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Another pocket friendly earphones fro Brainwavz priced at 25$. Tuned to sound like a balanced...

Brainwavz Jive

Rating:
3.98148/5,
  • Another pocket friendly earphones fro Brainwavz priced at 25$. Tuned to sound like a balanced armature IEM.

Recent Reviews

  1. ezekiel77
    Brainwavz Jive - Redefining the Budget Bracket
    Written by ezekiel77
    Published Mar 22, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Outstanding value, great bass layering, clear and airy mids, detailed yet fun, comfortable fit, excellent soundstage and imaging for the price.
    Cons - Build and cable quality, slight bass bleed, elevated upper mids/lower treble can be sibilant.
    Introduction
    My dad had a big-@$$ hifi stack as tall as the television, so naturally I was born with picky ears. But being raised in a shanty town (a lie), with only basic electricity and water (another lie), my first taste of earbuds and IEMs came from a bookstore (truth!). There would be entry level stuff from unknown Chinese brands, and comparatively higher-end stuff from Sony and Philips that cost the equivalent of USD20-30, locked up in glass cabinets. I saved up for a Philips IEM as a high-schooler, eating white bread for weeks instead of a proper breakfast, and finally landing the Philips. Made sure to get the extra bass too! Putting them in my ears for the first time, confirmation bias at play, they sounded awesome, and validated all those missed breakfasts.

    Weeks of bass headaches ensued, and I thought it was just my simpleton ears that needed to adjust to the sound. Even tried that burning-in thingamajig. But eventually I came to realise, the bass was bloaty, muddy, and obscured everything else in the sound spectrum. I had to turn up the volume to listen to the vocals and other details. At the tender age of 14 I dismissed everything in the USD20-30 range, rage quit, and went back to Apple earbuds.

    Today, after spending a significant amount of my life savings and retirement funds on Head-Fi (thanks!), I come back to this price bracket. Let me tell you first, spoiler-style, that the Brainwavz Jive made me rethink what USD25 IEMs can do. If I had this in my high-school age, I would definitely not have quitted so ragely, swearing revenge on soul-crushing, ear-splitting IEMs that exchange money for despair.

    Equipment Used
    Questyle QP1R
    Shanling M1 > Chord Mojo
    Brainwavz Jive
    KZ ED3c “The Acme”
    Rhapsodio Clipper

    Albums Listened
    Adele – 25
    Amber Rubarth – Sessions from the 17th Ward
    Amber Rubarth – Scribbled Folk Symphonies
    Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Jeff Buckley – Grace
    Macy Gray – Stripped
    The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over
    And others.

    Packaging and Accessories
    Everybody buys Brainwavz for their signature black and red zippered case. I think I’ve established that in another review. It looks practical, striking, and has pockets for the accessories as well. If I were reviewing the case it’d end here saying “TOTL case, 5 stars”, because at USD28 you feel at least USD10 was spent on the case. But I digress. There are also 3 pairs of silicon tips (in S, M and L sizes) and a pair of original Comply foamies, medium-sized. A shirt clip completes the accessory set. Basic and practical, and yeah, great case.


    IMG_20170322_104624.jpg
    "I was running out of photo ideas." -said the reviewer.
     
     
    Design, Build Quality and Cables
    They are available in 5 colour choices (black, blue, green, red and white). I chose blue but seem to have ended up with the secret colour purple instead. I like the look of the shells, a simple horn-shaped design that is easy to hold and insert. Left and right markers are clearly written, and the remote control handles volume nicely. The centre button takes on a few functions. One click plays and pauses, two clicks goes to next track, and three clicks takes you to the previous track. Build quality is so-so, housings are made of metal but feels plasticky, and cables do not inspire confidence. They are thin and tangly, with a rubbery Y-split and chin slider. The rubberized strain reliefs, Y-split and jack are not well-finished, they’re just here to do the job. The angled jack is a nice touch though.

    Fit, Isolation and Comfort
    They are small enough to just slot in and forget you’re wearing them. Eminently comfortable and lightweight, you don’t feel the weight at all. Isolation is below average, you rely 100% on the eartips for a good seal and yet some outside noise enters. You have to consider that if you’re commuting. For the safety-conscious having outside noise is a blessing as anything can happen while you’re deep in sonic bliss (traffic, road hazards, cats in heat, knife fights).
     
     
    IMG_20170322_103234.jpg
    For less than $30 you get a brilliant IEM case, with a free IEM inside!
     
     
    Overall Signature
    The Jive has a U-shaped signature, I hesitate to say that in case readers think the mids are recessed, they are not. Just that the subbass and midbass are lifted, along with upper-mids and lower treble. The mids stay where they are, flat and neutral relative to the rest of the spectrum. It has a fun, energetic tuning, great for modern genres and lively tracks. The mids are not emphasised nor coloured. They are not for vocal or midheads, but I would say this is a well-tuned U-shape that doesn’t hinder the mids, so even in vocal-centric tracks you don’t feel the need to grab another IEM immediately.

    Bass
    I’m biased and jaded, so here’s what I expected after checking the price. Missing subbass, over-emphasized midbass to compensate, and mud all over the place. I was wrong, the Jive disarmed me with actual subbass rumble and extension that went down my throat. It was tuned for head-bopping fun, nicely elevated, and just enough. The midbass is also elevated, punchy and fun, just a bit flabby but tails off right before there’s any obvious bleed into the mids. I will forgive the occasional bass bleed at this price range because it only happens in really bassy tracks like Like a G6 from Far East Movement. I do however, turn the volume up just to hear the air being moved, it’s a guilty pleasure that the Jive excels at. The bass layering is impressive too, the thick midbass doesn’t hog the limelight and allows the subbass to shine. Just don’t expect much detail and texture, this isn’t the bass tuning you seek.

    Mids
    The mids are clear, detailed, and sounds relatively clinical next to the fun bass. Lower mids are devoid of the midbass thickness except in very bassy tracks where there is some bleed. It is definitely cleaner and leaner in the middle mids. And in a one-two punch combo, I could delineate some air in between the instruments and yet, no mids recession. Good vocals and instrument timbre as well. Nicely done! This is not your sweet mids tuning with alluring vocals, conjuring images of sultry singers writhing around in bed (fully clothed, we are a family-friendly forum), but the thinner notes and space creates some well-needed respite from the bass fullness. The upper mids unravel a bit, there is a lift that brings forward certain instruments (particularly cymbals) and it sounds edgy and tizzy in some tracks. Doesn’t happen often but once it does you can’t help but feel it’s uncharacteristic of the overall signature.

    Treble
    Like the upper mids, the treble wants to grab you by the ears and make its presence felt, which might or might not be a good thing. The lower treble continues where the upper mids left off, elevated with slight emphasis, bringing the details forward but sounding somewhat grainy as a result. There is good treble texture otherwise, amazing at this price, just that sometimes the instrument placement seems unnaturally forward. Hi-hats, bells, high-pitched percussion, they’re all affected. It sounds exciting and energetic, the Jive will never be described as boring or the perfect IEMs for your easy-listening grandma (who secretly likes EDM and would conversely make these perfect for her, you don’t know your grandma!). TLDR: detailed with good presence, but sometimes harsh and grainy.

    Soundstage and Imaging
    My word, it’s quite spacious. I’m used to a good tuning from budget IEMs, with little or no soundstage. This little guy proved me wrong again. You get a nice impression of space and staging, with music coming from around your head, rather than inside it. It’s a natural, enveloping stage with some air between the instruments, with two minor caveats already covered. One, the full bass prevents the airiness to fully take off, and two, the lower mids/upper treble that is unnaturally forwarded. Otherwise it’s good in the sense that you don’t feel like your head is being attacked. Imaging, given the air and space to work with, is excellent. You get a good impression of width, depth and even a bit of height. Pop in a binaural track and you’ll get what I mean. This isn’t Layla or A12 level of imaging, but at 1% of the retail price, it’s about 40% of TOTL IEM imaging. In real world terms, laser-pointer precision vs swatting a fly with your hand. And how many of us use laser pointers to kill flies anyway? Just take a bath, the fly will leave you alone.
     
     
    IMG_20170322_104500.jpg
    Brainwavz left... Brainwavz left... to where? The subliminals!
     

    Comparisons
    KZ ED3c “The Acme” (USD10)
    The Acme, my favourite KZ, is a $10 wonder with a fun-oriented tuning and tiny soundstage. Bass has more quantity than the Jive, both subbass and midbass, sometimes distastefully thick and bloated. The Jive in comparison handles bass quantity, quality and refinement in another level. The Acme’s midbass bleed hampers the sound further, with tub-thumping, head-throbbing bass taking precedence over mids clarity. The Jive’s mid-neutral tuning with air is more relaxed and accessible than the thick sonic assault of the Acme, you barely have space to breathe screaming “where’s dat air?” The Jive upper mids/lower treble lift seem tame in comparison to the harsher, hotter Acme treble. The soundstage and imaging of the Jive totally obliterates the congestive sound of the Acme, no contest. While good for its price, the Acme is clearly outclassed by the more refined and spacious Jive, which also manages to sound fun as well. Can I say twice as good? Yes, actually.

    Rhapsodio Clipper (USD55)
    Rhapsodio makes some serious TOTL-level IEMs, and this budget-priced anomaly, so that more enthusiasts can sample the house sound. Like many IEMs in the USD50 and less price range, bass is boosted. Subbass is authoritative and moves more air than the Jive, however the overly-present midbass hump threatens to congest the sound. For me Jive straddles the line between fun and audiophile competently, whereas the Clipper is a verified bass cannon. Midbass bleed, minimum on the Jive, is obvious on the Clipper. Details are lost in comparison to the Jive. Mids are smoother and more coloured on the Clipper, it sounds more natural and euphonic. Clarity is also good, bass bleed aside. Treble, however, sounds muted on the Clipper, compared to the slight lift in the lower treble of the Jive. Soundstage is sufficiently wide, with imaging marred slightly by the midbass predominance. Not as airy as Jive by a long shot. Clipper has a smoother, weightier sound and lovely mids, whereas Jive is brighter and airier. Are they peers? Definitely.


