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Brainwavz delivers the BLU-200 which is a 10-meter range Bluetooth IEM with an in-line mic. Also...

Brainwavz BLU-200

Rating:
3.86111/5,
  • Brainwavz delivers the BLU-200 which is a 10-meter range Bluetooth IEM with an in-line mic. Also included are ear hooks for a secure fit while on the move.

Recent Reviews

  1. thatBeatsguy
    Cut the Cord
    Written by thatBeatsguy
    Published Apr 16, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Robust construction. Comfortable fit. Excellent connectivity.
    Cons - Hyperactive, in-your-face sound signature.

    Intro​

    [​IMG]
     

    TL;DR: It's a solid Bluetooth IEM that does the job, but its hyperactive, in-your-face sound signature leaves me reaching for its more laid-back predecessor.

     

    Before I begin, I would like to sincerely thank Pandora at Brainwavz for providing a review sample of the Brainwavz BLU-200 in exchange for my honest opinion. I am neither affiliated with Brainwavz or any of its staff, nor was I paid to write this review. All opinions and photos shown in this review are my own unless otherwise specified. Finally, please take the opinions expressed here with a grain of salt. Thanks!

     

    I’ve always disliked Bluetooth IEMs. It’s a dislike that is almost pathological in nature and has stuck with me long before I even entered the audiophile world. The main reason why I would avoid Bluetooth IEMs in general was the fact that having them around would mean having to deal with another battery to keep track of during the day, and unless they're actually capable of lasting the whole day, one would still have to revert to a wired backup pair if the wireless ones die out. And, well, they die out not even halfway through the day – which, for a guy whose music is pumped into the ears a third of the day every day, sucks. That, and they didn’t really sound that good. At least, not until recently.

     

    Earphones like the Brainwavz BLU-100 changed my perspective and general opinion of Bluetooth earphones, and now that I have Brainwavz’ new follow-up to that entry, it's time to cut the cord once more to hear this new installment to Brainwavz’ collection.

     

     

    == Aesthetics ==​

    Packaging, Accessories​

    [​IMG]
     
    The Brainwavz BLU-200 arrives in a minuscule box containing the hard case that contains the whole assembly – the earphones, two sets of silicone eartips, a pair of Comply foam eartips, a pair of sport hooks, a charging cable, and Brainwavz’ standard 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. The package is about identical to that found in the BLU-100, so not much else is worth pointing out. Moving on.

     

     

    Design, Build, Microphonics​

    [​IMG]
     
    Brainwavz took some feedback from the reviews of the BLU-100 concerning the fit and altered the design of its successor in response. Their housings are sleeker and more streamlined, with a more smoothly tapered shape as it enters the ear. How this improves the fit we will cover in the next section. The rest of the design remains unchanged, and carries most of the good and bad we have seen from its predecessor.


     

    Build quality is also pretty good and remains unchanged from the BLU-100. Unless will be taking lots of hard impacts, they should otherwise hold up very well. As for the cable noise, The BLU-200 now includes a slider to adjust how much of the cable dangles and flies around behind your neck. There wasn’t any slider in the BLU-100 I reviewed last year, and that became a bit of a nuisance at times, so having this now is a welcome addition.
     

    However, I noted some slight driver flex when using them, which may cause slight discomfort. Using the included Comply foam eartips does, however, resolve the issue.

     

     

    Fit, Comfort, Isolation​

    The more tapered housings of the BLU-200 does help to give you a secure fit, although much like its predecessor getting the right fit is mostly tip-dependent. The included eartips, however, are notably better than the previous versions and make a more secure seal in the ears despite the rather hefty housings. If it doesn’t help, however, Brainwavz did include some earfins which should help keep them in the ear. Comfort-wise I can’t say if there has been any improvement from its predecessor, but they still feel comfortable in the ears nonetheless.
     

     

    Specs​

    Headphone Type
    Closed-back Bluetooth in-ear monitor
    Driver Type
    6 mm dynamic
    Operating Range
    Up to 30 feet (10 meters)
    Battery Life
    60 mAh battery for:
    ·         4 hours talk/music playback time
    ·         180 hours standby time
    ·         ~2 hours charging time
    Bluetooth Features
    Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX support
    Supports A2DP, HSP, HFP Bluetooth profiles
    Can connect to 2 devices simultaneously
    CVC Echo & Noise Cancellation
    Voice/LED prompts
    Accessories
    3x sets grey silicone single-flange eartips (S/M/L)
    1x set Comply S-400 foam eartips
    Micro USB charging cable
    Hard carry case
    User manual
    1 year manufacturer’s warranty

     

    Does this spec sheet look familiar? Well, it should – I copied most of it over from the BLU-100 spec sheet. And by looking at its predecessor, Brainwavz seems to have done the same in terms of internal BT tech. Then again, as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

     
     

    Connectivity​

     ​

    Pairing the BLU-200 is about as easy as it gets – or as easy as your phone makes it. In real-world use, I’ve experienced very few hiccups while out and about, which leads me to believe the BT tech in the BLU-200 is….well, just as good as the last one. It does have this new feature when you can pair the device with two sources at the same time. Personally I fail to see what situations this feature can be used for, but right now, I find it as little more than a gimmick.

     

    Also, you cannot pair it to two sources and have the BLU-200 play two different songs from the two sources, which is a bummer. Then again, who said gimmicks needed to be useful?

     

     
     

    == Sound ==​

    Equipment, Burn-in​

    The BLU-200 was reviewed using a 5th-generation iPod Touch and an iPad Air 2, and the EQ Software used is TuneShell. 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-200 was listened to for about 50 hours prior to making the final assessments in this review. No changes have been noted.

     

     

    Sound Quality​

    [​IMG]
     
    Bass:


    To start off, let's first listen in on the lower frequencies. The bass of the BLU-200 seems most likely geared to make a big first impression. It's big, chunky, and noticeable – good for catching the listener's attention, but not much else. It has good punch and maintains its composure during heavy bass lines. However, its unimpressive sub-bass extension does not help it much to impress the more bass-inclined listeners (Haywyre – Dichotomy; Daft Punk – Doin' It Right). It also struggles with articulation, making speedy drum passages sound muddy and wanting in detail (Megadeth – Holy Wars...The Punishment Due).

     

     

    Midrange:

    The midrange of the BLU-200 definitely comes across as sounding noticeably "shouty," in that it sounds accentuated in the upper midrange. This leads to the upper octaves sounding rather obnoxious and in-your-face (Anna Yvette, Laura Brehm – Summer Never Ends). Male vocals do not seem to have this problem, most likely due to the lower vocal range, but the level of midrange accentuation varies on a song-to-song basis (compare The Weeknd – A Lonely Night with above song). Unusually, they sound much more pleasing with guitars and other acoustic instruments (Sungha Jung – Coming Home; Francisco Cerda – 'Round Gunpoint), with a more natural presentation with little of the aforementioned "shouty" tonality. From a more technical standpoint, the BLU-200 struggles with conveying nuances in the music, especially in tracks where emotional expression comprises much of the appeal (Yiruma – Kiss the Rain). This doesn't do the BLU-200 much help, especially when its tonality seems more fitting for acoustic tracks.

     

    [​IMG]


     
    Treble:

    The treble of the BLU-200 resembles its bass quality in many ways, most prominently that it does not do much to impress the listener. Its detail and prominence is decent at best, and lacks extension in the higher frequency ranges. Overall it does the job, but one should not expect too much from it.

     

     

    Soundstage/Presentation:

    While listening to the BLU-200 before writing this review, its soundstage has been something of an oddity to me. I found my pair to somehow have a skewed soundstage, with sounds coming more from the left side that from the right. From testing with a tone generator, it did not turn out to be a channel imbalance, but this may be something else entirely. I even thought it to be simply my ears, but from testing other earphones, my hearing balance was fine. Nonetheless, I found nothing very noteworthy in the soundstage. Size is mediocre at best – far from spacious, but not too congested.

     

     

    Genre Proficiency:

    From what I found, the BLU-200 sounds quite good with music that does not use too much of the upper midrange, where the BLU-200's emphasis turns tunes to torture. For this reason, I found them to sound better with acoustic rather than electronic tracks – unusual, considering its predecessor was less picky with genre choice.

     

     
    Summary:

    I'll be honest – I did not expect the BLU-200 to sound so...off-putting. Its sharp upper midrange claws at my eardrums with a large chunk of my music library, while its skewed soundstage keeps me uneasy and on my figurative toes. I find it difficult to not take them off partway through a song.

     

     

    Other Media​

    [​IMG]
     
    Games:


    Lately I have been playing a lot of rhythm games, particularly on my iPad. These rhythm games involve tapping things on a screen in time to the music, so in order to play well, one needs minimal audio latency to play. Wired headphones and earphones do the job easily, but Bluetooth earphones definitely have a hard time keeping up. The lag between seeing the notes to be played in the game and hearing the music, even if that lag is a tenth of a second, is far too great to be able to play a music game without having some trouble. In fact, one can liken playing rhythm games with Bluetooth earphones to playing darts after fifteen twirls – in other words, it's a nuisance. Of course, that doesn’t mean this is the case with all games – other games seem to sound quite fine with the BLU-200, although while gaming with Bluetooth earphones, one will need to be more mindful of their battery meters – both of the earphones and of their source devices.

     

    Movies:

    For movies, a low audio latency also is required of wireless earphones for the audio and video to remain in sync. After all, nobody likes to watch a movie where your senses receive the events in the movie one after the other in a jumbled mess. For this purpose, the BLU-200 does its job well. The audio lag is still slightly noticeable, but unlike rhythm games, they do not retract too much from the overall experience. Sonically they still aren't completely impressive, but they're definitely good enough.

