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Review: Brainwavz R3 and Delta

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Brainwavz R3 and Delta review:

Firstly I would like to thank Razz at Brainwavz for sending me these samples for review, I will write as honest a review possible. Both had over 30hrs of burn-in, no big changes were noted.

Gear used:
IPod Classic 160gb (rockboxed) > R3 (bi flange) / Delta (s single flange)





Specs:
R3:
Driver: Dynamic 10mm x 2
Crossover: Passive
Impedance: 32ohm
Frequency range: 20 - 20,000Hz
Sensitivity: 95db @ 1mW
Rated power input: 2mW
Plug: 45° gold plated 3.5mm
Cable length: 1.3m
MSRP: $129.50

Delta:
Driver: Dynamic 8mm
Impedance: 16ohm
Frequency range: 20 - 20,000Hz
Sensitivity: 100dB @ 1mW
Rated power input: 2mW
Cable: 1.3m
Plug: 45° gold plated 3.5mm
MSRP: $22.50

Packaging, Accessories and Build quality:
Both come in card packaging which have different colour schemes that match the colours of the housings. Both have plastic windows for you to see the IEM inside, specifications can be found on the back of the Delta box and on the aide of the R3 box. Also listed on both are the accessories included. Nice simple packaging, nothing that detracts from the IEM, and compliments them in many ways. Both are easy to open and get to the IEM's inside.

Accessories: the R3 comes with a semi hard clamshell case, aeroplane and 6.3-3.5mm adapters, a pair of comply foam tips, 3 pair of grey single flange tips (S, M and L), 3 pairs of black single flange tips (S, M and L), 1 pair of M bi-flange tips and a pair of M triple-flange tips. A wide array of tips will ensure a good fit for most, I actually used some clear S bi-flange tips I usually use with most IEM's.

The Delta being the budget offering comes with less, 3 pairs of single flange tips (S, M and L) and a pair of M comply tips. No carry case unfortunately.







Build quality on the R3 is good overall, the cable is very thick and sturdy, with great strain relief albeit a little bulky. The housing is aluminium but the finish is not get. There is a line where you can see the wires connecting the 2 drivers, and they are a little exposed, which could be a problem in the future. Also where the housing is joined you can see the glue. For the price I would have expected a more premium looking product, it almost looks as if it were a prototype not the finished product.
Apart from that, the build quality is fine, but I do really hate the memory wire (more on that later)

Delta has a metal housing also, but better finished than the R3, also no memory wire. The cable isn't as thick as the R3 cable, but feels more flexible and lighter which is more comfortable. The jack is very well relieved, as if the y-split and the strain relief on the housing is fine too. For the price it is very well built, the housing is as solid as Dunu's offerings (but is lighter) but the cable is thicker and feels stronger.

Comfort, Isolation, Driver flex and Cable noise:
R3 is comfortable despite its odd shaped housing, I get a good seal with clear bi-flange tips. My only gripe is with the memory wire, it is too long, I fold it over itself to shorten it but still cannot get it to be comfortable. This is a shame, as they do sound good.

Isolation on the R3 is good despite it's vented housing, with it blocking out a decent amount of sound, fine for standard use, not brilliant for noisy public transport.

Delta is comfortable and light when you find the right tips, and can be worn either with the cable straight down or over the ear.

Driver flex is not present on the R3, neither is serious cable noise as they are designed to be worn over the ear.

Delta has ok isolation, due to the fairly shallow fit. Fine for general use but not great for public transport or more noisy places.

Delta doesn't suffer from driver flex, but cable noise is a problem when worn with the cable straight down.





Sound:
Split into the usual categories

R3:

Lows: The lowshave good punch with good extension, the speed isn't great, but there is enough quantity to satisfy most. The lows have very good bodyand they give the sound a smooth warm sound, which is never fatiguing or bright. They are engaging and fun, i don't find myself feeling as though there is anything missing in the lows, articulation and separtation is fine.

Mids: Well, what we have are fairly balanced to a tad forward mids, they are detailed and well separated from the lows. The mids are fairly up front in terms of presentation, and vocals cut through fine. No sibilance in the upper mids, very smooth again, both male and female vocals sound great. There isn't a lot I can say about the mids, timbre and body are fine, they never sound overly warm, neither too thin and dry. Well placed and detailed, with good imaging.

Highs: I found the highs to be fairly uninspiring in terms of presence and sparkle. They are just there, they dont catch your attention nor throw detail at you. They could do with a boost to be more engaging and also detailed. They lack presence and sparkle, but control is fine and they dont become splashy.

Soundstage is fairly average, imaging is good and separation is also very good.

Delta:

Lows: Depending on the tips the lows are very neutral, if not even on the leaner side. I am using some normal single flange S tips and the lows extend well but lack body and punch. Bass kicks are fairly flat, and the lows just lack a little body, they don't however lack articulation and precision. Separation and detail are also fine, just a tiny little more in quantity and they would be stellar, and I must say well done to Brainwavz for not going all bloated bass on their budget model.

Mids: Forward in presentation and thinner than the R3 with a hint of sibilance up top. No big bass to interfere with the mids means they are detailed but also a little edgy sometimes, not as smooth and lush as the R3. Detail is good in the mids though, and they are engaging and energetic, making you want to sing along.

Highs: More presence than the R3 makes for a brighter sound, but they are not harsh. They are not as precise or controlled as the R3 but have got very good energy and presence, they do however become a little splashy with faster more complex tracks. I prefer the more upfront highs of the Delta, they dont have a lot of shimmer or detail but just complete the sound.

Soundstage is fairly average, imaging is also average, separation is good and they have a fairly airy sound.

Overall the R3 present a very smooth and laid back sound, which is enjoyable but a tad bland, there is not a big Wow factor, nothing stands out in the presentation. Technically and fine IEM, if the comfort issues are addressed these would be a great IEM for the price, if you want a fairly relaxing sound for portable use.

The Delta is definitely budget done right, build quality is good, fit is good, and sound is great, add a little more body to the sound (slight bass boost) and they are killer, they have enough detail yet are very fun and enjoyable, with a in your face engaging sound.

Brainwavz's new models are great, they need to continue in this direction. The S1 is great, it is the more grown up, refined version of the Delta. The R3 has a very odd design, but the sound is nothing like the bright looks, it is warm, lush and smooth, a very relaxing, non offensive sounding IEM.





Tracks Used:
Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)
Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)
Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)
Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)
Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)
Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)
The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)
Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)
The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)
A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)
Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)
Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)
Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)
We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)
Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)
Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)
Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)
post #2 of 3

NIce review. Thank you

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback.
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