Review: Brainwavz S1

Brainwavz S1 Review:

Firstly i would like to thank MP4Nation for sending me this sample for review, they asked if i would like to try the pre-production S1 model and of course I accepted to see what they were making. All opinions expressed are my own, I will try and write as honest a review possible.
These received over 50hrs of burn-in, changes were noted, so don't judge them straight out of the box.

Gear Used:
IPod Classic 160gb (rockboxed) > S1 with comply tips

Specs I do not have for the moment, all I know is that they will be priced around $70

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
These came with no packaging as they are a pre-production pair, so we shall see what they do in the future packaging wise.

Accessories that came with this pair is subject to change, but mine came with the usual Brainwavz semi-hard carry case, a 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter, 1 pair of medium comply foam tips, 3 pairs of soft grey single flange silicone tips, 3 pairs of standard black single flange silicone tips, and 1 pair of large bi-flange tips.
A good array of accessories, some other size bi-flange tips would be an added bonus i think. 

Build quality is very good, they feel very sturdy and well made, unlike the M5 with its problematic strain relief and different versions.
The housing is all metal, and excellently finished, the cable is a bit too thick in my opinion, and its flat, I would have preferred a normal round cable. The strain relief on the housing and jack is very sturdy but quite bulky, and the y-split is massive! But it has a chin slider, these look perfect for the gym, as they look like they can take a beating. I'm not so keen on the colour scheme though, the plum and silver is a bit odd, why not keep it black and silver, or red and black.

Comfort, Isolation, Driver Flex and Cable Noise:
Comfort is fine for long periods of use once you have found the right tips. They are designed to be worn cable over the ear, and I prefer this style, once inserted they stay in place and don't need readjusting, I found the foam tips to be the most comfortable and also the best SQ wise.

Isolation is good, fine for standard use and most public transport. The housing is vented but they don't suffer too much isolation wise from this.

Driver flex I did not find to be a problem, the vented housing prevents this I think.

Cable noise is also not a problem due to them being worn over the ear.

Split in to the usual 3 categories with a conclusion at the end.

The lows are what first grab your attention, not because of the quantity but because of the power and depth. They have great mid-bass punch that is backed up by excellent extension. They have good control as well never becoming boomy or loose, but they are not the quickest in recovery. The lows are very well done on these, and the mids are not greatly affected by the lows. Kick drums sound real with body, not hollow or flat, bass guitar is articulate and the lows are well separated.

Not a lot to say about the mids, they are nothing special, but they do nothing bad either. They sit just behind the lows and highs in the mix, but are not shadowed or veiled. They have some warmth from the lows which helps them not sound dry or thin, they never sound harsh or shouty. The mids are just very smooth and easy to listen to. Both male and female vocals sound fine, but some electric guitar parts of certain songs lack a little power.

When I first listened to these, I found the highs to sound a little harsh and metallic, they have a peak somewhere in the lower highs that makes them a little aggressive and harsh. Using the foam tips helps tone this down a little and after some burn-in the highs do get a little less harsh. They have enough sparkle and detail to not sound dark, but they could be a little more detailed and defined. But for the price they are fine, and I cannot complain, at least they are present unlike some budget models.
Instrument separation is good, nothing brilliant but at least they don't sound too congested on faster tracks, Imaging and soundstage is also fine, the soundstage is wider than average, but depth and height are fairly average, L and R separation is well done and panning effects are correctly portrayed.

For the price these will be, I can recommend them, much better than the M5 which i found to be a little bright and not very well built. These have a smooth sound and solid build, which makes them great for working out or just relaxing, the sound is very consumer friendly so they will appeal to a larger group of people without sacrificing the finer details us audio lovers enjoy.
Well done Brainwavz, I am enjoying the direction your heading in, just keep up the good work.

Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (Great buy)
Comparable to: Hisound Wooduo 2, Dunu DN-22 Landmine

Tracks Used:
Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)
Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)
Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)
Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)
Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)
Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)
The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)
Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)
The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)
A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)
Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)
Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)
Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)
We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)
Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)
Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)
Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)