     

     

    EQ Response​

    When I have an issue with an earphone, oftentimes they can be fixed with a bit of tweaking with an EQ. But for this special case, I will make an exception. Yes, the BLU-200 responds to EQ – fairly well, in fact. The only problem with this particular case is that the BLU-200's problem – more specifically, its skewed soundstage – cannot simply be fixed with an EQ alone. For this I cannot give a definite score.

     

     

    Value​

    The BLU-200 retails for a price of $55 as of thiswriting, which is $5 dollars more expensive than the BLU-100 before it. At this price you will be receiving a pretty solid Bluetooth IEM with all the features you need, along with one of Brainwavz' trademark accessory sets. Technically it's just about as good as its predecessor.

     

     

    Comparison​

     ​

    [​IMG]
    Versus Sport-Fi X7 (~$100):

    The MEE X7, like the BLU-200, a Bluetooth IEM. However, their similarities end there; the X7 is in a league of its own with its higher price, better fit, better build, and better sound. From looking at the big picture, they simply knock the BLU-200 out of the park. However, the BLU-200 does manage to hold its own against the X7, pointing out their clearer midrange, laid-back bass, and most of all, much better Bluetooth circuitry which results in very little connectivity problems, if any.
     

    [​IMG]


     

    Versus Brainwavz BLU-100 ($50):

    Now, let us look at the father-and-son matchup – the BLU-200 up against its predecessor. Instead of starting out long-winded as I normally do, I'll just cut to the chase – I like the BLU-100 better. Yes, I like the old one better than the new one. The BLU-100 just does what it needs to without overdoing anything. The BLU-200, as an example, has an upper midrange that does more to annoy than to amaze. The BLU-100, in contrast, does neither, but it does not end up badly. It just performs, and that's makes the BLU-100 that much more appealing than its successor – it doesn't try too hard to impress.

     

    == Conclusion ==​

    [​IMG]

     
     
    The Brainwavz BLU-200 is a bit of an oddity in my opinion. Its an IEM that tries its best to sound good, but in doing so, it trips over itself and ends up sounding worse than it should. The harsh upper midrange, though painful to listen to, is negligible. At least, in the face of its unusually skewed soundstage.

     

    But does that mean it's a bad IEM? No. In fact it's factually quite decent – it still manages to retain some of the characteristics of its predecessor and still sound good in some cases. However, it does not manage to inherit the do-everything quality that I liked so much from the BLU-100. It is because of that that I would be more likely to recommend the old IEM than the new.  
    Category
    Score
    Packaging, Accessories
    8.5/10
    Design, Build, Microphonics
    7/10
    Fit, Comfort, Isolation
    7/10
    Connectivity
    9/10
    Bass
    7/10
    Midrange
    6/10
    Treble
    7/10
    Presentation
    5/10
    EQ Response
    7/10
    Value
    7.5/10
    Total
    7.1/10




     

    Suggestions for Improvement​

    I’d probably suggest keeping the BLU-100 around for sale, but since they’ve already done that, there’s none I can suggest improving beyond what I’ve already mentioned in the review.

  2. suman134
    Better than BLU-100, gets the work done.
    Written by suman134
    Published Oct 9, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sounds good, Has good details, Sound stage is really nice.
    Cons - Lacks top end extension, Decay is below average, Isnt sweat resistant.
    INTRO:-
     
      IMG_20161001_094137.jpg
     
     Brainwavz is not a new name to us by any means, it’s one of those brands which is open to experimentations, and are known for their bang for buck products. They have plenty of accessories under their belt, have some headphones and need to say many types of earphones too.
     
     What i have here is their 2nd iteration of BT earphones named BLU-200 and it was lunched just a few months after their success with BLU-100 which was an awesome sounding BT earphone, back then it was a topic of wonderment, how can a BT earphone be priced as low as this? But they did it, now we have the BLU-200 with improved build and sound quality, lunched earlier this year, priced $54.50 which goes as low as $45 when on sale.
     
     Its equipped with BT 4.0 aptX technology, aluminium body, three button remote/mic unit, and a 60mah battery which is capable of delivering 4 hours of usage and 100hrs of stand by and can be charged fully in less than 2 hrs.
     
     I liked the BT-100, Let’s see how this turns out.
     
     Before that let me thank Pandora and Brainwavz for this review unit.
     
    ACCESSORIES ERGONOMICS AND MISCELLANEOUS:-
     
      IMG_20161009_071922.jpg
     
      IMG_20161009_071711.jpg
     
     Just like any other brainwavz earphone this too is equipped with enough accessories. Here is the list of accessories in the package.
     
    1.  Earphone Hardcase
    2. 3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    3. 1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
    4. 1 pair of Ear Hooks
    5. 1 Micro USB Charging Cable
    6. Velcro Cable Tie
    7. Instruction Manual
    8. Warranty Card
    9.  
     Ergonomically these are comfortable but can fallout at times due to their larger and longer earpieces. I advice to use the provided comply tips for better traction and wings for more stable fitment. This time around there is a cable slider which is a welcome addition to this.
     
     Build quality too is really good, there is some stress reliving, but its not of much help. Just put the earphone cable behind your back and it’s good to go. No microphonics to talk about but you can use the wings for better fitment.
     
     Isolation is average, nothing exceptional here.
     
     Remote And Mic:-
     
      IMG_20161001_094457.jpg
     
     This one has a 3 button MIC unit which works like any other 3 button MIC out there in the market. Middle button works for call/end and play pause. Other buttons work for volume controls.
     MIC quality is really nice for this price.
     
    Operation:-
     
     Now getting stared is really easy. All you have to do is to press the middle button for a second and it speaks out “power on”, then it searches for devices and speaks out “searching for device” and the small led blinks rapidly, then turn your phone’s BT on, select BLU-200 from pairing menu and you are ready to go. When paired the led light blinks with a slight pause.
     
     When you are done just press the middle button for a few sec and it says power off, simple and easy.
     
     Coming to battery life BLU-200 will last you less than 4 hours and it takes slightly more than 1hr to charge it with my 2A charger.
     
    SOUND QUALITY:-
     
      IMG_20161001_094318.jpg
     
      IMG_20161008_151031.jpg
     
     Before I start, I have burnt these for more than 30hrs and is using stock medium size tips for this review.
     
     Now this is not a huge step up from the BLU-100, it’s more like a slightly improved version with slight changes to it. Its presentation is more forward and fuller with a brighter sound signature when compared to BLU-100.
     
     Its still is on the bassier side of the balance, in general it’s bassy.
     
     BASS:-
     It slightly improved when compared to 100, has better texture and slightly better resolving details.
     
     Its bass is elevated for sure, but not out of control. It doesn’t mask anything like BLU-100.
     
     Bass has good impact and goes deep, moves good amount of air too, sub bass is really good with more than enough extension and this time around mid bass hump is nicely rounded to be in line with rest of the spectrum. Mid bass is slightly bleeding, slightly, not much and really better than 100, the decay has improved and is better than 100 still its not a comparable with other in-ear earphones. Quality is good, precise and to the point where I thought It is comparable with to AD 2 or something like Brainwavz S0. But somewhere it is better than S0 and AD 2 and can be compared for resolution with S5, 200 has really nice clarity and details too, not as good as wired earphones like S5 or AD2 but better than S0.
     
     All in all it has a good quality bass with nice details and resolution, lacks with speed and decay which is sacrifice-able given that its a BT earphone.
     
     It’s an improvement for sure and I’m loving it.
     
    MIDS:-
     
     Mid range is good, really good, not drowned at all in fact more forward than the 100. It’s really nice and i think its comparable with something like a RE-400, nope, I am not saying its better but it has the openness and space like the RE-400. 200 don’t pick up notes like the RE-400 for sure, neither does it has the clarity to compare but it keeps the presentation similar.
     
     Let it be male of female vocal, everything sounds really soft and nice, yes it lacks depth but that is what make it useable for longer hours. Instruments are good but tend to sound slightly off and lacking resolution, clarity and transparency which is understandable, at the end of the day it’s a BT device.
     
     Its sound stage is on the bigger side for an earphone. It has average depth but has nice width and height.
     
    HIGHS:-
     
     Now as I said earlier it doesn’t have much extension up to just like its predecessor BLU 100, it does have some shimmer and slight amount of spark and that’s it. It doesn’t have good resolution nor has clarity or transparency.
     
    Cymbals are okay, guitars are good, but when you get into some fast paced music with some serious instrument work, it its better than BLU-100 still falls kind of flat. It lacks speed for house and bite for rock music.
     
     Highs are nothing you should write home about, but its gets the work done.
     
    WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD NEXT:-
     
    1. It will be nice of Brainwavz can add some more battery life, 3-4hrs operating time is okay but not good.
     2. They should add water and dust resistance with their next.
    3. slightly better build quality.
     
    CONCLUSION:-
     
     BLU-200 is an awesome gym companion even if you don’t sweat like hell, use comply for better traction. Its on the bigger side but not bothering by any means, weight is under control too. Running outdoor with this is a bad idea though.
     
     For those who are looking for an earphone with good sound quality without breaking their bank, wants to get rid of those bothering cable while at work or are tired of holding the phone close to their ears.
     
     One should not expect awesome details or anything that excites an audiophile. It’s better than average and is fun and keeps one seated.
     
     If you are looking for a wireless BT earphone for around $50 with good SQ and awesome customer support do have a look at BLU-200. It won’t disappoint you.
     
     I hope you liked my Review. Thanks for reading.
     
     Have a nice day, enjoy.
     

