Brainwavz Jive - Reviews
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.


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"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.
 
 
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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.


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"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.
ezekiel77
ezekiel77
Thanks mate. I mean, they're no Ocharaku, but they make great gifts.
B9Scrambler
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!
ezekiel77
ezekiel77
Thanks B9. It's an honour.
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)
 
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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!!!)
 
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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.
 
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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)
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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. 
 
 
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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.
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. 
B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
Great review sir. Jive are a pretty darn good listen for the price :)
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 



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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.
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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!
 
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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)
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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!
 
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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
Dr4Bob
Dr4Bob
Nice photos and review.
 
I give it four stars.
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?
 

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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.
 

 
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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.
 

 
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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.
 

 
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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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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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. 
 
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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 
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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! 
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.
 

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
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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)
 
 
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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
 
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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
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Isolation:
Despite the shallow fit, the Jives have a fully sealed design, making them a good partner in fairly loud environments.
Overall: 7/10
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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%
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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
 
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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)
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
 
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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.
 
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(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.
 
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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
 
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(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.
Pros: Price; Build Quality, SQ Potential; Easy to Mod
Cons: Housing Resonances; Treble Ringing
Brainwavz Jive - A Modification Away From Excellence
 
Jive.jpg
 
Disclaimer: Brainwavz provided the unit used for this review.
 
Brainwavz sure are one busy company. It seems that every few months they are releasing new or updated products. The Jive is one of the newest releases. The Jive is a budget dynamic driver in-ear market with an MSRP of just $28. Originally marketed as having balanced armature sound in a dynamic driver, current marketing expresses the Jive as having incredible liveliness and wide soundstage to bring right into the music. I think I can agree with the later expressions, the Jive is one lively ride!
 
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
    •    iOS & Android Versions
 
Build and Aesthetics
 
The Jive comes in 3 different colors: Ink Blue, Army Green and Blood Red. The ink blue color provided for this review permeates throughout the design. Tips, housing, cable, inline remote and terminating plug are all in the quite attractive ink blue. Build seems on par for Brainwavz regardless of price bracket - very robust and durable. The sealed, colored metal housings really look rather nice. They are fairly tiny with easily visible left and right markings. The cable is plenty flexible and slightly thick; the y-split practical and slightly oversized with a nice functional neck slider; the plug seems durable with oversized strain relief; the housing strain reliefs again slightly oversized compared to typical offerings in this price bracket. The Jive was built to withstand a rough and care-free lifestyle. 
 
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The inline remote comes in two options: Apple or Android compatible. The unit reviewed here has the Apple compatible verison. The inline remote is small and thin, so it easily disappears when out and about. Buttons are small but we'll spaced and layout is the common Apple remote layout: volume up, answer/end call, volume down. The center button also acts as the pause (single press), track skip forward (double press) and track skip back/replay (triple press). 
 
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Accessories
 
The Jive comes with a shirt clip and 3 sets of silicone tips (S, M and L) in the same color as the ink blue housings. Not only do they look good, they are comfortable too. They are wide bore tips, so I would like to see Brainwavz consider additionally providing narrow bore tips to help with treble compensation. Also included was 1 set of Comply S400 sport foams. I don't really recommend those with the Jive signature. That porous foam tends to lean the signature out for a brighter, more treble focused perception. I feel that the normal Comply foam models work better with the Jive signature.  
 
Brainwavz also includes their revamped carrying case. Made of the same great sturdy and durable material of previous cases, this design features a longer, more rectangular shape instead of the old squarish boxy shape. I think the new design is a bit more practical for my uses, but don't worry, the old case is still available as a purchasable accessory.
 
Accessories.jpg
 
Sound
 
Initial sonic impression is of a V shaped signature, showcasing a deep and rumbling bass and accentuated, attention grabbing treble. The marketing is spot on, the Jive is very lively and dynamic with a nice and wide presentation.
 
Treble - Treble is front and center. It's is sparkly, upfront and resonant. It also has a slight tendency to accentuate sibilance at times. The loose resonant quality of the treble tells me the all metal housings could use some damping material inside. I think if resonances could be damped, the treble quality could improve, leading to a more articulate and fun treble presence. As it stands now, the treble resonances are distracting and downright annoying at times, especially at louder volumes. Otherwise it has a nice brassy tonality and excellent timbre. There is a lot to like here, even with the issues mentioned; there is certainly modding potential (more on this later). 
 
Midrange  - Vocals are pretty clear with a nice warmth to them. Distortion guitars have good bite and crunch. While no means a resolution master, details levels are very satisfactory, especially at the price bracket. Midrange tonality is natural and pleasing; so while it sits a little recessed in comparison to the treble and bass, the quality of the midrange is rather good. 
 
Bass - While Brainwavz had marketed the Jive as a balanced armature sounding dynamic driver, there is no mistaking the bass; it's clearly a dynamic driver type of bass. Bass is prominent in the mix and while not basshead levels, it is definitely a driving force of the signature. While just slightly on the boomy side, decay is natural sounding with pleasing deep bass rumble and good texture.
 
Modifications
 
As mentioned earlier, the treble can be a bit too lively with the housing resonances, that can cause the treble to ring and bass to sound a little boomy, but I can clearly hear the potential this driver has to offer. Inspired by my friend and fellow Head-Fier, James444, I decided to mod the Jive in order to improve upon the quality of the Jive signature.
 
The nozzle is covered with a typical acoustically clear filter sticker. Its main purpose is to keep dirt and moisture out of the housing. Using a pin/needle, I gently pried the sticker from the nozzle. This revealed what I had assumed - there is no damping material in the housing and you can see clear to the driver.
 
nofilter.jpg
 
I decided use cotton as damping material, cutting the end from a Q-tip. On my first attempt, I used all of the cotton from the entire tip in one housing. I then flipped the Q-tip and did the same for the other housing. I carefully re-applied the same filter stickers and gave it a try. The resulting sound was a very bass heavy Jive with greatly reduced treble sparkle and presence. In fact, the treble was reduced much too much and the sound was no longer lively and robbed it of all the good things I had heard un-modded. While over damped, the treble ringing and resonances were completely gone. Obviously I’d used too much cotton.
 
I used my needle to remove the filter stickers again and removed all the cotton. This time I tried to cut the cotton pieces in half and used the less full half to reinsert into the nozzle (the cotton of a Q-tip is denser on one end than the other). Once completed for both sides, I reapplied the filter stickers and eagerly turned the music back on.
 
Modcotton.jpg
 
Success! The newly modified sound coming from the Jive maintains everything I liked about the stock version but removed the treble ringing and resonances and also removed the stock bass boominess as well. The end result was slightly perceived more bass quantity but a tighter more textured bass in return. The treble retained it’s excellent liveliness and tonality but completely removed all the annoyances I had early. Unexpectedly the midrange became richer and more forward in the mix. The Jive has changed from just an average budget in-ear with potential, to a very pleasing and engaging in-ear that clearly punches way above it’s price point. 
 
Summary
 
The Jive can now be found directly from Brainwavz, in their new web store at brainwavzaudio.com. Brainwavz in-ears often go on sale but even at MSRP, it’s a veritable steal for someone willing to perform a very simple modification that turns a decent budget offering into a rather excellent sub $100 performer.
 
Jiveandcase.jpg
 
 
dhruvmeena96
dhruvmeena96
I did your mod.. Just even less cotton and more spread in nozzle.


Man the whole mids changed. Depth increased by leaps and bound.. Phantom stage.

Better than many iem under 100$.

Just a little strong bass for my taste.
Pros: - Clean, Crisp Sound - Great Value - Ample Accessories - Comfortable - No amp needed
Cons: - Jack of all trades, master of none - Some songs can sound edgy - Treble peak can fatigue some - Not a basshead IEM!
[Originally reviewed at Basshead.Club]

 

How do they do it? Brainwavz continues to impress with its budget-friendly new Jive IEM for Android and iOS devices.

Brainwavz Jive In the Box

  1. Brainwavz Jive Earphones (Android or iOS; Blue, Green, or Red)
  2. Hard Case
  3. Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L)
  4. Comply Foam Tips (S-400)
  5. Shirt Clip
  6. Velcro Cable Tie
  7. Manual
  8. 24 Month Warranty


Brainwavz Jive Impressions

Looking at the contents of the box and noting the all-metal, stylish earphones, you’d expect to pay more than $50. You’d be wrong. These bang-for-the-buck IEMs can be had right now for $25-30.

I legitimately had to check the price after listening to them for a few minutes. They are not only very comfortable and attractive, they have a wonderfully lively and energetic sound to them.

I would describe the overall sound as crisp and clear with just a touch of extra weight in the bass department. Not basshead levels, to be sure, but a little oomph to get the foot tapping.

Isolation is good, build quality hits above the Jive’s price point, and the in-line controls and mic are intuitive and functionally sound. They feature a microphone, volume, phone call control, and audio player control.

Complaints? Only one, really. The Jive has a treble peak around 5kHz that’s a little higher than I prefer, because I’m treble-sensitive. If that were smoothed down (which I do via EQ), this would be the perfect budget IEM.

If you’re looking for an IEM with in-line controls that is budget-friendly and enjoyable to listen to, the Brainwavz Jive is an excellent choice. These have moved up to become my primary workout earphone because they’re sturdy, comfortable, and fun to listen to.

