Brainwavz M100 IEM Noise Isolating Earphones with Remote & Microphone Headset For iPhone iPad, iPod & Android Devices

CK Moustache

100+ Head-Fier
Link to my review and measurement index thread where one can also find a full review overview, more information about myself as well as my general-ish audio and review manifesto: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/956208/




I only give full stars. My ranking/scoring system does not necessarily follow the norm and is about as follows:

5 stars: The product is very good and received the "highly recommended" award from me.

4 stars: The product is very good and received the "recommended" award from me.

3 stars: The product is good/very good, but not outstanding/special enough to get any of my two awards. ["Thumbs Up"]

2 stars: The product is only about average or even somewhat below that and somewhat flawed/flawed in some areas. [neither "Thumbs Up" nor "Thumbs Down"]

1 star: The product is bad/severely flawed to outright bad. ["Thumbs Down"]





Brainwavz M100


Source:

Review sample.


Miscellaneous:

Decent amount of accessories.

Shells made of metal. Build quality seems high.
I really like the design.

The cable is rather decent but not all that supple.

One dynamic driver per side.




Sound:

Included black silicone ear tips.

Tonality:

Bassy, warm and especially very dark.

Downward sloping line from the lows to the highs with a difference of more than 20 dB (which is a loudness difference of no less than more than four times). Therefore everything sounds veiled and like behind a thick curtain or blanket.
Clearly, there is a distinct lack of brightness and the sound just ends up as muffled, muddy and dull.

Around 11 dB of bass boost compared to diffuse-field neutrality peaking towards the sub-bass but ultimately actually somewhat closer to 100 Hz.
Gradually loses level towards the mids (900 Hz starting point) but has got a noticeable bleed into the midrange. Already quite full between 200 and 300 Hz.
Very full fundamental range.

The mids sound very warm, thick and also dark because the level continues to decrease above 1 kHz, which results in a dull and muffled presentation.

The treble is just very dark and lacks any bit of clarity.
It re-gains a bit of presence around 5 kHz but clearly far too little and is still clearly in the background here as well, with the rest above quite missing wherefore cymbals sound much too muffled.

Frequency Response:


ER-4S-Compensation


ProPhile 8-Compensation

Resolution:

Nothing special and outperformed by several other similarly priced in-ears.

Soft and slow sounding on fast and busy tracks. Not overly spongy but definitely neither tight nor precise, and furthermore with some softening towards the sub-bass.

Actual midrange and treble details are not too bad but still just “average”, and clearly held back by the overly dark and muffled tuning.

Would be okay in the 30$ to 50$ range but definitely not around 100$.

Soundstage:

Neither the widest nor the narrowest. Quite average.
Almost circular.

Imaging could be more precise as there is at most only very little air/empty space around and between instruments, and the general presentation is rather foggy, especially with busier tracks.


Conclusion:

Very dark, veiled, dull, foggy, muddy, slow, soft and muffled sound.

Feilong4

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Build, Accessories, 3-button remote, Isolation
Cons: Bloated bass, congested mid-range, dull treble, value
First off, thanks to Pandora of Brainwavz for sending these out to me for a review. These were sent to me last year and I finally got around to finishing the review now. I’ve written some of this review over a year ago. I have no excuses really, so I’m very sorry about that!

Intro:
I love music.

My Biases:
I tend to lean towards bright headphones. I generally don’t like emphasis around the 4-5 kHz area. My playlist consists mostly of J-pop, female vocalists, electronic, and hip-hop. Think of what you will. Female vocals are my thing. My make-it or break-it’s are vocals and treble. Too harsh or dull = nope.

Onto the review!


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

Features:
  • Tuned for clear sound with well-defined bass.
  • Special crafted drivers, with high purity copper and feather light diaphragm.
  • Made with aircraft grade metal.
  • 3 Button microphone & remote, compatible with iPhone & Android.
Specifications:
  • Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
  • Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
  • Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
  • Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
  • Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
  • Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
  • Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible
Multi-Function 3 Button Microphone & Remote:
  • Supports Apple iOS & Android Products
  • Phone Call Control
  • Audio Player Control
  • Volume Control
  • Supports TRRS Connector
Included Accessories:
  • Earphone Hard case
  • 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
  • 1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
  • 1 Shirt Clip
  • Velcro Cable Tie
  • Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
Compatibility for 3.5 mm Jack:
iPods, iPhones, iPads, MP3 Players, Computer & Laptops & Other Audio Devices

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First Impressions
  • Very bassy
  • Slightly reminiscent of the HD650 in signature
  • Mild bass bleed
  • Good for lower volumes
  • Lack of immediate detail
  • Slightly recessed mids
  • Sounds like the music is being played in a cavern
  • Driver flexing

Bulid/Design:
Brainwavz claims that these were “delicately crafted from aircraft grade metal”. They definitely look and feel very durable. I’m thinking that it’s hard-plastic though the housings don’t feel cheap. I definitely dig the matte black finish.

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The strain relief from the housing feels flexible and durable.
The 3.5mm connection is a 45 degree angle jack. Very thick and supple strain relief.

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The cable seems to be twisted. To me, it looks like the cables within were twisted and then the sleeves were heat shrunk onto the cables. Of course, this is just what it looks like to me; it feels very high quality though. It feels very durable and microphonics are low. Doesn’t seem to tangle which is a huge plus. The Y-split is chunky but light. Very good!

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The 3-button remote is very effective. Clicky and somewhat easy to find the buttons with the 2 bumps over the middle button. One click plays and pauses the music, two clicks changes to next track, and three clicks to previous track.

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All in all, I really like the stealth matte black design throughout the IEM. The supple strain reliefs from the housings and the connection are great!


Isolation/Fit:

I used the sony tips on these. They fit very well although maybe a bit of fiddling around to get the nozzle right. Once in, they’re very comfortable - not heavy on the ears.

I’d say the isolation is great. Once the volume is moderate (say about 30 on my LG V20), it isolates pretty much everything.

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Sound:

Bass: A bit bloated and boomy while reaching a bit too much into the midrange. Not very articulate nor tight like a blob of bass. However, it does seem to extend deep into the sub-bass with a good amount of emphasis. Overall though, the bass is a bit too much and inarticulate.

Mids: Seems to be shadowed and congested with the bass bloat. Not very detailed either. There does seem to be a bump around 4 kHz which I don’t really appreciate. I guess the word I’m looking for is plasticky? It makes vocals sound unnatural. Overall, unengaging and a bit boring.

Treble: Not very articulate and seems to be heavily smoothed and/or rolled off. On the bright side, no harshness; on the not-so-bright side, no sense of space nor detail. Cymbals lack definition and realism. Air? Forget about it.

Soundstage/Imaging: Erm, not wide nor precise at all. Hard to pinpoint any instruments at all as it’s all like a blur. If I had to put it nicely, it would be “intimate”. If I were to put it critically, I’d say it’s like a blob of sound in your head and even that sounds like a compliment.