      IMG_20161009_071415.jpg
     
    IMG_20161009_071443.jpg
     
    IMG_20161009_071536.jpg
     
    IMG_20161009_071544.jpg
     
    IMG_20161009_072150.jpg
  3. Cinder
    Break a Sweat With The Brainwavz BLU-200!
    Written by Cinder
    Published Aug 14, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Energetic sound signature, solid construction, good charge time, decent resolution and articulation
    Cons - Mediocre playback time

    IMG_0863.jpg

     

    -Introduction-​

    Brainwavz has been making some really well-priced earphones recently. As a new edition to their lineup, the BLU-200 is no exception. Aimed squarely at active folk, the BLU-200 brings a decent sounding pair of Bluetooth earphones to the table, with a durable aluminum body, all for $54. However, is it a worthwhile addition to the active audiophile’s collection? I think so.
    You can find the BLU-200 for sale here on Brainwavz’s official website.
    Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Pandora at Brainwavz for providing me with this unit.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
    Source: The BLU-200 was paired to a Nexus 6P. All music was served as FLAC, ALAC, or as 320Kbps Mp3 via aptX.

    Tech Specs​

    1. Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 9.2 mm​
    2. Rated Impedance: 16 Ω Closed Dynamic​
    3. Sensitivity: 96 dB at 1 mW​
    4. Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000 Hz​
    5. Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX​
    6. Operation max distance: 30 ft (10 m)​
    7. Battery: 60 mAh — 4 hrs playtime, 100 hrs standby, 2 hrs 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​
    The above tech specs were taken directly from the Brainwavz official website.​

    -Sound Signature-

    Initial Impressions: These impressions were taken before I’d seen any FR response graphs or measurements.
    The BLU-200 is V-shaped. Definitely. However, for the BLU-200’s intended uses, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Music is very energetic when played through the BLU-200, with engaging treble and a rumbling bass. I don’t notice any particular looseness, but at the same time don’t sense an specific shaping.
    Treble: Songs used: White FlagMidnight CityOutlands
    There is definitely some roll-off in the upper treble. In White Flag, this manifested itself by making the artificial vocal echos very quite, and almost inaudible. However, there is still good articulation and some decent retrieval for the mid and lower-treble.
    In Midnight City, it is apparent that treble is not a main focus of the BLU-200. It’s not bright, and tends to sit further back in the mix.
    Outlands did perform quite well for a pair of Bluetooth earphones. The violins were layered fairly well, and barely bled together, if at all. Furthermore, there is a certain amount of air, allowing the song to take on a slightly symphonic feel. It’s not quite as good as some similarly priced wired earphones, but does come close.
    Mids: Songs used: The DriftJarsI Am The Highway
    The lower-mids of The Drift seem to be less emphasized than the mid-bass, but are never drowned out by them. The mids seem to be recessed, but are still articulate. However, they aren’t too engaging, and take a more relaxed feel to them.
    The story continues into Jars. The guitars which normally have a harder and more electric edge to them come across as slightly soft on the BLU-200. The lower-mids are still separated from the bass and mids, letting the bass guitar come through and resolve fairly well. The vocals are also slightly recessed behind the guitars, hinting at a more emphasized lower-mids frequency response.
    At least the BLU-200 is consistent. I Am The Highway’s vocals were also slightly pushed backwards into the song, and had a certain softness to them. The guitars were present, and had some good detail, but were missing the edge I usually look for. That being said, I don’t see it as all doom and gloom. The BLU-200 isn’t designed for audiophile grade critical listening. It’s designed to give an immersive listening experience to people on the go, and in I Am The Highway, it does so.
    Bass: Songs used: LightsKyoto99 Problems (Hugo Cover)Leave Me
    Mid-bass and sub-bass response is good. However, I find that despite the bass having the appropriate quantity, it is rather unshapen and formless. This doesn’t cause the bass to be boomy, but does make kick-drums and other acoustics lack definition.
    In 99 Problems I found bass placement to be fairly good. It didn’t overpower the song, as it easily could have, and remained at the right level of rumbliness. However, it did lack definition, taking on a rather undefined and soft shape.
    Leave Me was a good listening experience, as I do not think it ever demands too much shaping, instead asking for lots of sub-bass. However, I did notice the “rattling sound” Taska Black mixes into their bass drops did come across as fuzzy — something that did bother me a bit. The basshead in me wishes that there was more sub-bass.
    Clarity: Songs used: ThroneMap of The ProblimatiqueI’m Not Alright
    Throne performed better than I had expected. The vocal harmonies during the chorus remained well defined. In fact, the only point of distortion was the high-hats during the chorus — something many other more expensive IEMs can’t say for themselves.
    Map of The Problimatique performed well, and had no distortion. The mids were resolved well, as was the bass. However, as I mentioned earlier, the BLU-200 has some upper-treble roll-off. Therefore, some background details that would have normally been present were very quite or inaudible.
    I’m Not Alright performed very well, with no distortion and minimal loss of detail. Even during the chorus, the violins remained separate from the guitars, and weren’t drowned out. In fact, the BLU-200’s performance in this song is among the best I’ve tested in terms of clarity and transparency.
    Male Vocals: Song used: Hotel CaliforniaAshes of EdenSunday Bloody Sunday
    Male vocals are satisfactory. As I mentioned earlier, they tend to be moved slightly backwards into the song. They do sound full and bodied, and have no noticeable coloring. The BLU-200 is able to resolve the high-pitches vocals from Sunday Bloody Sunday just as well as the deep and more sonorous vocals from Ashes of Eden.
    Female Vocals: Songs used: Stupid GirlNeed Your HeartCrushCrushCrush
    In some instances, the Kai’s vocals in Need Your Heart came across as slightly too thin, and bordered on sibilant. Thankfully, the rest of the time I had no issues and enjoyed the song without hearing any notable flaws.
    CrushCrushCrush and Stupid Girl both performed decently, and had very little coloring. I noticed that the vocals were a tad dark, and had the same softness I had encountered in earlier test songs.
    Sound Stage
    The sound stage is 3D, but takes the form of a small box. It’s an intimate listening experience, benefiting of an IEM intended to be used in the gym. There is a moderate amount of width, some depth, and a moderate amount of height, though some songs do not make use of the space available.

    Packaging / Unboxing

    There’s not much to see here, as the BLU-200 came in very basic packaging. I’m glad the Brainwavz decided to skimp on the luxurious boxes some other IEMs come in, and allocate those funds to actual construction of the IEM.
    IMG_0759.jpg
    Inside the box you will find the BLU-200 and its accessories nestled inside its case, along with an information handout.
     ​
    IMG_0761.jpg
     ​
    IMG_0762.jpg

    -Build-

    Construction Quality
    The construction quality of the BLU-200 is very high, and does not appear to be compromised on. The driver-housings are made from aluminum, and are attached to the cable via a thick plastic brace. The cable itself is a tangle-resistant flat cable, that appears to be durable. The inline controls are also made from soft-touch plastic, and have a very solid feeling to them. The buttons depress with a satisfying click.
    Charging and Connectivity
    Brainwavz quotes the BLU-200 to have enough battery life for four hours of continual playback, and up to 100 hours of standby time. I’ve been able to confirm the playback quote, and have gotten up to 4 hours and 10 minutes in one session, and never having gotten less than 3 hours and 52 minutes.
    Brainwavz also states the BLU-200 can charge fully in under 2 hours. This estimate is a little conservative — after draining the BLU-200 completely, it took me roughly 105 minutes to charge over the included micro USB cable.
    IMG_0869.jpg

    The BLU-200 makes uses of the Bluetooth 4.0 aptX standard, allowing it to stream up to CD quality audio from your preferred source. As with most Bluetooth devices, the BLU-200 has a range of 30 feet (10 meters) unobstructed. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a full 30 feet out of the BLU-200 in my house, with the audio cutting out at about 24 feet. Your mileage may vary.
    Comfort
    The BLU-200 is reasonably comfortable, especially when using the included Comply eartips. I had expected the large metallic driver housings to be heavy enough to pull the BLU-200 out of my ears when running, but to my surprise, they held fast. However, even with the ear-hooks, I was unable to keep the BLU-200 secure during my BMX sessions; I never really did expect it to be able to hold in the first place, considering my friends’ Jaybird Freedoms and X2s don’t stay in that well either.
    IMG_0765.jpg

    Controls
    Brainwavz equipped the BLU-200 with a fairly competent set of inline controls. Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows, the BLU-200 has full rich-control functionality including volume control, fast forward, rewind, and voice control launch.

    -Accessories-

    While not filled to the brim with them, the BLU-200 does have a fair selection of accessories. Brainwavz stocked it with one set of Comply eartips, 2 extra sets of silicone eartips, rubber earhooks, a micro-USB charging cable, a hard carrying case, and a 24 month warranty card (not pictured).
    IMG_0764.jpg

    -Summary-

    The BLU-200 is a solid choice for anyone looking for a pair of workout earphones with solid sound quality, and not wanting to break the bank. For $54 the BLU-200 is a great deal.
  4. DynamikeB
    Powerful bass and smooth sound + very good quality Bluetooth earphone
    Written by DynamikeB
    Published Jun 24, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Solid build, easy pairing, great bass and smooth full sound.
    Cons - Housings on the large side vs comfort for some, v-shape sound with strong bass
    Here is my review for the Brainwavz BLU-200 Bluetooth earphones. I must say that I really like and respect the Brainwavz brand and that they deserve attention with their high quality/budget products (from headphones to earphones to headphone stands to earphone carrying cases, and so on...).
    Personally, I had the pleasure to use the Brainwavz M2, R3, M5 and lately the (imho) budget killer Brainwavz Jive.

    I am now having the chance to try and review their BLU-200 model. Thanks to Pandora at Brainwavz for the offer.  These are the first Bluetooth earphones that I try.

    IMG_20160617_125728.jpg
     
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    IMG_20160624_080909.jpg
     
    Features:

    - Wireless bluetooth (4.0 with aptX)
    - Designed to sit securely in ears (ear hooks / fins provided to help)
    - Durable + fairly lightweight (for the size they have) matt CNC aluminium
    - 3 sets of (S, M, L) silicone eartips + 1 set of Comply foam tips S-400
    - Classic Brainwavz earphone hard case (solid and nice quality for protection)
    - Velcro cable tie
    - Micro USB charging cable

    Construction: Solid aluminium housings that should not break anytime soon. Short flat cable (no tangle there for sure). The remote is easy to use and it feels sturdy enough (with the three buttons included).

