The JCally EP01 is a pair of flathead earphones from the Chi-Fi brand, JCally. Before getting this, I’ve already tried its successor, which is the EP02, and that one didn’t disappoint. It was one of the most impressive flathead earphones I purchased.
Although both earphones are in the ultra-budget space, the EP01 is slightly cheaper. Let’s see how it performs in this detailed review.
Essentially a cheaper JCally EP02
The JCALLY EP01 is a single dynamic driver IEM that performs similarly to the EP02. I’m always intrigued by comparisons depicting something as a “mini” of some other model but in this case, the similarity in traits is uncanny.
The tuning, tonality, and technicalities are very much alike between these two IEMs, and I think these two models have something of a special sauce that sets them apart from other budget flatheads.
- Driver: 15.4mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 112dB/mw
- Plug diameter: 3.5mm
- Plug type: L-bend type
What’s in the Box?
- JCALLY EP01 earphones
- 1 pair of cloth covers
Stuff I like
- Textured low end
- Good vocal timbre and tonality
- Musical but detailed presentation
- Crisp treble with good air
- Great technicalities for the price
Stuff I like less
- None at this price point
The JCally EP01 comes in a simple white carton box with some product information printed on it and there’s nothing special with how it’s presented. Apart from the earphones, the only other inclusion is a pair of cloth covers, which is something I expected considering how cheap they are.
Listening to the EP01 reminds me a lot of its successor, the EP02. They’re functionally the same and yet I feel like the bass on EP01’s low-end is more present even though they have the same texturization. Warm overtones also spill into the midrange, making for very musical vocals.
One thing that’s instantly apparent is that the EP01 has slight cut-backs in resolution compared to its older brother, which isn’t that big of a deal-breaker considering you can get halfway there by scaling with volume.
All in all, it goes without saying that, for its price, I’m certain many people will find the EP01 charming because of how it performs.
The build quality of the JCally EP01 is nothing spectacular as everything is mostly made of plastic while the cable is a standard OFC cable with an L-type plug. This type of build can be expected because of the price so no complaints here.
Fit and Comfort
Given its flathead design, the fit of the JCally EP02 is mediocre. Isolation isn’t going to be a good player here as the fit doesn’t allow a definite seal. For the most part, the ergonomics is good as it’s relatively easy on the ears during moderate listening sessions.
All in all, in my testing, I found the EP01 comfortable to use. However, for isolation purposes, feel free to opt for a muffler to double on with the EP01. You may have seen some e-sports players do this and if you thought that was weird, well – now you know.
The JCally EP01 sounds very natural.
I find the airy replay and the lush tonality I’ve listened to with the EP02 to be very evident with this early predecessor. One difference I noticed is that there’s slightly more warmth in the low end.
The texturization on bass guitar riffs and kick drums was vivid and fleshed out on the EP02 and is something the EP01 also does well. It’s even arguably better due to more presence on the low end. The midrange on the EP01 also has slightly more coloration from the bass but still sounds just as lean and detailed as its successor.
Raising the audio levels on the JCally EP01 causes a bit of a problem, though, as the sound tends to tread the lines of sibilance. I find the EP02 to be more balanced in this regard. Some slight cutbacks in overall resolution are noticeable too, with the EP01 being slightly behind by three degrees.
Overall, I’m very impressed that most of the things I liked about the EP02 were a carryover from its predecessor. Essentially, I have no problem calling the EP01 a cheaper EP02 as they’re very similar from a sonic perspective.
I expected the bass of the JCally EP01 to be fairly light and although “Starboy” by The Weeknd didn’t come out rumbling from the bends or thumping from the drops, some songs, especially by Fiji Blue, sounded rumbly with a sense of growl to it.
At the end of the day, the bass presentation is track-dependent but for what it’s worth, the low end is flexible. These are definitely not bass-head levels but this isn’t surprising. As per my testing, there’s some slight coloration in the mids but it doesn’t sound muddy or smear into the threshold. The bass of the EP01, for the most part, remains clean, punchy, and textured.
The midrange is probably one of the most alluring parts of the tuning of the JCally EP01. The warm and musical tonality with contrasting detail and sterility is hard to balance and yet the EP01 manages to find a good counterbalancing act between the two.
The lower midrange, similar to that of the EP02, maintains good proximity with the vocals, neither being too far nor too in-your-face. The note weight is sufficiently meaty and with a good tone while the upper midrange is clear and detailed. I do find a bit of sibilance but only when I push the volumes too loud.
All in all, the experience is very nice for the price and something I’d say is a special sauce from the EP lineup of JCally.
The treble of the EP01 is crisp and rhythmic with transients and upper instrumental harmonics. The extension here is good, lending to an airy presentation. This holds up the tuning very nicely, giving an impactful and precise instrumentation with music.
The staging is sufficiently open and airy, while the layering is done cleanly. In addition, the transients are rendered crisp and clean, while the stereo separation is tidy and well-managed, never congesting and making sonics clash.
For the price, the technicalities of the JCally EP01 are very good performers that elevate the tuning.
I tested the JCally EP01 on various genres in my library and surprisingly, it had synergy with most of my music. It even did EDM decently considering that there isn’t too much mid-bass to propel bass hits.
Overall, for vocals and pop, the EP01 does great and replays with very natural tonality – a trait that also carries over to instrumentation and effects.
The JCally EP01 is the stepping stone to experiencing the magic that the JCally EP series has to offer. For the price, it’s difficult to say that you’ll regret purchasing it. In terms of tonality, technicalities, and overall tuning, I’d choose this over, say, seven other budget sets priced way higher.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.