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Brainwavz S5 IEM Headphones Review

post #1 of 672
Thread Starter 

Hi all, been a bit since my last review on here, look forward to doing some more much less spaced apart :)

 

This is my review of the brand new, just released for sale Brainwavz S5 IEM headphones. I received a review set from mp4nation.net about two weeks ago and have used these over 200 hours off and on since then. My sound sources were varied this time around. I used my usual Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ around 80%, a Blu Studio 5.5S phone around 10%, and my computer with a FiiO e10 attached for the rest of the time. The main music listened to was FLAC based Classic Rock and some Heavy Metal thrown in from time to time. I also gave a full five hours to a live concert(Queen).

 

The set arrived well packaged, with a nice hard case, three sets of single flange silicone  and one set of bi flange plus one set of tri flange silicone tips. Also included were a nice set of T-400 series Comply foam tips. I tried them all out, finding the Comply's to work best for my ears. A close second were the tri flange tips, but the fit and comfort, to me at least, were better with the Comply's. The sound was equal with either. 

 

The build quality is top notch here, with a tangle free grey flat cable and sturdy stress relief at all points. No amount of tugging, pulling or just plain abuse from me could cause any grief here, nice. The casing is all metal, and very sharp looking, not garish or over done. Brainwavz went with a flat black paint scheme this time out, and it looks great. 

 

The S5's are single driver IEM's, and have a very even, balanced sound to them, not very bass heavy, not at all sibilant. I used them as they are advertised to be used, over the ear, which helped with the lack of noise I heard while walking around with them. I can almost call the sound flat-ish, with very little edging towards the bass end or the treble end. It has an all around smooth sound, not at all jarring due to excessive sibilance, my least favorite attribute in a set of IEM's. These were a really nice break from the IEM's I've used as of late, including Brainwavz own Delta's and Sennheiser CX 300-II's. I'm more into a flatter, more even sound than a bass heavy signature, and these fit the bill perfectly. They responded to EQing very, very well, with me being able to get a sound I liked easily, very little was needed to get them to sound great to my ears. EQing them to boost the bass a bit also worked, with the S5's handling this well, with no noticeable distortion or clipping, just heavier well detailed bass. So you folks who like a bassier set of IEM's can use these with little worry, you simply have to EQ them to your liking. 

 

All told, I like the new S5's, they are a very easy going set of IEM's with nothing bad about them. The sound, build quality, price(a very nice $99.00US) and overall presentation is top notch, as per the usual from Brainwavz :) Try them out, you won't be disappointed! 

 

Here's a link to them on their selling page over at mp4nation.net:  http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-s5-iem-earphones

 

And here's a cut 'n paste from their site of the specs and what they ship with:

 

Specifications:

  • Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 10mm
  • Rated Impedance: 16ohms Closed Dynamic
  • Sensitivity: 110dB at 1mW
  • Frequency range: 18Hz ~ 24kHz
  • Distortion: <= 0.3% @ 110dB
  • Channel balance: =< 1dB (at 1000Hz)
  • Rated input power: 20mW
  • Maximum input power: 40mW
  • Plug: 3.5 mm 45-degree gold plated
  • Cable length: 1.3 meters Y cord (CU/Ag) PUR
  • 1 year warranty
  • Dimensions (Packaging): 160 x 135 x 38mm
  • Net Weight: 10g
  • Gross Weight: 140g

Included Accessories:

  • 1 x Comply T-400 medium foam tips
  • 6 x Pair silicone tips (S/M/L)
  • 1 x Bi-Flange silicone tips
  • 1 x Tri-Flange silicone tips
  • 1 x 6.3mm audio adapter
  • 1 x Hard carrying case
  • 1 x Instruction manual & Warranty card 

 

 

And here are some in ear pics:

 

 

 

And some stock pics(they look so much better than the ones I took, lol):

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90


Edited by dragon2knight - 7/2/14 at 8:07am
post #2 of 672
Thread Starter 

Thought I'd give this an evening bump for some nice IEM's :wink_face:

post #3 of 672
Thread Starter 

Wow, no interest in these at all? That's surprising, new Brainwavz usually get at least a nod on here.....guess not. Pity, these are the least offensive ones they've put out recently, meaning that they are a quality set with a nice, smooth signature, no mid dips, no sibilance, no boomy bass, just a great sounding single driver IEM that works great with EQing. They deserve more than totally being ignored on here.....

post #4 of 672

Get Raz to get a couple of sets to some well known reviewers here - maybe Joker.  Or a loaner tour.  Might create some more buzz.  Sub $100 market is pretty crowded - and you probably won't get a lot of reaction unless there are a few reviewers with similar impressions.

 

Last Brainwavz I tried were the R3 - and to be honest (despite the initial hype), they weren't actually that great.  Had potential - but poorly designed.

 

I'd be cautious trying anything else from them unless some reviewers I trust give them the nod ....... 

post #5 of 672
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

Get Raz to get a couple of sets to some well known reviewers here - maybe Joker.  Or a loaner tour.  Might create some more buzz.  Sub $100 market is pretty crowded - and you probably won't get a lot of reaction unless there are a few reviewers with similar impressions.

 

Last Brainwavz I tried were the R3 - and to be honest (despite the initial hype), they weren't actually that great.  Had potential - but poorly designed.

 

I'd be cautious trying anything else from them unless some reviewers I trust give them the nod ....... 

To be honest, I totally understand that point of view. Although I'm a seasoned reviewer(over 1000 reviews to my name, from videos to written), I'm not too well known on here. All the reviews I've done on here are for the Brainwavz lineup simply because those are the ones I'm given as review pieces, no one else has stepped up and given me anything else worth reviewing on here yet. I'd like to diversify, but so far, unless I buy the ones I'm reviewing, it hasn't happened.