How does Brainwavz do it? I really don’t know. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for earphones with fewer accessories or more questionable build quality. Well played, Brainwavz. You’ve done it again with the Jive.

Brainwavz Jive Frequency Response

This curve was generated using a Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface, and Room EQ Wizard. The mic calibration file was provided by Dayton Audio and the output calibration file was generated using the program itself (3.5mm out on PC to 1/4″ input on Scarlett 2i4).



Brainwavz Jive Specifications

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

Brainwavz Jive

$28.00


7.9



SOUND

7/10
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QUALITY

7.5/10
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COMFORT

8/10
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VALUE

9/10
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REVIEWER BIAS

8/10
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PROS

  1. - Clean, Crisp Sound
  2. - Great Value
  3. - Ample Accessories
  4. - Comfortable
  5. - No amp needed

CONS

  1. - Jack of all trades, master of none
  2. - Some songs can sound edgy
  3. - Treble peak can fatigue some
  4. - Not a basshead IEM!




Pros: Clearly its awesome value. Sounds good and crazy bundle for the money.
Cons: Calling the purple one blue is misleading.
Brainwavz Jive Quick Review
 
Thanks to mp4nation for the sample.
 
Full review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/781409/brainwavz-jive-review-by-mark2410
 
Brief:  Great generalist in multiple colours.
 
Price:  US$28 or circa £18 just now
 
Specification:  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
 
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.  It’s a really impressive wee bundle for the pennies.
 
Build Quality:  First Class.  Your clearly not paying first class prices but it looks great, feels nice too. There really is nothing to fault.
 
Isolation:  It’s fair.  Roughly what you’d expect from a dynamic so fine for out walking or on a bus, not so much for the Tube or flight.  More than enough to make you roadkill if you forget to use your eyes though.
 
Comfort/Fit:  Great on both accounts.  Worn up or down I had zero issues with either.
 
Aesthetics:  While I’m not a million percent sure about their colour options, the strangely dark forest green, the dark intense looking red or the purple one.  Ink Blue, yeah and I’m the Easter Bunny.  Not that I don’t like the colour, it’s kinda refreshing to see something so different (i.e. not Beats red.) but it’s clearly not blue in any way.
 
Sound:  Good.  It’s a good solid generalist that is pretty evenly capable, all styles it’s pretty content to play anything.  It’s not going to blow your mind, unless you’re coming from the things that came in the box with your phone.  Then once you have a think and realise just how good there are, how even handed, how good looking, how nicely put together and their ability to just do everything.  Then the price and you get a mic???  Oh then you get a case and then you notice that it comes with colour matching ear tips!!!! I mean come on. It’s a little gem of a bundle, I can’t help thinking the perfect little gift bundle.  Get someone you care about off the stock crap they are currently using and give them a taste of the good stuff.  Bass wise they are a little midbassy, they do drop off too a bit early and they aren’t the firmest ever.  Mids are a little pushed back and a little lacking air and delicacy.  Highs are soft and muted, will be really lacking for some, particularly in edge.  They are kinda softish up top, which is sensible if you ask me.  So these clearly aren’t RE-0’s but normal people, I’d bet normal people would jump all over the Jives in a heartbeat.
 
Value:  Clearly its awesome value.  Sounds good and crazy bundle for the money.
 
Pro’s:   Super Cheap.  Can do everything.   Funky colours
 
Con’s:  Calling the purple one blue is misleading.

Tom22
Tom22
@mark2410 amen brother! these jives are a gem. not "jiving" with the name though, and yes from pictures the ink blue is not really blue. I got the forest green, but its actually metallic with a dark green eartips (I love the colour actually!).
 
I find they need longer eartips personally (using them with my vsonic dual flange) gives them just enough length to seal better and helps even out that upper midrange spike, making them less bright
 
the bass I found to be my favorite aspect of the jives ! literally, punches way above the asking price, yes they are a bit mid-upper bassy but not thick in any sense.
 
the mic and buttons are just a nice added bonus... need to really test out the mic in noisy areas but so far so good =)
Pros: great sound and build
Cons: couldn't come up with anything significant

This is a review of the Brainwavz Jive earphones in army green with IOS controls.  I strictly tested it using the iPhone 6 Plus. 

 
IMG_0033.jpg
IMG_0035.jpg
 
Packaging and accessories are quite nice considering these sell for under thirty bucks.  Three pairs of silicon tips, pair of Comply’s, cable clip and a new version of their excellent hard case. 
 
Build feels top notch.  Metal housings that are light and small enough to almost disappear into the ears.  Strain reliefs look and feel solid and seems to be able to take some abuse.  Cable feels a happy medium between slippery and rubbery. 
 
IOS remote works as designed functionality-wise and the buttons are positioned well and press easily. 
 
One word to describe the sound would be clarity.  I can hear why Brainwavz direction in tuning went for an armature driver. 
 
Bass is tight, has good impact and keeps excellent speed.  Definitely sounds dynamic so those who fear armature bass don’t need to be scared off. 
 
Vocals sound upfront without being forward if this makes sense.  Vocal range leans more toward the mid to upper frequencies so it lacks some bottom heft.  No sibilance detected after initial burn in and daily use for a couple of weeks. 
 
Treble packs good spark and is very crisp.  Went from somewhat edgy on open box to sounding fine after use.  Armature type clarity seems to be closely achieved by this tuning. 
 
Another great sounding Brainwavz earphone.  To me this might be their best sound to price ratio product they’ve ever released.  Well done. 

Pros: Good bass, nicely balanced, will last long.
Cons: Annoying upper mids, needs burning in.


Intro:-
 
  All of us have heard about Brainwavz as a brand which believes in bang for buck products. Last time I reviewed their first Bluetooth earphoneBLU-100, this time around they have introduced an entry level earphone named Jive, which has headset functionality and has two versions, one for android and other for apple, priced close to $30, comes in 3 colors, RED, INK BLUE, and GREEN. Has all metal earpieces, this earphone is an upgrade to Detla (which I reviewed back in 2013) but won’t be replacing it, these two models will co-exist.
 
  I have the android version dressed in red for review.
 
  If you ever read my Delta review you know that I liked them, they were better than FX40 and some other earphones in its price bracket. Jive too has tough competition from piston earphones and some other in its price range. I will be comparing this earphone with Piston-3, Philips shq2305, Brainwavz S0and its older brother, Delta.
 
  And about me, I like balance, a good balance with some stage and spark will keep me seated. Not much bothered about bass till its tight and precise. It is nice when mids are not left in the valley.
 
 P.S.:- I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for this review unit.
 
IMG_20150817_142303_HDR.jpg  IMG_20150817_141156.jpg
 


Accessories and miscellaneous:-
 
  Like every brainwavz earphone, this too comes with a carry pouch, this time it’s longer and narrower which makes it more pocket-able and you can carry your ipod nano inside it, it has one horizontal and a vertical pouches fixed inside to carry your spare tips and other things. This earphone comes with 4 pairs of tips, one is a comply S-400 and others are wide bore matching colored eartips. I am using comply tips for this review. Thankfully this earphone comes with a cable clip, Delta didn’t have one. There is a cable wrap too to keep the cable organized while not in use, and a Brainwavz label sticker inside the box to put it on your backpack maybe.
 
  This earphone is nicely built. Earpieces are all metal and are not heavy, stay in nicely, no complains there. It has a thicker and stronger cable compared to Delta, and has similar Y splitter, 60 degree 3.5mm jack and stress relievers too.
 
  L/R marking anyone? Delta was difficult to recognize, this one has LEFT and RIGHT written on the respective earpieces. And to make things simpler, the side with remote will go into your left ear.
  Remote unit is plastic though, still build quality is good with enough stress relievers.
 
  Its rubbery cable is neither bouncy nor microphonic. Isolation is average with comply tips and fairly comfortable to wear. You can wear it over ear or cable down without any problem. And at 130cms, its cable is long enough for most of us.
IMG_20150817_141752.jpg  IMG_20150817_141834.jpg
IMG_20150910_103812.jpg  IMG_20150817_141246.jpg
 
 ​
 


Remote and MIC:-
 
 It has a 3 button remote to control music and pick or end calls. My Redmi has feature to assign volume buttons to skip tracks or control volume. When it’s set to control volume, middle button does everything else. Picks calls, ends calls, plays and stops music when not in call, skips ahead with a double tap and goes back with 3 clicks.
 
 When volume buttons are assigned to skip tracks back and forth, you can’t control volume from your remote.
 
 Mic’s voice quality is nice but sounds slightly hollowed to the other person. No complain with the clarity, its clear and more than acceptable.


 
Sound Quality:-
 
  First thing first, pull the sock tip out, put the comply on (included in the package). This earphone has a seriously spiky and elevated region in between highs and mids before burning. After 100 hrs of burning its okay but still spiky, which can be cured by using narrow bore tips or comply tips. I love sparks with the highs, not spikes around upper mid.
 
  When that’s done, this earphones sound similar to Delta, warm bright and balanced with more details and without those spikes and graininess that delta has.
 
  These are marketed as “Tuned to sound like Balanced Armatures” but I might not agree with that. I have more than 10 single BA earphones and none of them sound anything like this. They have more focus on the mid range and mostly lack highs let it be PL50 or she9850 or even the XBA-C10, none of them sound like the Jive.
 
