JCally EP02 Earphones Review – The Articulate Flathead

JCALLY EP02 - Flat Head Design

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Current testing methodology is v1.2

Release Date
June 10, 2023
Weight
14.4 g or 0.50 oz
Size
2.76 x 2.76 x 0.63 in

The JCally EP02 is a budget IEM from the Chi-Fi brand JCally.

This brand is owned by Dongguan Jieshi Acoustic Technology Co. and was founded in 2015. It’s a multi-faceted brand offering OEM manufacturing services aside from having audio products of its own.

With a variety of products such as earphones, DAC dongles, Bluetooth devices, and cables, JCALLY has become a reputable company in China since its inception. 

The first JCally product I owned was an upgrade cable made of copper. It was a little shorter than I would’ve liked but there was no denying the caliber of quality it had for a very budget-friendly price. 

Now let’s see how their earphones perform.

Editor’s Pick

JCally EP02

Classic-looking pair of earphones that sound great

4.5/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Jcally
JCALLY EP02 Earphones

TL:DR;

The JCally EP02 is a non-detachable flathead IEM with a warm neutral signature. In terms of sound quality, all three frequency bands are quite refined and they work together to create a pleasant listening experience.

I’m normally indifferent to flatheads due to my old impression of consumer flathead earphones, but the EP02 is a keeper, even among my more expensive and more ergonomically-shaped IEMs. The tonality, tuning, and signature are done exceptionally well and while there are some issues with isolation due to the nature of flatheads, I simply don’t mind.

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The Specs

  • Driver:  15.4mm Single Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency Response:  20-20,000Hz
  • Impedance:  32Ω
  • Sensitivity:  125dB/mw

What’s in the Box?

  • JCally EP02 earphones
  • 2 pairs of cotton covers

Stuff I like

  • Textured low end
  • Well-placed vocal proximity in the lower midrange
  • Upper midrange presence texture
  • Good technicalities and build quality
  • Good technicalities and build quality

Stuff I like less

  • Not enough isolation
  • Fit can be a hit or miss

Comparable products to consider

TRN EMA
TRN EMA

The TRN EMA is a pair of flathead earphones that comes with a detachable cable and is great for vocal-centric tracks.

First Impressions

The JCally EP02 was something of a sleeper IEM. 

As I was unboxing it, I immediately noticed the signature copper cable. It was a rich burgundy mixed with a bright copper color, resulting in a mature, earthy color. The body and the perforations were also exceptional. 

In these instances, it’s either the earphones sound horrible or they end up surprising me. 

I did retain some of my negative impressions about flatheads from using consumer earphones way back but if there’s one thing I don’t discriminate against, it’s sound. 

I loaded up “Who Are You” by Sam Kim, and waited for the emotional chorus and I was blown away by the sound performance. I ended up listening to song after song without noticing.

The EP02 is a very enjoyable earphone, almost akin to an open-back headphone experience.

Build Quality

The JCally EP02 is a solid pair in terms of build quality. 

Its body looks and feels durable as it’s made of plastic and metal components. The back and the grills are made of metal while the sides are plastic. 

The cable is a nice copper-plated wire that terminates via a 3.5mm jack. Although it’s non-detachable, the cable is of good quality. 

JCALLY EP02 Cables
Stainless steel mesh design | Make Life Click

Since JCally also manufactures cables, it’s not surprising that they incorporate good quality cables in a budget product like the EP02. 

All in all, considering its price, the JCally EP02 is a sturdy product.

Fit and Comfort

Flatheads are generally known to have tricky fits and this is exactly the case with the JCally EP02. 

Comfort will depend on your ear size and shape but for the most part, my ears were fine with the included cotton covers installed. 

This part is a hit or miss and is generally where most flatheads disappoint. For me though, they’re fine. It’s not as hard as that dreadful white Samsung earphone freebie you get with a new phone purchase. Those things just hurt to wear.

There’s not much isolation. This affects sound coming in and coming out of the EP02 as there’ll be noise that creeps in and bass dissipation in the overall frequency range. 

Sound Quality

I consider the JCally EP02 to be very similar to an open-back headphone when it comes to the listening experience that it provides. 

On paper, both flatheads and open-back headphones have bass dissipation due to their nature but the sound is reminiscent of an open-back tonality. 

