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Brainwavz Delta

Posted

Pros: Great fit, decent mids, very durable

Cons: Bass could be more refined, treble peak gets annoying, no case--for $20 I don't expect too much

While the high end IEM market has more options than ever, the sub $20 market is largely full of mediocre products, save for a few gems like the Xiaomi Pistons and LG Quadbeats. Last year, before the Xiaomi fever, Brainwavz released their own contenders: the Deltas. I reviewed these a while ago, but I guess I never uploaded the review before my computer decided to crash, so this is my short rewritten review.

 

The packaging is basic, coming in a plastic box most sub-$20 big box IEMs come in, but don’t let that discourage their quality. Sadly, the Deltas don’t come with a case (not too surprising, but I wish they did), but they do come with three pairs of silicone tips and a pair of Comply tips. Their build is fantastic for such a cheap pair of IEM’s. Their cable is somewhat thin, but not any worse than the typical low end JVC offering. Their Y-splitter is obnoxiously large though. The housing is metal, which is somewhat uncommon for such little money. Overall, I’m pretty happy with their build; they make fantastic workout IEMs because their housings are small enough to stay in my ear and their cable is sturdy enough to survive the occasional snag.

 

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a Piston, and I’m too cheap to buy a pair because they’d see little use, so I’m going to avoid comparisons. But from what I do remember, the Pistons are slightly better at the cost of not staying in my ears nearly as well as the Deltas.

 

The Deltas are clearly tuned to be bass heavy, as most budget IEMs are. But like most budget IEMs, I wish the bass was a little more controlled. I hesitate to call it muddy, but it’s definitely not refined—kind of like brown sugar, if that makes sense. It doesn’t extend down to 20hz, but it can hold its own with tracks that require deep bass.

 

Midrange is usually where cheaper IEMs stumble. The Delta has a slight RE400esque tone to it, if a little but more laidback than the RE400 (I’ve only ever heard the RE400 balanced, so I may or may not be off  in that aspect). I heard the slightest bit of edge to it when I first used them, but after hours of running with them on, I either got used to it or it magically disappeared.

 

Their treble is probably the Deltas’ weakest point. It just doesn’t sound very coherent in the upper end.  There is a bit of a 10k peak that gets a little fatiguing for me after using them for over an hour, but I think I’m abnormally sensitive in that region because the W1000X has a similar peak and I that headphone actually gave me headaches.

 

The soundstage is abnormally large for such a cheap IEM, which is a pleasant surprise. It might be the treble peak that allows for a little more airiness than most other budget IEMs, so some people may enjoy that.

 

For $19.50, Brainwavz did  fantastic job at providing respectable sound in a great housing, but, as many of you know, Xiaomi did a better job at fitting great sound in a $25 package. Of course, I never got the best fit with the Xiaomi, so for now, I’ll keep my Deltas and be happy I actually have something that I can stand to listen to while exercising without wanting to cry if sweat eventually breaks them.

Posted

Pros: build quality, price, low microphonics, decent clarity

Cons: unrefined bass, grainy mids, average highs, driver flex, average instrument separation