  Sound signature is balanced enough to be called balanced though, highs are still elevated but not much. It’s the organic nature of the sound that I like the most, let it be horns or trumpets or tambourines, they all sound so natural and organic unlike BAs.
 
  Let me tell you more about it. Let’s get into details. Before that, Let me tell you that this earphone doesn’t need amping and,
 
  Here are some of the tracks that I used,
 
  James blunt – 1973(my fav track),
  Adele - set fire to the rain,
  Paul lindford and Chris vrenna – most wanted mash up.
  Plan-B – playing with fire.
 Jessie J- sweet talker,
The Avener – Castle in the snow (feat. Kadebostany)
 Tinie Tempah- wonderman feat Ellie Goulding,
 George Barnett- super hero in a ball and Down on me (this guy knows what he is doing).
 Breaking Benjamin- Who wants to live forever (Queens Cover, new mix).
 Lupe Fiasco- Adoration of the magi Feat. Crystal Torres
 John Newman and Calvin Harris – blame.
Imagine dragons – Roots and Amsterdam.

Bass:-
 
  No BA I have that moves this much air, yes Jive lacks much rumble or thump like other dynamic earphones in its price range but more than enough for BAs, and man am I loving it? Bass is just splendid, keeps up with the pace of the track and decay is fast, awesome control for dynamic driver at this price, it’s precise and to the point, never bleeds into the mids. This is like BAs though. Extension is good enough for most of us and has enough sub bass (ID- Amsterdam). Better than BAs here.
 
  Won’t keep a bass lover seated as they will crave for bass, but has enough if you don’t crave for it. Its not thin sounding but yes it lacks some body that other dynamics have.
 
  Has superb details like BA earphones, it give me an impression like my UE600!! Not that fast and detailed but similar to it and that is a huge thing for an earphone at this price point.
  Mid bass do have slightly more emphasis but I won’t call it a hump or anything like that.
 
  This bass will not blow anyone away, but people like me who enjoy some bass, people who are not bass heads will love this bass. All in all bass is not as analytical as BA drivers.
 
  But when you put the stock tips on, its bass becomes even tighter and lacks some extension with more control. Like BAs. But I wont suggest that tip to anyone.

Mid range:-
 
  I love crispy vocals with tingling instruments, and this earphone has it, slightly dark and thick with enough details with precision, Dosent sound think like BAs, sounds slightly cold with male vocals which is not a bad thing. If you compare with BAs, this earphone lacks micro details which a single BA like she9850 or A151 2nd gen will revel easily.
 
  Jive sounds spacious and that thickness helps with male vocals, it lacks depth though, female vocals do sound sharper and slightly better. Notes lack sharpness like BA with comply but sounds sharp enough with stock tips. Thankfully notes presentation is nice, but you will find these lacking some resolution, but imaging and presentation remains good.
 
  If you like easy on the ears, smooth, engaging, cohesive mid, this is it, nice sounding vocals, splendid guitars and pianos. It can even handle fast paced house and electronic music, which Delta was not able handle properly.
 
  Sadly as I mentioned there are some spikes in the upper mid range which will annoy with stock tips, with comply, they are manageable.
 
  With comply tips sound stage has better depth and more rounded, with stock tips it’s wider and lacks some depth. In general its bigger than E50 and S0.

 Highs:-
 
  This part of the spectrum is what I love mostly. Even when the overall sig is V-shaped, if it has enough high end spark to keep me seated. I love spark. Cymbals, trumpets long horns all sound really nice from the Jive. Might give n impression of being sibilant but its caused by those upper mids, highs don’t sound sibilant and carries enough energy to keep someone like me engaged. These do lack serious layering but meh, come on, look at its price tag. Instrument placing is okay, layering is acceptable and overall presentation is more than acceptable.
 
  With stock tips sound is more prone to sibilance but still not bad, I won’t recommend it though, it’s better with comply.
 
  It’s far better than E50 here, which lacks extension and energy.
 
  Overall these highs are better than some BAs and not comparable to some. Some changes I would like to bring are slightly more smoothness to the highs and less spikes for general listener. For me, it is nice
IMG_20150817_150946_HDR.jpg  IMG_20150910_104232.jpg
IMG_20150910_104357.jpg  IMG_20150910_104431.jpg


.
Comparisons:-
 
 Vs Piston 3:- 
  Piston 3 is a different sounding earphone, smoother and less aggressive. Its bass has more rumble and air, mid bassy, not as fast, better energy with thicker notes. Have more detailed upper mids and bass but is not as good with highs and vocals, vocals sound colder. Highs lack energy and some extension. Has bigger sense space without sounding hollow, better layering and separation, sounds warmer and more cohesive too and is balanced enough to be called balanced, sadly it lacks the clarity of Jive.
 
  Piston 3 has a bad 3 button remote with small buttons, making them difficult to get a hold of, Jive’s are far better. Cable is similar but piston lacks a cable clip in its package, comfort is similar but Jive has better isolation and don’t fall out, piston sometimes do. MIC SQ is similar but Piston is slightly worse.
 
  I will pick both, different sig, cheaper price. One can have both and be happy. (sadly piston 3 doesnt have a practical carry case, Jive is better there for sure)

 
Vs Philips SHQ2305:-
  V-shaped sound sig, dark and cold sounding half in-ear earphone. Bass is fast but not as fast as Jive, has enough rumble air and details. Mids are left in the valley but don’t lack details but vocals sound cold, instruments sound nice. Sadly it feels like something is holding it back from sounding even more clearer and that makes these sound slightly edgy and unnatural. Highs do lack some extension but has enough energy. Sound stage is bigger, layering and separation is good too.
 
  It comes with a huge one button remote, super easy to use, microphonics is under control, use the cable clip. Best thing about this is its sweat resistant, has Kevlar coated cable and man, this has the best stress relievers I have ever seen on an earphone ever.
 
 This earphone had given me a wow impression initially but after 50 hrs of burning I found out flaws and will hesitate to recommend it to serious listeners. Okay for casual listeners and gym goers.
 SHQ2305 does not have enough to take on Jive. Still it’s not a bad one.

 
Vs Brainwavz S0:-
  Laid back, cold and dark sounding earphone, bass has more rumble and plenty of air, has a mid bass hump and lacks sub bass. Vocals lack sharpness and depth, instruments are detailed but again lacks bite. Stage is similar to Jive in width but lacks depth. Layering and separation is okay, imaging is better. Highs are the most disappointing part of the SQ, they lack energy and details too.
 
  The best thing about this earphone is its build and cable. Really low cable noise, strong thick flat cable builds confidence and you will find it difficult to break these earpieces too (metal).
 
  Sadly this one doesn’t have a mic.
 
  Jive is the better earphone here, even when it has clumsy highs, S0 lacks high-end spark altogether.

Vs Brainwavz Delta:-
  Similar sound signature, but delta is more V-shaped. Bass is leaner, mids are less detailed, sounds darker and notes are sharper. Highs are prone to sibilance. Layering and separation is slightly worse. Sound stage is a bit smaller. Imaging and presentation are similar.
 
  Has the same cable, same stress relievers, same jack, but this cable thinner and has more microphonic noise.
 
  Jive wins with a land slide.


 Conclusion:-
  Brainwavz jive is a nicely built entry level earphone with a signature which might not please bass lovers or those who like smoother sounding earphones, but for average user, it has enough to hold its own.
 
  Comes with the best remote unit I have ever seen on an earphone, easy to operate, has apple and android versions too. Mic has acceptable clarity, doesn’t have enough microphonics to bother too.
  It needs some improvements for sure. Brainwavz should cut those upper mid spikes first, improve layering and add some more details. Then this will be the earphone to beat in its price bracket.
  Maybe with the next model will have these things sorted out. Name it Tango maybe!!
 
  All in all, it’s a nice entry level earphone. IF you are not a bass head and can handle some energetic upper half, go for this.
 
  You can grab one from these places!!
 
  http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Isolating-Earphones-iPhones-Green-iOS/dp/B013OKX8CE
  http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-jive-noise-isolating-iem-earphones-w-3-button-remote-microphone-blood-red
 
 
  Cheers guys!! have a nice day!!


 Some more pics!!
 
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JohnClarke
JohnClarke
I am looking for cheap earphones. I don't care much for the sound quality as long as it has average to above-average sound quality.
 
I mainly listen to faster music like Trance/EDM and Metal. Can these handle the intensity of Metal and EDM music? I like "in-your-face" forward and aggressive guitar tones in metal music and well balanced synths in EDM music. Many bass-heavy earphone tends to create horrible guitar tone and annoying synth sounds in favor of ridiculous amount of bass and treble, hope these does not have those problem. I don't think I can find any balanced earphone in $25 range. I was initially planning to buy Brainwavz Delta. 
suman134
suman134
You should try the Delta for sure, it is awesomely balanced but has really hot treble too. But under $25, you cant get anything better or anything like this.
Pros: Very affordable, built to last, great all around sound signature
Cons: Packaging flimsy, cable too housings thin, not available in local stores
JIVE
 
 INTRO  
 
If you're reading this you must be a Head-Fi member or just looking at reviews for a new pair of headphones or iem’s. Let me introduce myself, my name is Adam I am 38 years old obviously a male. I work in a machine shop and am required to wear hearing protection all day, so my hearing protection for my 8 hour shift is a pair of earbuds.I have been a member of the Head-Fi forum for awhile now, my journey to Head-Fi started by doing a web search for a new pair of earbuds for work. I am your average Joe, Dick or Harry and write my reviews towards the average consumer. A good amount of reviews are written with a bunch of audiophile lingo, that the average consumer wouldn’t be able to decipher. This is the reason I started to write reviews to make them user friendly. The main reason could be I am a terrible writer, I am a way better listener.
 
