Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEMs - Reviews
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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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.
 
 
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


 
 
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


 
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
 
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...
Pros: Sounds Nice, Aesthetics
Cons: Battery, Connection
First of all I’d like to thank Audrey from Brainwavz for sending me a pair of the BLU-100 for me to review. To be honest, before I was notified of the BLU I hadn’t even heard of it before. It is indeed a new addition to the Brainwavz lineup and it is very much in an entry level price point, being priced at an attractive $50 ($40 on Amazon), making it more affordable and accessible to people who may be looking for a new IEM. Brainwavz have always been a brand which I have associated with bringing good sound quality at a reasonable price and I hoped that their newest venture would impress me like some of their other models did.
 
What sets this model apart from all the other previous Brainwavz models is that it is wireless, and is a Bluetooth device. Through I am by no means a wireless fan, there have been a few instances where I have indeed been impressed by Bluetooth headphones. However, general, I find that wireless headphones do lose some detail through the transmission. The BLU-100 is priced at a very low price, and I wasn’t entirely what to expect from it, having had mixed feelings about other Brainwavz products.
 
**Disclaimer** These were provided to me in return for an unbiased review. 
 
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Packaging & Accessories
There is nothing flashy in this regard, the BLU-100 comes in a very basic box, with a standard Brainwavz case and manual inside. Inside the case lie the assortment of tips, including a set of Complys, a micro USB cable and 2 ear guides. I found those ear guides really helped keep them in my ears, and were very comfortable, I didn’t find them uncomfortable even after long periods of time. The tips were nice and fitted well, especially if you enjoy Complys. I however, found that my favourite tips were the good old Sony Hybrids after some tip rolling and these were what I used in the review. The hybrids accentuated the bass a tad bit, but not much.

 
 
Design, Isolation & Cable
I must commend Brainwavz for creating a very impressive product for such a low price. The BLU-100 does not feel flimsy or cheap at all, actually they feel like they are very sturdy. The design is well thought out, the fit is very good. However, the one downside to this was that I found it would sometimes cut out for no apparent reason. They cut out completely around 15m away from my phone, but it would cut out temporarily sometimes when I put my phone in my pocket or moved it. The buttons are easy to use and everything works as it should. The charging post is on the right, and it is micro USB, which is nice for easy compatibility. Inside there is a 60mah battery, which apparently lasts 4 hours. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I didn’t test it out so I’ll take Brainwavz’s word; I did try use them continuously for around 3 hours with no problem though. .  Microphonics are not great, but also not too annoying. Overall, Brainwavz has done an excellent job here.

 
The isolation is not fantastic, but it will get the job done in most places. They are quite average in this regards, perhaps scoring a 3.5 on Joker’s IEM scale.
 
The cable is something I have a bit of a gripe with. As mentioned previously, it is a tad microphonic, but also it is too long. IMO it should be a good 8-10cm shorter.
 
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Sound Quality
The sound that these little things put out was actually pleasantly surprisingly for me. Though it is that typical Brainwavz house sound and somewhat predictable, it is safe to say that the BLU definitely exceeded my expectations. Even though it is not the best sounding $50 headset, it does extremely well considering it is wireless. Even if it wasn’t wireless I’d still say that is sounds about average for a wired IEM of this price.

 
 
Bass
The bass is undoubtedly accentuated, and not by a little either. This thing is very much on the bass heavy side and this can either appeal to you or kill the BLU. Personally, I’m not a fan of overly bass heavy headphones, but the BLU-100 did no strike me as an IEM which was overly bass heavy set. Although the mid-bass is quite solid and lingers quite long, I would not say that it really sounds bloated or muddy. Don’t get me wrong though, this is very much warm and the bass is on the slow side of things, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was lively and the detail wasn’t bad either. Overall the bass on this thing was awesome, at least for me.

 
 
Midrange
Initially, I expected the midrange to be veiled because of the heavy bass, but once again, I was surprised by how nice it sounded. As I have stated before in previously reviews, the one thing that I simply cannot stand is a veiled midrange, I hate it more than a piercing treble or muddy bass. Though the bass does somewhat overshadow the midrange, I did not find that the mids were recessed. The upper midrange actually sounds just a little boosted relative to the lower mids. Clarity was decent, nothing special, similar case with detail. There was no sibilance in my experience with the BLU-100.

 
 
Treble
Honestly, the treble was the area that I was perhaps a little let down on. It just didn’t have that kick that makes the music feel energetic and alive. Not to say that the BLU is dull, because it is not, but the treble is a tad to rolled off for my liking. However, this will suit many people as there is no sibilance whatsoever and people who are more sensitive to treble will surely appreciate this. Detail wasn’t great, a little under average for an IEM of this price I would say. Decay is a bit on the faster side and cymbals don’t have that sharp clap to them. The treble will appeal to those who 
want an unfatiguing and smooth upper end, but not to those who favour a neutral all round sound.
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Soundstage & Imaging
The soundstage and imaging are both quite decent, not bad at all for a wireless headset for $50. The soundstage is actually quite wide and has a bit of depth to it, definitely better than most $50 wired IEMs. The imaging is also quite strong, it didn’t get overly congested and sounded fine for most tracks, with no issues whatsoever.

 
 
Separation & Detail
Obviously with its tuning and the fact that it is a wireless IEM, the BLU-100 is not going to excel in these areas and it doesn’t. It is by no means a detail monster, but it does have some detail, just nothing that will blow you away. I’d say it is more detailed than the Earpods for sure though. The separation is also just OK, not great, but you won’t exactly feel let down by it.

 
 
Summary
 
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I actually had a lot of fun with the Brainwavz BLU-100, it is truly an impressive IEM. So who would I recommend this to? Well if you are fine with a wired headset, especially if you are not looking fr an IEM with a mic, there are numerous better sounding options out there. However, the BLU-100 is an excellent choice for people who are looking for a decent entry level wireless IEM. It has a very solid performance and while you won’t be blown away, it has most certainly impressed me. It is getting a 4 star, but it would have been a 4.5 had the few aesthetic issues been resolved. 
 
All the images are from a quick Google Image search, and if you own any one of them and want me t take them down, shoot me a PM. 
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Brooko
Brooko
LOL - well I recognise two of the images, and you're more than welcome to use them.  Did you get many issues with cut-outs in audio (stuttering, drop-outs etc)?
Pros: Appropriate sound signature for outdoor use; good build quality; effective phone call and music controls; aptX!
Cons: battery life could be better; lacks balance when worn around the neck; maximum distance for bluetooth needs improvement
 
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Brainwavz is one of my favourite brands when it comes to reasonably priced IEMs. They seem to always nail it when it in terms of build quality and I am impressed by the sturdiness of their products. Sound quality wise, the R3 is my no. 1 Brainwavz IEM. The R3 sounds mature, refined, and well tuned for a dual-dynamic driver earphones. With the release of their new bluetooth headset, I wondered if they will retain the quality in their work. Fortunately, I've been given the opportunity to review the BLU-100. So lets find out if Brainwavz' entry to the bluetooth headset category can impress me just as much as my last experience...
 
SETUP:  Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and iPhone 5s
               Spotify - extreme quality streaming (320 kbps)
               Using Dunu 1000 stock tips.
 
TEST TRACKS: SPOTIFY
              Australia TOP 50 - charts
              Workout Beats
             
 
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The BLU-100 is a bluetooth headset and I will rate it based on my needs/uses from these types of earphones. The build quality is impressive just like any other Brainwavz product I've used. The cable connecting the two earphones is light, supple, and durable; perfect for the active lifestyle. I'm not saying its perfect because like any other product, there is always room for improvement. When not in use, one can conveniently hang the earphones around the neck. Unfortunately the weight of the in-line mic/remote causes imbalance and so the right earpiece always hangs lower than the left earpiece. Honestly it's not a serious problem but the OCD in me just bothers me to no end. This can be a easily improved hopefully in the next BLU model.
 
The earphones are quite big and I understand this is inevitable because they need to fit a few added goodies comprising a bluetooth headset (drivers, bluetooth, micro usb port, battery). Inspite the size, they fit my ears comfortably and are surprisingly light! The barrel design IEMs were able to stay snug and secure in my tiny ears, another plus that I didn't expect from these types of earphones. Physical activities such as running, exercises, walks, and other day-to-day duties were no hindrance to music enjoyment that the BLU-100 delivers. There's a mild cable noise when running but that's about it. Wind noise can be an issue but it didn't annoy me much as long as I kept a perfect seal and set the volume at reasonably loud levels.
 
Bluetooth connection between devices worked as expected. I didn't have any pairing issues with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and iPhone 5s. As for the stability of the connection, it's been pretty solid 90% of the time. Just like any other small bluetooth devices, there are intermittent interferences depending on your environment and/or situation. I didn't find any serious connection issues that could affect my rating for this bluetooth headset. It definitely worked as expected and for that I'm thankful. I spent 5 hours at IKEA with the BLU-100 and rarely did I get interference. Music through Spotify sounded great! My only gripe is the maximum distance required to keep a stable connection - not as good as the specifications of 10 meters. Real world applications at least in my experience was limited to 3-5 meters, again depending on the environment/situation. Otherwise, keeping the phone/source in my pocket is the ideal scenario for the BLU-100.
 