    Comfort: They sit easily in ears. I have not tried them yet with the fins or to exercise or run, but I would say they will stay in place. They are a bit on the large side, so comfort may vary (not for sleep unless you sleep on your back...), but they provide a good comfort to me even without the fins. They are lightweight so this helps. Personally, I prefer to wear them over the ear with the cable on the back of my neck.

    Isolation: I use them with the medium silicone stock tips and the isolation is great. You don't hear anything around you when you have them on.

    Pairing: Pairing was easy enough with my phone (LG Nexus 5). It's a matter of seconds. I get a good reception with the phone close to me, no problem at all. The sounds seem to cut when you are about 15 feet away and more and walls may cut this distance.

    Note: Battery is supposed to charge in about 2 hours, and offers 3 to 4 hours of playback and potentially close to 100 hours standby.

    Sound: These definitely packs some big bass punch. If you are looking for an analytical sound, or smooth balanced sound, you may want to look somewhere else, but they are definitely delivering a very good bassy / v-shaped sound. As mentioned, I use them with my Nexus 5, listening to some Google Music streaming and some mp3 records (Florence & the Machine and Royal Blood).

    Bass: Bass is big and present. Sub bass is dominant, and mid bass is there but not overwhelming. It's clear enough, not distorted.

    Mids: Mids are a bit recessed, but still offer nice detail and a smooth approach, being surrounded by the dominating bass. Vocals have a nice warmth.

    Treble: A bit laid back but still offer good clarity and detail. Not audiophile level, of course, but enough to keep it out of the dark and allow to enjoy the music without ear fatigue.

    These should perform well with more modern pop music and some hard hitting rock (bassheads apply).  If you want to simply enjoy unsophisticated music, while moving around and not having to bother with long cables, and you like plenty of bass but with smooth full sound, these may be for you.

    I was provided this product for an honest a unbiased review. Thank you Brainwavz and keep rockin'!
  5. Lurk650
    Pretty good but not quite my cup of tea
    Written by Lurk650
    Published Jun 20, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Deep bass, Strong Build Quality, Clarity
    Cons - Driver Flex, Bluetooth Audio Drops, Thin Treble
    Let me start off by saying, this is my very first review (Special thanks to Pandora @ Brainwavz for the Free Sample for a review) and also this is my very first Bluetooth IEM. 
     
     
    About Me: I prefer IEMs over full size b/c of portability and comfort. I listen to all genres from R&B to Rap, to Rock/Heavy Metal, to Jazz, Oldies, Country, Blues, etc.
     
     
    I tested the BLU-200 using my Asus Q550LF, iPod Touch 4th Gen, LG V10 and my girlfriend iPhone 6. There are tons of reviews on this IEM so I'm going to keep this short and to the point, giving my personal opinions. 
     
     
    Connectivity: Easy to connect, just turn on the BT on your device and hold down the middle button on the Blu-200 and you will get an audible message saying "Power On...Pairing/Connecting". Usually its very fast to connect. My issue is with audio cutting out. I was just listening to Spotify on my V10, while charging and the phone in my face and I started getting audio cut outs for about 1-2 minutes then it went back to being perfectly fine. My girlfriend experiences similar audio issues when she is using it.
     
    BUILD: These are large and hefty but they do not feel heavy in the ears. They definitely appear to be durable considering they are for an active lifestyle. 
     
    Sound: The sound is very, erm, strange to me. I tried my trusty Auvio tips but they didn't make much difference so I stuck to either Med or Large stock tips. No matter what, I almost always got driver flex, these need a port hole on the next model. I think this will also help out the bass to breathe a bit. 
     
    1. Bass: The bass is strong and deep, almost to point of bloat but it holds off. Walks a thin line but it is a straight line. I think a port hole to help the bass gain some definition will help.
    2. Mids: Recessed but still have good detail and clarity
    3. Treble: The treble at first I thought was bright but upon more listening it is actually quite smooth, decent extension, enough energy to help with workouts
     
    The overall sound though is where it gets kind of strange to me. The bass is heavy but the overall treble sounds very thin, almost like a coherency issue between drivers but it is a single 9.2mm driver. I guess I would describe it to me as having a 2.1 speakers in your ear drums. A bit less bass , pull the mids forward enough to create a more forward, thick sound, then I believe I'd have a winner considering the sound stage is pretty wide and the clarity is above average. FWIW my girlfriend absolutely loves these so they are now hers. 
     
    In conclusion, these are solidly built Sport BT IEM. May not be for me since I don't use BT, BUT I can definitely see the appeal in these. You are using these for on the go/working out. You aren't using these for an audiophile experience. You want something portable and lightweight with no cables, with a sound that will provide you with energy to push through whatever you are doing. 
     
    B200.jpg
     
    B-200.jpg
    1. slowpickr
      Great review.  I must have inspired you to get yours completed lol.  Funny I didn't notice any driver flex with my pair.  Now that I think about it, treble is the weakest aspect of this set.
      slowpickr, Jun 20, 2016
    2. Lurk650
      Thanks! Yes, you were the 3rd person to post it and I was like crap I gotta get this done.

      Will double check but pretty much every time I tried to deep insert with different tips I got the typical clicking and sound was off. Only way to fix was pull out and give a somewhat shallow insertion (that's what she said), then the sound was better. I swear though, the bass and treble just don't mesh together to my ears and I don't know why.
      Lurk650, Jun 20, 2016
  6. slowpickr
    Brainwavz BLU-200 - Can You Say BASSSSS!
    Written by slowpickr
    Published Jun 19, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Non-fatiguing sound, phone conversation clarity (both ends), accessories, build quality, ease of use
    Cons - IEMs protrude out of ears, some may have fit issues, not much time to wrap up conversation after low battery warning, music can cut out in airports
    I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for the opportunity to review the BLU-200 in ear monitor headphones. When they approached me, I knew I would be reviewing a quality product based on past experience with the Jive model. These did not dissappoint.
     
    The specs and accessories info below was taken from www.brainwavzaudio.com:
     
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    Specs:
     
    1. Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 9.2 mm
    2. Rated Impedance: 16 Ω Closed Dynamic
    3. Sensitivity: 96 dB at 1 mW
    4. Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000 Hz
    5. Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
    6. Operation max distance: 30 ft (10 m)
    7. Battery: 60 mAh - 4 hrs playtime, 100 hrs standby, 2 hrs 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
     
     Included Accessories: 
    1. Earphone Hardcase
    2. 3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    3. 1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
    4. 1 pair of Ear Hooks
    5. 1 Micro USB Charging Cable
    6. Velcro Cable Tie
    7. Instruction Manual
    8. Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
     
    Build Quality and General Usage Observations:
     
    Like the Jive, the BLU-200 seems to be a very high quality product. The ear pieces and cable seem like they are built to last. The case is very nice. Plenty of room for the included cable and ear tips as well as the IEMs themselves. The colors (red & black) stand out and are a nice touch. The case is also quite rigid so you shouldn’t have to worry about any damage in a backpack or coat pocket.
     
    At first, I thought the L/R markings were going to be hard to distinguish since I first saw them on the black ear piece connectors. However, Brainwavz must have realized this and placed additional markings on top of the ear pieces in white. Definitely a lot easier to see.
     
    The ear hooks were pretty much useless for me. Guess it’s due to the angle of my ear canals. They stay in place fine without them. The S/M/L ear tips are of decent quality. However, they jutst didn’t work for me. Ended up using Sony hybrids to get the best isolation and fit.
     
    Sound Quality:
    Can you say BASS! It’s definitely the star of the show. The bass does overshadow the mids and vocals somewhat. It’s also not as defined (tight) as I would like. Some might consider it somewhat bloated. Perfectly excusable for this type and price range IMHO.
     
    The BLU-200 is a v-shaped signature to my ear. The treble rolls off before it becomes fatiguing though. This combination leads to what I would call a warm signature. Very fun and relaxing. I feel like I could listen to these for hours. Details aren’t up there with what you would get with a wired set of hybrids or BA’s. But, definitely acceptable for BT.
     
    Bluetooth Functionality:
     
     Fortunately, the BLU-200s come with an easy to read manual. Pairing with my phone (Galaxy S6) was effortless. Call quality is very good for both parties. Sometimes I get complaints from people I talk to if I’m using a wired headset with an inline mic. Not so, with the BLU-200.
     
    I did have an issue while walking through an airport while listening to music. Occasionally, the headphones would “cut out” and stutter. I reported this to Brainwavz and they stated that this can happen in airports because there is so much BT going on in them.  Guessing that most BT headphones might suffer from this.
     
    Lastly, something that I think could be improved upon is the amount of warning you get for a low battery. I estimate that there is only about 5 minutes (or less) from the first warning until the headset shuts down. At least 15 minutes would have been nice. Five minutes isn’t much time to wrap up a conversation (for me anyway).
     
    Conclusion:
     
    Would definitely recommend these for EDM, Rap and Hip Hop. Marginally recommend for rock and country. Would not recommend for classical, opera or critical listening.
     
    Note: phone call and music evaluations were done with a Samsung Galaxy S6 using Poweramp (flat EQ) with 320 kbps MP3s and FLAC files.
     
    Thanks for reading!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Lurk650
      I need to do my review still but I'm finding them bass heavy, too bright and too V-shaped for my liking. My girlfriend loves them though
      Lurk650, Jun 20, 2016
    3. crabdog
      I find them bright but didn't find them harsh or sibilant and the bass feels about right for me level wise but it could be a bit punchier. I like their signature. @Lurk650 have you tried other tips (Auvios?)  :p
      crabdog, Jun 20, 2016
    4. slowpickr
      Thanks guys!  Definitely didn't find them too bright.  Perhaps the Sony hybrid tips tamed the treble.  I would like the bass more if it was more defined and tighter.  Overall, not bad at all for a wireless $50 set.  I do think it is more tricky to pull an IEM like this off due to the added tech involved.
      slowpickr, Jun 20, 2016
  7. crabdog
    Don't you step on my Bluetooth phones
    Written by crabdog
    Published Jun 12, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid build, excellent case, lively sound signature, 24-month warranty, value for money
    Cons - Limited ear-tip size options, housing may be large for some

    Disclaimer

    The BLU-200 was provided to me for an honest review and I am in no way affiliated with the company. I’ll make my best effort to express my real experience and opinion of them. This is the first time I have tried a Brainwavz product.
     
