. The measurements revealed a miniature speaker driver capable of reproducing musical sub-bass frequencies that the human body could feel. Jerry knew he had found the perfect bass speaker driver for Alex.

Jerry Harvey wearing IEMs

Jerry combined all the speaker components together into a single silicone shell that Alex could insert into his ear-canal. Jerry adjusted the phase curves to a 100th of a millisecond so that the crossover points reached a perfectly balanced phase-response between each speaker driver in the overall earpiece design. This ensured all drivers worked together to accurately reproduce the full frequency spectrum from deep sub-lows to soaring highs. The real test, however, came when Alex lent Jerry his highly developed ears. Would Jerry's complete re-design finally satisfy Alex’s sense of musicality from a lifetime of classical ear-training? Would the totally new and never-before-seen Jerry Harvey prototype actually help Alex connect musically with his bandmates again? Could the in-ear-monitor Jerry built for the Van Halen drummer really resolve the issues Alex’s hearing loss was causing for him and his band? Not only did the new in-ear-monitor deeply satisfy Alex’s ears, it also completely revolutionized the way performing musicians monitor the music they create going forward into the future. Soon, others in the music industry heard about Alex Van Halen’s new secret weapon. It wasn’t long before other rock stars were beating on Jerry Harvey’s door, begging for a pair of their own.

And with that, the first two-way in-ear-monitor was born. Word within the music industry spread quickly, and to meet the growing demand among rock stars and other music industry professionals, the UE-5 became the first official IEM product by Jerry Harvey under the Ultimate Ears brand name. Eventually, Jerry would go on to refine his original design, improving upon the UE-5 with newer designs that incorporated even better armature drivers, and even more accurate crossovers to enhance the audio quality across the frequency spectrum.

The new in-ear-monitors enhanced the abilities of rock stars to hear themselves, articulate their band members playing styles more distinctly, and express themselves through their instruments more musically with enhanced resolution and precision like never before. For artists, Jerry's invention was truly a remarkable performance-enhancing tool for rock stars that revolutionized the music industry from the inside behind the scenes.

Jerry's IEMs are embraced by music industry pros because they were made by a music professional for music professionals. Today, they’re embraced by people who love to hear music as it was intended by the artists. Because music is a universal language, it’s no surprise Jerry’s latest in-ear-monitors are embraced by a totally new audience all over the world: audiophiles.

When Apple released the iPod in 2001, Jerry was still designing IEMs under his Ultimate Ears brand while touring as lead monitor engineer for Linkin Park. At that time, someone showed him an iPod, and that’s when Jerry knew the time was right to share the phenomenal fidelity audio professionals enjoy with the rest of the world.

Jerry left the tour with Linkin Park and Ultimate Ears to start a new venture into in-ear-monitors for audiophiles and audio professionals alike under a new name: Jerry Harvey Audio. Jerry recognized the similarities in listening styles between audiophiles and audio professionals, so he designed completely new models with his expanded audience in mind. Now, audiophiles have several flavorful sound signatures to feast their ears on. Whether you’re an audio pro or an audiophile who just loves music, this guide will help you to choose the JH Audio in-ear-monitor that’s right for the way you listen to your music.  


JH Audio IEM Lineup

JH Audio IEMs: Entry-Level

The JH10X3 is one of the best IEMs on the market for the budget musician. The 10X3 has a lovely, natural sound signature that suits a variety of genres. It's a phenomenal value-for-performance product, and the custom mold format will ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind fit tailored to your ear canal and listening preferences.

JH Audio JH10X3 Custom IEMs

Nice and natural

$899.00



JH Audio IEMs: Midrange

Midrange IEMs from JH Audio provide more bang for your buck, and performance to boot. The 13v2 and 16v2 IEMs are very popular options, with a number of upgrades from the original versions. Both update upgraded driver designs and new crossover technology, giving them enhanced extension, clarity and soundstage. The 13v2 has 8 drivers while the 16V2 has 10. The Angie is a quad-driver IEM with a more reference sound signature, offering more top-end extension with minimal distortion. The Lola IEMs feature dual low and quad high balanced armatures and dual dynamic drivers that utilize D.O.M.E™ Midrange Enclosure Technology.


