JH Audio JH-5M IEMs | CR Tested

Take a pair of speakers, shrink them to the size of a raisin, stick ‘em in your ears, and what do you get? Though the JH Audio JH-5M Pro custom in-ear monitors pack just a single low and high speaker in each monitor, the auditory fireworks are pretty impressive.

Let’s face it, earphone quality varies widely: the cheapie buds that come with your media player; their generic replacements; off-the-rack in-ear monitors (IEMs); and finally, custom-molded IEMs, like the JH-5Ms. The ‘custom’ bit means your quest for auditory nirvana begins with discomfort—at an audiologist’s office. Having oozing putty injected into your ear canal is never fun, but after that mold is sent to JH Audio to form unique monitor shells, the new, custom (and motorcycle-specific) IEMs show up on your doorstep in just one week.

Mine arrived in a personalized Otterbox case, with a carrying pouch and a wax-removal tool. Right out of the case (and from my iPod) the drivers distributed amazing sound directly to my eardrum. I cued up a wide-ranging list of tunes (in lossless format), from Radiohead to Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. The JH-5Ms didn’t blink when trying to keep up with this musical muddle, delivering fantastic sound separation, substantial bass and squeaky-clean highs. The JH-5Ms also provide -26dB of noise isolation, which means you can turn down the volume and still pick out details without going deaf. Fit is fine once you get used to it: it’s comfortable yet tight, though they can be tricky to position inside your helmet.

Yes, the JH-5Ms are spendy—customized equipment usually is. Which is why I’m giving them just 3 stars. But if music is your thing, you might wanna splurge.

JH Audio JH-5M Pro IEM S
Price: $499
Rating: Three out of five stars