Conclusion:

Well, I wanted to like these. Great sturdy construction in its housings and cable, but overall it falls flat on sound. It’s lifeless, boring, and just not a joy to listen to. At its current price of $89.50 on Amazon, I just cannot recommend it.

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Sources: LG V20

Some songs that I used:
  • MrFijiWiji - Yours Truly (Jikes Remix)
  • Kaede Takagaki (Saori Hayami) - Koi Kaze (Love Wind/Love Storm)
  • Mai Fuchigami (Karen Hojo) - -Hakka- Hakka (Peppermint)
  • Maaya Sakamoto - Dive ft. Gontiti
  • Nao Hiiragi - Requiem
  • Tech N9ne - Fortune Force Field
  • Joe Hisaishi - The Tatara Women Work Song
  • Priscilla Ahn - Fine on the Outside
  • Yosi Horikawa - Bubbles
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stilleh

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Cable is actually pretty darn nice
Cons: Tuning, bass flooding everything.
I´m a 38 year old father of 2 children who has a wife that is totally against anything that isn´t music out of the car stereo. I have been forced to sell my HIFI from Cerwin Vega, B&W and KEF speakers and move to portable audio and headphones to save my marriage. 

I was given the chance to review the Brainwavz M100 and this review is based on my subjective listening experience and is not influenced by anything but the gear I have at my disposal and the music I´m listing too.

In this review, and all reviews I do, I use the same tracklist and listen for specific things in the tracks. I listen to different genres and try to keep a good mix of different types of music and sounds. All tracks are FLAC. The tracklist is as following;
 
⦁    Sun Kil Moon – Third and Seneca
⦁    In Flames – Ropes
⦁    Fleet Foxes – White winter hymnial
⦁    The Middle East – Blood
⦁    Niki and the Dove – Love to the test
⦁    Queen – Innuendo
⦁    A tribe called quest – Get a hold
⦁    Yanni – Adagio in C minor
⦁    Elvis Costello – Alison
⦁    Dave Matthews Band – Grey street
⦁    Etherwood – Cast away
⦁    Rage against the Machine - Vietnow 

Specifications
 
⦁    Price: $89.50
⦁    Drivers: dynamic, 8 mm
⦁    Impedance: 32 Ohms
⦁    Frequency Range: 12 Hz – 22 kHz
⦁    Remote & Microphone: 3 buttons 
 
The box
 
What you do get on the inside is a lot of extra accessories and they are also very good for the price. You get; 
3 x Pairs of Sony hybrid lookalike tips (S, M, L)
3 x Pairs of Brainwavz own tips (S, M, L)
1 x Comply foam tips (these alone are like $13US in Sweden for the pair…)
1 x Shirtclip
1 x Velcro cable strap
1 x Branded Brainwavz earphone case
 
IMG_20170312_2008081.jpgIMG_20170312_2108521.jpg
 
 
 
 
Build and Design
 
The Brainwavz M100 are made out of black metal and are branded with “BRAINWAVZ” on the side like the S5. I´ll get back to this later in the review. They look a bit basic as they are all black. They look very ordinary and nothing like the small and delicate B100 and B150. They do feel very solid and that is also how I would describe their looks.

Taking a look at the cable, it´s black and braided with a very nice Y-split and remote. The braided OFC cable has some memory and tangles a bit at first but after some use it smoothens out. Above the y-split the M100 comes with a cinch to stabilize the cable cable.
 
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The remote on the cable works perfectly both for Android and iOS. The cable also has excellent strain reliefs at all the danger areas so all in all I find the design ok. They are made to be worn cable down but I find that they work over-ear too. The cable is not removable which otherwise seems to be a trend and I personally like.
 
Comfort and Isolation
 
I like iems and earbuds. I have about 30 in my possession at the moment and they range from small microdriver units to big bulky universals that cover your whole concha and will hurt your tragus badly. I haven´t tried customs and I´m not sure I ever will…

My main issue with iems are usually that I can´t get a good seal. I have BIG ears and well above average sized ear channels. Tip rolling is not something I do on occasion with new iems, I do it everytime and sometimes for hours to get that perfect seal and sound. 
 
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Braniwavz iems have always surprised me with excellent comfort and seal using standard included tips. The M100 however, does not come to my liking. They are cumbersome to fit and I had a hard time to get them to seal equally well on both ears. They also gave me discomfort after about 30 minutes of use and that´s a first for Brainwavz iems for me and I have tried their Jive, S5, B100 and B150 and absolutely loved them due to their excellent comfort. 
 
Audio quality
 
I´ll be using a FiiO X7 with AM3 module as source and I´ll also hook up a VE Runabout 2.0 amp too. I also have an Oppo HA-2 dac/amp which I will pair with my Oneplus3 smartphone.

After reviewing the B100 and B150 earlier, I´m trying to keep my hopes down to a normal level, as I absolutely loved both of them. Straight out of the box the M100 show they are something completely different. I have always loved the tuning that Brainwavz have managed to provide. That is, until now. 

I´d say the M100 is either hit or miss for people. Unfortunately they are a miss for me. Everything sounds veiled and foggy. Very much like you try to walk through mud up to your knees.
 
Anyways. I don´t think it´s fair to conclude anything out of the box so I had the M100 play music out my MacBook pro for about 50 hours. No special music just a random playlist and no “pink noise burn in”.
 
Mids
 
The M100 has a very colored sound and the detail and clarity in the mids are mud and paint. Compared to the B100 and the B150 I feel the M100 are sauna warm. Vocals sound unnatural and unrealistic.
 
Bass

Bass is too much at all ends for me. They could, like the Brainwavz S5, be considered as “fun” sounding, but the coloration just puts frosting on every aspect of the sound. I would not choose the M100 for critical listening. I´m not saying it´s bad or so it´s just not my cup of tea. 
 
Treble

I´m very sensitive to sibilance, I´ll just add that right away. The M100´s gave me no issues or problem whatsoever. They are instead dark sounding and warm, too warm for me. You get the feeling like someone is suffocating the music with a pillow.
 
Soundstage

I´m a sucker for huge soundstage and airy atmosphere in music. The M100 are hard to  I´d say it´s above average (like 5/10).
 
Conclusion

Hit or miss, I have a hard time imagining anything else about the M100. They are not working for me in and that is OK to be honest. I like and prefer a certain type of music, a certain type of  sound with certain levels of detail and curve. The M100 are not my cup of tea. Easy as that. They are not for the critical listener but might work extremely well for a “Beats by Dr Dre fanatic”. I´d easily but my hard earned money on the Brainwavz S5, B100 or the B150 instead. Cable is excellent though...
 
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Sonic Defender
Sonic Defender
Too bad these didn't impress you more. Good review. So did you own the gear before getting married? If so damn that is really not cool of her. Now if you were getting into debt after marriage to get those toys that is a different story. Anyway mate, I hope it works and you aren't always having to give stuff up, any relationship that is one sided kind of bites. Still I don't know the backstory, I just hate hearing about women dictating to men and vice versa of course. I have some KEF R300s so I know that their gear is typically quite nice.
B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
Solid review! The M100 is certainly a weird one from Brainwavz. I still say their saving grace is their reception to EQ. If I had more time to listen to listen to earphones I enjoy vs. those I need to review, these would get a lot of play time with my custom EQ settings. There's something about their presentation I really like, it's just hidden under the stock tuning. Good driver, questionable stock sound.

