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Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEMs

  1. Brooko
    Brainwavz BLU-100 - Bluetooth on a budget
    Written by Brooko
    Published May 7, 2015
    Pros - Easy to use, warm signature that improves with simple EQ, good mid-range, lightweight, in-line controls and mic, good build quality, value.
    Cons - Comfort (personal), relatively short battery life, warm (bordering on dark) default tuning, dropouts in high traffic areas, LED hard to see
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images


    Brainwavz is a well-established manufacturer of headphones in the value for money category – offering many different options that suit almost anyone’s sonic preferences.  I’ve previously purchased their HM5 headphones and B2 earphones (both are IMO stellar performers and represent real value for money options).  I’ve also had the chance to review their M1, R1, R3, S0, S5 and R3 V2 IEMs, and the AP001 amplifier.
    I’ve had regular contact with Audrey from Brainwavz, and recently she asked me to consider being part of a review and launch of their first ever bluetooth earphones. This really did interest me, as I haven’t had the chance yet to try any actual Bluetooth wireless earphones, and I have seen this technology becoming more and more popular of late.
    So today we are looking at the Brainwavz BLU-100 headset. Audrey has told me to keep this pair as a loaner (which I’m very grateful for), and which I will use as a comparison earphone in any future reviews of similar products.
    I received the courier pack approximately one week ago – and have already spent as much time as I could with the BLU-100. I’d estimate that so far I’ve logged around 20 hours with it since it arrived.
    I’ve listed price at USD $44.50 (which is the intended RRP on release) – however this is not what I paid for them (they are a review sample).
    They can be found here : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
    I was provided the BLU-100 by Brainwavz as part of a review program. I am not affiliated with Brainwavz in any way, nor do I make any financial gain from my contributions.  This is my honest opinion of the BLU-100.
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
    I'm a 48 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X3ii, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X3ii > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1, Sennheiser HD600, and Brainwavz HM5.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83, Dunu Titan, Trinity Delta, and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.
    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).
    I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in audible burn-in (at least not the wild claims we all hear about massive changes), have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 48, my hearing is less than perfect.
    For the purposes of this review - I only used the BLU-100 with my iPhone 5S as it is the only bluetooth device I use regularly for audio. In the short time I have spent with the BLU-100, I have noticed only slight changes in the overall sonic presentation, but am aware that this is simply that I am becoming more used to the signature of the BLU-100 as I use them more often (brain burn-in).
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.


    The review sample I have did not come with packaging, so I can’t really tell you about the intended retail box. So what we’ll start with is what I received:
    blu-10002.jpg blu-10003.jpg
    Brainwavz case & sticker
    Inside the case

    1. The BLU-100 head-set
    2. One USB to USB-mini plug (for recharging)
    3. One velcro cable tie
    4. 3 sets (S/M/L) silicone ear tips
    5. 1 set genuine Comply S400 foam tips
    6. 2 removable ear fins
    7. 1 standard Brainwavz red and black carry case.
    8. 1 Brainwavz sticker
    blu-10004.jpg blu-10005.jpg
    BLU-100 + accessories

    (From Brainwavz)
    8mm Dynamic Driver
    IEM Shell Material
    Cable Outer Material
    On Cable Controls
    3 button control + mic
    Bluetooth Spec
    Version 4.0
    Codec support
    Operating Range
    Up to 30 feet (10 meters)
    60 mAh rechargeable
    12 grams
    Operating Time
    4 hours
    Stand-by Time
    100 hours
    Charge Time
    ~ 2 hours

    In addition to the above, the BLU-100 has the ability to connect to 2 devices at the same time, has integration with iPhones (battery life is displayed in the iPhone), has CVC echo and noise cancellation, and has voice prompts for power on, pairing, connecting, battery low, and power off.
    As the BLU-100 is only being released now, there are no frequency graphs available yet.  So I’ve used my calibrated SPL meter plus test tones to measure frequency response and tabulate it.
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    The Brainwavz BLU-100 consists of two earpieces connected by a ~ 60 cm cable with an integrated control switch (3 buttons and mic).  The earpieces are a fairly hefty size – measuring 25mm in length from base to tip of the nozzle, approx. 12mm diameter for the main part of the body, 9mm diameter for the section before the nozzle, and ~6mm diameter for the lip of the nozzle itself. The actual nozzle is pretty short – just 4mm from the center section to the nozzle tip, and has a built in fine mesh filter/wax guard.  For anyone wondering – the nozzle itself fits Comply 400 series tips perfectly. The BLU-100 is not ported or vented.
    blu-10006.jpg blu-10007.jpg
    BLU-100 - solid build
    BLU-100 nozzle and graduated tubular design

    The IEM casings actually look (and feel) like they’re made from a hard black plastic – but it’s actually a full aluminium housing – with the only plastic being the caps at the end.  The left earpiece has a fixed cap with the Brainwavz logo.  The right earpiece has a cap that lifts and rotates out to expose the charging USB port.

    The cable exits have good rubber strain reliefs.  Everything about this head-set so far seems pretty solid.
    blu-10008.jpg blu-10009.jpg
    Charging port
    The entire BLU-100 - lightweight

    The cable is flat, and encased in TPE.  It is nicely flexible with no memory.  It is also pretty non microphonic if worn over ear – however is quite microphonic if worn down.. The 3 button control and microphone hangs approximately 10 cm from the right earpiece.  The buttons are nicely labelled and feel solid.

    The microphone is pretty good quality – and I had no issues with making calls.  The comment I got back from the call recipient was that voice calls were very clear.
    blu-10010.jpg blu-10011.jpg
    3 button control


    My only real gripe on design so far is that there is a charging light built into the control module.  Unfortunately Brainwavz chose to use a small white LED, and you can’t really see it at all unless you are in an extremely low-light environment.  A small blue, red or green LED would have been far easier to see.
    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well.  I initially tried the included large silicones and I couldn’t get a consistently decent fit or seal. I also tried my Sony Isolation tips – and while they were perfect with my left ear, my right ear had the tendency to seal too well (create a vacuum), and this would cause a vacuum cut-out sometimes (a symptom of not enough ventilation of the driver).  There was also some mild driver flex. Spiral dots and Spinfits were next – but neither gave me consistent fit/seal (again my weird ears) – the Spinfits definitely sounded the best though. Finally I settled on a pair of large Comply T400S – and these gave me the perfect combination of comfort, seal and consistency (no flex).
    blu-10012.jpg blu-10013.jpg
    Large T400S sports tips fitted
    The BLU100 is a long IEM


    Insertion depth with the BLU-100 is medium depth (cable up), or slightly shallower (cable down) – depending on the cable orientation. Unfortunately with the width of the earphones themselves, these don’t “disappear” when worn – and at times I’ve found my ears uncomfortable after a couple of hours – usually where the housing has pushed against me ear canal openings. They also sit slightly outside my outer ears when worn, so sleeping on my side is not the most comfortable (pressure on the ear opening). Saying this though – I have been to sleep a couple of times with them in-situ.  The price I’ve paid is sore ears on waking.
    Isolation with the BLU-100 is pretty good for a dynamic driver.  With music playing you’re isolated pretty well. When walking I definitely need to be aware (visually) of what I’m doing – as I definitely wouldn’t hear something coming!
    blu-10014.jpg blu-10015.jpg
    Fin stabiliser system
    Fins are adjustable and removable


