Brainwavz M3 review
Disclaimer: This is my first review of an IEM. This is the most expensive IEM I have tried so far, I have previously owned Brainwavz M1, Meelec M9, M6 & M11+, SoundMagic PL11 & PL30. I have been using the M3 for more than 3 months now. I mostly listen to them with my rockboxed clip+. The below impressions are just my thoughts about the IEM, it might not be accurate. Please read the review and let me know your thoughts and also please bring in to my notice if there is any mistakes.
Type: Dynamic Driver
Driver units: 10.7mm (CCAW Drive units)
Rated impedance: 20Ω +/-10%(Rated impedance)
Sensitivity: ≥115dB (at1000Hz 1mW 20upa)
Distortion: ≤0.5% 94dB (20?pa)
Channel Balance: ≤2dB (at1000Hz)
Maximum Input power: 40mW
Plug: 3.5mm 5μ 24Kgilt stereo plug
Cord: 1.3M Y-cord (Cu/Ag)PUR
Build Quality & Accessories: The overall build quality of M3 is great. The cable is good, I am using the similar cable with my M1 for almost 7 months now. It feels sturdy and durable. It has a bit of memory effect that you will notice when you use it after keeping them in the pouch for a long time. But the housing of these does not seems to be fixed perfectly. One day when I was trying to
remove the sony hybrid like tips, the housing got opened and the driver was visible. I just pushed it back and it got joined with a tick sound, It was not glued as I thought it would be. The M3 now comes with 1 medium sized COMPLY S-series Foam tip, 3 silicone tips, shirt clip, Ear glide and a hard carrying case.
Fit, Comfort & Isolation: M3 has a unique design with an arm which makes it difficult for wearing down the ear at least for me. For me it starts paining after wearing down the ear for some time. But it fits perfectly and very comfortable when wearing over the ear. Because of wearing them over the ear, I can not sleep on my side with them. I am using the Bi Flange tips which came with Meelec M11+ and it fits perfect for me. I tried this after seeing Brendon's post in techenclave.com regarding the improvement in soundstage when used with Bi flange, I agree with him 100% on this and I can clearly notice the difference. The isolation of these are not great for very noisy environments, but they are decent for use in normal listening conditions.
Bass: The bass is tight and has good extension and impact, it has good quantity as well as quality. But it is not neutral at all, the bass and the midrange have slightly more emphasis than the high end of the spectrum. The bass comes into picture only when demanded by the track, otherwise it is so clean. Bass is definitely a strength of this IEM. In “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West, it hits deep and I can feel the rumble. But the bass in my opinion is little slow for trance and other fast music. When I listen to “Louder than boom” by Tiesto, the beats feels slow at times.
Mids: Mids are another key strength of this IEM. These have the best midrange I have heard so far and it feels exactly like I wanted the midrange to be. The midrange and vocals are warm and full, it is free of any bass bleed either. In “Eskimo” by Damien Rice and in “Only The Lonely” by Diana Krall, the vocals feels simply magical.
Treble: The treble is very smooth and non fatiguing, no sibilance and harshness either. It has good extension and details too but it lacks the sparkle and energy some(like me) would expect. Also IMO, the treble is slightly under emphasized compared to rest of the spectrum. I usually listens to them by increasing the treble by two points in my rockboxed Clip+ and that makes me happy.
Soundstage and presentation: The M3's soundstage has good depth and decent width. The M3 sounds very spacious, that is the first thing I notice whenever I switch to M3 from any of my other (all less expensive than M3) IEM's. The overall presentation is very relaxed and well suited for long listening sessions.
You will like this if you are looking for an IEM with a relaxing and enjoyable sound which can do almost everything good without any major flaws. If you are a complete bass head, or you are looking for a neutral and analytic sound, or if you want good sparkle and crispness in treble, you should look elsewhere.
Pros: Spacious and balanced sound, warm and full mids, good bass and very relaxed.
Cons: Lacks sparkle and energy in treble, can not sleep on my side with them.
Edited by nizarp - 4/20/11 at 1:01am