Deviltooth

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great Build Quality, Well Accessorized, Quality Impactful Bass
Cons: The sound signature only works well for some media.
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Thank-you to Pandora of Brainwavz for supplying the M100 for review.
 
 
Build Quality and Aesthetics:  Brainwavz has released a lot of quirky IEMs; at first glance the M100 isn't one of them.  The entirety of the IEM from the housings (including the mesh grills protecting the nozzles) to the microphone to the cord is a no nonsense stealth black.  This is a $90 dollar earphone and the build quality is commensurate with the price.  The housings themselves are made of high quality aluminum, the strain reliefs appear fully functional while the cord is excellent.  The latter is densely twisted, nicely smooth and without significant memory; it resists tangles with more success than the average IEM cable. The Y split is hard rubber and hosts a fully functional, high friction, cable cinch.  The cord is terminated with an angled, gold plated TRRS jack possessing an excellent flexible strain relief.  On the cable below the right housing is a 3 button remote with nicely tactile buttons.  I briefly tried this IEM with a phone and call quality was competent and without issue.
 
Accessories: Brainwavz does very well on the accessories front.  The most impressive item is the included black and red hard case; it's an elongated rectangle that offers superb protection for whatever IEMs you decide it should house.  When I fly I use a similar (square) Brainwavz case to protect my custom earphones so I have significant faith in their design.  Next up you get 6 sets (2 of each size) of black silicone tips and a set of Comply t-400 memory foam tips.  You also get a shirt clip (I ignored it as the cable is only very mildly microphonic), a velcro cable tie an instruction manual and a card entitling you to 24 months of warranty.
 
Fit & Comfort:  Coming from a guy with smaller than typical male ears I'd call comfort average.  The included tips made finding the right fit easy and though I tried tip rolling with half a dozen or so different options from my collection I eventually reverted back to a pair of the small sized tips Brainwavz had included.  The housings are a little longer than most of what I see these days but it doesn't affect fit and isn't particularly visible or objectionable.
 
Isolation: Average with silicone, better than average with the T400 comply tips.
 
Sound Quality:  Remember how Brainwavz decided to forgo the whimsy with their physical design?  They didn't with the sound signature.  Because it took me a while to receive the earphone I had time to read the Head-Fi reviews posted by the early adapters.  The conclusions had me worried that this was going to be a sonic disaster and it isn't.  I'm not saying other reviewers are wrong I'm just stating I found some things to like about the M100.
 
Bass.  You get a lot of big, rounded, deep reaching, solid bass!  If you don't like bass do not pass go, do not collect $200.... This isn't the earphone for you.  The M100's bass sounds expensive.  By that I mean that it has a nice tonal quality and for some material (dance music, explosions) definitely creates a sense of aural excitement.  Unfortunately it's at a cost.  The heavy bass does invade the midrange; this often thickens notes and induces a veil over some vocals.  There is however, more good news, vocals are rich and engaging.  The bass renders male voices (and often speech) slightly thicker than they should be while female vocals are sweet and a little romanticized.  It's a very colored sound but it works well with some Trance, early Belgian New Beat and Hip Hop.  I don't listen to the latter but I was auditioning the M100 with an episode of The Simpsons that focused on Hip Hop culture and the episode's music had some serious low end punch.
 
I tried the M100 out with some lossless surround sound movies.  The sound balance was not ideal and often bass was over emphasized to the point of being distracting.  With television shows it did a little better and it was easy to enjoy dialogue heavy sitcoms and dramas without being overly distracted by the earphone's coloration.
 
The sound stage is average but not entirely in the head, it has equal parts depth and width.  Instrument separation and imaging is below average for the price.
 
If you're looking for balanced or a bright treble forward sound the M100 won't work for you.  As I was using it I kept thinking: 'The teenage me would have loved this earphone.  The bass is profound, the vocals are sweet, it sounds like a Boom Car with tighter tuning."  If a better Boom Car is what you want the M100 will give it to you in an extremely well built package.
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suman134

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Good versatile bass. Sounds smooth, lush and easy. Really low microphonics.
Cons: Yeah.. Lacks upper mid and top end details. Boomy at times.

INTRO:-
 
 When Brainwavz  decides to Launch earphones they don’t release one at a time, they like to launch 2-5 earphones in a short period of time. First the M100, first of its kind or say series and I believe we will see more of this series as the good old "R series" has been dormant for while, "S series" has not seen much movement off late, and now we have a new B series line up with two new BA earphones, and I want Brainwavz to add more earphones to this B series with multiple drivers for sure. Brainwavz has so many things up in their sleeves.
 
 All the latest earphones from Brainwavz are here with me, three to be precise, M100, B100 and B150.
 
 But this review is about the M100.
 
 Nearly a month ago They released the M100, all metal earphone housing a single dynamic driver, priced at $90 making it compete in the most crowded price segment. It comes with a MIC and remote unit, there is no plain version and has only one color option, Black.
 
 M-100 had been in the pipe line for long enough and I have it for more than 20 days. I have plenty of earphones which are priced around $100 and I will compare a couple of them with M-100.
 
 Before I start I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for this review sample.
 
 You can buy one for yourself from these places.
 http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/brainwavz-m100-earphones
 https://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Isolating-Earphones-Microphone-Headset/dp/B01LZDZQL2
 
 Let's start!!

IMG_20161116_200229.jpg  IMG_20161116_200257.jpg
Yeah.. Mine didn't came with the retail package.

ACCESSORIES & ERGONOMICS:-
 
 Keep in mind that my unit was a pre-release unit and dint came with its original packing but it came with all of its accessories, there is the all so familiar Brainwavz carry case. There are 6 pairs of single flange tips, no bi or tri flanges this time around, but the pair of comply T-400 tip has gone nowhere. There is a cable clip in the box. A cable tie and a instruction manual.
 
 It has a nicely rubberised internally braided cable with really low micro phonics, really really low, believe me it's more like an over ear type microphonics so one really need not to worry about microphonics for sure. This cable is really supple and not bouncy at all, there is enough stress relievers at the earpiece end, at the MIC unit and at the 60 degree angled 3.5mm jack. There is a vent at the cable entry. L/R markings are located on the shells, or for your convenience put the side with the MIC unit in your right ear.
 
 Build quality is awesome, Brainwavz says the shell is made of aircraft grade metal and its nicely heavy too.
 
 Ergonomically things are nice and comfortable, straight barrel with a bullet type profile is not bad from any angle, you can wear these over your ears without any problem, the slightly heavier weight of the earpiece is awesomely distributed and fits nicely into my ears, better than Meze 12/11.
 
 Isolation is above average. There is some wind noise but nothing serious.

