Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEMs

General Information

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Brainwavz BLU-100 are a stylish wireless earphones operating on bluetooth 4.0 and with aptX for enhanced audio quality. The Blu-100 pack powerful dynamic drivers that are able to deliver quality sound that is full bodied with a punchy bass that is not overwhelming to the ears.

Within the housing is a micro 60mAh battery that will delivery 4 hours of continuous audio playback, 100 hours of standby and can be fully charged in under 2hrs. With a range of 30ft (10m), you can use the Blu-100 as close or far away from your audio source, no more long cables or tangles.

The light body design, low profile cable and remote and comfy fit of the earphones also make it versatile while being on the move or active, allowing for the earbuds to stay snug in your ear and not falling out with every move.

The Blu-100 come with Brainwavz signature premium earphone case and also Comply S-400 premium foam tips.

SPECIFICATIONS

* Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 8mm
* Rated Impedance: 30ohms Closed Dynamic
* Sensitivity: 110dB at 1mW
* Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
* Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
* Operation max distance: 30ft (10m)
* Battery: 60mAh - 4hrs playtime, 100hrs standby, 2hrs for full charge (Micro USB charging)
* CVC echo and noise cancellation
* Supports voice prompt for MMI: Power on - Paring - Connecting - Battery low - Power off
* Supports HFP, HSP and A2DP
* Supports pairing with two devices at the same time
* 3 button remote, works with Apple iOS products, Android & Windows phones & PC
* 1 year warranty

Latest reviews

earfonia

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Very good sound quality, small and solid build quality.
Cons: Poor Bluetooth receiver sensitivity
Many thanks to Brainwavz for the BLU-100 review sample!
http://brainwavzaudio.com/blu100.html
 
 
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Brainwavz BLU-100 is a Bluetooth earphone compatible with Bluetooth version 4.0 with aptX for lower latency and better quality audio. Looking at the size of BLU-100 that is approximately about the same size as UE TripleFi 10, and knowing that it houses a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth receiver, DAC, headphone amplifier, and an 8mm dynamic driver, I didn't expect much of its performance. After fully charged the battery, paired it with my phone, wow! It sounds good! Better than what I expected from such a miniature battery powered system.

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Before going into details, here is the summary of my observation when using Brainwavz BLU-100:

Pros:
Very good sound quality for the size and price category.
Relatively small size with good fit and comfort.
Decent battery life from such a small battery.

Cons:
Poor Bluetooth receiver sensitivity.
Placement of charging LED indicator is obscured and difficult to see.

Battery:
Base on my observation:
Continuous usage: approximately 3.5 - 4.0 hours
Charging time: approximately 1 hour

Suggestions for improvements:
Bluetooth receiver sensitivity.
Better placement of charging LED indicator.
USB charging port to be moved to the remote control part. This way the earphone still can be used while charging, and doesn't look awkward.
 

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Sound Quality
BLU-100 surprised me with its sound quality. I didn't expect such a small battery and amplifier housed in relatively small earphone housing could sound quite powerful with pretty good dynamic. BLU-100 manages to produce pretty good and decent bass, with good bass punch and body, and decent sub bass extension. Bass is quite snappy and has good speed. I would say the bass power and quality is almost as good as connecting Xiaomi Piston 2 directly to my Galaxy S4 smartphone. In fact, BLU-100 is a little punchier than Xiaomi Piston 2. Quite impressive considering the size and price of the whole system.

 
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Overall tonality is quite balanced. No annoying peaks and dips in the frequency response. Sound signature is best described as balanced and fun. I love good quality bass, and BLU-100 bass is satisfying enough for me, enough punch and power from such a small amp and battery, and most important, bass doesn't sound bloated. Treble has good sparkle and clarity without touching sibilant, and in good balanced with the midrange. My regular test songs are mostly audiophile recordings, some pops, jazz, and classical, no sibilant issue so far. Midrange has good clarity, and never sounded muffled or muddy. Well, not the smooth and highly refined kind of midrange, but I would say the midrange is pretty good and enjoyable, without any annoying coloration. Overall tonality is quite natural, not warm nor analytical. I have no complaint on the tonality, in fact, I quite like it. Bass, midrange, and treble are in good balance. Purist might think it is a little bassy, but that's the level of bass that I consider natural and lively. To me flat sounding bass doesn't sound natural.