It’s a balance of warmth, lightness, good timbre, and detail that make the EP02 a very enjoyable IEM. 

The low end isn’t going to be an earth-shaking pulse as much as it’s an undulating vibration, since this is a flathead earphone. There’s a significant amount of roll-off on the sub-bass due to the seal, but the low end nonetheless remains well-textured and has a decent attack. 

The midrange is, to say the least, superb – it’s warm but with a light and airy nature making it very musical. The treble is smooth and well-extended, giving off a huge spatial stage with lots of presence.

The three frequency bands sound refined and overall, the EP02 has a mature and yet musical sound that’s brilliant in its execution of sound and technicalities. 

Bass

The sub-bass of the EP02 is abysmal – at least for bass heads. ‘

I think the reason for this is that it’s so close to an open-back experience and flatheads don’t allow that vacuum type of seal you get with silicone tip IEMs. I did try to press them in more while listening but that didn’t make a significant difference in the overall bass. 

The good news is that if you aren’t an extreme bass lover and you fall into the category of people that prefer a clean and fast bass response, you’ll find the bass pleasing. 

The sub-bass focuses more on texture and has a good presence in tracks relative to everything else. It isn’t forward or overpowering as I’ve said, but rather plays a more supportive role. 

The mid-bass has good speed in terms of attack but is a little underwhelming on impact. 

Overall, the bass presentation lets you focus on the whole picture rather than drawing your attention solely to it.

JCALLY EP02 Earphones Plug
Twisted copper cable without microphone | Make Life Click

Midrange

The JCally EP02’s midrange is somewhat ethereal – it’s not like a case of Stendhal syndrome where you just cry because the music is so beautiful but rather it has a light and airy feeling about it. 

The lower midrange notes have moderate proximity to the listener. They don’t sound too distant or recessed – the distance is just right. I’d say the mids are very much detailed and the upper midrange has a good boost on the pinna gain that dresses most vocals in sonorous brilliance. 

I’ve found that on some J-pop songs, the upper mids may become a little fatiguing. I don’t think they border on shrill but sensitive listeners may find it a little north of bright. 

Despite this though, there’s no sibilance and that’s great considering I love high notes that are brilliant but don’t over-sharpen themselves to force energy.

Treble

I don’t have access to graphs as it’s rare to graph a flathead due to it not being able to fit into a standard IEC711 rig, so I’ll be basing everything I say on what I hear. 

The treble of the JCally EP02 is smooth to my ears and it doesn’t have any uneven grain or abrupt dips or peaks. 

What I’ll say though is that the treble is very well-extended. I can easily tell that it’s boosted on the 11 and 16KHz area due to the impressive presence and stage. The treble kind of reminds me of the Senfer DT9, where it coincides with the mids to create a detailed and articulate listening experience.

JCALLY EP02- What's in the box
What’s in the box | Make Life Click

Technicalities

The JCally EP02’s technical section is competent. 

In terms of detail retrieval, I think that it resolves well for the price. The imaging is good and I can hear instruments flare out from the sides. The image separation is great and you can hear that the stage is just open-sounding and allows all the different components to move around and do their thing. 

The staging is, for the most part, more intimate horizontally and vertically. The staging presents good depth and space inside the soundscape, creating a good expansive area you can wade into as you listen. The dynamics are pretty good with fast attack and natural decay times. 

All in all, it’s a very good technical section, especially for the price.

Genre Synergy

The JCally EP02 works well with more vocal-centric tracks. 

It does pop and modern songs substantially, but if you want a prominent low-end entwined in your songs, you’ll be left wanting more. EDM isn’t going to jive well with the EP02 as the sub-bass roll-off and the conservative mid-bass make it a little neutered for the genre.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
JCALLY EP02

Conclusion

The JCally EP02 is a very enjoyable pair of earphones with a pleasant signature and a good technical section. It’s a clear, open-sounding earphone that’s articulate on its higher registers. It’s cohesive and pleasing to listen to. 

For its value proposition of less than $10, I think it holds up as a very good product in the realm of flathead earphones.

JCALLY EP02 - Flat Head Design
JCALLY EP02
Sound Quality
Build Quality
Comfort and fit
Value for money
4.5

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 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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