IMG_20161116_205041.jpg  IMG_20170106_162454.jpg
 
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REMOTE AND MIC:-
 
 This one has a 3 button remote with a MIC which we have seen on other earphones like the Jive, omega an XF200, I wonder that happened to the Clearwavz remote units, its exclusive to the S series " oh dear dear S series where art thou".
 
 Remote and MIC unit works with all the android devices and iphones. Works fine with my Vivo V3 and Redmi 3s. Single press picks and ends calls. If not on a call, single press will play music and another press will pause it, double and triple press results into skipping tracks forward and backward respectively. Easy and simple to operate, volume buttons do what they are there for.
 
 Clarity at the receivers end is really nice, clearly audible and doesn’t have anything artificial to them like some other MIC units.

IMG_20170106_165505.jpg

 SOUND QUALITY:-
 
 Running the show is an 8mm dynamic driver and it sounds really nice to me. Light hearted, fun, easy on ears, easy to drive out of nearly any portable device, for a minute I thought I have found a RE-400 replacement just to realize it's not up to the clarity, transparency and micro detailing of the RE-400, nor has the spectrum wide balance required to replace something like RE-400. But M100 sounds more cohesive and likeable!!
 
 M100 sounds nothing like any other Brainwavz earphone. Maybe kind of like the R3 but R3 was really balanced where as M100 has plenty of bass. The overall signature is Bright, warm and nicely forward. I like it.
 
 FYI I have burned this for more than 150 hrs and is using stock single flange tips for this review. M-100 is really loud, you don’t need to use an amplifier for sure. Sounds perfectly fine out of my Vivo V3.
 Here are some of the tracks used for this review.
 
 Eminem - Rap god, space bound, not afraid,
 
 Twenty one pilots - Heathens,
 
 Drake - one dance,
 
 The Weeknd - cant feel my face,
 
 Tom Odell - Another love,
 
 Coldplay - Adventure of a life time, Hymn for the weekend,
 
 Maroon 5 :- Maps, Animal,
 
 Alicia Keys :- It's on again,
 
 Tove Lo :- Habits,
 
 Royal Deluxe - Dangerous, Wanted man,
 
 Imagine Dragons :- Roots,
 
  Selena Gomez - Good for you,
 
 Zara Larson & MNEK - Never forget you,
 
 MO - Final song.
 
 So let's start..
 
 BASS:-
 
 M100 has one of the better bass presentation when it comes to mid range earphones from Brainwavz, S series was mostly boomier marred by lack of sub bass and mid bass prominence, the only one I liked was S3, R3 was flat.
 
 M100 on the other hand is not overly bass nor flat from any angle, has a bit of mid bass prominence but has complimenting sub-bass too.
 
 I have to say M100 has a really versatile bass, it has all the things in its trunk, it can be boomy, it can show its mid bas muscle, it can treat you with deeper sub-bass rumble and can even keep quiet if required. Has awesome impact and body, timber is natural. Hits hard when required with good amount of air. Notes are thick and full making the bass enjoyable. Details is good, you are not going to miss any note for sure but the extra thickness can make things boomy.
 
 Recently  I was listening to the MEZE 12 classic and that too has huge sub-bass impact but doesn’t have the fullness or overall body which M100 has.
 
 M100 has good amount of sub-bass, extension too is more than satisfying. The only problem is decay which is not really fast but good enough.
 
 MID RANGE:-
 
 Mid range starts off really nicely with awesome vocals. I love this type of vocals. Slightly thicker than natural which makes it sound more lush with a calmer presentation. Yes it makes it lose the shine and the attack but still it has enough body and forwardness which keeps things afloat. Things are neutral and not really colored.
 
 It does have nice vocal clarity and details, male vocals are thick and meaty, just the way I like it, female vocals too are good but not as sharp as one would expect it to be, B100 was better at female vocals with sharper notes.
 
 Things start to look bleaker when it comes to instrument clarity and details, lacks the required amount of energy and transparency. It lacks the resolution and reveling ability of similarly priced earphones like HA2, Nebula one and even the MEZE 12. Things going for it is the imaging, yes its low on details and clarity but it's the cohesive nature and the imaging which makes things stick.
 
 Another good thing is M100's sound stage, its really spacious, has good width, height and better than average depth.
 
 I am not exactly impressed nor disappointed.
 
 HIGHS:-
 
 Highs of M100 is low on spark and energy, It lacks much excitement and does take a laid back approach here. It does have some extension but things feel really pale as we move up the spectrum. Instruments lack clarity, liveliness and much required transparency for its price.
 
 Layering and separation on instruments is okay, stage on the other is really nice.
 
 this top end is not impressive from any angel but with this type of smoother, inoffensive and fatigue free presentation one can enjoy a longer listening session.

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IMG_20170106_164044.jpg  IMG_20170106_165257.jpg
 
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 CONCLUSION:-
 
 People are really critical about all the critical things, but if you try to enjoy, M100 is a really fun sounding earphone. If you see the brighter side here, it leads me to the conclusion that M100 is an awesomely smooth and Fun sounding earphone. If you are a critical listener, change your point of view for a while, let the feelings go? And enjoy the bass, openness and the ever so cohesive vocals.
 
 If you are a casual listener, looking for lush and cohesive vocals with a smoother and relaxed presentation, you can give M100 a try, I bet you will enjoy the music. If you want more details, livelier mids and highs please look into earphones like Hisoundaudio HA2, Brainwavz B100 or the B150.
 
 M100 is eager to entertain, it's not trying to satisfy the analytical listener. So sit back, and enjoy the lush and mellow presentation of this nicely built mobile friendly earphone.
 
 I hope I was helpful, Cheers!! enjoy!!

SoundApprentice

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Build quality, included accessories
Cons: Bass bloat, poor balance/versatility
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Budget audiophile brand Brainwavz Audio is back at it, closing out 2016 and kicking off 2017 with a bevy of new earphone offerings. Their timing was just right. Shortly before leaving for an eight-day cruise around the Caribbean, Brainwavz hit me up looking for my thoughts on the recently released M100 high fidelity audio earphone.

Claiming to be crafted from aircraft grade metal, and boasting hand-crafted 8mm dynamic drivers tuned to present a “wide soundstage, well defined bass and clarity,” the M100 seemed like the perfect lightweight and durable travel companion. In the carry-on it went. Thanks Brainwavz.

A four-and-a-half hour flight is never fun, but it did give me plenty of time to start putting the M100 through its paces.

Unboxing & Accessories

The M100 comes in a pretty minimalistic black and white carton containing a plastic inner tray that keeps packaging modest, although not as minimal as it could be. It's simple and functional and it’s what I’ve come to expect from Brainwavz. Inside, you’ll find everything neatly packed and organized—basically the opposite of my camera pack.

For the $89.50 you’ll part with to add the M100 to your portable audio arsenal, you get an array of accessories—something Brainwavz thankfully never skimps on. The M100 includes their branded zippered hard case, Velcro cable tie and shirt clip, a set of premium Comply foam ear tips, a set of bi-flange silicone ear tips, and two sets each of standard S, M, and L silicone ear tips (Because you know you're going to lose one, or maybe three. Don’t judge me). No complaints here.

