JCally JM40

DAC Chip: ESS Sabre ES9280C PRO (Single)
PCM 32bit – 384kHz DSD256, SNR: 105db, Power: 2 Vrms, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & SPC Cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


💚PROS

  • Well balanced neutral timbre
  • Clean and polished dynamics
  • Smooth Treble with crisp decays
  • Neutral Mids with natural tonality, realistic vocals
  • Mild Mid-Bass and Sub-Bass responses
  • Decent width soundstage
  • Great speed and transients
  • Great with Lo-Fi and poorly recorded sources
  • Amazing battery consumption
  • Works great with multi drivers
  • Super clean background
  • Great Macro and Micro details especially when paired with technically adept IEMs/HPs

💔CONS

  • With demanding pairing partners, soundstage gets narrow
  • Speed may suffer as the load gets heavier with less sensitive IEMs/HPs
  • Lean almost inaudible Sub-Bass
  • Power does not feel like 2 Vrms, oddly weaker than other ES9280
  • Runs a bit hotter than most Dongles of the same size
  • Very flimsy cable with less than inspiring build

VERDICT

JCally JM40. Yet another implementation of the ES9280C, this one supposedly to be the Pro version. At least one immediate observation is that this JM40 is not cursed with the tall but narrow Soundstage as observed with many other ES9280. However I did observed that the overall staging became narrow and almost felt congested when subjected to pairing with very demanding partners like the FOSTEX T40 RP MK3. While the presentation was wholesome with proper density of dynamic vibrancy, it was hard to enjoy the overly intimate and close quartered experience. Based on this I drew conclusion that JM40 is not optimized for anything that demands power. And this was proven to be the same with VE Duke – despite Duke being just 16 Ohm and relatively easy to drive, but Duke does need some beefy power to shine. Subsequently, I opted to skip testing it with my Etymotic ER4SR which is almost as demanding as the T40RP MK3

Things really spring to life when the JM40 paired with SeeAudio Bravery, TForce Yuan Li and VE Monk SM. These IEMs/Buds being relatively easy to drive and not as demanding. There’s no hint of things getting confined too close together. Soundstage actually felt spacious with ample air and clearer separation lines. Timbre balance was great too, super smooth and crisp presentation throughout the dynamic range with crisp edged Treble (smooth), clear and clean Mids with no hint of overly warm tint, Mid-Bass and Sub-Bass with very neutral responses (perhaps still a bit flatter than ideal). The biggest surprise was how great my 7Hz Timeless sound when paired with this JM40, such a contrast versus the sort of experience I got from T40RP MK3.

Overall with these sensitive IEMs, the sound is rich and with great density. Keep it within the limit of pairing with sensitive and efficient IEMs/Earbuds and JM40 will deliver great listening experience.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ($32.00)

Best Pairing: Easy to drive and efficient IEMs/Earbuds

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