    The BLU-100 can be worn cable up or down.  If you use them cable down, the control unit does sit closer to where the mouth should be (for the mic), and to assist with stability, Brainwavz have included a couple of fins which are designed to sit inside the Anti-helix.  These work pretty well, and stabilise the BLU-100 quite nicely.  My issue with cable down still remains the microphonics though – and my preferred method remains over-ear, with the cable draped behind my neck
    The control system on the BLU-100 is pretty easy to learn, and set-up for me was a breeze.
    Pairing / Initial Set-Up
    Initial pairing couldn’t have been easier.
    • Make sure Bluetooth is active on the iPhone
    • Turn on the BLU-100, by pressing and holding the middle button
    • This gives vocal feedback – firstly “power on” then “pairing”
    • Select the BLU-100 on the phone.  The next voice prompts you get is “connecting”, and then the phone shows the head-set as connected.
    • After that simply select your music app – and press play.
    After that – as soon as the head-set is turned on, the phone remembers the pairing automatically.
    Audio Playback Controls
    Again, these are very simple. We’ll call the buttons top center and bottom.  Center button turns the BLU-100 off and on (long hold).  When it’s on, press the center button once (assuming app on your bluetooth audio device is running) to play, or once to pause/stop. The top bottom raises the volume.  The bottom button lowers the volume.  Pressing and holding (for around 3s) the top button advances one track.  Pressing and holding the bottom button go back to the previous track.
    Again – really simple.
    Phone Interaction – Calls
    If your mobile supports voice dialing, this can be activated from the headset by pressing and holding either the top or bottom button for slightly longer than 3s.  This initially advances the track – but shortly after activates voice dialing. This does work on the iPhone (activates Siri).
    Other than that, the center button answers a call and also terminates after you’ve finished.  You can also choose to reject a call, choose between 2 paired mobiles, and activate redial.  I won’t go into all of this here – as full instructions are in the manual.
    Other – Battery Meter (iPhone)
    One of the things I really love is the connectivity with the iPhone.  In the top right corner or my phone – between the bluetooth icon and phone battery % meter is a new icon (a small battery).  This is the headset battery status indicator – and shows the status of the battery remaining on the head-set.  This has been really handy as the battery life is pretty limited (around 4 hours active) – so it makes it really easy to ensure I’m always charged up and ready to go.
    The biggest one for me (other than the cut-outs in the next section) is the default volume of the vocal feedback from the unit.  No matter what your volume setting – the default voice is loud.  Not deafening loud – just annoying loud.  I wish there was a way to turn her down.  The vocal feedback is good – the volume could be worked on.
    Brainwavz lists the operating range as “up to 30 feet / 10 meters”, but in reality with the iPhone 5S (using the A2DP codec), reliable connection was around 5 meters.  After that, things got pretty flakey in a hurry.  Performance may be better on other phone models – but for me anyway, the ideal is having your phone in your pocket while you’re wearing the head-set.  This is not a deal-breaker, as I’d imagine this is how most of us will operate the BLU-100 anyway.
    Most of the time when I was out and about, the overall connectivity was actually pretty good.  Occasionally I’d get a bit of glitching (short drop out for a micro second), but nothing too annoying.  However when I went to my daughter’s netball tournament in the weekend, I took the BLU-100 and ended up turning them off.  The phone was in my pocket – so no issues with range.  But there was an issue with the number of people around, and (I’m guessing) the number of bluetooth enabled phones.  Drop-outs were frequent, and annoying.
    So mixed feeling on stability – hopefully as Bluetooth gets better these sort of incidents will get fewer.  What I have loved though is going for a walk (exercise) in the evenings.  No cable to contend with, not a lot of people around, and pretty good connectivity.
    So we’ve covered a lot of the BLU-100. But how does it sound?
    The following is what I hear from the Brainwavz BLU-100.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).
    I’m going to get pretty general with this section – but if you want to see some of the typical tracks I test with, I’ve listed a lot of them here : http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
    Thoughts on Default Signature
    The BLU-100 is obviously tuned for today’s younger generation and has a typical warm, slightly bassy, slightly dark signature.  It does possess a nice mid-range – quite clear, and quite articulate – but the issue for me is that the mid bass and lack of treble extension just makes it an overly warm and lush listening experience. It’s simply not a default signature I like.
    Tracks like Gaucho and Sultans of Swing still have a lot of detail, but some of it is muted by the warmer and more present mid-bass, and Knopflers guitar misses its customary crunch.
    Staging and imaging also suffers with this warmish, darkish signature. Amber Rubarth’s “Tundra” is quite close, the drums are overstated and the violin is slightly understated.  General direction is there – but it is all somewhat diffuse.
    Mark Lanegan’s “Bleeding Muddy Water” is my usual go to for bass quality and quantity – and the BLU-100 definitely nails the quantity.  The bass is dark, broody and has good impact.  But it’s also slightly muddy, and has the tendency to want o leech into the lower mid-range.  All-in-all though, with this track it’s not too much of an issue.  Lorde’s “Royals” has become my test for sub-bass, and once again the BLU-100 hits the bass really well.  Sub-bass is present but it’s kind of diffuse, and not what I’m used to.  Quantity of bass is definitely nailed – unfortunately it comes at the cost of quality. The good thing though is that Ella’s vocals remain really good on this track, so the bass bleed is only really affecting the lower mid-range.
    Moving to female vocals, the BLU-100 has a really nice mid-range, and this is where the peak around 3kHz seems to be really helping.  The overall presentation is still far darker than I really like, but most of my female artists sound pretty good – and some tracks with a lot of bass impact (Feist / FaTM) do sound pretty dynamic.
    Moving to Rock – and whilst the bass is really good, sometimes the finer details, and guitar edge or crunch is simply muted. There are some tracks that still sound pretty good though – and my Pearl Jam tracks are amongst the good ones. So a bit hit and miss.
    I could cover all the genres I tried at this point – but the message will be the same throughout.  The default signature does sound good with some tracks (and this includes general Pop, EDM, Trance and Hip-hop), but on a lot of reference tracks the BLU-100 struggles.
    Equalisation (turning night into day)
    One of the great things about the iPhone (when I get dark IEMs) is the ability to use the Accudio Pro app, and download and apply corrections for other dark sounding earphones – to fix the imbalances that mar the enjoyment of the default signature.
    So to start with, I used a preset I’d already downloaded – the Senneheiser CX300 correction.  This takes a lot of the sub-bass out and allows the mid-range freedom to become the start of the show.  Unfortunately this preset also took out too much sub-bass, but it did show how beautiful the mid-range is. So I switched instead to the LCD-2 correction, and this was a lot closer to my ideal.  The mid-bass had lessened, but the sub-bass remained.
    The aim though was (now that I knew we could tame the default signature) to come up with something simple the average iPhone user could utilise. For me this was pretty simple – just use the default music app, and turn on either the bass reducer preset, or if this is too much (it was for me) – use the Acoustic preset (this was perfect). Both give the BLU-100 a reduction in the mid-bass, and allow the amended signature to shine.  For me this makes the BLU-100 a very enjoyable IEM to listen to – so much so that it could easily become my preferred option for regular exercise.  The other thing I’d like to mention at this point is how good the overall quality is over Bluetooth (once EQ’d).
    The stated 4 hours (actual use) does seem to be pretty accurate – and although it sounds relatively short, for the times I’m using the BLU-100, it actually seems like a relatively long time. This is helped a lot by the 2 hour charge time. Would I like longer life – yes – I’m sure we all would.  Is it a deal breaker – not for me. For the low cost of the BLU-100, I can adapt.


    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into the world of bluetooth head-sets. It has opened my eyes to the future possibilities, and the freedom of going wireless.
    Giving the BLU-100 an end of review mark is an interesting exercise though.
    On the plus side – very good build quality, easy to use, pretty good value at around $45.00, and sounds really good after EQ.
    On the minus – the large shells can be uncomfortable, the default signature is too dark and warm (I readily agree though – I am not Brainwavz target audience), it suffers connectivity issues at relatively short distances, and has issues with interference and drop-outs in high traffic areas.
    So from me a solid 3/5 – good, but not great.
    My thanks once again to Brainwavz for having me as part of the reviewing team.
    The following would be my recommendations for changes in future models.
    • Change the default signature – please.  Just take out some of the mid-bass.  No part of the signature should mask another frequency IMO. The BLU-100 are simply too warm.
    • Change the shell to something more ergonomic. As an example – the shell of the S5 (even if you had to make it larger) would be perfect. An angled nozzle with most of the IEM sitting in the natural cavity of the ear – bliss on the comfort stakes.
    • Give the ability to change the default vocal feedback volume – or set the default lower.  It doesn’t need to be that loud.
    • Change your LED to a different colour than white.
    I wanted to make sure that anyone reading this review doesn't think I'm being too negative with the BLU-100.  I actually really like the EQ'd signature, and I'm using these quite a bit, even though I have a multitude of other IEM at my disposal. This has been my first foray into wireless earphones, and I've really enjoyed it, and will likely keep using these from time to time.  But I am interested now to see how Brainwavz can improve them.  If they could change the shell shape to an ergonomic comfortable one - they would be in my regular rotation.  I've even used these today at work for a few hours already [​IMG] 
      zzffnn and djmuzi like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hisoundfi
      I swear on everything I didn't read this before posting my review, but our comparisons are eerily similar. Great review Paul, you do a great job covering all aspects of a review.
      Hisoundfi, May 13, 2015
    3. Brooko
      Thanks Vince - I just read yours. Nice that there is a consensus forming.  Usually means we've read the sonics pretty well.
      Brooko, May 13, 2015
    4. zzffnn
  2. mark2410
    Brainwavz BLU-100 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published May 11, 2015
    Pros - Bluetooth. Cheap. Sounds fun.
    Cons - Can’t use all day due to battery life.