What I can complain about is the cable. More specifically, the three-button in-line mic/remote that didn’t fully function with my Motorola Android smartphone. Brainwavz says the remote is compatible with Apple devices and “most Android phones,” so I guess I fall outside of “most.” This isn’t the first time my Droid hasn’t played nice with in-line mics or remotes, and it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it’s still a disappointment. Your results may vary. This caveat aside, the cable is a simple twisted braid of OFC copper terminated with a gold-plated 3.5mm plug that’s extremely lightweight, falls nicely and has minimal microphonics, which is most welcomed when, say, you’re hiking through a humid rainforest to see a dormant volcano (Deploying the shirt clip is highly recommended).

Performance

About that hike; the M100 is a simple cylindrical earphone that's intended to sit comfortably with the tip and nozzle in your ear canal while the majority of the housing protrudes out from it. As you can guess, this doesn’t bode well for the active audiophile. In fact, the M100 popped out of my ears several times regardless of whether I routed the cable up and around my ear or wore it straight down. Swapping out the silicone ear tips for the Comply foam tips did help, but I’d recommend an in-ear monitor to real active audiophiles—like the Brainwavz XF-200 (review) if you want something super affordable to bang around in or my preferred Shure SE215 (review).

While we’re on the topic of ear tips, let’s get my regular disclaimer to beginner audiophiles out of the way. With the large assortment of ear tips offered with the M100, it’s important to test each set. Tip selection is critical with earphones and IEMs, and I strongly encourage you to take the time to choose the ear tip that fits each ear best—emphasis on best and not just one that “fits”—because the audio quality, comfort and isolation improve greatly with the ideal tip. For me, the Comply foam tips worked best. When you’re trying to block out the drone of a jet plane, for example, the Comply tips offer far greater noise isolation and improved comfort for long listening sessions, plus some much needed bass control.

About that bass, the M100 is simply a mid-bass monster. As in, it’s about all you really hear. Sure, the M100 has some sub-bass and mids and a hint of treble, but the clear emphasis is on a rising mid-bass hump that dominates the rest of the M100’s dynamic range. Having reviewed Brainwavz’s more affordable and balanced M1 (review) and S0 (review) earphones, I honestly found the M100’s tuning to be disappointing from a versatility standpoint. Despite the marketing claims that the M100 is “suitable for most genres of music,” I feel that the thick mid-bass bleeds too far into the somewhat muddied and polite descending mid-range and treble frequencies to be suitable for any type of critical listening of high fidelity audio. Rather, this tuning is more suited for less complex rap, dancehall, deep house and electronic/EDM where unruly and even boomy bass is often welcomed and seemingly “fun.” I like fun. I also like to hear all of what was recorded in the studio.

What’s most interesting about the M100’s tuning is how the mid-range and treble responses fall off, rather sharply, in fact. To visualize it, the M100 isn’t U- or V-shaped—it’s slanted. As soon as you get out of the mid-bass range, the upper frequencies slowly get sucked out until right near the start of the treble region and then the bottom falls out. It’s no secret that I generally favor a slightly darker, warmer and fuller sounding earphone or headphone over something analytical, but the M100 sacrifices too much mid-range and treble presence and detail for my taste. If you’re super sensitive to sibilance or high frequencies, though, the M100’s darkness may sound just right to you, just know that the utter lack of upper frequency response also inhibits the M100’s ability to inject any air or sense of space and dimensionality into the soundstage. The sound is right in your ear, right in your head—those favorable phantom images we hunt for in our quest to reach Audio Nirvana be damned. I’m still looking for that “wide soundstage, well defined bass and clarity” Brainwavz promised.

Regardless of whether I pushed the M100 with my smartphone or Hidizs AP100 DAP on the go, or my ALO Audio The Island DAC/amp or JDS Labs OL DAC and 02 amp back home, my impressions remained the same. Strong vocalists came off as a touch flat and recessed; bass notes were untamed and often flubby during complex tracks; snare drums didn’t really bite or crack; cymbals lacked shimmer; guitars struggled to separate themselves from bloated bass lines; brass instruments sounded veiled. Of course, this is in “stock” listening form. You can EQ the hell out of the M100 to make it sound quite different. But who wants to do that, especially when you would have to try to match your preferred EQing across each device you listen on providing that’s even an option. No thanks.

Now I realize these listening impressions may seem a bit harsh, but, to me, the M100 sounds like something meant to compete with Beats or Bose earphones at a lower price point. The M100’s sound is what I’ll call safe; it’s bassy and overly warm, the muted mids pull back vocalists that should be front and center, and the sharply rolled off treble effortlessly hides the grain and harshness of poor recordings and compressed streaming audio. It’s basically what most  mass consumer brands aim to achieve. But audiophiles are a different breed and have much different expectations for what sounds musical.

Bottom Line

After nine days of traveling throughout the Caribbean where the M100 got its fair share of salt, sun, sweat and more, it still looks new. The build quality and material choices are simply solid. In those regards, Brainwavz has put out another quality product. For $89.50 you basically get a stealthy, well-built, durable earphone with a plethora of accessories, a two-year warranty, and—unfortunately, in my opinion—a bassy, unbalanced sound signature that’s best suited for bumping Sia and Sean Paul remixes (If that’s your guilty pleasure, you’re in luck). Where the M100 really falls short is when it comes to true “high fidelity audio.” You want bass? More specifically mid-bass? You got it. You want balance and detail and clarity that seamlessly spans multiple genres, you’ll be better served by some of Brainwavz’s other offerings or elsewhere.
B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
Straightforward and to the point. Great review.
SoundApprentice
SoundApprentice

DynamikeB

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Solid construction, good bass and smooth mids, good isolation
Cons: Details, muted highs and comfort
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http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/brainwavz-m100-earphones
 
Brainwavz have been on the market for some time now, and producing great earphones (Brainwavz M1 is still a reference in the 40-50$ range and the Jive is one of my best budget choice).  They released the M100 model in late 2016, and this one is priced at 89.50 USD (or 120.00 CAD in Canada).[size=12.0pt][/size]
 
[size=9.5pt]Disclaimer:  I received this product for free/discounted however this in no way influenced my review. I only write honest reviews regardless of whether I purchased a product at full price, at a discount, or received it free.[/size][size=12.0pt][/size]
 
I am an avid fan of music (many style, but a lot of rock) and headphones/earphones.  I am not an audiophile, but I have a quest to find the best headphone/earphone for my tastes and I like to test new gear a lot.  I owned / tried more than 120 headphones / earphones so my ears are pretty trained, even though I am not a graph fan or as qualified as other more technical listeners.  I rely on my ears, my gut and my pleasure to move forward.  I just hope to help other people find nice gems that will suit their taste and their budget.  Enjoy![size=12.0pt][/size]
 
Review
 
I was eager to listen to the M100 as I always liked and respected the Brainwavz products and I was curious about this new one.  It attacks a very competitive price range (80.00 – 100.00) and promised these features:
 
·         Tuned for clear sound with well-defined bass.
·         Special crafted drivers, with high purity copper and feather light diaphragm.
·         Made with aircraft grade metal.
·         3 Button microphone & remote, compatible with iPhone & Android
 
After taking some time to let it grow on me (no change so far vs out of the box), I must say the Brainwavz M100 is not quite up there with the “masters” in the price range.   Even though the built is top notch, the sound is not on par with the promise, IMHO.
 
