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Brainwavz M4 Review

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Big sound, small price.

 

The first thing that people notice about the Brainwavz M4 is that it has a very low price tag. As of this writing, they can be had for as low as $40. I was not expecting a whole lot from an IEM with such a low price, but Brainwavz taught me that good things can be had for very little.

 

Build Quality

 

The build of the M4 is phenomenal. The housing is made out of aluminum, and feels just as solid as any other aluminum IEM. The 3.5mm plug is very durable, and has a luxurious, hard rubber feel to it. The cable is the same tangle-free cable that is featured on the Brainwavz M2. It's difficult to get the M4's cable knotted-up, but the cable always looks as if it's curled. It acts the same was a pipe cleaner does, and I'm not a fan of that. Even though the cable is a little bit of a nuisance, it made up for it by rarely tangling. The M4 also comes with a small carrying bag. The zipper on the carrying bag is of extremely low quality, as it broke on the first day that I had it. The loss of the bag was not tragic though, because the M4 is durable enough to be crammed into a backpack/laptop bag pocket.

 

Design

 

 

The M4's design was impressive. It's very sleek and minimalistic. The metallic “BRAINWAVZ” print on the outside of the housing looks very professional, and gives the illusion that the M4 is a much more expensive IEM. Again, the cable is keeping the M4 from really blowing me away. Since it behaves like a pipe cleaner, the cable gets twisted up and looks a little silly in public. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's definitely something that got on my nerves.

 

Sound Quality

 

The M4 is very much like the M2, but with punchier bass. While it's not fantastic or breathtaking, it sounds good enough for me to make it my main budget IEM. The soundstage was surprisingly open, and the isolation was fantastic.

 

The highs are slightly lacking in the M4. They're definitely present, but they don't have the sharp definition that I'm used to. Crash cymbals in music just didn't have the sparkle that I love.

 

The mids are the best part of the M4's sound signature. Male voices were clear and detailed, and guitars sounded surprisingly crisp. Unfortunately, the mids seemed fairly recessed in comparison to the highs and lows.

 

The bass and lows in the M4 were booming. The aggressive and hard-hitting bass sounds great in electronic and hip-hop, but is way too overpowering for genres like classical.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The M4 is a little too bass-heavy for my taste, but I know a lot of bass heads who love the aggressive lows that are featured in the M4. It's very fun to listen to, and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.  

post #2 of 12
Great review, I'd like to give these a go for use at work. Where did you buy them from?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I actually got them as a review sample from Brainwavz, but you can get them from amazon for about $40. 

post #4 of 12

I wouldn't say there is no splash with these IEMs, the "splash"/"sparkle" is there, but the IEM would be regarded (to me at least) as having soft treble rather than a more abrasive one.  These are definitely a big bang for the buck IEM...  So is another model that is to be released as well (*hint* *hint*, *wink* *wink*).

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

I wouldn't say there is no splash with these IEMs, the "splash"/"sparkle" is there, but the IEM would be regarded (to me at least) as having soft treble rather than a more abrasive one.  These are definitely a big bang for the buck IEM...  So is another model that is to be released as well (*hint* *hint*, *wink* *wink*).

ahah youve already uploaded your review of the M5 ahah :P

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post

ahah youve already uploaded your review of the M5 ahah :P

 

I have ;)  It's a fun energetic headphone :)  For 50 bucks too...  But let's stick to the M4 for this thread's sake :)

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFRUITPIE View Post

Thanks! I actually got them as a review sample from Brainwavz, but you can get them from amazon for about $40. 

Nice, gonna grab these 

post #8 of 12

Nice review.. I really enjoy listening to my M4. I agree 100% when you say guitars sound surprisingly crisp which is the thing I like best about the M4. The guitars when playing classic rock sound awesome.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSNDET View Post

Nice review.. I really enjoy listening to my M4. I agree 100% when you say guitars sound surprisingly crisp which is the thing I like best about the M4. The guitars when playing classic rock sound awesome.

 

+googol...  This is why I make the statement that the M4 were made for rock and alternative.  Guitars sound just beautiful on them... 

post #10 of 12

Thanks for the review :)

post #11 of 12
Thanks for the review. Has Brainwavz updated the M4 line? These have been on the market for awhile now. I ask because I've just had to RMA the M4s I bought in January. One of the speakers died and the remote stopped working. They sound great and the mic is not too shabby either. However, I am very disappointed in the build quality. It seems these have been common issues. Having read your review, I'm hoping that the replacements will be stronger!

Edit, 9/22/2012: I received a replacement pair today. These ARE actually quite different from the M4s I received at the beginning of the year. For a start, the jack has been redesigned and seems quite sturdy now. The main cable is significantly thicker than the cable on my old pair too. Another change - I'll wait to pass judgement - is on this mic. The mic/controller on my first pair was a thin flat box that hovered around my collarbone. What this meant was that for calls I usually had to cradle the mic and bring it up nearer my mouth. I'm 6ft/183cm tall to give you a clearer picture. The sound was good - so I was told - but it was a tad inconvenient. Also, I found it quite difficult to get the right number of clicks to navigate through songs. The new mic/controller sits right near my mouth and now has a button. The button makes it much easier to control the phone. No more accidental clicks! I don't know if the quality of the mike is at all compromised.

The one thing that has been compromised is the packaging. While the packaging on my first pair is very nice, with a foam seat for the 'phones etc., the new packaging is less attractive. The phones are in a plastic tray and generally the colour and print quality seem a little less luxurious! If this means a bit more money siphoned off to improving build quality, I'm for it.

I can't comment on sound yet. My initial observation is that these are much more bass heavy that the previous pair. I'm not especially happy about that, but I'll need more time with them to see if this is true.
Edited by snowshoe - 9/22/12 at 1:59pm
post #12 of 12

We changed the cable, shape of the mic, plug and box over the last year, with each change taking place at a different time. Let the earphones burn in and the sound will settle to what you remember and liked about the older M4. FYI we will be changing the included case in the next production run, we may also beef up the cables that go from the splitter to the earphones, but that may take longer to finish.

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