JH Audio 13v2 Custom IEMs

Smooth and natural

$1,299.00

Jimi Custom IEM in Purple Haze Signature Design

JH Audio Jimi ICON Series IEMs

V-shaped, fun

$1,299.00

JH Audio Angie Custom IEMs

Detailed and analytical

$1,399.00

JH Audio 16v2 Custom IEMs

V-shaped, Fun

$1,499.00

Lola Custom IEMs in The Founder Signature Design

JH Audio Lola Custom IEMs

Warm and musical

$1,599.00


JH Audio IEMs: Upper End

The performance is premium, just like the price; but you get what you pay for. The Roxanne has a solid bass response and a naturally wide soundstage for one of the most musical IEMs ever produced. It introduced the locking 4-pin connect and an on-cable adjustable bass attenuator. A newer addition to the JH Audio lineup, the Jolene is touted as JH Audio's most analog-sounding IEM, with wonderfully textured and impactful bass.


JH Audio Sirens Roxanne Custom IEMs

For a good time

$1,899.00

JH Audio Jolene Custom IEMs

Warm and natural

$1,799.00


JH Audio IEMs: Flagships

The flagship Layla and the A&K Layla AION are the best JH Audio has to offer. The Layla AION, a collaboration with Astell&Kern, is a universal version of the Layla. These 12-driver powerhouses represent some of the best IEMs audio money can buy. The custom Layla is JH Audio's most renowned IEM. As the first reference/mastering IEM from Jerry Harvey, Layla's bass response is perfectly flat when turned down and has +13db of boost at 60Hz when fully turned up. Layla also has the most sophisticated crossover network ever put into an IEM. Layla will replicate detail of instruments in a way that makes it feel like the musicians are in the room with you. Layla offers a flat, accurate sound with a ton of headroom. JH Audio recommends Layla for performers who want a pure sound and loads of detail or for audiophiles who are looking for hi-fi on the go.


JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs

Analytical and resolute

$2,309.00

Astell&Kern Layla AION IEMs

Analytical and resolute

$3,499.00


JH Audio IEM Specs and Technology

Model Sensitivity Impedance Drivers Sound Signature Genre Dragon Match Socket Freq. Response

Layla

117dB

20 Ohms

12 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

Analytical, Resolute

Classical, Jazz

Silver

4-pin

10Hz-23kHz

Sirens Roxanne

119dB

15 Ohms

12 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

V-shaped, Fun

Rock 'n' Roll, Heavy Metal, Pop

Black

4-pin or 7-pin*

10Hz-23kHz

Lola

105dB

16 Ohms

6 BA + 2 dynamic drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

Warm, Smooth, Musical

Classical, Jazz, Americana, Blues, Folk

Silver

4-pin or 7-pin*

20Hz-20kHz

Jimi ICON

117dB

17 Ohms

7 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

V-shaped, Fun

Rock 'n' Roll, Heavy Metal

Black

4-pin or 7-pin*

10Hz-23kHz

16v2

118dB

18 Ohms

10 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

V-shaped, Fun

Rock 'n' Roll, Heavy Metal, Pop

Black

4-pin or 7-pin*

10Hz-23kHz

Angie

117dB

17 Ohms

8 BA drivers per side;

integrated 4th order crossover

Analytical, Resolute

Classical, Jazz

Silver

4-pin or 7-pin*

10Hz-23kHz

13v2

116dB

28 Ohms

8 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

Natural, Smooth

Classical, Jazz, Americana, Blues, Folk

Silver or Black

4-pin

10Hz-20kHz

Jolene

114dB

10 Ohms

4 dynamic + 8 BA drivers per side;

