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[Review] Brainwavz M2

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

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I would like to thank Mr. Prithvi from Brainwavz for the sample of the M2, these are currently available on Amazon and Mp4nation which has free international worldwide shipping.


Pros: Cable durability
Cons: Overall sound clarity

Sources


Home: Laptop using MusicBee WASAPI output->O2 Amp->iBasso D4->M2
On-the-Go: iPod Classic->M2



Packaging

 

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What can I say about the packaging here? Well if you’ve seen one IEM from this price range you probably have an idea of what to expect. The M2 comes in cardboard packaging with a plastic window displaying the M2 through it. Brainwavz chose blue and black for the main colors on the box and it looks decent, but nothing about this stands out from the next IEM on the shelf. The front of the packaging doesn’t really draw me in to pick it up and buy it, nor does it draw my eyes to it. I don’t mean that it looks bad, it just blends in. The back carries information about the M2 from specs to accessories.

Inside of the box the M2 and accessories sit in a plastic housing that sits in a blue cardboard holder, typical of an IEM it’s held secure and safe. Included with the M2 is a semi-hardshell carrying case, a set of Comply S tips, 2 sets each of Sony Hybrid S/M/L single flanged tips, a shirt clip, and warranty card. Nothing out of the way here, aside from the Comply tips and the lack of double flanged and triple flanged tips is a strike against the accessories list. They should be considered standard by now due to their popularity.

There’s really nothing here that invokes excitement, even the Comply tips are the low-end version. It’s as if Brainwavz is telling its potential customers that inside is average headphones and they are okay with that. I know it’s a lot to ask for diversity in tips and some better looking packaging, but the IEM market is highly competitive and other brands have found ways to do it.



Design and Build Quality

 

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When I first held the M2 I felt at ease with the build quality, the housings to the cable feels well made and I have no worries about using these day to day for exercise or home use. The housings are made of metal and plastic separated into what seems to be three sections, with a black plastic in the middle to contrast the silver. They feel sturdy and have a metal mesh filter to protect the drivers, which I much prefer to plastic or mesh. The stress relief is rather long and the rubber sits over a long metal extension from the housing. The rubber coating isn’t held on very well and has actually come off on the right side as indicated in this picture.

 

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The cable is very durable feeling, it has a nice thickness and texture to it with its ridges that give better grip. The ruggedness of this is very nice, though some microponics are heard when worn down, it hasn’t been near enough to bother while doing light jogging and walking though. The cable has a y-split that also seems rugged, but no cinch. Ending the cable is a 45 degree angled plug with an adequate stress relief and seems built decently enough to hold up.

The M2 sit rather shallow in the ear, but securely. This reduces some microphonics and will feel more comfortable for those not comfortable with deep insertion IEMs. The M2 have moderate comfort when inserted, I can tell they are there but they never bother me. Since the M2 sit shallow in the ear, they don’t isolate too much without music playing, but I never felt the need to crank music beyond an acceptable level.

Despite the wonky glue holding the rubber coating the stress relief the M2 are built fairly well. In the month or two I’ve had these I’ve walked and lightly jogged approximately 20-30 miles with these with no durability concerns. The housing isn’t exactly beautiful, but it should hold up and the cable seems very durable.



Sound Quality


I gave the Brainwavz M2 at least 50 hours of unworn burn-in time and at least 100 hours of use while at home or while doing light exercise. No noticeable changes were noted after burn-in and minimal changes when amped. These work fine through an iPod as well as my O2.

Oh boy, what to say about the M2? I honestly do not have much good to say about the M2 sound wise. The sound signature of the M2 is a warm, even leaning dark, bass focused sound that lacks hugely in detail, clarity, speed, and instrument separation. These have been some of the least enjoyable IEMs I’ve listened to in recent memory and I’ll explain in more detail why.

