The Brainwavz Delta is a new benchmark in the budget iem market. For an asking price of $22, you get metal housings, a very pliable but sturdy cable and good strain reliefs all the way around. Size wise the housings are reminiscent of the new Hifiman RE series and they come with a decent selection of tips; I prefer the stock white tips. Wear style is over the ear or down but I prefer them over the ear. While the Deltas do not come with a case or pouch, they really look to be able to take a beating and best of all- they sound fantastic!
The first thing I noticed out of the box is pretty nice balance. Most offerings in this price range tend to be bass first and boomy but not so with the Deltas. That’s not to say they are lean on bass, and in my estimation, they are on the plentiful side. They do have a nice deeper rumble but more of the bass seems to be focused around 200hz without becoming over bearing or over doing it.
The next noticeable aspect is that they have very nice shimmer and sparkle to the treble, which is prominent and fairly balanced to the bass. Dips are 8 and 10k, placing much of the shimmer around 7and 9k. The Delta also appears to have nice extension beyond the typical 10k drop-off.
This description would lead one to believe the Deltas are V shaped but somehow I don’t really get that impression. The midrange stays pretty prominent before taking a moderate dip between 2 and 4k, leaving a somewhat laid back upper midrange but it definitely doesn’t get lost in the presentation.
Comparison to SoundMagic E10 ($35)
The E10 has more sub bass rumble and in general a similar overall bass presence/quantity as the Delta, however both are very satisfying with a rich and rounded note. Both have excellent treble sparkle but the Delta may have the edge here, while I really love the tonality and smoothness of the E10, the Delta doesn’t give up much in tonality to it and seems to have bit more treble articulation/precision. The trade-off is just a touch more occurrence of sibilance from the Delta. Both present vocals fairly similarly, laid back but very clear, with perhaps the Deltas a little more forward. The result is a wider, airier soundstage in the E10 but a taller, more forward soundstage in the Delta.
While the E10 costs $13 or so more, its cable isn’t as robust or as pliable. Also its strain reliefs are not as robust but it does have metal housings. It really is quite an accomplishment for the Delta to offer these qualities at such a reduced retail cost. I’ve only compared the Delta to the E10, as it is the only iem under $50, maybe under $75 I’ve heard that competes with it. The E10 has been my budget benchmark in sound quality and build since its release. I’m happy to say that the Brainwavz has equaled it at an astonishingly cheaper price. You really can’t go wrong with either and I’m happy to be an owner of both.
Thanks to Brainwavz for the review sample.
Edited by shotgunshane - 10/4/13 at 6:36am