Now let me start by saying that at the time I purchased these Delta's, I was looking for a step up to my Philips SHE3580's to get a better quality budget iem. I have just sold my JVC FX40's and my Sennheiser CX215. This before I bought the Vsonic VSD1S, GR99, or the LG Quadbeats. i was researching through head-fi for a budget bump in quality. The Delta's were getting a bit of positive press, so for $20.00, I took the dive. I was excited to receive my newest go to IEM. When i go them in the mail, I hurried home and did the mandatory 2 hour burn in with sweeps and noise at moderate levels before listening to them. Then I popped them in using my Sansa Fuze and E11 amp, and well...ummm....what's up with this "balanced bass"?? it was muddy and forward. The highs were nicely presented, but the mids were grainy and instrument separation was less than the SHE3580's. Ok so maybe they need some decent burn in time? I put a loop on my computer with the E11 amp, playing SKREAM! A few hours later i took them off the burn loop, and put them in again. This time I switched between the Sansa, my Sony 475, and iPod Touch. Though clarity improved and the highs were fairly refined and extended, the bass was still very unruly and unrefined. The grain in the mids was still present, taking away from the smoothness of the presentation, and the reported balance just wasn't there. These turned out to be bass forward/mid forward IEM's, where the bass simply wasn't refined enough to pull off a high end budget presentation like the SHE3580's or the LG Quadbeats. Even the JVC FX40's had better instrument separation and clearer mids than the Deltas. The biggest problem i was was that I had to turn the bass EQ down to get decent clarity, and flat, the grain in the mids really shown as these struggled to present instrument separation with average soundstage and definitely budget imaging. Even the GR99's excelled over the Brainwavz Delta's in these categories. Then there's the question of the mild but still noticeable driver flex from the shape of the aluminum housings. They are very small, and lightweight, and as such, with the design of the driver housing, driver flex tends to happen from the seal being moved within the ear canal from the housing construct. These are most definitely a $20.00 IEM, and no, IMHO they do not perform outside and above their price range. They perform right at the price they fetch. There are many budget IEM's that perform better and brighter at the price range, and exceed their domain. Several are mentioned above. 

 

Now build quality is definitely a plus. These things are pretty, built like a tank, and the high quality cord is free of most microphonics and tangling. They also have a nice angled jack, and lovely strain relief. Gorgeous design...and BUDGET sound. 

Posted

Pros: fabulous instrument emphasis and clarity , imaging , sound stage , fast decay , fantstic resolution for highs .

Cons: bass is not up to the mark , lags at times , vshaped sound sig , grainy .

     first thing first ,       

     if you have doubts , please let me clear them , these are some of the best $20 phones in this world .

 

     secondly , thanks to razzer001 , thanks man , for this review unit , love these phones .

 

     i got these phones 2 weeks ago , and to make things clear these are burned in for nearly 90 hrs , before burning , bass was nearly non existent , every thing else was a bit unclear , more grainy sounding and lagged a bit more , and i was like is this it ? while listening to dispatch - circle around the sun and many other songs , it felt like stopping at times , for micro seconds , it feels like that till now but not much , but this phone lags with house music and busy songs ( could be just mine only but not likely ) , for something like james blunt and the passenger , this phone's performance is flaw less for its price .

 

     lets start with the package and miscs , mine came with nothing else but a pair of m size ear tip and the phone itself , but the retail package comes with few more tips , and a pair of comply foam tips , you can't ask for a carry case at this price but a carry pouch and more easily a cable clip will do good , unlike ha-fx40 , these are microphonic , so please add a cable clip .

     striking design , beautiful looking phones i must say , nice aluminum shells , white and red is not for everyone but are beautiful . L R marking is hard to find , they are on the side wall of the ear pieces , written in white hence making it hard to see under low light conditions , its not a big deal but these small things are frustration at times .

 

     lets start the sq with bass , wont go deep down the spectrum , but manageable , not much resolution in there , detail is okay , fall behind competition in this department , pny midtown 200 and ha-fx40 are more resolving and has batter bass presence in them , ha-fx40 is deeper in the spectrum . a bit dry but fast enough , never muddy , decay is really nice . and never gets into mids at all .

 

     mids does have a back seat , remember these phones have a v shaped sound sig , but not as big as ha-fx40 , fx40 are really deep into that V , even so delta is clear enough , as clear as eu400/500 , vocals are really clear thanks to the bass , instruments are nicely emphasized , you can hear even tiniest tingle of instruments clearly , top notch imaging , instruments are not much separable but are good enough , layering is not bad at all but you can not expect good layering at this price point , still you can clearly hear the background singers and instruments . sounds a bit unnatural , feels like the sound is coming form a a tin can , but its not a problem at all . overall this phone has beautiful mids and is par with many mid range phones . sound stage is really good , deep , not much wide , and feels hollow . overall imaging is just awesome , but overall clarity falls behind ha-fx40 due to its grainy sounding nature . you can hear nearly everything , but they are not clearer .

