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Brainwavz BLU-100 Bluetooth IEMs

Rating:
3.70833/5,
  1. twister6
    Active lifestyle wireless headphones with a GREAT value!
    Written by twister6
    Published May 13, 2015
    3.5/5,
    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.
     
    brainwavz_blu100-01_zps0ao9npbm.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-02_zps2acb0mxg.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-03_zpsvlbra88t.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-04_zps9dilrmjn.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-05_zpswuwzaq8e.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-06_zpshexshmtq.jpg
     
    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.
     
    brainwavz_blu100-07_zps3flphhxn.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-08_zpsvntkuy84.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-09_zpshxaqoaxj.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-10_zpss3dijv0i.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-11_zpsu8fjdlye.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-12_zps2cfbfsuj.jpg
     
    brainwavz_blu100-13_zpsumouqqi6.jpg
     
    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)
     
    brainwavz_blu100-14_zpsmxy8q7fm.jpg
     
     
    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.
     
    brainwavz_blu100-15_zpsusueracs.jpg
     
    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!
      Brooko likes this.
    1. dragon2knight
      Excellent review, seriously. Got the good points and bad down really well :)
      dragon2knight, May 14, 2015
    2. earfonia
      Thanks for your honest opinion :wink:
      earfonia, May 14, 2015
  2. Tom22
    Ditch the cables, but not your money & Go Wireless with the BLU-100s! An Affordable pair of Bluetooth earphones
    Written by Tom22
    Published May 12, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - affordable, bluetooth 4.0 & aptX compatibility, warm sound, (works seemlessly through android and iOS devices), good build quality
    Cons - lacking refinement and detail, a bit too warm for my tastes
    This is Brainwavz first step into the Bluetooth earphone world. It seems that Brainwavz is aiming to bring the all benefits of a typically expensive Bluetooth earphone into a very affordable package. (Its currently on sale for $34.50 on mp4nation, MSRP $45)
     
    Note- the earphone I’m discussing in this review is a preproduction sample that I was sent from Brainwavz, so I do not have all the accessories or the paperwork the earphone will come with once they hit the market. (They are available now). I should note that I’m affiliated with Brainwavz nor and I paid for this review. Everything in this review is my opinion and mine alone. With that said, lets get started. 
     
    Below is a link to my video review if your prefer : if you enjoy it, please like, share and subscribe!
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
     
    Design- Quite nice and low key, the housing is an entirely black barrel design with matte black strain reliefs and the Brainwavz logo on the left earpiece in white stencil. It’s quite sleek- looking and quite flattering.
    Overall: 7/10
    20150512_180636.jpg    20150512_180511.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Build quality- The BLU-100 is quite well built considering the price. The housing if I’m not mistaken is made of a lightweight metal (as it is cold it touch) with good strain reliefs, along with a flat tangle free cable. The remote buttons have good tactile feedback and well built.
    Overall: 8/10
     
    Bluetooth features- There is quite a lot to talk about here, for a sub $50, I can’t imagine an earphone having more features! I have decided to break down this section into multiple sub categories.
    You can watch my review to see how to set up your “Brainwavz BLU 100 earphone” or read the my simplified user manual below
    First, the BLU-100 comes with a 3 button remote sitting a few inches below the right earpiece, that is used to pair and connect the headset to either your smartphone, computer, or car (or anything else that is Bluetooth or aptX compatible). As a result this allows for seemingly endless options for its usage. 
    To turn on the earphones, you hold onto the centre button, until you hear a female voice saying “Power on”, this signals that the headset is ready to be paired with any Bluetooth enabled device. For example, with your smartphone’s  Bluetooth feature on,  it will be able to scan and detect the earphones, and it should be labeled as BLU- 100. Then all you do is pair it, and a voice will tell you the connection is successful. Then your good to go! (In retrospect, to turn off the Bluetooth headset, simply hold the centre/power button to turn it off, and your smartphone will revert back to its stock speakers). A painless process indeed!
     
    * Note the BLU-100 can pair up to two devices at the same time, once recognized. The headset will automatically pair with your device immediately once the Bluetooth is on.
     
    *note- the earphones may have some difficulty when the earphones do not have a clear line of sight with the paired device. as my music was cutting intermittently when my device was inside my bag, as i was practicing shooting drills at the basketball court. 
     
    *note when unobstructed, i was able to get about 15-20 feet effortless with only the occasional drop out from time to time
    20150512_180432.jpg    20150512_180242.jpg    20150512_180714.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Managing your music/media
    You can easily manage the volume of the earphones with the volume up and down button, and you can further increase the volume(separately) on your smartphone to get the Brainwavz BLU-100s to earsplitting levels if you so choose.
    To pause the song, you press the centre button, and press it again to resume. Next, Brainwavz decide to do things a bit differently but implementing the fast forward and rewind buttons onto the +/- volume buttons instead.
    To skip the song, you press and hold the + volume, to rewind you press and hold the – volume button.
    Overall: 8.5/10 (lots of features packed in small package)
     
    20150512_180217.jpg     20150506_211729.jpg
     
     
    Comfort- the earpiece housing is quite large and long (there are a lot of electronics going on, so I’m not surprised), with a short nozzle, however I was able to get an easy fit, whether I was wearing them cable down or up. The short cable can easily wrap around the back of neck, so it stays out of the way when I’m exercising or walking out and about, making me forget I was wearing earphones at times.
    Also Brainwavz included a pair of “fin” tips/ adapters that can further stabilize these earphones in your ear, during exercise. (They slip easily on and off the earphones)
    Overall: 7.5/10
     