    Brainwavz BLU-100 Quick Review
    Thanks to mp4nation for the review sample
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/766115/brainwavz-blu-100-review-by-mark2410
    Brief:  Uhura’s earphones.
    Price:  Normally US$34.50 / £22.40 but atm US$44.50 / £28.90
    Specification:  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
    Accessories:  Case, bunch of tips and a micro USB charging cable, velcro cable tie and some inner ear guide things.
    Build Quality:  Nice.  They feel very light given what they contain but you want light, so they don’t fall out.  Plastic but nicely put together.
    Isolation:  Pretty good for a dynamic towards the upper end.  So not quite Tube or long flight worthy but easily good enough for most stuff, walking, on a bus etc etc.  Just remember to use your eyes when using them.
    Comfort/Fit:  Very good.  Yes they are a bit big but they are so light that I never found them tug at my ears.  With the Comply’s in they were fine to use until the battery keeled over.
    Aesthetics:  Plain.  Inoffensive to the eye.
    Sound:  Pretty good.  The sound quality it pretty decent, its signature is a bit heavy on the mid/bass and there is a bit of a splashy upper vocal / lower treble range too.  The extension at either end is middling, though better at lows than the highest highs.  It’s the sort of thing that’s made for the top 40, well suited to bouncy poppy music that you listen to with enjoyment in mind.  If you want critical listening the BLU-100 isn’t what you would choose to do it with.  It’s good enough that you’ll be toe tapping away without realising, however where I think it shines most is in being rhythmic and lively.  You see, it’s hard to ignore that the 100 is wireless and I think it’s the ideal in gym or out jogging earphone.  It’s about giving you that little oomph needed to get you round the next corner or to do that next set of some gym activity.  At that it is great.  It’s a little warm but plenty bouncy and excitable.  It’s not the most refined, there is a bit of sibilant flair with the odd track at volume but it’s a crowd pleaser type of sound. 
    Slapping on Wallflower and even the Krall woman sounds pretty nice on them.  A bit bloated in the midbassy region but smooth and pleasant on the ear.  While they wouldn’t be my first choice, for their price together with being wireless I’m pretty damn pleased with their performance.
    Value:  Pretty crazy.  Not only does it sound decent its wireless too!
    Pro’s:   Bluetooth. Cheap. Sounds fun.
    Con’s:  Can’t use all day due to battery life.
    1. mark2410
      mark2410, Jun 18, 2015
  3. Tom22
    Ditch the cables, but not your money & Go Wireless with the BLU-100s! An Affordable pair of Bluetooth earphones
    Written by Tom22
    Published May 12, 2015
    Pros - affordable, bluetooth 4.0 & aptX compatibility, warm sound, (works seemlessly through android and iOS devices), good build quality
    Cons - lacking refinement and detail, a bit too warm for my tastes
    This is Brainwavz first step into the Bluetooth earphone world. It seems that Brainwavz is aiming to bring the all benefits of a typically expensive Bluetooth earphone into a very affordable package. (Its currently on sale for $34.50 on mp4nation, MSRP $45)
    Note- the earphone I’m discussing in this review is a preproduction sample that I was sent from Brainwavz, so I do not have all the accessories or the paperwork the earphone will come with once they hit the market. (They are available now). I should note that I’m affiliated with Brainwavz nor and I paid for this review. Everything in this review is my opinion and mine alone. With that said, lets get started. 
    Below is a link to my video review if your prefer : if you enjoy it, please like, share and subscribe!
    Design- Quite nice and low key, the housing is an entirely black barrel design with matte black strain reliefs and the Brainwavz logo on the left earpiece in white stencil. It’s quite sleek- looking and quite flattering.
    Overall: 7/10
    20150512_180636.jpg    20150512_180511.jpg
    Build quality- The BLU-100 is quite well built considering the price. The housing if I’m not mistaken is made of a lightweight metal (as it is cold it touch) with good strain reliefs, along with a flat tangle free cable. The remote buttons have good tactile feedback and well built.
    Overall: 8/10
    Bluetooth features- There is quite a lot to talk about here, for a sub $50, I can’t imagine an earphone having more features! I have decided to break down this section into multiple sub categories.
    You can watch my review to see how to set up your “Brainwavz BLU 100 earphone” or read the my simplified user manual below
    First, the BLU-100 comes with a 3 button remote sitting a few inches below the right earpiece, that is used to pair and connect the headset to either your smartphone, computer, or car (or anything else that is Bluetooth or aptX compatible). As a result this allows for seemingly endless options for its usage. 
    To turn on the earphones, you hold onto the centre button, until you hear a female voice saying “Power on”, this signals that the headset is ready to be paired with any Bluetooth enabled device. For example, with your smartphone’s  Bluetooth feature on,  it will be able to scan and detect the earphones, and it should be labeled as BLU- 100. Then all you do is pair it, and a voice will tell you the connection is successful. Then your good to go! (In retrospect, to turn off the Bluetooth headset, simply hold the centre/power button to turn it off, and your smartphone will revert back to its stock speakers). A painless process indeed!
    * Note the BLU-100 can pair up to two devices at the same time, once recognized. The headset will automatically pair with your device immediately once the Bluetooth is on.
    *note- the earphones may have some difficulty when the earphones do not have a clear line of sight with the paired device. as my music was cutting intermittently when my device was inside my bag, as i was practicing shooting drills at the basketball court. 
    *note when unobstructed, i was able to get about 15-20 feet effortless with only the occasional drop out from time to time
    20150512_180432.jpg    20150512_180242.jpg    20150512_180714.jpg
    Managing your music/media
    You can easily manage the volume of the earphones with the volume up and down button, and you can further increase the volume(separately) on your smartphone to get the Brainwavz BLU-100s to earsplitting levels if you so choose.
    To pause the song, you press the centre button, and press it again to resume. Next, Brainwavz decide to do things a bit differently but implementing the fast forward and rewind buttons onto the +/- volume buttons instead.
    To skip the song, you press and hold the + volume, to rewind you press and hold the – volume button.
    Overall: 8.5/10 (lots of features packed in small package)
    20150512_180217.jpg     20150506_211729.jpg
    Comfort- the earpiece housing is quite large and long (there are a lot of electronics going on, so I’m not surprised), with a short nozzle, however I was able to get an easy fit, whether I was wearing them cable down or up. The short cable can easily wrap around the back of neck, so it stays out of the way when I’m exercising or walking out and about, making me forget I was wearing earphones at times.
    Also Brainwavz included a pair of “fin” tips/ adapters that can further stabilize these earphones in your ear, during exercise. (They slip easily on and off the earphones)
    Overall: 7.5/10
    Isolation- From what I can tell, the housing is completely sealed, as a result I found that the isolation is above average, and it sealed quite well despite the size of the housing and the short nozzle.
    Something to note however is, that I would like to comment that I did experience a bit of driver flex from the earpieces because of the strong seal.
    Overall: 8/10
    Sound Quality-  As a Bluetooth earphone, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of its sound, due the Bluetooth compression, but I came away surprised with what it was able to achieve given its price point.
    It has quite consumer grade sound signature, as in it has quite a bassy response that I think the average consumer would find pleasing. It has a sound signature that works well when your on you’re the move, and in noisy environments.
    Bass- There is quite an emphasized bass, mostly in the midbass. The ample bass here means that you can easily feel the beat and the rhythm in your music even through the loud subway cars screeching or the noisy air conditioner.  I would say its nearing basshead in terms of quantity.
    Midrange- I found that is a dip in the midrange, mostly due to the aggressive bass response, vocals avoid any sense of harshness or edge. I did notice there is some coloration in the midrange so if you’re a purist, then these earphones may not be for you.
    Treble- The treble here makes even more certain that these earphones are tuned towards edm, dubstep and other more synthetic or electronic instruments. Giving way for energy over air and clarity, but without sounding brash or fatiguing. The BLU-100s are great companion especially when streaming off Youtube, or Spotify, where I imagine where the BLU-100 would be most frequently used.
    Overall: 6/10
    Conclusion- While it wouldn’t exceed its wired competitors in terms of sound, it does enough to sound pleasing for the everyday user. However, I feel that it more than makes up for that with the features at the price they are going for. There simply aren’t many Bluetooth earphones under $100, let alone under $50, i feel the BLU 100s is certainly a great way allow more people to be exposed with the freedom that comes with going wireless, without sacrificing much in terms of practicality. Just pair and go!
    Overall: 44.5/60= 74%
      Walderstorn likes this.
    1. Walderstorn
      Another good review from Tom, thumbs up!
      Walderstorn, May 13, 2015
    2. Tom22
      Tom22, May 14, 2015
    3. theinvertedsky
      Awesome! You have truly become one my favorite reviewers! I have been looking for something bluetooth and this seems to be it.
      theinvertedsky, Aug 6, 2015
  4. Hisoundfi
    Bluetooth bang for your buck. The Brainwavs BLU-100 Bluetooth IEMs
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published May 12, 2015
    Pros - Solid build and nice case, Functional and easy to use, Works great for phone calls and music, Better than expected sound quality
    Cons - Bulky housings, Mid bass boost
    At the time this review was written, the Brainwavz BLU-100 was on a pre-order sale for $34.50 USD on MP4Nation. Here is a link to a listing of their product at the time of the review.
    The opportunity to review the Brainwavz SO IEM was a great experience. I ended the review by contacting their product rep, stating that I would like to work with them again and that if they were happy with my review to please contact me for future opportunities. Tonight I have the privilege of covering Brainwavz’ first bluetooth headphone, the BLU-100.
    I was given an opportunity to demo the Brainwavs BLU-100 in exchange for my honest review and opinion. I am in no way directly affiliated with their company or brand.
    My Background
    Please allow me to share a little bit about myself so you can better understand my observations. I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely. Headphone junkie? Possibly…
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, amplifiers and earphones that intrigues me, ESPECIALLY if they can be had for low prices. I’m a fan of products that give the buyer their money’s worth and more. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, hoping that I can discover models that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones ranging from from dirt cheap, to hundreds of dollars. I’m on a mission to find gear with a great price to performance ratio, report these findings back to the Head-Fi community, and also help those looking for their next piece of audio gear.
    With this hobby we often times pay a lot of for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned is that price DOES NOT necessarily indicate good build and sound quality. While everyone’s tastes are different, I hope to share a depiction of what to expect.
    I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they have good ergonomics, and their sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have and use.
    The Package
    NOTE: Because this is a demo unit, the BLU-100 did not come in any retail packaging. I do not have any specific information on what to expect for packaging.
    The BLU-100 came in their customary black and red rectangular clamshell zipper case. The material is a firm molded mesh fabric. The case is exquisite. No complaints in this area.
    Here are the official specs:
    1. Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 8mm
    2. Rated Impedance: 30ohms 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