Phone call controls and mic are well implemented and I found them easy to use. Testing a phone call, voices are clear and quite loud. The person I talked to also confirmed that he can hear me clearly which is really good. There are added features as well such as multiple pairing, voice dial, and last number dial. As for Music controls, they are a breeze to use; well implemented for both Android and IOS phones.
 
Battery duration is well above specifications (4 hrs); a couple of tests I ran reached durations of 4 hours 37 mins and 4 hours 25 mins. This is good as per declared specification but I'd be lying if I said it's enough for travelling. It's definitely enough for day-to-day use but if long travel is the itinerary, make sure to bring a battery pack.
 
 
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The SOUND SIGNATURE of the BLU-100 is ideal for outdoor usage, bassy with great mids and smooth highs. Not necessarily the best but definitely a lot better than most IEMs in the $100 price range that I’ve heard. That even includes non-bluetooth IEMs!

BASS has good slam and impact but can be a bit too emphasised in the mid-bass region for some genres such as rock. There’s a significant boost in the entire bass frequency which I feel is ideal when you're out in a noisy environment. Fortunately, it seldom bleeds too much in the mids and mostly just enough to be negligible when you're out and about. At certain times the bass texture is a bit thick which really benefits most popular music nowadays. Bass quality is actually good enough for the intended purpose of this headset. When you're out doing physical activities, accuracy is not the priority. Music enjoyment to set the mood is ideal and the BLU-100 has the bass kicks to keep you engaged to whatever music you listen to as long as it's not classical music. Decay/speed, detail, and texture are good enough; even better than the S5 if memory serves me right. As a result, other genres such as RnB, Hip-hop, Pop, and Ballads are excellent on the BLU-100.

MIDRANGE is impressive with its clear and detailed presentation which I really appreciate considering the price. Vocals are upfront for both male and female singers; projecting the right emotion when listening to the songs. Guitar sounds natural and edgy… thanks to the slight emphasis in the upper midrange. Clarity is again worth mentioning because it is quite capable for a $100 IEM intended for on-the-go usage. 

TREBLE is quite smooth with this bluetooth headset, this is achieved when using wide bore tips such as the Dunu 1000 silicone tips. Lower treble is quite detailed and transparent which is good for synthesizers in electronic music. There’s a recession in the upper treble which smoothens the entire presentation. This allows loud volume listening because there is no sibilance and it's not fatiguing. Unfortunately, this is not good for serious listening because it lacks the required airy presentation. Despite this limitation, I truly feel the smooth treble tuning was intended to allow listening at higher volumes in noisy environments. Please make sure that you're in a safe environment when doing this because you have to be aware of your surroundings if situated in busy environments where there are vehicles or other potential hazards.

IMAGING AND SOUNDSTAGE: Soundstage width is only average but the presentation is not congested because of the well tuned midrange. It is a bit intimate in its overall projection but good imaging and instrument separation contribute in its cohesiveness. 

 
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CONCLUSION: The BLU-100 is a capable bluetooth headset that is affordable and easy to use. It provides convenience to people who are active and in need of a companion that can deliver good quality music and effective handsfree phone controls. I could've given it 4.5 stars if not for the inconsistency in the maximum distance of its bluetooth connectivity. Other than that, truly an excellent entry for Brainwavz in the bluetooth headset category. Highly Recommended!
 
Special thanks to Brainwavz for the BLU-100 review unit.
AlexF
AlexF
Apple handhelds don't support Apt-X and SBC isn't good enough. Brainwavz needed to include AAC codec into A2DP profile.
d marc0
d marc0
@alexf let's hope Brainwavz includes that in the iteration of their bluetooth headset.
Pros: Great build, Great sound, at a Greater price
Cons: Battery Life, Dust cap design,
This review is for Brainwavz BLU-100 earphones
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Let me introduce myself my name is Adam I am a 38 years old, I have been into audio equipment since I was in highschool. I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I am just an average guy that loves music. I like to listen to my music with the best possible quality. My journey to Head-Fi started one day doing a search on the web for headphone reviews. Just about all searches for headphones and earbuds brings you to Head-Fi, after lurking for a couple weeks I finally made an account and here I am writing reviews. Being on Head-Fi I have learned so much and I am learning something new every day.

 
Since I am your average Tom, Dick, or Harry working a 9 to 5 job, raising 2.5 kids and a dog that know one takes care of but me. My reviews are written geared towards the average consumer since most web searches direct you to Head-Fi. Head-Fi reviews get more traffic than most pro-audio magazine or any designated review site, you won't find my reviews filled with audiophile terms or do I use graphs, meters, or charts the only tools I use are the ones stuck on the side of my head, there cheaper and it's the only tool that matters in the end. To be honest audiophile terms confuse me, some of them have 2 different meanings depending on who you talk to, or the definition says to see another term. Being a simple guy and write know better than a 10th grader, if you have at least a 6th grade education you are in luck. So if you're looking for the other type of review, skip down about 67 pages and you will eventually find one. If you just want to know if this product sounds good and is worth all your hard earned cash, then you're like me then, so keep on reading.
 
There has already been some reviews of the Blu-100’s, some reviews state they have a V-shaped sound signature and some say there neutral. Anyways Brainwavz reached out to me and asked me if I would like to review the Blu-100’s, of course I said yes especially with all the positive reviews on pre-production units. The demo unit I received is a production unit, I would like to say thank you to Audrey at Brainwavz for sending me out a review unit. I am not an employee or am I being compensated for this review, and is based on my honest opinions. Blu-100’s retail for $39.50 from the following link.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
 
Bluetooth ear phones haven’t been known for their fidelity, but over the last couple of years technology has changed with Bluetooth 4.0. Personally when I use bluetooth it’s out of convenience, some of the things I want in a wireless headset is size, active range, battery, and weight. When convenience outweighs fidelity, depending on the circumstances fidelity may not be achieved anyway due to the environment. Earlier bluetooth headsets have been rather bulky and heavy, understandably to house the technology and batteries. The only time I really use bluetooth is when I am exercising or working. While exercising I can throw my source in a gym bag and don’t have to worry about dropping my dap on the ground or getting my headphones wires caught in a weight machine. Going wireless obviously I want the most minimalist ear bud available. Depending on my situation bluetooth is the only way to go, so let’s see how the Brainwavz stacks up.
 
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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 - Pairing - 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

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PACKAGING
 
Brainwavz Blu-100 come in a small white box, with there product photo on the front and the contents of accessories on the back. That’s about it for the packaging it get’s the ear buds from point A to B.

 
ACCESSORIES
 
1 x Comply foam tips
3 x Pairs of ear tips (S/M/L)
2 x Silicone ear clip
1 x Micro USB cable for charging
1 x Hard carrying case
1 x Instruction manual
1 x Warranty card
 
Blu-100’s come with everything you need to get you going, every size silicone tip for proper fit they also included 1 set of Comply foam tips. The nicest surprise was the hard clamshell carrying case with a zipper. Inside you will find a pocket on both sides for your charging cable and ear tips, I have to say I love this case and will be using it to transport some of my other iem’s. Ear buds priced higher don’t even include a case this nice.
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BUILD AND FIT
 
The build quality of the Blu-100’s is mostly an a metal design, the housings are shaped like barrels and painted black. The right earpiece contains the micro usb port for charging. To access the port there is a rubber dust cover that lifts up for access.  The cable connecting the 2 ear pieces is very thin but sturdy, coated in a non-slip rubber material. Right at chin level is the 3 button mic/control for music controls and phone functions. Brainwavz Blu-100’s do have some weight to them being constructed of mostly metal. Although being slightly heavy they seemed to stay in place while moving around and exercising.  I have to say they were pretty comfortable for how far they stick out of my ears.
 
From other bluetooth sets I have used they are one of the smaller ones. Compared to Beats Powerbeats2 wireless they are considerably smaller. Compared to Plantronics Blu-100’s wire seems more flexible and more comfortable. Overall they fit perfectly in my small ears,and where very comfortable for long periods.
 
Being on the smaller size the Blu’s battery life is only rated up to 4 hours, I was perfectly fine with the battery life for the smaller size, they take about 2 hours to fully recharge them. They support Bluetooth 4.0 aptx technology for better audio quality and less battery consumption.  The 3 button mic/controller is just like any other 3 button, it’s also used to pair to your device.
 
The wireless range is about 20-30 feet depending on where I was at, I wouldn’t be straying too far from my source anyway. Overall I couldn’t be happier with the build and fit of the Blu-100’s, they are the nicest wireless earbuds that I have used to date. Especially compared to the price of other Bluetooth headsets that support 4.0 I was really happy to see they did not incorporate ear hooks. I can't stand ear hooks they make behind my ears sweat and they just look goofy. Most of the time you can tell if an ear bud is Bluetooth or wired just by the design, Blu's look more like a regular wired ear bud that I have seen before. Style and fashion are almost as just important as the sound these days, Brainwavz nailed it with the design of these.

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SOUND
 
Now to one of the most important parts the sound, so how do they sound? The majority of my listening was done using my Samsung Alpha streaming Spotify, I also paired them with my AK100II and Lenovo Ultrabook.  Some people hear them as having a V sound signature I would have to disagree. But we all don’t hear alike, that doesn’t mean they're wrong that’s just how they hear them. I hear them as being pretty well balanced. Don’t get me wrong you're not going to be doing critical listening with these, but they do sound better than some  wired earbuds I have heard.  
 
