JVC HA-FX33 Marshmallows

Bose TriPort Around-Ear Headphones

Inexpensive and generally comfortable to wear for extended periods. Isolation is excellent, as is the build quality of the headphone. Sound is generally clean sounding, although not exactly neutral.

Not the last word is midrange clarity. Cable could be thicker. Foam tips can get rather gross after a few listening sessions. Bass is tad lumpy.

For under-$20, it is hard to criticize these in-ear earphones too harshly. Sound quality is certainly above average and the isolation from outside noise is really quite superb. Far better than any other headphone at this price point.

So were to get the best deal you ask.  Here is the answer

JVC HA-FX33 Marshmallow Earphones: What Did You Do Ray?

While not as impressive as a 50-foot Marshmallow Man on the UWS, they will do far less damage.

I have become really attached to in-ear monitors, but wanted something that would be sturdier and less expensive than these have become. Since they will primarily be used to listen to music when I work out, sound quality is only moderately important – size and comfort means more to me than the dynamic range and frequency response.

If I had to describe the look of these earbuds to anyone, I would say that they look something like a food mixer with the smooth curve and glossy finish. The available colors; blue, pink, lime green, black and white, are designed to be a good match to almost any small portable device. I selected black because it is what was available when I made my purchase.

These headphones have a small driver size that makes for a comfortable, yet snug fit into the ear canal. They might take a little wiggling to get them to seat properly, but once they are in, they do not feel like they will come out by accident. They come with little foam tips (the ones that give them their marshmallow name) that help block out external noise. The foam is firm but pliable – those with narrow ear canals can compress the foam to help insert the buds comfortably. An extra pair of foam pieces is included

The JVC Marshmallows have the 'traditional' format with equal-length wires going to each ear. I have come to prefer asymmetrical headphone wires, but that is not a major drawback for me. The wires are flexible but sturdy and there is a small wire lock that slides up the ear wires making it possible to shorten their length or hold those wires together so they do not tangle for storage. The overall length of these headphones is four feet from plug to earpieces – long enough for most applications, short enough that there is not an excess of extra wire when using the headphones with portable electronics.

The most important factor in any headphone is the sound quality. Moreover, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with these. I was not expecting a lot – the sub-$20 category is filled with models that have exceptionally poor sound. However, these are actually not bad. The sound is well balanced, and I did not find myself bothered by a hot top end or bloated, poorly defined bass. I am able to turn up the volume quite a bit with no discernable distortion in the sound – but it is not necessary to make it too loud since the foam blocks external noise pretty well.

The only drawbacks I have found with these ear buds are that the foam tips do come off easily – it might be easy to lose one in a pocket or car or gym bag. In addition, there are plastic tubes under the foam that the marshmallows slide over. If the foam gets squished in the wrong way, that plastic can poke or scrape the inside of your ear – ouch. However, this is a minor complaint considering the overall quality of the headphones.

Overall, I am happy with these earbuds. They look good, they are comfortable, and the sound is adequate to most everyday uses. At half the price of some similar headphones, these are a good deal. If you are looking for a decent, utilitarian pair of headphones, these are worth checking out.

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Technical Info


Brand: JVC
Model: HA-FX33
Driver: Powerful neodymium 8.5mm driver unit
Frequency Response: 8 – 23,000Hz
Sensitivity: 93 dB/1mW
Nominal Impedance: 14 ohms
Maximum Input Capability: 200 mW(IEC)
Cord length: 3.94ft tangle resist cord
Weight: 0.11oz
Gold plated plug
Spare earpieces included
Price: $19.95

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