OK, so I've let these cook for 5 days about 22 hours a day using a combination of white/pink/frequency sweeps. I think they have cooked long enough...
Since I have already given feedback on things like the accessories and stuff I won't say much about those areas other than to say the cones are useless for my ears which seems to match most other peoples experience. On the flip side I am using the ear hooks and REALLY like them, they are soft and have removed all microphonics from the cables (without them I did find the cables pretty microphonic though).
After playing with the tips I settled on the orange foamies (I did try my own hybrid tips but assume these are entry level phones so I don't expect people to be running out to buy hybrids at 1/3 the price of the phones).
I will say that without a good fit these phones like most others out there just won't sound right. In the case of these they sound very tinny, once you have a good seal though it's a different story.
Also while I did much of my listening using no EQ I have to say I think it is a bit unrealistic to assume an entry level phone will be balanced enough to never need an EQ. In the case of these phones I was extremely impressed with their ability to handle the different EQ settings on my Ipod Touch 2G. In the end I found myself REALLY liking these when I turned on the EQ to treble booster, I also liked them using the Piano EQ setting but found it brought their midrange a little to forward for alot of songs. For anyone looking at these and those testing, try setting the treble booster on or the equivalent of that setting if you don't have an Ipod, I generally find treble too fatiguing but actually had little issue with treble even with the booster turned on with this IEM.
I listened to a the following tracks mainly:
Cheap Trick - Ain't that a Shame
Kansas - Closet Cronicals
Kansas - Dust in the Wind
Led Zeppelin - All of my Love
Eagles - New Kid in Town
Eagles - Hotel California
Tragically Hip - Ahead by a Century
Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
Pink Floyd - Run Like Hell
Heart - Magic Man
Meatloaf - Heaven Can Wait
Supertramp - Rudy
Johnny Cash - Hurt
Loreena McKennitt - Stolen Child
Part - Tamas Benedek - Summa Summa for Strings
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Eugen Jochum, Chor Der Deutschen Oper Berlin & Walter Hagen-Groll - Carmina Burana - Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: "O Fortuna"
Mstislav Rostropovich, Berliner Philharmoniker & Herbert von Karajan - Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104: I. Allegro
Before I get into the specific areas of these phones. I will say these worked great with almost every genre I threw at them but were best with acoustic music, classical music, Celtic, and classic rock that did not have a ton of cymbals in it. My only main gripes with the phones were the way cymbals were presented as they often had more sizzle than a metal sound to them. I also found drums to have a bit of an echo type sound to them.
Ok here goes:
Bass - Overal I liked the bass of these phones. While a bit on the loose side and not always accurate, they had presence and impact when required. The bass also did not intrude into the other spectrums. The bass was much more detailed and present compared to my JBL Ref 220 IEM's I compared these to for a lower end IEM and not as detailed or impactful than my Triple fi 10 IEM's on the high end side of the scale. To put this into perspective, the JBL's normally retail for $60-80 which is significantly more than the Brainwavz and yet they don't sound nearly as good and the TF10 are normally a $400 IEM so it's not really a surpise they beat up the Brainwavz.
Midrange - This area was a bit tricky for me. My initial thoughts were the midrange was recessed but as I listened and experimented, I think the midrange is very close to neutral, if they are off any where it is in the upper midrange versus the lower/middle midrange. The detail in this area is very nice and they make singing sound very natural. I would say they again trump my JBL Ref 220 in every way but again are significantly less detailed than my TF10 but slightly more forward than the TF10.
Treble - This is the achilles heel of these phones but one that is easily rectified assuming a person is willing to use the DREADED EQ. Without using the EQ I found alot of detail was lost and guitars, violins, cellos, cymbals, hats, and to some degree some singers lost the sparkle that made them engaging. In short I kinda found without using the EQ music got kinda boring. But once I turned on the EQ and boosted the treble these phones came alive and were very musical and engaging. In this area I feel the JBL Ref 220 was better with no EQ and the TF10 was simply on another level. But EQ'd I preferred the Brainwavz over the Ref 220 and unless I was doing extensive A/B testing against the TF10 found myself enjoying these alot.
Soundstage - This area was a bit tricky for me. I love a big sound stage so I I struggled with these a bit. The sound stage on these is indeed quite wide but it has very little depth and I was struggling with it as it just didn't feel right. It is an improvement over the Ref 220 but hard to listen to compared to the TF10. Then I had to again go back to who this IEM is designed for. As an entry level IEM the Beta Brainwavz at least have a sound stage, something I have seen many IEM's that cost alot more money fail on. So are they great in this department, no but I'm pretty sure anyone who has never experienced a soundstage in an IEM or stock bud will be more impressed than I.
I never bothered to incorporate a comparison between the Beta Brainwavz and the stock buds that came with my Ipod but thought I would mention one as a quick footnote. These simply kicked the stock buds butt in every way possible. I also feel they were better than JVC's aircushion entry level IEM and better than the miriad of cheap entry level buds and IEM's I have tried over the past couple of years from Brick and Mortar stores.
If you looking to enter the world of IEM's and better sound than what you get with your MP3 player I do think these deserve consideration, they offer a fairly well balanced sound that has decent levels of detail and a nice entry level soundstage, you may not stay with them in the long haul but they are nice and musical and some of the accessories may stick with you long after you move on to higher end IEM's.