    IMG_20170322_143703.jpg
    "We are Brainwavz. We send happy wavz to your, uh, brain."

     
    Conclusion
    For fun, I asked a non-Headfier friend to listen to the Jive. His favourite IEM is the Jabra Rox Bluetooth with boosted midbass and precious little soundstage. Comparing both he said the Jive gave a very spacious, tuneful presentation that he likes, in contrast to the aggressive, bloated Jabra sound. When asked to guess the price he put it at USD100. His assessment is Jive in a nutshell. The cynical Headfier would never believe an IEM at USD28 would be of this quality, I’m at a loss for words as well. The bass layering, neutral mids, energetic treble, airy soundstage and stellar imaging are worth the price many times over. You must forgive me, for I do not participate in the Chinese IEM thread anymore, where more and more budget-fi wonders are discovered daily. So while I cannot comment on the competition today, the Jive has been a refreshing eye-opener. Many thanks to Pandora of Brainwavz for the review unit.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. ezekiel77
      Thanks mate. I mean, they're no Ocharaku, but they make great gifts.
      ezekiel77, Mar 22, 2017
    3. B9Scrambler
      "You must forgive me, for I do not participate in the Chinese IEM thread anymore, where more and more budget-fi wonders are discovered daily. So while I cannot comment on the competition today, the Jive has been a refreshing eye-opener." - I'm a frequent participant in those threads and the Jive keeps up just fine with the hype. They're a great earphone and still one of my most recommended budget models. Well worth the price and then some. Great review sir!
      B9Scrambler, Mar 22, 2017
    4. ezekiel77
      Thanks B9. It's an honour.
      ezekiel77, Mar 23, 2017
  2. givemeyourshoes
    A budget price with a high end sound
    Written by givemeyourshoes
    Published Dec 1, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - sound quality punches way above its class, metal build, 3 button (iOS or Android) remote
    Cons - cable, narrow soundstage
    Brainwavz Jive - The Budget IEM King?
     
    Full quality images found here:
    http://imgur.com/a/n36GI
    (I was sent the Jive in black, and it looks killer, but the red photographed better)
     
    20150919_141320.jpg
     
     
    Disclosure:
    I was provided a set of Brainwavz Jive IEMs free of charge in exchange for my honest review. That is what follows below. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.
     
    My Preferences:
    When it comes to IEM’s I own several pairs, and I prefer the sound of a balanced armature drivers. I love an IEM that is neutral with a hint (+3db or so) of bass boost to add some warmth to it, as well as an IEM that provides good detail retrieval. I am treble sensitive, and really don’t care for any IEM that gets sibilant, or that has a large treble spike.
     
    My go to IEM’s are my re-shelled CIEM Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10, a pair of Westone UM3X’s, and a pair of Audeo PFE012 with the green filters. However, I occasionally reach for the classic, and often recommended, Shure SE215.
    As is the same with most of you, I have a very eclectic taste in music, so it’s easier to list what I don’t listen too. I avoid modern country, most EDM (i.e.: house, trance, and anything played at a rave), and over produced top 40 pop music (those damn loudness wars!!!)
     
    20150919_142822.jpg
     
     
     
    Specs:
    Lifted directly from the Brainwavz site.
    1. Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm
    2. Rated Impedance : 16 Ω
    3. Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
    4. Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW
    5. Rated Input Power : 20 mW
    6. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
    7. Cable : 1.3 m, Copper 
    1. Phone Call Control
    2. Audio Player Control
    3. 3-Button Remote
    4. Supports TRRS Connector
    5. Supports Apple iOS and Android Devices
     
    The Jive comes in several colors as well.  You can get them in black, white, red, purple, and dark green.  I own the black, red, and dark green variants, and the colors all look great and the anodizing holds up very well.
     
    20150919_141439.jpg
     
     
     
    The Jive cable includes your choice of an iOS or Android compatible three button remote for controlling playback and volume.  I found the mic to work as expected with calls, and received no complaints about the audio from other parties when using it.  The three button remote worked well on my Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as with my older LG G3 and Nexus 5 devices.  
    Accessories:
    Copy and pasted again from the Brainwavz product page.
    1. Earphone Hardcase (wide)
    2. 3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    3. 1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
    4. 1 Shirt Clip
    5. Velcro Cable Tie
    6. Instruction Manual
    7. Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
     
    20150919_141510.jpg
     
     
    Of note, I really love this wide (longer might be more accurate?) zippered case.  So much so, that I purchased two more of them to use with other IEM’s.  
    Build Quality:
    I wasn’t sure what to expect in respect to build quality when receiving the budget priced Brainwavz Jive.  Upon opening the box, I was very pleased that the full mental house of the Jive is well made and seems very durable.  Over the corse of using the Jive for several months now, I have had zero issues with the unit.
     
    The cable however, does leave a bit to be desired.  The cable has a very rubbery feel to it, and retains a lot of memory, so you will find it loves to kink and coil up on it’s very own.  That said, the strain reliefs are well implemented, the Y-split is light and never gets in the way, the included cable slider is a nice addition, and I love that they included a 45 degree 3.5mm plug on the end.  
     
    All in all, for the cost, I am happy with the overall build quality of the Jive.
     
    20150919_142952.jpg
     
     
    Fit / Confort:
    I am lucky to have ears that aren’t too picky with most IEMs, and I rarely have fit issues. Most IEMs I have tried over the years fit ok to really well, and comfort isn’t usually an issue. I typically prefer Comply foam tips to silicon ones, but it really does depend on the IEM and how the tips change the sound signature. 
     
    With the Jive, I found the medium silicon tips work best, and was able to achieve a good seal, that kept the IEMs in my ears and did a nice job of passive noise reduction.  I am happy to report that comfort was never an issue with the Jive, even on days when I used them for 4 to 6 hours at work.
     
    It’s great that Brainwavz included a pair of S-400 Comply foam tips with the Jive, but I found I didn’t really need them.  That said, I can always use another set of Comply tips for other IEMs.  For those that want them most noise isolation and secure fit, the Comply tips are the way to go.
     
    20150919_142007.jpg
     
     
    Sound:
    I have had the Jive for a few months now, and it has seen quite a few hours of use.  I have used the Jive direct out of my Samsung Galaxy S7 (no EQ), with a FiiO E7, FiiO E17K (no EQ), with a FiiO E12A IEM edition, my MacBook Air, iPad Air 2, Monoprice USB DAC/Amp (read: Drangonfly V1.2 clone), and with a SybaSonic SD-DAC63057 (no EQ).
     
    Primary source for music has been Google Music, along with some lossless FLAC files.
     
    Bass:
    The Brainwavz Jive has surprisingly good low end for a budget IEM.  The sub bass extends a lot lower then expected.  Best of all though, the midbass hump that dooms so many of the Jive’s competition isn’t present.  Mid bass is well balance and very pleasing.  That fact alone makes these worth the cost (a whopping $28.00 USD).  There is super minimal bass bleed into the midrange, and the full spectum of the lowend on the Jive is every so slightly boosted.  For me, that is perfect, and fits right in line with my listening preference. 
     
    Midrange:
    The midrange on the Jive’s is very clear and well detailed, if not ever so slightly recessed.  Vocals, both male and female are clear and very pleasing.  There is a bit spike in the upper midrange that can give some liveliness to the sound signature, but never becomes harsh or fatiguing.
     
    Treble:
    Treble performance on the Jive is probably the most surprising aspect of this IEM.  As with the bass, the treble slightly elevated, and usually I would shy away from an IEM or headphone at that point.  But with the Jive it works, and works really well.  They tuning is nearly eliminated all sibilance, and the Jive is never fatiguing for my ears.  the tuning reminds me a lot of single balanced armature IEMs in its voicing and detail retrieval.  It gives the Jive a sparkle I wasn’t expecting and makes them a very fun, yet quality IEM to listen to.
     
    Imaging:
    Top performers, for me at least, in the imaging department are usually multi-driver balanced armature IEMs.  In most cases, I would say its unfair to compare a budget dynamic driver IEM to those when it comes to imagine, but the Jive gets close, and that is saying a lot.  Detail retrieval, instrument separation, and stereo imaging on the Jive is class leading, and punches way above its weight.  While not up to the level of multi-driver balanced armature IEM’s, it’s close, and that is very pleasing. 
     
    Soundstage:
    The soundstage of the Jive is one of it’s few weak points.  Being an in ear design, its hard to get that sense of air that is achievable with something like the Monk+ earbud.  For an IEM it does just ok, and music always seems to feel as if it’s coming from within the head, and not outside it.  It does give a good sense of depth to the soundstage, but the width is narrow. 
     
     
    20150919_141739.jpg
     
     
    Conclusion:
    Well, if you haven’t caught on by now, I really do love the Brainwavz Jive IEM.  So much so that after being provided a review unit, I have purchased two other pairs of Jive’s for my wife and to keep at the office.  Brainwavz markets the Jive as having the high fidelity sound of a balanced armature unit, and while not quite there, its very close.  A lot closer than anyone would expect at a cost of $28.00 USD.  In fact, for me, its better in some ways.  It conveys about 95% of the detail of a balanced armature driver, but with added bass and dynamics that make the Jive a very fun IEM, without sacrificing sound quality.  This is one IEM that will please both the audiophile and general consumer alike.  Good on ya Brainwavz.
  3. Lurk650
    Brainwavz Jive: Goldilocks of the Budget IEM
    Written by Lurk650
    Published Aug 25, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality, Clarity, Balance, Treble, Bass Control
    Cons - Harshness in some Male Vocals
    About Me: I prefer IEMs over full size because of portability and comfort, though I have owned and own a a couple full size cans. I am a 29 year old music lover, i listen to all genres from R&B to Rap, to Rock/Heavy Metal, to Jazz, Oldies, Country, Blues, etc. If its music I will give it a listen!
     