integrated 4-way crossover

Warm, Natural

Jazz, Blues, Americana

Black or Silver

4-pin or 7-pin*

20Hz-23kHz

JH10X3

119dB

18 Ohms

3 BA drivers per side;

integrated 3-way crossover

Natural

Classical, Jazz, Americana, Blues, Folk

Black, Silver, or Bronze

2-pin

20Hz-17kHz

Layla AION**

117dB

20 Ohms

12 BA drivers per side;

Anlytical, Resolute

Classical, Jazz

N/A

7-pin

10Hz-23kHz

*Must choose 4-pin option for Dragon Cable upgrade. We do not currently have a 7-pin Dragon Cable option. **Collaboration with Astell&Kern.

FreqPhase™ Technology creates the most phase accurate IEMs on the market by correcting misalignment caused by low, mid, and high frequencies traveling to your ears at different speeds.

Soundrive™ Technology uses JH Audio's proprietary mini quad drivers. This allows custom IEMs to remain smaller in size while housing up to 12 drivers per side.

Acoustic Sound Chamber™ is a first-of-its-kind 3-D printed recessed tubing system that keeps sweat at bay and alleviates the needs to excessive cleaning.


JH Audio IEMs: Custom vs. Universal

IEMs come in two fit types: universal and custom. Universal IEMs, as the name suggests, are designed to fit most people’s ears. More accurately, they are designed to fit a wide array of ear canals well enough. Generally speaking, you can order a pair of universal-fit IEMs and be on your merry way enjoying the music you love.

For listeners who want the most secure fit and the best sound quality, a custom IEM is the way to go. What makes custom IEMs “custom” is that they are molded specifically for your ears and your ears only. We outline the process in the next section, but to summarize, you will need to obtain an impression of your ear canal from an audiologist to order custom IEMs.

JH Audio has produced both universal and custom IEMs over the years. However, the current IEM lineup contains all custom models with the exception of the Layla AION.

When it comes to the best sound quality and the most comfortable and secure fit, audiophiles and professional musicians generally prefer custom IEMs. Custom IEMs offer superior sound isolation and a custom seal. Performing artists, in particular, rely on a snug fit while they navigate the stage. Nothing would kill the vibe faster than constantly having to reach up and adjust loose or slipping ear pieces. Likewise for audiophiles and music lovers, a custom fit IEM will provide the most immersive sound experience. Perhaps more than anything, it comes down to comfort. In-ear-monitors offer the potential to connect us even closer to the music our favorite artists create. How an in-ear-monitor feels inside the ears that help us to sustain our enjoyment of music for longer periods of time.


How to Order JH Audio Custom IEMs

You have decided to order a pair of custom IEMs. We think it's a great decision - one that you and your ears will appreciate for years to come. Because custom IEMs are molded for your unique canal shape, you will need to visit an audiologist to obtain a professional mold of your ear canals. This might seem like a difficult procedure, but it's quite simple and painless.


1) Obtain an ear impression.

Find an audiologist in your area (Googling "audiologist near me" will provide a list). We strongly suggest you show this Custom IEM Earmold Tip Sheet to your audiologist to ensure the procedure is done correctly. It is important that they obtain a full-shell impression including the crus of helix, tragus, and anti-tragus. Getting earmolds is not uncomfortable, but you will need to have your jaw open and still during the process. Molds should cost from $50 to $150, depending on where you live.

Once you have your molds, send them to:

Moon Audio
1157 Executive Circle, Suite 101
Cary, NC 27511

Watch: How to Get Earmolds Made for JH Audio IEMs


2) Design and order your custom IEMs.

Now is the fun part. When you order a custom IEM from JH Audio, you can personalize the faceplates and shells to your liking with various colors, finishes, and signature designs. You even have the option of uploading your own personalized artwork to adorn the faceplates of your IEMs. Image size should be 3" x 3" at 300 DPI (900 x 900 pixels). Maximum file size is 524288, and acceptable file types are bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jfi, png, wbmp, xbm, tiff.