I don’t consider myself an audiophile but I do like my music to sound good. Most audiophiles want their music to sound the way the engineer mastered it. I don’t necessarily want my music to sound how the engineer mastered it. I am willing to buy endless amounts of headphones, iems, dacs and amps to make it sound good to my ears. In my reviews I don’t use meters, charts or graphs, the only graph or charts I care about are the quarterly ones that come in the mail to tell me how my 401K is doing. In the end the most important tools are your own ears. Head-Fi reviews typically get more views than any pro-magazine or any dedicated review site, with most web searches landing you here one way or the other.
 
Describing sound can be a challenge since we all have different preferences, sources, files, environments, amps, dacs and ears. My goal in my reviews is to let the average consumer know if this product is worthy of their hard earned cash, and maybe make them into a new Head-Fi member. The more people that become interested in this hobby of ours the more products companies will offer us, the more the better. Before I get started I would like to say thank you to Brainwavz relationship manager Pandora for giving me the opportunity to review the Jive. I am not employed or being compensated in anyway for this review, and is based off my honest opinions.  You can purchase the Jive from the links bellow at a very low price of $25.
http://www.mp4nation.net/catalogsearch/result/?q=Jive
 
http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Isolating-Earphones-Android-Red-Android/dp/B013OKX8H4/ref=sr_1_5?srs=8142685011&ie=UTF8&qid=1441473486&sr=8-5&keywords=jive&pebp=1441473491267&perid=123PTWWRRJ0N3ZVZ4H49
Brainwavz product line is extensive and they pride themselves at making quality products at a friendly price. This is only the second iem that I have a had the chance to review for Brainwavz, and so far I am pretty impressed. There are so many companies in today's market turning out cheap products. Brainwavz price is cheap but so far from what I can tell there pricing does not match the quality. The kind of quality that they're putting out is more inline of higher priced products.
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SPECS
 
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
Microphone and Remote:
iOS & Android Versions
Phone Call Control
Audio Player Control
3-Button Remote
 
HOW IT GETS TO YOU
 
Brainwavz Jives come packaged in a small plastic box, I chose the Blood Red ones. The front of the box has a nice photo of the iems in the same color of the product. These were shipped from overseas, so the box was a little banged up. On the back of the package you will find information about the Jives, specifications, contents and compatibility. I have to say the box is fairly cheap and flimsy, but for the price I can’t complain if the product is safe. That's about it for the packaging, it does it’s job gets them from point A to B safely.

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THE EXTRAS
 
Comply™ Foam Tips         x1 S-400 Hard Case         x1 (wide)
Silicone Ear Tips                x3 sets (S/M/L)
Shirt Clip                            x1
Manual                               x1
Velcro cable tie                  x1
Warranty Card        
 
For $25 I wasn't expecting too many accessories, but the Jives come with enough extras that could sell for this price by themselves. The included silicone and comply tips will ensure a perfect fit for everyone. Brainwavz also threw in a shirt clip that most companies seem to forget to include. For storage a Velcro cable tie is included, it’s a very small accessory but one of my favorites. I myself typically just wrap the cable around itself so it doesn’t come unraveled and tangled up. $25 you don’t usually expect a storage case but to top it off Brainwavz Jives come with a very nice hard shell case with a zipper. The case also has a small pocket for storing extra ear tips. I was very impressed with their accessory package, like I said the accessories could cost you $25 alone.

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BUILD  FIT
 
I was expecting an all plastic design for at this price, but the Jives are an all metal design that have been anodized. You could almost scrap the metal and get your money back, just kidding scrap prices are not that high but you know what I mean.  The metal housing is almost shaped like a bell and looks like it was precisioned cnc machined. The plug is set at a 45 degree angle and is gold plated. Moving on to the cable that’s a nice supple rubber that matches the color of the iem itself. At the Y splitter the cables leading up to the housings are quite thin but feel like there attached firmly with good strain relief.
 
The Y splitter is a little wide but its nice and flat, I really like that it's not to bulky. I run the cable under the front of my shirt, bulky y splitters make me look like I have a growth or a 3rd nipple. A 3 button control and mic housing is made of a durable plastic. It was nice to see all the functions work with my phone, especially the volume controls. Jives are a dynamic driver design with a wide bore for the sound to come out. There is a wax and dust screen to protect the sound port, a small groove is machined into the nozzle so the tips stay in place. This design is great since I have had many tips on different iems come off and be left behind stuck in my ear.

 
Isolation was what you would expect for this design and sealed out a good amount of ambient noise. Almost forgot there is also a cable slide that is on the cable, it matches the Y splitter so well I almost didn’t see it. Overall for this price the Jives are built to match higher priced products. I can’t see how Brainwavz does it when other iems cost hundreds and can't come close to match the durability and quality of the Jives.

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THE IMPORTANT PART
 
All my listening was done with the Ak100II or my laptop paired with the Apogee Groove. I used all hi-res files and some MP3s. Jives are very easy to drive from any source so I didn’t pair it with an amp, I used the Groove for the DAC section. Brainwavz Jive sound is stunning for the cost of a large pizza and a side of french fries. Really the overall sound is slightly V shaped. The most impressive part in the frequency would have to be the bass. It’s very well controlled and detailed and slightly going into sub bass territory, but doesn’t have that full time rumble.  Bass is lifted but never takes away from the rest of the music.  These are by no means for bass heads the bass is done smoothly and transitions well into the mids.
 
The midrange has good clarity and a hint of warmth to them. They have good detail and sound good with just about every kind of music. I wouldn’t say the mids are laid back, but if they were brought more up front these would just be that much better. Higher frequencies are slightly elevated giving them more of a V shaped sound signature. All instruments and have great clarity and sound very clean. Brainwavz Jives never got to bright or pierced my ears with too much treble.
Instrument separation is about average, but compared to other products in this price range it would have to great. Compared to the Sure SE215s which might not be fair, but a good amount of people have heard these. Jives bass is better controlled and smoother compared to the 215s, with the 215s going deeper into sub-bass. Comparing the mids to my ears the Jives can lack detail to the 215s, but seem to be more up front. 215s higher frequencies seem to fall a little short compared to  the Jives with the Jives having better extension and detail.
 
Brainwavz Jives sounded pretty good for hands free phone calls, I could hear the other person clearly. My mother on the other end is hard of hearing and also had no problems. First listening to these it wasn’t so obvious of what kind of sound signature the Jives had. They fall just short of being balanced, a nice balanced signature is what I prefer. That doesn’t mean I don’t like these I actually really like the Jives. I noticed they didn’t incorporate an air hole for the dynamic driver to breath. I am almost tempted to drill a hole in the housings to see what kind of sound signature I could get. I think these are tuned perfectly for everyday use, they have a sound that will work well with everyday music that plays on the radio. Most consumers typically listen to the top 100 charts. Brainwavz have created an iem that will please just about everyone, the added bonus is you get an iem that can reproduce details in music that most products at this price can’t.

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WHAT I REALLY THINK
 
I think for the price you can’t go wrong, the sound signature is very good for all  genres of music. It’s the type of iem that could become an everyday work iem for me, especially for the build quality. So stop buying those other bargain iems that last 2 weeks  and get Jiving, if you do you won’t be buying a new budget iem every month.  I can put my iems thru some abuse at work and at $25 if they break I won’t be sweating it. I don’t see myself doing any critical listening with these but then again I really never do anyway.  I just like to enjoy my music and if it sounds good then I am happy. I have to say I am very happy with the Jives. And could recommend these to anyone that doesn’t want to break the bank. Thanks for reading I hope this helped anyone interested in these.





    
Arsenal
Arsenal
Good review! I can't understand why it's that cheap.
peter123
peter123
Nice read Adam. I also like the layout of the review, clean and clear. Your thought on the Jive mirrors my own impression pretty well, great value :)
acain
acain
Thanks guys it is a real value it makes you wonder how other company's some up with pricing.
Pros: Very good price to performance ratio, Three button microphone and remote for Android and IOS, Nice sub bass and detailed signature
Cons: Cable above the Y-split is flimsy, Driver flex, Suction like seal can be uncomfortable unless handled correctly
At the time of the review, the Brainwavz Jive earphone was was on sale at Amazon’s website for $25.00 USD. Here is a link to Their listing of the product:
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http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Isolating-Earphones-Android-Blue-Android/dp/B013OKX8II/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441323708&sr=8-1&keywords=brainwavz+jive
 
Introduction
I like Brainwavz because they offer a diverse range of IEMs and headphones that offer great price to performance ratio. When I was contacted to try their new earphone titled the “Jive”, I was told that this was their earphone that mimicked the sound of a balanced armature. After hearing that I couldn’t turn down their offer. I was simply too curious to find out what this was all about. Today I will be covering them in this review.
 
Disclaimer
I was given an opportunity to review the Jive in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Brainwavz in any way. I would like to also use this opportunity to thank the good folks at Brainwavz for the chance to cover their new product.
 
