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Universal Fit item created by jacksonchansf, Oct 19, 2012
Pros - Good Bass, Crisp Treble, Nice Accessories
Cons - Muddy Mids, No Memory Cable or Guides, Weird Shape
2 of my favorite IEMs prior to purchasing the Brainwavz R1 was the Brainwavz Beta and Brainwavz M2. As you can see, I enjoy a bass heavy sound signature with good to adequate Mids and Treble.
Things I liked about the R1s:
My first impression of these IEMs was that it was an innovative technology and for relatively inexpensive price. Having 2 drivers in one IEM seemed to be a pretty solid idea.
I liked the cable and the connectors, I felt that they were of good quality and would last.
I liked the number of tips that they provided, however a Comply tip would have been a good addition but not necessary.
Isolation seemed pretty good. Even enjoyed using them on planes.
I enjoyed the bass signature and that the bass was crisp and had impact.
I also enjoyed the treble. It was not lost in all the bass
It also included the best case IMHO. Better than any other case or pouch that I have received for any other IEMs that I have purchased.
This I did not like about the R1s:
Build quality seemed cheap and un-finished.
Uncomfortable. I could not wear them for very long and I was alway fiddling with them to keep them in the sweat spot of my ear.
Mids were terrible. Very muddy Mids that affected the whole audio quality.
It was a great idea that was not implemented perfectly. Seems that they wanted a price point and sacrificed quality for it.
Pros - Good Soundstage (wider than deep), Great bass without bleeding off into mids, decent clarity, surprisingly 'durable', lots of accessories, Entry-level
Cons - Not the most agile/articulate sounding, cheap looking build, thin cable, memory cable
I'll start of by saying these are a pair of really respectable headphones and these are my subjective opinion on them. At their price point, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything better without going higher in pricing They perform well for their price. All in all, a good pair of headphones just for casual everyday listening of music. Audiophiles will not be impressed however. These are also the version 2 I believe as they came with the memory cable and stem/nozzle filter
Some things to note - I have mine for well over 6 months now, all I can say is as long as you take good care of them, they'll take good care of you. Make sure you have a good fit in your ears and that your source has enough juice to drive them. Despite a rated impedance of 16 Ω, if your source is weak they will sounded anemic. Also if you get the mic version, make sure your device supports TRRS 3.5mm. I read quite a few review on Mp4nation and elsewhere where someone complained it sounded like it was underwater. No they don't... their device simply aren't made for TRRS but TRS (ie. 3 bands across the jack instead of 2 bands). I know. I tested it with my old nokia phone and that's exactly how it sounded. Easy fix? Just hold down the mic button and you're green. Though given that most devices these days supports TRRS, it's really a non-issue.
Build - Build wise they look and feel cheap. Probably the biggest downside for the R1. Thin cables, horrifyingly lack of strain relief above the Y-split, plastic housing where I can still see where the stem break from the mold is filed away and the seams between the housing are painfully obvious but hey, they're fairly cheap headphones. That said, while they look flimsy and cheap they won't be breaking from regular handling, as long as you don't subject the cables to unnecessary stresses - leave them in your pocket with keys or wrap them around sharp angle devices the R1 should have a good service life.
Aesthetics - They're not too bad really. Poor build aside the blood red color and black works well. Doesn't look too flashy when worn since the red faces the inside of your ear. Despite the shape they fit well in the ears, just need to turn it around a little to find your spot though people with tiny ears might find it a little difficult, compared to the ATH-IM70, the R1 disappear in the ear. The worst part about the aesthetics is the so called "memory cable" which is essentially some broad metallic wire (probably copper based) that gets "taped" over the end part of the headphones by a polymer sheath. Well good news is they work... if you like that sort of thing, and that I think they're supposedly an improvement over the strain relief the first version had. Bad news is they're "memory cables" and it looks horrible being "taped" onto the end like some after thought and they do not lose their shape easily enough. Amusingly I think the memory cables are to blame for the cables tangling most of the time. I think ear hooks are a better way to go, but at least these end bits act as a make shift strain relief.