    My gear used for testing is in my sig and my profile
     
    My main tracks & albums for reviewing are:
     
    Chris Jones - Long After You're Gone (FLAC)
    Toto - Africa (FLAC)
    Sade - Best Of (Album) (FLAC)
    Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (ALAC)
    Lindsey Stirling - Crystallize & Electric Daisy Violin (FLAC)
    Michael Jackson - Rock With You & Thriller (FLAC)
    Tamia - You Put a Move on My Heart (FLAC)
    No Doubt - Hella Good (FLAC)
    Phil Collins - Face Value (FLAC)
    System of a Down - Toxicity & Aerials (FLAC)
    Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Remastered FLAC)
    Ed Sheeran – X (FLAC)
    Five Finger Death Punch - Bad Company, Crossing Over, Hard to See & Undone (320)
    Eagles - Hotel California [Acoustic] (320)
    Incubus - Aqueous Transmission (320)
    Trifonic - Good Enough (320)
    Santana - Maria, Maria & Smooth (Ft. Rob Thomas) (320)
    Willie Nelson - Crazy (2001 Digital Remaster) (AAC 256)
    Rusko - Everyday (Netsky Remix) (320)
    Blackmill - Miracle (Album) (320)
    Rittz - Next to Nothing (Album) (320)
    Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Urban Flora EP (320)
    Gareth Emery Ft. Christina Novelli – Concrete Angel & Dynamite (320)
     
    Today I’m reviewing Brainwaz Jive, special thanks to Pandora @ Brainwavz for sending me the IEM for review. This unit I chose Android capable for the mic/buttons and Green color. It’s a simple budget IEM, ~$25, that isn’t too flashy and gets the job done sound wise. They don’t do too much but don’t do too little, they are nice Goldilocks find. For my listening I settled with Spiral Dot Medium tips.
     
    Build Quality:
    Like I said, they aren’t flashy. Cone housings, each side has a distinct “Left” & “Right” wording. Long strain relief at the housing that shows no sign of ripping. The cable is moderately thick and doesn’t hold much memory which is great. Left side of cable has the mic/buttons as usual, they seem to function well. The Y-Split is thick and has a chin slider. The 3.5 plug is again very tough rubber and a 45 degree angle. These very much appear to be built to last though they are light weight.  The isolation is a bit average, they block out most noise, I’m sure Comply will seal the best.
     
    Inline Mic:
    The sound quality is about average. Not spectacularly clear but not garbled and muffled. They get the job done when I’m driving.
     
    Sound:
    The sound is very pleasant overall, smooth sound sig. The stage is about average but has a nice in head openness, with enough separation and imaging to provide a good mental image of instrument placement. Surprisingly good clarity and details for this price range, with a present bass line that is not boomy like the same price range A&D D2 which can be overbearing at times. I want to call this a balanced v-shape sound sig.
     
    Bass: Digs pretty deep with good mid bass impact. As stated, it doesn’t bleed or interfere with the rest of the frequencies as far as I can tell. I don’t notice it being boomy, pretty well controlled.It has enough rumble and oomph for EDM/Hip Hop and can take a backseat and mellow out for classical or Soft Rock.
     
    Mids: Detailed with great clarity, I don’t notice much, if any, veil in these. Slightly held back but vocals and details still shine though. Guitars and Pianos sound natural. Male and Females both come across as pulled back but still sound very good, males vocals can get a bit harsh but it’s not a huge issue. Female vocals are powerful but not sultry as in say the MusicMaker TK13.
     
    Treble: They seem to teeter on the edge of soft and crisp. They have a good amount of air and sparkle. They float around your head giving you an almost 3D experience at times.
     
     
    Summary:
    The Brainwavz Jive hold their own in the competitive budget IEM market. They don’t have the bass impact and rumble of my MusicMaker FengYin but they have a bit more clarity and separation. The solid build quality and nicely balanced V sound sig makes for an entertaining yet relaxed listen when sitting around. 
    1. B9Scrambler
      Great review sir. Jive are a pretty darn good listen for the price :)
      B9Scrambler, Aug 25, 2016
  4. kiler
    Brainwavz Jive: They certainly make your feet tap!
    Written by kiler
    Published Aug 2, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass is really good for the price; Build quality for the price; Includes Comply Foam Tips
    Cons - Mids are lacklustre
    Hello, once again I’m here to talk with you about an interesting set of IEM. This time we have a really interesting rework of an existing Brainwavz model, the S5! And why is this a rework? Well because with this updated version Brainwavz decided that it would be interesting to add a remote to their already pretty well known S5 IEM. While the remote only grants full compatibility with iOs devices, the addition of it is pretty neat, because it allows you to take control of your music on the go. They also have packaged Comply Foam tips as an added bonus, so we think this package will be really interesting to have a look at.

    Hello once again! I bring you today something that will try and get your feet tapping from Brainwavz, the Brainwavz Jive! These one of the entry level offer from Brainwavz that has been updated recently to include smartphone capabilities, just like the S5 I have previously  reviewed, making these compatible with all Android smartphones (iOs versions are also available). For a relatively affordable price, the Jive offer metal housings and Comply foam tips as accessories, so I think that just for that they deserve some spotlight!

     

    Video 

    [​IMG]

    Technical Data

     

    Talking about technical data and specifications, nothing like using the specifications provided by Brainwavz themselves:

     Specifications:

    ·         Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm

    ·         Rated Impedance : 16 Ω

    ·         Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz

    ·         Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW

    ·         Rated Input Power : 20 mW

    ·         Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated

    ·         Cable : 1.3 m, Copper 

    Packaging

    1.jpg

     
    The packaging that Brainwavz chose for the Jive certainly stands out, specially because it is made out of plastic. Here we can see that the main focus of the packaging are the Jive themselves, with a special note that each version of the Jive (color) has a picture of that same color on the packaging, alongside details on the same color (for example, where the accents in this red version are red, on the green version they are green). On the front we also see that the fact of these being Android compatible is noteworthy.

    2.jpg

     
    On the side of the packaging we can find the mention of these including Comply Foam Tips, alongside the 12 month warranty provided by Brainwavz. We also have links for Brainwavz Social Media pages.

    3.jpg

     
    On the backside we can find some information about the Jive in ear monitors, alongside the specifications and the contents we have in this packaging. All in all really interesting, specially once you realize that the real package is the included carrying case, because everything comes packaged inside it!

    Accessories

    4.jpg

     
    Here we can see what is included with the Brainwavz Jive. As always, and as is Brainwavz tradition, we have a complete set of accessories that almost make worth to buy the Jive just for for them. On the top we have an elongated version of the usual Brainwavz case (which just means more space for IEM and tips, but probably less for DAP’s). Starting from the left (and excluding the obvious Jive!), we have a shirt clip, S and L pair of tips (the M are already installed on the IEM), a manual, a velcro cord cinch, the Comply Foam Tips (the S-400) and we also have a pretty cool Brainwavz sticker! All in all, great accessories included, so lets zoom in on the Jive.

     

    Build Quality and overall look

    6.jpg

     
    These are the Brainwavz Jive, sporting metal (I probably would say it is aluminum) housings with the brand name on one side and the side indicator on the other. We can see that they seem to be really well finished and have eartips to match the housing color. The strain relief on the housing seems well finished, with enough give to let the cable flex.

    5.jpg

     
    Like said before, here we can see that the housings sport right and left indicators written on them, that while visible, lack a tactile feedback. This would be an issue if the Jive did not have a microphone and on cable remote, that is positioned on the left side of the cable, which helps us distinguish between both housing sides easily.

    7.jpg

     
    8.jpg
     
    Talking about the remote and on cable microphone, we can see that they use the same “Bordeaux” color of the cable, with the remote being simple but effective to use (the usual tap to play and double tap to skip songs).

    The microphone is located on the back of this remote, sporting a pretty decent sound quality.

    9.jpg

     
    Speaking now of the jack, here we have a 45 degree angled jack which isn’t what I would have chosen (either go 90 degree or just straight), but the jack is well finished with a TRRS gold plated 3.5mm jack. The cable is really good under the Y split and what could be considered a bit too thin above it, but I’m sure it can take abuse due to its rubber-like coating on the outside.

    All in all, pretty good quality for the under 30$ price bracket that the Jive insert themselves in, so lets see if they can punch their weight in sound quality. 

    Comfort/Isolation

    10.jpg

     
    For a lot of folks that use their sound equipment for long durations during the day, comfort is rated pretty highly on their list, whenever they are looking for some new equipment. Since these are IEM’s, the things that should weigh the most would be the housing shape and weight, alongside the fit you can get with the tips compatible with them.

    On the Jive case even though they are made out of a metal, these are pretty comfortable to use either hanging from your ear or just used with the cable behind the ear. Due to their format, they can be used those ways and you probably will feel comfortable, even with the larger nozzles. The stock tips might have a feeling of too much stiffness that can be solved with either using the provided Comply Foam Tips or even using the Sony Hybrid Clones (which I really enjoy the tonality that they confer to these IEM). About the driver flex, there is a bit of it with the stock tips but I didn’t find them to suffer from it with the Comply Tips.

    Talking about isolation, the Jive isolate you decently, a little bit less than the S5 we have reviewed earlier, but with the Comply tips the amount of isolation goes up even without music. Without music you can hear talks in the room you are currently standing in, but with music the outside noise is totally muffled out, which make these a perfect companion for your commute.

     

    Sound

    Source – HifimeDIY Sabre Dac amped with Objective 2 DIY, Lumia 625, Sandisk Sansa Clip+

    Files Used –  256 to 320 kbps and FLAC

    11.jpg

     
    As always, before using starting to review these, I let them play a variety of music for about 50 hours (having tried them when they first arrived). I’ve noticed an overall tightened sound from these after burn in (Specially in the lower frequency area).