    The demo unit came with the following 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

    The housings of the BLU-100 are made of a painted metal material and silicone/rubber. The housings are on the larger side, but not overly heavy, and I did get a good seal.
    Cable & Strain Reliefs
    The cable is flat and approximately 18 inches long. On the right side about 5 inches down from the right channel is a three button remote. The cable is made of a smooth rubber coating and seems plenty durable. Strain reliefs seem adequate for daily use.
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics
    The fit on these are a mixed bag in my opinion. I had no problem getting them to fit initially, but due to the large housings I had trouble keeping a seal while moving around. The silicone fins helped secure the housing into place, but even then the silicone would get uncomfortable for me. I also found the cable to be a little bit too long for a wireless device.
    NOTE: I was able to get them fit securly by using aftermarket ear guides (not included in the package). Using these gave me a great seal and secure fit,  that allowed me to use them while moving around and exercising. The guides counterbalanced the size and clunkiness of the BLU-100 housing.
    This device works effectively and efficiently. There were no major hiccups or bugs to report while using it.
    The unit charges via USB. It has a tab on the right housing that opens up to the charging port. The provided USB charging cable plugs into any computer USB port, or be plugged into a USB wall charger. Normal charging time was around 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When testing, the battery on the BLU-100 died after a little over 4 hours of continuous streaming music. The charging indicator is a single white light that emits from the inline remote. It will shine while charging, and shut off when charging is complete.
    The device powers on when holding the center button on the inline remote. Continuing to hold the button after the device powers on will put the device in pairing mode. The connection is made by finding it in the settings menu of bluetooth device you are going to use as a source. Holding the center button after the power has been turned on will turn the power off. Double tapping the center button while connected to my LG-G3 phone, they would call the last number on my phone log. I wasn’t a fan of this and accidently called people a few times when I thought I was turning the earphones off. When using it with music applications I could play and pause tracks by single clicking the center button.
    The “+” and “-” buttons controlled volume in both phone and music mode. In music mode, I could skip tracks by holding the “+” button and restart a track by holding the “-” button. The buttons responded great and without any glitches.
    NOTE: All buttons and functions are acknowledged with audio that is either a spoken command or audio tone (beeping noise) that plays through the earphones themselves. Wearing them while using the remote makes the earphones easier and more enjoyable to
    The range on these for me were apporximately 25 feet from the souce. After that distance the headset began to break up. The microphone worked well, and people I asked in conversation said that they initially couldn’t tell I was on a headset when we were chatting, and on a scale from 1-5 in terms of how clear I sounded on the phone, most gave it a 4 rating. Pretty good for a bluetooth headset!
    Sound Review & Materials
    I primarily did my demo with my LG-G3 smartphone with the latest firmware. For desktop use I used my Toshiba chromebook. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I make sure that anything I demo I have had enough time with to feel confident in my impressions and opinions.
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake
    “Madness” by Muse
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk
    “Some nights” by Fun
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie
    “One” by Ed Sheeran
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
    Sound Signature
    The BLU-100 sounded very good to my ears for the most part. The sound would be neutral to my ear if not for what appeared to be a mid-bass hump that made things sound a bit unnatural in male vocals, bass guitars, and some electric and acoustic guitars. I really enjoy them with female vocals, pop, acoustic, hip-hop and EDM, Theu seem to struggle with rock and alternative music. I got a slight hiss when playing music, and the occasional digital hiccup also occurred.