They have a nice neutral sound with a slight emphasis in the mid bass region. Mid-bass is more present then sub-bass without being overdone for my tastes. The mids in the Blu-100 sticks out to me, being there strong point. Very good detail and smooth sound for being wireless. There is a hint of warmthness to them without sounding veiled. Upper frequencies are no slacker either, they have very good clarity and sound pretty balanced to me. Other reviews of the Blu's state to hear them as being elevated and sometimes fatiguing. I don’t hear them as being fatiguing at all.
 
Compared to the Beats Powerbeats2 wireless the Beats have more sub and midbass, with the Blu’s being more controlled and smoother.. The midrange of the Blu’s compared to the Beats is a hands down winner, sounding natural and more detailed. The higher frequencies of the Blu’s also comes out in front of the Beats, with the Beats sounding too laid back and distant. Comparing these 2 wireless ear buds could seem unfair because of the huge price difference, but in the end the Blu’s came out sounding better to my ears with a cheaper price. A lot of people have the conception that higher priced goods will perform better. And this just shows you how far from the truth that is. Some Bluetooth headsets I have used I have experienced a lot of back round hissing noise, with the Brainwavz these were pretty quiet.

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FINAL THOUGHTS
 
For under $40 you can’t go wrong with these, they're built like a rock and will withstand some tough environments. Compared to the other bluetooth iem’s that I have tried these are actually smaller. They sound pretty good with all genres of music and sound exceptional well with pop, hip-hop, rap and electronica. If you're a first time buyer and are curious about wireless iem’s, these are very affordable and I would highly recommend these. Or if you have a pair already and you're not happy with the sound quality. I am very impressed how something this cheap can outperform other products 3  times their price. Having a 4 hour battery life might put some people off, but that's a trade off for how small these are compared to other wireless sets that have a longer battery life. From first laying my eyes on these I was very excited to review them. I like the way they look like regular ear buds, a good amount of other Bluetooth headsets are very bulky to house the batteries and electronics so you wont be walking around looking like a freak.
 
Brainwavz Blu-100's are the first product that I have every heard from Brainwavz, just about all there products are affordable and won't kill your bank account. Hopefully I will have a chance to review some of there other products, I am always looking for a solid product that I don't have to worry about breaking my daughters college fund. Just kidding my daughter will marry someone rich, my luck she will only marry someone named Rich. Thanks for reading I hope I helped anyone interested in buying these.



 
Pros: Affordable, great sounding bluetooth earphone.
Cons: Fit can be problematic.
Brainwavz has consistently provided great value to performance iem's and the BLU-100 is no different. This is their first bluetooth earphone and I would say they did an excellent job.

The BLU-100's come with the best earphone case I've come across. I buy these cases for my other earphones as well. Hard shell case has enough room for the earphones and accessories as well. BLU-100's, three pairs of silicon tips, ear guides, pair of Comply tips and the USB cable all fit without issue.
Build quality of the earphone seem very durable. Housings are made of metal attached by a flat rubbery cable and the three button remote on the right side. The USB charging port is on the right earpiece and it's simple to open and use. Charge time was between one to two hours and play time lasted close to 4 hours.
Button functionality is simple and worked flawlessly for me. Middle button for play/pause. Top button for forward and bottom for rewind. Short press of the top and bottom buttons increase and decrease volume. Long press skips forward or reverses the tracks. Middle button long press turns on or off the earphones. Pairing with my iPhone 6 Plus and my Mac computers was a breeze and after the first pairing, each additional sessions, the source remembered the BLU-100's and pairing was automatic.

Overall sound impressions of this earphone is mostly positive. Slightly v-shaped sound but vocals are not sucked out. Mid-bass emphasis that's not obtrusive to my ears and treble that is sparkly and crisp but lacks some refinement. Not bad considering this is a bluetooth earphone currently priced under $40. More in-depth sound impressions.
Bass depending on fit can be mid-bassy or neutral with a looser fit. I found both signatures quite enjoyable but with a correct fit, these will have a lift in the mid-bass but there is good control and texture. There is no looseness with the bass. When called for, bass does reach well into sub-bass.
Midrange is slightly recessed compared to the bass and treble but vocals come out nicely free of sibilance and grain.
Treble is quite sparkly and crisp but lacks refinement. I hear some graininess at higher volumes but performs better at low to mid volume levels.
The BLU-100's sound seems better controlled at low to mid volume levels but at higher levels it loses some control.
Staging isn't wide or deep but what you hear is well rounded.

Comparing to the Meelectronics Air-Fi Metro2 which retails for $59.99, the BLU-100's 3 buttons are easier to use since it's just better laid out and built. Build goes to the BLU-100's since the Meelectronics is plastic. Housings are also a little smaller on the Brainwavz but fit is similar on both. Sound impressions are that the Meelectronics is more even in the frequencies while the Brainwavz is slightly more v-shaped. Both actually sound quite good for bluetooth earphones but the BLU-100's is the better value in my opinion since it's better built, easier to control and sound is quite competent.

Pros: Bluetooth, Form factor, Price
Cons: Battery Life
 

  Firstly, like to thank Audrey from Brainwavz for supplying a BLU-100 to review. This is my first review for a Bluetooth IEM and also my first one that I have listened too.

 Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
 
The BLU-100 comes in a very standard retail box. It comes with standard accessories which include 3 Pairs of Silicone ear tips (S, M, L), 1 set of Comply foam tips, an ear clip, a USB charging cable and a nice clam-shell zippered case. 
 
First impression when holding the BLU-100, is the size and weight. The housings are quite large, which is understandable, as they have to hold the driver and the Bluetooth internals. They are also a little heavier than most IEM’s that I have used, but I didn’t notice fatigue once I started using them.
The ear tips are connected with a single cable, which also holds the remote calls and music controls. I would like to have had a cable clip with the accessories, as I found they can fall off if you take one ear out to listen to someone else while wearing them, but this is not a major issue.
 
Connecting to my phones was simple and easy. The BLU-100 makes a connect sound and the light (which is very dim) also lets you know. Charging is done via a Micro USB connector inside the right driver housing, which is easily accessible. Charge time is around 2 hours, which will give you close to 4 hours playback. This was pretty accurate, although I never went over 4 hours.
 
Sound Quality 
 
Given that these are my first wireless IEM’s, I was not expecting too much. Well, I was very surprised. These produce very decent sound, not critical listening IEM’s but a great all round IEM that can reproduce good amount of detail for most music. The IEM’s are definitely suited to bass/mid lovers, but the treble was still smooth.
 
The Bass: BLU-100 bass is somewhat punchy, aimed more towards mids then low end sub bass. Still producing a good amount. Bass heads will still be satisfied.
The Mids: The mids are laid back, and not really a great feature. But there is still a good amount of detail to satisfy most listeners.
 
The Treble: The treble has reasonable extension, which gets even better after the burn in. Like the mids, the treble is detailed and clear, but you feel that bass was more important in the design of this earphone. Still pretty good sound overall
 
The sound-signature is, warm and smooth, with a good amount of bass. 
 
Conclusion
 
The BLU-100 is a great all round IEM. For under $50, you can’t go wrong with all the features that is on offer. Having Bluetooth connectivity, this is an awesome little IEM that cuts the wire. I would see this as more outdoors style IEM and most listeners will find the sound to be more than suitable. I consider these a very good all round earphone.
 
 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
 
--
Specification
  1. Drivers Dynamic: 8mm
  2. Rated Impedance: 30Ω closed Dynamic
  3. Frequency Range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
  4. Sensitivity: 110 dB @ 1 mW
  5. Bluetooth 4.0 Codec aptX™
  6. Max Distance: 10mt(30ft)
  7. Battery: 60mAh
  8. Playtime/Standby: 4hrs/100hrs
  9. Charge Time: 2hrs(USB)
  10. Noise Cancellation: CVC echo/noise
  11. Voice Prompt: Yes
  12. Profiles: HFP HSP A2DP
  13. Pairing: Dual Pairing
  14. In-Line Remote/Mic
Pros: Easy to Use, Portability, Price
Cons: Battery Life, Bass, Treble Harshness
Introduction:
Brainwavz is a company that has been making some nice budget earphones for quite a few years now. Recently, Brainwavz released their first Bluetooth earphone, the Blu-100, and a couple review units were sent out for reviews. I received my unit from Brainwavz as a review unit. I’ve posted my objective impressions here to help those interested in the new Brainwavz Bluetooth headphone to decide whether it’s right for them or not, and as always, my review is in no way influenced by Brainwavz and I am not affiliated with Brainwavz in any way.
 
Packaging and Accessories:
When I first received the package from Brainwavz, I was a bit surprised. I’ve always liked the packaging that came with Brainwavz earphones, but the Blu-100 came in a significantly smaller package. The box the Blu-100 came with was also a bit beat up. I definitely prefer the packaging of the other models that has a sturdier plastic packaging, and I’m not sure why Brainwavz opted for the flimsy box for the Blu-100 – it’s not like the Blu-100 is a significantly cheaper model or anything.
 
Regardless, everything got to me unharmed besides the box itself, so no real harm done. Upon opening the box, you find the typical Brainwavz carrying case with the Blu-100 themselves, a USB cable, and some ear tips. A rubbery device that’s supposed to help the Blu-100 fit into the ear more easily is also included. Overall, all the necessary accessories are present but it’s certainly not anything fancy.
 
