Review: Brainwavz S0

I would like to thank Brainwavz for this sample for review, I will write as honest a review possible, these received over 50hrs burn-in and no major differences were noted.


Specifications
·                     Drivers Dynamic, 9mm
·                     Rated Impedance 16 Ω
·                     Frequency Range 18Hz - 18kHz
·                     Sensitivity 100 dB @ 1 mW
·                     Cable 1.2m/Y-Cord/Flat/Copper
·                     Plug 3.5mm Gold Plated

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
Packaging is like most other brainwavz packaging, a simple grey and black box with red highlights, it has an image of the IEM's on the front, and specification, information and list of accessories on the sides and back. The front has a magnetic flap that opens to show the S0 and Carry case in its packaging. Once you get inside the packaging you are greeted by the S0 held in a plastic tray with the carry case below containing the accessories. The packaging does it job by protecting the headphones in transit and it is also eye catching aswell.


Build quality is very good, they have a flat cable which is sturdy, luckily the jack housing is not overly large neither is the y-split, unlike the S5 which had a massive y-split, the housing is metal and well put together with no visual defects. The strain relief on the jack, y-split and housing are all very good and these would make good gym/go-to portable IEM's that can stand up to some abuse.



Accessory wise you get plenty of tips, S, M and L in 2 types of single flange tip, 1 pair of bi-flanges, 1 pair of triple flanges and a pair of Comply S400 foam tips. Along with the multitude of tips, you get the great brainwavz hard case and also a cable clip. A great amount of accessories and everything that is needed.

Comfort, Isolation, Cable noise and Driver flex:
 Comfort wise, I love Comply tips and am a convert, so using Comply tips I find these very comfy, the housing creates no pressure against my ear and I can wear these for long periods of time. These can be worn with the cable straight down or over the ear.

Isolation is good, they are vented so don't expect isolation quite as good as a fully closed IEM, but they do a very good job at blocking out outside noise and would be fine for use for general commuting.

Cable noise is not a huge problem, it is present but the supplied cable clip helps keep noise to a minimum, unfortunately there is no chin slider.

Driver flex is not an issue, I experienced none at all.


Sound:

Lows: The lows on these are full yet controlled, they give the sound a slight warmth, without being overwhelming. They keep up with faster rock, yet handle the deep tones of double bass in jazz with no problems. They have good punch, and good extension, they do sometimes sound a little flat, and bass guitar is sometimes masked by the punch, but the lows are fine for easy listening and are not bloated and boomy.

Mids: The lower mids are slightly masked by the lows, which makes male vocals sound a little too thick and slightly veiled. But the mids are not overly recessed, and vocals and guitars are both present but lack the intricate detail of higher end IEM's, but for the price I cannot complain. The upper mids don't suffer from sibilance, and they are smooth and don't offend, however they are not the most realistic sounding mids, piano really lacks natural timbre.

Highs: Sparkly and with good presence without sounding tinny or flat, the highs are one of my favourite aspects of these, they are always present without being over the top and glaring, they are just there to compliment the rest of the sound, and do this with detail and control. You can hear every tap of a cymbal without fatigue, however when listening to faster and more complex music the highs are slightly masked but still audible, their extension also lacks and they roll off a little too quick.

Soundstage and instrument separation is good but they are a more intimate sounding IEM which limits the soundstage to a more in your head experience, and also the aggressive presentation also means there is little air between all instruments.


Conclusion, these are good little budget IEM's, yes they cannot compete with higher end IEM's in terms of detail retrieval and finesse, but they do pull off a likeable sound that is balanced and great for listening to music when on the go or working out where you don't need to pay attention to every little nuance. These have good build quality with an easy to listen to sound signature that is never fatiguing, all for a small price, I think they are a good buy if you're looking for a budget pair of throw about IEM's or as a gift to a friend/family.



Sound Perfection Rating: 6/10 (non-offensive sound in a budget yet well built package)

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