Pros: Amazingly detailed and sparkly highs; fluent and detailed, slightly forward mids; tight, punchy and detailed bass.
Cons: Bass doesn't extend very far; slightly sibilant when using silicone tips; cable could use an outer wrapper.
Hello and welcome to my first Head-Fi review...ever!
Having owned the Brainwavz B2 for around seven months, I have had enough time with them to write an honest, unbiased review; albeit a brief one.
I bought these in the UK for £100 (about $155 USD) in December 2011, and was pleasantly surprised seeing as they originally retailed for a lot more. Are they worth the money? You'll have to read the conclusion to find out.
The Brainwavz B2 features two balanced armature drivers: one woofer, for lows and mids and one tweeter, for the highs. Whomever tuned the tweeter is a genius, as these have the best highs I've ever heard from an IEM before. At first, when I put these in my ears for the first time (using the supplied silicone tips), I was seriously unimpressed: the bass was thin, the mids were okay, and the treble was seriously off-putting; it hurt my ears. Since using the Shure Black Olives, everything sounds 10x better. The highs are crispy, delicious, full of sparkle and detail, and are very revealing. I often find myself EQing my other headphones to highten the treble, as I now love the sound signature of these IEMs.
The mids — when combined with some foam tips — are very impressive, too. They are slightly forward and very revealing, and detailed. The mids are a bit too airy though, and may sound unnatural to some. Also, there is also a peak in the higher mids that may sound a bit harsh to some. All in all, they pack some seriously good mids for the price point.
These IEMs pack a rather controversial sound signature; that is, if you're used to cheaper headphones with lots of bass. If you love your bass, steer clear of these! These are not for bassheads. Not even for people whom enjoy a slightly forward bass sound signature. You see, the world today has made newcomers believe that bass is everything when it comes to music, so it takes a while to get used to the bass on these, as the lows, mids and highs are pretty much flat. This may make the lows seem weak compared to the cheaper, dynamic driver-based competition out there, but it's not: the bass is there, and with a good seal with your tip of choice (preferably foam), the bass is very revealing, and comes out when it's called. It is also thumpy, but lacks the sub-bass rumble that other headphones posses. In my tests, these only extend down to around 30Hz, before quickly rolling off to nothing. The bass is, however, very quick, very tight and very detailed.
For the price, you'll be extremely hard-pressed to find a better IEM. The main competitors to this model are the UE 700 (featuring the same type of dual balanced armature drivers), the q-JAYS, and the VSONIC GR07. I do not own these other models, so I cannot comment on them, but seriously...I don't think sound can get much better at this price point. I would happily pay 50% more for these!