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Packaging and Included Accessories
 
Design, Build, and Comfort:
As with most Brainwavz earphones, the housing is quite sturdy and made mostly of metal. The left and right earpieces are clearly labeled and don’t seem like they’ll be scratched off anytime soon. The housing is light-weight, but can feel somewhat heavy at times as they also tend to stick out of my ears quite a bit. But with the help of the extra rubber ear fit (thingy?) they included, the Blu-100 fits into my ears quite nicely. Isolation is fairly average for an in ear and it gets the job done, but isn’t anything spectacular.
 
The cable is non-detachable and is a flat cable similar to some of the other portable earphones that Brainwavz offers. However, the cable is significantly thinner than the likes of the S5 and is significantly more manageable and with reduced cable noise.
 
The included control-talk microphone has a plastic housing with responsive buttons that have a nice click to them and a microphone that has surprisingly good quality. People I’ve talked to on the other end of the line have told me that there is an improvement in clarity of my voice.
 
Charging is easily done by opening the cap on the right earpiece, which reveals a micro USB port for charging. The battery life of the Blu-100 is very short, at only around 4 hours of music playing or calls. This is what really limits the Blu-100 and where it becomes a niche product. If you’re looking for something wireless to use at work that doesn’t clutter up the desk with extra cables, this product is not for you. The Blu-100 is truly for portable use – and portable use only. These are perfect for those that need something easy and simply to use for community to and from work or for something like going to the gym.
 
In terms of Bluetooth, there have been many reports of the Blu-100 not functioning particularly well or cutting out.  I’m not sure if Brainwavz has resolve any issues with the Blu-100 since those review or not, but I had no trouble my unit. I was able to get about 20 feet away from my phone while still retaining connection when there was nothing obstruction the connection (walls for example). While out and about, I had absolutely no problems with the Bluetooth connection with my phone in my pocket (which seems to have been a problem for some). Now, I do admit that I’m no techy and not particularly well versed in terms of Bluetooth technology, so I can’t give much more than my experience with the Blu-100. All I can offer is that I had no issues with the Bluetooth and syncing was a breeze with both my HTC One M8 and my girlfriend’s iPhone 5C.
 
One thing I did find disappointing is that the Blu-100 has a little bit of hiss that was noticeable for me. It’s not a big issue and won’t be for most people using a portable earphone anyways, but it was something I picked up.
 
Overall, I found the design of the Blu-100 to be solid for the price and very easy to use.
 
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Blu-100 With Cap Open Revealing Micro USB Jack
 
Sound Impressions:
Bass
The Blu-100 has an overall V-shape tuning so the bass is somewhat elevated (but not to the extent of something like Brainwavz’s S5). When I first listened to the Blu-100, I was in a car. I heard almost no bass from them, which confused me very much. Most of Brainwavz’s IEMs have had fairly prominent bass – had Brainwavz come out with a neutral IEM? Why in a portable Bluetooth IEM?
 
It turns out that wasn’t the case. The Blu-100 has a bit of a midbass bump, but with quite an early bass roll off. The drivers don’t move much air past 30 Hz. What you end up with is not a whole lot of subbass punch, and a fairly prominent mid bass that is nonetheless really lacking in tightness of impact – which explains why I couldn’t hear the bass in a car (most of the lower frequencies tend to get drowned out and the lack off a tight impact meant that bass hits basically disappear as well). Overall, the bass lacks some texture and didn’t leave me particularly impressed.
 
Midrange
The midrange is honestly very impressive for a Bluetooth headphone that can be found for under 50 dollars. Vocals come out as being relatively natural sounding and clean sounding, although overall detail retrieval is nothing to be wowed over.
 
Treble
The treble is somewhat elevated on the Blu-100, which gives the IEM a nice crisp sound. The treble at times can be a bit harsh due to the extra sparkle and, at louder volumes, the treble can get quite hot and tend to distort a bit, causing a grainy and harsh sound.
 
Soundstage/Imaging
The Blu-100 offers a fairly in-your-head experience. As a relatively low cost Bluetooth IEM, it’s nothing to gripe over as I wouldn’t expect much out of it. Despite that, I found the overall sound to be pretty clean, meaning that the smaller soundstage doesn’t particularly smear the sound all that much.
 
Summary on Sound
Overall, I quite like the sound of the Blu-100. The Blu-100 has a fun tuning that is sort of an in-between of the Brainwavz S0 and S5. The Blu-100 doesn’t have the thickness in the lower midrange that the S0 can have, and it doesn’t have the overly hot treble that the S5 can have. Overall, I think sound-wise, the Blu-100 is a solid contender in the realm of lower cost Bluetooth earphones.
 
Conclusion:
Honestly, I think Brainwavz has a really solid product here. My experience with it has been very good and, besides a few complaints in terms of sound and battery life, there isn’t all that much to complain about with the Blu-100. However, I can’t help feeling a bit unsure about purchasing the Blu-100 for myself as there has been quite a bit of report with issues regarding the Bluetooth connection dropping out or being inconsistent. In  my experience, however, Brainwavz has had very good customer service and I’m sure you would be able to get a pair that has a consistent Bluetooth connection.
 
The Brainwavz Blu-100 gets a thumbs up from me, and it’s actually one of the more enjoyable product I’ve gotten to try from Brainwavz, despite it not being superior in sound quality compared to the more expensive offerings from Brainwavz.
 
Link to the Blu-100 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
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Pros: Good bassy sound, comfortable, easy to setup
Cons: May be too bassy for some, only a 20 ft range, still has a cord
Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEM
 
http://www.yourbrainwavz.com/blu100.html
 
BLU-100_Box.jpg
 
BLU-100_Back.jpg
 
BLU-100_Items.jpg
 
BLU-100_Ear.jpg
 
SPECS:
 
http://www.yourbrainwavz.com/blu100.html
 
 
BLU-100_Specs.jpg
 
BLU-100_Specs2.jpg
 
 
WHERE TO BUY / COST:
 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
 
$50 new
 
TEST TRACKS
 
1901 by Birdy – Tests high treble, clarity, and overall feel of a headphone’s fun factor.
 
I Shall Not Be Moved by Damon Fowler – Used to test the punchiness of drums, coherence of the midrange, and vocals.
 
 
OVERVIEW
 
If, like me, you often exercise with IEMs the necessity for simplicity and total functionality is a must.  Brainwavz’s answer to this quest is the BLU-100 bluetooth IEM.  Acoustically a bit bass heavy for my tastes the BLU-100 attempts to satisfy our craving for such a headphone.  It is easy to setup, connected easily to my iPod, and has a range of approximately 6m (20ft) indoors.
 
AESTHETICS
 
The BLU-100 is designed well in that is is colorful, well labeled, and easy to look at.  Nothing pokes out as being poorly made or badly executed.  Both earpieces are joined with a 58cm (23in) cable including a three botton control installed near the right earpiece.
 
The accessory package is much more complete than most any other IEM in its price point.  Brainwavz includes a pair of Comply foam tips and wing-flanges on top of their standard tip selection, a welcomed thought.
 
ACOUSTICS
 
I tested the BLU-100 using an iPod touch 5th Gen as I use it as my primary travel music companion.  The frequency response is definitely bass shifted, but not so much so that my standard set of test tracks were mismanaged.  When I exercise I am not really doing any critical listening a little more oomph on the low end is welcomed.
 
1901 by Birdy was very enjoyable with noticeable emphasis on the low end and some roll off in the treble.  The midrange remained full, but at times the soundstage became congested end clustered.
 
Now We Are Free reveals some of the limitations of the BLU-100.  The treble is obviously rolled off.  The sizzle and metallic snap of the cymbals is missing along with the hollow sound of the woodwind instruments.  A fun track, but a little treble shy.
 
CONCLUSION
 
With the boom in headphones these days it is very pleasant to see Brainwavz successfully competing in the market.  They keep price and performance in mind not trying to tip either scale, one of the primary reasons I like their products.  The BLU-100 is modeled after a ton of other higher end Bluetooth IEMs, but at almost half the price.  Take the Jaybird BlueBuds X for example.  If a Bluetooth IEM of this type is on your list I have no qualms recommending the BLU-100 from Brainwavz.
Pros: Fit, connectivity, apt-x!!!!
Cons: only 4 hours of listening time, an audible hiss when not playing music
Gallery:
 
http://imgur.com/a/bMe6a
 
Introduction:
 
Being on mailing lists is dangerous.  That daily MassDrop email, notifications from EarPhoneSolutions, etc… always making me spend my money.  Well, a recent email from MP4Nation introducing the Brianwavz blu-100 bluetooth IEMs peaked my interest.  The pre-order discount, plus the use of some store points meant they would cost me $31.00 shipped (MSPR $44.50).  At that price I figured what the hell, and placed the order.  
 
Accessories:
 
When the blu-100 arrived, I was pleased to see the box was nice and compact.  I hate excess packaging, it’s such a waste.  Opening the box reviewed the usual warranty card and a zippered semi-hardshell case.  Packed inside the case are the blu-100 IEM, a USB charging cable, one pair of comply foam tips (medium), three hybrid silicon tips (medium set pre-installed), and rubber ear locks.  The accessories included are exactly what you need / want, and nothing more.  The case is nice too, as I have been tossing this in my bag all week (I bike to work) and no issues yet.
 