Isolation and comfort - They sound great with the comply tips as well as the double flange tips although are most comfortable with the comply. With the Comply, I hardly feel them even after 3-4 hours of continuous wear. I have since switched to the double flange once the stock comply wore out and while the double flange sounds better with the deeper insertion and solid isolation, unfortunately they aren't as comfy as the comply and one tends to notice it after a while.
Isolation with either of the mentioned tips is good enough to block out noisy neighbors and leafblowers are barely a hum so I would say it's good. Some users argue that vented/ported IEMs have poor isolation but that never bothered me. They have about the same degree of isolation as my old Sennheiser CX-300 II which has no vent, and better isolation compared to my housemate's Philips SHE 3500 which also have no port/vent either. If anything, based on this, having a vent is probably better than not having one.
They don't weigh much (16g for the whole thing + mic whereas my stock ATH-IM70 cable alone weighs 17g it's another 6g for the driver+ear tips) and I have worn them out to run. While they don't "disappear" into your ears like some other headphones do, but they're close to negligible.
Day to day use- I find that the R1 requires a bit of care in handling, simply from the thinness of the cables, but one should always exercise proper care with their gear regardless. They also require a decent amount of power to drive despite the 16ohm rating - They sound muted when driven by my old nokia 300 and Sony PRS T1 reader relative to my macbook (2008). Hopefully you won't have that issue as my source gears are dated. Anyone with a DAP or a decent smart phone should have no problem driving them though. Works well with my Samsung Galaxy A7. On a side note, I accidentally left my R1s in the washing machine and they survived it like a pro despite being tangled up in my laundry.
Okay, I'm no audiophile, just someone who likes music so I won't use too many fancy terms here nor am I trying to use the most "correct" term.
Soundstage - It sounds pretty good. Listening to Amber Rubarth's Tundra demonstrated it's capability quite well. Pretty wide I'd say, though compared to more expensive IEMs like the ATH-70 it lacks depth. So more 2D than 3D?
Bass - As long as you're not a basshead I don't think you'll complain about the bass. It plays well - Almost as good as my old pair of Sennheiser CX-300 II, just not retardedly bassy and does not suffer from the bass bleed off problems as the CX-300 II. Overall, good extension and range, not the best control/tightness as they call it but it's not bad either. I call it respectably serviceable.
Mids - I think you'll hear a great many people complaining about it sounding 'veiled'. I guess when compared to something like the ATH-IM70 you would notice it, but for the most part, I don't really pick up on that. They're not that 'veiled' or 'recessed' to my ears anyway and I can only notice it if I switch around listening to one IEM then another. In fact I would say they sound just right but it's rather the lack of agility of the headphones that causes this "veiled" or "recessed" sound.
Trebles - Not really much to say here except they're not overwhelmingly bright that they overshadow the rest so that's good, no distortions or sibilant sounding.
Across the board - To my untrained ears (just regular person listening) it sounds pretty clear for the most part. I can hone in on almost every instruments in all the songs I've played so far - Pretty much every artist that made it on Triple J hottest 100s over the past 5 years or so and then some.
Instruments have good separation unless it's a ridiculously busy track but even then I think it's more to do with me unable to keep up rather than the headphones performing poorly. They're far from the most agile or articulate sounding IEMs though. You might hear a bit of a bluntness in the percussion side of things but again they're not too noticeable or bad unless you keep reaching for a pair of better sounding headphones. That's my thought on the matter anyway.
TL;DR - I rate it a rough 6/10 for sound - Good range and clarity but soundstage could use a bit more depth and height. Drivers could benefit from being a bit more agile.
Comparisons (These are just phones I have used or have around)
Sennheiser CX-300 II - 4.5/10 Bassy and accurate for the most part but bass bloat muddies the midrange.
Philips SHE3500 - 2/10 Anemic and thin sounding. Lousy isolation. Not the most responsive driver.
So to sums things up, it gets points for
+good price, plentiful of accessories and - the hard case is great and enough tips to probably outlast the headphones, I'll even go as far as to say that it's packaging is better than the ATH-IM70 and Sennheiser CX-300 II, good soundstage, decent clarity and overall sound quality.
