Most of us love music and without a good headphone, you can actually feel the real music. But the get that sound quality, you will have to spend a lots on money on expensive headphone and DACs. However, it's not possible for everyone to buy these premium headphone. For those people, JVC HA-S400 Carbon Nanotube is a perfect budget headphone. It's cost only $30, which is affordable to most of the people.
30mm Supra-Aural (On-Ear) | 3-way fold | 3.5mm Right angled jack (Gold Plated) | Y-split 1.2m cable
Mainly bought these to serve for portable purpose, I barely use IEMs anymore.
Price : ~27$ from amazon.com (I bought 2 years ago, It's less now on amazon)
Fit/Comfort : These are very light, the first time I put them on they felt amazing. The headband is adjustable and the clamping is hard enough so that it doesn't fall out from your head but not extreme enough that it hurts. Pads are comfy too, the pleather is good.
After two years of heavy use and innumerable hours wasted on local buses, the pleather has given away, and the pads are less deep. So they've held on fairly well.
Isolation : Being Supra-Aural I thought they wouldn't isolate much. But at moderate to high listening volumes they block most outside noise. Best thing about these is that they don't leak. I tested these at high volumes and nobody beside me could hear anything. Dhaka Local Bus approved.
Build Quality/Portability : My black versions are matte. It's almost bottle greenish. The cups as you can see are reflective so they catch a fair bit of fingerprints. The build quality overall is nice. It's cheap but it doesn't feel like it. There is no squeaky rattle while moving around and the 3-way folding (vertical/horizontal axis cup rotation) means you can't beat this on portability.
Sound Signature : Neutral; almost verging on the warm-ish side. Something I didn't expect from a JVC. The XX series are notoriously boomy when it comes to bass. The nanotubes are far different. However, if you do believe in burn-in, they do open up a great deal, but it has a very long burn-in period (months, at least).
Bass : Tight. Thump/Punch is noticeable. However it doesn't extend much so it isn't that "deep". Improves if EQ'd (I personally use a bit of Clear Bass). Bass does not overpower the other frequencies which is a good thing considering it's a JVC. Bass has significantly tightened up and gotten better over burn-in.
Mids : Best feature of these. I thought it will have recessed mids. But it's almost as good as my Shures and that's high praise. Clear and Crisp vocals in any genre. Bass does not bleed into the mids, again, impressive for a JVC.
Highs : Not as extended as some may like. Not bad either. Rolls off a bit too early so some cymbals in high-paced songs may seem unnatural. Also may slightly sound sibilant (doesn't bother me). The sibilance has also toned down a lot over the burn-in period.
Overall Verdict on SQ : Amazing, at this price range, I didn't expect this to have such balance. My ears are already spoiled by my Shures and these sound very similar. Would definitely give IEMs at the same price a run for their money.
Amping : at 35 ohms these are pretty efficient to run from smartphones and MP3 players, so it doesn't benefit much from amping. You may be able to tame the slight sibilance but bass boost results in bloated bass. Better off not amping. Let's face it, it's no Koss Portapro.
Price in Bangladesh: About 3500 BDT
Price in India: About 2500 Rs.
'Carbon Nanotubes' may be a marketing gimmick, but at 27$ these are absolutely amazing. If you thought the XX series was bang-for-the-buck, then these are on a different level. I'm glad I opted for these instead of IEMs. If you prefer IEMs, then obviously you can do without these. But if you like clean vocals, and tight bass, these are amazing. And they make nice portables to cram inside your backpack.