 

    now comes the highs , in this phone , this part of the spectrum has most amount of detail , and are emphasized nicely , this spectrum drives the whole sound sig , peaky , but i love it , i love high end

spark , shining instruments , thanks to a mid-high bump , cymbals shines , and oh god i love this sharpness , cuts like a knife on butter , decay not to say at these are sharp enough , is fabulous . simply put , beautiful highs .

 

    finally , sound sig , these might not please some , cuz at budget , most people want bass , pounding nonsense muddy kind of bass , but if you are not a bass fan boy , welcome to a more balanced treble oriented sound sig . with clear mids , not too dark , not too bright , slightly dry sounding phone . and not to forget a bit grainy .

 

    some changes i would like to see is , some more bass , and a cable clip , please , a cable clip .

 

 

as it reads , sample unit .

 

 

 

    

    so this is , brainwavz delta , the best non bass oriented / clarity oriented entry level phone . and can be a nice gift for your dear one .

 

    have a nice holiday ahead , enjoy , good day .

Posted

Pros: Price, SQ, Soundstage, Price, Clarity, Price, Build Quality

Cons: No case? color scheme?

Finally! A solid performer from Brainwavz in both SQ and price! The Delta's lead time has been a bother for those of us who pre-ordered, however, rest assured the wait is worth it. There are plenty of budget bracket IEMs out there (believe me, I've heard a lot of them) and these are among the best. 

 

Out of the box, the red and white color scheme certainly is eye-catching, along with the aluminum housing. They have solid strain reliefs, sturdy cable, and metal housing. No durability issues on the horizon here. The included tips will do the trick, however, replacements may be tricky as they have a very large nozzle. I was a little disappointed in the fact that they didn't come with a case, but for $20 what can you expect?

 

Upon first listen, I was less than impressed, however, they've grown on me. A lot. First impression consisted of a decent midrange surrounded by thin bass and lackluster treble extension. To be fair, I gave them a little time with my DX50 and I'm certainly glad I did.

 

The treble has extended much more, making me feel much better about the potential detail retrieval. They certainly aren't trebly enough to ever be considered sibilant, but they offer enough extension that I don't consciously want more. 

 

The mids remind me of a diet RE400 (actually, come to think of it, the whole package reminds me of a diet RE400...). They're filled out nicely without being too aggressive or recessed. [cue Forrest Gump]. That's all I have to say about that.

 

The bass has improved with mental burn-in. I wouldn't say it offers a lot of slam but its presence is there when called for. I can enjoy Mingus equally as well as Macklemore. Granted there isn't a ton of sub bass, but the extension is plenty for a $20 IEM. 

 

It also bears mentioning that the soundstage on these guys is impressive. The first time I realized that they deserved more attention was upon listening to a live Brubeck recording. As the upright solo started, I was looking over my shoulder to locate the sound of something I thought was behind me! That's not exaggeration. Perhaps the large nozzle helps with this, but the Delta's positioning and sense of space is good. Period.

 

The only aspect in which I'd like to see a change is the color scheme. Yes the red and white is cool and little different. But honest if the red OR white was changed to black, I think they'd be a lot easier on the eyes.

 

Overall this is an excellent budget IEM from Brainwavz that has earned a spot in my lineup over a handful of others that cost twice as much.

Posted

Pros: Value to Sound Quality Ratio, Robust Build Quality

Cons: None at this price

Brainwavz Delta

""

The Brainwavz Delta is a new benchmark in the budget iem market. For an asking price of $22, you get metal housings, a very pliable but sturdy cable and good strain reliefs all the way around. Size wise the housings are reminiscent of the new Hifiman RE series and they come with a decent selection of tips; I prefer the stock white tips. Wear style is over the ear or down but I prefer them over the ear. While the Deltas do not come with a case or pouch, they really look to be able to take a beating and best of all- they sound fantastic!