-Points deducted for delicate and cheap build, ugly looking memory cable end, and less than agile performance, takes a little bit more juice to drive on some portable devices that's not dedicated for audio.
All in all, as long as you paid less than $40 for it I think it's not a bad buy considering it trumps many of the mainstream brands in the $50-$100 range. (depends on where you live and what's available)
Pros - Full acoustic with enough separations. Bass & treble is so-so but it's hard to consider as too weak. Cable smells like cable.
Cons - Needs amplifier to reach high volume and bass level. Needs equalizer correction due to extreme 2khz hump. Build quality is not shining.
i was purchased this 6 months ago and published a review here. i decided to buy it again just to remember it's sound. after inspecting my new pairs for some time, none of my previous opinions changed and here's my second review (actually you're reading the third review because i revised the revised review):
first of all, the 2khz situation is still badly here. you need to lower 2khz at least 6-9 desibels from your equalizer to get a natural sound. need for an amplifier is also still here to annoy our unamplified fellas. after listening it for sometime with a powerful amplifier, returning to the unamplified source is just giving pain. of course it's not bad as havi b3 pro I or brainwavz r3 but still lose too much bass on high volume levels.
returning to the sound quality, the strongest point of the earphone is it's mids, as i also stated in my previous reviews. that mids are very big due to very wide acoustic & size of the soundfield. thanks for this, we're not losing any instrumental details for god sake. this is always good. thy bass is there too, maybe not breaking it but hitting the wall bad enough. treble is there too, ringing the bell well. but they're getting old & can't just compete with others.
my thoughts are still same about the build quality. the chassis and cord feels & smells very cheap (most likely because they're very cheap). definitely you shouldn't buy this, in the case you want some touchable quality. for the conclusion, if you've got an amplifier and a source with an equalizer function and at the same time R1 is on a very good discount, you can give it a try. but there's very powerful competitors in the jungle out there, it's very hard and actually impossible for R1 to survive.
poor R1 needs a good revision about it's bass & treble. looking forward for a R2 or R5. only then, vaziyetu will come again...
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Pros - Crisp highs and bass that fits my music
Cons - Lack of mids, odd shape, and possible build quality issues.
I don't normally write reviews so I'll be all over the place but here we go:
I listen to mostly electronic music. No specific genre in it, but it ranges from Ambient to very hard stuff (think The Bloody Beetroots).
These are able to keep up with my ears. I'm not highly picky with my audio but these please me greatly for their portable usage.
My home pair of cans are Sony XB-700's paired to an Asus Xonar DGX. Nothing audiophile, but good enough and more than makes sense to most people.
I don't consider these good for classical music but if it has a heavy beat and ample amounts of treble, these will be a good fit if you're on a budget.
You will need an equalizer. Mine has a slight bump at 500, 8k, and 16k. To me, this makes a more enjoyable listening session since it brings out vocals and raises treble.
Pros - none
I just can't imagine anyone, no matter what music he/she enjoys, finding these to be a pleasant listen. FLAT, cardboard sound to my ears. Who likes flat sound? The fit is not good, as they are unbalanced and want to topple out of the ear. Please do not buy these, they are not good for your brainwaves
Pros - Sound Quality, Comfort, Case
Cons - Cable tangling
Hello all head-fiers out there reading or seeing my review. You may ask who is this random guy writing a review? Here I am doing so anyways since this headphone isnt reviewed often and only has one review. I come from a family of sound engineers that have taught me in depth of what sound is supposed to sound really and all that basic and advanced stuff on sound. My mom and her brother are both sound engineers. Just got the brainwavz r1 today and dang was I surprised of how good they sounded for $30 bucks and fresh off the box with no burn in time at all. Box It comes in looks high end and is well packaged when opening it was a breeze with no toublem but only part needed care is taking out the headphones since it is tight in the plastic package. So be carefull.