Specs
·         Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
·         Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
·         Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
·         Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
·         Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
·         Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
·         Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible
 
Accessories
·         Earphone Hard case
·         6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
·         1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
·         1 Shirt Clip
·         Velcro Cable Tie
·         Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
 
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The earphones come in a nice black and white light cardboard box and the Brainwavz people remain really generous to their customers as they are able to fit all of these nice accessories in their must-have hard case.  For the asking price, I think it’s a requirement to offer this minimum.
 
Built
  1. Housings:  The housings are bigger than the Jive ones, on the larger side of the bullet-shaped type of in-earphones. They are not that heavy, but their size and configuration makes them less comfortable than most.  Their built quality seems very good with a solid metal housing.
  2. Cable:  The cable is fairly thick, with the usual good strain-reliefs that Brainwavz offer.  It does not tangle easily (braided type concept) but it provides some microphonics.  I personally always try to wear them up (over the ear), and it helps reduce microphonics, but these bigger housings are not easy to wear up or down (for me).
 
 
Functionality
 
The M100 is equipped with a good microphone and a 3-button remote that provides clear phone calls option with most devices, and audio player + volume control.  I have not tested it extensively, but it sounds fine with the quick calls I made.
 
Ergonomics / Fit / Isolation
 
The housings are on the bigger size, so they prove to be hard to fit and not easy to appreciate for me. Isolation is really good though.  I don’t hear much when they are plugged in.
 
Sound Review
 
I tested the Jive with my iPod Classic 160gb unamped, and then amped with the Fiio A3.   Also, I tested it on my Asus laptop amplified with the Nuforce U-DAC 3.
 
I usually test the earphones activating the shuffle on my iPod so I hear a variety of music that can go from Diana Krall to Rage Against the Machine to Depeche Mode to In Flames.
 
The M100 offers a dark and relatively muffled sound, with ok bass, but somewhat unclear smooth midrange and not so detailed treble / highs.   I tried a bit of tip rolling, and this does not change much, but they do benefit slightly (IMHO) from wider bore tips (like the JVC Spiral Dots).  Wider bore tips tend to open up the sound a bit more, as well as the mid and high frequencies.  I really prefer them vs stock tips in this case, but as I mentioned, it does not help the M100 to “shine”.
 
I would say that the sound is L-shaped, with emphasis on bass.  Stereo imaging is good, and instrument separation is below average.  Soundstage is average, and I don’t think it lives up to the wide soundstage promise.  For the price, and for a Brainwavz product, I was looking for more.
 
Bass hits deep but it’s not the most precise.  Mid-bass is more upfront and sub bass is behind. Bass offers a nice warmth, but it feels lazy.  I would not say muddy, but lazy as in slow and it seems to bleed on other frequencies as well.
 
Midrange is smooth, helped by the bass.  It does not offer very good clarity and details, just smooth presentation overall.  Vocals sound veiled, sometimes slightly behind with the light L-shaped sound. I tested a lot of songs, and the quality of recordings does not change the presentation by much.
 
The treble is pretty muffled and if it has any kind of extension, it’s so subtle that I don’t hear it much or feel it.  I don’t understand why Brainwavz would offer this kind of muffled presentation on an iem.  Yes, you will not get any fatigue caused by treble with the M100, but I am personally looking for some (and more) sparkle that is not present at all here.
 
Comparisons vs price range
 
Brainwavz M100 vs Ostry KC06A
 
About in the same price range, the KC06A are still one of my favorite and reference in this level.  Ostry offers a lot of accessories also for the price, but even though the cable may be inferior to some (not for me), and they do not have a mic or volume control, the KC06A wins on all aspects (except isolation).  They are lighter and easy to use/insert, they drive a solid slightly v-shaped sound that is precise with a lot of punch, clarity and details that you will find in more expensive iems.  The M100 is not even close, unfortunately.
 
Brainwavz M100 vs Soundmagic E80
 
Here again, the Soundmagic E80 comes on top.  Slightly less expensive, it offers a similar build quality (cable) but a lot more comfort and ease of use, and even though it does not offer the same amount of accessories, it provides a nice smooth and detailed warm sound that you would expect to get when you pay around 70-80 USD.  The M100 would be priced fine if it would only offer the same sound quality than the E80.
 
Conclusion
 
I must say that for the first time, I am disappointed in a Brainwavz product.  It simply does not offer the quality (especially in sound) that I would expect from them (whatever the price).  Yes, the build quality is fine and the accessories are cool and plenty, but it’s not sufficient to get (my) customer satisfaction.  You may like them, as everything is personal and subjective, but with my experience with iems, and what I have come to like, love and expect, the Brainwavz M100 do not live up to its promise and to what I usually get from this great company.
 
Note:  The Brainwavz M100 would be fine for casual use only (relax at home or while working at a desk).  They can also be used to commute if the comfort fits for you.  They are not made for sport or to sleep with.

kiler

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Build Quality is amazing as always; more acessories than you can do with
Cons: Needs to be EQ'd to get a decent sound out of it
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Hello guys, today we have another review of a new IEM coming from Brainwavz, this time with another new single dynamic driver IEM, the Brainwavz M100. For those of you that might be worried that you won’t have smartphone capabilities, fear not as Brainwavz has included a neat remote into the cable on the M100. As for some details about them, we got metal housings, which make the M100 really durable, alongside a twisted kind of cable, making it sturdier and better suited to the daily abuse. We also got the usual comply Foam tips included, so let’s see what the M100 can offer!

Technical Data

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

 

 Specifications:

  1. Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
  2. Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
  3. Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
  4. Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
  5. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
  6. Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
  7. Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible
All in all some interesting specs, specially the reduced driver size.

 

Packaging

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The packaging that Brainwavz decided to implement with the M100 is absolutely gorgeous. It’s interesting to see that they picked a minimalist approach to the design (with just the black and white), but it just works so well for the box. We got the Brainwavz name placed in a vertical way alongside the M100 name in the top left of the box.

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On the side of the box we got a little information about the 24 month warranty from Brainwavz and a little note telling us that we have comply foam tips included in the packaging as well.

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As you open up the beautiful cardboard box you get a tiny plastic tray where you find a Brainwavz Carrying case and nothing else. You might be wondering where all the accessories are included, but a little peek into the case will reveal it…

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Well this little carrying case sure can store a lot of stuff! All the included accessories are pictured above, and we have: the M100 In-Ear Headphones, 6 pairs of eartips, 1 pair of Comply T400 Foam tips and one user guide. All in all, Brainwavz never disappoints regarding accessories and packaging.