""

The first thing I noticed out of the box is pretty nice balance. Most offerings in this price range tend to be bass first and boomy but not so with the Deltas. That’s not to say they are lean on bass, and in my estimation, they are on the plentiful side. They do have a nice deeper rumble but more of the bass seems to be focused around 200hz without becoming over bearing or over doing it.

The next noticeable aspect is that they have very nice shimmer and sparkle to the treble, which is prominent and fairly balanced to the bass. Dips are 8 and 10k, placing much of the shimmer around 7and 9k. The Delta also appears to have nice extension beyond the typical 10k drop-off.

This description would lead one to believe the Deltas are V shaped but somehow I don’t really get that impression. The midrange stays pretty prominent before taking a moderate dip between 2 and 4k, leaving a somewhat laid back upper midrange but it definitely doesn’t get lost in the presentation.

""

Comparison to SoundMagic E10 ($35)

The E10 has more sub bass rumble and in general a similar overall bass presence/quantity as the Delta, however both are very satisfying with a rich and rounded note. Both have excellent treble sparkle but the Delta may have the edge here, while I really love the tonality and smoothness of the E10, the Delta doesn’t give up much in tonality to it and seems to have bit more treble articulation/precision. The trade-off is just a touch more occurrence of sibilance from the Delta. Both present vocals fairly similarly, laid back but very clear, with perhaps the Deltas a little more forward. The result is a wider, airier soundstage in the E10 but a taller, more forward soundstage in the Delta.

Conclusion

While the E10 costs $13 or so more, its cable isn’t as robust or as pliable. Also its strain reliefs are not as robust but it does have metal housings. It really is quite an accomplishment for the Delta to offer these qualities at such a reduced retail cost. I’ve only compared the Delta to the E10, as it is the only iem under $50, maybe under $75 I’ve heard that competes with it. The E10 has been my budget benchmark in sound quality and build since its release. I’m happy to say that the Brainwavz has equaled it at an astonishingly cheaper price. You really can’t go wrong with either and I’m happy to be an owner of both.

Thanks to Brainwavz for the review sample.

Posted

Pros: well built and balanced sound with exceptional clarity for an IEM at it's price point.

Cons: treble can be a bit grainy

I received this IEM from the manufacturer to review. I have to admit I was bit excited about this particular IEM because I had a feeling it might be an anomaly in the IEM world in regards to it's signature versus it's price point. Prior to receiving this IEM almost all IEM's at the $20 price point have had a tendency to be really cheaply built or congested bass oriented thumpers that just give me a head-ache. I was very happy to find out my hunch was CORRECT!

 

Out of the box the sound of these little guys has been pleasantly neutral, offering a nice balanced bass line in conjunction with the midrange and treble and they are surprising clear sounding with an average sound stage. If I have one small concern it would the grain I hear in the treble but this issue is not to severe and the treble is still better than anything else I have heard at this price point.

 

I also am very impressed with the build quality as well. These have excellent strain relief a solid feeling cable. The cable is a bit springy but again is better than most IEM's at this price point. They also come with a good selection of tips and an excellent semi hard case for their mere $20 price tag.

 

In regards to isolation these will not win any awards but they average to maybe a bit above average in this regard.

 

All of this adds up to being one of the best bargains I have seen in a good while. The only thing that should stop anyone from buying these is if they WANT a heavy bass response. In which case these will not satisfy and I would recommend something like the Brainwavz S1 instead.

 

All of my listening has been done from my Nokia 920 phone using 256KB MP3 files. The genres I used for the testing were Jazz, classical choral, orchestral, classic rock, Celtic music, and a smattering of country. In all cases the Delta sounded good. I only hit a very small selection of music where I wished I had more bass. In most cases the music sounded nice and balanced without coming across as boring or clinical.

Brainwavz Delta
Description:

New well built, balanced sounding budget IEM from Brainwavz.

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