Sorry you don't trust me, I think I've been on this site long enough to at least be taken seriously....guess not.  Have no fear, there will be other reviews of these fine IEM's coming soon enough, from guys you know, I'm sure. Until then at least consider this my opinion and a good starting point on these at the very least.....


Edited by dragon2knight - 7/3/14 at 6:57am
post #6 of 672
I am interested. I've got most of the Brainwavz.

I am using the Hifiman re-400 at the moment so these seem like a good match. I will keep reading this thread.
post #7 of 672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Last Brainwavz I tried were the R3 - and to be honest (despite the initial hype), they weren't actually that great.  Had potential - but poorly designed.

 

 

+1

if they had more (better said "any") bass, the R3 would be really nice. great detail, clarity and resolution, despite design and fit :D

when I got the advertisement for S5, I thought it´s probably the same tier, so not my cup of tea.

I love the R1, also S5 and M4 from Brainwavz, but -tbh- xiaomi pistons are not worse (and much cheaper)

post #8 of 672
Thread Starter 

The R3's were my least favorite IEM's from the Brainwavz lineup as well. They actually broke on me during my test of them, so I never had them long enough to post a full review. The fit was all wrong for me as well. They were, by Raz's own admission, a shot at trying out something new and different...ah well, not everything he does can be great :wink_face: 

But this is a thread for the new S5's, not the R3's. Trust me, these have not a single thing in common with the R3's, the signatures are entirely different, not to mention the design as a whole. You really shouldn't judge a new IEM based on another one from it's same manufacturer, either, that sells the newer one short without even giving it a chance to shine(or burn...) on it's own, just my opinion on that.


Edited by dragon2knight - 7/3/14 at 8:04am
post #9 of 672

They look very good. Which would you choose between this, Hifiman RE400 and Dunu DN-900?

post #10 of 672

I have a pair of these coming in from Brainwavz possibly by tomorrow. I will post some initial impressions and then let them burn-in for a couple of days before doing a full review.

post #11 of 672
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post
 

I have a pair of these coming in from Brainwavz possibly by tomorrow. I will post some initial impressions and then let them burn-in for a couple of days before doing a full review.

Good to hear, I like your reviews :bigsmile_face: In my opinion, they sounded better after a burn in of 100 or so hours. 


Edited by dragon2knight - 7/3/14 at 11:16am
post #12 of 672
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by desired View Post
 

They look very good. Which would you choose between this, Hifiman RE400 and Dunu DN-900?

I had the RE-400's for exactly one week(I got them "gently used" from a friend, cord broke after one week), and they compared pretty well signature wise, flat and detailed, but with nothing that really stuck out, like deep bass or soaring highs. Keep in mind the 400's have a bad rep for cord frailty(as I found out myself, unfortunately) so keep that in mind if considering those. I have no experience with the Dunu's.

post #13 of 672
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
 

Wow, no interest in these at all? That's surprising, new Brainwavz usually get at least a nod on here.....guess not. Pity, these are the least offensive ones they've put out recently, meaning that they are a quality set with a nice, smooth signature, no mid dips, no sibilance, no boomy bass, just a great sounding single driver IEM that works great with EQing. They deserve more than totally being ignored on here.....

 

Things take a bit but if they are worthy they will get some recognition. I am getting a review pair as well. They need to be a nice step up from the S1 for the $99 price and how fast the market has been moving/improving since those last releases. I have a good pair of Tenore here and I think they will be an excellent bench mark to gauge the S5 sound quality.. Even the Tenore were ignored for a while and totally backseat to the Basso till they got rolling.

post #14 of 672
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
 

To be honest, I totally understand that point of view. Although I'm a seasoned reviewer(over 1000 reviews to my name, from videos to written), I'm not too well known on here. All the reviews I've done on here are for the Brainwavz lineup simply because those are the ones I'm given as review pieces, no one else has stepped up and given me anything else worth reviewing on here yet. I'd like to diversify, but so far, unless I buy the ones I'm reviewing, it hasn't happened.

Sorry you don't trust me, I think I've been on this site long enough to at least be taken seriously....guess not.  Have no fear, there will be other reviews of these fine IEM's coming soon enough, from guys you know, I'm sure. Until then at least consider this my opinion and a good starting point on these at the very least.....

 

Not a question of trust D2K - let's just say that one or two or your reviews in the past haven't reflected my own past experiences with some IEMs.  That just reflects our different tastes and preferences.  I know your definition of balance and my definition of balance differs a little - that is normal.  All I'd like to see is a few more impressions from others so that I can get a proper baseline on where these actually sit ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post
 

I have a pair of these coming in from Brainwavz possibly by tomorrow. I will post some initial impressions and then let them burn-in for a couple of days before doing a full review.

 

Cool - look forward to your thoughts in due course.

post #15 of 672
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Not a question of trust D2K - let's just say that one or two or your reviews in the past haven't reflected my own past experiences with some IEMs.  That just reflects our different tastes and preferences.  I know your definition of balance and my definition of balance differs a little - that is normal.  All I'd like to see is a few more impressions from others so that I can get a proper baseline on where these actually sit ;)

 

 

 

No problem, guess I just overreacted a bit to that statement, I've had a few folks on here not play nice with me in the past for just the reason you stated. My views are my views, I don't expect everyone to agree with them, especially on something as subjective as a headphone review. Everyone hears thing differently, that's just the way it is. All I can do is state my point of view based on what I hear and hope it matches up well with the majority of folks reading it. Such is the life of a reviewer :) We accept it and deal with the outcome. Here's to hoping this one hit's the bulls eye with you this time :wink_face:

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