    We should start by describing their overall sound signature. If I had to describe the sound signature of the Jives, it would be a slightly accentuated V shape, making these a really interesting buy for those of you that are electronic (or just pop) music lovers on the go. Brainwavz made some bold claim that these will sound vaguely resembling of a Balanced armature driver and I can see how they would say such a thing (except these have a lot more sub bass).

    Much like the previously reviewed S5, eartip choice (which isn’t as vast in this case as the ones in the S5 case) will definitively impact the sound signature. Using the comply foam tips provided will make these sound warmer with the cost of a bit of treble, but I found the sweet spot with these being the Sony Hybrid-like tips, that make the sound just a tiny bit more midcentric, due to treble reduction (less than the one obtained with the Comply tips). Still, my impressions will be with the stock tips because the Hybrid tips weren’t included and I think that is the sound signature more of my liking.

    Starting with the low end , we can really feel a textured sub-bass, not in the extreme low-end, but in the 20-100 hz range, which means the bass can possess a nice rumble (while not the most textured), avoiding having too much bass in the mid-bass range which could bleed into the mids. You still get a decent kick out of them, so everything with a good bass chord progression will sound really decent.

    The mids are where once again the Brainwavz fail to be more detailed, I would have liked a bit more presence in the voices  that can sound a bit thin at times , but still retaining a lot of detail. Like I said before these are a V shaped headphone and you can definitively listen to the forwardness of the upper midrange, making some cymbals sound harsh due to lack of resolution, that also help confer some space to the overall sound signature. With more complex orchestral sounds, you might find that adding to thin, the midrange might feel a bit congested and with a lack of detail.

    As for the treble, like I said before there is a forwardness to it, that might not be to the liking of many, specially because while forward, it isn’t the one with more resolution or extension out of all similarly priced IEM (from memory, the Piston 3 did this better). Even then, it confers some airiness to the overall signature, that goes well with the good quality low end.

    The soundstage of the Jives is definitively one of their strong suits, mostly in width, because the imaging is quite lacking due to dull mids. Even then, the soundstage might make them really good for those of you that want like to use IEM while gaming.

    I didn’t notice any noticeable improvement with amping the Jives, which is to be expected, because no one in that price point would probably use a DAC or Amp other than the one included in their smartphone.

    In terms of compatibility, being that these are the Android version, I haven’t experienced any kind of issues with my BQ Aquaris X5, which was to be expected really. But it was a nice surprise to see that they work just as fine with my Windows Mobile device, a Lumia 625

    As for compatibility, on my BQ Aquaris X5 I’ve experienced that you can pretty much use every functionality of them and on my Lumia 625 I could also do that, which means these should have a pretty wide compatibility device-wise!

    The microphone quality will be posted in the video review that is coming soon.

    As for some songs that the Brainwavz Jive do really well I’ll leave two below:

    Chicane  – Saltwater –  The V-shaped sound signature makes this trance classic sound just perfect.

    Taylor Swift – Shake it off – The Jives are also really well suited for pop music, just make sure you get a good quality recording (192 kbps or more) because lower quality youtube rips will make you suffer a bit due to harsh treble.

    Conclusion

    Build Quality: 4.5/5

    Accessories: 4/5

    Comfort: 4/5

    Isolation: 4/5

    Sound Quality (bang for buck):3.5/5

    The Jives aren’t the best sounding IEM’s that you can get for the price, but one thing is certain: you probably won’t get as good of a package with any other offering in the same price range. And it isn’t just the packaging that is top notch, the build quality is also really interesting, because having an aluminum build with a decent cable and cable controls is something to be praised. The sound signature will surely be suited for the mainstreams genres (especially with future bass becoming more and more mainstream, which is a genre the Jives master really well), and they won’t need any special amping for you to get all that the Jive can offer. And for that, bearing in mind that sometimes Brainwavz makes these even cheaper than the MSRP, I’m pretty sure every one of you should try the Jives out.

     
    References
    Price: RRP (28.00$) on http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/collections/jive-series
    I would like to thank Brainwavz for the opportunity to review and publish my unbiased opinion about these IEM, it has been a fantastic experience working with you.
      crabdog likes this.
  5. Feilong4
    A Consumer-Friendly Sound in a (hopefully) Durable Package
    Written by Feilong4
    Published Jul 27, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Durable*, Bassy, 45 degree angle plug, Beefy and Light Y-splitter, 3-Button Remote for IOS and Android, Signature Carrying Case
    Cons - Bassy, A little harsh sounding in the upper mids, Lack of strain relief between cable and housing, "Blue" seems more like Purple
    First off, thanks to Pandora from Brainwavz for reaching out and offering the opportunity to look at the "Jive".
     
    Secondly, I noticed a trend that I'm giving 4 stars to everything I've reviewed so far haha. Am I too forgiving or too harsh? I don't even know!
     
    Intro:
    Still trying to get this "intro" part right, but basically I love music and headphones/IEMs. Definitely not an audiophile in any means, but I don't think that disqualifies me from being able to tell whether or not I like a headphone or not (I mean I hope not haha).
     
    I listen to a little bit of everything, but my playlist consists mostly of Pop, Punk, J-Pop/J-Rock, Electronic, and Hip-Hop.
     
    Onto the review!
     
    GlamourShot.jpg
     
    DSC_0055.jpg
     

    Information on Specs, microphone & remote, and included accessories were copied and pasted from Brainwavz Audio’s website.

     

    Specifications:

    1. Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm
    2. Rated Impedance : 16 Ω
    3. Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
    4. Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW
    5. Rated Input Power : 20 mW
    6. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
    7. Cable : 1.3 m, Copper
     

    Microphone & Remote:

    1. Phone Call Control
    2. Audio Player Control
    3. 3-Button Remote
    4. Supports TRRS Connector
    5. Supports Apple iOS and Android Devices
     

    Included Accessories:

    1. Earphone Hardcase (wide)
    2. 3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    3. 1 set of Comply Foam Tips S-400
    4. 1 Shirt Clip
    5. Velcro Cable Tie
    6. Instruction Manual
    7. Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
     
    Package.jpg
     
    Case.png
     
    First Impressions Notes:
    -Driver flex
    -Bassy, somewhat harsh in the upper mids section
    -Dry midrange
    -Sweet hardshell carrying case
     
    Build/Design:
    Brainwavz claims that they are made out of “high quality metal”. The shiny finish seems to give off the look that they are metal, but they feel like hard plastic to me. I don’t mind, but they still look nice. These don’t stick out of my ears much and they haven’t fallen out of my ears yet once I’ve inserted them; but then again I like to insert IEMs deeper into the canal. I like the added cable cinch to help with tangling though it only goes up until the microphone. The strain relief between the housing and the cable seems to be very stiff though. Also, the color "blue" seems to be off.. I don't think I'm color blind but these look more purple in person than blue.
     
    DSC_0028.jpg
     
    DSC_0037.jpg
     
    Cable: 
    The cable feels slightly rubberized and thick enough to not feel cheap. Even at that, I did not experience much microphonics if there were any at all. The Y-splitter is a great balance between being light weight and durable. The lower half of the cable is thicker and terminates into a 45 degree angle 3.5mm plug.
     
    DSC_0048.jpg
     
    DSC_0049.jpg
     
    DSC_0054.jpg
     
    3-Remote Microphone:
    NOTE: I have contacted Brainwavz about the 3-button remote as I think I got the IOS version; I was told that the 3-button remote works for both Android and IOS. It does not work on my Sony Xperia Z3V and so I will not be able to fully review the 3-button remote. 
    The middle button works as a play and pause button. There is also a volume up and down on it, but those unfortunately did not work during use.
     
    DSC_0046.jpg
     
    DSC_0047.jpg
     
     
    Isolation/Fit:
    Upon insertion, I can hear quite of bit of driver flexing where it sounds like something is crinkling inside of the IEMs. I don’t seem to see any ports on the housings so I’m assuming that’s the reason to why there is quite a bit of driver flexing. As for isolation, these isolate very well. I used these in the kitchen the other day and only barely hearing the water running from the sink. I did use them at a fairly high listening level (say like 75%-85% on my phone) so that definitely played a role. As a reference, these isolated quite a bit better than my ATH-CKR10. These fit snugly into my ears with the provided medium tips. I did not experience any discomfort at all.
     
    FrontView.png
     
    SideView.png
     
     
    Sound:
    Note: These have been burned in for about 40 hours. I think this is a necessary step for some IEMs, but since it’s for a review I do it anyway.
     
    Bass: Quite elevated and extends down low quite well. I could definitely feel the rumble of the sub-bass and the bass gives a satisfying amount of authority in the music. Although at times I found it a touch too much energy. It’s great for electronic, hip-hop, rock, and pop; but I found the mid-bass to be a bit too prominent for my liking though. It’s fun at times and at other times, I find myself making faces at how the bass is too strong.
     
    Mids: I think it’s a bit recessed in the lower half, but gradually rises giving this sense of “shimmer” in female vocals. I find this similar to how Audio Technica usually voices their headphones, though in return some could find it somewhat harsh, nasal, and unnatural sounding. If you know me, I really like how Audio Technica sounds especially in the mids so I don’t mind this as much. 
     
    Treble: Somewhat smooth and maybe a touch recessed in the high treble. I wish there was a little more clarity in the treble without crossing the lines of being sibilant and speaking of which I did not find these to be sibilant. I didn’t find them to be very veiled sounding, but I wished it extended a little more as well. If you’re that person who found the HD600 veiled, then uhh.. you probably would think these are also veiled sounding. 
     
    Soundstage:
    There’s a decent amount of separation, but not nearly as much width to back it up. It’s not going to take you to a different planet, that’s for sure. Leave that to speakers.
     
