Joinhandmade is a Vietnamese earphone maker. Its specialty is obvious: handmade electronics. To date, Joinhandmade has released two earphones as part of the “Jelly” project. The design philosophy for the Jelly lineup is simple: create earphones that owners will “love and [be] proud to have for themselves”. The company states that it isn’t a question of “what” should be done with the earphones, but “why” these earphones should be created in the first place.
Clearly, aesthetics and the handmade-touch are a key factor in the Jelly Galaxy’s appeal. However, earphones are also meant to sound good, and this is what we’re here to review today. Coming in at 100 USD, the Jelly Galaxy is competitively priced for a handmade product. However, there are a plethora of (good) offerings at this price point as well, making the Galaxy’s competition pretty steep.
DISCLAIMER: This unit was provided by Joinhandmade for the purposes of this review. We are neither affiliates nor employees of Joinhandmade. All media rights are reserved.
The Jelly Galaxy is a very comfortable pair of earphones. The sparkly blue plastic housing is extremely well polished and buffed, making for a pair of earphones that feel like smooth seaside pebbles. I personally quite enjoyed the sparkly blue plastic, as it added a rather unique vibe to the earphones in general. However, users looking for a more serious look (redirect to Etymotics) may not find the “cute” look quite so amusing. In addition, I found that the Jelly logo embedded inside one earphone was turning slightly yellow, which is a little disappointing.
Jelly tells me that the earphones require 20 phases to complete, all of which are done by hand. In addition, they focused heavily on crafting earphones that feature a “no-edged, unibody design”.
The cable is well built, and features whipping cord as strain relief. It is an odd rustic touch that works fine in this case. It terminates in a rather skimpy pin that was able to turn with relative ease inside various 3.5 mm jacks. This really shouldn’t be present on a 100-dollar pair of earphones.In general, I’d say that the Jelly Galaxy’s build quality is pretty good. The design maintains a certain clear vibe that tends toward the “cute” side of things, and will be an obvious hit-or-miss for most.
I’ll start with a cautionary note: these earphones need burn-in, and lots of it. Upon receiving my review unit, I had “first impressions” session. I found that the bass was relatively uncontrolled, and bled heavily into the mids. Naturally, I proceeded to put these earphones into a pure burn period for several days. The following impressions are the results of the burn-in.
The Jelly Galaxy is a bass-heavy earphone. The quality of its bass is mediocre. Speed is good enough to ensure that the Galaxy will be able to handle most bass lines. However, there is simply not enough of an impact to make the sound particularly lively. Quantity of bass isn’t a problem, but this should be expected from a dynamic driver earphone. The midrange is fairly veiled. Vocals lack energy, and it is hard to make out details at this range in the audio frequency spectrum. The trebles are fairly standard, and provide a much needed high-frequency presence. However, they do not sparkle (good for bass heads), which in the case of the Jelly Galaxy would have really helped. The limited extension didn’t help the situation either.
Genres that the Jelly Galaxy can handle well are (as many reviewers have said before) jazz, acoustic, and some forms of electronic (though the lack of stronger treble presence makes this debatable). The small soundstage and lack of airiness make the Galaxy particularly unsuitable for reproducing most classical pieces.
The Jelly Galaxy is a very unique pair of earphones. As the second offering from Joinhandmade, I believe that the company really does have a solid concept going. However, before these can hit a stride, alterations and heavy retuning on the SQ needs to be conducted. Overall, the Jelly Galaxy makes for a great gift for the casual listener, but might not appeal to audiophiles and those looking a “hi-fi” sound.