Overall clarity is good, which is a must for phone call, but clarity is not over emphasized. Detail is pretty good, even with complex music BLU-100 manages to resolved decent level of detail. Overall sound quality is very good for an IEM at this price point, musical and engaging, with good balanced tonality. Considering the price, I would give 4.5 stars for the sound quality.

Microphone quality on the other hand is just average. Not outstanding, but not bad either. Good enough to make phone call, but in many cases, in a not so quiet environment, we need to bring it closer to the mouth for clearer reception.

 
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Features & Operation
Power On, Power Off, and Bluetooth pairing indicator is by voice announcement through the earphone. Bluetooth pairing is easy and straight forward, tested with Samsung Galaxy S4 and ASUS Zenfone 5. Battery life is decent at around 3.5 hours of continuous usage. Charging using 1A or 2A charger is pretty quick, only takes around 1 hour to fully charge the battery. But LED indicator for charging is very small and obscured in the remote control housing. This is something to be improved; it is rather difficult to see the charging LED.

 
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I suggest to move the USB charging port to the remote control part (control buttons and microphone part), rather than on the back side of the right earphone. When the battery flat, but we need to use the earphone while charging it using a portable battery, it looks awkward and uncomfortable to have USB charging cable sticking out from the earphone. But when the USB charging cable is connected to the remote control case, it is a much better and comfortable setup.

 
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My main concern is the Bluetooth receiver sensitivity which is quite poor in my experience. I got Bluetooth signal cut-off quite often in daily general scenarios. Even in simple scenario of placing my mobile phone in my jeans front pocket, then walk for about 500 meters (which I do daily), in average I experienced cut-off more than 5 times, which is quite annoying. Other scenario, when mobile phone is on a desk and I work around the desk, Bluetooth signal cut-off also happens once and a while. I don't have other similar size Bluetooth earphone to be compared with, only Creative Hitz WP380 Bluetooth headset which is a larger on-ear headset. Using Creative WP380 on similar scenarios, I seldom experienced any Bluetooth signal cut-off. Especially for walking, where the mobile phone is relatively close to the Bluetooth headphone, I never experienced any signal cut-off when using WP380.

I like the balance and fun sound character of BLU-100, and would easily give it an overall rating of 4.5 stars for it, considering the size and price, but the poor Bluetooth receiver sensitivity in my opinion is quite annoying. Because of the poor Bluetooth sensitivity, I rate it 3.5 stars. I hope Brainwavz would improve it in the next model of Brainwavz Bluetooth earphone.
 

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Beside the suggestion to improve the Bluetooth receiver sensitivity for the new model, since the quality of the dynamic driver and the shell design is very good, I would like to suggest to Brainwavz to develop a regular wired IEM using the same 8mm dynamic driver and smaller metal shell. By removing the active components and batteries, probably Brainwavz could cut the cost by more than half, and priced the IEM at the budget IEM category. If the sound quality of the new budget IEM is similar than BLU-100, I believe it could hit the market and potentially become a giant killer IEM.
 
 
 
 
Specifications:
Drivers: Dynamic 8mm
Rated Impedance: 30Ω closed Dynamic
Frequency Range: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
Sensitivity: 110 dB @ 1 mW
Bluetooth: 4.0
Codec: aptX™
Max Distance: 10mt(30ft)
Battery: 60mAh
Playtime/Standby: 4hrs/100hrs
Charge Time: 2hrs(USB)
Noise Cancellation: CVC echo/noise
Voice Prompt: Yes
Profiles: HFP HSP A2DP
Pairing: Dual Pairing
In-Line: Remote/Mic

Cable length from left driver to right driver: 60 cm
 
Can be purchased from:
Brainwavz BLU-100 Sport Bluetooth 4.0 APTX Headphones

 
 
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gikigill

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Great sound for the price, good bunch of accessories,good fit and decent range
Cons: Needs better battery life.
Review for the Brainwavz Blu-100
 
Firstly a big thanks to Audrey and Brainwavz for providing me the Blu-100 for review. I am not affiliated or been financially compensated for the review except the earphones.
 
I was contacted by Audrey as always for a review and received these shortly after. The package was great as usual for Brainwavz with a set of Complys,
 
multiple tips and the famous Brainwavz hard case is a nice touch as always.
 
These retail at $40 although thats hard to predict if you look at the accessories and the packaging.These are also very competitively priced all things taken into consideration
 
To start with the exterior, its well built and should last a fair bit with straight nozzles and a connecting cable long enough to run between almost anyones ears.
 
They are slightly heavy due to the Bluetooth bits inside them as the charging/battery circuits are all housed on the right side.
 
