Two days ago, I took a look at the entry-level 13V2 Pro from Jerry Harvey Audio. But today I’m testing out the higher-end companion model, the Jerry Harvey Audio 16V2 Pro. At $1299, it’s a bit more expensive, but does it have a sound worthy of that price hike?
The 16V2 comes with a swanky storage case, eatips, a cleaning tool, and a tiny flathead screwdriver for adjusting the Variable Bass filters.
Build-wise, this earphone feels about as durable as they come, with slim but robust cabling measuring a standard 4 ft (1.2 m). This cable is supplied to JH Audio by the warlocks and evil geniuses over at Moon Audio, who have fashioned the cable around the Silver Dragon design (**saliva drips onto keyboard**) and connects to the earpieces via a molded-plastic screw-on collar. The earpieces might seem a bit bulky, but once situated in the ears, they do prove comfortable.
While this particular model doesn’t seem to isolate as well as the cheaper 13V2, but this isn’t a deal-breaker; once volume is adjusted, you’ll probably be too busy drinking in that sweet sound to notice ambient noise or outside distractions.
The design of the 16V2 hinges on a ten-driver setup, with four drivers handling the lows, another two dedicated to the mids, and the last four concentrating on the high end. There’s also the TripleBore FreqPhase Steel Tube feature – a specially-designed earphone nozzle that equalizes the sound as it travels from the drivers to your ears.
I also have to mention the Variable Bass setting – neat little filters that can be adjusted to lower or raise bass independently in the left and right channels. This feature strikes particularly close to home, as I usually gravitate towards a more flat, monitor-like sound…but there are still some tracks that I listen to that just crave bass, aching for it, begging for it…
Really, this last design feature adds a ton of value to these headphones, giving you a sound that can expand with your taste in music.
Frequency Range: 10-23,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 18 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 118 dB
Specifications from Jerry Harvey reveal an earphone with a fairly standard frequency range. The Variable Bass at max settings will give you a little more oomph in the low end, but dialing it down to a minimum gives me the impression of a 20-23,000 Hz frequency range. Impedance is low, and will mesh well with smartphones, computers, or any hi-res audio player. Sound pressure level lands at a robust 118 decibels, so if you can’t get adequate volume from this bad boy, heaven help you.
In the low end, the 16V2 offers good detail and a strong sense of natural fidelity. Void of bleeding or compression, the sound is clean and precise. With the variable bass feature at its lowest setting, there is little impact and the bass seems almost nonexistent. When the filters are set to maximum bass, though, that sound becomes primal and throbbing, with impact to match.
Slightly recessed, the mids still lean a bit forward. There’s good resolution at play here, and no compression or distortion. Instrumentation and vocals remain equally accurate, and the midrange as a whole lands incredibly close to a reference sound.
The 16V2 sounds slightly bright – but just enough so to nail the high highs. Never too brash or harsh on my giant, sensitive ears, the sound here strikes me as exacting but refined. It also jives perfectly with the 16V2’s low end. Set the bass filter to low and enjoy some classical beauty. Or turn that bass up to 11 and rock out with the resultant dynamic sound signature.
The Jerry Harvey 16V2 Pro houses a very expansive soundstage with fantastic depth and good placement. While it tends to suffer some loss of headroom due to the in-ear design, at this price the sense of space is highly competitive. The more I listen, the more intoxicating it feels.
The high end on the 16V2 is AMAZING. Crisp and clear, the detail comes across with heightened precision. And forget about “hearing” detail in this high end. You feel every. single. beautiful. note. Violins, especially, practically leap from the source. These babies will handle MP3s with ease, but give it the good stuff like FLAC or WAV or that DSD and it will blow your mind.
It’s lucky I’m not a father or little Carroll Jr. would be taking a hit to his college fund. I was a fan of the 13V2 after a modest listening session, but the high end on the 16V2 provides more than enough reason to dish out an additional $300. I mean, what does $300 really buy any more? Two fancy dinners? Five pairs of jeans? A solid-state hard drive? Thirty orders of Halal food from the Halal truck down the street? Or you could pony up and kiss that sky Jimi was always going on about.
For those who need quality monitoring in an ultra-premium package, the JH Audio 13V2 at $999 provides a flatter sound. Anyone seeking more high-end detail for a more dynamic listening experience, or for classical listening, the 16V2 is a much, much smarter buy.
If bass is your bag, either of these models will suit you, thanks to that Variable Bass filter. Sure, there might be even bassier options out there (the 64 Audio U12t comes to mind, at $1999), but at this price, you can’t get a more accurate or punchy low end.
For those working with older music sources or who would prefer less-detailed mids, I might recommend the Campfire Andromeda at $1099 or the Campfire Atlas at $1299 for bass lovers and balanced-sound lovers, respectively.
Really, though, if you’ve got this kind of scratch to put into a new pair of IEMs, why skimp and get something less resolving or less analytical? Go for the best and forget the rest.
At $1299, the Jerry Harvey Audio 16V2 Pro will cost you. But that cost grants you a wonderful-sounding pro monitor with excellent build quality. It’s the kind of audio score a ‘phile can go away on, man – that endgame earphone that handles everything, and sounds immaculate doing it.