    I’d like to thank Pandora from Brainwavz for the opportunity to test the BLU-200.
     
    Link to the company website:  http://www.brainwavzaudio.com
    Link to the BLU-200 webpage:  http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/blu-200-bluetooth-4-0-aptx-earphones
     
    These can be bought from the company website or on Amazon.

     

    Features:

    ·         Wireless Bluetooth earphones
    ·         Stylish matt black aluminum design
    ·         Full bodied sound signature

    Specifications:

    ·         Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 9.2 mm
    ·         Rated Impedance: 16 Ω Closed Dynamic
    ·         Sensitivity: 96 dB at 1 mW
    ·         Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000 Hz
    ·         Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
    ·         Operation max distance: 30 ft (10 m)
    ·         Battery: 60 mAh - 4 hrs playtime, 100 hrs standby, 2 hrs 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
     
    Sources used during this review: 
    •    Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    •    iPhone 4S
     
    I’ve always loved music but only recently got caught up in the endless chase for better audio gear. As a result, I only have a very humble collection of iems, mostly in the budget range but am slowly trying to make my way up the ladder.
    I listen to a wide variety of music genres including classical, hip-hop, jazz, EDM, pop, j-pop and orchestral soundtracks and tried all of the above for the purpose of this review to see how the earphones sound with many types of material.

    Accessories and packaging

     
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    The iem comes in a very compact white box with a clear image of the earphones on the front and details of the contents and accessories on the back, along with a picture of the in-line remote.

    Included Accessories:

    ·         Earphone Hard case
    ·         3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    ·         1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
    ·         1 pair of Ear Hooks
    ·         1 Micro USB Charging Cable
    ·         Velcro Cable Tie
    ·         Instruction Manual
    ·         Warranty Card (24-month warranty)
     
    20160612_124517.jpg
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    Unfortunately, all the supplied tips are too small for my ears so I’m using stock ROCK Zircon tips which are my main go to when I can’t get a proper seal. The ear hooks are easy to apply, soft rubber and comfortable. I only use the hooks when I’m moving around a lot - If I’m just lounging at home or the office the earphones stay in my ears well without them.
     
    20160612_132438.jpg
    Note the size difference. Such a shame because the black tips with green cores look fantastic.
     ​
     
    20160612_132530.jpg
    The BLU-200 comes with a concise and easy to understand booklet.
     ​
     

    Bluetooth pairing, signal, battery, controls

    Pairing is stupidly easy to do and near idiot proof (Hey I did it!) Once you learn the basic controls of the in-line remote they’re very logical and work well.
     
    The range of the signal seems around what is stated in the specs (30ft) and I had no trouble or dropped signal unless I went into another room behind a thick wall where it would sometimes cut out. I did have some problems while I was at a large shopping mall on a particularly busy day. At certain locations the signal would cut out very badly making them near unusable. Note this was only in areas surrounded by many stores all with their own Wi-Fi and thousands of people around all using their mobiles and I’m guessing that was the cause. I didn't have any such issues anywhere else.
     
    The included microphone seems to work well. Whilst talking to my wife during a call she said my voice was coming through clearly even though I was standing beside a very busy road at the time. Answering calls can be done by simply pressing the middle button on the remote and calls can be ended using the same method.
     
     Battery life is also as stated and should last about 4 hours even using at loud volume. The earphones give you an audible message telling such information as: Power on, Power off, Pairing, Connecting and Battery low. There's also an audible beep when skipping tracks forwards and backwards. All very intuitive.
     
    20160610_153937.jpg
    The LED on the in-line remote can be very hard to see as its partially hidden by the controller
     

    Build, fit and comfort

    These are obviously pretty big earphones but the size is actually pretty standard for a Bluetooth set. Despite the bulk they are not all that heavy and I can easily forget that they’re in my ears. This might not be the same experience for those with smaller ears but I can wear these for hours on end with no discomfort.
     
    The BLU-200 build quality is excellent and feels like a premium product. Brainwavz also gives a very generous 24-month warranty. The cable is of the flat ribbon type and comes with a handy chin slider. I prefer to wear them with the cable down but you can also put it over the ears and on the back of your neck. Microphonics are average and didn’t cause any concerns.
     
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    Note these are not the stock ear-tips but some from my own collection (stock tips are much prettier!)
     

    The sound

    I was quite shocked at the level of detail coming through the BLU-200. In fact, they put many iems in my collection to shame for detail retrieval. That was really unexpected. They even trump some of my other iems (in the same price range) in overall sound quality. (My experience may vary from others due to the fact that I use these with different tips). For a single dynamic driver these do a fantastic job of covering all the bases and more than once I caught myself dancing in my living room.
     
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    Bass

    Has a strong presence in the music but it doesn’t dominate.  I find it to be at a good level, although admittedly I tend to like a bass heavy signature and it suits my preferred music genres well. I couldn’t determine any major bleeding into the mids. There’s some nice sub bass rumble that stays hidden in the basement until called upon and then it sneaks up on you and growls in your ears in a pretty satisfying manner although I would have liked it to be a bit more forward.
     
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    Mid-range

    The mids are slightly recessed which is the norm with V-shaped signatures but they sound natural and have enough presence so it feels that the artist is singing for you and isn’t someone passing by outside the back fence. String instruments have a nice resonant tone that projects warmth like a nice pair of furry slippers in winter. The bass detracts from the mids a little but hey, these are a $50 Bluetooth kit so I don't expect them to be perfect.

     

    Treble

    The treble in these suits my taste very well, allowing good detail and a bit of sparkle, sometimes bordering on being harsh but only at high volume (higher than my normal listening levels). They help to provide a clean sound and balance out the low end nicely.
     
     
     

    Conclusion

     
    The BLU-200 caught me unawares with their competent and compelling sound. Because they’re wireless I was expecting signal problems or a much lower sound quality in general but these don’t hold back and can easily compete with many of the similarly priced wired earphones in my collection.
     
    It’s very refreshing to be able to get up and move about without having to worry about wires getting tangled or accidently pulling my music source off the table if I forget to pick it up when I get out of the chair. The earphones maintain a stable signal when moving about and sound only cuts out if you’re near the maximum range or behind a solid wall.
     
    When considering the intended use and cost of the BLU-200 (sweating it out at the gym, doing chores at home, walking the dog etc.) I believe these perform above their price point and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a Bluetooth earphone.
     
      peter123 and B9Scrambler like this.
  8. ezekiel77
    Brainwavz BLU-200: Singing the Blues Away
    Written by ezekiel77
    Published Jun 1, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, battery life, good mids and treble, fun signature, fantastic case, excellent value.
    Cons - Large housings might not fit everyone, loose and flabby bass, bass bleed, splashy treble at times, cable microphonics.
    Introduction
    Bluetooth audio has come a long way. It used to be the playground of niche audio brands like Jabra and Plantronics, but when the big boys like Sennheiser got into the mix, things got serious and priorities were shifted. Today, build quality, battery life and form factors are a given, now the focus is on sound quality. Once exiled from audio heaven for inferior SQ, they come roaring back with better signal transfers, Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technology that promises CD quality sound. It’s heartening to see more audiophile brands like Brainwavz getting serious about Bluetooth IEMs as well. This review is made possible courtesy of a review sample sent by Pandora of Brainwavz.

    Equipment Used:
    Brainwavz BLU-200
    Jabra Rox
    Honor 6
     
    Songs Listened:
    A selection of 320kbps MP3s and lossless FLACs from my cellphone, including:
    Katherine McPhee – Terrified (female vocals)
    Fall Out Boy – The Phoenix (bass speed, slam)
    James Bay – Hold Back the River (male vocals)
    Sheppard – Geronimo (soundstage)
    Nirvana – About a Girl (imaging, immersion)
    Radiohead – Creep (treble, balance)
    Adele – When We Were Young (female vocals, mids)
    Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight (midbass, separation)
    Pink Floyd – High Hopes (treble, soundstage)
    Red Hot Chili Peppers – Road Trippin’ (male vocals, mids)
    And many others.
     
     
    IMG_20160601_124819.jpg
     
     

    Packaging and Accessories
    I straight-up love the case! In striking red/black with two pouches, you can even store a small DAP like the Sansa Clip Zip inside. Accessories include 3 silicon eartips in S/M/L, a pair of Complys, charge cable and two earfins for better fit. A simple and functional accessory set, but man it’s one of the best cases I’ve seen regardless of price. True story, someone in the local garage sale forums actually tried to sell a Brainwavz IEM case separately for about USD13. That should tell you about the quality of a Brainwavz case.

    Design, Build Quality and Cables
    The housings are large, containing both the driver and the battery inside. They are roughly similar in size to the upper 1/3rd of the adult pinky finger. Now stick that in your ear, I’ll wait. Comfortable? No question about the build quality though, they matte aluminum housings look and feel rock solid, and are a joy to hold. A flat cable connects both the housings, with a chin slider for a more precise fit. The Bluetooth controls have good tactile feedback, and the matte plastic feels refined and looks classy. All in all a well-built unit.