You will now also decide on a Dragon Cable upgrade. We go over this in detail in the next section of this guide. The main thing to remember is that we have Dragon Cables for 2-pin and 4-pin JH Audio IEMs. If you are ordering an IEM that comes as either a 4-pin or 7-pin, you must choose the 4-pin option.


3) Await a music experience like no other.

You should receive your custom IEMs 4-6 weeks after you place your order. Trust us, it's worth the wait!


Dragon IEM Cables

"Won't my IEMs come with a cable?" That seems like a fair question. The answer is yes - but what is the quality of that cable? When you buy a new IEM or headphone, you're buying it for the driver technology - the technology that will deliver the sound qualities that you crave. Oftentimes, cables are an afterthought for headphone manufacturers. Most stock headphone cables are made of poor, ultra-thin conductors that work as a bottleneck for sound. Poor geometries, no shielding, rubber jackets, and a whole host of other issues in OEM cables can limit the performance of the headphone driver in terms of clarity and definition. But what if a company put are of their planning, craftsmanship, and quality into their cables? That's exactly what we do at Moon Audio. Yes, the internals of your headphone or IEMs are important, but if you send your music through a shoddy afterthought of a cable then your music is going to suffer because of it. Materials matter, and we use only the purest materials in our Dragon Cables. Dragon Cables are handcrafted from quality materials in Moon Audio's headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. All of our Dragon Cables are created with ultra-pure, single-crystal silver and copper strands and engineered to provide the cleanest, most musical presentation. Our wire is void of impurities and crystalline boundaries, leaving nothing between you and your music.

For information on finding your ideal signature sound, visit our Sound Signature Guide.

Silver Dragon IEM V2 Cable


The Silver Dragon is our top-of-the-line Dragon Cable. After the release of the first Silver Dragon IEM Cable, Moon Audio teamed up with JH Audio to design a version 2. The Silver Dragon V2 includes all the sonic strengths of our original Silver Dragon IEM cable with an enhanced level of resolution and detail. The Silver Dragon IEM V2 Cable takes a no-holds-barred approach to quality. It features eight conductors of 99.99998% UP-OCC stranded silver. This is the purest wire that can currently be produced.  

Silver Dragon IEM V2 Sound Signature

Silver strands clarify instrument separation, increase soundstage, and find previously lost high and mid-frequency sounds. Transients appear more cohesive and the bass tighter for a more controlled sound. It is not an overly forward or bright-sounding cable. It is extremely smooth and clean with an accurate reflection of the music, making it a non-fatiguing option for mastering and reference sound. The detail and clarity of the Silver Dragon make it a perfect match for classical, jazz, and other music genres with many nuanced instruments.

We make a Silver Dragon IEM Cable for 2-pin and 4-pin JH Audio IEMs. We find that the Silver Dragon pairs well with the Layla, Lola, Angie, JH10X3, Jolene, and JH13v2.

Black Dragon IEM V2 Cable


The Black Dragon V2 IEM Cable was a collaborative effort between Moon Audio and Jerry Harvey. The goal was to make an IEM cable that offers the detail and resolution of the Silver Dragon line and the full sound and enhanced bottom end of the original Black Dragon.  

The V2 boasts a stranded, silver-plated copper design that marries all the sonic strengths of our Silver and Black Dragon IEM cables. We found that when we increased the quantity of plating to a 15-18% ratio, we were able to maximize both sound characteristics of silver and copper in the Black Dragon. With some audio cables, adding silver-plated copper can make it sound harsh in the top frequency range. This is NOT the case with our Black Dragon as the heavy silver plating provides a very smooth, detailed top end with a great sense of presentation. This is in large part due to the 15-18% ratio we landed upon during our design and testing phase. This stranded, silver-plated copper design is not similar to the silver-plated tinsel wire used in the JH Audio stock JH cables. The purity and density of our conductors are far superior and much more expensive to design, engineer, and produce.