Accessories

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As we start to glance over the included accessories, we can notice that inside the plastic bag there were 6 tips, which, adding the ones already installed in the M100, make 7 pairs of ear tips. Looking at the picture we can easily conclude that in all the packaging we have 2 pairs of each size (S, M and L) alongside one extra pair of Bi-Flange Eartips. And, for the T400, these are already really well known by everyone visiting head-fi, so I’ll skip them and you’ll probably see why in the sound section below. Pro tip? They don’t exactly help the sonic signature of the M100.

Build Quality and overall look

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These are the housings of the Brainwavz M100, as you can see the metal really helps making these look sturdy alongside the really well made strain reliefs. The added weight isn’t really that noticeable even more so if you wear them over your ear which reduces the weight even more. The 8mm driver also helps reducing the overall housing size.

 

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Going down the cable(which is twisted and gives it a nice texture), we can find the remote that we’ve previously found in some other Brainwavz models and that offers a really sturdy touch and smartphone (both Apple and Android) capability. On the remote you can also find the microphone in case you want to use these during a call.

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Talking now about the Y-Split it is as sturdy as the ones you have previously found in Brainwavz models with the addition of a little Logo on it. We also got a chin slider in order to adjust cable length above this split.

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We have now reached the end of the cable which is terminated with a 45 degree angled TTRS gold plated plug, as usual in smartphone compatible IEM. This angled plug provides more durability compared to the usual 0 or 90 degree jacks.

Everything seems to be as sturdy as it usually is with Brainwavz products so lets see what their comfort is all about.

 

Comfort/Isolation

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.

While one could think that the M100 would be quite a heavy IEM due to its metal construction, further inspection upon having it on your hand you can tell that it is a thin (still sturdy) metal that doesn’t add that much weight to it. Obviously they won’t be as unobtrusive as some small Philips SHE3590, but they are really comfortable. The only downside from them comes in the form of a little driver flex that might be present upon inserting the M100 too deep which might prevent you from getting the best sound (or might prevent you from getting any sound at all). Other than that, pretty good comfort even more so with the Comply tips, even though they don’t help the M100 sound signature at all.

As for isolation these have about the same isolation as the S5 IEM, which means that without music you will dim the outside noise and with music you won’t be able to hear them (except for maybe, really loud subway noises), so these are advisable to use where you need good isolation, but if you need to be somewhat aware of your environment you should pick something else (as you should never use an IEM, except for maybe vented ones, in those environments). The Comply Foam tips also help isolate a tiny bit more.

 

Sound

Source – HifimeDIY Sabre Dac amped with Objective 2 DIY, Lumia 625, Sandisk Sansa Clip+, Ruizu X06

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). The 8mm dynamic driver felt a bit tighter overall, but nothing super dramatic.

We should start by describing their overall sound signature. You need to think that the eartips you choose influence the sound a lot and for my review I have used the standard M flanges because these provided the best balance of seal and low driver flex. The sound out of the M100 is really, really dark, with a sound signature that could be described as bass heavy and with highs so dull that they couldn’t even cut a piece of already cut paper.

 

Lets start with the low end. This is what gives the M100 its characteristic sound, they have a really thick low end that extends quite well with a decent rumble and tightness. The problem comes with the little mid bass hump that just muddies the sound. The kicks sounds good, but still overall the presentation doesn’t suit most of the music. The 8 mm driver still carries an interesting rumble that suits mostly bass-heavy electronic music, but doesn’t really work anywhere else. Tracks like “Aero Chord – Surface” make the M100 shine, but for anything acoustic or less bass heavy it just doesn’t work.

The mids  are warm and kinda recessed due to the mid bass hump, even though voices still sound lovely when they aren’t being covered by bass. As you might have been seeing with my comments, the technical quality of the M100 is there, but they are shadowed by the mid bass hump and the lack of treble spark. Even then all voices sound good when properly equalized, which I shall talk about later.

Talking about the treble now, what treble actually? There is none and the one that is there rolls off quite early. The cymbals are accurate but they are way too recessed, I don’t know what Brainwavz were thinking when they were engineering the overall sound signature, because the M100 can be made so much more interesting with just a little bit of equalizing.

Talking now about the soundstage, once you uncover the mess made by the mid bass and lower mids you will find a surprisingly dynamic soundstage which is accurate as well (but nothing like vented IEM).

While Brainwavz tells us that these gained by being amped, the bulkiness added by an amp (as these are marketed as mobile IEM) isn’t worth the tiny bit better sound that is produced while amped.

The main thing to bring the best of out the M100 is definitively Equalization. You will have to bring down the mid bass region and up the Highs, which should look something like this:

-1 dB at 60Hz

-4 dB at 200Hz

-2 dB at 600Hz

0 dB at 1kHz

+3 dB at 4kHz

+5 dB at 8kHz

+6 dB at 12kHz

With these setting I find that the M100 become much more versatile in different genres of music and these setting allow to unleash the real potential of the M100’s . Every ounce on detail that can be squeezed out of them is now fully capable to be heard, making these now more capable to actually have a sparkle for treble! Rock is now much more enjoyable, even old school trance now delights you with snares.

As for the smartphone addons that we have with the M100 I’m gonna start by stating that the remote on the right side of the cable is really easy to use and the buttons let you know exactly when you pressed them, with an actuation force that will make really hard for you to press them when you don’t mean it. 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!

As for the microphone it has a pretty good quality, just about the one you would expect from such a device.

Conclusion

Build Quality: 4/5

Accessories: 4/5

Comfort: 3/5

Isolation: 4/5

Sound Quality (bang for buck): 2.5/5

Brainwavz always manages to impress with its overall build quality and aesthetic but the sound quality always seems to not be up to par with the rest of the package. The M100 are really held back by its sound signature, but with a little tweak you are able to get the best out of them. Even then, for its price, the M100 aren’t the best sound for the price. They do really well in the build quality, accessory and finish department so I think if you want to give them to someone that can tweak the sound quality (i.e. use an equalizer), these might be a nice gift. Else, with their default sound signature, they will just please hard bass EDM lovers.

 The M100 can be good if they are reworked for a more neutral sound signature, but until then it is kinda hard to recommend them.
 
References
 
Price: RRP (85.00€) on http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/brainwavz-m100-earphones
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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HiFiChris
HiFiChris
@kiler I was very inclined to use that Meghan Trainor song text line in my review as well but decided not to do it although one of the very early associations that popped up in my head was exactly that line from the refrain of that particular song.
kiler
kiler
@HiFiChris After a lot of pondering and listening to these I just decided that it was the perfect fit for their sound sig :D Glad to see great minds think alike ^^ 

chompchomps

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Metal construction, Nice cables, Good carrying case, Smooth Sound
Cons: Could offer more for its price, Not for everyone
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Before I begin, I would like to thank Brainwavz and Pandora for sending me this review sample for my honest comments and unbiased feedback. 
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Packaging, Package Contents
These were sent to me with the retail packaging and a drawback was that I couldn’t view the earphones through it, usually on retail boxes there would be a flap, or a transparent window to show how aesthetically pleasing the earphones would look, however in this case, I had to wait till I opened it to see how it looked like. This may be a turn off to customers in retail shops as most would want to see how the earphones look like before purchasing and not doing it blind.
 