The bass of the M2 is the focus and unfortunately it’s not very enjoyable. The bass at times feels very loose, slow, and one-noted. When listening to James Blake’s Limit to Your Love for instance the bass fluctuations are there but the M2 feels like it’s trying to keep up, fortunately though the M2 do have the necessary sub-bass for bass heavy songs like this so that’s a plus. In songs like Alanis Morissette’s You Oughtta Know the funky bass line is very generic sounding, yeah I hear the bass, but good luck deciphering the notes. The bass line is lacking definition and sounds muddled. Fortunately though the M2 do shine somewhere and that is in the liquid drum and bass genre. Listening to Duo Infernale’s Feeling Blue which is a smooth liquid track I find the M2 to suit very well. The dark signature of the M2 give the bass the focus and it works for bass heavy genres like this. Genres that are bass heavy but don’t rely on quick bass will work well with these.

The mids are actually done rather well here with a slightly forward presentation and a touch of warmth. The slightly pushy and warm characteristics of the mids work rather well for female vocalists, especially those with a husky sultry voice, namely blues singers. Listening to Motorcycle’s As the Rush Comes (Gabriel and Dresden Chillout Mix) and the combination of the warm bass and the warm female vocals sounds great through these. To test sibilance I put one of the most sibilant heavy songs I have, Sara Bareilles’ Come Round Soon. The M2 show every bit of sibilance in this track, though I don’t necessarily fault the M2, this track is notoriously sibilant, it should be noted for readers who listen to sibilant prone music. Lastly I put on The Reign of Kindo’s song The Moments In Between to kill two birds with one stone. First to check how pianos sound and how male vocals sound. Pianos suffer much like acoustic guitars and any other acoustic instrument I’ve heard, they sound like they’re being filtered through a dirty window, very fuzzy and lacking detail. The vocals sound alright in this song, maybe even a tad recessed in this song as they are presented in the middle and the instruments on the right and left bury the vocals a tad. The mids are certainly a mixed bag with acoustic instruments sounding bad on these, but female vocals sounding good for the right genre.

Oh the highs, I forgot about these. The highs are the weakest aspect of the M2 and I don’t think anyone will disagree. The highs roll off early and are hard to hear in the mix in many rock songs I tested. The biggest lack of highs I noticed was in Coheed and Cambria’s Time Consumer, during the intro the M2 actually do a great job providing a strong kick for the kick drum, the snare drum has a good snap to it, but the cymbals and hi-hat are only heard on the initial hit, barely, with almost nothing after. There’s no ringing from the cymbals at all. Going a bit further into the song the vocals sound great, but the china cymbal during the chorus, well I hear it being hit but it sounds like it’s 2 rooms away with doors closed. Even the guitar during its high squeals and notes simply takes a back seat. The highs are shunned in every song I’ve heard through these, which accents the dark sound of these even further.

The M2 have a rather narrow presentation that is hurt even further by the poor instrument separation. The positioning isn’t terrible, but there’s no depth to add to the lack of width. Vocals are upfront, but the instruments seem to be fighting for space in a small room. The narrow soundstage presents music in a very muffled manner hurting instruments clarity and detail, which isn’t great to begin with even for solo instruments.



Conclusion


I’ve been waiting to finish this review for a week now so I could go back to listening to my Meelectronics A161p and Audio Technica Ad2000. I know it’s not fair to compare $50 headphones to those double and even 10 times the price, but these even lack compared to Brainwavz Betas I reviewed a while ago. I see no reason to buy these over the Beta and if you’re looking to spend more splurge for the M4.

 

Come see the rest of the pictures here!

post #2 of 16

Nice! A very honest take. What are they doing sending review samples of something so old; bumping their products! They really aren't going to review well now. I had the Visang version long, long ago and they did well with added impedance and wider bore tips. Still had the glue issue back then as well. They really should be retired and replaced with another model instead of keeping it at that price point. Lots of cheaper options out there.


Edited by jant71 - 6/6/12 at 2:17pm
post #3 of 16

The cable on my Brainwavz ProAlphas and other Brainwavz I've had the pleasure of demoing has been the strongest point. Very little microphonics, it doesn't fray, and it doesn't tangle very easily.

 

I was satisfied with the cable, but not the build. In my experience, Brainwavz IEMs have a pretty short life span.

post #4 of 16

yep nice review. and nice photos too. the new package looks much better, but that's all.

for the $60 these go, there'r better options out there

 

compared to the M4 do you also think they're opposite in sound ?

post #5 of 16

I discovered these from joker's master IEM list not too long ago.  I found them an excellent buy especially with the T-400 Foam tips.