    Conclusion:
    For 25 bucks (at the moment on Amazon), I think it’s a great deal. A consumer friendly sound fitted in a durable and light package with a remote (if you get it working) as a bonus with a hardshell carrying case, it's really hard not to like these!
     
    DSC_0057.jpg
     
    Sources:
    Sony Xperia Z3V
    320 kbps MP3 and FLAC files
     
    Some of the songs used:
    MrFijiwiji - Yours Truly (JIKES Remix)
    One Ok Rock - Jibun Rock
    Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
    Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
    Eminem ft. Lil Wayne - No Love
    Eagles - Hotel California
    Nami Tamaki - Reason
    Joe Hisashi - The Legend of A****aka
    1. Dr4Bob
      Nice photos and review.
       
      I give it four stars.
      Dr4Bob, Jul 28, 2016
  6. B9Scrambler
    Brainwavz Jive: They'll get your feet a-movin'
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Jul 21, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality - Comfort - Nicely balanced, energetic signature
    Cons - Thin cable above y-split - Treble sensitive be wary
    Greetings Head-fi!
     
    Today we are going to be taking a look at the Jive, a funky fresh offering from the people over at Brainwavz.
     
    The Jive popped up around the final quarter of 2015 as another high-quality, low-cost earphone in Brainwavz's arsenal. It's clean design, quality accessories, and excellent sound have made it one of my favorite earphones this year, so let's look at this little gem in greater detail.
     
    Disclaimer:
     
    I would like to thanks Pandora and Brainwavz for providing the Jive in exchange for a fair and impartial review. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this review and all comments and views within are my honest opinions. They are not representative of Brainwavz or any other entity.
     
    The Jive retails for 28.00 USD: http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/jive-noise-isolating-iem-earphones-w-3-button-remote-microphone-black
     
    A Little About Me:
     
    Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI's multi-earphone review thread and being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own reviews. Fast forward a couple years and I've had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, and Meze. I don't do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I'll consider that a job well done.
     
    The gear I use for testing is pretty basic composing of an HTC One M8 cellphone, Topping NX1 portable amplifier, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Plantronics Rig USB amp. An XDuoo X3 (shout out to my cousin Rob!) has recently been added to the crew, and was used for the majority of my testing. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. When it comes to signature preference I tend to lean towards aggressive and energetic, but I try not to limit myself to one signature only. I also tend to listen at lower than average volumes.
     
    Enough preamble. Let us dive into the good stuff shall we?
     

     ​
    1.jpg       2.jpg       3.jpg
     

     
    Packaging and Accessories:
     
    Like the Omega and XFIT XF-200 that I reviewed previously, the Jive arrived in simple yet clean packaging consisting of a basic plastic box. I personally love the aesthetics, giving you a bit of an old world feel through a combination of faded colours, striped textures, and at least on the front, font types that invoke thoughts of the 40s and 50s. It's a neat introduction, and with a very clean image of the Jive itself shown front and centre, made me pretty excited to try them out.
     
    The rear of the package contains the usual blurb about what to expect, stating "...These earphones are great for any kind of music, especially when listening to rock, jazz, or classical music." The specifications, which are shown in the following images, and accessories are also listed.
     
    As with the BLU-200, opening the package reveals one of Brainwavz's excellent hard cases. Sliding out the case and opening it up reveals the Jive, it's accessories, and instruction manual safely wrapped in a plastic bag. Thankfully there are no plastic inserts to mess about with.
     
    While I prefer the more traditional shape of the case that comes with the BLU-200 and XF-200, I found the Jive's elongated case better for travel. It's easier to hold (still too big for most pockets) and it's dimensions are perfect for keeping the Jive and XDuoo X3 safe during my travels.
     
    While the presentation is simple, I really like it. It's honest, enjoyable, and does exactly what it needs to do. The accessories are of the high quality I have come to expect from Brainwavz, and while not as generous as some of their other products, it's still more than you get the majority of from the competition. The inclusion of a pair of Comply S-400 tips is also very welcome.
     
    Build, Design, and Comfort:
     
    Like the packaging, the design of the Jive is simple but effective. They utilize an all-metal, barrel-shaped housing with a smooth slope leading into the nozzle. The nozzle features a prominent lip which holds the tips on very securely.
     
    The cable is very thick below the y-split and a little too thin above, just as it was in it's application on the XF-200 and Omega. It has also retained a little too much memory for my liking, still filled with bends from it's initial unwrapping, even after weeks of use. Strain relief is generous at the y-split and 45 degree angled jack. Moving up to the housing everything looks like it will be hunky-dory, but nope. The strain relief up there is just hard, immovable rubber designed more for aesthetics than functionality.
     
    For my ears, the Jive is sublimely comfortable. The pre-installed medium silicone tips combined with low weight and the gentle slope leading to the nozzle meant they slotted into my ears like they belonged. No fiddling around was required to get a good seal, and I didn't feel the need to wear them over ear to deal with microphonics (cable noise). Still, there is a handy chin slider to help with these things if necessary. I was also thrilled to find that the Jive displayed no driver flex despite the housings lacking any sort of ventilation. Despite the lack of a vent, the Jive isolates no better than your average dynamic driver based earphone, probably due to the shallow fit.
     
    This is how a budget earphone should be built. Quality materials, excellent ergonomics, plus they're quite attractive in their simplicity.
     

     
    4.jpg       5.jpg       6.jpg
     

     
    Microphone and Controls:
     
    It's always nice to see a manufacturer include an inline mic with full controls at this price. While call quality was fine, it's the versatility of this unit that impressed me most.
     
    Most inline mic+control setups work with either Android or iPhone, offering only limited functionality in the one it doesn't specialize in. Brainwavz is more generous than that, giving buyers something a little more versatile. This setup does it all, offering full use of the three button remote on both mobile platforms. It worked flawlessly controlling my HTC One M8, and could be used to start/stop music, end calls, and skip/scan through tracks. While I didn't get to test call functionality on my iPod Touch, I was able to do everything I could on Android with the added functionality of volume control. Sweet.
     
    I also wanted to note that the two raised dots on the centre button make blind-use of the control unit a breeze. Simple, but really effective.
     
    Sound:
     
    As noted earlier in the review, my biases lean towards aggressive and energetic. The Jive does a good job of playing into these interests so I'm going to get this out of the way now; I love how these sound.
     
    Treble on the Jive is detailed, energetic, and surprisingly clean for such an inexpensive product. Extension is excellent, though there may be a little too much emphasis around the 5k region. This peak first popped up somewhere in an early listen to one of the Subsil3nt's drum and bass mixes that I've listened to a trillion times. The particular effect that caught my ear was not supposed to be that forward in the mix, and it took me by surprise. While this peak is not something I would knock them for, it's something to look out for if you are treble sensitive. Check out Luckbad's review for an excellent graph; http://www.head-fi.org/products/brainwavz-jive/reviews/14145.
     
    Mids seem to be something that Brainwavz have no issue nailing, regardless of their balance in the overall signature. The Jive is no exception offering up warm and sweet mids that are just a touch on the thin side. Despite being slightly recessed this permits them to maintain a clear and strong presence. They're never overshadowed or overbearing, just clean, clear and ever present.
     
    When I first tossed in the Jive I thought they were coming up a little bass shy. Silly B9. No, no they're not bass shy. What they are is well-balanced. When called upon, bass will cascade from these lovely 9mm drivers in quantities that would please most listeners. Where the Jive's bass is lacking is in texture and slam. It's presented in a very smooth and slick manner that doesn't give your music a lot of punch. This presentation is relaxing, not authoritative.
     
    I find the Jive to have a fairly average to slightly-small soundstage, not really giving you much in the way of spaciousness. It's large enough to not feel constricted or stuffy. These haven't made me think someone behind me was trying to get my attention when it was really just part of the song. Imaging is similarly just okay, immediately evident on Infected Mushroom tracks which throw sound effects around like they're caught in a windstorm.
     
    Overall the Jive is an excellent listen presenting you with a lively and high-energy sound that is well-balanced.
     
    Tip-rolling: This review was based on use with the stock medium tips. I tried a number of different options, including the included Comply T-400. Foams and small bore tips such as those provided with the RHA S500i or Sony Hybrids helped tame the treble peak at the expense of some energy. I also tried some JVC tips with a wider bore than stock. Not recommended. The stock bore is about as large as I would go.
     

     
    10.jpg       11.jpg       12.jpg
     

     
    Select Comparisons:
     
    Brainwavz Omega (15 USD) - The Omega is currently Brainwavz's least expensive earphone. When I reviewed it originally I listed 'versatile tuning' as a pro. The Jive offers up a similar experience but through a more balanced and significantly more refined/matured sound. While build quality is on par, the vastly improved sonic performance more than makes up for the jump in price. Listening back-to-back, the Omega comes across quite dull, lacking the energy, clarity, and texture of the Jive.
     
    VSonic VSD2 (30-40 USD) - The VSD2 is a pretty solid product and these two compare quite well, though the Jive comes out on top offering up greater clarity, detail, and a more balanced AND fun sound. It also shows how picky the VSD2 can be with sources. Out of my HTC One M8 I thought there was something wrong with the VSD2. It sounded muddy and dull, not at all what I remembered. Moving over to the X3 brought it to life. The Jive sounded similarly excellent regardless of the source. The VSD2 is less fatiguing since their emphasis shifts more towards the low-end. Despite VSonic's spotty reputation for build quality and the use of all-plastic housings on the VSD2, I would still put it on par with the Jive. It has held up exceptionally well since I bought it on release and shows virtually no signs of wear.
     