Black Dragon IEM V2 Sound Signature

The top end is smooth and detailed, while the midrange is warm and lush without sounding laid back. Bass is powerful, and the sound overall has enhanced body, shape, and immediacy. The detail and expansiveness of the Black Dragon make it a great match for a variety of genres,

We make a Black Dragon IEM V2 Cable for 2-pin and 4-pin JH Audio IEMs. We find that it pairs well with the JH11, JH13v2, JH16v2, JH10X3, Jimi ICON, Jolene, and the Sirens Roxanne.

Bronze Dragon IEM Cable


The Bronze Dragon helps create a warmer presentation with a bigger and fuller body adding bottom-end strength and muscle. It's musical without being lush or bloated. It will provide a fuller, bigger presentation to the music. The bass will have more weight to it without being bloated and lush sounding. The Bronze Dragon is a warm and musical sound signature.

The Bronze Dragon IEM cable has 8 x 99.99998% UP-OCC Stranded Copper conductors. Used in just the right ways and proportions, copper helps warm, expand, and strengthen sound from bass guitars, cellos, and deep vocalists, like Barry White. Designed for 2 pin male IEMs (such as the JH Audio 10X3 as well as many older JH Audio IEMs), the Bronze Dragon features a 45-degree angle on the lead. This effectively wraps the cable up and around your ear for more comfort and better sound.

Bronze Dragon IEM Sound Signature

The Bronze Dragon strengthens the bottom end without becoming bloated. Bass guitar and cello are full and immersive, creating a musical that's not too lush. The warmth and fullness of the Bronze Dragon creates the muscle needed to round out a flat signature.

Our Bronze Dragon IEM Cable is only compatible with the 10X3 and older 2-pin IEMs from JH Audio.


JH Audio IEM Connections

There are three types of connections available with JH Audio IEMs. The 10X3 is currently the only one to utilize the older 2-pin connection. Three models are available with a 4-pin connection only, one model is available with a 7-pin connection only, and several models are available with either a 4-pin or a 7-pin connection. For the 10X3, you can use a Bronze, Black, or Silver Dragon IEM Cable. For the 4-pin connection, you can use a Silver or Black Dragon IEM Cable. Please note that we don't currently have a Dragon IEM Cable option for the 7-pin connection.

2-pin connection:

  • JH Audio 10X3

Dragon Cable Option for 2-pin: Silver, Black, Bronze

4-pin connection:

  • Layla
  • JH11
  • 13v2
  • Lola
  • 16v2 
  • Jolene
  • Jimi ICON 
  • Sirens Roxanne

Dragon Cable Option for 4-pin: Silver, Black

7-pin connection:

  • Layla AION
  • Lola (also available as a 4-pin)
  • 16v2 (also available as a 4-pin)
  • Jolene (also available as a 4-pin)
  • Jimi ICON (also available as a 4-pin)
  • Sirens Roxanne (also available as a 4-pin)

Dragon Cable Option for 7-pin: None. You must choose the 4-pin option if you want to connect a Dragon Cable (not available for Layla AION).

 


Connecting your Dragon Cables to JH Audio IEMs

All JH Audio IEMs specify the right and left shells and our Dragon cables are marked to specify the correct connection. The JH Audio IEMs are marked with a Red or Blue dot or lettering to identify Right and Left shells.

RED = RIGHT

BLUE = LEFT

 

Dragon Cables have an R or L marking the Right or Left channels. To connect a Dragon cable to a JH Audio IEM, you must match the Red dot to the Right channel and the Blue dot to the Left.

Watch: How to Connect JH Audio Siren Series IEMs


Drew's JH Audio IEM Picks


"One of my all-time favorites is the JH13v2. 'Ive owned just about every iteration of the 13 that's come out; it's sort of my go-to model. Th 13v2 has a six-driver array: two for the highs, two for the mids, and two for the lows. It's very natural, smooth from top to bottom, very forgiving, and it's got a linear frequency response. It's really great for all types of music. I've used it mostly with Jazz, Americana, things that have lots of strings - you can really pick up on the plucking of the stringed instruments with these. I recommend these to mastering studios all the time for a very clean, uncolored sounding IEM. A good catch-all IEM, if you will."