Specifications - copied from MP4Nation.net product description
 
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
 
Fit:
 
The blu-100 is certainly on the large side, but given that it is wireless, that is to be expected.  It feels a bit heavier than other IEMs as well.  That said, I have had zero issues with the fit.  The blu-100, using the medium hybrid silicon tips fits snuggly in my ears and stays put, even when at the gym.  If the silicon tips don’t keep them in your ears, the included comply foam S-400 tips should do the trick.  Additionally, the rubber ear locks will help keep them secure.  It’s nice to see that Brainwavz has provided options to ensure the fit is good for the majority of people.  The only con to fit is that the cable did stick to my neck a few times when wearing a shirt that had a rather large neck opening.  When I turned my head I felt a tug on the IEM, but it didn’t come out.
 
Function:
 
The blu-100 can be paired with two devices, and that works great because I have it paired with my Apple MacBook Air, and with my LG G3 smartphone.  When turning on the blu-100 (OK the more I type the product name, the more I feel like it should be an e-cig) with a three second press of the middle button, a voice notifies you that the power is on.  That same voice will let you know when the device is connected, and when it powers off.  If the device becomes disconnected, an audible beep repeats ever few seconds until you re-connect or power off the blu-100.  
 
The three button remote is your standard affair with volume up and down, and play/pause in the center.  The play/pause button doubles as the answer/end call button.  A full review of the manual will outline the other functions, including how to fast forward, rewind, skip tracks, and use voice commands for your phone or computer.  
 
In my daily use, the blu-100 has worked great with iTunes, in which all outlined controls function as advertised.  When using Rdio on my phone, functions work as well.  However, the volume buttons on the blu-100 seem to control an internal volume, and I am able to adjust the volume on my phone separately.  To make this easy, I have been seeing the volume on my phone to just below max volume, and using the volume up/down on the remote of the blu-100.  When using Pandora on my Android device however, results have been poor at best.  The volume up/down work just as with Rdio (or any other audio on my smartphone and computer), but the play/pause feature and skip track option do not function.  This is not a deal breaker, but is worth noting.  
 
Listening time is spot on at about 4 hours, just as promised.  It feels odd charging headphones daily this past week.  Fortunately, these do charge somewhat quickly, in around 1.5 hours from drained to full.  Charging time will vary based on the wall charger or computer you are using.  One of the only major cons is that I wish the 60mah battery were larger, to allow for longer listening time.  Eight hours would be nice, to get me through a full day of use.
 
This probably goes without saying, but to just to confirm, the blu-100 does not have a passive mode.  If the battery is dead, you don’t have sound.
 
Sound:
 
Having a decent collection of IEMs ranging from the Westone UM3X and UE Triple.Fi 10, to the SE215 and Audeo PFE 012, all the way down to $20 Panasonic and Apple Ear Pods, I have ALWAYS preferred wired earphones.  I have owned a couple pair of bluetooth on-ear headphones previously, and they lasted all of a week or three before they were sold off.  The artifacting and compression that comes along with bluetooth use is just something I can’t get passed.  Fortunately, the blu-100 alleviates this issue with the implementation of the apt-x codec.  The audio quality, in regards to bluetooth compression is more than acceptable. 
 
The one issue that does plague just about any bluetooth device is present here as well, however.  I am speaking of the background hiss.  For $44.50 I didn’t expect a complete silent device, and I got what I expected.  That said, the hiss is usually only audio been no other sound is playing.  As soon the music starts I stop noticing it.  It has peeked through a few times when listening to pod casts or if a song has a spot of silence or a very quite part.  For the most part it isn’t an issue.
 
When it comes to sound signature, the blu-100 is on the darker side, and it certainly has a v-shaped sound.  The bass is full bodied, and hits nice and low.  It is certainly boosted.  To be honest, most of the time I don’t want this.  However, I purchased the blu-100 with an intent to use them at the gym, and in this situation, I want bass, and lots of it.  It helps me get into the music and forget about the pain of working out (don’t tear your shoulder at the batting cages ok kids).  The bass is full, but is boomy and not the most well defined.  
 
When it comes to the midrange, you’ll find it is a bit recessed.  Vocals are still very present, and lively.   This makes the blu-100 feel a bit darker, but the sound is still pleasing and musical.
 
The treble on these is slightly boosted, but oddly enough, rolls off in the upper range.  It is never sibilant or harsh, and lacks a bit of sparkle.  But what is there is clean and helps to bring the music to life.  In short, the treble is polite.  
 
Overall, the blu-100 is very warm, and reminds me a lot of the Shure SE215.  That said, the blu-100 is lacking in the detail and resolution provided by the SE215, but not by much.  The blu-100 is not without it’s shortcomings, but for its intended use, I have been very happy with them.  At the gym, these have been exactly what I want / need.  They fit well, get out of the way thanks to the behind the neck cord, and sound good enough.  These are not an audiophile’s dream, but for portable use and gym use they certainly get the job done, and quite well.  I would even suggest that these would be great for the non-audiophile in your life.  
 
 
TL;DR - the blu100 is a good but not great wireless IEM for gym use, at $44.50 it is worth a buy.
 
 
*note, I have not taken or received any calls with these.  I talk on the phone ALL DAMN DAY at work, so I tend not to use the phone outside of work.  Other’s who have reviewed the blu-100 say the call quality is fine.  
Pros: Nice signature, good vocals, good SQ, Wroks nicely for calls too, Awesomely priced and accessorised.
Cons: Nothing for the price you pay.

 Intro:-
 All of us have heard about Brainwavz as one of the brand which believes in bang for buck products. Last time they ventured into an entry level amplifier, this time around they have introduced their first Bluetooth device, BLU-100. I don’t know how but it is priced at $45 and was going for $35 thanks to their introductory offer.
 Now let me tell you that it’s not the first time I am using a Bluetooth device, but my last one was a headphone, and I gave it to my father as he commute a lot (and mostly because it was not as good as I wanted it to be).
 This time around I was excited, cuz after reviewing this much of Brainwavz product I was sure that they won’t introduce a product which lacks SQ, at least it will compete with similarly priced earphones.
 And about me, I like balance, a good balance with some stage and spark will keep me seated. Not much bothered about bass till its tight and precise. It is nice when mids are not left in the valley.
 
 Let me thank @Salsera and Brainwavz for giving me this opportunity to review BLU-100.
 
 IMG_20150521_111604.jpg IMG_20150521_111619.jpg
 
 IMG_20150521_111625.jpg   Screenshot_2015-05-21-12-27-46.png

Accessories and miscellaneous:-
 Just like every earphone from Brainwavz, BLU-100 too comes with that usual red black box. There are 4 pairs of tips. 3 are color matching neon green core silicon tips and a pair of comply S-400 tip. I am using the large silicon tip. There is a pair of wings too, like CKX-9 but its smaller and wider here. You get a cable wrap to keep the cable organized while not using. You get a micro USB cable too to charge the device. The port is behind a flap on the back of the right earpiece.
 Build is good, even if it’s made of plastic, it looks strong, I have no problem with the size, stays in nicely, one of my friend who tried it complained about the weight but it’s just fine for me. Wear it behind the neck and forget it. If you are worried about microphonics and stress relievers, just chill, we are dealing with a Bluetooth device here and there is a big portion after the cable to hold the earphone so you don’t have to put your finger on the stress relievers while putting it in and pulling out, still stress relievers are there to save the joints from accidental damages. And the flat cable looks solid to me.
 You can wear it any way you want, over ear, cable down, no problem.
 Isolation is just above average, not as bad as Titan-1 and not as good as SHE-9850, but similar to S0. Comfort is good, but S0 is a bit more comfortable thanks to its smaller for factor.
 While on the bike, I noticed some wind noise, it’s not bad but it’s there.
 I like the way it instructs, powered on, pairing and power off, it is acceptable.
 I think I should tell you about how to get started with, should i?
 
 IMG_20150521_113830_HDR.jpg IMG_20150521_114106_HDR.jpg
 
 IMG_20150521_113659_HDR.jpg IMG_20150601_110706.jpg

 Getting started with:-
 I used it my J3 which has BT abilities along with Redmi 1S and Zenfone 2. Pairing it with any of these devices was easy.
 Just press the middle button for 2-3 seconds and a small LED starts blinking, means its ready, if you have it in your ear, it speaks out “power on”, it’s a nice feature, leave it on for a few more seconds and it start searching for nearest Bluetooth devices to pair with, and the feedback is “pairing”, cool right? And when you select it from your device it says “connecting”, sweet!!
Me likey!!
 When connected two extra icons can be seen on the notification bar, one of for BT connectivity and other is for Headset functionality.
 Then you can play your music, Controls are easy too, start your music app, press the middle button once and you are good to go. Press it again to pause.
 Interestingly a double tap to the middle button will dial the last No. you called. As usually remotes operate, you have to press the middle button once to receive and end calls.
 A long press of the volume up and down button results with change of tracks, obviously pressing it once will turn the volume up or down from BLu-100, not of your source.
 
 As I mostly say, no problems!! But not here, I have some problem with range. It reads 10 meters but its close to 4-5 meters, And once you start moving, this get bad. Frames starts to drop and once you are beyond 4 meters away, it gets worse. If a wall is in between you and your source, just forget it, it’s a no go irrespective of the distance. And sometimes bones too can interrupt streaming.
 So my advice is to keep your deice in your pocket, don’t leave it here and there while using BLU-100.
   I experienced some lag too, mostly when I play some game, its like 500ms to 1s late. Its not a bad thing but annoying as the demon screams after its already dead and my car crashes after its already crashed!! Nothing else, it’s me being slightly hard at it.
 It is time for SQ assessment.
 