    Bass on these peaks at around 200Hz to my ears, and rolls off to around 20Hz. It does work well with the earphone’s overall signature. I would like a little more sub layer and less mid-bass, but with the tuning as it is, I find it tolerable and enjoyable.
    Lower midrange takes the center stage on the BLU-100. It has nice texture at this range, at the expense of things sounding slightly unnatural to my ears. The upper mids seem polite and I really like the air between sounds in upper midrange frequencies. This probably the part of the sound I like the best. They are really well done here, and has a lot to do with why I like them with female vocals.
    Treble is not extended and what is there is crisp. During complex musical passages the driver did begin to smear sounds in treble frequencies. With acoustic music, hip hop, pop, and EDM the treble response was pretty spot on for these genres.
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The soundstage takes a hit from the mid-bump and rolled off sub-bass. It does display adequate depth with bassy tracks, but tracks without a large amount of bass sound like they could use a low end bump. I would say though for a bluetooth IEM they are really good on a whole! At the price they are selling for, this has got to be about as good of an IEM as you can get at the current asking price.
    Meelectronics Sport-Fi X7 ($80 to $100 USD on many sites)
    The Sport-Fi X7 was one of the best fitting IEMs I have ever had, so they get an advantage over the BLU-100 in this aspect. I will say, the aftermarket ear guides application really improved initial fit issues I experienced. Please also note that the X7 is nearly twice as expensive.
    Both models had about the same battery life. Charge times were also similar. The mic on the BLU-100 seemed to work better based on my testing.
    Both models basically operated the same in terms of the remote.
    Sound wise, the bass response was the opposite on these. The X7 had a very boosted sub bass layer that could get “boomy” sounding with some tracks. However, vocals sounded more natural all around. Male vocals were better with the X7, while female vocals sounded better and more holographic on the BLU-100. Bass heavy tracks suffered from too much boom with the X7, and just the opposite the BLU-100 sounded slightly thin with bass light stuff. It really is a toss up with these in term of what one you would like more, and comes down to signature preference. I prefer the X7 in terms of ergonomics and sound signature, but when you weigh in the price into it you can’t go wrong with these. They are definitely a better deal in terms of price.
    The BLU-100 is a great first bluetooth earphone from Brainwavs that offers a phenomenal amount of technology at an extraordinary price. Nobody who buys these will feel like they didn’t get their money’s worth that’s for sure! The BLU-100 takes the budget-fi world to another level with a package that will turn heads, and not empty your wallets.
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MartianMonkey
      I'm considering getting some of these, I'm not a big fan of the BT wireless sets when it comes to performance vs price. But these seem like they would be good for a budget set. I was just wondering which ear-guides you used to get a good fit? 
      MartianMonkey, May 19, 2015
    3. romeo1990
      A really nice read and review!
      romeo1990, May 20, 2015
    4. Hisoundfi
      @MartianMonkey over the last few years of buying IEMs, I've obtained several pairs. They are pretty generic and almost triangular in shape and made of rubber. The cable snugs inside of them and holds them in place. You can find them on many audio gear websites. If you can't find them anywhere PM me. I'll either find a link, or send you a free pair if you cover shipping. 
      Hisoundfi, May 20, 2015
  5. shockdoc
    A decent budget friendly blu tooth IEM
    Written by shockdoc
    Published May 13, 2015
    Pros - Easy set up and pairing, good overall sound, simple controls
    Cons - Length of cable and control placement limits wearing options, harsh highs on some tracks, concern for durability of USB charging port cover
    This is a review of the Brainwavz BLU-100 blu tooth IEM headset.
    Thanks to Audrey for the opportunity to review theses headphones. I’m in no way affiliated with
    Brainwavz or any other audio company or entity.
    A little background. I’m a 58 year old audio enthusiast and audiophile (or wannabe) since I was a
    kid and first heard a really great system at a friend’s house. I was enthralled as it seemed like the performer was standing right in front of me singing directly to me. I’ve been actively seeking that same level of performance in the audio world since that time.
    I have an extensive musical background, play multiple instruments and sing. My family is also very musical as well and all sing and/or play at least one instrument. My musical tastes are quite eclectic but skew heavily towards acoustic music. In fact the main criteria, and my forte, is headphones and gear that faithfully reproduce accurately the sounds of acoustic instruments. I cannot and will not speak to how a headphone sounds with electronic music.
    These headphones did not come in a package or with any kind of instructions. I found out later that they had been sent in an e-mail. I have never owned and have only briefly listened to any blu tooth headsets or headphones so I will be reviewing these mostly on sound quality and ease of use for a relative blu tooth novice.
    They came in the usual Brainwavz red zippered case with some extra sized ear tips and a set of Complys (usual, and appreciated by Brainwavz) and some clips to apparently prevent rotation of the housings in the ears.. There was also a  micro USB charging cable.
    Since I didn’t see any instructions I simply plugged them in to see what would happen. They quickly paired with both my phone and my laptop and were quite intuitive to use even for a noob to blu tooth.
    I quickly loaded a few of the songs from my playlist and started to listen. My initial impression of the sound was fairly good. Nice mids, decent low end but the highs on some tracks were fairly harsh. I’m a pretty firm believer in burn in for dynamic drivers so I’m thinking that with more hours on them that particular characteristic will likely diminish. I knew with the stated battery life and charge times I would not have time to burn these in to any extent prior to writing this review.
    At this point I decided to loan them to my adult son for a few days as he DOES have plenty of experience with blu tooth earphones and headsets (using them on an almost daily basis for many years). The following are his brief observations:
    “1) Battery life seems fine, I haven't run out the battery yet but I haven't tried listening/talking for 4 hours straight.
    2) Controls are nice and intuitive. Even without glancing at the instructions I was able to use the headset to navigate my playlist comfortably.
    3) Call quality seems fine. Mic is sensitive.
    4) Bass seems a little weak, though I suspect that it might be on purpose to increase battery life. Other than that the audio quality sounds good to me.
    5) As we discussed before, I dislike looping them around the back of my ears because that makes the controls difficult to reach. Looping them around the back of the ears, however, seems to be the only easy way to keep the headset on when the earbuds are not in my ears. If I want to take the earbuds out and not have the headset fall to the ground I usually have to flip it around my head.”

    One thing I did notice is that with single instrument acoustic music the sound was quite lifelike and realistic. However, when multiple instruments were playing, an orchestra for example, it was somewhat difficult to distinguish instrument separation. This is often an issue with some of my budget ‘phones but lessoned somewhat with burn in on a few of them. I don’t know if it’s the headphone itself or something to do with how the blu tooth signal works (or doesn’t). I did notice better separation on tracks with multiple, but similar instruments. I have some guitar trio tracks that sounded quite nice but still didn’t have the very nice separation of the Brainwavz S5’s.
    I also concur with my son as to the cable. I prefer to wear, when possible, my IEM’s overear and the shortness of the cable makes it hard to reach the controls. This is not an issue at all when worn down with the cable in front. I also wonder about the longevity of the little cover for the USB charging port on the right housing.
    The housings are rather large but I can’t imagine how they could be made any smaller and still house the battery and necessary electronics. They are quite light and I had no problem getting a good seal and keeping them in play with normal movements.
    Overall, these are a decent little set of IEM’s with the added bonus of being able to answer your phone. At this price point they should be a no brainer for someone seeking a good inexpensive blu tooth IEM for daily use. They would likely only very rarely replace a regular set of IEM’s for me personally, however.
  6. twister6
    Active lifestyle wireless headphones with a GREAT value!
    Written by twister6
    Published May 13, 2015
    Pros - BT4.0 w/apt-X support, great accessories, lightweight and comfortable
    Cons - 4hrs battery life, depending on eartip selection mid-bass could get a bit overwhelming

    Before I start my review, I would like to Thank Audrey/Brainwavz for providing me with a review sample of BLU-100 in exchange for my honest opinion.