    Audio Technica ATH-CKP300 (39.99 USD Discontinued) - The CKP300 has more or less been my go-to earphone for a while now if I'm leaving the house. It's shallow fit design and silky smooth sound make them easy to wear and even easier to listen to. Treble is more restrained than on the Jive, and soundstage more spacious. Bass is similarly relaxing, not authoritative, but greater in quantity. Mids on both are fantastic. What the Jive brings to the table is greater detail and clarity across the board, and the inline mic and control module makes them the better of the two for everyday use. Build quality on the CKP300 is excellent, though the cable leading up to the all-plastic housings is way too thin for a sports oriented product. I expect the Jive to display greater longevity.
     
    RHA S500i (49.95 USD) - The S500i has long been one of, if not my favorite earphone under 50 USD. The Jive certainly gives it a run for it's money and then some, offering up a very similar signature and level of build quality at what is not an insignificant price difference. The RHA offers up a slightly more spacious soundstage and similar balance, but really steps thing up with much better imaging. While the S500i's cable looks nice, it's cloth coating is horribly microphonic and the inline mic module offers full functionality only with iDevices. The cloth section is also subject to fraying. I would take the Jive's cable and in-line module any day of the week even if it looks and feels nowhere near as premium. The Jive is also easier to drive.
     

     
    7.jpg       8.jpg       9.jpg
     

     
    Overall:
     
    The Jive is awesome. It's well-constructed, feature rich, comes with a solid pick of quality accessories, is inexpensive, looks good, is comfortable as heck and even comes in an attractive, albeit basic, retail package. Oh yeah, and there is even a chin slider for those that like them. Yes, they have a potentially irritating treble peak and the cable above the y-split is a little thin, but the treble peak can be addressed through equalization or tip rolling. So really, a thin cable is pretty much all I can complain about.
     
    For 28 USD (less if you look around) the Jive is a steal and without a doubt one of the best products I've come across in the under 50 USD category. Thank you Brainwavz for giving me the opportunity to review the Jive. This earphone is an absolute pleasure.
     
    Thanks for reading!
     
    - B9Scrambler
     
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​
     
    Test Albums
     
    BT - This Binary Universe
    Gramatik - The Age of Reason
    Incubus - Movement of the Odyssey Parts 2/3/4
    Infected Mushroom - The Legend of the Black Shawarma
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
    Skindred - Roots Rock Riot
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    wThe Crystal Method - Tweekend
    Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
     

     
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  7. crabdog
    Brainwavz Jive - 'S'mofo butter layin' me to da' BONE! Jackin' me up... tight me! - Airplane! (1980)
    Written by crabdog
    Published Jul 20, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Comfort, clarity, price, build quality, 24 month warranty, in-line remote
    Cons - Slightly dry in the mids
    These are a review unit sent to me by Pandora at Brainwavz in exchange for my honest review. I have no affiliation with the company.
     
    20160711_211706.jpg
     
     
    Taken from the Brainwavz website: Jive Noise Isolating IEM Earphones w/ 3 Button Remote & Microphone - Blue
     
    The Brainwavz Jive has been meticulously crafted out of high quality metal and designed into a sleek and sophisticated shape to give crisp, smooth and accurate playback of any music. Embedded into these earphones are finely tuned dynamic drivers that not only produce high fidelity vocals & acoustics with accuracy, but an incredible liveliness and a wide soundstage.
    The Brainwavz Jive bring you right into the music when listening to either rock, jazz or classical. Included together with the Jive earphones, are a complimentary set of Comply™ Foam tips giving you that extra comfort for easy listening.
     
    Features:
    ·         High Fidelity Audio.
    ·         Lively Sound
    ·         Sleek and Stylish All-Metal Housing.
    Specifications:
    ·         Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm
    ·         Rated Impedance : 16 Ω
    ·         Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
    ·         Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW
    ·         Rated Input Power : 20 mW
    ·         Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
    ·         Cable : 1.3 m, Copper
    Microphone & Remote:
    ·         Phone Call Control
    ·         Audio Player Control
    ·         3-Button Remote
    ·         Supports TRRS Connector
    ·         Supports Apple iOS and Android Devices
    Included Accessories:
    ·         Earphone Hardcase (wide)
    ·         3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    ·         1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
    ·         1 Shirt Clip
    ·         Velcro Cable Tie
    ·         Instruction Manual
    ·         Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
     
    About me:
    I’ve always loved anything audio but only recently started buying IEMs and taking more of an interest in my tools of choice.
    My music preferences are fairly widespread and include classical, Celtic, Psytrance, hip-hop, pop, j-pop and movie/game soundtracks.
    I’ve become extremely interested in the budget oriented iems, mainly the ones coming from China and I love sampling anything I can get my hands on. Nearly all of my earphones are in the sub $100 range.
     
    20160711_210233.jpg 20160711_211433.jpg
    Note that the image on the box corresponds with the color of the IEM inside. This is typical of Brainwavz' attention to detail.
     
    Build and accessories:
    Click on images to see in full size
    20160720_121714.jpg  
    20160720_122501.jpg  
    20160720_122042.jpg  


    The Brainwavz Jive feels and looks quite premium, especially when considering the modest retail price. The paint has a high quality glossy finish with Left and Right markings on one side and the Brainwavz logo on the other.
    The cable is color matched in the same blue as the housing which is a nice touch, as are the strain reliefs and in-line mic/remote. There’s a cable cinch above the Y-splitter to ensure a more secure fit and helps reduce micro phonics.  
     
    One thing I don’t like about the cable is that it’s quite thick below the Y-splitter which is good for durability but unfortunately is rather bouncy and hard to manage (much like the original cable on the Tennmak Piano). When I put it in my top shirt pocket it’s like a coiled snake that’s ready to pop out like a jack in the box. When in use though the cable cinch and provided shirt clip help a lot with management.
     
    The 3.5mm plug is angled with a rubberized coating. There’s even a concave indentation on the main part which makes it easier to insert and remove the plug. Brainwavz really excels with these little finishing touches and I commend them for their attention to detail.
     
    Overall it’s a very coherent presentation which suggests that the design process has been well thought out and hasn't just been thrown together.
     
    20160720_122422.jpg
     
    Sound:
    I mostly use these with my XDuoo X2 and Galaxy Note 5. At the time of this review they’ve been burned in for approximately 40 hours.
     
    The Jive’s sound is crisp and detailed with a V shaped signature, focusing more on the upper mids and highs. Soundstage is slightly above average. There's a good amount of energy present and the trebles sound remarkably similar to what you'd expect from a Balanced Armature driver.
     
    Bass:
    The bass is slightly emphasized but far from dominant. It's fairly well controlled but sometimes left me wanting a bit more "oomph". I wouldn't recommend these for bassheads. Sub-bass digs fairly deep but feels a bit recessed.
     
    Midrange:
    The mids on the Jive come across with good clarity and detail, with vocals being very crisp but slightly lacking in warmth. Sound separation with orchestral music is very good, making it easy to determine various instruments but I would have like a bit more fullness and intimacy.
     
    Treble:
    Treble extends well and is fairly prominent in the sound. There are peaks in some areas that are bordering on being edgy but don't cause fatigue. Sibilance is mostly non existent which is impressive considering the emphasis on the highs in the sound signature.
     
    Comparison:
     
    Jive $28 vs Tennmak Piano $25.99:
    Compared to the Jive the Piano has fuller bass which extends further, particularly in sub-bass. There is a similar amount of control in each. Mids on the Piano are more forward with more warmth. The Jive reveals details with a bit more clarity. Treble extends further on the Jive and may cause fatigue at higher volume.
     
    Comfort wise they are both good but for me the Jive wins here because of its small size and cable down wearing style.
     
    I found the Jive required a couple more notches on the volume to reach the same levels as the Piano.
     
    Jive $28 vs HLSX-808 $43.28:
    Compared to the Jive the 808 has more bass presence especially in the sub-bass. Mids are similar on both - a bit recessed and dry sounding. The details on the 808 come through more clearly, especially the highs which are super clean on the 808. The treble on the Jive gets closer to edgy due to some peaks and while the 808 can also border on piercing with some sounds they are a little more balanced in the highs.
     
    I find the Jive to be more comfortable due to its rounded edges on the housing compared to the sharp back end on the 808. Isolation is similar between the two.
     
    They both require the roughly the same power to drive.
     
    Conclusion:
    The Brainwavz Jive is an interesting IEM. It has highs and clarity similar to BA driven earphones and a lively top end. As usual it comes with Brainwavz' excellent 24 month warranty which makes the low asking price even more impressive.
     
    The build quality is superb and put together in a cohesive and professional package that makes them feel worth more than their $28 cost. If anything they're let down slightly by the "bouncy" cable but as I stated earlier the cable cinch and shirt clip help remedy this.
     
    I'd also like a bit more fullness or warmth in the mids which make some vocals and string instruments a bit dry and light on emotion. Bass and sub-bass are well controlled and the detail is very good for a dynamic driver.
     
    The Jive is a solid product and in my opinion easily worthy of its price. I'd recommend these to people who like a lively and detailed sound but for bass-heads and people who like warm/dark signatures these may not be for you.
     
    20160720_122018.jpg  
    20160720_122147.jpg  
    20160720_122405.jpg  

      peter123 and B9Scrambler like this.
  8. dnun8086
    Who you Jiving? I Rock!
    Written by dnun8086
    Published Jul 15, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great Price/Performance, Included Accessories, More than decent Sound!!
    Cons - Cable Short, A little flimsy.. Errr Treble/Mid Range detail meh probably not a con!
    Introduction/Disclaimer

    Well hello again feels like ages since I have written anything and due to my busy work schedule this review maybe a little shorter than I'd like. Add comments below if you need more info on the product. So I have been following audio for about 5 years now and been enjoying the journey/growing addiction ever since. 

    I would sincerely like to thank Pandora for sending out this sample unit for purpose of review in trade for my honest opinions and impressions. 

    What's inside the box Jack?

