JVC/Victor HA-S500 – Carbon Nanotubes

17 / 11 / 2012 JVC S500 Reviewed!

JVC is going a right path in head-fi world this year, why? It do produces few really good headphone,but it is extraordinary hot this year, it brings a lot of good stuffs to us,good in term of audio quality and price factor. I can easily named few that make wonders recently, FX40, FXD80,FX1X,FX800,RX900,M5x and,thid JVC HA-S500( WIll named S500 in this entry). Go and search for S500 in headfi community,you can see what kind of hype it had created. Can’t deny, I can’t stop purchase a pair after reading all of the hype.


Carbon Nanotube!

This is a budget closed back on ear portable can, most of the countries don’t bring in this JVC S500 to sell, and I wonder why as well,because this is a good headphone with budget price tag. It has a 40mm Carbon Nanotube driver,but the size of the headphone is not big,and surprisingly, is very light.

Close up of the driver, this headphone is not belong to me anymore, so I won’t open the screw 😛

Type name HA-S500
Model Dynamic type
Play frequency band 8Hz ~ 25,000 Hz
Output sound pressure level 106dB/1mW
Maximum permissible input 1000mW (IEC ※)
Impedance 32Ω
Code (Type Y) 1.2m, with plated L type stereo mini plug φ3.5mm
Mass (Not including cord)Approximately 168g

Quoted from wikipedia, “Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus respectively.’,so carbon nanotubes driver do has it strength.

The ear cup is oddly design, when my first time holding this headphone,I asked myself,’is this really that nice sounding as many people saying??’

Packaging and Accessories

Sorry but original box is already incomplete since I lost some of the paper inside, anyway,accessories wise,what you can get is only headphone itself. Nothing more.

Built Quality and Mechanism/Design

Foldable design!

Rotating mechanism, there is some noise when you move it,but very minimal.

S500 built fairly well considering the price tag, built from plastic When you rotate the earcup there is some noticeable noise, but it is nicely built,brilliance JVC!

The headband is adjustable,the cup is swivel design.

The earcup itself can be rotated and swivel design, the headphone can be packed and easier for bring,this features make it a portable headphone. Design is okay, it definitely don’t have those eyes catching outlook like some,but the design is not ugly.

Sound Leakage and Isolation

This is closed back design headphone, no problem with isolation,but you still can heard outer noise even when you worn the headphone,but very minimal once you play the music, isolation is unnoticeable as long as you wear it in right way.

Pairing and ease of drive

S500 is very easy to drive, I can easily drive it by MP3 player and computer on board sound card.


Synthetic leather

This boost your comfort level by much,which is soft.

No big issue here, it is light and small, on ear type, so it can easily being worn on your head,the synthetic leather will be a bit hot after sometime of use,and will be uncomfortable after some time of use,but nothing get really bad here.


My pair of JVC S500 has been burned in for at least 300 hours,I have actually lost count for so long time ago.

Portable design!

High : High is not a problem for S500,I will not say the treble or high of S500 is sparkling either crisp,but it is not blanketed nor dark, The high is average. If the song’s high is there,it will give you that high,but maybe not sparkling or very nice hearing high,but far from bad. Its high is nothing like those recessed one you can find on bass oriented headphone.

Mid :  Mid sound thick,not really recessed type,quite full but yet,the quality of the mid alone is good for this headphone(Especially considered the price), I would love it more if it is more refined and expressive. But not bad sounding.

How you want to shape it?

Low : This is the best part of S500 I can say! The bass of it is good and punchy,you can get good bass impact. The bass is definitely emphasized, bass is fun,and many will love it more or less, especially those time when you need bass to clear those stress, bass is good,not boomy bass,the bass is strong and hard, even with my a bit not that thumping Objective 2 Amplifier. Rumbling with good extension.

Sound Signature : The sound is closed,and sometime you can feel the sound is lacking airiness and being not spacious,but it is a lot,far better and clearer than the Superlux HD631,this is what I can definitely assured you. The sound is more towards thick and mature sounding. It is clear but sounded closed.

It is not ugly, in fact, I found that this headphone is kinda difficult to photograph of.

Soundstage :  Soundstage is only average,not S500’s strength, for fast pace song,who needs big,wide and deep staging, rite? This headphone give you on stage staging I can say. All sound near,lack depth although width is not really bad. S500 play details very well too,has good resolution.

Instrument Seperation : I think S500 done a great Job here,although you can heard each instrument clearly, but they are all blended in a good way as well, sounded enjoyable.

