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My review of Brainwavz Beta

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Brainwavz Beta

Specs.
Single dynamic driver 11mm, with bass filter system
Frequency range: 8Hz – 28KHz
Impedance: 24Ohm
Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
Price: $29.50
Colours: Silver/black

Build quality and accessories.
Build quality is very good. The housing is made of metal/high quality plastic and the 125 cm long cable, with its 45 degree jack is a soft, rubbery compound. The included accessories are, three pairs of silicone sleeves (2 cone shaped and 1 dual flange) and a pair of foam sleeves, bass filters, a pouch, a shirtclip and a cable manager. Not bad, but the cones are questionable due to shape and fit, at least to my ears.
Edit: Found a pack of three different sized foam/hybrid sleeves and a pair of earhooks in a "hidden" compartment of the packaging. The foam/hybrid sleeves are very comfortable and reminds of the Shure ones, but they are even nicer and more comfortable to my ears.

Comfort and fit.
The Beta’s are light even if they are larger than average sized, and they are about average for comfort and isolation. They can be worn both with the cable running over the ear as well as straight down. The sleeves provided should be enough for most users to get a good seal, the dual flanges did it for me. There are some microphonic noises, but they can be reduced by running the cable over the ears and using the clip.

Sound quality.
As a dynamic IEM the Beta’s require time to settle (burn in) to sound their best. Once settled they offer a powerful and involving sound. The bass is tight and punchy without interfering on the rest of the soundspectrum, the mids are smooth and the highs are crisp if a little recessed, the soundstage is wider than average. Using the bass filter, that easily screws on to the stem, they seem to become even more dynamic. The bass tightens up and punches harder, the mids levels out and becomes fuller, the highs are if not lifted up, then at least not as much in the background as without the filter. Soundstage seems to become a little bigger as well. Without the bass filter they would suit acoustic and folk oriented music, with the added dynamics they suit rock and bass driven music like a glove.
I prefer them with the bass filter on, but it must be said that the high sound quality of the Beta’s is a real eye(ear)-opener, they sound really good.

To sum up.
The good: powerful and fun sound, bass filter to adjust sound signature.
The bad: a larger selection of sleeves would be good. Edit: disregard from this, for the price there are no real shortcomings on the Beta's.

Verdict: for the price they offer a very good overall sound. I do highly recommend them.
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post #2 of 38
Nice review. Sorry but I think saying these have a powerful sound is a bit misleading. I like that they try to sound full or not thin but they do not have much bass or hit that hard.
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
I suppose it depends on preference, or in my case, that I am more used to BA IEM's.

In my opinion they offer plenty, and rather high quality bass, especially with the bass filters on, but as said, I am not a bass-head or even a seasoned dynamic IEM guy
post #4 of 38
good review I guess you were one of the lucky ones too I'm at about 50hrs burn in, gonna give them 100 hours till giving them a full review.
So far I found them to be very upper mid-centric, and I find the vocals, especially female, almost contstantly sitting at my ears, and to me this killed off the lower mids making them appear extremely flat and lifeless. But this could be due to the fact that I had 'clear stereo' setting on with my Sony X and this gave the same effect to my JH13's and turning it off sorted it right out. So after burn in I will try that again. Like you, to me the treble was really quite recessed, noticibly so compared to S2's which aren't the brightest phones on the block.

I didn't know it was a bass filter, I just stuck it on and left it there.

good job
post #5 of 38
Burning mine in now, and will post a review here. No reason to create more than one review thread for these, since the 30 or so HFers who got them as "review" samples can compare notes. In fact, always a good idea when reviewing gratis phones to make that known in the review.

Review
Well, I can agree with some things that the OP says about these phones (mainly around comfort and build quality), where we differ is that for me, not a single one of the tips that came with these $29.50 IEMs was useful. In fact, I'd say the Betas come with the worst batch of tips I've ever seen with an IEM at any price. Once I burned them in and found an appropriate tip, the ever-trusty Sony hybrid (large), the Betas sounded decent enough, but at their $30 price point, there are better alternatives.

For one, I felt the mid/treble sound regions came off a little grainy, or veiled, or something just not solid, and a little harsh, even with 50+ hours on them. To check my ears, I quickly compared the Betas with the Cyclone PR1 Pros, which, along with the $30 ADDIEM on ebay, are my favorite budget IEMs (they were just available on ebay for $39). Granted, the PR1s are a little more expensive than the Betas, but they come with a useful assortment of sleeves, and to my ears deliver a richer, deeper overall sound signature across the spectrum.

If I had $30 to spend on a pair of IEMs (I am not saying that the Betas are overpriced), with Amazon cutting prices on phones like the JBuds J3 ($29.99 right now) and some of the lower end UE phones (Metro-Fi 200), there often are better alternatives.

Again, the Betas are not junk, they do deliver a serviceable sound for the money. Just seems to me you can do better for the same spend.