    This is a review of Brainwavz BLU-100 wireless BT4.0 headset with apt-X.  http://www.yourbrainwavz.com/blu100.html available from http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-blu-100-bluetooth-4-0-aptx-earphones
    It’s always interesting to see when an established headphone manufacturer expands its product line to venture into a new territory.  Yes, Brainwavz new product has an intention to send “waves” of sounds into your “brain” without any wires between your audio source and their latest BLU-100 wireless headphones.  Ever since Jaybird Bluebuds X with two earbuds connected by a wire with in-line remote made a splash a few years ago, popularity of this wireless headphones style skyrocketed with multiple dozens of similar headsets flooding the market.  It went through evolution of Bluetooth 2.0/3.0 models, various clip-on charging cables, all sorts of rubber flaps and fins for a better fitment, and now I see a new wave of BT4.0 units with apt-X codec support. 
    I’m speaking from Android perspective since I have iDevice-free household, thus a reference to apt-X codec support.  I found it to have an improvement in encoding/decoding a wider bandwidth of a sound spectrum in comparison to older Bluetooth standards focusing mostly on a bandwidth of midrange to capture mostly the content of vocal range.  With Brainwavz stepping into the market, I was curious how a better known headphone company will adopt this technology utilizing their knowledge of sound design, in comparison to a dozen of other manufactures of phone accessories who released similar products.  Here is what I found.
    With this being pre-production review unit, I didn’t receive BLU-100 packed inside of a final manufacturing packaging, so there is not much to talk about it here.  On a side note, I do enjoy analyzing product packaging because I always imagine if it would capture my attention while walking down an aisle of my local brick-n-mortar electronics store (remember those?).  Considering a number of previous Brainwavz products I had a chance to review, I have no doubt it will have a colorful packaging with a lot of useful info about the design, features, and included accessories.
    And speaking of accessories, the headset arrived packed inside of Brainwavz popular hard shell zippered case with roomy pockets on each side.  Anybody who had any experience with their products will agree that Brainwavz earbud cases are among the best out there.  Inside of the case, in addition to BLU-100 wireless headphones, you can find a generous selection of accessories including 3 sets of S/M/L silicone eartips, a pair of genuine Comply foam S-400 tips, micro-usb charging cable, and a pair of silicone ear clip fins.  I'm glad to see a standard micro-usb cable is used for charging, since in the past I found proprietary charging clips to be a nightmare.  Surprised only a single pair of fins was included, since typically having M/L pair is a good idea to cover most of the ear anatomies.
    A design of BLU-100 is straight forward for this type of headphones with a pair of earpiece shells being interconnected by a cable with a 3-button in-line remote.  Earpiece design is a common barrel style tapered down toward the nozzle, made out of a lightweight aluminum material.  The strain relief for the attached cable is cleverly integrated into a rubbery ring going through a middle of the earpiece barrel.  The back of right earpiece has a plastic flap covering micro-usb charging port, and both of the earpieces had a clear labeled R/L marking.
    I wasn’t too thrilled with a flat cable attached to the earpieces since I found it to be on a thinner side in comparison to other similar headsets.  These types of headsets are designed with active lifestyle users in mind, thus a durability of cable wrapped around your neck when you are exercising is rather important.  At the same time you don’t want to make it too stiff and heavy, so I would suggest to Brainwavz to make this cable a bit thicker in a future.
    Last, but not least, is an inline remote control with a typical 3-button layout on one side and mic on the other side.  There is also a very small LED located on the edge of the remote (easy to miss), different from other headsets where LED is usually on one of the earpieces.  You need a visual indicator when pairing up or charging, and this LED is an important design element.  Though microphone has an acceptable pinhole size, the clarity of my voice during calls was just OK.
    The top side of remote control has 3 separate buttons, dedicated to Play/Pause/Call (the one in the middle), and Volume +/- on each size of it with a multi functionality of short click to adjust the volume and long press to skip track next/prev.  The positioning of volume up/down and skip next/prev buttons functionality was logical relative to the middle button.  For some people it might not be a big deal but I actually found a few other headphones where logic was reversed with a flipped functionality - with BLU-100 they got it right!  The only concern here are buttons having a nice visibility thanks to neon green ring around them, but hard time being distinguished by feeling them with your finger.  Keep in mind, you will be operating them blindly behind your neck and it’s VERY important to be able to feel and to id these buttons.  My suggestion to Brainwavz is to raise them up a bit and maybe use some kind of an additional bump on the middle button so you can quickly ID it by sliding a finger.
    In terms of functionality, it’s a very straight forward common design.  Multi-function Play/Pause/Call button in the middle is also a Power button where you need to hold it down for a few seconds to turn the power on and off.  To avoid any confusion, voice guidance will confirm that.  The first time you ready to pair it up, long press the power button until you enter pair-up mode and scan it on your phone in Bluetooth setting to connect.  Pair up was fast, and headset was connected to Phone and Media Audio, meaning you will be able to pickup phone calls and also listen and control the media audio streaming wirelessly from your phone.  Headset also supports dual pairing meaning you can connect it to two wireless devices at a time – very convenient to have it connected to your phone so you don't miss a call while you are connected to your tablet playing a game or watching a movie.
    Wireless range was close to 35feet in the open space, though I did experience a bit of very occasional stuttering beyond 20-25 feet if my Note 4 was not in a direct sight.  Also a bit of a surprise to me, BLU-100 supports only 4 hours of continuous play.  According to a spec it uses 60 mAh battery, and considering such a small capacity (and probably a small size), I wouldn’t mind seeing it being doubled to increase playback time.  I mean, 4hrs is plenty of time for a workout or a bike ride, but you have to remember to charge it after you are done.  In my opinion 6 hours battery life is more ideal because it gives you two full active listening sessions (while working out or running/biking) in case if you forget to charge it after the first use.  Also, unlike iPhone support where battery capacity shows up in your notification bar, with Android you don’t have such a clear indicator.
    When it comes to phone operation, BLU-100 supports a number of features such as Answer/End/Reject the call (middle button), Voice dial activate and deactivate (either up/down buttons), and even last number redial with two quick presses of middle button (always gets me since a wired headphone remote uses double click to skip a song and I often mix it up).  I mentioned before, during calls my voice wasn’t always crystal clear which is expected since mic on the remote is behind my neck, but I was able to hear the other side pretty good.
    (review unit shows up as BD-121, while a final production unit should be visible as BLU-100)
    Now, the most important part – a sound test.  To be honest, I had a little higher expectations for BLU-100 thinking this is a wireless headset from an actual headphone company, but when I started testing I realized that I’m still dealing with Brainwavz that have a soft spot for enhanced bass tuning.  That brought my expectation level down to a more realistic ground.  But still, you have to be aware that tip selection will play a tremendous influence on a sound signature.  I typically use large eartips with all my IEMs for a better fitment/seal to guarantee good isolation and deeper bass response.  With these headphones, going between large and medium size eartips had a VERY SIGNIFICANT sound difference.
    A typical large size eartips with a good seal yielded a sound with a relatively balanced signature and enhanced bass response (a rather noticeable mid-bass slam), but switching to medium size eartips attenuated mid-bass hump significantly down to a flat level to yield a surprisingly neutral sound signature.  I’m talking about using silicone tips, but a Comply foam tip should be equivalent to the effect of a large size silicone tip with an enhanced bass.
    In a more detailed analysis with large eartips, a sound was definitely focused on a stronger mid-bass supported by a layer of rolled off sub-bass and some resonating spillage into lower mids.  Mids had a bit of uneven balance with a heavier lower mids and lighter upper mids which made sound to be a bit artificial, though not that bad.  Treble doesn't extend too far but still has a good clarity with some nice details coming through. 
    Going to a smaller eartips resolved mid-bass boom and actually turned headphones to sound rather neutral and brighter.  With bass being more on a neutral side, these actually became more suitable for a wider range of music styles with a more relaxed listening.  Now mids sounded more balanced but a bit on a thinner side since there is no longer a mid-bass support to add that extra body.  Treble was very similar in either case.  To my ears a soundstage also remained similar: just an average, being a little wider than deeper.
    In conclusion, to be honest I didn’t find anything groundbreaking with this pair of BLU-100 Bluetooth headsets from Brainwavz.  I guess I'm a little spoiled with a number of other similar headsets I tested in the past, so a concept of small wireless headphones is not a news to me.  Also, some of the other re-branded cookie-cutter wireless headsets, even with BT4.0 and apt-X, had a similar performance with an exception of slightly different sound signature where Brainwavz clearly favors a more commercial tuning with an enhanced bass.  What I find absolutely outstanding with BLU-100 is their VALUE where at introductory price of only $34.50 you get a wireless headset with an excellent build quality, a selection of great accessories including a lot of eartips and one of the best hard shell cases, and also a performance of the latest BT4.0 with apt-X support (which is a plus for Android users).  At this price point it will be hard to find anything better to match what BLU-100 has to offer!
      Brooko likes this.
    1. dragon2knight
      Excellent review, seriously. Got the good points and bad down really well :)
      dragon2knight, May 14, 2015
    2. earfonia
      Thanks for your honest opinion :wink:
      earfonia, May 14, 2015
  7. dragon2knight
    Good first bluetooth effort
    Written by dragon2knight
    Published May 14, 2015
    Pros - Build quality, Above average Eq-able sound signature
    Cons - Poor battery life
    Audrey over at Brainwavz asked me to do a review of their new BLU-100 bluetooth IEM headset and I jumped at the opportunity to do so. My thanks for the review unit [​IMG]
    As these are review units, not retail, I opted to not include any pictures as they might not be as the retail version is. There are plenty of reviews on here with pre-production pics, so look there if you want to see them. I will include pictures from the Brainwavz site, though, so at least you see something in this review. I'm also including the copied and pasted Specs and Content's and Accessories charts from their product page. They can be bought from here:: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
    DriversDynamic: 8mm
    Rated Impedance: 30Ω closed Dynamic
    Frequency Range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
    Sensitivity: 110 dB @ 1 mW
    Bluetooth: 4.0
    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
    Contents & Accessories: 

