REVIEW: Brainwavz B200
Driver: Dual Balanced Armature
Frequency: 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
Sensitivity: 110 dB
Cable: 1.3 m Y-Cord, OFC Copper
Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated
Price: U$D 199 (MSRP)
Warranty: 24 months
- 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S,M,L)
- 1 pair of Comply Foam Tips T-100 (red)
- Shirt clip
- Velcro cable tie
The B200 is the 3rd model from the new Brainwavz Balanced Armature series. The B200 shares the same design of the B150, all plastic compact shells in an over-ear fit. For the B150 the build quality was just decent for the ~$100 price, however for the $200 priced B200 it’s much less impressive, considering the many competitors. The cable is standard, soft and well behaved, but thin and lacks a good strain relief at the housing part.
The small, lightweight and low profile of the B200 is very comfortable as an over-ear fit. The thin nozzle works well for even small ears, and despite the more shallow fit, isolation is very good as a sealed BA earphone.
The Dual BAlanced Sound
The overall sound signature is warm, smooth and full bodied. The B200 is probably using dual BA Knowles with a CI inside for the lows, thus the sound is very similar to many other IEMs with a similar BA driver configuration with a certain ‘stage monitor’ like tuning that resembles the Westone UM series with an extra warm boost from the lows. Yet, the B200 is musical and very enjoyable, and could be considered to be darker when compared to the lower priced B150 model. While not a really bass heavy IEM, the low-end is far from being neutral. It’s deep, impactful and very good in texture. Dynamics are surprisingly good for a BA, fast and accurate. In terms of bass quantity the B200 is just a touch short of the UM3x or LZ A4, but obviously far more than the old B2 flagship.
Midrange is fairly sweet, but not overly full or particularly forward. Well distanced showing good sense of space between the singer and the listener while still having enough sense of intimacy. The fuller midrange carries a more convincing texture in expense of less treble detail. There is a bit of highlight at the upper mid region that helps to prevent it from sounding too dark. The B200 may be missing the crispness of a TWFK-based set, but for a BA earphone the note weight is very impressive.
Treble is smooth but well extended, delicate and not missing in detail having just enough sparkle and energy. The B200 is by no means for treble or micro-detail fans, however, it is very comfortable and forgiving making the music more enjoyable. Imaging is good and the soundstage has enough depth to prevent the earphone from sounding intimate despite its warm tone and thicker midrange. Width, depth and height are all equally leveled giving a very coherent 3D effect.
B200 vs B150 (link)
The B150 already rated quite good in terms of SQ for a single BA driver unit, offering a well balanced sound with a slight mid-centered signature and some extra emphasis at the upper mids and lower treble for a better vocal presentation. While sub-bass is lacking (typical for a single BA at this price) the mid-bass is not missing, with a better than average stage. The B200, however, with a dual BA driver brings a much more balanced and fuller sound from lows to highs. The sub-bass is more realistic, closer to a good dynamic driver, and mid-bass while stronger is also more controlled and nicer layered. Treble is much smoother and forgiving, yet more extended and shows a bit more detail despite being more laid back in nature. Tonally, the B200 is darker and richer which is very noticed in the midrange region, with more weight in instruments and some better coherence and level between lower and upper voices. Technically, the B200 is better, though it’s more a matter of taste as both models are fairly different in their overall presentation.
While I yet have to try the lower B100 model, the half priced B150 is easier to recommend over the B200 in terms of value for the money. The build quality is nothing outstanding on the B150, and for the B200 is actually disappointing. Comfort and isolation is still well worth. Nonetheless, as for sound quality alone the B200 is well worth its price tag, competing well with more expensive IEM sets, such as the classical UM3x, and giving a good fight to the Dunu DN1000/2000 and the newer LZ A4. The B200 is the anti-thesis of the old B2 in terms of sound presentation, still offering a similar sound quality level.
Thanks to Brainwavz for the B200 unit.