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In-Ear item created by Salsera, Dec 15, 2016
Pros - Comfort is outstanding, size, mids, cable
Cons - might be light on bass for some. Bigbrother B150 is "bigger" and might be more interseting for some...
I´m a 38 year old father of 2 children who has a wife that is totally against anything that isn´t music out of the car stereo. I have been forced to sell my HIFI from Cerwin Vega, B&W and KEF speakers and move to portable audio and headphones to save my marriage.
I was given the chance to review the Brainwavz B100 and this review is based on my subjective listening experience and is not influenced by anything but the gear I have at my disposal and the music I´m listing too.
In this review, and all reviews I do, I use the same tracklist and listen for specific things in the tracks. I listen to different genres and try to keep a good mix of different types of music and sounds. All tracks are FLAC. The tracklist is as following;
⦁ Sun Kil Moon – Third and Seneca
⦁ In Flames – Ropes
⦁ Fleet Foxes – White winter hymnial
⦁ The Middle East – Blood
⦁ Niki and the Dove – Love to the test
⦁ Queen – Innuendo
⦁ A tribe called quest – Get a hold
⦁ Yanni – Adagio in C minor
⦁ Elvis Costello – Alison
⦁ Dave Matthews Band – Grey street
⦁ Etherwood – Cast away
⦁ Rage against the Machine - Vietnow
This review will be very close to the B150 review as both models are very much packaged the same was with very similar looks. What will differ will, hopefully, be the soundcharacteristic section…
⦁ Price: $59.50
⦁ Driver: 1x BA per side
⦁ Impedance: 50 Ω
⦁ Frequency Range: 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
⦁ Sensitivity: 110 dB at 1 mW
⦁ Cable: 1.3 m Y-Cord, Over the ear, OFC Copper
⦁ Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated
My review set of The Brainwavz B100 came with the retail box as shown on the picture below (not my picture as my box had had a rough time through shipping).
What you do get on the inside is a lot of extra accessories and they are also very good for the price. You get;
3 x Pairs of Sony hybrid lookalike tips (S, M, L)
3 x Pairs of Brainwavz own tips (S, M, L)
1 x Comply foam tips (these alone are like $13US in Sweden for the pair…)
1 x Shirtclip
1 x Velcro cable strap
1 x Branded Brainwavz earphone case
1 x User guide
Build and Design
The Brainwavz B100 are, just like the B150, made out of black lightweight plastic and are shaped to look like they are custom built to fit in the . They are not branded with “BRAINWAVZ” on the side like the S5 and they look a bit small at first. I´ll get back to this later in the review. They look a bit basic as they are all black. They look very elegant and “neat”. They do feel very solid and that is also how I would describe their looks.
Taking a look at the cable, it´s black and braided half way (to the Y-split). I immediately get flashbacks to the Brainwavz M100 which has a very nice too. The braided OFC cable has some memory and tangles a bit at first but after some use it smoothens out. Above the y-split the B100 comes with a basic rubber sheathed, thin strand of cable.
There is no remote on the cable, and to be honest, that´s not the end of the world for me. The cable also has excellent strain reliefs at all the danger areas so all in all I find the design ok. They are made to be worn over-ear and they can´t be worn cable down. The cable is not removable which otherwise seems to be a trend and I personally like.
Comfort and Isolation
I like iems and earbuds. I have about 30 in my possession at the moment and they range from small microdriver units to big bulky universals that cover your whole concha and will hurt your tragus badly. I haven´t tried customs and I´m not sure I ever will…
My main issue with iems are usually that I can´t get a good seal. I have BIG ears and well above average sized ear channels. Tip rolling is not something I do on occasion with new iems, I do it everytime and sometimes for hours to get that perfect seal and sound.
I don´t know what it is about Braniwavz iems but they really are easy for me to get an excellent seal with. I put on the standard large sized tips and they just loved me. We come together in perfect harmony. For me, the B100 are the one of the most comfortable earphones I have ever used. I honestly forget about them after wearing them for a while. They are smaller in size compared to my average iems but they are sooo comfortable. I wear them over-ear, of course, and the cable lays snug around the back of my ears. Isolation is also among the best I´ve ever tried. For me, they are very close to the isolation I get when using Comply and my Shure SE535.
I have to state this again. I find the Brainwavz B100, just like the B150, S5 and M100 to be extremely comfortable and a pleasure to wear.
I´ll be using a FiiO X7 with AM3 module as source and I´ll also hook up a VE Runabout 2.0 amp too. I also have an Oppo HA-2 dac/amp which I will pair with my Oneplus3 smartphone.
After reviewing the B150 earlier, I´m trying to keep my hopes down to a normal level, as I absolutely loved them. Straight out of the box the B100 show their worth. They focus on mids and treble and are very capable in the low end. Bass is present but not prominent. In my book just the right amount too. They sound fun which can be interpreted as “V”-shaped by many. I don´t think it´s fair to conclude anything out of the box so I had the B100 play music out my MacBook pro for about 50 hours. No special music just a random playlist and no “pink noise burn in”.
The detail and clarity in the mids are very very good. Compared to the B150 I feel the B100 are more revealing in this area. Vocals, especially female are sweet as sugar. They have warmth but not too much. I especially like how good it sounds with acoustic music from my tracklist above.
Bass is OK but compared to the B150 and for example the Brainwavz S5 they are a little lacking and not as “fun”. I will not choose the B100 for Trance or House music. I´m not saying it´s bad or so it´s just that the bass does not extend so much. It does not lack speed and has no some problem “keeping up”. It just lacks that “oomph” (I´d compare it to the Havi B3Pro1 bass). I tried it with my Oppo HA-2 DAC which has bassboost and that brought the B100 to a whole new level.
I´m very sensitive to sibilance, I´ll just add that right away. The B100´s gave me no issues or problem whatsoever. Not fatiguing at all. Smooth and detailed.
I´m a sucker for huge soundstage and airy atmosphere in music. The B100, like the B150, are OK and average.. I´d say it´s above average (like 5/10) and when I add an amp the B100 really does not benefit from it. They are easy to drive anyway both straight out of my phone and my FiiO X7.
I feel like I´m repeating myself but, like always, Brainwavz deliver a very pleasant surprise! Just like the B150, I really think that Brainwavz have a gem here. They are well tuned, balanced and neutral and doesn´t add to much of its own signature to the music. I´d say these are an excellent buy for someone who wants a pair of iems that can reveal detail in music, especially acoustic and music without to prominent bass. There is no need for an amp so they should be interesting for a vast number of people. If you have large ears and feel fatigue wearing different iems these might just be the ones for you. For $60US they are a safe and excellent purchase both when it comes to quality and sound.
Pros - Clear and detailed sound. Exceptionally comfortable. Price. Accessories. 24-month warranty
Cons - No inline control or microphone
Brainwavz is a company that should be well known by now to anyone who's familiar with Head-Fi. Known for their excellent build quality and reasonable prices, Brainwavz should always be on your list of manufacturers to keep track of. Today I'll be looking at their recently released B100 single Balanced Armature over ear earphones.