The fit on these is pretty good as they never fell out of my ears on the medium tips and I experimented with other tips from Monster and Sony and preferred the stock tips in this case.
 
 
Lets jump to the sound quality now as Bluetooth has never been best for sound quality and see how the Blu-100 fares in this arena.
 
To start with the highs, the highs are in control and luckily not sibilant as I am not a big fan of sibilance and prefer a more controlled treble with just a bit of sparkle. Could use a bit more control but hard to expect much from a Bluetooth earset.
 
The mids are recessed albeit slightly as the Blu-100 seems to be aiming for a consumer oriented sound and while the mids are not thin or lacking in body, they could be a bit more forward and stand with the rest of the frequencies. I would rate these as a consumer oriented signature aiming more for a bass and treble based signature.
 
Coming to the bass it has decent punch and extension , nothing like the S5 though. It delivers the punch and thump when required but is surprisingly behaved and not overbearing to make a mess of the rest of the sound signature.
 
Battery life is also very important for wireless earphones and the Blu-100 lasts 4 hours as advertised and charges quickly too. More is always welcome though but then again at this price its nit picking.
 
Overall I would recommend them in their budget as they are very functional for the price and deliver features and sound that defy the price tag and once again puts Brainwavz firmly in the value for money category. A fully accessorized Bluetooth earbud with decent sound quality for the price is hard to come by.
 
 
 
A breakdown of the tracks and equipment used underneath to give a better understanding of the environment in which they were reviewed.
 
Tracks used:
 
HouseRockerz-Herzrasen. 320kbps mp3 16/44.
 
Digimax & Javiera Mena - Complejo de Amor. WAV 16/44.
 
Hammer & Bennett – Lost. FLAC 16/44.
 
Zazie-Larsen. 320 kbps mp3 16/44.
 
Ayla - Ayla (Taucher Remix). WAV 16/44.
 
Kraftwerk-Das Model. WAV 16/44.
 
Bob Marley-Jamming. WAV 16/44
 
Wippenberg-Phoenix. WAV 16/44.
 
 
Bluetooth output was from:
 
Samsung Note 4.
 
My Homebrew PC.
 
 

Baycode

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Good design, ease of use, build quality, relatively neutral sound signature, bluetooth techonology (BT 4.0 with aptX).
Cons: Short range in closed spaces, relatively short battery life, led is very hard to see from many angles, needs tight fitting in order to get bass.
About the review:
In this review I have examined the Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth iem for its sound and call quality, comfort, isolation, charge time, battery life, general usage and comfort.
 
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Introduction to The Brainwavz BLU-100 IEM:
Brainwavz BLU-100 is a self powered (60mAh battery), rechargeable bluetooth iem (BT iem) that supports BT 4.0 and aptX codec for enhanced audio quality. It is compatible with many android, IOS and other devices that have BT 4.0 support. This is the first BT iem that Brainwavz ever manufactured. Brainwavz is a well known, Asian origin brand for its iem's, headphones and some other audio equipments.

 
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Why you should use a Bluetooth iem?:
While using your car, while carrying your shopping bags, while taking care of your child, while riding your bike or making sports there are many many examples that you need both of your hands and move freely. At these times (a lot of activity during a typical work day and even after you reach your home) you will want to answer and hear a call handsfree. Without any cable getting on your way. Even if you're slightly away from the phone... You'll need a Bluetooth iem. BT iem not only gives you freedom to talk it allows you to enjoy your music as well.
 
 
About the reviewer:
My age is 42 (as of this writing). I have 24 years of background in listening to music with quality headphones (I don't count the crappy equipment period) and I am a member of head-fi since 2004. I prefer neutral, natural (organic) and detailed sound with a huge sound-stage and good imaging. I am not bass or treble head. I can never tolerate sibilance and/or fatiguing highs. For further, please check my profile.
 
 
Phones used for the BLU-100 test:
 
LG G3 (connected with BLU-100)
 
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini (Call receiving phone)
 
iPhone6 (Used for both of the above purposes)
 
 
Test Songs:

 
“The Quiet Ambient” by All India Radio (FLAC)
 
“On Every Street” by Dire Straits (FLAC)
 
“Tunglia” by Olafur Arnalds (FLAC)
 
“Stay Awake” by London Grammar (FLAC)
 
“The Happiest Days of Our Lives” by Pink Floyd (FLAC)
 
“Bicare” by Taksim Trio (mp3 320 kbps)
 
“Hoscakal” by Emre Aydin (mp3 320 kbps)

 

...and some calls with the headset
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Volume matching before tests:

In a quiet environment I have matched the volume of the each BT iem by the help of a calibrated and scientific grade Sound Pressure Level Meter (UNI-T UT352) each time I connect them to my source via BT. I always use the 1000 Hz seine wave test tones while volume matching.

