Pros: Easy to EQ, comfortable for long sessions, price!
Cons: None yet.
I stumbled upon these headphones after numerous hours of research. To be quite honest, I'd never heard of this brand before so I was a bit hesitant before making the jump; especially after owning products from major brands such as Shure, Audio Technica and Beyerdynamic. You know what to expect from those brands, but from Brainwavz? Read on to find out more..
#Packaging: they come in a relatively small box (compared to the ATH-M50s), inside you'll find:
-A black and red hard shell carrying case that'll hold your headphones and accessories
-A carrying strap for your hard shell case
-The warranty card and instructions
-A spare pair of pleather ear pads
-The headphones themselves
-¼ audio jack
-Two removable cables (1.3m and 3m long)
-An airline adapter
-A pouch to store all the cables and audio jacks
#Design and Build Quality: and I thought my DT770s were big!
They're definitely not like any other set of cans you've seen before, as soon as you pick them up you'll notice how light and sturdy they are. Some parts are made out of plastic, but they don't feel cheaply made.
The ear pads seem to be of top notch quality, they're made out of pleather. If you do happen to break them, Brainwavz was kind enough to include a second pair; they both appear to be identical.
I was actually kind of surprised with the quality of the cables, they appear to be strong and both sets are removable and can be plugged in without any problems.
In my opinion the HM5s look super clean and modern, and I love the metal accents on the ear cups. You will like them wether you're 18 or 45.
#Sound Quality: after burning them in for 72 hours with lossless music and pink noise. Amped with a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc and iPod Classic w/Fiio LOD L9.
I like to buy different headphones because they all offer me different experiences; the ATH-M50s have a particular sound signature, as well as my Beyerdynamic DT770s and my Shure SE215. None of them sound alike, and that was one of the reasons I was in the market for a new set of closed back headphones. I also needed something less colored and more 'EQ friendly'. If you're a music fanatic like I am you will understand what I am saying.
Why do I have the Audio Technicas? Because sometimes I wanna feel the bass (and have my head rattle for a couple of hours with techno and industrial music)
Why do I have the Beyerdynamics? Because sometimes I wanna get that immersive experience without bothering those around me. Some people may disagree with me, but the soundstage on these puppies are outstanding, and not to mention little to no sound leaking.
Why do I have the Shure in ears? Because I also need something more portable and inexpensive but also have the best sound quality for the money.
The HM5s do not disappoint in terms of sound quality. Yes, they are flat, uncolored headphones. But that doesn't mean they're boring. It just means that you can pretty much EQ them in any way and direction you want to. If you're not a fan of EQing then leave them as they are, and you'll hear the music the way the artist intended.
If you've never heard a flat response headphone before then you're in for a treat. No, the bass will not rattle your head, but you will be able to hear the bass as opposed to feel the bass. The mids aren't overpowering and they give the vocals a nice presence. The highs are perfect and I did not experience any sort of sibilance (unlike the DT770s).
The soundstage is phenomenal; all the instruments are well separated.
You will not be bothering those around you either, the HM5s have great passive noise isolation, so there's almost no sound leakage.
I suggest listening to the following songs before you receive your headphones and then again after you burn them in.
Madness - Muse
Speed of Sound - Coldplay
Dreamers - Savoir Adore
Autumn's Monologue - From Autumn to Ashes
Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
House of Cards - Radiohead
Nature Trips - Eyedress
Also remember these are 64 Ohm headphones, so having something to power them is recommended.
#Final Thoughts: they're keepers!
Even if you hate these headphones you have to realize that you paid $129 for them. And not to mention all the great accessories that came with them (the case itself has to be worth at least $20 right?)
I, on the other hand, loved them. I couldn't be happier with them and in my opinion these are right 'up there' with the leaders in the hi-fi audio business.
They've earned a spot in my headphone collection, and I truly recommend them to you as long as you know what to expect.