 IMG_20150601_110616.jpg IMG_20150601_110648.jpg

 Sound quality:-
  Where is my VSD5!! And S0? yeah, got it, but comparisons after SQ.
 Its fairly balance to me, it feels like that because of its more forward and eager mids. I like it, its bassy never the less, and spark is there too. Its signature is warm and dark but not as dark as S0, sounds lush and cohesive too.
So here we go with Bass:-
 Bass has enough impact and oomph to satisfy, goes deep enough, moves enough air too, sub bass is good too, has nice extension for a BT device, but there is a mid bass hump which ruins things a bit, drags itself into the mids and hampers the decay too resulting in a slightly muddy and laid back presentation. Otherwise things are good with the lows. Quality is good, precise and to the point where for a minute I thought I can compare it to Titan-1 but Titan-1 has more precision speed superior quality, and has a smaller mid bass hump too, but can be compared for resolution, BLU-100 is not vivid but has similar resolution.
 It has nice quantity and impact, mid bass quantity is just okay for me, slightly more would have put me off.
 Mids:-
 This is the part of the spectrum that has impressed me the most, its forward enough to make me forget those loop holes in the mids, soothing when listening to male vocals and sharp with Female vocals, feels awesome when listening to Tove Lo habits and Mr. Probz Waves, nicely done. Has given enough emphasis to vocals, instruments on the other hand are slightly Messed up. As I said it lacks some instrument clarity and are not vivid enough to do so. Micro detailing is a thing one should forget about while using these. Some guitar work, some triangle work, some cymbals too are turned down.
 The best thing is its forwardness with vocals. Other things are not so good.  And when you get onto trance and high BPS songs full of instruments and vocals, BLU-100 just falls apart, its unable to handle this much of information. So no critical listening can be done with this, and good for casual listening without bothering about cables and microphonics.
 Pop and hip hop tracks sound nice, vocal tracks are best suited with lesser instruments.
Highs:-
 The nicer the lesser you talk about it. Its not like its totally missing but it lacks extension, there is some upper mid spark which extends up to lower highs, but that’s it, over that its muted, lacks enough energy to be clear, but till that slump its got more than enough energy, more than S0 to be precise. And its not bad, it just lacks much needed extension. Cymbals are okay, guitars are good, but when you get into some fast paced music with some serious instrument work, it falls flat, everything gets messed up, giving up much details, so play some slow jams, with lesser instruments, trance and house is just okay as the just use synthesizers in the track and it is just fine. If the track has some more things playing in the background, it will not sound nice.
 So stick to pop, and hip-hop, not rock, if rock don’t expect details.

 P_20150601_111842.jpg P_20150601_112639_BF.jpg

VS S0:-
 S0 has deeper bass, more sub bass, decay is better and has lesser bleed to mids, very slight to be precise, mid bass hump is not as prominent, Mids are laid back and vocals are not as appealing as BLU-100, thankfully it can keep up with fast paced songs and does better with rock trance and house music too. But then it lacks some upper mid energy of the BLU-100 which puts me off. Has better top end extension but its kind of not enough as it lacks spark. Border line dark will be the best word for S0 where Blu-100 is slightly brighter and warmer.
 I think it’s a tie, or say not comparable head to head, I can compare any earphone with any other but its different case here.

 Conclusion:-
Better than my first BT headphone which was muddy and boomy with so much bass bolt that its mids were shadowed, sadly I never went for another BT device, I know that they will lack something when compared to wired ones or I will have to shell out some pretty penny which I am not willing to.
 But BLU-100 is more balanced, far better, mid bass is just at the border, vocals are good and mids are manageable, you get to run around without worrying about the wire getting caught up with something. It is a good companion for gym work outs or morning walks, you get to pick calls effortlessly and call clarity is superb too. Better then my 1s and similar to Zenfone 2.
 All I would like to have is some more extension with the highs and lesser mid bass with better reception. I hope the next BT earphone from Brainwavz will be like this. With a higher price tag obviously.
 But for $45, asking for awesome clarity and details from a BT earphone is a bit too much.
 I wont call it fantastic, I wont call it bad, its good, and can give nightmares to similarly priced BT devices.
 
 Here is the link to this BT earphone device.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
 
 I stop here, that is it from me. Thanks for reading.

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 Cheers!! good day to you all.
 
 
peter123
peter123
Nice work!
 
I really enjoyed reading it :)
suman134
suman134
Thanks, glad that you liked it.
Pros: solid build quality, good overall performance and great pricing
Cons: some graininess, a bit too boosted mid bass, can sound a bit busy
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YDVY34Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bluetooth+earphones
 
First off, I want to thank Brainwavz and Audrey for this BLU-100 unit.
 
Packaging and Accessories
 
20150512_232337.jpg
 
I received the BLU-100 before its release and it came in the Brainwavz iem case without the final retail packaging, so I can’t comment on it. As far as the Brainwavz case goes, I’ve mentioned multiple times that it’s my favorite iem case. It’s quite tough and specious and can easily fit a pair of iems and a small DAP like a Sansa.
 
20150512_232547.jpg
 
Inside the case was the BLU-100 itself, a USB cable for charging, and a small gray bag with the included silicone tips, as well as a pair of ear fins. The single flange silicone tips come in 3 sizes. As usual with Brainwavz a pair of comply foam tips packaged separately was included in the other pocket of the case to complete the package.
 
Build Quality, Design and Fit
 
20150512_232205.jpg
 
The Brainwavz BLU-100 has metal housing and feels quite solid without being too heavy. The cable is flat and as I’ve mentioned many times before, I personally am not a huge fan of the current flat cable trend. The cable seems sturdy enough but is prone to kinks and memory.The strain reliefs look substantial enough. 
 
20150601_224838.jpg
20150512_232302.jpg20150512_232313.jpg
 
 
 
 
 
Design-wise the BLU-100 is fairly standard for this type of bluetooth iems but maybe Brainwavz could have gone for a bit longer and angled nozzles. Otherwise, the straight-barrel housings are a bit chunky but don’t protrude too much out of the ears. There is a plastic flap covering the charging port on the right earpiece, which seems sturdy but only time will tell how it will hold up, especially given the slightly short battery life, which is around 4 hours. There are also 3 control buttons and a mic found on the cable below the right earpiece, which do their job but maybe could have been a bit more rounded and less sharp around the edges.
 
The fit is good with the provided tips but I settled with other tips though – a split between spinfit and meelec m6’s single flanges. The isolation is surprisingly good.
The BLU-100 is meant to be worn straight down but I found myself preferring them in an over-the-ear configuration. Microphonics aren’t bad but a different choice of cable could have improved that. There is no driver flex.
 
Sound
 
20150601_224758.jpg
 
This time around it would have been hard to manage 50-100 hours of burn-in, so the BLU-100 probably has arout 15-20 hours of standard use at the time of writing this review.
Initially I was going to post my review with impressions based only on the performance of the BLU-100 with my Galaxy A3 but later got a Galaxy S5 from a friend to test the performance with an apt-X enabled device and base my review on it.
 
The bass is quite present. It has decent speed but lacks some depth. The mid-bass is boosted a tad too much and while the impact is pretty big it’s on the soft side. The low end does blend well with the overall smooth presentation of the BLU-100 though.
 
The mids are slightly laid back. The overall tonality is on the warm side. Clarity is decent and there was definitely an improvement moving to a device supporting apt-X. In comparison the BLU-100 sounded somewhat busy and compressed with my A3, which made it muddier. Male vocals have good presence but the enhanced mid-bass adds air to them making them full but lacking some focus. Female vocals, on the other hand, are more relaxed and a bit grainy due to some dryness in the lower treble. Overall the mids are not overly warm and V-shaped and have a nice tone and musicality.
 
The BLU-100 lacks some energy in the lower treble but is not prone to pointing out sibilance and fairly smooth. It is a bit dry though. It’s low on sparkle but has good upper treble presence and there is a good amount of shimmer. The treble is another area where for me the apt-X definitely contributed positively.
 
BLU-100 is relatively spacious with above average width but is lacking a bit in the depth department. The separation is pretty good but the layering is lacking and the BLU-100 can sound busy at times even with apt-X.
 
Summary
 
Brainwavz BLU-100 turned out to be quite a competent performer, especially given its budget pricing. I personally have no complaints about the battery life as with bluetooth iems longer battery life requires larger housings or extra pods on the cable. For what it is – an affordable bluetooth iem and a first attempt for such a product by Brainwavz, the BLU-100 is getting the job done surprisingly well.
Pros: Excellent price-to-performance ratio. Includes features you'll usually see on more expensive sets.
Cons: Too much midbass focus. 4-hour battery life.
 

Intro

SAM_0065.jpg
 
Before I begin, I would like to thank Audrey at Brainwavz for providing a review sample of the BLU-100 in exchange for my honest opinion. Please note that I am neither an affiliate of Brainwavz nor any of its staff, nor am I being paid to write this review. Also, please take all following opinions with a grain of salt. All opinions expressed in the following review are strictly my own unless otherwise specified, and all pictures are taken and owned by me.
 
Wow…okay, so it’s been quite a while since I last got a review up. I’ve been pretty busy the past weeks that I haven’t been able to write something up in so long. By now, however, things are finally getting back in full swing, and DB Headphones is back in business!
 