 
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(BLU-100 is sitting inside the self-made adapter for noise isolating and secure SPL Meter connection)


 
 
Specifications of BT-100 (from the product page):
  1. Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic drivers, 8mm
  2. Rated Impedance: 30 ohm Closed Dynamic
  3. Sensitivity: 110dB at 1mW
  4. Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
  5. Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
  6. Operation max distance: 30ft (10m)
  7. Battery: 60mAh - 4hrs playtime, 100hrs standby, 2hrs for full charge (Micro USB charging)
  8. CVC echo and noise cancellation
  9. Supports voice prompt for MMI: Power on - Paring - Connecting - Battery low - Power off
  10. Supports HFP, HSP and A2DP
  11. Supports pairing with two devices at the same time
  12. 3 button remote, works with Apple iOS products, Android & Windows phones & PC
  13. 1 year warranty
 
 
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Included Accessories:
  1. 1 x Comply foam tips
  2. 3 x Pairs of ear tips (S/M/L)
  3. 1 x Silicone ear clip
  4. 1 x Micro USB cable for charging
  5. 1 x Hard carrying case
  6. 1 x Instruction manual
  7. 1 x Warranty card
     
My BT-100 package:

I have received everything on the above except the retail package (just because mine was a demo unit
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Genuine Comply Foam Tips (1 pair) were inside their sealed package. The case is the standard, high quality Brainwavz case which is also included with their iem's (like S1, S5, etc.)
 
OK, in my opinion, only the included accessories are worth 15 USD. I have to add that I have never seen a better accessory package -included with a BT iem- before...
 
 
Charging:
You need to connect the included short microUSB cable between the BLU-100 and your computer USB port (or with any kind of USB charger). Specs says <2hr for charge...
 
It takes about 2h-2h30min to fully charge (depending on your source) the BLU-100 on my tests. You need to remove a plastic covering on the back of the Right earpiece. This little cover wont get lost because it is connected to body with a small connection piece.
 
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While charging, the extremely small single led (white) starts to light constantly (check the below photo). This led light went off as the unit fully charges.
 
Main problem with the led light is that is hidden and can only be seen from a special angle (I really couldn't see it at first). This led also flashes when you turn on the BLU-100.
 
But anyone who doesn't like to see a led light "directly" can prefer this design...
 
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There are 3 buttons on the remote control an mic unit. Mic is on the back side of this buttons. There are controls for on/off, pairing mode, volume up/down, answer/end call, reject call, redial the last call, play/pause, skip to next/previous song, turn on/off voice dial. All are controlled via the special and easy to learn push commands to either one of these buttons. Pretty impressive number of  controls with only 3 buttons. Needs some getting used to...
 
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On the back of the Left earpiece there is the Brainwavz logo... Some people may find the BLU-100 body on the large side but IMO it is really good. Because this is not only an iem, there is a 60mAh Li-ion battery, a tiny DAC/AMP, a Bluetooth receiver and sender circuit and an iem driver are resting inside. I like the size, weight and form factor of BLU-100.
 
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The small dot on the below photo is the microphone opening.
 
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Although the model name is BLU-100 it is indicated as ......  on my LG G3 and my wife's iPhone 6. So don't get surprised when you couldn't see the BLU-100 name on the Bluetooth pairing list.
 
Pairing:
Pairing is fairly easy for BLU-100. You need to turn the Bluetooth on your phone first then press and hold the center button of the BLU-100 for approximately 5 seconds. This way you'll turn on your BT iem and can see the model number on the list. If not shown on the list you need to refresh the list (just push "search for the devices" button on your phone screen). But as you can see with the red arrow the model number is not BLU-100 on the phone but BD-121 !!!  So don't get confused, just select that one (I believe this is a software problem for the BT device itself, may be this problem is solved with new units). After this selection pairing is done! Very easy!
 
After doing this pairing you don't need to pair your device again. They will find each other and pair automatically as you turn the BT for the ON position in each device consequently. 
 
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You'll see that the BT icon gets BOLD on the right and BT iem battery condition indicator on the left (marked with arrows).
 