This product was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review. All opinions and observations here are my own, based on my experience with the product. I'd like to thank Brainwavz and Pandora for the opportunity to test the B100.
*Note that this is the pre-release version of the B100. The sound tuning is final but the release version will have an upgraded cable, black ear-tips and more polished physical finish.
Drivers : Single Balanced Armature
Rated Impedance : 50 Ω
Frequency Range : 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
Sensitivity : 110 dB at 1 mW
Cable : 1.3 m Y-Cord, Over the ear, OFC Copper
Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold plated
Packaging and accessories:
The B100 comes with the usual array of accessories that Brainwavz provides with each release including:
Earphone Hard case
6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-100
1 Shirt Clip
Velcro Cable Tie
Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
*Because this is the pre-production version the earphones did not come in retail packaging.
The Brainwavz carry cases are above average quality and I have always liked them a lot. This case is elongated and has ample room for the earphones and provided accessories. Brainwavz is one of the few manufacturers whose Large ear-tips are actually large enough for my ears and for that I'm eternally grateful. It's just as well too because the B100 has very slender nozzles which could make tip rolling a bit tricky. Fortunately the included tips are very good and give me a perfect seal. The tips on the production model will actually be black.
Build, comfort and isolation:
The B100 IEMs are a small, lightweight plastic in the form of a conch type shape. At first glance I thought it might be difficult regarding fit but I couldn't have been more wrong. This is an extremely comfortable IEM that slips into my ears as though it was custom made just for me. The angle of the nozzle and cable connections are perfect (again for me) and I can easily forget I'm wearing earphones. This is by far the most comfortable over-ear IEM in my collection (along with the B150 which has the same housing).
The cable is rubberized, similar to previous Brainwavz models but this one is twisted below the Y-splitter which seems to have made it more supple/manageable and it feels of a higher quality too. There's a chin-slider above the Y-splitter which can be used to get a more secure fit. Strain reliefs are excellent from top to bottom, offering good protection against wear. The cable terminates in a 45 degree angled plug that has a convex curve on it and makes it very easy to grip when removing the plug. The top few inches of the cables have a plastic sheath and are preformed to fit over your ears and again Brainwavz seems to have nailed it with this aspect as it's super secure and comfortable at the same time.
With a proper seal from the ear-tips and the shape of the IEMs the noise isolation is above average for my ears and blocks out a good deal of outside noise.
PC/MusicBee > Audinst HUD-MX2
Galaxy Note 5
This single BA sounded great from all the sources I tested and in my opinion does not need amping. Even the Galaxy Note 5 pairs well with the B100 and was able to provide a clear and detailed sound at a good level where many other IEMs require near maximum volume and come out a little muddy from this device.
Bass is somewhat light but I wouldn't say it's thin as it has great texture with a cheeky dose of punch. The quality of the bass is really very good. It's fast and accurate and deceptively full-bodied for a single BA driver. I usually have preference for elevated bass, particularly in the sub-bass regions but strangely I don't feel that I miss it when listening to the B100. There's some kind of voodoo crafted into this IEM that brings life and fullness out of a bass that is presented at a rather mature and conservative level. Mid-bass is a little reduced in quantity which really brings out the edge in kick drums and then there's a sub-bass that's ever so slightly emphasized with good extension and capable of bringing a bit of subtle rumble into the mix.
The midrange of this B100 maintains the balanced approach that it does with its bass with a touch of added warmth. Detail and separation are impressive and don't show any signs of congestion. There's clarity aplenty with crisp, well defined notes throughout. The B100 tackles all genres with ease from the energetic pace of NWA's "100 Miles and Runnin'" to the velvety smooth "Your Love is King" by Sade, though in the latter the vocals are presented slightly behind the percussion instruments. Natural tones abound and is another area where this IEM excels.
Treble has a liveliness and sense of air about it but never gets strident or fatiguing. It's energetic but smooth at the same time and I haven't experienced any piercing highs during my time with the B100.
Soundstage is not the most vast out there but it's not too shabby at all and never feels confined or too intimate. It can give the impression of an open space when called upon and can fairly accurately lay out the position of elements within the music.
B100 vs Brainwavz B150 ($109 USD):
Physically these two are identical and also very similar when it comes to their sound. The treble of the B100 has a little more extension giving it a hint more energy while the B150 has less treble and more body in the midrange. Bass on both is similar again though the B150 has a little extra tilt towards the mid-bass giving it an overall impression of more fullness and darker sound (though both have excellent detail and separation). Given that these are so similar if I were to make a recommendation it would be for the B100 unless you absolutely want that extra bit of girth in the lower mids.
The B100 really surprised me with its sound presentation as I was expecting something more analytical but in fact its very musical and welcoming. Another wonderment was how incredibly comfortable it is. Its easy to forget you're wearing earphones and to get lost in the music. Its super light weight and preformed cable ends (not memory wire) work in harmony with the shape to practically disappear in your ears. Unless you're a basshead and "need" that extra weighted low end, for the asking price of $59.50 I wouldn't hesitate recommending these to anyone after a detailed and engaging IEM. This should be on your wish list.
Pros - A nicely balanced, detailed, confortable with good build and package single BA based earphone.
Cons - Noodle like cord, plastic housing, could sound better than your more expensive headphones.
This is a report about a new IEM from Brainwavz. The B100
Drivers : Single Balanced Armature
Rated Impedance : 50 Ω
Frequency Range : 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
Sensitivity : 110 dB at 1 mW
Cable : 1.3 m Y-Cord, Over the ear, OFC Copper
Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold plated
Shout out to @Salsara of Brainwavz for the review sample of the B100s.
A set of B100s were provided to me for my thoughts of them. I have used them exclusively for the past month and I have to say these have surprised me in many ways.
I remember opening them and while I am a firm believer of burn in on all phones I review. I always like to hear them on open listen just to get a feeling of what type of sound we are dealing with. Well lets just say I was not very impressed with the open box sound of these. In fact I was very puzzled. However this was not the final word of the B100s.
They come with your standard Brainwavz package. What I noticed that was new to me was their included brainwavz case. It is your standard semi hard shell with pockets and zipper but now more rectangle in shape vs the squares I have gotten in the past. I feel this is an improvement from previous square shaped cases simply due to the fact that it feels much less cramped than the older square ones they have provided. Makes more sense for storing your earphones. So improvements there. These come with standard 6 pairs of silicon tips in various sizes a clip and a pair of medium sized complys.
When assessing earphones I always give a good thorough run in of music before getting an end conclusive sound. I noticed though the various earphones I have owned and reviewed. They all vary as to how they respond to various ways of getting the end state of the sound of the earphones. What I mean by this. There is a common thought that BAs do no need burn in. I have to strongly disagree with this view. From my own experiences of various BA based earphones I own. Sure they don’t change in sonics to a drastic degree. I have noticed some BA actually do open up in sound.