BUILD QUALITY: This seems to be flaw of the R1's since they feel a little too light almost paper light actually, which yes is very nice, but the cables in these are too thin even when they supposedly have OFC cable attached to these. Other than that they are nice.
DESIGN: These look so simple yet nice and attractive. Having said wearing these I have gotten many compliments about them out of random and was very nice to have gotten them. These are so comfortable to wear to the point as if I were to not be wearing them, and there are so many tips included that it will seem impossible to not find the right fit at all.
SOUND: Now here comes the most crucial news and part of every headphone ever made. They are of a V-shaped eq and I tend to like how they do so like the UE Triple-fi that I have.
Bass: These wow, they give that impact you want when its necessary on any genre of music.
Bass goes nice and deep without sacrificing the treble or distorting, Bass is nice and
tight but a bit boomy for some people's liking all depending in taste of sound. To me I
think bass is just right when it comes to these in music, yes more bass presence and
power than the UE triple fi 10, and thats why i got these since. By woofer Brainwavz did
a real good job making the 9mm woofer live up to the name since all brands put words to
mislead consumer to buying their product.
Mid-Range: The mids are nice and rich but tend to be recessed a bit. Still though they maintain
to the sound still being warm and rich and these have more mids that my triplefi
when listening to stock flat eq on any device or computer. Mids are present nicely
but do tend to calm down when it comes down to what song you may happen to
listen to. I like the mids provided and have no problem with it.
Treble: Here is another strength on these other than the bass, wow the tweeter sounds life like
and accurate sounding. Yes the sound is v-shaped but me personally I do tend to like
this since I have had the triple fi for 2 yrs already. treble is nice and detailed but only
flaw is that voices not always come out so well in these depending on singer. higher
pitched singer worse sounding his or her voice will sound compared to a lower end
voiced singer because tweeter tends to distort a tiny bit that i have noticed when a
voice is to high in tone. Thats the only flaw which i dont mind much.
Soundstage: Its nice and big sounding as if in the front row at a concert, or imagine this that the
soundstage is as of and similar to the triplefi whoever has them can relate best.
When listening to the song Closer To The Edge by 30 Seconds To Mars I was able
to hear a whole lot of detail thanks to the soundstage positioning. Cymbals real
present along with synth piano and the voices.
In Amazon these are real cheap at $29.50 and worth every penny! I love these. Even from never having owned,heard, and used Brainwavz at all and impressed.
Pros - Soundstage/positioning, decent for instrumental music with a punch, deep and strong bass
Cons - Distorting, too much bass, sibilant, recessed mids, below average for rock and melody of different genres of music
Overall, I find these headphones eh for it's price. Comparing them to the Image S2m, they sound more expansive. On depth however, the S2m sound more full at equal volumes without an amp or EQ. The R1s lack clarity and quality when compared to the S2ms, but at higher volumes, can make up for their loss of depth, and with extra spacious sound, immediately become more deep. Bass is strong, sometimes even distorting the music, and parts of the mids sound recessed. Although sibilant at times, it's not intolerable. Using the EQ to increase it's mids and reduce a bit of the laws and a Fiio E6 (and switching from the Comply foams to the small silicone tips), the sound immediately became more depthful, and even sounded much better, and with better fit too. Overall, if you are used to full-sized headphones, these IEMs will disappoint. The sound signature is not for everyone, they are not balanced, and do not focus on the highs. They sound pretty poor at the sub-bass level, and can even get sibilant (although not as bad as the Image S4. At $35, I cannot complain too much, but I personally cannot listen to them. I do not feel as they are a true bang for your buck, but even for someone who dislikes their bassy signature, they are at least tolerable compared to other cheap headphones at it's price (ex. average Sony or Skullcandy headphones). At worse case scenario, they lose in depth compared to the S2m, but has stronger bass, less sibilant, and more spacious. At best case scenario, their price for it's strengths and your ability to amp them and modify their sound with the EQ can make them really worth the money.
My opinion did not include me burning in these IEMs. Used the Comply foams and the silicone tips (and found that the silicone tips sounded better), used a Fiio E6 amp which made it sound much better and had the EQ increase parts of the mids.