"Then the next model up the line we go to is the 16v2. This is a three-way crossover again: four drivers on the high frequencies, two on the mids, and four on the lows. Obviously based on this, you can tell it is a V-shaped curve frequency response; a very “fun” sound. I usually recommend this IEM to people that listen to R&B, rap, maybe EDM. Like I said, it's got a very fun sound."


"The Lola is one of my favorites in the whole lineup because it's a hybrid design that Jerry came up with. He's using a three-way crossover: four on the highs (balanced armature drivers), two on the low (balanced armatures), and he's done something different on the mids. He's done a band-pass design, similar to what's used with subwoofers, where you have two opposite opposing facing drivers, and he's used two dynamic drivers in the mids. Normally, with IEMs, you'll usually see the dynamics on the low drivers because that's where you can get a lot of bass. But he used them in a different configuration, which provides a much warmer tonality. It's very musical, very smooth. I wouldn't say lush and liquid like a tube amp. But out of the JH lineup, it's probably the warmest of the IEMs and really my favorite, because like I said, I listen to a lot of Jazz and Americana. That matched up with the detail of, say, a Chord Mojo 2 or Chord Hugo 2, the combination is just delicious."


"Finally, the Roxanne. This has probably been one of Moon Audio's best sellers of all the IEMs from JH Audio. Again, it uses a three-way crossover: four high, four mid, four low. This is a little bit of a V-shape like the 16, but it's got a more aggressive sound to it. It was tuned and designed for rock 'n' roll in mind. If you listen to metal, rock, heavy blues, this is the IEM for you. It's got a very aggressive, fun, rock 'n' roll sound. Great kick drums, great details on the top for the guitars; a fantastic IEM."

To see the full video of Drew's overview of JH Audio IEM features and sound signatures, check out the link below:


Which JH Audio IEM is Right for Me?

So with all this information, where do you start in figuring out which IEM is right for you?

JH Audio takes pride in their many models in making sure that there is enough variety to find the perfect IEM for your ears. No one hears music the same way. One of the first questions Moon Audio Founder and CEO Drew Baird, P.E., asks people when they call is, "What kind of music do you like to listen to?" That one question tells us a lot about your listening preferences and what kinds of equipment will be compatible with a specific sound signature. Another thing it allows us to do is consider what kinds of materials to look for to alter, counterbalance, or blend with that sound signature for modifying existing or new audio gear.

"What kind of music do you listen to?"


For instance, if you like to listen to bass-heavy genres of music, then an IEM like the JH Audio 13v2 would NOT be a good choice since they have a more reference sound signature (they'll still sound good, but you will likely not be happy with the bass response they deliver). It's going to be important that you match up the genres of music you listen to with the IEM that is going to best recreate the original sound of the audio. This will result in the best possible audio performance for your listening experience.

Using the table above and depending on what kind of music you prefer, you can see which models are best fits for specific genres. This is based on the natural sound signature of the IEM itself. It's also important to note that you can change elements of the sound signature by the materials in the cable. That being said, if a specific IEM is more middle of the road in regards to sound signature, you can modify that sound to be warmer or more analytical depending on the materials of the cable you plug into it. In this way, a Silver Dragon will make your music more analytical and resolute. A Black Dragon will create warmth and depth to your audio, making it more musical.

  • Step 1: Know your favorite music and the type of sound signature you desire
  • Step 2: Determine your budget
  • Step 3: Choose your IEM
  • Step 4: Obtain your ear impression (unless ordering the universal sit Layla AION)
  • Step 5: Choose a Dragon Cable (must opt for 4-pin cable connection)
  • Step 6: Get ready to enjoy one of the best IEM experiences on the market

JH Audio IEMs offer performance enhancement for both musicians and audiophiles. Now you can listen like the pros, hear like your heroes, and feel what the artists feel - as it was intended.


