| 11 mm Driver | Neodymium Magnet |
? We are reviewing the JVC HA-FX102/FR202 which are the bigger brother of the JVC HA-FX1X. We call it the “bigger brother” not only because of the usually higher selling price but also because it holds inside a bigger dynamic driver (well, JVC markets it as a superior product over the FX1X too) As well as the HA-FX1X the JVC HA-FX102/FR202 belong to JVC’s special Xtreme Xplosive line with the main objective of providing extreme bass (as the name suggests), consequently they pack them with specs that could achieve what they promise: big dynamic driver (11 mm), a powerful neodymium magnet and high power capacity (200 mW).
As well as the HA-FX1X the JVC HA-FX102/FR202 belong to JVC’s special Xtreme Xplosive line with the main objective of providing extreme bass…
The JVC HA-FX102/FR202 are designed very similarly to the smaller brother with the same plastic material housings that feel very light still tough enough. The aesthetics are very similar too with some slight differences, now they lack the metallic ring inside the back part of the housings and they are offered in a large variety of colors: all black, blue, red, violet or pink. Cable is another aspect that has changed, the HA-FX1X had a thick single cable while the FX-102/FR202 have a double cable (see the photos below).
We are naming them JVC HA-FX102/FR202 but actually they are 2 variants with a corresponding model name to identify them. The JVC HA-FX102 corresponds to the version without inline microphone/control and JVC HA-FR202 is the same model but with an inline microphone + 1 button control (maybe the model naming choice could have been a bit less confusing but that’s upto JVC’s marketing team). So, later during the review we might refer to them as JVC HA-FX102 and/or JVC HA-FR202 alternatively.
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JVC HA-FX102/FR202 - Review
Tests & ScoresW
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Accessories & Packaging
The JVC FX-102/FR-202 come inside a box very similar to the one of the JBL T110 with 3 pair of extra eartips.
Bass & Sub Bass
Right out of the box the 11 mm dynamic driver combined with the strong neodymium magnet are able to provide a very punchy energetic mid-bass with deep sub-bass. To sum it up, the JVC HA-FX102 are able to provide very strong and fun bass which will suffice bass lovers without any issues.
Using an EQ to feed up the bass, the JVC HA-FX102 noticeable increase their depth and punch.
To sum it up, the JVC HA-FX102 are able to provide very strong and fun bass which will suffice bass lovers without any issues.
Putting the HA-FX102 under our extreme bass test, they were able to handle 50% of a Fiio E12’s amplifier while set to high gain, bass boost on and applying a custom basshead EQ (sub-bass was distorting with any amplification over 20%). As a result, they sounded horribly with its bass all distorted and “farty” sounding and no basshead impact or rumble at all. We were expecting a much better amplified performance considering their unamped response and the capabilities of the smaller brother, the JVC HA-FX1X.
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Mids & Vocals
Mids of the JVC HA-FX102 are very recessed, mostly on lower mids and lower vocals. Lower vocals sound too laid back and at times might seem like you turned on the karaoke mode. On the other hand, higher mids are not as recessed and can become mediumly-high harsh at times. With an EQ some of the recession is removed but still lower vocals sound too distant and muffled, harshness remains similar to before the equalizer was applied.
Highs & Treble
Although sounding dark and very bassy, highs have some sort of brightness with almost no detail or definition at all. Highs are piercing but not too sibilant and overall quite fatiguing. With an EQ, they become sibilant at sporadic times and more frequently piercing. To their benefit, they gain some mild level of detail but still sound dark overall.
The sound that leaks out of the JVC HA-FX102/FR202 is much better than the brother JVC HA-FX1X; still not a top level performance but able enough to be usable on mediumly noisy places without much issues.
The HA-FX102/FR202 are as capable as their smaller brother regarding sound isolation; they will noticeably isolate from surrounding noises without needing to use very high volume levels.
The bullet form factor usually is comfortable to very comfortable but the JVC HA-FX102 have a bullet design with some rough edges that reduce the better comfort that they would have been able to provide. Anyways, the light-weighted housings and angled nozzles offer a tight fit and at the same time enough comfort and will usually not produce soreness in your ears after moderate lasting listening sessions.
Response to Equalization
The JVC HA-FX102/FR202 have a tough starting point regarding their sound quality of mid and high frequencies even after applying an EQ they were unable to fix their lacking performance on these frequencies. With a custom EQ, mids reduced a minimum quantity of their recession and highs although gaining some detail they still sounded dark and more piercing. The FX102 gained all their points here thanks to their response to custom equalization of bass frequencies with a substantial increase in sub-bass depth and mid-bass punch.
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BUY IT AT:
- Accessories - 6/106/10
- Design - 9/109/10
- Bass - 7.75/107.8/10
- Mids - 4/104/10
- Highs - 4/104/10
- Sound Leak - 7/107/10
- Sound Isolation - 7.5/107.5/10
- Comfort - 7/107/10
- Response to EQ - 5/105/10
- Value for Money - 6/106/10
- Very fun and energetic bass right out of the box
- Mids are too recesssed and muddy
- Highs offer a bad combination of lack of detail, piercing highs and sort of darkness
- The JVC HA-FX102/FR202 are able to produce strong and fun bass but their skills finish there, mids and highs performance is pretty low. We were also disappointed about their basshead results with distorted sub-bass from 20% amplification onwards and no impact or rumble, even less than its smaller brother, the JVC HA-FX1X. We can only recommend them to bass lovers that do not care at all about highs and mids and want strong bass right out of the box without needing to use an EQ and are not planning to amplify them much.
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JVC HA-FX102/FR202 Frequency Response
|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||L shaped stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||3x Earphone tips (silicone) S, M, L|
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One thought on “JVC HA-FX102/FR202 – Review”
This review basically sums up my horrible experience with the FX102s just before I returned them. The awful peaks in the high-mids (2-3Khz) were just too unpleasant for my ears. Everything from the kick drums to vocals sounded like they were nails on a chalkboard. And EQing basically just took all the treble detail away.
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