I’ve always wanted woodies, be it for headphones or for earphones. So naturally, when JVC updated their line of woodie IEMs, it made me very interested.

It was clear from initial impressions that the new line was a fantastic one. The one that garnered the most praise was the HA-FX850, the top of the line. Given that I’m already spending too much on this new hobby for my own liking (and wallet!), I couldn’t go all out and purchase that though. That’ll be even more irresponsible with money than I already am. So, with that in mind, I went over to Stereo to audition the FX650 and FX750 when they were available for pre-order.

My, oh my. It was a treat to listen to a bass-heavy IEM that didn’t muddy up the mids. Coming from the 3-BA configuration UM Pro 30, it was far heavier in terms of bass than anything I’ve heard before. Also, with the mid-centric sound I know and love, the V-shaped signature is something very different. The dynamic driver was also less good with micro-details, but the bass impact is incredible. My UM Pro 30s could only provide accurate sound, but there was no visceral impact. Even my Shure SE215s couldn’t provide that sort of bass. Of course, the SE215 is turned to be smooth and mid-centric, but it still uses a dynamic driver.

Furthermore, it’s a beautiful wooden shell, and even has wood as part of the driver diaphragm. I was sold. The only decision I had was which one to go for. My instincts told me to head for the FX750 if I wasn’t going to get the FX850 (and they didn’t have a demo yet), but in the end I opted for the FX650. The FX750 had even more bass than the FX650, and for a person who moved on from being a minor bass-head to a mid-head, it was too excessive. Even if the FX750’s sound is more refined, I’m looking for a complimentary IEM to my UM Pro 30; it was to be a ‘fun’ IEM, so less details was perfectly fine with me.

So I pre-ordered the FX650, and waited anxiously until today, when I finally got my hands on it. It sounds as good as I remember it being, and while it’ll need quite a bit of burn-in (supposedly), I find myself enjoying the sound tremendously now. Will I move away from a smooth, mid-centric sound? Unlikely. But will I find myself reaching for the FX650s when watching movies, or listening to some hard rock? Definitely.


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