    Fit, Isolation and Comfort
    I imagine many people needing the earfins for a precise fit due to the large housings. I’m lucky that they fit me just fine with medium stock tips, didn’t even need the earfins. They’re comfortable, but I’m saying this from the perspective of someone with regular-sized and regular-shaped ears. Smaller ears might suffer. I did some housework and cycling with them on, and the flat cables do introduce some annoying microphonics. The chin slider helps eliminate them somewhat, but I doubt anyone can run with these. I would say they are more for indoor use because the large housings would discourage any vigorous activity. Isolation is adequate, on-par with regular wired IEMs.

    Pairing and Battery Life
    Pairing is fast, easy and painless. No issues of dropped sound when my cellphone is in the pocket, and the signal suffers no drop in quality for up to 30 feet. That’s as far as I could test anyway. Battery life does as advertised. Nearly 4 hours of continuous music, after which the low battery reminder gets irritating really fast.
     
     
    IMG_20160601_123656.jpg
     
     

    Overall Signature
    The BLU-200 follows a mainstream-oriented tuning, with boomy, boosted bass, and slightly elevated treble for excitement. To my ears it’s a V-shaped signature with more weight on the bass side, sort of like an L. The mids are slightly recessed and interrupted by the bass bleed, but thankfully doesn’t have a too in-your-head feel. When allowed to shine, the mids are actually the most consistent part of the spectrum. The treble is thin with average detail but has some excitement to it. Some poor recordings are revealed, making the treble splashy at times. Speed and separation suffer quite a lot. The thick and slow bass makes the BLU-200 sound congested, leaving you gasping for air. However in slower, non-bassy tracks it sounds balanced and enjoyable.

    Bass
    They are bassy all right. Big notes, thick and proud, from subbass to upper bass. There is no question about quantity. The bass goes down pretty deep and you feel it, the slam, rumble and impact, dictating the pace of many songs. The problem is it has more quantity over quality, way more. The bass is flabby, loose and lacks detail. Slow attack with slower decay. It can sound unnatural and downright muddy in some tracks, inconsistent with the rest of the spectrum. Eager to please, it sometimes outstays its welcome too, as there are ample amounts of bass bleed into the lower mids. The normal attributes for me that constitute good bass; a tight, quick attack with natural decay and some detail, are painfully missing here. I asked for a spear and got a sledgehammer. Get the picture?

    Mids
    The mids are better-tuned than the bass. Like Shawshank Redemption’s Andy Dufresne taking his first breath after climbing out the sewage, the mids escape the muddiness of the bass and is a class above in separation and detail. Objectively there is still a veil across the lower mids (Andy was still covered in shat when he climbed out after all), male vocalists sound indifferent and uninvolved at times. But otherwise, the mids do quite a fine job. Timbre and speed sounds natural, and female vocals sound especially good. Towards the upper mids, finally free of the bass bleed, you hear the detail of each individual note and it starts singing to you. The most accomplished of the spectrum.

    Treble
    The emphasis on detail continues. The BLU-200 treble can detect bad recordings and confidently say “Hah gotcha!” whether you like it or not. So, poorly recorded songs get the chop first, and you hear splashy treble. Add that with thinner notation and it can get fatiguing especially if you’ve been hitting the rock and metal too long. Feed it better-mastered recordings, and you get a smoother treble with a bit of sparkle that’s easy on the ears. Treble extension is fair, some micro-detail can even be heard because of the thin notes (and a smaller soundstage than I’m used to). On the whole the treble is not blunted nor coloured much, and it does its job. GIGO as they say. I do wish for slightly more refinement, so it can accommodate even the bad recordings.

     
    IMG_20160601_124739.jpg
     
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    Well, they’re wireless, and meant for use with activity. With that in mind, I would expect a tiny soundstage with an almost total in-your-head sound. The BLU-200 surprised me however. There is a small but consistent headspace, sort of shaped like a motorcycle helmet, if you will. The stage has average width with just a bit of much-appreciated depth. The mids are ever-so-slightly forward without sounding like someone attempting to possess you, that one I’m most thankful of. Imaging cues are present, mostly in the left-to-right plane. The bass bleed congests the soundstage somewhat, affecting the imaging as well, but I doubt you’ll be doing much critical listening while doing your chores. So while the soundstage won’t wow anyone, it avoids the in-your-head trap, and gives a satisfying impression of space around the head.

    Comparison:
    Jabra Rox

    The Rox are the only other Bluetooth IEMs that I’ve heard, and I got a buddy to loan it for the purposes of this review. Sound signature-wise, the Rox is tuned warm and smooth, with mids and vocal forwardness to the degree of attempted possession. The tuning and tonality I can dig, with ample bass, prominent mids and tame, smoothed-out treble. Bass hits harder, tighter and decays faster than the BLU-200, it’s actually very enjoyable! There is bass bleed (it’s almost unavoidable for bassy IEMs with tiny soundstages anyway), but the frontal assault of the mids do make a fight of it, reaching to the listener for attention. Notes are thick and lush, it sounds kind of nice, but it’s so in-my-head I couldn’t get used to the mids. I can feel the singers’ teeth chomping at my grey matter. I love the gentler and more euphonic mids of the BLU-200 much more. Treble is probably a matter of preference. If you like yours sparkly, don’t look at the Rox. It’s too smoothed out and blunted, rather unexciting but makes for very safe, fatigue-free listening. BLU-200 is brighter and more prone to splashy treble. Soundstage for the Rox is virtually non-existant, with very little width and a near-total in-your-head sound. While I prefer the Rox bass by a large margin, overall the winner is BLU-200, which costs about half the Rox. Brainwavz strikes again as a value brand!
     
     
    IMG_20160601_124645.jpg
     
     

    Conclusion:
    The promise of better sound quality in Bluetooth IEMs are here. The BLU-200 is a good, fun-sounding all-rounder let down only by the flabby bass. Couple that with a fantastic build quality, good accessory pack and bargain price, it’s still a quality purchase. If this is the direction headed for Bluetooth IEMs, we are in for exciting times in the portable audio sphere. It’s only a matter of time before more audiophile brands jump into the wireless bandwagon, which likely has more mass-market appeal than multi-driver IEMs that cost an arm. Brainwavz has already shown the way.
      Wokei and B9Scrambler like this.
    1. Wokei
      GOOD REVIEW BRO ! 
      Wokei, Jun 1, 2016
    2. ezekiel77
      Thanks man!
      ezekiel77, Jun 1, 2016
  9. RedJohn456
    Brainwavz BLU 200: [apt]-X Marks the Spot
    Written by RedJohn456
    Published May 22, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - aptX and other high fidelity bluetooth protocols, Accessories, Ease of operation, Price
    Cons - Large shell (potential discomfort), Driver Flex, Battery Life, Microphone quality
     ​
     ​
    Brainwavz BLU-200
    [apt]-X Marks the Spot
     ​
     ​
     ​
                                                                                                                                                                          
    blue-da-ba-dee-da-ba-dye.jpg                                                                                               ​
    I'm blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Dye
     
     

     
    Disclaimer

    The BLU-200 was a review unit provided in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I have tried my best to record my thoughts and impressions on how I found the BLU-200 to sound. These thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and I reserve the right to change my opinion as time goes on. These are my personal findings and should be taken as such. YMMV
     
    Introduction

    I want to take this opportunity to thank Pandora from Brainwavz for giving me a chance to check out the BLU-200, their follow up effort to BLU-100, their previous bluetooth offering. Brainwavz is a brand that is well known at head-fi, and deservedly so. They provide a wide variety of products at affordable prices, from portable amplifiers to headphones to even headphone stands. Their brand is practically synonymous with bang for buck and so it is always exciting to see a new Brainwavz product on the market.
     
    To be honest I have never really paid much attention to bluetooth headphones, as my first experiences with them were quite disappointing. Clearly technology has improved since then, and the advent of bluetooth headphones is upon us. Don’t believe me? Just go to amazon and search for bluetooth headphones. As you can see there are a plethora of options available, and at very affordable prices no less. Inn this sea of bluetooth headphones, does the BLU-200 have what it takes to stand out? Is it worth your heard earned dollars/yen/crayons? Read on to find out.
     


    "Brainwavz provides high-end earphones specifically designed for high-quality sound and tailor-made to provide the user with a solution that can be used across a wide range of audio genres and styles at affordable prices. Brainwavz believes in the idea that sound is a deeply personal experience, and strives to provide users with earphones that match their personal inclinations, to inspire with intensity. The Brainwavz name is known in many countries across the globe, and the company is continually committed to providing the best products at the best value.
     
    At Brainwavz we have a simple mission, to produce innovative, high quality audio products with a dedicated focus on high-end sound. Our strength, success and product range is built on the unique relationship with our customers. A relationship that has produced a simple and obvious result, we give real users real sound quality.” - Brainwavz 





     
    About me
     ​
     ​
    Before I get into the nitty gritty of things, I want to provide a little background information in the hopes that it can help put my views in perspective and provide some context for the content of this review.

     ​

     ​
    Music has always been a huge part of my life, whether it was performing music on stage with my band or more recently, involving myself in this masochistic wonderful hobby of ours.  I have always enjoyed listening to music but I haven’t always paid attention to the quality of headphones because I was perfectly content with included cellphone earphones or cheap earbuds from department stores.  Ignorance is bliss right? This however all changed when I came across head-fi one day, and that’s when things started to go downhill (for my wallet that is :p). It is all too easy to underestimate how large an impact a good pair of headphones can have in the enjoyment of your favorite songs.

     

    After getting my first pair of good headphones, I had felt as if an entirely new world has opened up to me musically and I found myself rediscovering music that I have listened to for many years.

     

    When it comes to musical taste, I can’t say that I have any specific genre that is my absolute favorite, as I like a little bit of everything. But if I had to be specify, I would say that I love mainstream and Pop music and I consider myself to be an average joe in that regard. That is the approach I will be taking in reviewing gear, for people like me who aren’t all that technical and are not audiophiles in the classical sense.

     

    I mostly stream music from the Internet using services such as Spotify and Youtube and like millions of other people, my laptop and cellphone serves as my main media players.
     