Anyways, this week we’re yet gain taking a look at Brainwavz’ latest offering – a Bluetooth IEM. Now, to audiophiles like me, Bluetooth is by far the last thing we would take a look at if we’re looking for a new earphone or headphone by sound quality alone – the wireless audio transmission at this point just isn’t advanced enough to provide the same audio quality wired connections offer (just like how wired is better than wireless in gaming peripherals). But having already seen what Brainwavz is capable of doing, I was more than interested in taking up Audrey’s offer to review these new IEMs. Will they stand up to their wired counterparts? Read on and find out!
 
 

== Aesthetics ==

Packaging, Accessories

SAM_0068.jpg
 
The package I received was a pre-production package, so I didn’t get to receive the BLU-100 inside full retail packaging. However, all of the accessories which are to be found in the retail release are all here, which includes:
  1. 3 pairs of silicone eartips
  2. a pair of Comply S-400 foam eartips
  3. a pair of silicone fins (more on this later)
  4. a USB to Micro USB charging cable
  5. a nifty Velcro cable tie
  6. and their signature red-and-black hard zipper case
 
As always, Brainwavz delivers with an impressive amount of accessories which are sure to prove useful even outside of the BLU-100’s main uses.
 
 

Design, Build, Microphonics

SAM_0085.jpg
 
Brainwavz employed full-metal housings for their BLU-100 IEMs, which is particularly impressive especially at their retail price of just under $50. The cable, although a little thin, feels quite solid and is properly relieved at both ends. Its three-button remote is situated by the right earpiece, and the Micro USB charging port is situated in the right earpiece, protected by a plastic cap. Build-wise there’s little to complain about if at all.
 
However, the BLU-100’s housings do leave me wanting. I don’t particularly like their barrel-shaped housings, not just because they look rather crude, but because they stick out of one’s ears quite a bit, which makes them very uncomfortable when laying on one’s side. A good example of what I’m looking for is the Plantronics Backbeat Go 2, which prevents that problem while still retaining a sleek, compact form factor. There’s also its flat cable, which, despite having little to no cable noise, is quite long and does trail around my back quite a bit – to make matters worse, there also isn’t any cable cinch to keep the excess cable at bay. Of course, these are all just personal gripes for me, but the bulky housings can translate into fit issues for some people (luckily I don’t happen to be one of those people).
 
 

Fit, Comfort, Isolation

The BLU-100, as I stated earlier, fits perfectly fine in my ears, staying secure while running or playing sports. The BLU-100 employs a shallow fit, which translates to somewhat below-average isolation. Then again, once the music starts playing, that doesn’t become much of an issue. They’re also quite comfortable in my ears with the Comply foam eartips, although I can’t really say the same for the silicone eartips as they don’t really create a proper seal in my ears. However, I found that I get headaches from the BLU-100 after only 15 minutes of listening. I still haven’t pinpointed what causes this, although at this point I’m guessing it’s the housings themselves, which seem to be completely unvented – and that’s a pretty big deal for a couple reasons (see side note below).
 
(Side Note: Why is the BLU-100’s unvented design such a big deal? Well, the BLU-100 employs a dynamic driver, which is in layman’s terms your common IEM driver. However, dynamic drivers require at least some degree for ventilation for proper airflow as these drivers move air by design [just like speakers and headphones]. Without proper venting, the only air it moves is the one left inside your ear canals – and with the existing pressure inside the ears, it can cause undue pressure in them, which translates to the headaches I suffer while wearing them.)
 
 

Specs

 
Headphone Type
Closed-back Bluetooth in-ear monitor (straight-down only)
Bluetooth Features
Bluetooth 4.0
HFP, HSP, A2DP, and AptX support
CSRBC8645 chipset
Operating Range
Up to 30 feet/10 metres
(Note: this figure only applies to a perfectly open space with the BLU-100 having a direct line of sight to the source device. It does still reach a comfortable 20 feet inside a more closed-in area.)
Battery
60 mAh rechargeable battery (charged via Micro USB port)
2 hours charging time
Battery Life
4 hours music play time
4 hours talk time
100 hours standby time
Accessories
Hard carry case
3x set black single-flange silicone eartips (S/M/L)
1x set black silicone fins (M)
1x set Comply S-400 premium foam eartips (M)
Features
CVC echo and noise cancellation (microphone only)
iPhone battery indicator (Preview)
2-device memory
Voice prompt user-interface:
Power On/Off | Pairing | Connecting | Battery Low
 
The BLU-100’s specs are mostly a hit for me – for one you’ve got Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX support, which is good, but on the other hand you’ve got a measly 4-hour battery life that makes the BLU-100 only end up being more of a burden than a convenience if you’re looking to use it all day. Outside of battery life, though, they do have pretty impressive features and specs that you only find in Bluetooth sets set at much higher price points than the BLU-100. Take the Backbeat GO 2 I mentioned earlier as an example – they’ve both got pretty similar specs, but the GO 2 is priced at $100 – over twice the price of the BLU-100. So when you take that into consideration, the BLU-100 is actually much better than it is at first glance.
 
 

Connectivity

The BLU-100’s pairing process is particularly straightforward. Hold the centre button until it powers on and continue pressing it for 1 or 2 seconds. A voice prompt will say “Pairing,” then will transmit a Bluetooth signal which your phone should be able to see. This is what it looks like on the Bluetooth selection screen on my iPod:
 

 
 
I’ve highlighted the BLU-100 in red and as you can see, it’s named BD-121 (That could be because it’s a pre-production unit. I don’t really know why.). Just select it from the list of devices and you’re good to go!
 
The signal of the BLU-100 has been choppy, from reading other reviewers’ opinions. However, I personally haven’t experienced those random drop-outs myself. Only the common phone-in-your-pocket drop-outs happen (which is a normal occurrence) but otherwise they perform without any major problems. (However, just to clarify, my Bluetooth setup is comprised of a 5th-generation iPod Touch or an iPad 3, with only the Bluetooth on (no Wi-Fi). Turning off WiFi and/or cellular data and leaving only the Bluetooth signal elimintaes a huge percentage of random drop-outs.)
 
 

Microphone

I found the BLU-100’s microphone to be pretty subpar in quality after testing the microphone over a Skype call. Disregarding the general call quality over my local internet, I found my voice sounded unnatural and distant. I found the latter to be caused by the actual positioning of the microphone, which actually points away from me instead of the other way around. Compared to the Plantronics Backbeat 903+ (an old Bluetooth headset I own) the 903+ sounds more like you’re talking over the actual phone than the BLU-100 – not that much clearer, but definitely closer, which does help to hear the other person better.
 
Well, I guess that’s about it for the features and whatnot; now, let’s move on to the sonic part of things!
 
 

== Sound ==

Equipment, Burn-in

The source equipment I used for this review is my iPad 3 and a 5th-generation iPod Touch. As the BLU-100 is a Bluetooth IEM, there are no amps or DACs in between. The eartips being used in this review are the included Comply S-400 foam eartips. The EQ software being used is TuneShell (a free app) running on the iPad 3. As always, my test tracks are available here, although I will link specific songs in the assessment for a more direct point of reference.
 
The BLU-100 has been given at least 50 hours of burn-in prior to writing this review. So far, I haven’t noticed any differences in the sound, so without wasting any more time, let’s get right to it!
 
 

Sound Quality

SAM_0083.jpg
 
The BLU-100 has a pretty generic sound signature, taking the form of a consumer-oriented V-shaped sound that you hear in at least 60% of all headphones and IEMs out there. Honestly there’s really nothing new from a general overview, but listen in closer and you’ll find some things that separate them from your usual fare.
 
Bass:
First off, let’s start with the bass. The BLU-100 delivers quite nicely in this regard, with an impactful punch which should satisfy most consumers’ bass criteria – however I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re basshead-friendly (Fox Stevenson – Manage). In any case, the low-end is pretty focused around the mid-to-upper bass (60-100+ Hz), which makes them sound overly full and warm (Daft Punk – Fragments of Time). Then again, they do still have quite a bit of detail down there, which really surprised me as the BLU-100 managed to reproduce the heavy bass notes on this next song (Daft Punk – Lose Yourself to Dance) fairly well.
 
 
Midrange:
I’ll be honest, I was quite surprised by the midrange performance of the BLU-100. Despite being a very consumer-sounding earphone, Brainwavz still managed to wring out some degree of clarity to the midrange, rendering vocals and instruments about as well as the wired and slightly more expensive Brainwavz S0 (Eagles – Desperado). To be honest, I would actually go as far as to say they sound slightly better than the S0 thanks to the BLU-100’s more pronounced treble.
 
 
Treble:
Speaking of treble, let’s talk about that. The BLU-100 has a nice, crisp treble that brings out just enough snap and sizzle for cymbals, claps, and high-energy synths, but also remains nice and smooth, never going to the point where they get irritating to the ears. The treble also adds a nice tactility to pianos, which otherwise would’ve turned them into a confused mess of notes (Yiruma - Reminiscent).
 
 
Soundstage/Presentation:
The BLU-100’s soundstage is what you would expect from an IEM at $50, but in a compact Bluetooth package. Here it again draws a parallel to the wired Brainwavz S0 in terms of soundstage and imaging capabilities, both of which perform very well. The BLU-100’s got an average soundstage and good separation, which helps with more complex recordings (Daft Punk – Touch). However, don’t expect too much out of it.