My teaser shot of it which I posted on my facebook

Tested song are all in lossless format unless stated

Someone Like You – Adele (Greatest Hits)

This is a famous song,I guess that everyone should have listened to this song before. When the piano play,it sound weighty, the vocal is weighty as well, thick and sluggish sound,not that kind of spacious and relaxed sounding. This song is really not that nice when played on the S500, but if you don’t care so much or is a easy going listener,S500 performed moderately.

ContraDanza – Vanessa-Mae (The Best of Vanessa-Mae)

This sound good and enjoyable on S500,good instrument seperation, sound focused and keep on with the pace,albeit limited sound stage.

Right angle 3.5mm jack, good design that can minimize the destruct of the jack.

Without Me – Eminem (Curtain call)

Hey,this is what you should played on S500! The bass is thumping and beating, the vocal is clear here,you can hear what Eminem rapping yet, you will shake your head with the music, move your toe along with the rhythm, move your body just how the music called you to! Not that typical headphone that you can only feel overweight bass but nothing more.

Thank you for loving me – Bon Jovi (Crush)

Sounded great,Bon Jovi vocal sound good with this headphone, the weight of it suit this kind of vocal line, and the beginning of this song,the plucking and touching of the guitar, can be heard as well.

It is small

Back In Black – AC/DC (Bonfire CD5) – 320kbps

Keeping up with the pace,AC/DC voice is nice here! The music playing strong,and layering is there,seperation is good.

嘿嘿!Taxi – 欧阳菲菲 (畅销金曲专辑)

The rhythm of this song is okay,the vocal of Ou Yang Fei Fei is ok,but not that suitable if compaired with vocal like Bon Jovi and AC/DC.

When it is on ear.


Side view.

Good :  Good and clear sounding, cheap price, built is excellence considered the price, focus sound (Good for Top 40 music listening), BASS is very good (Punchy and good impact). Foldable,lightweight and small,cable quality is nice,very easy to drive,detailed and good instrument separation

Bad : Not really comfortable to wear on, accessories included is close to none, a bit veiled sounding, soundstage, not available to most of the country (as far as I concerned,only Japan has this), vocal and instrument can sound better.

Gold plated as well

This headphone is good, never regret after I purchased it, the sound is nice,especially for the price range, I cannot think of any better headphone that I can buy. The bass is enjoyable, what I and other owner get surprised is, how can JVC make this all rounder in a very cheap price. you get nice bass, with nothing really bad high and mid, the implementation of Carbon Nanotube is really impressive, I can see that  this driver is vary potential.


This is not a audiophile headphone, for the price, it shouldn’t be as well. But this headphone is not typical audio toys as well, it has nice sound, and along with the friendly price tag. This headphone is not picky, means that you can play all genre of songs of it, and it won’t sound too bad, so you need not worrying the songs on your playlist,you can put shuffle mode and keep enjoying the music. For portable use, I recommended this headphone. nice and cheap, if you need to built a home listening setup, this might not be the most suitable headphone for you,as the sound is fun but not audiophile kind, anyway,around its price range, I doubt that you will get any all rounder performance headphone like this S500.

Recommended,if your budget is around this price,just get it,and you won’t be regret!

13 thoughts on “JVC/Victor HA-S500 – Carbon Nanotubes

  1. Perhaps it would be interesting to give the S400 also a go? A lot of people seem to like them, just like the s500. Keen to know how they would fare against its more expensive sibling. Cheers.

    • I would love to give them a go if I have any chance,but it is quite hard for us to get hand on JVC product,as JVC Malaysia not bringing any real good JVC headphone/earphone in. Do you owned a pair of JV s500 as well? Is there anything that differ from what you listenend?

  2. I’m an actice member at Head-Fi, I’m sure you’ve heard about it. Been rocking the headphone craze since 5 years now and still going strong. I’ve owned many many hp’s and these along with the s400 have my attention for a while now. I will buy the S400 first and then the S500. I have two different sets of pads (ATH-SJ5 and AKG K518DJ) already laying at home. Supposedly they tune to sound for the better. You can get them on Ebay. The Audio Technica pads improve the sound above end beyond over the stock pads. Perhaps it’s interesting to try it for you, too.

    • It is really good,I would love to hear from you,please visit my site after you get the s400 and s500 🙂 Would love to hear what you think on them. But it is really good for s500 I can say, I get it for twice the price yet think that it is worth the money, anyway,let me know 😉

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