With the HA-S24W, JVC is targeting the younger generation who are looking for very lightweight, robust-sounding headphones with remote control for a very reasonable price.
The JVC HA-S24W deliver the “street sound” advertised on the packaging thanks to wireless operation via Bluetooth. They also make a bold visual statement when you wear them on the street and if you choose the striking orange or turquoise colours. The less “daring” can opt for the dark blue or black edition. Otherwise, the HA-S24W look very minimalist with an extremely clean design, only broken up by the silver logo, a semi-lateral relief on the shell surface and the ear-mounted, replaceable, softly padded earpads in black imitation leather. They’re made entirely of plastic, which makes them extremely light (96 grams) and portable.
JVC have not included headband padding that would make for a more comfortable wearing experience or a capsule joint that rotates on the x-axis. This, in my opinion, makes these headphones less attractive. Both capsules only fold outwards by 90 degrees, which doesn’t contribute much to the optimal alignment of the cups to the ears, but does contribute to space-saving storage. The headband can be adjusted in eight increments to fit the circumference of the head. However, these increments have a bit of leeway, and the headband extensions do not lock very well, which makes subtle adjustment more difficult and could easily cause them to slip.
For wireless Bluetooth operation, three buttons plus a microphone, an LED and a micro-USB socket for charging the headphones via the included USB cable are hidden on the right-hand ear cup.
With their lightweight design, the HA-S24W are predestined for hours of mobile, even sporting, use. You hardly feel them at all. However, if you don’t have much hair, like me, you should not press the headband against your head, as they press uncomfortably due to the lack of padding. But the cups feel very good on the ears thanks to their soft padding. The headphones exert a moderate pressure on the capsules, which provides a secure fit even when walking, without a feeling of constriction. Despite the lack of a joint, the shells find the optimal position on the ear. This is where the very narrow and extremely flexible headband pays off. Even with fully extended earpiece extensions and vigorous head movements, the headphones remained in position.
JVC have installed 30-millimetre neodymium drivers in the HA-S24W, which have a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz. The impedance is 32 ohms; unfortunately, the manufacturer does not quantify the maximum rated load and the sound pressure level. JVC certifies a range of up to ten metres for the 5.0 Bluetooth interface, where unfortunately only the Bluetooth codec SBC is used. The lithium-polymer battery provides a maximum playing time of up to 17 hours but must be connected to the mains for three hours beforehand.
The frequency response and impedance are impressive: Initial listening tests attested to a fairly decent output for these headphones, which, when fully turned up, neither hurts the ears nor pushes the drivers to their limits with audible distortion during transients. In short: the maximum level is sufficient and will not cause hearing loss in the short term in order to protect the ears. Since the capsules rest on the ears with a well-measured degree of pressure, they provide quite good shielding without you completely losing yourself in the soundscape, which during mobile use could be too distracting from your surroundings.
In my first listening test, I found the sound of the HA-S24W to be quite passable, but not consistent. The mid-range comes to the fore, while the treble is well defined. These colourations are clearly noticeable, especially in direct comparison with a linear sound image. I also missed warm tones in the bass, as the grooves sounded very clearly accentuated, but they failed to really grab me. Nevertheless, these headphones offer a sound that is well worth listening to, that you can enjoy on the move.
Pairing your phone with these headphones takes just a few seconds. Switch on the HA-S24W and hold down the power button until the LED flashes. The headphones then immediately appear in the list of Bluetooth-compatible devices on your phone. After confirmation, you can not only listen to music wirelessly with the headphones but also stop, start, skip and adjust their volume. You can also accept or reject phone calls by pressing the button. However, the voice quality during calls leaves much to be desired, for both caller and recipient. There is noise, interference and the rather muffled voice quality is reminiscent of the pre-ISDN age. This is perfectly adequate for short phone calls, but the poor intelligibility means that longer conversations are not advisable. Of course, the headphones also support voice assistants such as Siri.
The HA-S24W from JVC, offered in four colours, turns out to be a super lightweight device with pleasant wearing comfort. Even during long sessions of up to 17 hours without a charging cycle, you literally forget about the headphones, which weigh just 96 grams. For a “street sound”, the bass was a little lacking, and the mid-range was slightly overdone. The well-balanced treble provides good transparency. These headphones also function as a remote for music and phone calls, although the muffled voice quality does not lend itself to long conversations. However, these “flaws” are concealed by this pair of Bluetooth headphones’ extremely low price.
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance32,25 ohms
- Weight without cable96 g
What's in the box
- Micro USB charging cable
- available in black, blue, orange and turquoise
- BT codecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.0