Originally Posted by shotgunshane
Since this seems like the defacto S5 thread, I thought I'd share that I've received a review sample as well. My initial impressions after 50 hours mirror many of you who are hearing a bass first, yet balanced with treble signature. I'd go so far as to say, for me, it's a typical V shaped signature- generous, if not prodigious, bass, slightly recessed vocals and very sparkly, yet rolled off treble. In some ways they remind me greatly of the Panasonic HJE-900. Bold, rich, dynamic and aggressive. Some have mentioned or hinted at a possible neutral signature and I'd have to strongly disagree. I put these squarely in ClieOS "balanced" category, from his concise multi-iem comparison thread, which is where he places most of the V sigs he's reviewed.
While these have some similarities to the S1, I'd place the S1 squarely in his Bass category. I'm picking up a bit of sibilance depending on tip and fit. Tips that tend to reduce the bass tend to accentuate the sibilance. So far the stock grays are best for me. I did try the vent tape with pinhole mod. While reducing bass, I felt the driver was consequently over damped and sounded more closed in and restricted. While leaving the vent untaped makes for a lot more bass, I prefer the more open and airy feel of it untaped. Ultimately I'd use these with some targeted EQ to make them fit my more linear preferences. More to come...
+2, My thoughts largely mirror those of SGS --- I've settled on the large diameter biflange tips.
The following is my quick and dirty EQ to adjust the S5 into a "mild U-shape" --- I wasn't on a quest to adjust to dead-neutral, but merely to alter it into a form that I felt would be more suitable for more forms of music. It'll still be most adept at its likely intended target --- mainstream music --- but it's adjusted to give better, clearer presence to vocals, better extension in the highs (so that cymbals and snares sound more nautral), and a less distracting bass response.
Overall, the transducer inside has a lot of promise --- it provides a clean, low distortion base that is quick on its feet. However, the signature itself is a bit too mainstream-oriented, for better or for worse. This is the kind of signature the Beats Tour would have if it were actually to have good sound quality. Overall, I think it'd be a good transition for listeners used to Beats-esque signatures to one with a higher quality sound. It is not, however, a traditional "hi-fi" signature. The timbre isn't delicate enough.
I won't fault the S5 too much because I don't believe Brainwavz intended to market the S5 to hardcore IEM users, but rather to mainstream listeners (after all, that's what the sub-$100 category mostly targets). For the price and the intended consumer, the S5 is spot on in terms of what it delivers as a package. Interestingly, Brainwavz dropped the "Pro" tag from the S5 when it came to market. If Brainwavz were to come along with a "Pro" version of the S5, I think it would garner more support from head-fiers. The interior of the bass chamber would probably have to be tapered more steeply (shouldn't be shortened, as doing so would most likely decrease sub-bass extension) to control bass levels, and they can consider making an upgrade to the driver diaphragm, perhaps to titanium or LCP to move resonance nodes upwards, allowing the timbre to sound more elegant.