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My review of Brainwavz Beta - Page 3

post #31 of 38
Hmm, maybe I have to burn them in some more and give them a second chance, but maybe try a different tip. I am running out of tip ideas with these. Also try the hybrids again. TIme to get them out of the box.
post #32 of 38
I cooked these harder than I did the S4s for the last 50 hours or so. I have ~150 hours on them now and I do like them with the firm foam tip. They are a large phone and a large "feeling" phone. A lot of my music has a "concert hall" type of feel with them. Orchestral music is very good with them as is pop. I'm listening to them at the moment and they are very balanced, in a warm way. I intend to listen during the day and cook them all night for the next few days. 200 hundred hours are my cut-off for break-in... I feel I owe the manufacturer that much for "fronting" me the phones. The signature of the phones has changed a lot since I started. I can see how they would be a good budget phone ($25), if you have the time to invest in breaking them in.
post #33 of 38
I have the chance to get a pair of cx400 from a friend for pretty cheap, but not sure if my betas sound better. How do the cx400 compare to the Betas?
post #34 of 38
OK I finally recieved my reviewers pair of Beta's. So here is a quick breakdown of my initial impression.

Very nice kit that comes with alot of tip choices and accessories I suspect that for some the tips and whatnot will be used in future upgraded headphones that don't come with as big a selection (my TF10's came with a worse selection of tips or certainly no better selection and they are MUCH MORE MONEY).

The IEM housing itself is nice and I like that the filters can be removed for cleaning and the like.

The cable is a bit flimsy and feels quite fragile but time will tell. I do like that the plug is angled and seems to have some strain relieve though.

My initial sound impressions are that out of the box the headphone sound as good as or better than most run of the mill store buds and IEM's selling for the same price as these. I will compare these to my only entry level reference IEM's I have left, a pair of JBL Ref 220's later tonight when I get back from errands but from memory I think these will hold up against the JBL's nicely in the sound department and thats before they get burned in.

I will hold off on any more comments until later tonight and I will do a proper write up on these after they have significant burnin later next week.
post #35 of 38
OK compared to my JBL Ref 220 these are MUCH MUCH BETTER. They are have better bass, better midrange, better instrument seperation, better sound stage. The only area they were not as nice as the Ref 220 was treble.

From recollection I would say these are also better than the JVC air cushions as well.

All this and they are not burned in yet.

I believe anyone looking for a jump from stock buds would find these warm and bassy enough they would like them as much as their stock buds and the better midrange and instrument seperation would make them stand head and shoulders above their stock buds. Then as the phones burned in through use, they would like them even more.

Anyone who has been dabbling in the IEM waters and has tried other head-fi recommended entry level IEM's would find these to be a side-grade over their similarly priced IEM's.

So if your new and looking for a nice entry level IEM these might just fit your bill, I certainly think they would kick most stuff being sold at brick and mortar stores like JVC air cushions and the plethora of entry level ifrogs/skullcandy IEM's. The fact that you also get alot of tips you can carry over to new IEM's if upgradeitus gets to you from coming to head-fi to much, is then just an added bonus.

I will now stop commenting on these until they burn in properly and I will then do a full review as I agreed to with the manufacturer. On to the pink noise generator these go until late next week...
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post
OK compared to my JBL Ref 220 these are MUCH MUCH BETTER. They are have better bass, better midrange, better instrument seperation, better sound stage. The only area they were not as nice as the Ref 220 was treble.

From recollection I would say these are also better than the JVC air cushions as well.

All this and they are not burned in yet.

I believe anyone looking for a jump from stock buds would find these warm and bassy enough they would like them as much as their stock buds and the better midrange and instrument seperation would make them stand head and shoulders above their stock buds. Then as the phones burned in through use, they would like them even more.

Anyone who has been dabbling in the IEM waters and has tried other head-fi recommended entry level IEM's would find these to be a side-grade over their similarly priced IEM's.

So if your new and looking for a nice entry level IEM these might just fit your bill, I certainly think they would kick most stuff being sold at brick and mortar stores like JVC air cushions and the plethora of entry level ifrogs/skullcandy IEM's. The fact that you also get alot of tips you can carry over to new IEM's if upgradeitus gets to you from coming to head-fi to much, is then just an added bonus.

I will now stop commenting on these until they burn in properly and I will then do a full review as I agreed to with the manufacturer. On to the pink noise generator these go until late next week...
Your impressions have pretty much summed up what i was going to say. These are my first non stock earphones and i can really see a marked difference between what the stock earphones provide and what better quality earphones can give. I am now have the earphone bug and looking to buy even better earphones
post #37 of 38
I bought the betas last summer and i have to say i hated them at first, i found the highs ways to harsh and the bass pretty much non-existent. But the i dumped the conical tips for the foamies and the bi-flanges and the whole sound signature changed, no more sibilance, and lots more bass.
post #38 of 38
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.
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