My Background
I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
 
There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
 
I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
 
REVIEW
The Jive comes in a small plastic box that is white and whatever color model you choose. The front of the box has a picture of the earphones and the name “Jive” printed on the front. The back of the box features a brief description of Jive’s attributes along with specifications. As usual, Brainwavz offers a well done packaging that does a good job of marketing the product. Brainwavz is offering an assortment of colors for this one. You can pick from blue (seems to have a purple tint), red (crimson tinted), and a forest green color. For this review I opted for the green pair. All of them not only sport a colored housing, they also have a corresponding cable in the same color.
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Specifications:

  1. Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm
  2. Rated Impedance : 16 Ohms
  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
  8.  
Included Accessories:

  1. 1 x Comply S-400 medium foam tips
  2. 3 x Pair silicone tips (S/M/L)
  3. 1 x Velcro cable tie
  4. 1 x Shirt clip
  5. 1 x Brainwavz logo sticker
  6. 1 x Brainwavz earphone carrying case
  7. 1 x Instruction manual & Warranty card

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One of the things I like most about Brainwavz is their awesome accessories package and what I would consider to be one of the best clamshell cases out there. This time they changed things up, offering a more elongated case. Although it’s a different shape, it pretty much works the same as the old one and is still a high quality accessory.

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Microphone and Remote:

  1. iOS & Android Versions
  2. Phone Call Control
  3. Audio Player Control
  4. 3-Button Remote

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Housings
Jive’s housings are a metal construction that I would assume to be aluminum. They are very lightweight and nicely shaped. The Jive has a short and slightly wider than average nozzle with a thin felt dust screen. One side of the housing has the Brainwavz logo printed, and a left/right marking on the other side. All in all, the Housings are well done and I have no major issues or complaints aside from wondering how well the printed logos and channel markings would hold up with daily use.
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Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
The cable is a rubber jacketed copper cable. The cable is fairly thin and flimsy from the Y-split to the housing. I could see someone potentially breaking them if mishandled. However, if you take care of them and use the provided clamshell case when not in use you shouldn’t have any problems with them. All strain reliefs on the the Jive are very nicely done. They are made of a flexible rubber material that should withstand the test of time. The cable jack is a sixty degree version with a nice rubber jacket. A nice bonus is the chin slider that works well, especially when wearing them over the ear.
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Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
This earphone is a pretty universally ergonomic design that can be worn over or under the ear with no problems. The inline microphone and remote does get in the way of the chin slider snugging things up while wearing them under the ear. Their lightweight housing and light cable makes it easy to wear for long periods of time without either being an issue. If there is one thing I did notice as being a hindrance regarding their fit, it would be the suctions sometimes caused by the seal of the earphones. There was occasional driver flex, and the suction created from getting a seal caused a little discomfort and sometimes impacted the way they sounded. This could be easily adjusted, and after spending a fair amount of time with this I learned how to avoid this from being an issue for the most part. One bonus about the Jive is that because they do create such a good seal, isolation is much better than the average in-ear monitor. As far as microphonics is concerned, wearing them down caused a fair amount of cable noise, but over the ear made it pretty much non-existent.
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Functionality
The Jive offers a three button remote for both Android and IOS platforms. Just make sure to choose the correct application when ordering your pair. I ordered the Android version for my LG G3 and confirmed it’s functionality. I did have some issues with the microphone as some friends and family said my voice cut out during conversations. I was unable to confirm whether or not it was the cell phone service or the microphone.
 
Sound Review & Materials
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I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
“Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
“Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
“Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
“Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
“Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
“The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
“Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
“Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
“One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
“Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
“Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
“And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
“Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
 
Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
 
Sound Signature
Although Brainwavs stated that their new model offered a “armature” sound, I found it to be a U shaped signature with lots of detail and better than average separation. To be honest, of all the Brainwavz models I’ve owned and used, this is the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far.
 
My main complaint from previous Brainwavz models has been the amount of forward mid bass causing midrange distortion and impacting the overall resolution and sound signature. Brainwavz took a different approach this time, toning down the midbass on these, and leaving some room for the other frequencies to be played with clarity that is very impressive. I was able to catch some nice detail in the midrange I otherwise couldn’t with their other models.
 
With all this being said, a nice added bonus in my opinion is the fact that they were able to maintain a nice sub-bass presence and slight upper mids and treble bump that rounds out the sound nicely. These are very fun to listen to, and have sound quality that punches well above their asking price in my opinion.
 
Bass
There is a very nice forward sub bass presence that adds adds nice depth to whatever is being played. It is an opposite approach to the likes of the Brainwavz S0, and to my ears it works really well. Mid bass is back in the mix, leaving some deeper vocals and instruments feeling like they could use just a touch more weight to them. The plus about this is it makes for a pretty airy and detailed presentation. You will hear sounds that were often times overshadowed by mid bass. I really enjoy this because it’s different than many mainstream models that try to blow people’s brains out with gobs and gobs of wooly bass. I think this is why the good folks at Brainwavz were claiming the Jive to be armature sound. They have tuned the driver to offer plenty of bass for just about anybody to enjoy them, but also thinned out middle frequencies to give listeners very nice details. Well done Brainwavz!
 
Midrange
The mids were slightly thin, dry and detailed. There’s nice separation of sounds. They play all genres well, but where I feel these work great is with band genres and stuff with sub bass. Upper midrange did have a spike and I occasionally got a harshly pronounced letter S or cymbal crash. For the most part though, the upper mids just helped add a nice sense of space to the mix. During complex passages the driver did occasionally struggle to keep up and would begin to smear sounds. However, this rarely happened. For the most part the Jive midrange is a nicely detailed and compliments the rest of the tuning.
 
Treble
Treble for the most part was very well presented. There was a touch of grain and during complex passages they did sound a little stuffy up top, but for the price they are fabulous. The treble is tuned to be slightly forward but not what I would consider over the top. While there’s not really anything in this range to brag about, there isn’t anything I could say is a glaring fault.
 
Soundstage and Imaging
The U-shape of the Jive gives them a nice sense of depth and height. The slightly thinned out midrange does make things in the middle seem slightly flat. Still, all together the overall tuning gives them a better than average soundstage, especially for their asking price. Because of the flatter middle frequency range I would have to say that imaging was average.
 
Source Selection
These are designed to be played through your smartphone. They sound pretty good through just about any device you plug them into though I really don’t see any reason for anyone to purchase these with the intention of plugging them into their desktop tube amplifier. They are designed to be used with your phone or portable device, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel on this one. Use them for what they were intended for and you will get good results.
 
Comparisons
 
Xiaomi Piston 3.0 ($15 to $35 USD on many sites)
The Piston 3 addressed a lot of the issues people had with the already famous piston 2. They addressed the mid bass bleed and made an all around more balanced sounding earphone. They took a similar approach in their accessories and packaging, offering a case that looks more like a jewelry case than anything else. Their silicone cable winder makes for a nice display when put inside the case, but it can become tedious getting them wound back up when putting them away.
 
The Brainwavz has more sub bass and less mid bass than the P3. They have thinner and more detailed midrange, with the Piston 3 having more weight and less grain in its midrange. The Piston 3 offers a much smoother upper mids presentation and treble region. All in all the Piston offering is smoother, fuller and less detailed. The Jive is thinner in the midrange with more sub bass and treble. The Jive is a more detailed earphone as well. In my opinion, the Jive accessories package is better than the Piston’s, which is more of a display item rather than a useful tool for storing in-ear monitors.
 
Soundmagic E10 ($25 to $35 USD on many sites)
The E10 is a very popular pick in this price range. It won product of the year a few years back, and offers a weighted sound that is easy to listen to for hours. Their accessories package is formidable, offering a clamshell case and large assortment of tips.
 
The Soundmagic E10 a smoother, bassier and more rolled off treble presentation as compared to Jive. The E10 has a richer and more textured midrange at the expense of some of the detail that the Jive has.
 
Accessories packages are pretty close in comparison. I would give a slight edge to the E10 in this category because of a better tip selection. Unless you get the microphone version of the E10, Jive has an advantage offering a three button microphone and remote for whatever type of phone you use.

 
Conclusion
I wasn’t expecting too much from the Jive when it came in but I was pleasantly surprised with it’s tuning and performance. Brainwavz took a step in the right direction with this one. Their detailed signature yields micro details that critical listeners will pick up on while still providing a bass response that keeps things fun. For twenty five dollars you can’t go wrong with the Jive. They are a bargain earphone with a tuning that punches well above its price range.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!
getclikinagas
getclikinagas
U shaped sound? Brainwavz be jivin' us by sayin' they don't be jivin' us with all this BA talk
 
They do look well built. Could make for a good on-the-go beater pair.
 
Nice review. You've covered all the bases.
Pros: Excellent build quality, value for mone, good sound, 24 months warranty
Cons: Short on accessories, slightly thin midrange, mic/remote doens't work with Sony phones
I would like to start with saying thank you to Brainwavz and Pandora for letting me check out the Brainwavz Jive.
 
The Brainwavz Jive is available from MP4Nation:
http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-jive-noise-isolating-iem-earphones-w-3-button-remote-microphone-blood-red
 
I’m not in any way affiliated with Brainwavz or MP4Nation.
 
About me:
I’m a 43 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
 
My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
 
My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
I do not use EQ, ever.
 