Case in point. The B100 out of box sounded like I was listening to music through a tin can. Vocals especially male sounded completely off. Sound was about as flat with absolutely no discernable sense of depth or stage for that matter. I remember reaching out to a few friends on the forums if I am hearing these things right. Long story short. I started a several week long process of not only burn in but tried out my large variety of tips I use on various other earphones.
About a 100 hours into the process. The sound not only changed but has bloomed to something that left a sour state of impression on me to something entirely different.
COMFORT FIT and BUILD:
I feel comfort goes a long ways for sound enjoyment. I have personally encountered fantastic sounding earphones that for some reason if the fit or comfort is not right, will throw a wrench on how much enjoyment one gets out of their music. The housing is relatively small conch shell type shape sits very comfortably in the outer canal with an over the ear fit. Which eliminates microphonics. So good design for the housing. Isolation is average for in ears. Build is fairly solid but has a noodle like quality to the cord that gets half as thin after the Y split up to the housing themselves. I would say build is good but not great. I do like the 45 degree angle connector which gives some confidence that it will not break apart at the connector any time soon.
BA earphone sound in the past that I have owned or heard all have a common strength and weakness. Detail, precision, speed which all lead to a great sense of mids and treble presence. It is usually the bass area the suffers the most as compared to an equally comparable dynamic counterpart. Which is one of the main reasons for the myriad of hybrids in the markets now a days.
The B100 does a solid job at a complete sound profile that is surprisingly satisfactory given it’s price point. I feel it is one of the better single BAs I have heard in this regard. I can understand the reason for multiple BA earphones to fill the gap in between the sonics that a single BA has a hard time reproducing. Hence the myriad top end earphones with 5 plus more BAs. But these actually don’t sound like they are missing much if at all from your tunes.
Tested with a variety of daps and dac amps I keep at my sound station at home. Varying from my Fiio daps X1, X3, X3ii, Ibasso DX90, Pono, Aundinst MX1, Meridian explorer 1, and Geek pulse. Fiio 12A and Cayin C5,These sounded good to fantastic on all of it however I did notice that amping these don’t necessarily yield a more expansive sound. On a side note I did notice these have the best synergy to warmer sounding daps like my original X3, which makes sense due to the source having a wamer tone and fuller mids.
The B100 has a fairly balanced sound signature but has a slight V shaped profile which is typical of Brainwavz house sound I have heard from other Brianwavz earphones. So while typical BA sound signatures should in theory cater more to a mid forward signature it actually makes sense to tune to the weakness of a single BA being bass and then treble emphasis.
The trebles of the B100 is very capable of representing the region and does have good clarity, definition and agility to it. Brainwavz did a great job of having a good balanced treble here but it does lack some in tonality, depth and smoothness in the region. But again for a single BA not much is missing and does have an airy lift to upper treble that don’t make your highs sound boring or incomplete. Control of the treble region has enough dynamic qualities to be satisfying, accurate while not being strident.
MIDDLE FIDDLE FADDLE:
The mids of the B100 take a slight step back from the treble and bass but due to ample clarity and detail in the region. It does good with vocals and has an exemplary ability for sound separation and agility given the price point. However It lacks a bit of lushness, fullness and depth of higher end earphones.
If I was a betting man the higher priced B150 will have a more enveloping fuller mid range but for what is on here it does an excellent job of imagery and that clarity which does a lot for the B100 to satisfy the meat of your tunes. Quick transients and instrument edge has your full attention which again shows the strength of the BA integration.
Somehow if Brainwavz got this exact sound tuning with even more depth and width of stage it would jump from being an entry level BA to a mid fi level easily. This being said it is hard to nit pick from the sound of these as truely lacking.
The bass of the B100 is emphasized which is what you have to do with BAs. It is definitely above neutral but is no where near bloat ville and monotone. Sound balancing is a fine art much like how one crafts beer or wine. You over cook some elements while undercooking another to find a balance of sound satisfaction to suit peoples tastes. Overcook the bass as your gonna have a warm tilt to the tone or worse a hump that shows it’s ugly head in every tune. Undercook and you get music that will not engage or interact with why your listening to them in the first place. Bass is the one aspect of BAs that lets be frank just don’t cut it. Compared to a well tuned dynamic driver, BAs can lack that texture that layering and sheer power in them Low lows. If you like your Bass massage your inner ears. These will not satisfy. But if your a balance head and want a decent representation of accurate bass in a detailed BA sound. These are gonna be worth your cash.
They do exhibit a bass roll off like most single BAs I have heard, but subbass does remain in the 30 hz region with decent texture and good layering. I have yet to hear a single BA phone that can do subbass quite like Final Audio earphones but these are about par with what you will get with a single BAs ability in the region. They do have a somewhat soft sub bass texture but does not sound lacking. Even with my hip hop tracks which require a good amount of bass acumin. I came away thinking it didn’t sound bad at all. Which was a surprise for a single BA earphone. Trance actually sound like Trance. RnB sounds very nice actually and shows its true strengths in Jazz tracks..
Sure these aren’t gonna win any awards for trunk of funk but hey for a single BA I will gladly take it.
IN THE END.
Brainwavz did an excellent job with these earphones. If you have never had a chance to hear a solidly tuned BA earphone before. I would give these a try. The value is about as good as it gets on these and to me their solid comfort and good build makes them an easy phone to pick up while going for a walk or on your comute. Really about a complete a sound your gonna get from a single BA. And that to me is what makes the B100 and excellent entry level earphone. Well done Brainwavz. While sound is a subjective thing these do a lot right and has a lot to like about them. GIve them a go if your in the market for a more grown up sound from your earphones.
Pros - really great value, tonal tuning, audio quality
Cons - this is a really good question - I really cannot think of any
It is finally happening – Brainwavz Audio is making in-ears with Balanced Armature drivers again.
After they were introduced to the public few months ago, the two single-BA in-ears B100 and B150 are finally hitting the market.
I already had the pleasure to review and listen to a prototype of the B150 with finalised tuning, and the B100 is the next in the line that I got my ears on.
In what ways do the two in-ears differ? And how do they compare with other single-BA in-ears? This will be found out in the course of this review.
Disclaimer: I was offered a free sample of the B100 in exchange for feedback and an honest, unbiased review. Thank you, Brainwavz Audio and Pandora.
Driver: 1x BA per side
Impedance: 50 Ω
Frequency Range: 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
Sensitivity: 110 dB at 1 mW
Cable: 1.3 m Y-Cord, Over the ear, OFC Copper
Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated
First and foremost, I really like the new package design with the matte black and glossy red colour as contrast.
Inside, one will find the in-ears, a nice and elongated carrying case with the typical black and red colour scheme, a shirt clip, one pair of red medium Comply Foam tips, two pairs of small silicone tips, two pairs of medium silicone tips and lastly two pairs of large silicone tips.
