Convincing consumers to replace the free hands-free stereo headphones included with their new phone must be a difficult job. A-Jays addresses this by adding a big bonus into the equation for Android users, with a dedicated app for download through the Android Market that adds a huge level of control to the these otherwise unassuming headphones.
But before we take a look at the app, let's first check out the headphones. The One+ headphones stand out immediately, with thick, tangle-free cabling; a great idea that we've only seen on a handful of competitor units to date. This cable, like cooked fettuccine, isn't guaranteed not to knot in your bag, but it is immeasurably easier to untangle when knotting occurs.
The One+ unit comes with five pairs of interchangeable ear-bud gels, so you should find a good fit with the options on offer. We did, and found the ear buds to be comfortable to wear for long periods, too. We also like that the 3.5mm connector at the opposite end of the One+ cable sits at a right angle to the rest of the unit, so that it lays flat across the base of your phone or MP3 player when plugged in.
Similar hands-free headphones tend to have a three-button control with a built-in mic along the cable beneath the ear buds, but a-Jays has only a single button. This is where the dedicated Android app comes in. Once installed, the app receives commands from the headphones using a combination of clicks and long presses on the single input button, like a form of Morse code.
Two screens from the Jays headset control app for Android.
By default, the Jays app is set to easy mode, where a single click will launch the default music player on your phone and play a song; a double click will skip a track; and a click-and-hold command will increase the volume to the ear buds. Even better, though, is that the app has an advanced mode, allowing you to assign your own, more complex commands. You can introduce a triple click and hold, for example, and can switch around of the basic commands to whatever you prefer.
Of course, apps are nice, but it's really on audio quality that we judge headphones, and in this all-important metric the One+ 'phones score a solid pass. Bass reproduction is decent without being overpowering, and high tones are acceptably sharp. It's in the mid tones where we hear the most fuzziness, but so much that it detracts from a good track. It really does take a side-by-side comparison with a better (and more expensive) pair of headphones to identify the weakness in this sound.
We also came away wishing that the noise isolation was better in this unit, too. With the correct-sized ear-bud gel, the One+ does a good job of blocking out external noise, but it's not 100 per cent when used in noisy places, like on public transport. This goes both ways, of course, so be sure to leave the volume at an appropriate level if you don't want grandmas shooting you death stares on the bus.
The a-Jays One+ headphones deliver a good sound for their comparatively inexpensive price, and offer a nice bonus for Android smartphone owners.