JVC’s sporty In-Ears with Aero Slim design impress with very pleasant wearing comfort, even while jogging, plus an above-average functionality and rich sound.
With the HA-AE5T, available in black, blue and silver/yellow, the JVC Kenwood Corporation put its mind to designing in-ears for the demanding endurance athlete. Accordingly, the manufacturer pays attention to an aerodynamic construction, which is reflected in a square, but somewhat clunky design. In contrast, the in-ears hide surprisingly well in the ear. This is the result of the anatomical design of the button, which is adapted to the ear. Thanks to the so-called “Aero Slim Design”, the shiny black surface with the grey lettering and the dotty pattern does not protrude beyond the ear cup, which is supposed to prevent air circulation caused by faster movements when jogging for example. Rubber dampers ensure a firm and solid fit, in the form of a ring around the body, with so-called ear fins, which are interchangeable and supplied in three sizes. The same applies to the earplugs, which are made of very soft plastic and, apart from the different sizes (S, M, L), also come in two different shapes: As a closed and as a semi-open version, which is acoustically permeable by means of four small recessed channels.
In addition, the HA-AE5T have LEDs to indicate charging and pairing status, microphones for communicating, whether for phone calls or voice assistants, and sensor buttons to operate the most common functions.
Thanks to the slim, anatomical design, the HA-AE5T fit like a glove. When you twist the earplugs in slightly, they really suck in with the rubber earpieces, the rubber ring and the fins, which fulfils the particular safety required by endurance athletes. There is simply nothing to wobble.
The 6.2 grams per earpiece do not noticeably add to the weight so that even during fast movements, there is no vibration due to their own mass. The ear fit used, whether closed or acoustically transparent thanks to the air channels, influences the hearing sensation and the acoustic perception of the surroundings and the head voice, but also of the impact sound when jogging, which can be heard with the closed earpieces, but not with the semi-open ones.
The rather narrow thickness of these in-ears also comes into its own when running, because as intended by the manufacturer, the earpieces reduce additional air turbulence in the form of audible wind noise.
These headphones can be worn even in rainy weather, as they meet the IPX55 standard, which certifies that they are resistant to splashing water and sweat, as well as being dust-protected and washable.
As with the smaller HA-A7T, JVC relies on six-millimetre neodymium drivers to give these headphones a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 Hertz and a low impedance of 16 ohms. To get the most out of streamed sound, they support SBC, AAC and aptX codecs.
The lithium-polymer batteries of these headphones last a good nine hours. In addition, the charging case stores another 18 hours, giving them a total of 27 hours without being charged up. A power nap in the case gives another hour of playback after ten minutes; the complete charging time for the case is three hours and for the headphones, two hours. Since both in-ears are paired separately with a Smartphone, you can also temporarily use a single plug for listening while the other is charging.
The HA-AE5T are packed with features and are easy to use. For Bluetooth connection, take the earphones out of the charging case; they then confirm their pairing status by flashing, and both the left and right earphones appear separately in the list of Bluetooth devices. Before you start using the sensor buttons, you should read the enclosed instructions, as both earpieces have different and unexpected functions. The two in-ears can be switched on separately via the so-called sensor touch, and music can be started, paused, skipped backwards and forwards, and the volume can be adjusted. If you prefer a more powerful sound, you can switch on the bass boost by clicking three times on the right sensor. For short conversations – face to face – you don’t have to take the earpieces out of your ear, but simply switch to the ambient mode by touch, which switches on the microphones and muffles the music at the same time.
Speaking of conversation: Of course, these earpieces also support telephoning, including answering and rejecting calls, which is particularly impressive acoustically. The very good sound, including the high-quality microphones, pays off in terms of voice quality, which is very easy to understand. Unfortunately, the ambient mode didn’t work when I was on the phone, so I only heard my head voice with the earpieces closed. However, the semi-permeable earplugs help against this, as they do not seal off the ear canal, and you can therefore hear your own voice quite normally. It is a pity that there is no electronic solution for this, such as a transparent mode. After all, changing the earmoulds each time you want to switch is a bit awkward. And let’s not forget: the HA-AE5T, of course, supports voice assistants like Siri.
The sensitive sensor tap buttons are also worthy of praise. Pressing is not awkward, so you don’t push the Earbuds into the ear canal, and there is no subsequent mechanical feedback from clicking. To confirm the tapped sensor, the earbud sends a signal tone for the respective ear, and there is even an announcement for the Bass Boost. The longer confirmation tone of the right earpiece gets in the way of the click signal for some functions that require multiple taps. Finally, a special treat for all joggers: the manufacturer offers an app for sporty operation, “Run & Music”, which analyses music stored on your mobile phone according to its BPM (beats per minute), which provides parameters for automatically created playlists that dynamically determine your running pace. The BPM can be set depending on the time but can also be adjusted to the desired running speed via pitch control. In addition, the app provides information about your running time, the distance covered and also a diagram of your running speed.
The sound of the HA-AE5T is impressive: very precisely mapped, crystal-clear highs ensure transparency and are joined by homogeneously matched mids that are literally in tune with them. The bass foundation underneath provides warmth and a solid punch, especially when the bass boost mode is selected. It is commendable that the extra dose of bass can be interpreted as a finer nuance and does not colour the general sound image, and thus does not steal the show from the other frequency bands. For example, “A New Error” by Moderat asserts itself with such a pressing bass that one is literally driven by the beat. After all, these headphones are supposed to provide the soundtrack for jogging. But Roosevelt’s “Strangers” also plays out its funky attitude with a warm groove. However, you can only enjoy the juicy bass with the earplugs completely closed because, with the earplugs half-open, it clearly dissipates through the four small channels. In contrast, the midrange and treble are not noticeably affected.
Since the headphone outputs of mobile players are rather weak in terms of power, the 16 Ohm impedance works very well. The output level, which I interpret as room volume, is about 70 per cent of the maximum possible level. Accordingly, these headphones have some room to move upwards without a fully extended level hurting the ears and distorting the drivers.
Designed primarily for sporting use, the JVC HA-AE5T receive a good to very good score in the required disciplines. Their quite slim, aerodynamic design avoids audible air currents while running, and their secure fit fixes the earphones in the ear even while jogging. But the built-in sensor technology for controlling common functions for music and telephoning also emphasises their comfort. In terms of sound, they convince with a homogeneous and transparent sound.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Weight without cableapprox. 6.2g each, charging case: approx. 46 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- 3 pairs of semi-open silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- 3 pairs of ear fins (S, M, L)
- USB charging cable
- Charging case
- available in black, blue and silver/yellow
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
- BT version: 5.0