    Silicone Ear Tipsx3 Pairs
    Comply™ Foam Tips: S-400 Series
    Ear Clips x1 
    Hard Case x1
    USB Cablex1
    Warrantyx1 (12 Months)
    Now onto the review.
    First off, I have some real experience with cheap, no name brand bluetooth headphones. Re-branders like Arctic/Coby have been making these for a few years now. The Arctic version, the ones I'm using right now, are called the B235BT. They are an over the ear model with nearly 10 hour battery life, good build quality and decent sound, all for a price similar to the BLU-100's. I used these as my comparison units for this test. I used my bluetooth 4.0 enabled China based Android phones(a variety) for testing along with the app Poweramp (paid version) as my main playback app. I used a serious swath of music (FLAC only) for my testing from all genre's from Rock to Opera, I included it all. 
    I'll break my review into categories starting with:
    Build Quality:
    I like the build quality of the BLU-100's quite a lot. The case is made from metal, isn't too bulky, and fits well in my ear without sticking out too much thanks to short nozzle's. The cables are flat, fairly strong feeling, and not too long being just long enough to allow for a good fit either over the ear or hanging down. I personally found the included Comply 400S tips to work best, YMMV of course. It included an inline controller hanging down a few inches or so from the right earpiece. It's well designed with a green accent color that's easy to see even in low light and a satisfying click when the 3 (three) buttons are pressed. As the pic above shows, it has a good amount of features as explained better below.
    Ease Of Use:
    The BLU-100's are a straight forward, easy to figure out IEM as bluetooth headsets go. I got them paired ( press and hold the center button), figured out how to use all of the playback functions and simply used them effortlessly without even having a manual available. After Audrey sent us reviewer's a PDF with the instructions, I found no more uses other than being able to Dual Pair the BLU-100's (a nice feature) that I hadn't already figured out by myself. Using it daily only made the functions available easier to use and I found myself liking the ease of use more and more as time passed. Good job here, Brainwavz [​IMG]
    The functions available are as pictured above, quite a few for a budget bluetooth IEM. I especially like the ladies voice that greets you with many of the functions that you use, making the BLU-100's much easier to use without having to look at the controller. As a comparison, the Arctic's I compared them to use a rather flimsy button arrangement on the ear cup that took awhile to get used to and they have no voice function to boot. Score one for the BLU-100's here. They are easy to charge up using a micro usb port located on one of the ear buds and charging only took 2 (two) hours as well. This is a good thing as the battery life is, IMHO, abysmal with, in my testing, only around 3 1/2 or so hours available per charge. One of the main reasons for using a wireless IEM is the ability to use it at least 6-8 hours daily without having the battery go flat on you. The Arctic's by comparison have around 10 hours per charge, with the same 2 (two) hour charge time. This is acceptable while the low usage time of the BLU-100's almost kills them for my use here. I'm sure they will find their own niche, like for gym/workout usage where long battery life isn't important, but for all other uses it falls flat. The only other flaw here is a too dim, and way too small, white LED that I thought was a spec of lint when I first saw it. This needs to be either bigger or brighter or both. The voice notifications do tend to negate the use/need of it, though, so it's not a biggie here. Bluetooth range is good, with around 10-15 feet  line of sight, 5-10 feet obstructed. As most will probably be using the BLU-100's with a phone, distance really isn't an issue here. Voice quality while in phone mode is good, with no complaints from anyone I was talking to either speaking or listening.
    Here is where the BLU-100's either shine or not, depending on what source you are using. The sound is warm out of the box, with the mids having a noticeable muddy tinge to them. The low end is strong enough and pretty full, the highs are ok with no harshness noticed by me. To be honest, this is not quite what I thought they were going to sound like, I had a bit higher expectation of them being a Brainwavz headset. I found them to be a little bit flat sounding, no real pop or personality. That was, until I EQ'd them. Those of us who use Poweramp do so for it's great sound shaping ability via it's excellent EQ. With just the tiniest of movement on it's sliders, I found that the BLU-100's took to this very, very well, more so than most all of my other wired IEM's as a matter of fact. The muddy mids? Poof--gone with EQing. Bass? Much improved with the smallest amount of EQing. I actually got the BLU-100's to sound just the way I like with every genre I used simply by EQing them that way. Truly a very nice surprise to be able to do that. The Arctic's don't have nearly the same flexibility here. Score another one here for the BLU-100's.
    Wrapping up, despite the poor battery performance, I still like the BLU-100's. Every other aspect of them is just so good for the price paid(currently $44.00 retail, $34.00 on sale). Quality of build is good, sound can be shaped exactly how you like very easily, the fit in my ear is good....really this is a fine first effort from Brainwavz. Fix the battery issue and they will have a real winner here. My thanks again to Audrey for the review unit, it's nice to be able to keep on trying out Brainwavz latest and greatest [​IMG] 
  8. shotgunshane
    Brainwavz - Freedom From Wires
    Written by shotgunshane
    Published May 16, 2015
    Pros - Comfort, Minimal Cable, Pleasant Low Volume Listening
    Cons - Dropouts, Battery Life
    Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth In Ears
    When Brainwavz contacted me about reviewing a set bluetooth in-ears, I have to admit I was bit apprehensive. Having never used bluetooth in ears but having used plenty of portable bluetooth iPhone speakers and in car audio set ups, bluetooth, while convenient, to my ears has been clearly a step back from a wired connection. Could Brainwavz change my mixed bag of feelings towards bluetooth?
    MSRP pricing for the BLU-100 is $44.50 but mp4nation is currently running a pre-order special for $10 off. My review unit arrived without retail packaging. Everything came packed in the roomy and now standard black and red Brainwavz semi-hard carrying case. This case is great for when not only carrying iems but extra tips, cables, miniature daps like the shuffle, etc. Accessories include a usb charging cable, velcro tie for iem storage, 1pr ‘ear clips’, 3 sets of silicone tips and 1 set of medium S series 400 Comply tips. While not as robust a set of tips as previous Brainwavz offerings, it’s still well appointed considering the price point of the BLU-100.
    1. 8mm dynamic driver
    2. 30 ohm impendance
    3. 110db at 1mW sensitivity
    4. Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
    5. 30ft max operating distance
    6. 60mAh battery - 4hrs playtime
    7. 2hrs charging / 100 hrs standby
    8. HFP, HSP and A2DP support
    9. 2 device simultaneous pairing
    10. 3 button remote works with iOS, Android and Windows phones
    11. 1 year warranty
    Tips of choice where the stock large silicones and comfort is above average. While the metal housings are quite large, to accommodate the battery, they are fairly lightweight and are easy to wear both down or up without fatigue. The cable completely disappears when placed behind the neck. Microphone placement is spaced better for wearing down but isn’t too bad for over the ear wear. Isolation is slightly above average for a dynamic driver, due to its sealed design. Once the musics starts, the outside world is gone. The BLU-100 seems to work best when most items are removed from the phone pairing list or at least it seemed I had fewer dropouts when they were removed. Battery life seems to be spot on to the manufacturer rating.
    The review was conduced solely using an iPhone 5s at medium to lower listen volumes. 
    The overall signature of the BLU-100 is decidedly V shaped with prominent bass, relaxed mids and sparkly treble. While bass and treble can become somewhat overbearing at very loud listening levels, the V shaped signature works quite well at medium and lower volume levels. Best of all the midrange is very clear for a pleasant vocal performance in both music and phone calls.
    Bass levels are not quite as elevated as S5 and S0 levels, nor do they dig as deep as the S5 but you can definitely hear the family similarities. While the BLU-100 bass is more mid based focused, it does have nice depth and texture. The midrange sits nicely between the more recessed S5 and more forward S0. While midrange detail levels aren’t quite to the level of the S5 and S0, it’s certainly not very far behind. Vocals sound natural, full and well bodied. Treble, though, is a bit of a mixed bag. At louder levels its a bit splashy with some resonances, similar to the S5 but not quite as refined as the S5’s treble. This is where the S0 is clearly the winner in the family sound, for me, with a smoother, less resonant and more refined treble than its brethren. But at lower listening levels, the resonances of the BLU-100 tend to recede greatly in the background and you are left with a nice complimentary sparkle. If you are a fan of either the S5 or S0, you should find the BLU-100 very pleasing, especially at lower volumes where it really excels. 
    Did the BLU-100 change my mind on bluetooth audio? Yes and no. It’s clearly better sound quality than some of the iPhone speakers I’ve used and car audio connections I have experience with. However the more than occasional dropouts were pretty annoying and happened much more often than from those same iPhone speakers and car audio connections, which really were a rarity. All that being said, there is definitely a strong argument to made for just having a super short cable resting behind your neck. Comfort was truly excellent! If Brainwavz can improve connectivity issues and give me a sound closer to their S0 model, which I personally prefer over their other models, I’d be completely sold. At the end of the day, the BLU-100 is a solid product of great value at MSRP and practically a no brainer at pre-order special for those wanting the ultimate in cable freedom.
      zzffnn likes this.
    1. zzffnn
  9. JoeDoe
    Good Sound When Mobility is Priority
    Written by JoeDoe
    Published May 21, 2015
    Pros - Form factor, value, SQ
    Cons - At this price? None.
    Brainwavz continues to step up their game. This time it's in the realm of Bluetooth! The BLU-100 is a budget-priced IEM that is very well-designed and offers very good sound for anyone that needs serious mobility without compromising sound quality. Check it.
    The Breakdown 
    Test Songs:
    "Love on Top" - Beyonce - 4
    "What About Me" - Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here
    "Attaboy" - Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, & Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions
    "Milestones" - Miles Davis - Milestones
    "If You Want Me to Stay" - Sly & The Family Stone - Fresh
    iPhone 5C running Spotify Premium (Streaming 320)
    Build/Accessories: Solid. Just like every other piece of Brainwavz gear I've reviewed, there are no obvious shortcomings here. Sturdy housings, cable, and inline control box. The case is the hardside Brainwavz case that has worked really well for all their IEMs and well, that's all I've got to say about that.  