    So with that out of the way, lets get on with the review!

     ​
     
    Build quality, Design and Accessories
    The headphone comes packaged in a petite cardboard box adorned with pictures and specs. Nothing too fancy, but stylish nonetheless. Unboxing it reveals a very sturdy carrying case, housing the iem itself along with all its accessories. I absolutely adore the carrying case and I can see myself buying a few of these cases for use with my other earphones, but I digress.
     ​
    3.jpg   4.jpg   5.jpg
     ​
    IMG_20160522_17302941.jpg   7.jpg   8.jpg
     
     
     
     
    It's good to see Brainwavz including a variety of accessories for the BLU-200, as I am sure customers are sure to be happy getting more for their money.
     
    I ended up using the foam tips, as it was the most comfortable for me, produced the least amount driver flex, and also kept the treble in check, which I will touch upon again later. Perhaps its a case of mismatch with my ear anatomy but I experienced massive driver flex with the included stock tips and even with my personal collection of tips.
     
    While Texans might like you to believe that bigger is always better, the size of the BLU-200 shell demonstrates otherwise. I would like to think that I have average sized ear canals, and even so I found the shells to be rather uncomfortable after 10-15 minutes of listening. I can't find a reason for why the shells are so large, if you consider the subpar battery life it sure as heck isn't being put towards a bigger battery. You will definitely be aware of their presence during your workout, as I found out myself, they never really disappear as some headphones tend to do.
     
    IMG_20160522_174046426.jpg   IMG_20160522_174137171.jpg
     
     
     
    The housings have a rugged and durable construction with easily discernible Right and Left markings. The cable is tangle resistant, doesn't kink or hold memory and is easy to deal with on a daily basis. The strain reliefs are solid and I am confident they will hold up to daily abuse at the gym or otherwise. The included cable management clip makes it easy to adjust the cable length to your desired length, which is especially helpful when wearing the BLU-200 cable up. Thanks to its flat cable design, it is easy to fold up and shove in your pock and not have to worry about tangle fairies having a field day.
     
    While the remote is adequately large, I found it difficult to navigate the buttons by tactile sensation alone, for example when I wear the BLU-200 cable up and I have to reach behind my heard to use the remove, be it changing the volume or answer a call. It would have been nice to have the buttons be more distinct from the remote body, but the buttons are responsive and durable. One feature I was surprised and happy to see was that the BLU-200 volume control is independent of the paired device, as in they are not linked to each other. The BLU-200 employs smaller and more numerous more volume steps than something like my iPhone, so it allowed me to fine control the volume to get it exactly where I like it. The LED indicator is also a nice touch, letting you know things like when its turning on or off, or when its fully charged. 
     
     
    IMG_20160522_173932156.jpg   IMG_20160522_174016864.jpg   IMG_20160522_174222234.jpg
     
     
     
    The included fins will be sure to please those who are accustomed to iems falling out of their ears, especially during vigorous exercises. The fins are easy to install and remove, and it does a good job of securing the earphones. I didnt have to keep putting them back in while doing my daily 20 mile jog (HAH can’t believe they bought that one) because they stayed anchored thanks to the fins.
     
     
     
    What’s it like to use?
    Charging the BLU-200 is a simple affair, just left up the back cover of the right housing to reveal a microUSB port. Its as easy as plugging it in and forgetting. The battery life however wasn’t as long as I would have liked, topping out around 3.5 hours for me, which is close to the manufacturer quoted 4 hours. Given the housing size, it would have been nice if they increased the battery size as well. So expect to charge the BLU-200 frequently, especially if you plan to use them daily outside the gym.
     
    In terms of tracking battery life, its as easy as checking the pulldown menu or  top right of your screen if using an iPhone. This is pretty handy if you wanted to check how much juice was left.
     
     
    IMG_1262.png   IMG_1261.png
     
     
     
     
    The BLU-200 is easy to use, taking a no nonsense approach: Holding down the middle button turns it on, and by keeping it held down, device pairing mode is activated. Then its a matter of pairing it with your chosen device. Fun fact: the BLU-200 can be paired up to 2 devices. After you are done using it, holding down the middle button will also turn it off. Additional functions can be seen in the pictures before, which were taken from the manual.
     
     
    IMG_20160522_17285873.jpg   IMG_20160522_172811327.jpg   IMG_20160522_172827478.jpg
     ​
    IMG_20160522_172835629.jpg   IMG_20160522_172843912.jpg
     
     
    Pairing the BLU-200 was a surprisingly quick and painless process. Furthermore I didn’t experience any dropped connections, unless I strayed too far from the paired device. Speaking of which, I found the connection range to be average, going to an adjacent room was okay, but any further than that the signal degraded and I noticed stutters.
     
    The microphone is serviceable for phone calls but callers commented that my voice sounded a bit muffled and not that clear. Same story when used for skype calls. If microphone quality is high on your list of priorities, then the BLU 200 is not for you. 
     
     
    What does it sound like?
     
    Sources used: 
    1. Macbook Pro
    2. BlackBerry Z30
    3. iPhone 5S
    4. My toaster 
     
     
    So now we come to the meat of the review, how does the darn thing sound? In one word: competent.
     
    The BLU-200 has an enjoyable V-shaped sound with serviceable resolution throughout the range. The treble can be edgy at times, especially if you are listening to top 40 music at loud volumes. Fortunately, using the included foam tips easily alleviates this, while at the same time affording a better seal. The treble is decently detailed but not very extended, which is again fine given its intended use and bluetooth nature.  I experienced no ear fatigue from the treble after long workout sessions, save for fatigue and discomfort from the earphone shell. All things considered, you can definitely to a lot worse in this department.
     
    The BLU-200 isn’t very detailed overall, which is a good thing considering you want to use them while working out and the like. It has an engaging sound that is sure to get you in the mood in the gym, keeping you motivated during your last benchpress set for example.
     
    Soundstage is average, sounding best with foam tips. The sounds feel like they are coming from inside your head, with serviceable separation and layering. Again this is a budget bluetooth iem meant for working out and commuting etc, and so in that context it is adequate.
     
    The midrange is recessed, sounding  warm, dry and engaging. It sounds full, thanksthe bass bleed into the lower midrange. It maintains a respectable amount of coherency and detail, keeping in line with the rest of the sound range.
     
    The bass is definitely the star of the show, with great impact, weight and energy. The focus is squarely on mid bass vs sub bass, and EDM tracks are just too fun to listen to with the bass putting on a great show. Like I said before, there is a noticeable bleed into the lower midrange, but I feel it adds to the sound presentation rather than take away from it.
     
    Remember at the beginning when I asked if the BLU-200 has what it takes to stand out from the sea of bluetooth headphones? Thanks to something called aptX I think it does. If you were to check other bluetooth offerings at the same price point, there are few, if any at all, that provide aptX capability. So why should you care? Please allow my good buddy wikipedia to better enlighten you:
     
     
    As you can see aptX allows for streaming of higher quality audio, which in turn allows for higher fidelity listening, in theory anyway. Kudos to Brainwavz for including it in the BLU-200.
     
     
    How does it compare?
     
    The only other bluetooth iem I have in my possession is the MEE X7 Plus, which retails at twice the price of Brainwavz BLU-200. Being in different price triers, this might not be the most fair comparison but given my lack of options I will compare them anyway. But please do keep the price differential in mind when reading the comparison. Having said that, lets see how the two bluetooth headphones compare
     
     
     
    Brainwavz BLU-200 vs MEE X7 Plus
    The X7 Plus comes in an elaborate packaging with a decidedly more premium experience versus the simpler packaging of the BLU-200. You really feel like you got your money’s worth with the X7 Plus when unboxing it.
     
    IMG_20160522_174616777.jpg   IMG_20160522_174645915.jpg
     ​
     
     
     
    The X7P has a more attractive, durable and comfortable design when compared to the BLU200. The X7 Plus employs a more ergonomic design that sits flush in the ear, which I found to be comfortable for longer listening sessions.
     
    IMG_20160522_174515800.jpg   IMG_20160522_174456123.jpg  
     
     
     
    I must say that the BLU-200 comes ahead when considering the included accessories. The X7 Plus comes with a set of silicon tips, an extra cable management clip and a charging cable. The BLU-200 carrying case is simply perfect, with an eye catching design that is sure to provide plenty of protection. It has ample room to store the iem and accessories, whereas the MEE case feels more cramped.
     
    While Both are equally easy to use on a daily basis, the longer battery life on the X7 Plus means that its useful both in and out of gym, as its the one I always reach for when leaving the house. With the BLU-200 that is not the case because I have to charge it more frequently thanks to the shorter battery life, so its not really ideal for taking out with me while out and about.
     
    They both pair easily and function very similarly. The X7 Plus has a better built remote with a more raised profile for the buttons, making tactile navigation much easier. I also found the the X7 Plus to possess a larger reception range compared to the bLU-200, allowing me to venture further away from my paired device.
     
    Sonically speaking, the X7 Plus has a more even sound compared to the BLU-200, even sounding better than many wired iems in the <$100 category. The X7 Plus sports (hah see what I did there?) an increased resolution along with a balanced sound that flies in the face of many of its competitor's consumer oriented tuning.
     
     
    BASS 4 LYFE
     
     
     
    Compared to the bass heavy tuning of the BLU-200, the X7 Plus has a slight bass emphasis, demonstrating both quality mid bass and sub bass that integrates nicely into the sound without bleeding into the midrange. The midrange is superbly detailed, full sounding and  engaging. When using the X7 Plus during my workouts I would sometimes pause in middle of my workout to listen closely to the music because the X7 Plus sounds so damn good. The X7 Plus is a fantastic sounding iem, not just for a bluetooth iem but overall. And what's more it can even be used in the shower, so no need to remove them in the bathroom, just jump in!
     