The case is nice and holds enough room for the in-ears as well as some accessories.
The ear tips are the same as the ones I already know from the B150 pre-production prototype with finalised tuning that I reviewed not long ago, however they are now black instead of read. Since the B100 comes with two pairs of tips of each size, I think it would be nice to have half of them in red which I think is a nice colour contrast to the black shells.
Looks, Feels, Build Quality:
The housings are made of black plastic and carry small Brainwavz labels on the outside, along with side markers on the inside. They seem sturdy and well-made, and are sufficiently small.
The cable below the y-split is twisted and then rubber-coated and appears very sturdy and reliable. While it is flexible, it is still very slightly springy. A chin-slider isn’t missing and apart from directly above the y-split, there is good strain relief.
The in-ears are intended to be worn around the ears instead of the more commonly found “cable-down” method that is mainly found on most cheaper in-ears. This guarantees for a more secure fit and less cable noise (microphonics).
Due to their small size, the in-ears will very likely also fit people with smaller ears extremely well.
The fit in my large ears is really good with the B100 and as the ear pieces are closed, outside noise is also blocked out really well.
My main source devices for listening were my iBasso DX90 as well as the DX80.
The largest included silicone tips were used for listening and testing.
The B100 doesn’t differ greatly from the B150 that I will compare it to further below, however they differ a bit in two rather important areas wherefore they don’t sound similar.
The B100, roughly speaking, will give you a punchy and tight, kicking upper bass, not that much warmth in the lower midrange that has got just a slight drift to the warmer and darker side, and an overall quite smooth treble that doesn’t smooth out cymbal crashes much but won’t trigger sibilance either.
Compared to a really flat in-ear such as the Etymotic ER-4S, the B100, just as the B150, has got a bit more than 7 dB more bass quantity in my ears with a climax that is mainly located around the upper bass.
Although the bass elevation is mainly found in the lower root and upper bass, it is starting to climb around 650 Hz, reaches its climax around 120, keeps this level down to 80 Hz and then slowly loses quantity towards the sub-bass. It is not a strong roll-off though, so the lower midbass and beginning sub-bass at 40 Hz are still audible with good quantity, however there is not much below 28 Hz anymore.
It is a punchy and kicking upper bass, that, while it won’t satisfy the needs of someone who is looking for a really strong and impactful bottom-end mainly found with most dynamic driver in-ears at this price point, has got quite some impact for a single-BA in-ear and doesn’t sound sterile or boring by any means. The cliché of a thin and bass-light sound from a single-driver Balanced Armature in-ear is definitely not true with the Brainwavz.
The midrange is just slightly on the warmer and darker side and less full compared to the B150’s. I wouldn’t call it coloured, but just say that the upper vocal range takes a step back and therefore darkens this range a bit without making it appear artificial yet.
The middle highs around 5 kHz and the rest until 12 kHz show more presence again, and there even is a moderate elevation I can spot between 12 and 13 kHz when listening to sine sweeps. While cymbals are still a little on the smoother side, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, the elevation in the starting super treble above 12 kHz adds a nice and subtle airiness to the sound.
Let’s make it short here – the B100 sounds nimble and quick, lightweight and detailed, coherent and well-rendered.
As you might notice, the vast majority of the “Resolution” and “Soundstage” part is identical to what I’ve written in my B150 review, which is mainly because I really think that both are pretty much on the same technical level overall.
The bass, while it is not as tight and fast as with some multi-BA in-ears or the Etymotic ER-4S, definitely doesn’t lack speed and is only very slightly (!) on the softer side and still a good bit better controlled and faster than most dynamic driver in-ears. I also hear it as being a little quicker than the B150’s, which is however not true and just an illusion that is at the latest busted when putting both single-driver in-ears side-by-side, and only appears to be like this because the B100 has got the slightly less emphasised lower vocals.
The midrange has got good speech intelligibility and minute detail retrieval, as it can also be expected from a (single-) BA in-ear.
The treble carries good details and good separation that is not elite-level but good for the price. I don’t really miss much.
The sound is, not really surprising, very coherent, wherefore I would also choose the B100 over the dual-BA Apple in-ears, that, while they definitely show an advantage in the midrange and treble in terms of detail retrieval and are a bit more refined overall, don’t sound as coherent as most single-BA in-ears in the low three-digit/high two-digit price range, including the B100 where everything sounds harmonious.
Being someone who personally prefers in-ears with Balanced Armature drivers over those with dynamic drivers (with just a few exceptions and fields of use), the B100 would also be my personal choice over most similarly priced dynamic driver in-ears because of its higher speed and tightness.
One will neither get a huge nor a small soundstage with the B100. Who still expects single-BA in-ears to sound congested, which is definitely not the case for a good number of models, will probably be a little surprised that the B100 has got a soundstage that I would say is a little larger than average, with a good width-to-depth-ratio and a good presentation of spatial depth. The positioning of instruments is precise and the separation is good, too, and the presentation also appears quite airy while there is not as much air around single instruments as with most higher-end multi-driver in-ears.
In Comparison with other Single-BA In-Ears:
MEE audio A151 (2[sup]nd[/sup] generation):
The A151, while it is definitely not among the thin sounding single-BA in-ears and carries some warmth and weight in the lows compared to a really flat monitor, has got ca. 3 dB less bass quantity than the B100, as well as somewhat less quantity in the upper treble. The MEE has got the slightly more forward vocal range.
The MEE has got the minimally tighter and faster bass and sounds ever so slightly more refined in the treble, which I am however only able to make out with very strong concentration on minute details and quick switching between both. The B100 is minimally ahead when it comes to midrange details.
The A151’s soundstage is a bit wider and somewhat better separated.
To make it short, both sound very similar to me, yet they aren’t identical.
Both have got the same bass quantity while the B100’s upper bass kick is subjectively a bit better distinguishable as it has got slightly less quantity in the lower midrange than the B150 that has got the slightly lusher and warmer vocals in comparison. Both in-ears also sound identical to me in the treble, apart from that the B100 outputs more quantity between 12 and 13 kHz, wherefore it appears airier, less laid-back and more direct in comparison.
In terms of resolution, I definitely see both as being on-par.
Both also sound identical to me when it comes to soundstage dimensions with the B100’s being a little airier which can mainly be addressed to it having more quantity in the starting super treble above 10 kHz.
So my impression is that while the tuning difference isn't significant at all, the B150 is better suited for those who want a somewhat warmer and smoother sound whereas the B100 might be the better choice for those who are looking for comparably less warmth in the lower midrange which makes the upper bass appear to kick a bit more, along with a bit more presence in the upper treble.
I am happy to see Brainwavz Audio making in-ears with Balanced Armature drivers again.
Their B150 that I reviewed recently managed to convince me on the objective side, and so does the B100, its little brother (judging by the price, as both really are more like twins with slight differences).