    Not much but everything I'd want I think. Check below for a quick breakdown. I find it extremely generous of them to provide free comply foam ear tips at this price! Just a side note I love the hard case included it's a little longer than others, that what she said, but it really makes wrapping your earphones up and packing them in a little easier, the red outskirt, zip lock and metal logo is a classy touch. You also receive this handy Velcro strap band to keep your wires in place when you wrap to prevent tangling which works well if used correctly.
    Please find more information and pictures below. 
     
    IMG_5746.jpg
     
    Included Accessories:
    1 x Comply S-400 medium foam tips 
    3 x Pair silicone tips (S/M/L) 
    1 x Velcro cable tie 
    1 x Shirt clip 
    1 x Brainwavz logo sticker 
    1 x Brainwavz earphone carrying case 
    1 x Instruction manual & Warranty card 
    IMG_5768.jpg IMG_5766.jpg IMG_5767.jpg
     
    Specifications:
    Drivers: Dynamic, 9 mm 
    Rated Impedance : 16 Ohms 
    Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz 
    Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW 
    Rated Input Power : 20 mW 
    Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated 
    CABLE : 1.3 m, Copper

    Build quality/Design

    Well they are metal I will say that much; fine I'll write this section stupid conscience making me make this as comprehensive as I can.


    Made up of an entirely metal housing the units themselves are pretty straight forward as you can see in the pictures below. The debate on housing/performance is still open but at the very least they feel nice and you get that bit of extra durability vs a cheap plastic housing. Both the left and right earpieces are clearly marked with a go faster strip pinned across the body on both sides. If it's too much trouble to look just pick up the side with the mic and bang that's your left earpiece. 

    Let's talk ergonomics before I plough forward with the microphone and cable design. Whoever designed these must have made them for me! Love it an angle so slight you can barely tell by looking at the monitors themselves but it's there believe me, or at least I think it is? Each earpiece seems to be tilted ever so slightly into the depth of your ear canal. The result for me was a comfortable fit off the bat without even having to open any of the extra included ear tips which I usually have to do or go straight for the foam. I wish and hope to see more little design features like this in the future the angle isn't obtrusive or ugly just enough to get whatever desired effect the creator was going for, which I think had something to do with comfort and sound quality I would have assumed. Anyway long story short I'd like to say it worked alright for me! 

    Cable and Mic 

    Guy's not going to lie here I almost want to leave this section as short as the cable is! Saner heads prevail I don't know why but Brainwavz thought it be a good idea to have a shorter cable then most whilst not devastatingly short by any means it did present a slight issue when I went for a jog, trying to place my phone in my lower pocket and keeping the earphones in was a no go!

    The cable leading to the earpieces is a little flimsy, whilst this doesn't matter to me would have been nice to see the same thicker style which runs to the angled earphone jack throughout. I am nit picking now because overall these things are damn hard to fault for the price!! Nice little chin slider and cable splitter complete the package so let's talk about the mic and functions.

    I couldn't get the mic working on my mobile device due to technical reasons (Silly phone)! Fortunately, a family came to the rescue I borrowed both an Android and IOS device both worked flawlessly. Function control easy enough press the centre button once to pause, press once again to resume play, press twice to skip the track, press three times to go back. Easy enough, volume controls work great although the mic unit felt a bit cheap but the earphones are cheap so I'll stop my complaining. Phone calls were clear and cut out a little unwarranted background noise enough to ensure a clear phone call without any glaring issues.

    Sound quality

    As usual if you're reading this review or if I was reading this review this is usually the first part that a skip to. So let's get into the meat of this, no offence to any vegetarians I tried it once but that's a different story entirely.

    Listening with the Jive earphones has been an absolute pleasure, sure they're not going to be class leading sound but I mean take a look at the price!! For goodness sake these things are brilliant for what you're paying for. They have a general bass tilt and the overtone is fun focused but keeping detailing and clarity to create a really immersive and musical sound.
     
    Treble

    The highs before burning were a tad bit sharp but since receive in the units and giving them about 20 hours they've calmed down a bit. Let there be no misunderstanding when I say sharp I don't mean harsh or screechy. The best way I could possibly visualise it would to be describing a drummer at a young age hitting pots and pans with a wooden spoon, he has since progressed with time and his parents have bought him an actual drum stick now to hit the little drum kit they bought him including cymbals. (A choice they don’t regret because it’s still better than pots and pans!). You get a splash of the symbol here and there and enough detail to satisfy most. Intrinsically whisked away into a world of finite detail you will not be, in fact I think I hold the Delta a grade above these but didn't enjoy them nearly as much even though I'm in favour of a more balanced and airy sound. Swept off your feet by the overall musicality most likely you will be, unless you don't like cheesy complements. I think the Jive has some good pickup lines like on a scale of 1 to 10 you’re a 9 and I'm the 1 you need. Feel free to use that one, but aside from the funny cheese the Jive really likes to flatter you and get you feeling you've not been left out of the party, whilst not the most intelligent creature he knows enough about things to keep you interested and informed enough to hold a delightful conversation.
     
    Midrange

    Ah well you can imagine what's about to come I've mentioned and alluded to the bass and initially sharp treble, we all know what this means! Just say it they are V shaped aren't they! Nope sorry to disappoint you they aren't, I said the treble calmed down and began to grow some maturity with the help of family and time so how do I describe them? Mixed bag, vocals come through smooth whilst neither really forward or recessed there is a really nice emphasis when pop songs come on that have you forgetting about the flaws for long enough that you might even believe the Jive is a little wise. In there lies the key though. Little whilst I enjoy the vocals the Jive produce there is a trade-off for this buttery smoothness. Space, ambience and detail when listening to some very well-known songs I began to tell I am missing some detail that isn't pronounced due to the slightly overshadowing bass and unrefined treble, this tends to be towards the high end of the midrange and isn't a huge deal breaker but it's there. I didn’t really know what to expect though you couldn't compare this to something too high market because that's not what they're about! For anyone who is looking for a consumer friendly sound without sacrificing hardly anything this pair of earphones might well be worth a look. 
     
    Bass

    The Uish shaped signature aside the bass is a plump outgoing character whilst a little wild remains controlled enough to let you enjoy your evening. The bass doesn't extend into the deepest regions but then again I wouldn't have expected it to, depending on the track and listener’s preference you might be quite surprised at how the mid bass performs and bass in general. There is a certain rumble that comes into adding to the treble creating a warmer more pleasant tone, life is easy going with the Jive and you'll survive as long as you don't put on something too bass heavy and crank up the volume. Not perfect but I enjoy the quality and quantity these offer which is just fabulous for the price.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging

    Soundstage actually exists on these not like cheaper earphones I have tried before, there is actually something going on here. Spatial cues are scattered around your brain remaining fairly close but as soon as a song has room to breathe you'll hear guitar strings in the distance and an airiness I have yet to really fault at this level. It must be noted though due to the slight mid-range dip in detail you’ll lose some of what could be considered great imagining. Don’t get me wrong it's there and heard, if you listen out for it, but I'd like it to be more pronounced and it would turn an otherwise really good pair of earphones into something a touch great.

    Conclusion 

    Should I buy these honestly if I was out for a budget pair of earphones and needed a mic I'd have no regrets in making this purchase. Yes, the sound isn't exactly audiophile 1000% but damn it's fun smooth and resolving enough to keep me listening for ages. Heck I've even picked this up over some of my other earphones just because I felt like it. Really great synergy with the M2 which was mainly the source I used for the purpose of this review thanks to AR.

    As always any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and thanks for reading! 
  9. Tom22
    Value-friendly iOS & Androids' BFF
    Written by Tom22
    Published Dec 5, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - nice clear midrange, good punch in the bass, 3 button remote for android AND iOS devices, easy fit
    Cons - upper midrange a bit shouty and bright, may need longer aftermarket tips to get a better seal (shallow fit)
    Brainwavz Jives is a great example of great value at a low price, that I believe I will garner interests from both the average consumer and the budget minded head-fier.  It’ll get your “jiving” on your way to work and around town and back.
    Here are a few reasons that make the Jive’s intriguing:
    1. It’s very affordable at under $30
    2. Easy, Shallow fit (short nozzle, ideal to be worn the traditional cable down method)
    3. smartphone compatible controls (both iOS and Android) (with volume up, down, play, pause, rewind and the
    4. A rather balanced suprisingly clear sound at its price point. 
     
    For this review I received the Army Green sample, my many thanks to Brainwavz for sending the Jives out for review.  *note, I was provided with an android and an ios version (the android version, had channel imbalanced issues). Since then the current pair has suffered no issues.
    As with all my previous reviews, I will evaluate the earphones/headphones based on its price range, and its merits (be wary of the scoring).
    If you would rather watch the video review for the Jives Please click the link below: Like & Share and Subscribe if you enjoyed the content.
     