 

Here are the charts:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BrainwavzM2.pdf

 

Here are a few to compare them against:

 

iMetaliM590

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/iMetaliM590.pdf

 

Monster TurbinePro Copper:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MonsterTurbineProCopper.pdf

 

EtyER4PT:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/EtymoticER4PT.pdf

 

I think they measure quite well considering they are only $60 new.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

That graph shows a very emphasized bass and a rolled off highs.

post #7 of 16

this is weird cuz the box that you got is different from the ones that everyone else has. I am not talking bout the ViSang R03's I'm actually talking bout the Brainwavz version of these. the box u got is veery different from the ones ive seen. Most ppl ive seen got this one. Plz explain cuz im scared to buy them now :S and they are praised by many ppl. meaning that urs may b a fake or faulty?? (and im askin this with my best intentions and mean no offense in either way.)

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb0jKmXzP7bIAOZ6UXKDuxAqppA3SpU0ej0ejQ_fZ81M0TTU03


Edited by TVisz - 6/18/12 at 1:00am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVisz View Post

this is weird cuz the box that you got is different from the ones that everyone else has. I am not talking bout the ViSang R03's I'm actually talking bout the Brainwavz version of these. the box u got is veery different from the ones ive seen. Most ppl ive seen got this one. Plz explain cuz im scared to buy them now :S and they are praised by many ppl. meaning that urs may b a fake or faulty?? (and im askin this with my best intentions and mean no offense in either way.)

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb0jKmXzP7bIAOZ6UXKDuxAqppA3SpU0ej0ejQ_fZ81M0TTU03

Both Brainwavz M2 from your photo and the thread starter's are not fake. Just different package.
- From your photo = Old package.

- Original poster's = New package.
The earphones & accessories on both package are the same. (Except the new earphones case)


Edited by azuredreamz - 6/18/12 at 3:53am
post #9 of 16

OOooh kks then thk uu!

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

The M2 I have are from a Brainwavz rep, not fake.

post #11 of 16

Agree with the review.

I bought these a while back for about $20-25 can not remember on special sale. Now comparing them to $10 phones like SHE3580, they blow the m2s away, smack them, beat them up and drown them. A definitely not worth the price phones.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by donedj View Post

Agree with the review.

I bought these a while back for about $20-25 can not remember on special sale. Now comparing them to $10 phones like SHE3580, they blow the m2s away, smack them, beat them up and drown them. A definitely not worth the price phones.

 What $10 headphones sounds better than the M2?  I completely disagree with your statement.  I would say you are going to be hard pressed to find a headphone that sounds as good as the pair of Brainwavz M2 that I have anywhere near $150 or less.  Perhaps yours were fakes or you did not have them sealed properly, because the M2 I sound awesome.  I own over 30 pairs of headphones and the M2 is much better sounding than many of them.

 

The M2 has a wide soundstage, good impactful and pretty deep bass, an excellent mid range, and slightly rolled off highs which is easy on the ears.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I would gladly take my Monoprice 8320 over them.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

 What $10 headphones sounds better than the M2?  I completely disagree with your statement.  I would say you are going to be hard pressed to find a headphone that sounds as good as the pair of Brainwavz M2 that I have anywhere near $150 or less.  Perhaps yours were fakes or you did not have them sealed properly, because the M2 I sound awesome.  I own over 30 pairs of headphones and the M2 is much better sounding than many of them.

 

The M2 has a wide soundstage, good impactful and pretty deep bass, an excellent mid range, and slightly rolled off highs which is easy on the ears.

 

 

Nope

My M2s were direct from the manufacturer. Not fake. Seal has been no issue. I have close to 100 tips to try these on. If you think M2s have been better than whatever, probably you have not heard many headphones.

 

They are subpar for the price. If you want base, and mid range better than M2s, go try the Phillips SHE3580's, they are $10 phones that provide better sound than the M2.

And as the above poster said I will take Monos over the M2s in any time of the day. 8320s go for about $7, not as flashy as the M2s but definitely a lot better sounding.

post #15 of 16

wow I guess they changed the box a few times. I ordered the M2's off mp4nation the day it was released and the box was flat black and simple.

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