I especially find the BT iem battery condition indicator very very helpful!
 
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On a LG G3 phone you can continue to see the BT iem battery condition idicator even on your circle window
if you double tap the circle (if you're using tge LG G3 with a circle window  flip case, notice the red arrow).
 
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Comfort:
Let me start with the design. I really prefer the connected earpiece design with the single cord which can hang behind your neck. I have used all the BT designs (single or double earpieced). My conclusion for daily practical use is the design of the BLU-100's. I wish the cable were texture covered because it sometimes tries to stick on your skin (my back of the neck). For the fitting and general comfort I have to say BLU-100 is the best BT iem I have ever tried! No complaints there.
 
 
Isolation:
Isolation is average for an iem but high for a daily Bluetooth iem. If your BT iem isolation is high you need to lower your speaking volume while making calls because your brain may think that you're not speaking loud enough (as a result of blockage of your own voice). Also you may want to hear the surroundings (traffic, cars, signals, etc.). So therefore the isolation on this BT iem can be lowered in the future models. If the idea of the BLU-100 is for solely listening to the music or using it in secure places, then the isolation is OK.
 
 
Battrey Life:
It is stated that the battery life is 4 hours for continuous audio playback and 100 hours of standby. Generally I do agree with these numbers but if you intend to use theBLU-100 for making/receiving calls as well as some music listening (around 1 h of music listening and with 1-2 h of making calls) it lasts only for approximately 2 days. So the standby time is very very good for this kind of device but it would be better if the operating time were around 10 h.
 
 
Reception Range:
It is stated that the range is 30 ft (10 m). This is true if your BT iem is fully charged and if you're on a completely open field. Inside a building or in your house don't expect that the BLU-100 stays connected with your phone when you enter another room. Range is shortened under these circumstances (around 5-6 m). So you need to carry your phone in your pocket if you intend to move to the next room and if you (especially) shut the doors.
 
 
Microphone Quality:
Microphone quality is above average and certainly one of the best when compared to the other BT iems on my tests. Capable of sending clean and clear calls.
 
 
Treble:

Well defined and fairly detailed for a BT iem. The best treble response I have ever heard in a BT as well… Is it on an audiophile type of an iem treble? No. But extends well up to 15 kHz to my ears. Never gets sibilant or harsh for me. Overall I like the rtreble response.
 
 
Mids:

Mids presentation is slightly cool compared to the other BT iem's I have tested. Vocal stage is on the center and very well represented (depends on recording). Midrange is clear for a BT iem though I would like to hear slightly more details.

 
 

Bass:

Well defined bass section for a BT iem. Subbass depends on the insertion of the nozzle in the earcanal. A tight and deep insertion results in more bass and subbass. Subbass rolls off around 30Hz to m years. Midbass has more body and presence compared to the subbass. In general I found the bass section to be in line with high and mids.

 
 
Overall Impressions on Sound:
In contrast to many other reviewers I found the general sound signature to be relatively neutral. For music listening this is the only BT iem that I could get pleasure with. Stage is relatively wide and deep. Soundstage width is larger than its depth though… But anyone don’t expect a real out of head soundstage experience. I can say that the soundstage is average. Imaging is just OK. Background is not completely black. There are some hissing on the background. It is not possible to detect this hissing while playing music. IMO the main purpose for this BT iem should be for making and answering calls. But for urgent purposes it can serve as a wireless iem for a music listener as well.

 
 
Comparisons:
Comparisons made with BT iems: Samsung HS3000, DonScorpio sMushroom HD, DonScorpio sMushroom (please check the below link):
http://www.head-fi.org/t/774206/comparison-of-4-different-bluetooth-iems-brainwavz-blu-100-don-scorpio-smushroom-hd-don-scorpio-smushroom-samsung-hs3000
 
 
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Conclusion:

Well especially as being the first Bluetooth iem release of the Brainwavz, the BLU-100 iem delivers good sound quality with a good quality microphone and a good list of features with a great form factor. My 2 complaints were about the reception distance and battery life. Wish they were slightly better... Even with its con's, BLU-100 became my daily BT iem for making and receiving calls! This last "sentence" should tell you more than anything that I could put in words! Recommended by Baycode
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peter123
peter123
Baycode
Baycode
Thanks @peter123 ! :)
 
BTW, dear readers, I have no idea why the spaces between the lines are so large. Each time after editing and sending it the review appears like this... I couldn't solve the problem... Looks like a system issue...

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