Nimbleness, coherency, speech intelligibility, airiness and a punchy, kicking and controlled upper bass whose quantity is higher than with most single-BA in-ears but not overpowered are what the B100 delivers.
While I don’t take personal preference into the final rating of any of my reviews, I personally like the B100 more than the B150 because of its lesser warmth in the vocal range and the less smooth upper treble, however I do take value/the price-performance-ratio into account, and the B100 is just about half the price of the B150 with the same technical performance and can stand up very well against the MEE audio A151 (2[sup]nd[/sup] generation) that I consider as the best single-BA in-ear at this price point, so I think unless the extra warmth and smoothness of the B150 are desired, the B100 is the better choice because its lower price. Don’t get me wrong, the B150 is also worth its price, but at about half of it, the B100 just offers the even greater value.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Pros - Clean, crisp, detailed sound with good extension at both ends - Comfort - Value
Cons - Thin cable above y-split - Treble can be sharp/rough with bright source
Today we are going to be looking at the first in Brainwavz's new balanced armature (BA) lineup; the B100. And what an entry it is!
Brainwavz has been around for a while now and is well known on Head-fi for offering high quality earphones at low prices. The S5 is one of my personal favorite single dynamics and for just under 100 USD gives you amazing build quality, durable materials, a great accessory kit, and a very competent, reasonably balanced sound. This is an experience that for the most part bleeds down through the lineup, even to the entry level Omega. While Brainwavz has offered a number of competitive products at various price points for years now, there has been one notable omission since the discontinuation of their dual-BA earphone, the B2; they have all used dynamic drivers.
All that changes with their new balanced armature lineup. First we have the single armature B100 which we will be looking at today, another single armature in the form of the B150 which I'll be reviewing later, and the B200 dual-BA model.
I've been using the B100 for well over a month now and as you can imagine from the star rating, impressions are favorable. Let's look at why in more detail shall we?
I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for sending over a pair of the B100 in exchange for a fair and impartial review. These is no financial incentive in place for writing this review, though I am not required to send the B100 back. All opinions and thoughts within this review are my own, and are not representative of Brainwavz or any other entity.
Please note that the B100 model I was sent is preproduction and as a result the build quality is not 100% representative of the final product. I have a retail copy of the B150 on hand which according to Brainwavz uses the same housing and cable as the production B100, so some of my thoughts on build and comfort may carry over between models.
The B100 is now on sale and retails for 59.50 USD. You can check it out here: http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/collections/earphones/products/b100-balanced-armature-in-ear-earphone
A Little About Me:
Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI's multi-earphone review thread, reviews from other established reviewers, and thus being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own. Fast forward a couple years and I've had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, Meze and many more. I don't do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I'll consider that a job well done and payment enough.
The gear used for testing was an XDuoo X3 (Rockbox update) occasionally paired with a Topping NX1 portable amplifier, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with the NX1 or Plantronics Rig USB amp. Finally, my ancient Samsung Nexus S made a return to form as it pairs beautifully with the B100. The PS VITA was also tossed into the mix. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures, I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even mid-range response, and reduced mid-bass. My favorite in-ear, the Echobox Finder X1 with grey filters is a good example of this.
Since this was a preproduction B100, I was not provided any packaging. They arrived safely stashed in Brainwavz's new-ish elongated hard case that I first came across on the Jive. It's a very well-designed, well-contructed case that has tons of storage space while still managing to remain fairly compact. It was more than large enough to hold the B100 and the included accessories. Speaking of accessories, while not as plentiful as with other models, what is provided is perfectly adequate. In addition to the already mentioned carrying case, you also receive;
- three pairs of silicone ear tips in small, medium, and large sizes
- A set of Comply foam tips (T-100)
- a shirt clip
- a Velcro cable tie
Given the slender nozzle, the B100 won't be compatible with a wide variety of tips. Therefore, it's a big plus that the included sets use a very high quality silicone, are comfortable, and seal well. Note that the tips on the production model will be black. I would love to see Brainwavz revert this decision and include red tips as they not only give the B100 a unique look, but fit right in with the red/black color scheme Brainwavz is so fond of.
Oh yes! Can't forget that the B100 also comes with the standard Brainwavz 24 month warranty.
Build, Design, Comfort, and Isolation:
One aspect of nearly every Brainwavz product I've tried that has impressed is build quality. They generally use durable cables that are well-relieved and strong materials for the earpieces. While the B100 is certainly not poorly built, it does come across as one of the less rugged models in the Brainwavz stable.
Starting with the earpieces, you immediately notice that they are are tiny and composed of very light plastic. They remind me of a scaled down VSonic VSD3 with elements of Mazda's Nagare styling language tossed in. They're subtly attractive in that from a distance there doesn't seem to be much to their design, but up close you get to enjoy sweeping lines and subdued creases encompassing the length of the ear piece. The nozzles are also plastic and quite slender. I'm always optimistic that manufacturers will build in some extra strength when using such thin nozzles, but I'd still be careful not to sit on them or put undue pressure on it.
The cable on the release version of the B100 is the same as that found on the B150 and quite similar to that chosen for the M100, another new Brainwavz release. The OFC copper cable is braided below the y-split, where it splits into a more traditional rubberized cable leading into the housing. I wish the braid was maintained all the way through as it feels quite nice, evidenced by it's use on the M100. The braided portion is fantastic; it resists memory, is flexible, and feels very durable. The more standard section leading into the ear pieces is okay, though it is quite thin. The sheath feels tough enough to provide some protection from tugs but I'm not planning on testing that anytime soon. Relief is excellent at the 45 degree angled jack, leading into the y-split, and heading into each ear piece.
Comfort is simply outstanding. The nozzle exits at a good angle, the ear pieces weigh next to nothing, the cable is light, and the guides carry them smoothly around your ear and out of the way. As a wearer of glasses these built in guides can often be a pain, but Brainwavz did an excellent job in choosing the right material and shape for theirs. Top points for comfort!
Isolation was surprisingly poorer than expected. Not bad by any means, just not as good as a sealed housing, single BA unit could be. It was fine for around the house, but walking around downtown I had no issues hearing vehicle noise around me. Things definitely improved with the foam tips, so that would be the way to go if isolation is a priority.
Overall the B100 is well built and extremely comfortable, just try to avoid tugging the cable too much as it's a little thin above the y-split.
Pairing: I found they sounded best with a warmer source such as my PS Vita or Samsung Nexus S, both of which use Wolfson DACs and output decent sound. It also sounded great with my HTC One M8, though it could only be used if run through a splitter. The pre-production model's 4 pole jack wouldn't register with the HTC for whatever reason, yet it worked fine with every other device I tried. The release version uses a standard 3-pole which based on my experiences with the B150 is compatible with just about everything.