    Isolation- From what I can tell, the housing is completely sealed, as a result I found that the isolation is above average, and it sealed quite well despite the size of the housing and the short nozzle.
    Something to note however is, that I would like to comment that I did experience a bit of driver flex from the earpieces because of the strong seal.
    Overall: 8/10
     
    Sound Quality-  As a Bluetooth earphone, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of its sound, due the Bluetooth compression, but I came away surprised with what it was able to achieve given its price point.
    It has quite consumer grade sound signature, as in it has quite a bassy response that I think the average consumer would find pleasing. It has a sound signature that works well when your on you’re the move, and in noisy environments.
     
    Bass- There is quite an emphasized bass, mostly in the midbass. The ample bass here means that you can easily feel the beat and the rhythm in your music even through the loud subway cars screeching or the noisy air conditioner.  I would say its nearing basshead in terms of quantity.
    Midrange- I found that is a dip in the midrange, mostly due to the aggressive bass response, vocals avoid any sense of harshness or edge. I did notice there is some coloration in the midrange so if you’re a purist, then these earphones may not be for you.
    Treble- The treble here makes even more certain that these earphones are tuned towards edm, dubstep and other more synthetic or electronic instruments. Giving way for energy over air and clarity, but without sounding brash or fatiguing. The BLU-100s are great companion especially when streaming off Youtube, or Spotify, where I imagine where the BLU-100 would be most frequently used.
    Overall: 6/10
     
    Conclusion- While it wouldn’t exceed its wired competitors in terms of sound, it does enough to sound pleasing for the everyday user. However, I feel that it more than makes up for that with the features at the price they are going for. There simply aren’t many Bluetooth earphones under $100, let alone under $50, i feel the BLU 100s is certainly a great way allow more people to be exposed with the freedom that comes with going wireless, without sacrificing much in terms of practicality. Just pair and go!
     
    Overall: 44.5/60= 74%
      Walderstorn likes this.
    1. Walderstorn
      Another good review from Tom, thumbs up!
      Walderstorn, May 13, 2015
    2. Tom22
      Tom22, May 14, 2015
    3. theinvertedsky
      Awesome! You have truly become one my favorite reviewers! I have been looking for something bluetooth and this seems to be it.
      theinvertedsky, Aug 6, 2015
  3. gikigill
    Well done Bluetooth on a budget.
    Written by gikigill
    Published Aug 6, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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.
     
     
  4. Baycode
    Brainwavz BLU-100 : A Good Sounding and Comfortable Bluetooth IEM!
    Written by Baycode
    Published Jun 23, 2015
    3.5/5,
    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.
     
    _DSC5762.jpg
     
    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.

     
    _DSC5721.jpg

     
    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 [​IMG]

     
     
    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.

     
    _DSC5729.jpg

    (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
     
     
    _DSC5756.jpg
     
     
    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 [​IMG]

     
    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.
     
    _DSC5689.jpg
     
    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...
     
    _DSC5690.jpg
     
    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...
     
    _DSC5691.jpg
     
    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.
     
    _DSC5695.jpg
     
    The small dot on the below photo is the microphone opening.
     
    _DSC5696.jpg
     
    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. 
     
    Screenshot_2015-06-19-11-22-42-Edit.jpg
     
    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!
     
    Screenshot_2015-06-19-14-42-49-Edit.jpg
     
    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).
     
    Screenshot_2015-06-19-14-54-32-Edit.jpg
     
    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
     
     
    _DSC5757.jpg
     
    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 [​IMG] 
    1. peter123
      peter123, Jun 24, 2015
    2. 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...
      Baycode, Jun 24, 2015
  5. DannyBai
    Very capable bluetooth earphone and a no brainer at this price.
    Written by DannyBai
    Published Jun 16, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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.

  6. pformagg
    Decent Bluetooth Wireless IEM for the money
    Written by pformagg
    Published Jun 16, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bluetooth, Form factor, Price
    Cons - Battery Life
      [​IMG]

      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. 
     
    [​IMG]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.
     
    [​IMG]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
  7. NA Blur
    Bainwavz Does It Again: A Low Cost Competitor
    Written by NA Blur
    Published Jun 7, 2015
    3.5/5,
    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.
  8. givemeyourshoes
    A good bluetooth IEM for the money, great for the gym
    Written by givemeyourshoes
    Published Jun 7, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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.  
  9. suman134
    Go wireless.
    Written by suman134
    Published Jun 5, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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.
     
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     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.

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    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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      IMG_20150521_114007_HDR.jpg IMG_20150521_114038_HDR.jpg

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     Cheers!! good day to you all.
     
     
    1. peter123
      Nice work!
       
      I really enjoyed reading it :)
      peter123, Jun 5, 2015
    2. suman134
      Thanks, glad that you liked it.
      suman134, Jun 5, 2015
    3. suman134
  10. kova4a
    Surprisingly good first foray into the budget bluetooth market
    Written by kova4a
    Published Jun 1, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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
     
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    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. 
     
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    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
     
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    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.