    Bass: Pretty good! The mid bass is a little boosted, but for most people, that won't be an issue. It certainly does muddy anything up. For pop tunes, EDM, and/or most rock music, the low end will serve just fine - especially for the price! Beyonce's low end is very fun :) and the upright's sound in "Milestones" sounds very natural albeit slightly rolled up in the subbass. Most well-defined and linear bass? No. Very capable and pleasing low end for most music? Yes.

    Mids: Musical. The vocals in Sly's hit sound great as do Thile's mandolin in "Attaboy." The lower mids are a little smeary when the bass is forward in the mix. Usually make the bass sound good, but in male vocals this may result in a loss of clarity.


    Treble: Crisp and clean! Don't let their price tag fool you. The upper end is as natural and clear as I've heard in the sub $50 range. It's not the most extended treble, and sometimes it's a little harsh on electronic hi hat or active cymbal parts, but rarely enough to become a nuisance. "Love on Top's" HH work is crystal clear ad Be's voice is never sibilant. Much love to the upper end on what is usually a weakness for wireless headphones.

    Soundstage/Separation: Nothing to write home about. At this price, one shouldn't expect to have divine instrument placement or separation. It's not bad, but it would be dishonest of me to sing all kinds of praises here.

    Design: Excellent. Yes the housings are Frankenstein big, but here's the catch: no long cable to run to my DAP! The included tips seal well enough that the housings aren't tempted to fall out, so then all I've got left is roughly a foot of cable hanging down like a necklace and that's all there is to worry about. Inline controls are thoughtfully placed and easy to use. To charge, all I have to do is open the right housings and charging port is inside! An excellent thoughtful design really goes a long way in this case. Using these for the gym or active use is a no-brainer. You'll not have to worry about cable wear again! Oh and BTW, the battery life is pretty dang good. You'd get several workouts in before you'd have to worry about recharging.

    Conclusion: Overall, the SQ on this budget-priced IEM is very competitive, offering a largely balanced signature with a little extra oomph in the bottom, clean midrange, and detailed, although sometimes too spicy upper end. The functionality and design of this IEM is really what should get your attention though. Read the above paragraph for why, but know that if you ask me for a pair of IEM's for your gym time (and your DAP has Bluetooth capability), the BLU-100 will surely come up in conversation!

    ***This review unit was provide free of charge by Brainwavz. I'm in no way affiliated with the company or any of it's vendors.***
  10. peter123
    Freedom on the move!
    Written by peter123
    Published May 31, 2015
    Pros - Fully functional remote, decent sound and freedom when out and about
    Cons - Ergonomics can be an issue
    First of all I'd like to thank Brainwavz and Audrey for giving me a chance to check out the Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEM.
    The Brainwavz BLU-100 is Brainwavz first attempt at a Bluetooth IEM. It’s also the first Bluetooth IEM (or headphone as well for that matter) that I try myself. Being so I was not quite sure what to expect so I was really excited to try them out.
    Built and accessories:
    The accessory pack is good as always with Brainwavz and includes four pairs of tips (one pair of Comply foam tips and three pairs of silicon tips), one pair of silicon wings to help make them stay in place in your ears as well as a charging cable and a zippered case to store them in.
    Built quality is top notch although the housing is pretty large and weight is over 8 gram which is pretty heavy for an IEM. The relatively heavy housing and wide short nozzle made it a challenge for me to get a good fit initially (I’ve got small ear canals) but eventually I was able to get a good seal and a fit that made them stay put in my ears. Isolation is about average for an IEM.
    In spite of being a Bluetooth IEM the BLU-100’s got a cable connecting the housings to each other. This is also where the remote and mic unit is located. The cable is about 60 cm long and I wouldn’t have complained if it had been 10 cm shorter.
    Battery time is stated to be 4 hours and I find that to be correct. The right housing hosts a micro USB port for charging.  
    I’ve really enjoyed the features that the BLU-100 offers. Not having to worry about the cable getting stuck or bringing my phone with me every time I get up from my desk has been great. It’s also been very nice to be able to listen to music while cooking at home.  
    The remote control also works fully with my Xperia Z3 phone (something that’s not often the case) and the mic seem to be of very good quality. To start with I had trouble telling if the headset was on or off but then I realized that it actually tells you if you put them in your ears before turning them on, very nice.
    My general impression is that the BLU-100 feels robust and well thought out and is a really convenient alternative when you’re moving around be so at the office, at home or while working out.
    The Specs:
    Type: Dynamic, 8mm
    Impedance: 30ohms Closed Dynamic
    Sensitivity: 110dB at 1mW
    Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
    Bluetooth version: 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
    I've let them play for over 50 hours and I've used them while working out, at the office and at home and I've not found any weaknesses to the way they're constructed. I've been using them exclusively with my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phone.
    Demo list:
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
    Ane Brun – These Days
    Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
    Alice in Chains – Them Bones
    The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
    Eva Cassidy – Songbird
    Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
    Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
    Celldweller – Unshakeable
    Jack Johnson – Better Together
    Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
    Dire Straits- So Far Away
    Passenger – Let Her Go
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
    As I mentioned initially these are my first pair of Bluetooth IEM’s and being so I didn’t know what to expect from it regarding the sound quality.
    My first impression was that they perform better than I feared and that they'd probably be better for use outside.
    The overall sound signature of the BLU-100 is pretty balanced except for a mid-bass hump.
    To start from the lows the sub bass is present but far from overwhelming. Moving up to the lower mids they’re the most noticeable part of the presentation making the mid-bass pretty dominating. Still the higher mids doesn’t feel recessed and the treble is well present. Overall clarity is good and detail retrieval as well as soundstage is also decent. I would really have liked for the mid-bass to be more toned downed and for the sub bass to have some more impact but the BLU-100 still offers an enjoyable listening experience.
    To be honest the BLU-100 is not an IEM I’d use for critical listening in my home but for use out and about with top 40 kind of music they’re still a solid performer.
    As a total package the BLU-100 is a solid offering. The combination of a decent sound quality and very good usability on this first attempt on a Bluetooth IEM from Brainwavz makes me really looking forward to what they future Bluetooth offerings will be like. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the BLU-100!
      twister6 and hakushondaimao like this.
    1. hakushondaimao
      Nicely done, Peter, and great music list.
      hakushondaimao, May 31, 2015
    2. peter123
      Thank you Eric!
      peter123, May 31, 2015