Tips: The included foams tips sounded fantastic, as did those that came with my DIY SE215 Special Edition, taking some of the edge off the treble and warming up the low end further. There was no noticeable change in signature with the silicone tips from the DIY or those provided with the ADVANCED Model 3. In the end, I stuck with the pre-installed medium tips primarily for comfort, convenience, and because I like a bit of extra energy up top.
Amping: The B100 is easy to drive and even the wimpy amp in the PS VITA had no issues powering it. I preferred the sound straight from my Nexus S or XDuoo X3 since their stock sound is a bit warmer. Amping isn't needed, but if you want to I recommend using something with a bit of color
While I don't have a ton of experience with single BA units, I do have the UE600, the Sony XBA-2 dual-driver, and a number of hybrids to pull experience from. When I hear something is going to be using a single BA as it's driving force, reading reviews and my experience with the UE600 tells me that it seems reasonable to expect a strong mid-range with nice treble detail and extension. While this seems less and less applicable to modern BAs, I went in expecting bass that might be considered lacking depth and grunt. The B100 met or exceeded my expectations in most every area.
The B100 leans slightly towards the thin, warm side of the scale with some extra treble and mid-range emphasis. Their wonderfully detailed and precise treble presentation isn't sibilant, but I could see it coming across as a bit overemphasized for some if paired with a brighter source. Even so, the last minute of Run The Jewel's 'On My Darling' is very edgy and aggressive and exacerbates uncomfortable treble spikes. The B100 handles it with ease. On Gramatik's Bluestep the constant cymbals littering the track sound clean, precise and combined with the slightly thin overall presentation gives the track an airiness that is generally absent with most other products I've heard.
The mid-range is ever-present in the mix without coming across too forward or aggressive with either male or female vocals. The B100 has proven to be an amazing companion when listening to my favorite hip hop duos; Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic on their side project Hail Mary Mallon, and EL-P and Killer Mike who make up the devastatingly entertaining Run The Jewels. All three female vocalists on Jessie J's 'Bang Bang' sound equally powerful. The B100's mid-range presentation is beautifully balanced but could benefit from a bit more weight.
While I would never consider them a bassy earphone, the B100 provides an experience remarkably akin to what I would expect from a more neutral sounding DD-based product but with the nimbleness expected from a BA. Reduced mid-bass presence with surprising sub-bass extension and emphasis with a hint of rumble is the name of the game. I love the way bass on both Pink Floyd's 'Money' and Infected Mushroom's 'Deeply Disturbed' is handled. Bass on 'Deeply Disturbed' is quick, tight, and punchy with the right earphone. The B100 does it justice. The bass guitar on 'Money' sits behind the guitars and vocals in the mix and has a decently hefty chug to it.
Where the B100 really excels in my opinion is detail retrieval across the board. BT's 'The Antikythera Mechanism' is a very dynamic, well-recorded track that covers a pretty wide range of effects and frequencies. It starts off slow but picks up at 6 minutes when a 110-piece orchestra steps in. The strings sound magnificent. When the drums and horns ease in and BT's trademark stutter effect is applied, the effect is spine tingling. This is one of the few songs I listen to much louder than I normally would as it immerses me in the emotion and power flowing through the track. The B100's brilliance is on full display.
I even found the B100's soundstage to be quite good, aided in part by the thin-ish presentation. Imaging is excellent with great separation and little to no congestion. The way sound moves about on Infected Mushroom's 'The Legend of the Black Shawarma' is impressive. The B100's soundstage felt very realistic in size when using them with my PS4 and Dirt Rally. The sound design on that game is outstanding and really shines with a good headphone or earphone. Racing in the cockpit view with the B100 was extremely immersive. The pinging of stones in the wheel wells, exhaust barking out back, the whipping of bushes against the doors before careening into a tree or hitting a ridge causing the car to cartwheel down the track (I never said I was good) sounds flat out amazing. I had a similarly positive experience playing World of Tanks, though bass impact was lacking and decay too quick when using high caliber guns.
On Brainwavz's website they state "The B100 is an ideal entry class balanced armature earphone that will satisfy your audio needs regardless of what genre of music plays through them." I can't disagree as it kind of does it all.
Ultimate Ears UE600vi (discontinued): The UE600 is not a new earphone and has been discontinued but is still generally regarded as a solid example of a single-BA earphone done right. While the UE600 is easier to drive, that's about all it has going for it. The B100 has a smoother, more natural presentation with cleaner, sparkly treble. The UE600 comes across a bit dull up top, and lacks the bass extension and presence. The UE600 has more midrange presence but it lacks the clarity of the Brainwavz. The B100 also sounds more spacious with more accurate stereo imaging, especially when sounds start shifting towards the centre. On the UE600 nothing truly centres feeling like it stops moving at the edge your nose then jumps to the other channel. The B100 is smooth all the way through.
Sony XBA-2 (discontinued): While I really enjoy the XBA-2, the B100 pretty easily matches or exceeds it's performance in most areas. Considering the XBA-2 originally retailed for around 200 USD and uses two drivers, though more doesn't always equal better, this says a lot about how far the tech has come since 2012.
From it's single driver, the B100 has better extension than the XBA-2 on both ends. The XBA-2 is more like the B150 in that it focuses on the mid-range and mid-bass frequencies. The B100's mid-range lacks the weight and warmth of the XBA-2 but is clearer. Sony's offering sounds slightly muffled in direct comparison. Treble is slightly brittle and unnatural compared to the B100, lacking the sparkle and presence. The XBA-2 sounds notably more sluggish, especially apparent with the drum and bass tracks I often listen to. The XBA also has a more condensed, focused presentation.
I love both earphones as they give off difference experiences. The XBA-2 is warmer and more mid-focused with decent bass that improves when amped. The B100 is the better all-rounder. The extra extension at both ends is especially welcome.
Brainwavz B150 (109.50 USD): When I first popped in the B150, I thought they sounded strikingly similar to the B100. While they undoubtedly share a general tonality and some characteristics, they are certainly not the same. To my ears the B150 is a touch more refined all-around with a more relaxed treble presentation. Focus is placed on a more lush mid-range and stronger mid-bass punch. This leads to a less open and more intimate soundstage and what comes across to me as reduced extension at either end, though this could just be those outlying frequencies being overshadowed. Detail and clarity on both seems nigh identical. Same with imaging and placement performance.
What I don't understand is why there is such a vast difference in price between these two models. The B150 doesn't really perform any better and sounds remarkably similar but with a light shift in frequency emphasis. It feels like choosing between the two would come down to signature preference. For my preferences, the B100 would be the one to get. I find it's upbeat presentation exciting and more musical; the price helps too. That said, I find the B150's slightly warmer, smoother presentation appealing for longer listening sessions and vocal-focused tunes. They're both so good! Argh!!!
JVC HA-FXH30 (~55 USD): Finally, something worth comparing to the FXH30. If any of you have been following my posts since August 2015 you'll know the FXH30 holds a special place in my heart. It's been my favorite earphone under 100 USD for a while now and while that isn't going to be changing, the B100 will be sitting alongside it as an alternate recommendation for someone that is looking for a fun, detailed sound but with less prominent bass.