I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life, Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
 
Built and accessories:
The Brainwavz Jive’s are a single dynamic driver in ear monitor. They’re available in two models, one with microphone for Android devices and one with microphone working with I-devices.
Unfortunately the remote/mic doesn’t work with my Sony Xperia Z3Compact. It seems as if Sony has opted for a 5 pole (TRRRS) connector while Brainwavz has opted for the more common 4 pole (TRRS connector). This results in that the only function working with my Sony phone is volume up/down.  The remote and mic works great with both my HTC One M7 and Nexus 7 tablet though.
 
They’re available in the colors red, green and ink blue. I opted for the green one.
 
The cable is L-shaped with a 45 degree angled 3.5 mm connector. The chin slider is also in place.
 
The cable is pretty good and the part from the 3.5 mm connector to the Y-split is thicker than the part leading from the Y-split to the housings. There’s some microphonics but I wouldn’t say that it’s worse than average for an IEM.
 
The build seems very solid (in true Brainwavz style) and I don’t find any obvious faults to the way they’re constructed. The housings are all metal and strain relief is in place on all the crucial points. The Y-split is also solid without being overly large.
 
The retail package is nice and pretty basic for IEM’s in this price bracket.
 
The accessories pack is decent for the price and includes the following:
1 pairs Comply S-400 tips (M)
3 pairs wide bore silicon tips (S,M,L)
1 velcro cable tie
1 shirt clip
1 zipped case to store them in when not in use
 
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Although I do understand that at this price there’s got to be a limitation on accessories I would have liked for Brainwavz to include more tips (or a different design on the tips). None of the included tips worked well for me with them. In general I found the Jive to sound much more enjoyable with tips that got a more narrowed bore than the ones included.
 
The Brainwavz Jive’s are pretty easy to drive and works fine even with my weak (in power) Sony Z3 Compact phone. Isolation is above average.
 
Please note that Brainwavz recently extended their warranty to last for 24 months (earlier it was 12 months) for all their products. Pretty impressive to me, let’s hope that other manufactures learn from this and offer the same in the future.
 
The specs:
Housing
Metal
Driver Unit
Dynamic 9mm
Frequenzy range
20Hz-20KHz
Sensitivity
98 dB
Impedance
16 Ohms
Cable lenght
1.3m
 
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Sound:
I’ve used these as my main IEM for the last two weeks and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
 
I’ve used them with my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phone (with and without the Elecom LBT-PAR500), FiiO X3/Bluebird 6.0 combo and the SHOZY Lancea and they’ve worked very well with all of them.
 
Demo list:
Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
Ane Brun – These Days
Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
Metallica – Die Die My Darling
The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
Eva Cassidy – Songbird
Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
Celldweller – Unshakeable
Jack Johnson – Better Together
Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
Dire Straits- So Far Away
Passenger – Let Her Go
Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
 
I like the Jive best with narrow bore tips since I find them to eliminate the sibilance and tighten the bass.
 
The overall sound signature is pretty balanced and slightly on the bright side. The presentation is lively and energetic and soundstage width is slightly above average for an IEM while depth is slightly below.  
 
The lows have good extension without reaching really low. Bass seems well balanced across the spectrum and there’s very little bass bleeding into the midrange. Bass-heads would most likely want to look at something else. The bass is pretty fast and well controlled but does lack some impact with electronic bass driven music.
 
The midrange is pretty well balanced with the rest of the frequencies but feels slightly thin and its presentation. This makes male voices lose some weight but they still sound crisp and clear. Vocals also seemed slightly recessed compared with the other IEM’s in the comparison department but this is nothing that bothers me when just listening to the Jive’s.
 
The treble extends quite well but feels a little splashy occasionally. I don’t find the Jive to be particular prone to sibilance when used with narrow bore tips.
 
Clarity and micro details are about average for an IEM but good considered the modest price the Jive sells for.
 
Comparison:
Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject B is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
 
Sony XBA-1 vs Brainwavz Jive:
Since Brainwavz claims that the Jive is a dynamic IEM tuned to sound like a balanced armature one I thought I’d include at least one BA IEM in the comparison department and the choice felt on the XBA-1 since I’ve seen them in the $30+ price range on multiple occasions.
 
Compared to the Jives the XBA-1 has similar soundstage width and slightly better layering and 3D presentation. Mid bass is pretty similar while the Jive has significantly more sub-bass impact and depth making the XBA-1 sound thinner in comparison. The lack of bass and fullness on the XBA-1 makes them much less usable with bass driven electronic music while the Jive still manage to sound decent with it. The midrange on the XBA-1 is also a bit more forward while the treble is slightly smoother without feeling rolled off.
 
I find them both very comfortable.
 
The XBA-1’s are a slightly easier to drive.
 
Isolation is pretty similar on the two.
  
KZ ED9 (brass filter) vs Brainwavz Jive:
Compared to the Jive the ED9’s has a smaller soundstage width but better depth, better clarity and a more relaxed presentation. Separation is about similar on the two. The midrange on the ED9 is slightly more forward and fuller. Both have a nice top end sparkle without crossing over to sibilance. The ED9 also has slightly less sub bass extension and a bit more mid bass presence.
 
I like the fit on both of these and they’re equally comfortable.
 
They’re equally easy to drive.
 
Isolation is good on both of these.
 
 
Vsonic VSD2S vs Brainwavz Jive:
Compared to the Jive the VSD2S has an overall fuller sound. Bass is more present and sub bass reach lower but is also slower. The midrange of the VSD2S is thicker and more liquid while the treble is thinner. The VSD2S is more laid back in its overall presentation.
 
I like the ergonomics on both these IEM’s but personally prefer the over ear design on the VSD2S.
 
The VSD2S’s are slightly easier to drive.
 
Isolation is good on both of these.
 
Summary:
The Brainwavz Jive is a well balance IEM with bass that’s sufficient for most music without being intrusive. It can occasionally sound a bit shouty with some music but overall it offers a very pleasant experience, especially for its price and don’t forget about that extended warranty.
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dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Good review :)
peter123
peter123
Thanks for the support guys!
JK1
JK1
I'm glad you compared it to the XBA-1. I guess the next step would be a comparison to the very popular $35 Soundmagic E10, and the much less expensive($13) Soundmagic ES18. Some claim the ES18 has the same drivers as the E10. It has plastic enclosures while the E10 has metal ones. It would be cool if Brainwavz comes out with $13 IEMs to compete against the Soundmagic ES18.
Pros: Clear, detailed sound wrapped up in Brainwavz' signature package. All for under $30.
Cons: Resonance issues in the midrange. Requires burn-in.

Intro

070.jpg
 
Before I begin, I would like to sincerely thank Pandora at Brainwavz for providing the review sample of the Jive you see in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with Brainwavz or any of its staff, nor am I being compensated in any form for writing this review. All opinions expressed in the following review are strictly my own unless otherwise specified, and all photos are taken and own by me. Finally, please take the following review with a grain of salt.
 
Brainwavz’ products have always been about value for money. With each new IEM release they push the envelope for product value at each price point. Now, this week we're going to be taking a look at their brand-new IEM, the Jive. It's a $30 IEM marketed as being “tuned to perform like a balanced armature for only $30,” which is a pretty bold statement that, as experience has taught me, shows Brainwavz really has something big going on here. Let's take a closer look after the jump.
 

== Aesthetics ==

Packaging, Accessories

005.jpg
 
The Jive arrives in a plastic box of sorts slightly similar to its budget brother, the Delta. The plastic feels quite flimsy and cheap, and shows they low-balled the packaging here. Given its price, however, I guess this would have to be expected. Inside that plastic box is the core of the packaging – namely Brainwavz newly-designed long IEM case, which contains everything in the Jive package.
 
Again, Brainwavz blows me away with their accessories package that they manage to throw into each of their products. On top of the IEM case, you get two extra pairs of silicone eartips, their now-typical Comply foam eartips, a shirt clip, and a Brainwavz-branded cable tie. Oh yeah, and you get a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty – a recent change that applies to all Brainwavz products. (Yes, even the old Brainwavz products I’ve reviewed have a 24-month warranty now. So basically, as of this writing, I could apply for warranty on them even now.) It’s an impressive package that has outright blown me away, putting much more expensive earphones to shame whilst remaining at a bargain bin price point.
 
 

Design, Build, Microphonics

The Jive has a unique, playful design that really appeals to the younger crowds. It comes in three colours – Blood Red, Army Green, and Ink Blue – each of which has a rather flashy look to it. I'm not exactly a fan of the colour palette, but they look decent nonetheless. Their full-metal housings have a horn shape somewhat reminiscent of Final’s (formerly Final Audio Design) higher-end Piano Forte earbud models. Somewhere down the cable of the left earpiece sits the remote and mic, which comes in iOS- or Android-compatible flavours. A neat little detail on the remote are two little nubs on the centre button, which helps out with controlling the remote without looking at it. Down that cable is the ever-robust Brainwavz Y-split that I've come to love. But like their higher-end IEMs, the Y-split on the Jive is quite compact, which keeps the whole assembly quite lightweight.
 
The Jive, being a (spoiler alert) top-notch budget IEM, checks all the boxes in the high-quality budget IEM category. Full metal housings? Check. Proper strain reliefs? Check. Solidly-constructed connector and Y-split? Check and check. From what I see, the Jive’s build is about as far as one could push the build quality of an IEM before having to make compromises in other areas or increase the price. They may not look the part, but they definitely are capable of holding up to abuse. About the only thing that might need improvement is the cable, which is a little thin above the Y-split and tends to be microphonic when worn straight down. Wearing them around the ear fixes this issue. Otherwise, no complaints here at all.
 