F.A.Q.

What are in-ear monitors?

In-Ear Monitors, or IEMs, are small audio devices that fit inside the ear canal that musicians, audio engineers, and audiophiles use to listen to music. These devices come in various fit styles and sizes to accommodate various ear sizes, and are customizable to your actual ear shape if desired. This could also be a general designator for any audio device that is worn or placed inside the ear canal, i.e. earbuds and earphones. Professional musicians often use in-ear monitors in wireless setups in which they are connected to a receiver pack which is then worn on the musician's body. This allows them to hear their personalized monitor mix untethered or without the use of stage wedges/floor monitors to reduce the amount of stage noise and mic bleed. Audiophiles usually utilize their IEMs cabled, allowing for the unrestricted transmission of audio signal from the source. Audiophiles also tend to be more critical listeners and desire high fidelity and realistic recreation of the audio when listening to their music, which is why many audiophile-grade IEMs have multi-driver designs.

How do in-ear monitors work?

In-ear monitors work in much the same way your phone earbuds do. The drivers inside of your device help to create the music from your audio source. Unlike earbuds, IEMs oftentimes have multiple drivers, which results in higher fidelity and better audio quality. In-ear monitors usually have a higher sensitivity rating, making them easier to drive at lower volumes.

What are in-ear monitors used for?

There are various scenarios where in-ear monitors are used, from musicians to audiophiles. Musicians use IEMs for performances in place of on-stage speaker wedges. There are a few reasons why IEMs are better than wedges, mostly because of sound isolation and overall reduction in sound volume. Stage volume for musicians can get pretty loud and result in heading damage/loss over long periods of time. IEMs -both universals and customs - create a seal in your ear to block external noise and make it easier for the front-of-house (FOH) engineer to tailor your personal monitor mix. The second reason and probably the most important is that due to the seal, IEMs can function at much lower volumes in the ear canal and save your hearing in the long run. Audiophiles often use IEMs because of their high-quality reproduction of the music due their multiple-driver designs. Multiple drivers result in more dynamic frequency ranges and more accurate sound reproduction.

Are IEMs safe? Are they bad for your ears?

Absolutely. In fact, in-ear monitors can be safer for your ears than speakers. The nice thing about IEMs is that they help to create a seal to block out external noise and to therefore be able to function at lower volumes, thus helping to protect your hearing (as long as they are operating under low volumes). Of course, just like speakers used at loud volumes, so too can IEMs damage your hearing if used irresponsibly. However, the original intent behind the creation of the in-ear monitor was to help prevent any further hearing damage to Alex Van Halen's ears from years of loud speaker exposure.

Are IEMs good for listening to music?

IEMs are great and very popular among audiophiles and music lovers for listening to music. Because of their increased fidelity over regular earbuds, in-ear monitors have increased sound stage, dynamics and more due to their construction, engineering and multi-driver designs. They are great options and highly recommended for listening to music.

Are IEMs better than headphones?

Unfortunately there is no definitive answer; it depends on a number of factors. For instance, a $200 IEM will most assuredly sound better than a $20 pair of headphones, just like a $600 pair of IEMs won't hold a candle against a $4000 pair of open-back headphones. Quality versus price is relative.

Concerning ergonomic scenarios, if you are primarily interested in portable solutions, then IEMs will absolutely be better than full-size headphones. Weight and size are just some factors that give IEMs the advantage over headphones and make them great audio solutions for those on-the-go or need a compact option. Earphone options are great for mobile and professionals, whereas custom IEMs offer the most personalized sound and seal for the music listener. IEMs offer a more personalized sound since they fit inside the listeners ears, but headphones create a soundstage that is unparalleled and cannot be matched by in-ears.

 

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