The B100 has a slightly thinner presentation with a more balanced presentation. Treble is similar in emphasis, but slightly tighter on the B100. The FXH30's titanium-coated micro-driver is significantly more sparkly though. Midrange presentation is less forward on the JVC, but has a warmth and weight to it that makes up for the lessened focus. Bass is where the major differences lay and the JVC is, as expected, much more prominent here. Sub-bass extends deeper and there is significantly more mid-bass umph. The B150 is more alike the JVC here.
I think these two earphones perform at nearly the same level. If you want BA-like qualities but with more bass than you'd typically get from a single BA, the FXH30 is a great option. If you want a more balanced sound with the detail and clarity afforded by a BA, but don't want to sacrifice on a dynamic bass presentation, the B100 (or B150) would be a fantastic choice.
I was hoping the B100 would be a strong sonic performer and they certainly did not disappoint. They either met or exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way showing that they are a wonderfully flexible and adept earphone that plays well with a wide variety of music, shining even in the gaming sphere. I also love the bass presentation in that it reminds me of what you'd get from a dynamic driver, doing it without sacrificing what makes balanced armatures so appealing.
The only area of concern for me is the thin cable above the y-split. I would like to see Brainwavz revise that in the future with a slightly thicker cable which I don't think would hinder comfort or usability, especially when they have such an excellent preformed ear guide in place. They may also be slightly too bright for some users, particularly if paired with a brighter source. This is a situation where the B150 could step in as the superior alternative.
Overall I think Brainwavz has done a fantastic job with the B100. They have jumped back into the BA game with a quality product that sounds excellent, looks good, is very comfortable, and in my opinion is priced aggressively low especially when compared to the B150. If these do not become a routinely recommend earphone in the under 100 USD category I would be very surprised. They're certainly worthy of recommendation.
Thanks for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Aesop Rock - Saturn Missles
BT - The Antikythera Mechanism
Daft Punk - Touch
Gramatik - Bluestep (Album Version)
Incubus - 2nd/3rd/4th Movements of the Odyssey
Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians
Infected Mushroom - Deeply Disturbed
Infected Mushroom - The Legend of the Black Shawarma
Jessie J - Bang Bang
Kiesza - Hideaway
King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black
Pink Floyd - Money
Run The Jewels - Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)
Skindred - Death to all Spies
Supertramp - Rudy
The Prodigy - Get Your Fight On
Pros - Nice balanced signature that covers all areas of the sonic spectrum equally, excellent for isolation and comfort
Cons - Not for bassheads, trebleheads. Isolation level makes these more succeptable to cable and footfall microphonics.
I want to thank Brainwavz for allowing me to review their latest foray into the balanced armature market. I have received a free pair of the B100 in exchange for an honest review of their product.
I actually hesitated to receive the B100 as I have slowly moved away from balanced armature only IEM's concentrating mainly on either dynamic or hybrid based products over the past couple of years. But I also had never reviewed a balanced armature from Brainwavz so relented and decided to give them a try. I am glad I made that decision as Brainwavz has restored my faith in the single driver BA with a masterful tuning job. I actually had 2 other single BA IEM's on hand (UE 600vi and Klipsch X7) and the B100 handily bested both IEM's sonically and ergonomically in my opinion. This says a lot considering that the Klipsch X7 was featured in this winters Headphone guide and has a retail price of $200 as compared to the B100's $60 price tag.
Note my score below are based on how this IEM sounds compared to other IEM's in the same price range versus IEM's costing hundreds of dollars more. The higher the cost the higher my expectation and score criteria.
So what do you get when you buy the B100?
Packaging wise Brainwavz covers all of the bases masterfully as usual. The unit comes in a no nonsense retail box and includes:
Earphone Hard case
6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-100
1 Shirt Clip
Velcro Cable Tie
Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
All of the basics required to allow a person to use the earphone without having to buy anything. I found I needed to switch to the large silicone tips but other than that I never felt any need to "tip roll" through my grab bag of tips to get a comfortable fit.
Speaking of comfortable fit...
Comfort and ergonomics - are excellent with the B100. The IEM shell is light and perfectly designed for the ear (my ears anyway ) and the cable is light and supple without feeling flimsy or cheap and the memory wire is just enough to help hold the shape and stay firmly in the ear without being annoying or cumbersome to use. Brainwavz has done one of the best jobs I have seen in regards to memory wire implementation, KUDOS to a well done design!
Isolation and microphonics - Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the better the isolation the more microphonics can come into play when it comes to IEM's. Sadly the B100 falls into this trap. In regards to isolation the B100 is top notch blocking train noise on the LRT and traffic noise while walking downtown. But while I appreciated the isolation it made the cable rubbing noise and footfall sounds all that more distracting and frustrating. I want to be clear here, the B100 is not a horrible IEM for microphonics it is in fact slightly above average. The problem is that the isolation is high enough that it's frustrating when its ruined by cable noise.
Score - Isolation 4.5/5, Microphonics 3/5
So lets get to the real meat of any headphone review, the sound. Unlike virtually every single BA based IEM I either own or have tried, the BA100 actually provides a complete enough signature I didn't find myself wishing I was using a different earphone while using the B100, something I have struggled with while using other brands. It is not so complete that people who want a hard or heavy bass or lots of treble energy will be satisfied. But anyone who listens to music that lives more in the middle of the two extremes will find the B100 to be a satisfying and enjoyable IEM. Genre's that seemed to work very well with the B100 were Jazz, classic rock, any vocally oriented music, and acoustic music.
Bass - While the B100 being only a single BA IEM is limited in it's ability to go really low into the sub-bass arena was still considerably more pronounced in the bass region as compared to the Klipsch X7 and the UE 600vi. The bass was just enough I found myself bopping to the music versus going half way through a song before I realized there was bass in it.
Midrange - The midrange of the B100 is neutral with just a slight hint of warmth with excellent detail retrieval. Singers such as Patricia Barber managed to have enough edge that you could hear their urgency but not so much as to come across as harsh or sibilant. The X7 in comparison came across as thinner while the 600vi came across as very warm, forced and unnatural in comparison.
Treble - The treble of the B100 easily competes with the X7 offering a similar level of detail retrieval while trouncing the 600vi. In regards to balancing between to harsh and to relaxed I find the B100 more energetic than the X7 while not crossing the line into being fatiguing.
Sound Stage and imaging - The sound stage is decent sized but not large. Imaging similarly is good but not spectacular, lacking a truly 3D spatial quality that more expensive or the better dynamic based IEM's have.
My overall feeling is this is about as good as it will get for a single BA based IEM. I know I have not heard all of the more expensive single BA manufacturers out there but I have heard enough of them and read enough about the rest to feel comfortable in recommending the B100 without reservation especially considering it's very reasonable price point. If your looking to try your first BA based IEM or want a nice affordable balanced IEM alternative to your "fun" mainstay, look no further.