    So why make this comparison at all? Because I said so thats why! Seriously though, its the only other bluetooth headphone in my collection and I thought it might be interesting to point out how much of a gap there is between the two, when taking the respective prices into consideration.
     
    Seeing as how the MEE X7 Plus costs twice as much as the BLU-200, is it twice as good? The answer is an emphatic yes.
     
     ​
    Conclusion
    If you are looking for an affordable yet easy to operate bluetooth headphone, the Brainwavz BLU-200 is certainly worth checking out. It comes with a great set of accessories and an impressive 24 month warranty that is sure to give customers peace of mind about their investment. 
     
    It is however not without its faults: the Microphone isn't that great for calls, the battery life is relatively short and the larger shell size might lead to user discomfort. However if microphone quality is not a priority, and primarily plan on using it for exercising and such, then I can happily recommend this as it can be easily recharged between workout and sparse listening sessions, provided your ears aren't small. If that is the case, then the BLU-200 won't be a good fit for you (I made a punny lol).
     
    Brainwavz, as a company, is not one to rest on their laurels as they continually improve upon their products. I am definitely keen on seeing what they have up their sleeves for the next iteration. The BLU-200 bluetooth iem is a solid offering from Brainwavz and with a few adjustment it is sure to stand out as a strong contender.
     
    Thanks for checking out my long (winded) review and not falling asleep in the process! YMMV as well all have different preferences and ear anatomy but I hope I was able to get across what the BLU-200 offers and whether it's a good fit for you. The only way to figure out whats best for you is to ultimately hear it for yourself.
     
     
    ​Happy listening [​IMG]

    1. B9Scrambler
      Nice review man! I liked the BLU-200, but there are definitely some areas where it could be improved, namely ergonomics. I would be perfectly happy with everything as-is if they were more comfortable. At least the ear fins work well with my NarMoos, haha.
      B9Scrambler, May 22, 2016
    2. RedJohn456
      @B9Scrambler  Thanks bud :) Definitely plenty of room for improvement, especially in the ergonomics department, that was my main gripes with it.
      RedJohn456, May 22, 2016
  10. MBRuss
    A great in-ear Bluetooth headphone, if a little bulky!
    Written by MBRuss
    Published May 15, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Punchy, warm, bass heavy sound, relaxed sound signature, good accessories, great build quality.
    Cons - Some occasional Bluetooth stuttering, annoying audible low battery warnings.
    DSC07366.jpg
     
    Brainwavz BLU-200 Review:
     
    With wireless headphones becoming increasingly popular and rumours that the next Apple iPhone will do away with the trusty 3.5mm headphone port, Bluetooth headphones have never been more relevant than they are now.  So when I was recently offered a pair of Brainwavz BLU-200 in-ear Bluetooth headphones to review, I jumped at the chance to try out these chunky little earbuds that promised to feed music into my ears without the tangle of wires.  With an expected price tag of US$54.50 (around £40) they’re certainly well priced, but are they any good?
     
    DSC07372.jpg
     
    What do you get for your money?
    Well, as ever Brainwavz don’t leave you feeling short changed with their packaging and included accessories.  The tiny box is absolutely crammed with bits and pieces that you probably wouldn’t expect to get at this price point.  You get the BLU-200’s themselves, a zipped hard case to keep them in when not in use, a USB cable to charge the headphones, and a selection of different tips in various styles and sizes, including a set of Comply foam tips.  You also get a pair of funky looking ear hooks, although I didn’t find these to be necessary for my ears.
     
    DSC07383.jpg
     
    OK, so you get a lot of stuff, but are the headphones any good?
    The first thing you’ll notice about the BLU-200’s is that they’re pretty chunky, but then again they have to be.  These little buds contain the drivers themselves, plus the battery to power them, the charging port, the Bluetooth receiver and an in-line remote with built-in microphone for making calls via Bluetooth.  That’s a lot to cram into a pair of earbuds and a short, flat cable and left me feeling a bit like Frankenstein’s monster with the two bolt-like buds hanging out of either side of my head.
     
    The BLU-200’s are pretty neat headphones, housed in an attractive matt black aluminium body, with dark grey rubbery tips that have contrasting lime green centres (except for the Comply tips which are entirely grey/black).  Each side is clearly marked with L/R so you don’t get them in the wrong ear and both buds also have the Brainwavz logo printed on them.  The left bud also has a rubbery Brainwavz logo on the back, whereas the right bud houses the USB charging port, which is protected by a little plastic cover when not in use. (This cover is anchored to the bud itself to stop it getting lost.)
     
    DSC07395.jpg
     
    The Brainwavz BLU-200’s utilise a 60mAh battery that can deliver 4 hours of continuous audio playback, 100 hours of standby time and can be fully charged in under 2hrs.  This should be plenty for most people’s daily commutes, but may mean that some with longer commutes are charging the headphones on a daily basis to ensure they don’t run out of juice.  Once the battery gets low the headphones repeatedly warn you with an audible “battery low” warning, which completely mutes the music each time and becomes annoying very fast, as it does it multiple times throughout each song until the power runs out.  Personally, I’ve been using them around the house when I don’t want to be tied down with wires or worried about catching my headphone cable on something as I walk around.  With a range of 30ft (10m), I’ve been able to leave my phone either in my pocket or on the sofa whilst I stroll about doing chores without any disruption to audio quality or performance.
     
    What are they like in use?
    The BLU-200’s use Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX to provide high quality Bluetooth audio, and I found this to mostly work very well during my testing, but as with many Bluetooth headphones, it wasn’t without its flaws.  Each time I began using the headphones I found the audio stuttered occasionally for a while, but after a few minutes this always settled down and the listening experience was very good once the Bluetooth connection stabilised.  Initial pairing was quick and easy with my Android smartphone and the BLU-200’s connected straight away every time I used them afterwards.
     
    DSC07389.jpg
     
    Despite their heft, the BLU-200’s stayed in my ears very well, and didn’t come out unless I removed them intentionally.  After a while I could almost forget they were there, though if moving around I found that the connecting cable could irritate me a bit, and tended to get pulled over to the right due to the weight of the in-line remote.  This was a small issue though, and required nothing more than a quick flick back into place.
     
    The in-line remote has just 3 buttons and a pin-hole for the microphone.  The microphone worked well and picked up voices fine.  You long press the remote’s middle button to switch the headphones on, and do the same again to switch them off.  In each instance the headphones will actually say “Power on” and “Power off” to confirm what’s happening and a tiny white light will flash to confirm that something is going on, but don’t rely on the light to confirm, as in daylight it was nearly impossible to see.
     
    As with switching the headphones on and off, they will also speak to you to let you know when they are in pairing mode, and when they are in the process of connecting.  Pairing mode is accessed by a longer press of the middle button, which also functions as the play/pause button and the button for answering and ending calls, as well as redialling the last dialed number.
     
    The top and bottom buttons on the remote are for increasing/decreasing the volume, and can also be used to skip backwards and forwards through your music by long pressing them.  Either button can also be used to initiate voice dialling by long pressing for slightly longer.
     
    DSC07368.jpg
     
    What do they sound like?
    First up, if you care about specs, here’s the important numbers for the Brainwavz BLU-200 headphones:
    Drivers: Dynamic, 9.2 mm
    Rated Impedance: 16 Ω
    Frequency Range: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
    Sensitivity: 96 dB at 1 mW
    Maximum Input Power: 3 mW
     
    Numbers only tell half the story though, so read on for my impressions on how the BLU-200’s actually sound.
     
    The lows:
    The Brainwavz BLU-200’s have surprisingly good bass, helped further by the good sound isolation that is achievable with the right tips.  I hadn’t expected a pair of Bluetooth earbuds to be able to kick like these little babies can.  Even without any equalization added they kicked out the bass in spades and dropped far lower than I had expected.  Listening to some extremely bass heavy subwoofer test songs the BLU-200’s shrugged them off with ease, belting my eardrums with heaps of tight, deep bass with little sign of giving up.  These are a very fun and entertaining headphone!
     
    The mids:
    As with other Brainwavz headphones that I’ve tried the BLU-200’s offered a smooth midrange with no real harshness or sibilance to speak of.  The midrange is fairly prominent, but not distractingly so, allowing it to compliment the low end nicely.  As such, the BLU-200’s are a great headphone for long periods of listening, such as at work or whilst going for a long walk or run, without fatiguing the listener.  Whilst the soundstage is never going to be as wide as an open-backed headphone, the BLU-200’s still managed to sound very spacious and offered good separation between vocals and instruments.
     
    The highs:
    In keeping with Brainwavz usual relaxed sound signature the highs are quite recessed, offering an easy listening experience that really pleased my ears.  With no annoying harshness to sour the experience I could just enjoy these ‘phones for hours on end without needing a break.  There were still decent levels of detail on offer, so the overall experience was very enjoyable for my tastes.
     
    DSC07391.jpg
     
    Conclusion:
    As usual for a Brainwavz headphone, the BLU-200’s don’t offer a natural sound, but instead a warm and relaxing one that packs more punch than I had expected from an in-ear headphone.  Overall I found them very entertaining and fun to listen to, and despite their heft they were comfortable in my ears and somehow managed to stay put.
     
    In summary…
    With the expected phasing-out of the trusty 3.5mm headphone port, Bluetooth headphones like the BLU-200 may soon become far more popular.  With their warm and fun sound signature, decent battery life, and quick and easy Bluetooth connectivity, the Brainwavz BLU-200 are a great choice that I suspect would be very well received by the average music lover.  They also represent great value for money with their solid construction and good selection of tips, as well as the included protective hard case to keep them safe whilst travelling.  Other than looking slightly odd sticking out either side of your head, there’s little to dislike about these fun earbuds.
     
    DSC07379.jpg
     
    Overall I’d highly recommend the Brainwavz BLU-200 Bluetooth 4.0 in-ear headphones.
     
    Big thanks to Brainwavz for providing these headphones for me to review. :)
      B9Scrambler and crabdog like this.

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