Just a note timmyGCSE, according to Sony, the Sony Clear Stereo functionality is really only useful when using Sony-supplied noise canceling ear phones. Sony says:

The Clear Stereo function is designed to obtain maximum effect with the supplied headphones. You may not be able to obtain the Clear Stereo effect when using it with other headphones. When using other headphones, set Clear Stereo to Off.

http://www.sony.com.au/support/faq/3...duct/nwz-s738f

So you may be hearing the Betas as they are, as the Clear Stereo setting is probably not affecting them. I also have the Sony X, and leave it off after reading this awhile back.

As for their bass impact, I have to agree with jant71 here, in that even with the bass filters in place, I needed to move the Sony Clear Bass EQ to +2 for them to have much impact. Also, without the bass filters, I could not get the hybrid tips to stay on, as Brainwavz designed these with an odd-size sound tube (much like the PFEs). They are increased in diameter just enough with the bass filter to be used with the hybrids.

Verdict: While the fit kit inadequacy can be overcome, I would stay these are only really worth $30 if there are no other deals available for higher priced IEMs. Or, I would rather spend a little more for a pair of PR1s or used IEMs (say the S2 or even the S4) rather than drop $30 on the Betas. For a better value, in my view, another good alternative would be to pick up a pair of those ebay ADDIEMs at $30-$40, where you can get a dual driver BA phone for the same price, even if it is open box.

Just my view of the Beta Brainwavz. Not a ringing endorsement, I know. But I just feel their sound should be more at the $15-$20 price given the competition out there these days.
post #6 of 38
still waiting for my pair to arrive and then I'll be burning them in for a while before posting my review. I agree about posting my review here as well adn yes for the record I am getting these gratis as well. I warned the manufacturer I would be 100% honest good or bad and they genuinely sounded happy with that.
post #7 of 38
Just got mine two days ago. Really need some burn-in badly. Hopefully they'll clear up.
post #8 of 38
anyone else find the black foamies awsome though? never liked comlpys or olives but these foams rock
oh and the case..such a nice case
post #9 of 38
Black foamies? Mine came with orange foamies (1 pair), and I didn't use them because I wanted to keep them clean for the person/relative who gets these.
post #10 of 38
yepp.... :-/
look:


in the bag on the right with the ear guides

edit:
Quote:
Just a note timmyGCSE, according to Sony, the Sony Clear Stereo functionality is really only useful when using Sony-supplied noise canceling ear phones. Sony says:

The Clear Stereo function is designed to obtain maximum effect with the supplied headphones. You may not be able to obtain the Clear Stereo effect when using it with other headphones. When using other headphones, set Clear Stereo to Off.

http://www.sony.com.au/support/faq/3...duct/nwz-s738f

So you may be hearing the Betas as they are, as the Clear Stereo setting is probably not affecting them. I also have the Sony X, and leave it off after reading this awhile back.
yea I discovered this when I plugged in the JH13's and they sounded ****! haha. But it sounded alright with my S2's
post #11 of 38
Oops. Why did they hide them in that other area? I thought there was just a case in there. They look like the Senn foamies, very rigid. Also, nice case, forgot to mention. Works well with the Sony X. Not sure it makes much sense for IEMs, though. Weird.

Anyway, I did shortchange the fit kit. You do get alot for the money, but I can tell those foamies are not going to work for my ear canals. In fact, they look identical to the one pair that came with the SoundMagic PL30s, and they didn't seal for me.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
In fact, they look identical to the one pair that came with the SoundMagic PL30s, and they didn't seal for me.
Yep, they are the same exact type of foam that you get with the Soundmagic PL30, PL21, and PL50.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
Oops. Why did they hide them in that other area? I thought there was just a case in there. They look like the Senn foamies, very rigid. Also, nice case, forgot to mention. Works well with the Sony X. Not sure it makes much sense for IEMs, though. Weird.

Anyway, I did shortchange the fit kit. You do get alot for the money, but I can tell those foamies are not going to work for my ear canals. In fact, they look identical to the one pair that came with the SoundMagic PL30s, and they didn't seal for me.
yea I found the case perfect for my X and pretty pointless as an IEM case but oh well its better then the Meelecs M6 case that fell apart in about a week.

I found every tip bar the foamies complete and utter tripe..I just don't understand the shape of the silicones why choose a conical shape when its blatenly a poor shape for ear canals. Perhaps they thought of Koss' Sparkplugs and thought yea lets imitate that

but yea interesting..I found the foamies to be great and the only foamies that have been any good for me. Otherwise I had to remove the bass filter and shove my trusty klipsch ovals over the top
post #14 of 38
I'll also post my reveiw here when I'm ready writing it
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyGCSE View Post
yea I found the case perfect for my X and pretty pointless as an IEM case but oh well its better then the Meelecs M6 case that fell apart in about a week.

I found every tip bar the foamies complete and utter tripe..I just don't understand the shape of the silicones why choose a conical shape when its blatenly a poor shape for ear canals. Perhaps they thought of Koss' Sparkplugs and thought yea lets imitate that

but yea interesting..I found the foamies to be great and the only foamies that have been any good for me. Otherwise I had to remove the bass filter and shove my trusty klipsch ovals over the top
Yeah, those conical tips are a scream. I liked the hybrids with them, but there wasn't that much of a SQ bump. Not bad, but the competition is fierce these days down in budget-town.
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