 
Genre Proficiency:
These Bluetooth IEMs actually sound pretty great with a wide variety of genres. From soft piano recordings to heavy dubstep and metal, they manage to sound just right for just about everything. Probably the only areas the BLU-100 fails to perform to expectations are recordings with a lot of instruments playing at the same time (Coeur de Pirate – Metal Gleamed in the Twilight), where the Bluetooth IEMs couldn’t really capture the dynamics and the emotion of the recordings.  
 

Summary:
Otherwise, though, you really can’t go wrong with the BLU-100, sound-wise. For a sub-$50 wireless IEM they provide a sound quality that one would find comparable to wired sets at the same price. Its V-shaped sound signature will most definitely appeal to the average consumer, and works well with just about any genre one would listen to. I’ll admit, Brainwavz made some pretty good calls in tuning the BLU-100’s sound, as honestly I have little to complain about despite the IEM being wireless.
 
 

Other Media

Games:
Being a mobile-designed Bluetooth headset, it’s outright impossible to use these to game on a PC, unless you have a Bluetooth dongle that could pair and output to the IEMs. In any case, I wouldn’t say much here, other than that they could make a decent “beater” pair for gaming. It may not give you any edge over the competition, but hey, even the “competitive” mobile games (i.e. Clash of Clans and similar games) don’t even need positional audio to play – heck, you could even put the game on mute and still play just about as well as the next guy.
 
 
Movies:
The BLU-100, with its easy-going, consumer-friendly sound signature, should do fine with movies. They’re not the best, but they’re definitely not the worst, either. If anything, the bass reproduction is a little off-mark for me, as their focus on the midbass takes away emphasis on the rumble and more emphasis on the “boom,” which in my book is a definite ‘no.’ Otherwise, there’s nothing they do absolutely wrong so as to make them unlistenable.
 
 

EQ Response

I found the BLU-100 to be pretty responsive to EQ, settling down to a sweet balanced sound signature with a few quick tweaks. The curve kinda looks like this:
 
 
…which, as you can see, looks rather similar to the “Spoken Word” preset in the iOS system equalizer. In any case, I found these tweaks worked out very nicely on the BLU-100, leaning the sound towards the balanced signature I look for. However, do note that using standalone EQ apps often drain your source battery life, and on top of the drain caused by the constant Bluetooth signal chain, you will want to watch your battery levels more closely.
 
 

Value

Now past the pre-order stage and now in full production and release, the BLU-100 is available on Brainwavz’ parent company MP4Nation for $44.50 (Link). I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this many times throughout the review, but with the BLU-100’s features and performance, they are an absolute steal at this price. That’s all I can say.
 
 

Comparison

Versus Brainwavz S0 ($50)
As I’ve also stated earlier in this review, I thought of the BLU-100 as a parallel to the wired Brainwavz S0, and for good reason: they sound quite alike. However, they each make clear sonic distinctions which make them unique in their own ways. The S0 is smoother, darker, and more laid-back, while the BLU-100 is livelier and more energetic. Personally I find the BLU-100 to have a more enjoyable signature, as their treble offsets the IEM’s warmth and bass very nicely.
 
 
Versus Plantronics 903+ ($100)
The 903+ is an old, discontinued Bluetooth headset with a sport-oriented earhook design which has now been replaced by the current Backbeat Go 2. My dad would often use these earbud-type earphones on long cycling trips, which allowed him the convenience of hands-free conversations over the phone. The great microphone, as well as the 7-hour battery life (both of which I skimmed earlier) really edges the 903+ over the BLU-100, but for an earbud fit at twice the price? No thanks.
 
 

== Conclusion ==

SAM_0090.jpg
 
I’m not a fan of Bluetooth technology, as “convenient” as going wireless is. There are just way too many caveats that pull me away from ever using it over a regular wired connection. But I’ll admit the Brainwavz BLU-100 changed my position on that slightly. The BLU-100 is a great example as to why I love Brainwavz as a company. They create products with features you need at prices that give the more expensive sets a run for their money. Sure, it may not blow competitors out of the water, but for a sub-$50 package, you will want to think again.
 
 
Category
Score
Comment
Packaging, Accessories
7/10
The BLU-100 is, again, showered with Brainwavz’ trademark accessories package. As I didn’t receive the full release version I can’t say anything about the packaging.
Design, Build, Microphonics
7/10
The BLU-100 has pretty much everything going for it in the build department – housings, cable, and all. However, it does lose out a bit for me design-wise with a few mainly personal gripes.
Fit, Comfort, Isolation
7.5/10
The BLU-100’s included Comply foam eartips provide a great, secure fit and excellent comfort. The isolation, however, is quite a bit below average, so you will want to use aftermarket eartips to block out more external noise.
Microphone
6/10
The microphone falls below average in my book, with its sound coming out echo-y and distant on the other end. Then again, for a sub-$50 Bluetooth IEM, it’s nothing worth complaining about.
Bass
7/10
The BLU-100’s bass is something I think most non-audiophiles will find satisfying to their tastes. Decent impact, okay extension, and a clear focus on the midbass show that this was designed for the consumer in mind. It’s definitely not “audiophile-grade”.
Midrange
7.5/10
I’ll admit, the BLU-100 has a surprisingly good midrange, featuring a nice amount of clarity and a smooth, warm tone. It’s something that just works.
Treble
7.5/10
The treble really rounds out the BLU-100’s sound signature, with a crisp response that wrings out the tactility in vocals and instruments. It also balances out the bass very nicely.
Presentation
7/10
The BLU-100’s soundstage is about as average as it gets. Decent size, decent width, good separation. It’s good, but definitely not amazing.
Gaming, Movies
7/10
I found they work pretty great with watching movies on the iPad, with its 4-hour battery life outlasting a good movie or two (unless you’re having an LotR or Sherlock marathon). Gaming-wise it’s something I wouldn’t recommend, but then again, who plays FPS on mobile?
EQ Response
8/10
The BLU-100 is quite responsive to EQ and shows noticeable improvements with very slight tweaks. For iOS users, the “Spoken Word” preset is recommended.
Value
8/10
I think it’s obvious that the BLU-100 shows excellent value for the money, with a complete package that goes up against wired sets at around the same price.
Total
7.2/10
The Brainwavz BLU-100 is the definitive budget Bluetooth IEM, with features and accessories that go head-to-head against Bluetooth headsets at twice the price. Brainwavz did very well in creating the BLU-100, never cutting corners in providing you with great sound at a very reasonable price.
 

Suggestions for Improvement

Improve tuning next time around. However, I don’t have any gripes sound-wise other than the focus on the midbass. Less of that = a more balanced and more audiophile sound signature.
 
Might want to improve the battery life as well. Maybe kick it up a couple hours or so on a more expensive model in the future.
 
 

Shout-Outs, Gallery

I would like to again thank Audrey at Brainwavz for providing me with the sample for the BLU-100. I had an absolute blast reviewing this IEM, and I really hope to see more awesome budget offerings from you guys. As always, all of the pictures taken during the review process can be viewed here.
 
Also, thank you so much to all of our readers for your continued support! With summer coming our way, we’re looking to start getting more content done in the coming months. We’re striving to create more frequent and better quality content for all of you guys, and maybe soon we’ll start actual work on a Buyer’s Guide!
 
This has been thatBeatsguy of DB Headphones; thanks for reading!
 
 

About the Company

At Brainwavz we have a simple mission, to produce innovative, high quality audio products with a dedicated focus on high-end sound at a realistic price. Our strength, success and product range is built on our unique relationship with our customers and users, a relationship that has produced a simple and obvious result. We give real-users real sound quality. 2014 will see Brainwavz pushing forward with an expanded product line, continuing with unique and innovative products, from earphones to headphones to audio accessories.
 
Company website: www.yourbrainwavz.com
 
 

Changelog

kahaluu
kahaluu
Nice review. I should have my pair in few days. I think they will satisfy my needs in the gym.
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.
 
Introduction:
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
 
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IMG_2243.jpg
 
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Sound:
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.
 
Summary:
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!
hakushondaimao
hakushondaimao
Nicely done, Peter, and great music list.
peter123
peter123
Thank you Eric!
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
 
 
Source:
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.***
Pros: Comfort, Minimal Cable, Pleasant Low Volume Listening
Cons: Dropouts, Battery Life
Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth In Ears
 
BLUmirrorimage.jpg
 
Foreword
 
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?
 
Accessories
 
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.
 
BLUaccessories.jpg
 
Specifications
 
  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
 
Usage
 
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.
 
BLUusb.jpg
 
Sound
 
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. 
 
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Conclusion
 
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.
 
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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 

 
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
 
Specifications: 
 
DriversDynamic: 8mm
Rated Impedance: 30Ω closed Dynamic
Frequency Range: 20 ~ 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 110 dB @ 1 mW
Bluetooth: 4.0
CodecaptX™
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
Manualx1
Warrantyx1 (12 Months)
 
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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 

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.
 
Sound:
 
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.
 
Conclusions:
 
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 
 
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.
 
Accessories.
 
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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.
 
Design.
 
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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)
 
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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.
 
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Summary.
 
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!
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dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Excellent review, seriously. Got the good points and bad down really well :)
earfonia
earfonia
Thanks for your honest opinion :wink:
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.
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