Jerry Harvey Audio Performance Series Universal Fit IEMs

by Steve La Cerra
in Road Tests
Jerry Harvey Audio 13v2
Jerry Harvey Audio 13v2

One of the issues facing musicians who use IEMs is the debate over whether to use custom-fit or “generic” fit earpieces. Custom IEMs promise better isolation and increased comfort, but capturing an accurate ear impression is critical to a successful fit.

Some of my less fortunate associates have had nightmare experiences attempting to have their custom IEMs “tailored” to their ears due to less-than-optimal fitting. The other side of the fence is home to the generic or universal earpieces, which in theory may not fit as well as a custom IEM but eliminate several issues, among which is a trip to the audiologist for fitting. Universal fit IEMs tend to be less costly, so a large tour would be wise to have a few sets in the supply box in case one of the musicians loses or damages their IEMs (that never happens), or for guests.

Jerry Harvey Audio 16v2

‡‡    Both Sides Now
Having seen both sides, I’m somewhat inclined toward universal fit earpieces. And that’s where Jerry Harvey Audio’s Performance Series Universal Fit IEMs enter the room. The Performance Series is a line of IEMs aimed at musicians and/or engineers who need an alternative to custom IEMs.
Jerry Harvey Audio has extensive experience creating custom IEMs, and that experience has provided the company with insights into improving the size and shape of universal fit ear molds. Analyzing tens of thousands of custom-created molds has yielded data regarding common attributes of ear shape and geometry, such as a 10 percent upward angle for the earpiece sound bore. Jerry Harvey Audio has been able to reduce the size of the Universal Fit Series while improving comfort, maintaining seal integrity, and delivering a high level of audio performance.
There are four Performance Series Universal Fit IEMs starting with the 13v2 Pro, ranging up to the top-of-the line Roxanne. Make no mistake that — though it is the least expensive in the range — the 13v2 Pro is a premium-level IEM. Filling in the middle of the Series are the Lola and the 16v2 Pro. All models share certain attributes: 26 dB isolation, multi-driver technology with a three-way crossover, 3D-printed shells, and Jerry Harvey Audio’s patented FreqPhase Steel Tube Waveguide which corrects arrival time differences between drivers to within 0.01 mS. A detachable, locking 4-pin cable by Moon Audio features a variable bass attenuator, enabling adjustment of the low-frequency response (more on that below).
Performance Series Universals are shipped in a really nice package that includes the earpieces and cable, an aluminum case that appears to be indestructible, a miniature screwdriver for adjusting the bass response, a tool for removing wax from the earpiece bore, and five extra sets of ear tips. A brief instruction manual is also included. All of Jerry Harvey Audio’s IEMs are covered by a one-year warranty for parts and labor.

Jerry Harvey Audio Lola

‡‡    Don’t Have a Fit, Man
Getting proper bass response and isolation from any IEM is predicated upon a secure fit. If air leaks into the ear canal, then the bass response — and the amount of isolation — will be compromised. Performance Series Universals are furnished with three pairs of silicone and three pairs of Comply foam rubber ear tips. It took some experimentation with the tips to find the ones that were most comfortable while also providing the best isolation. Once I found the tips that worked best for me, I needed a bit of practice to get a feel for correctly inserting the earpieces. I gravitated toward the small Comply tip, closely followed by the small silicone tip. These provided great bass response and maintained integrity of the seal. I would love to see Jerry Harvey Audio offer a triple-flanged “Christmas Tree” silicone tip, which I’ve found very effective when using other IEMs. You’ll need to try out the various tips to discover which ones work for you. My initial listening experience with the medium size silicone tips was discouraging. I couldn’t get a good seal, so the bass response was thin and the isolation was compromised. Finding the right tip cured all of those issues, so don’t judge the performance of the IEM until you’ve got the right fit.
All four models employ an in-line bass attenuator on the cable, which is the source of my only gripe. The dials on the attenuator are necessarily small (otherwise there’d be a lump in the middle of the cable) and very difficult to read. Even under a magnifying lamp, I had trouble reading the dial position. Most of the time I had them set to a hair above halfway but I’d really like to see a clear, notched indicator for the “factory reset” position. Regardless, the attenuators operate exactly as they should. The manual cautions against moving the pot past the 5 o’clock position, which could damage the attenuators permanently. Locking screws provide a very secure connection to the earpieces, and the cables are pliable and easy to dress. If you need to remove the cable from the earpieces, a notch in the socket ensures that you replace them correctly.