 

Fit, Comfort, Isolation

The Brainwavz Jive’s housings allow for an easy fit with just about any type of ear. The three-size selection of silicone eartips should get you a good fit with the Jive, but if that doesn't work, there's the included Comply S-series foam eartips to fix that. The Comply eartips also happen to be the most comfortable out of the bunch, as the silicone eartips’ seal forms a vacuum in my ear which is a little annoying. In either case, both types of eartips on the Jive offer excellent isolation.
 
 

== Sound ==

Specs

 
Headphone Type
Closed-back in-ear monitor
Driver Type
Single 9mm dynamic
Frequency Response
20 – 20,000 Hz
Rated Input Power
20 mW
Sensitivity
98 dB @ 1 mW
Impedance
16 Ω
Weight
N/A
Cable
1.3m (~4’) round rubber-coated OFC cable
Connector
3.5mm (1/8”) gold-plated angled connector
Accessories
3x sets silicone eartips (S/M/L)
1x set Comply S-400 premium foam eartips (M)
Hard carry case
Shirt clip
Instruction manual & warranty card (24 month warranty)
 
 

Equipment, Burn-in

The source equipment used in this review is a fifth-generation iPod Touch and an iPad 3 directly running the Brainwavz Jive, and a PC running iTunes 12 and Foobar2k powering the Jive through a Schiit Fulla DAC/Amp. The EQ apps used in their respective test is TuneShell on iOS and Electri-Q on the PC. The eartips used on the Jive are mainly the included Comply eartips, although I will provide a comparison between the two in the following assessment. The list of the test tracks I listen to while reviewing the Jive can be sound here, although I will include links to specific songs in the review for a more direct point of reference.
 
The Jive was burned-in for at least 50 hours prior to writing this review – or long enough for the brain burn-in to settle. I found its treble peaks did smoothen out over that period, although I don't know to what degree this will continue if I burn them in further. In any case, let's get on with the sound assessment.
 
 

Sound Quality

065.jpg
 
I found the Jive to have a very tip-dependent sound signature that changes quite noticeably depending on the eartips used. I could go on all day comparing their sound signature with the many different pairs of eartips I have, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll be focusing on the ones that come included with the Jive itself. Let’s begin.
 
Bass:
At first glance, one would think of the Jive as a budget IEM for the masses (sure enough, it is). As such, I expected a bass-heavy sound signature that I probably wouldn’t like. Boy, was I wrong. So, so wrong.
 
To put things simply, the Jive’s low end is spectacular. There’s really nothing more to say about it without me rambling all day about how good they are. They exhibit great speed and control without the slightest hint of midrange bleed (Daft Punk – Touch). They also provide enough kick and extension for most consumer listeners to find sufficient for their tastes. I’ll say that until now, I’ve never heard a low-end that manages to cater to both consumer and audiophile ears with literally no compromises made. And at thirty dollars, no less.
 
With the Comply eartips, I found them to trade some of its power and extension in for an even tighter and more controlled bass response. At this point their low-end resembles that of a balanced armature. As  it has a dynamic driver, the Jive obviously doesn’t completely match up to the speed and attack of a true balanced armature IEM, but they sure do come close for a $30 IEM. If this isn’t bass perfection, I don’t know what is.
 
 
Midrange:
The Jive’s midrange has exceptional clarity and a rather cold tonality to them that is simply unprecedented for an IEM of this price. No musical instrument – electronic, acoustic, or vocal, you name it – sounds necessarily bad on the Brainwavz Jive. Guitars sound particularly amazing, with pianos coming quite closely. Personally I found vocals to be rather thin-sounding (Coldplay – Shiver), although that seems to be cause by their remarkably cold presentation, which I’m not going to complain about.
                                                                                                                                                                       
However, this is where the sound quality starts to get a little bit shaky. With a few sine wave sweep tests, I found the Jive to have peaks (basically emphasis on certain frequencies caused by housing resonances, driver tuning, etc.) around 3 and 6 kHz, which emphasises the overtones of most instruments. As I'm no acoustics expert, I can't really explain this in more depth, but what these peaks do is make the Jive sound – for lack of a better word – annoying. Instruments tend to sound a little too forward and in-your-face, which makes the listening experience quite fatiguing to my ears (Masashi Hamauzu – Sazh’s Theme). You can hear this emphasis on the stock silicone tips, although I did find the Comply ones to accentuate them even further.
 
I also found the Jive to not be able to retrieve smaller details very well, but in the end, though, you really can’t complain much about it, given that we’re still dealing with a thirty-dollar IEM.
 
 
Treble:
The Jive’s treble is pretty good, with great extension to the very top of my hearing range. It never sounds sibilant, and carries enough energy and edge to satisfy the more treble-oriented listeners. However, I didn’t exactly find them very capable in bringing out minute details in recordings. Then again, this is only with the included Comply eartips – having the stock silicone eartips will bring out more edge in the top-end, and sibilance becomes emphasized to the point of it getting a little irritating. Nonetheless, the Jive still goes far beyond the standards of budget IEMs.
 
 
Soundstage/Presentation:
IEMs usually have a hard time with soundstage, and as you may have noticed from my reviews, I often don’t go into detail with it. I guess that, in terms of space, I just find them all comparatively similar, regardless of price point. The Jive, however, stands above the rest of its similarly-priced brothers with excellent separation that I would much more often find on IEMs starting $50 and up. Completely unprecedented for its price. Seriously.

 
Genre Proficiency:
To be honest, I never found the Jive to fail at any particular genre. I found them to take every genre I listen to and still perform beautifully. Acoustic or electronic, the Jive plays them all well. However, I found them to be more suited to slower, lighter music in contrast to heavier genres like dubstep, metal, and grander orchestral recordings. In those genres, I found them to really convey the rhythm and emotion better. That, or the synths in heavy EDM and dubstep just sound too grating to my ears.
 

Summary:
All in all, I find it very, very hard to nit-pick and complain about the faults of the Brainwavz Jive. Yes, they do have their faults, but I find them completely negligible especially when we consider the fact that the Jive is thirty freaking dollars. The Jive is simply excellent.
 
 

Other Media

Games:
When I judge a headphone or IEM on their gaming performance, I’m basically gauging how well they would be put to use as a gaming tool. In competitive first-person shooters and other games which make use of audio cues, a detailed IEM will help to bring out the details that matter in these types of video games (e.g. footsteps, gunfire, etc.). Personally, I feel like the Jive does a pretty good job as a gaming IEM, bringing out ample clarity to hear through the blanket of noise that often plagues large-scale FPS matches. They, of course, are easily outmatched by a number of options up the price ladder, but let's not forget that these reside at the very bottom of that ladder. For that, you can't go wrong with them.
 
 
Movies:
I found the Jive to play movies pretty decently as well. Unlike a lot of IEMs at this price that often have overbearing, bass-heavy sound signatures, the Jive takes a turn and heads in the opposite direction towards a cleaner, more clinical sonic approach that more often than not simply presents the sound without doing much else. Not that it’s a bad thing, though – this cleaner sound really helps to hear the details better. It’s no home cinema, but at least you can take them around with you.
 
 

EQ Response, Amplification

The Jive is responds to EQ very well, and with a few quick tweaks, hammers out the peaks in the stock sound signature and smoothing it down to a fine, luscious signature that I could listen to for hours on end. Quick 2 dB reductions to 3 and 6 kHz should do the trick.
 
With regards to amping, the Jive doesn’t need any extra power beyond your phone or MP3 player to be listenable. Sure, better source equipment will make the Jive sound better, but the improvements will only be marginal at best.
 
 

Value

The Jive is, as of this writing, priced at $28 at Brainwavz’ parent site, MP4Nation. As I’ve said again and again in this review, the Brainwavz Jive is a completely unexpected IEM at this price. Sound-wise, its level of performance is simply outstanding in the overcrowded and oversaturated budget IEM market that Brainwavz has dropped it into. I mean, with a few tweaks to the build, they could very well be $50 IEMs and they’d still be pretty amazing.
 
 

Comparison

To properly judge just how awesome an IEM is, we’re gonna have to pit it against some of the best IEMs in its class. To be honest, though I don’t exactly have those “best IEMs in its class” (Xiaomi Pistons 3.0, Ostry KC06, Havi B3 Pro 1, or whatever the Chinese Brand forum thread hypes about every week), I do have a few notable IEMs that I feel are amazing in their own right. Let’s take a look.
 
Versus Brainwavz S0 ($50):
So here we go, one of Brainwavz’ own IEMs. Priced at $50, the Brainwavz S0 offered the same level of quality you would expect from a Brainwavz IEM, with a smooth, laid-back sound signature that simply works. However, I found the Jive to edge it out sound-wise with its livelier, clearer sound signature that’s less easy on the ears but definitely brings more energy and life to recordings. Of course, the win for the Jive is a very subjective and preferential one, so these statements are debatable. Nonetheless, the Jive is good. Real good.
 
Versus MEE Audio A151P Generation 2 ($50):
Another Jive vs. $50 IEM matchup, but this time, the A151P is armed with a balanced armature driver. I thought this would be an interesting matchup since I wanted to see just how closely the Jive comes to performing like a BA as Brainwavz advertises it. And I’m happy to report that it does come quite close.
 