    [​IMG]
    Accessories:
    A nice assortment of basic necessities at this price range :
    1 new rectangular (chocolate bar shaped) hard shell carrying case
    3 sets of silicone colour coordinated eartips
    1 comply S400s
    1 shirt clip
    Overall- 7/10
    20151017_2254050.jpg    20151017_225559.jpg      20151017_225612.jpg
     
     
     
    Features:
    For Users seeking a practical smartphone compatible earphone should take notice of the Brainwavz Jives. They come in 2 variations (catering to Android and iOS users), with a full integrated 3 button remote with media controls (including the ever elusive volume controls for android smarphones). The remote is located a few inches down from the left earpiece, putting them at very close in proximity to your mouth. The buttons also have solid tactile feedback, with 2 small bumps along the centre button to easy access without looking.
    Overall: 10/10 (having an Android compatible remote at this price is quite refreshing)
     
     
    20151017_225147.jpg   20151017_225154.jpg
     
     
    Design:
    The understated bell design gets a “wake- up call” with the rather unique colour selection in the form of: Ink Blue, Blood Red, and Forest/Army Green.  The Green version has rather nice metallic green, complementing the forest green cable.
    Overall: 7/10
     
    Build Quality:
    The Jives are nicely built, equipped with rigid metal earpieces shaped like a bell.   Brainwavz continues to be quite aggressive with the level of quality of their earphones, even on their more affordable products. This is very commendable considering larger and well known brands often utilize more plastic in their more affordable options. Moving to the cable, it is nicely relieved while still being lightweight making more manageable. A slight irritation is the top part of the cable is a bit thin, but we will have to see how well it would fair under longer usage. On the flipside, the bottom half of the cable in contrast, is nice and thick. Lastly, the robust 45-degree Jack, has a small indent to allow for easy gripping when pulling and plugging in the Jives from your smartphone device.
    Overall: 7/10
     
    20151017_225103.jpg    20151017_2252111.jpg    20151017_225223.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Comfort:
    The Jives are quite small and compact. With a shallow fit, the Jives easily slip in and out of your ears in a moments notice, without having to deal with ear guides. The ease of wear makes them a very practical recommendation for average consumer.
    Overall: 8/10
    20151017_225015.jpg
     
     
    Isolation:
    Despite the shallow fit, the Jives have a fully sealed design, making them a good partner in fairly loud environments.
    Overall: 7/10
      20151017_225049.jpg
     
    Sound:
     The Jives fairly balanced sound, even slightly leaning on the “brighter” side. Due to the slight lift in the upper midrange, female vocals take centre stage. The slightly mid-centric sound works well especially for podcasts and dialogues.
     
    Bass:
    There is a slight bloominess to the bass but in terms of quantity, I think is quite tastefully boosted. There is more mid to upper bass giving the Jives a greater giving a nice softness and punch without sounding too bassy.  Similar to many balanced armature earphones, I hear a bit of roll off in the very lowest frequencies, as a result the Jives do not necessary give you that deep sense of scale or rumble. Unlike BA drivers, the Jives lack a bit in terms of speed.
     
    Midrange:  
    The Jives have a dry, lean midrange, which I think is the reasoning behind Brainwavz advertising the Jives as sounding similar to a typical BA. The Jives have a greater sense of clarity compared to the typical $30-40 earphones. I do hear a peak in the upper midrange, making female vocals more pronounced in recordings. This emphasis in the upper midrange, may have their detractors, as they cn enthusiastic at times, which can make them a bit harsh or shouty, for instruments like trumpets. On flipside, I would rather have  this kind of midrange tuning rather then a rather murky or muffled midrange that is a commonality in this price range.
    I would like Brainwavz to include a few more eartips (Also, the size difference the medium – large silicone tips is a bit too drastic).
    *note- brainwavz has informed the public that they are thinking of packaging the the Jives with biflanges now.
     
    Treble:
    The treble on the Jives has decent extension, while not the most detailed, I think is well balanced with the slightly mid-centric sound signature rather then sounding overly bright.
     
    Soundstage:
    Its rather small on the Jives, with decent separation and imaging.
    Overall: 7/10
     
    Conclusion:
    My previous top recommendation at the sub $50 was the Brainwavz S0, because I thought it a “total package” with a non-offensive warm sound complemented with a nice assortment of accessories with strong construction.
    Well, the S0s has been eclipsed by Jives, which I find to clearer, with the ever elusive “3 button remote” for iOS  AND Android users, given that many people use their smartphones primarily as their music player. while being more affordable, and less prone to cable noise (a common complaint of the S0s). Conversely, compromises has to be made, as they come with a small assortment of accessories, and thinner cables, but coming at ½ the price of the S0s, I think this is more then acceptable. Highly recommended!
     
    Overall: 53/70= 76%
      Walderstorn likes this.
  10. kova4a
    A Bolder Sound Which Misses the Mark
    Written by kova4a
    Published Nov 26, 2015
    2.5/5,
    Pros - solid build quality, good clarity
    Cons - ringing treble and strident sound, shouty vocals, overall dynamics somewhat limited, driver flex
     
    First off, I have to thank Brainwavz and Pandora for this Jive unit and as usual I have to apologize again for the VERY long delay of my review.
     
    Packaging and Accessories
     
    20150824_161848.jpg
     
    The package is pretty simple and straightforward. You get a plasticky box (I’m not a huge fan of it – it deforms easily, which makes it hard to close and overall has a cheap feel)
     
    20150824_161905.jpg
     
    On the back of the box there is a short description of the Jive followed by its specs, a list of the contents of the package and compatibility.
     
    20150824_161948.jpg
     
    Once you open the box you are greeted by the new Brainwavz iem case and the Jive itself and all the accessories crammed inside. And that is it for the presentation. Yeah, the Jive is an entry-level product but I know Brainwavz can do better than this.
     
    20151004_211705.jpg
     
    I’ve mentioned multiple times the Brainwavz case has always been a favorite of mine. It’s quite tough and specious and can easily fit a pair of iems and a small DAP like a Sansa, xduoo x2 and the likes. The new case is made out of the same materials and keeps the same overall esthetics. The thing that has changes is the form factor – it is narrower but longer. I haven’t made up my mind yet how I feel about the change. It might be just the way I roll the cables of my iems and end up with more of a circle but I found myself forced to tuck the cable inside before being able to close the case. The included accessories are 3 pairs of silicone tips in small, medium and large size and a shirt clip. As usual with Brainwavz a pair of comply foam tips is included to complete the package.
     
    Build Quality, Design and Fit
     
    20151004_211607.jpg
     
    The Brainwavz Jive is a solid iem with nice metal housings. The cable is nothing special. It’s quite reminiscent of the Brainwavz Delta but slightly thinner both below and above the y-splitter and with a more rubbery feel.
     
    20151004_212540.jpg 20151004_212453.jpg
    (Jive - left, Delta - right)
     
    The strain reliefs look substantial enough but are on the stiff side. The Y-splitter is the same as on the Brainwavz Delta and also smartly conceals a chin slider that is easy to miss. The j-plug is again borrowed from the Delta its strain relief and unlike the strain relief on the housings is pretty soft and pliable.
     
    20151004_212626.jpg
     
    Design-wise the Jive is a fairly standard affair. Relatively small straight-barrel housings, which are supposed to be in army green on this version but look more like gunmetal grey with a slightly green tint. The cable is also more on the grey side. The controls on the cable have nice clicky feel but I would have preferred if they were raised instead of flush.
    The fit is good with the provided tips but I settled with other tips. The isolation is about average.
    The Jive is meant to be worn straight down but could be used in an over-the-ear fashion, although this places the mic too high for proper use if you’re going to use the Jive for calls. Microphonics aren’t bad, especially with the included shirt clip. There is some driver flex in the left earpiece though. It doesn’t occur often but on several occasions was quite severe and pretty much rendered the left earpiece inaudible.
     
    Sound
     
    The Jive has over 100 hours of burn-in at the time of writing this review and I didn’t notice any substantial changes.
     
    The bass has relatively big body and impact but the body is lacking some thickness and the impact is somewhat on the soft side. The low end does have quite good speed and extension even though the softer impact makes it sound like it lacks depth. I would have preferred some more tightness and a more solid body as it sounds a touch hollow but overall it doesn’t really sound that loose.
     
    The overall tonality is slightly warm. The note presentation is on the lean side. And this is where the shortcomings of the Jive start to really show. The mids are laid back, which is not necessarily a bad thing but to say the vocals have good presence would be an understatement. It’s not uncommon to feel the need to raise the volume when you have more distant sounding mids but in the case of the Jive the vocals, especially male ones, are downright shouty and that paired with the otherwise laid back midrange leads to an issue – your favorite musicians end up shouting in your ears. String instruments can also get edgy and strident, which doesn’t go well with the vocal issues. Depending on the tips used the sound can be on the dry side but can also be relatively smooth (not counting the vocals, which no amount of tip rolling could get in check). Clarity is pretty good but it is more a result of the tuning rather than the capabilities of the drivers, so the Jive doesn’t have a particularly natural sound and the timber is definitely off. It’s hard to put your finger on the Jive as it can sound quite smooth at times and pretty bright and strident at others.
     
    The treble has good presence and extension but is splashy and a bit dry due to the thinner note presentation. There is plenty of sparkle and shimmer. It’s not that prone to pointing out sibilance but can get strident and overall ar artificial sounding and fatiguing at higher volume. There is definitely a ringing issue and a weird resonance.
     
    The Jive sounds fairly spacious. It has good center, overall positioning and instrument separation. The width is decent. The depth is not bad either. The Jive does have somewhat limited dynamics, which leads to lacking overall articulation and PRAT.
     
    Summary
     
    20151004_212159.jpg
    (Jive - left, Delta - right)
     
    I’ve been delaying my review for quite some time trying to find the right tips for it, to find more positive things to say, to find more redeeming qualities but to no avail. Initially this review included several comparisons but that ended up like more bashing on the Jive and just putting the boot in. During one longer listening session I was trying to brainstorm a clever title of my review and when I took the Jives out my ears were so fatigued and ringing that, to be honest, I thought to myself the title should be “You’ve got to be jiving me!”. “The Jive is an entry-level iem, it is quite cheap and you have to bear that in mind” I tried to persuade myself but there was the Brainwavz Delta also sitting on the desk in front of me – also entry-level and cheap, also made by Brainwavz and provided a safe, smooth sound, but in addition, a lot more pros than cons.
     
    The Brainwavz Jive comes with a bold tuning that might appeal to other people (it’s obvious from the positive reviews) but unfortunately for me it misses the mark. I don’t know if the sound engineers tried to overcome the limitations of the drivers used and tune the Jive to sound similar to a BA iem but usually when you try to artificially boost the clarity and perceived detail you end up with an artificial sound and the Jive is not an exception. It is as if the Jive was tuned mainly for taking calls.
     
    So, the Jive review is finally here and yet I have to end it with this - if you’re looking for an affordable iem from Brainwavz I would suggest the Brainwavz Delta instead.

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