Pros - Impactful sub-bass, Nice bass, Bright and fun sounding compared to other single BA, Seroiusly comfortable.
Cons - Highs could have been better, Not so good at Minute details, Sound stage is a shallower.
Oh come on, Brainwavz it is, no intros please.
Still with this earphone, it's more like " Metroplex heeds the call of the last prime" type of thing. Brainwavz are here with 2 new single BA earphone, B100 and B150, both are over ear, I have both but this one is for the B100, remember the B2? Hell yeah, B2 was one of the best dual BA earphones around back in its time, " yup it was an rebranded one" but.. It was Brainwavzed wasn’t it?
B100 is priced $60, for an Armature based earphone it’s reasonably priced. Meelec 151p 2nd gen goes for $50, this one can go for a bit more for sure. One thing to notice is that this one doesn’t have a MIC version and has only one colour option black. B100 Will face stiff competition from Meze 12 classic, 11 neo, VSD 5/s, A151p 2nd and many other earphones in this range but let me tell you, this one has plenty going for it to hold its own.
Grab one for yourself from these places.
http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-b100-balanced-armature-reference-monitor-earphones ($50 from here)
Pan, Pandora.. Thanks, Brainwavz.. Thank you for listening to the community and a big thanks from this small guy..
ACCESSORIES & ERGONOMICS:-
Typical Brainwavz, Nothing un usual, they come with their stock tips package, a pair of comply tips, their new longer carry case, a cable clip, a cable tie.
The cable is nice, just like other Brainwavz earphones but has better microphonics, Wire is not bouncy, not thin, good stress relievers at the 60 degree bent 3.5mm jack end. Use the cable clip, it keeps the cable in place. L/R markings are on the inner side but you can't wear these earphones in wrong ears.
It’s an all plastic earpiece, build is pretty good, nothing fancy here.
Ergonomically B100 is really comfortable, snug to be precise, memory wire is soft and one won't face any comfort or wearing issues. It's so comfortable that anyone can wear this even when they like to sleep side wise. I like this very much but I would have liked the nozzle a bit longer, its personal.
Isolation is nice, there is some wind noise but not bad.
Running the show is a single Balanced Armature driver. I love BAs, they sound clean and precise to me. B100 is better than many single BA earphones. Most of the BA sound dry and lack the juiciness we can find with dynamic drivers but B100 is not dry by any means. B100 has a potent bass with really clear and detailed mids with nicely balanced and equally energetic highs.
Sound signature is neutral with a hint of warmth. The best thing is its devoid of any type of coloration.
Even when specs suggest an impedance of 50ohm this one doesn’t need any amplification to sound loud. Sounds fine out of my Vivo V3 and Redmi 3s prime. I am using stock single flange tips for this review. This earphone is really comfortable I have to say.
This is one of the first BA earphone from Brainwavz along with B150. Let's find out how this one sounds.
Here are some of the songs used in this review,
Eminem - Rap god, space bound, not afraid,
Twenty one pilots - Heathens,
Drake - one dance,
The Weeknd - cant feel my face,
Tom Odell - Another love,
Coldplay - Adventure of a life time, Hymn for the weekend,
Justin Bieber - what do you mean,
Felix Jaehn - Aint nobody loves me better,
Shawn Mendes - Treat you better,
Royal Deluxe - Dangerous, Wanted man,
Will.I.am & Pia Mia - boys & girls,
Will.I.am - Freshy,
Selena Gomez - Good for you,
Zara Larson & MNEK - Never forget you.
Mostly single BA earphones are lean or say flat when it comes to bass, B100 on the other hand has bass which is nowhere close to flat or lean, its meaty with good amount of body. It has plenty of rumble and hits hard enough when required with nice impact, moves good amount if air. Decay is really nice, yes, not as fast as the HA2 or the A151p 2nd gen still comparatively faster.
Last BA earphone I reviewed was hisound HA2 which in my opinion is one of the best $100 earphones money can buy but the problem with it is that it lacks bass rumble, body and impact which this beauty doesn’t.
B100 has plenty of sub-bass (implying that it has nice extension), coming from Meze 12 classic this sub-bass is smaller with size and impact but still really nice when compared to others in this price range where you can find earphones like Soundmagic E50 and Shozy Zero not being really good at it. Mid bass and upper bass bring the fullness to it and stays nicely under control with plenty of details.
Overall B100 has plenty of bass details, awesome control and clarity, you will enjoy the bass and will not miss a note.
It has plenty of control, just like other BA drivers, the best thing here is that it doesnt go boom boom on all the tracks, if there is no bass in the track you wont encounter any. In other words it doesn't overdo anything and does everything in a controlled manner.
One of the best quality bass I have experienced out of a single BA earphone. Double thumbs up from me.
these mids are nicely balanced with the lower end. Most of the BA earphones have more like on your face kind of presentation when it comes to mid range clarity and details. B100 is not that much harsh, it does have good clarity and details but has a bit of relaxed presentation, not like really relaxed, instruments like piano, trumpets, and other upper mid range instruments really shine and won't be so easy to overlook them.
There is good amount of details with vocals and are really really natural. Notes are perfectly presented with awesome depth and sharpness. Male vocals sound thicker and shallower while female vocals are deeper and sharper. It has a livelier and more forward vocal presentation which makes things effortless. One just needs to sit back and enjoy the vocals.
This mid range has really nice clarity and transparency, neutral and uncolored, its not dark like A151p 2nd gen or extra bright like she9850. It's neutral and colorless, more like HA2.
Now I have to admit that this mid range is not all so revealing type, it has enough of clarity details and transparency but does not have HA2 type revealing ability of picking micro details.
One big problem is sound stage, it has good width but has more than taller height with really shallow depth.
P.S. If you have an amplifier put it to use, when amped things get better, one can experience some more clarity and stage gains some depth.
Highs are good with nice energy and spark. Has good extension too. Sibilance is nowhere to be found, yes it can be high on energy but never reaches to the level where it will bother anyone.
Layering and separation of instruments is good, has plenty of details clarity and transparency but it’s the stage which makes things feel clumsy and cramped. Synthesizers and cymbals sound vivid though.
Extension is good for a single BA earphone. I would have liked a bit more sense of space.
If you are in the market looking for an BA earphone for under $70 that has a balanced sound with deep and impactful bass, smooth mid range with natural vocals and lively highs get yourself the B100. Looks really durable and seriously comfortable to wear, isolation is better than average and is plenty loud too.
B100 has really nice spectrum wide clarity, nice transparency and details, good enough to keep an audiophile like me seated. And the best thing is, you will enjoy any kind of music with this earphone. It keeps up with trance, house music, rock and pop are really enjoyable too.
My only grief is the lack of depth with stage or else everything is just like one will expect it to be.
Cheers guys!! Happy new year!!