The A151P is quite like the S0 in that it has a smooth, laid-back sound signature, but with the inherent speed of a BA and a much cleaner midrange. The Jive isn’t quite as speedy as the A151 but it sure does come close, and deeper, stronger bass response and livelier sound signature allows them to play EDM much better in my opinion.
 
However, the winner for this matchup personally goes to the A151 as I think they just sound better. They’re just a smoother and more relaxing IEM to listen to – perfect for those cold nights where you’re listening to The Fragrance of Dark Coffee while having a nice, hot cup of cocoa draped in a warm, cosy blanket. Yeah, that’s what the A151P does so well. And that’s why I love ‘em.
 
 

== Conclusion ==

009.jpg
 
I guess it’s kinda obvious that the Brainwavz Jive is one epic budget IEM. An unprecedented sound quality, encased in a solid beater build, wrapped in the trademark Brainwavz package, makes for one amazing budget IEM. That’s really all I could say. Should you get the Brainwavz Jive? If you’re looking for an excellent beater IEM to take out and about, I don’t see any reason not to.
 
 
Category
Score
Comment
Packaging, Accessories
8/10
Carrying case, silicone and Comply eartips, shirt clip, and a two year warranty. You can’t get much better than that at this price.
Design, Build, Microphonics
7.5/10
Solid metal housings and a robust, non-microphonic cable ensure this budget IEM won’t fall apart anytime soon.
Fit, Comfort, Isolation
8/10
The Jive’s small housings allow for an easy, comfortable fit. Isolation is nothing special by IEM standards, but basically that just means they’re pretty good.
Bass
9/10
Simply excellent on all fronts. With a quick, snappy punch that hits home and hits hard, it’s no wonder I love it so much.
Midrange
7.5/10
Pretty excellent in its own right, but has fatiguing resonance issues that prevent it from shining completely.
Treble
8/10
The Jive’s treble is energetic, but can come off as too harsh straight out of the box. Using Comply eartips and/or giving them some burn-in time will rectify this.
Presentation
7.5/10
A good amount of width, decent depth and great imaging is one to impress at this price point.
Gaming, Movies
7.5/10
The Jive’s excellent midrange clarity and subdued low-end response allows them to work very well as a secondary or beater gaming pair. These qualities might not make them very fun-sounding for movies, however.
EQ Response
8/10
Quick tweaks to the resonance peaks smooth down the Jive and really make them shine.
Value
9/10
 
Total
8/10
All this for under $30 dollars. The decision is up to you. That is all.
 

Suggestions for Improvement

Smooth out the resonance peaks.
Make an improved, more expensive version. They’ll be a hit.
 

Shout-Outs, Gallery

Again, I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for providing the sample of the Jive in this review. They have improved immensely over the past year and I’m very, very excited to see what they have in store for us next. You can check out the rest of the photos I took during this review here, and read some more of my reviews here.
 
As always, this has been thatBeatsguy of DB Headphones; thanks for reading!
 
 

About the Company

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

Changelog

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dragon2knight
dragon2knight
The ones in the Shout outs section aren't working, the other ones are, my bad there.
thatBeatsguy
thatBeatsguy
Oh, you mean those. I actually forgot to put links there. They're currently blank at the moment. I'll fix them once I get back.
dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Cool. Again, great review :)
Pros: neutral sound, build quality, comfort, isolation, great price
Cons: sometimes can be a touch cold and dry, but you can't really complain for the price.
I was offered to review these for Brainwavz and I agreed. I am not affiliated with the company, and have no bias towards or against them. This review will be my unbiased opinion on these.
 
Packaging & accessories:
 
They come packaged in a mostly clear plastic box. Inside is their newer style semi-rigid carrying case with the earphones themselves, some tips, a shirt clip. I'm not really one to care for packaging, it gets thrown out after you open everything up anyway. The supplied accessory kit is pretty standard for what you'd find included with pretty much every IEM. The case is nice, and I always like to have a shirt clip so we're good there. The supplied tips I was not a fan of. A lot of people like the Comply tips which is understandable, but I've never liked foam tips, and I think these sound better with tips with a smaller bore like a Sony "Hybrid" tip. 
 
Comfort, fit, & isolation:
 
The comfort, fit, and isolation are all very good once you get the right tips on and get the right fit. They are somewhat of a small design which means they should fit well and be comfortable for most people. In terms of isolation I'd rate them as above average. With a proper seal the isolation is very good. These seem to be a sealed design which with a good fit usually leads to good isolation. So they will be good if isolation is what you're after. I actually wore them in my full face motorcycle helmet for about an hour once and they blocked all wind noise, and almost all of the engine noise on my DRZ400SM with a full FMF exhaust. I don't usually ride with earplugs or earphones, but I wanted to try it once for a little bit and I was surprised how much noise they blocked out.  
 
Build quality & durability:
 
I'd rate the build quality, durability, and overall construction to be very good, especially at the price. I feel like my GR01 and RE-Zero are more fragile than these and they both cost a lot more. These have a decently thick quality cable with good strain relief everywhere. They definitely appear very well made for an IEM that retails for under $30. 
 
Soundstage & imaging:
 
Soundstage, imaging, and instrument separation are all average or better for the price. Soundstage size has never been a huge concern of mine when it comes to IEM's, but I'd say these portray a fairly good sized stage for an in ear. When I'm after a huge sound I grab my Q701. Imaging seems good, things seem placed where they should be. Instrument separation seems above average for the price. The balanced signature I'm sure is the reason behind that. No one instrument ever seems to overpower the rest with these, unless the recording itself is to blame. 
 
And finally onto the tonality:
 
I listened to them out of the box with the stock tips, then tip rolled right away, listened for a couple hours for a quick initial impression, then they went on my old iPod nano for 2 and a half days for some quick burn in. Since then I've been listening to them along with my other 4 daily headphones and IEM's.
 
**** These were broken in and used for 60+ hours before the following was written. ****
 
Overall I'd say these are pretty close to neutral, as nothing seems exaggerated or missing. I'd say they have a very slight "V-shape", but very slight. Add a little bit of warmth and they would have pretty much the perfect balance for me. The claim that Brainwavz makes of them sounding like a typical balanced armature is mostly true and I can appreciate the sound they were after. A well tuned BA or multi BA earphone will still be a bit quicker and have better detail, but in terms of marketing it's not a lie. It does sound close to neutral like the goal of most balanced armatures. 
 
These actually fall pretty close to what my personal prefered sound signature is. My daily headphones are the Q701($200), HM5($130), GR01($200), and RE-Zero($100). These sound close enough in terms of overall balance that there is no real shock going from the Jive to any of those. Are the Jive as good as any of these? Nope, but all 4 cost much more, all being $100-$200. The Jive comes surprisingly close in terms of overall balance. For under $30 these really do sound great and will get you the same basic fairly neutral and fairly detailed sound. They would be a very good place to start on a budget if you want to journey into a neutral and detailed sound for the first time. I haven't heard anything else in the price range of the Jive, but going from the more expensive stuff I'm used to these, it's actually very surprising. The Brainwavz S5 and S0, were not exactly my cup of tea in terms of their sound signature, but these were a real present surprise. When I was asked to review these I agreed, but honestly didn't expect much for being under $30. Anyway....
 
The bass is clean and smooth. It is well extended and pretty quick. It's never muddy or overpowering. They are not bass heavy nor bass light. They do what the music tells it to do for the most part. 
 
The mid-range is fairly smooth. There is a slight U or V shape to it. The bass to lower mid-range could use a little bump around the 200-500hz area to give some warmth and fullness. Sometimes on some albums or songs the lower mid-range seems a bit cold, dry, and distant. This is actually my biggest complaint, but it's really not bat at all. Just a nit pick. Other than that the mid-range sounds good to me. Female vocals sound a bit better than male vocals though because of this. 
 
The top end is pretty impressive post burn in. It's fairly clean and extended, and very detailed for such a budget earphone. It's not the flattest treble I've ever heard, but it's not bad. Before 60+ hours of use/burn in the top end was definitely a bit peaky and gets in the way, but it has definitely cleared up a whole lot. This is probably the biggest change I've seen on a headphone pre and post burn in. I've experienced the effects of burn in on my Q701, but it took longer and it was much more of a slow gradual change. These changed pretty dramatically after 2 and a half days straight of an old iPod on shuffle at a slightly higher volume that normal. Smaller bore tips also help, but I switched tips within my first half hour of initial testing and there was still some peakiness that break in had cured. Let them break in for at least 2 full days before fully judging them.
 
Other random notes:
 
All listening was done on an HTC One M9 smartphone (with no external amp) using either the Neutron app (with flac, alac or high bit rate mp3) or Spotify on the extreme quality settings. These get plenty loud for me at 40-53% volume on this device depending on the music, my mood, and my surroundings. Sensitivity also seemed to be a bit better after some break in as well. I remember early on listening at a bit higher of a volume. 
 
A big thanks to Brainwavz for letting me review these, I'm very impressed. I plan to keep using these from time to time even though the review is done. 

 
 
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dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Nice job on this one, thanks!
jasonb
jasonb
I feel like my reviews end up sounding like I'm just rambling. Hope that's not true.
dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Haha, no you did not ramble at all here, it's a very well written review with plenty of good information. Look forward to any others you have coming up :)
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