Jerry Harvey Audio Roxanne

‡‡    Inside the Lineup
I started with the 13v2 Pro ($999). The first thing I noticed was how efficient they were compared to some of other IEMs I’ve used. I’m not one to blast my ears, but it’s nice to know that they’ll play plenty loud if that’s your thing. The 13v2 Pro produces an uncolored, natural response, without hyping or emphasizing any part of the frequency range. Upper mid and high frequencies were clear but not etched, and the imaging was very solid. Vocals sounded very realistic. The bass response did not extend super-low, but the bass that was reproduced was tight and clear. Keep in mind that judging bass on earpieces is always difficult, because there’s no “feel” involved. I could be very happy using the 13v2 Pros.
Next I jumped to Roxanne ($1,599), which delivered all of the 13v2 Pro’s capabilities and then some. Bass response extends farther down, and the overall fullness of sound is ridiculous (in a good way). It’s no wonder that Jerry Harvey Audio sells a ton of Roxanne to the audiophile market. I could easily describe the sound of Roxanne as “luxurious,” but I won’t, because then you’d think you were reading some snooty high-end audiophile magazine where they hawk power cables that sell for $3K each. Roxanne has the best dynamic range of the bunch, the deepest low-frequency extension and easily handles complex mixes without complaining. Roxanne can reveal subtleties and low-level details in a mix for better or worse, so if the kick drum pedal is squeaky, best to fix it before the band arrives for sound check.
Lola ($1,599) was clearly the queen of the bottom-end. When the bass attenuator was open all the way (fully clockwise) Lola produced too much low-end for my taste, seemingly more than the other models. I ended up setting Lola’s attenuators lower than the others to restore balance. I felt like Lola was voiced much differently from the other models. This could be due to the fact that Lola employs a hybrid design, combining dual-low/quad-high balanced armatures with dual dynamic midrange drivers. Lola’s reproduction of male and female vocals was a bit set back in the soundstage compared to the other three. She was also less efficient than the other models and it felt like the Lola earpieces needed more of a boot in the rear-end (more power) to get going. I’d describe Lola’s timbre as analog-like. Of the four Performance Series Universals, Lola was my least favorite. I had to break up with her.
The Performance Series 16v2 Pro ($1,299) is the “sweet spot” of the line. More transparent than the 13v2 Pro (but less so than Roxanne), the 16v2 Pro delivers a lot of bang for the buck. Bass is tight, extended and more rounded than the 13v2 Pro. Kick and bass have impact, and instruments like snare drum and vocal are crisp and present. Voicing is similar to that of the 13v2 Pro, with increased transparency. The 16v2 Pro definitely yields more dynamic range than the 13v2 Pro, as well as improved clarity and faster transients. It shares the midrange presence of Roxanne, and in fact has more in common with Roxanne than the 13v2 Pro or Lola. These were my favorite. As with all models in the Performance Series Universal line, the 16v2 Pros will play louder than your Mom ever wanted you to listen to music.

‡‡    The Bottom Line
Using any of Jerry Harvey Audio’s Performance Series Universal Fit IEMs was a pleasure. They sound great, maintain isolation and — once you get the right tip — fit comfortably. They seem to be built to last, although I certainly didn’t throw them around or stomp on them. The locking cables ensure that you won’t have any mishaps during a performance, and the variable bass attenuators are very effective for tweaking the low-end.
In use, I found that all models in the Performance Series provided excellent audio quality and were capable of playing audio far louder than I’d ever care to listen without generating any distortion. The earpieces are sized and weighted to be as unobtrusive as possible. Custom-fit IEM snobs — take notice. If you are looking for an IEM solution, I’d definitely recommend an audition. 

At a Glance

High Performance, Universal Fit

Jerry Harvey Audio’s Performance Series Universal Fit IEMs, including the Roxanne, Lola, 16v2 and 13v2, all bring a high level of audio reproduction to the universal fit market. All models feature -26 dB of isolation and variable bass attenuation for tuning the low-end.

JH Performance Series


• Excellent sound across the frequency range

• Lightweight earpieces

• Locking, removable cable with bass attenuators

• All models play plenty loud


• Bass attenuator needs a “0” marker and is very difficult to read

• Ditto for the print in the instruction manual


  • 26 dB Isolation
  • Multi-Driver Technology with a Three-Way Crossover
  • 3D-Printed Shells
  • FreqPhase Steel Tube Waveguide
  • One-Year Warranty (Parts & Labor)


  • Roxanne: $1,599
  • Lola: $1,599
  • 16v2 Pro: $1,299
  • 13v2 Pro: $999

Manufacturer: Jerry Harvey Audio

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