I was pleased to see that the earphones were kept in an elongated case, complete with the user manual, a pair of comply tips, 3 sets of silicon earbuds with different sizes and a shirt clip. As always, the Brainwavz case is one of my favourite earphone cases as it is semi rigid, and has space for spare tips and even a small USB DAC/AMP.
 
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Build quality
 
These are touted as crafted by “Aircraft Grade Metal”, these feel good and have a good weight to them while not being heavy at all. The cables are twisted and are encased in a matte finish plastic/rubber sheath, giving it a nice smooth touch feeling to them. The cables are split with a Y splitter together with a chin slider which I find pretty solid and kinda difficult to slide .The cables are terminated in an angled 3.5mm connector increasing its durability.
 
Source of Music
  • Macbook Pro 13 Inch Late 2013
  • Iphone 7 Plus
  • Spotify Extreme
 
After about 100 hours of burn-in, this pair of earphones was put to the test with some of my current favourite songs. The songs I listen to are mostly pop songs, EDM or mandarin songs that speak to my heart.
 
Heres a few examples of my choice of music
  • Feel it coming – The Weeknd
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Panic! At The Disco
  • Closer – The Chainsmokers
  • If it wasn’t for you – Alesso
  • 爱一直存在 – Rachel Liang
 
I found these earphones to be pretty competent with pop songs, with no major glaring issues. In view of the other reviews from more critical listeners, maybe I just enjoy my earphones being warm and slightly dark. As with all reviews, sound is subjective to the person using the earphones and we all have different preferences.
 
However, I found the bass to be slightly lacking while listening to EDM songs, and certain songs with more bass emphasis. The mids seem to be slightly recessed and slightly more tuned towards the high side. This did not create and sibilance or discomfort when I was using this to listen to higher pitched female vocals like Rachel Liang. I find myself to be sensitive to treble and these earphones does not make me uncomfortable. I might feel this way as I am accustomed to the bass on the LZ-A2S. The mids like I mentioned feel slightly recessed but this may be due to the decreased bass extension. I found vocals to be clear and slightly cleaner compared to the LZ-A2S.
 
Overall I find it sounding dark but it has a signature that caters to the masses, good enough bass, not sibilant, very smooth if I should put it. Most of the people whom I let them listen to told me that they find it enjoyable and not too much bass so I guess that’s a good thing for them, but not to the ones who prefer neutral signatures or a flatter signature.
 
Comfort
 
I feel that these have no comfort issues, eartips are soft and fit well, however isolation with the stock eartips are slightly below average with the medium sized ones. For some reason, I find that the earphones stay in your ears but they tend to dislodge pretty easily with little movement compared to the other earphones I have. Perhaps they will be better with the comply tips provided, however I am not a fan of foam tips thus I did not try it on.
 
Conclusion and verdict
 
I feel that these are decent earphones but are not justified by the price. At close to $90, there are many earphones out there that might trump the M-100’s, hybrids such as the LZ-A2, the new LZ-A2pros. Even at the $50 price range, popular choices like the Tennmark Crazy Cellos or the LZ-A2S might trump it. Disclaimer, I might mention a lot of LZ products, but I am not affiliated to them in any way. For a casual listener, using these earphones to watch Anime or drama series casually may be ok if they don’t mind forking out for something more expensive. With more and more Chinese or asian companies stepping up their game, Brainwavz will need to offer more for a higher price tag. For this price, I will think twice. 

Cinder

Formerly known as Res-Reviews
Pros: Good accessories, great build-quality, relatively stylish, flexible and durable cable, metal build
Cons: Warm,and bloated sound, price for performance, serious driver-flex

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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]
Brainwavz M100 Review: A Tuning Blunder​
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I like Brainwavz’s products. I like Brainwavz’s customer support. I like Brainwavz’s 24 month warranty. I like Brainwavz as a company. I do not like, however, the M100. While it is a pretty enticing IEM from a build-quality perspective, I could not bring myself to justify how it sounds for the price it demands.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]You can find the Brainwavz M100 for sale here for $90 on Amazon.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer or distributor in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Pandora at Brainwavz for sending me this review unit.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Source: The M100 was powered like so:[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Nexus 6P -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Hidizs AP100 -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]HiFiMAN MegaMini -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I found my Nexus 6P to be sufficient to drive the M100 Triple Driver at near-peak levels of performance.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Sound Signature[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Initial Impressions:[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The M100 is quite warm. Too warm I might say. Treble is surprisingly dynamic, but lacks overall emphasis in the sound. Upper mids remain unaffected, but everything else from the lower-mids down is cloudy and colored. This doesn’t affect electronic songs that much, but doesn’t tend to shoot acoustically-bound songs in the knee.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Treble: Songs used: In One EarMidnight CityOutlands[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]As I previously mentioned, treble does perform decently well, and is about the only thing in the sound signature I can praise. High-hats are very clear and well-defined, having a great attack and decay.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayDreams[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Mids have a bit of a problem. While the 1–2Khz range remains largely intact (with only a slightly warm coloring), the rest of the mids are pretty bloated. This extra warmth creates a veiled sound, muffling what is usually the most dynamic and active frequency range of a song. I can largely make out each of the instruments in songs like Flagpole Sitta and Jacked Up, but seldom enjoy the way they sound. Instrumental separation is below-average, as is the electric “crunch” from the guitars.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Bass: Songs used: Lights(Bassnectar Remix)Gold DustIn For The Kill (Skream Remix)Leave Me[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]While I was initially hoping to get some really good bass out of the M100, I was soon disappointed. For all the warmth that Brainwavz added to the M100, none of that emphasis seems to have made it down to the 20Hz-50Hz range, instead clouding up the upper-mid-bass. I was consistently let down across LightsIn For The Kill, and Leave Me, with Gold Dust being the sole exception for good sub-bass performance.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Clarity: Songs used: ThroneMap of The ProblimatiqueI’m Not Alright[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The M100 had below-average performance across the board in terms of general clarity, though it is far from the worst I’ve heard, even at this price-range.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Packaging / Unboxing[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The packaging the M100 came in was simple, yet effective. I quite like the no-nonsense approach that Brainwavz takes, as this simplifies the opening experience for the consumer as well as frees up both shipping costs (as the box is relatively small) and the cost of production (as the packaging is quite simple) so that these funds can be redirected back into the actually components of the M100 (or so I’d like the believe).[/color]
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Build[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Construction Quality[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Construction quality is very good, as the entirety of the M100 feels sturdy in the hand. The driver-housings are made form a cool matte aluminum. As far as I know, there is only one color available: black.[/color]
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The cable is made from a simple twisted plastic, and is neither especially prone to tangles nor thin-feeling. Despite its sturdy appearance, the cable is quite flexible. The Y-splitter too is built from a matte black plastic. It is flexible, but sturdy, and has a chin-slider than can be “attached” to it should it ever get in your way. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack.[/color]
 
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Embedded along the cable is a remote, also built from plastic. It is smooth, with textured buttons. The remote features a standard 3-button load-out: volume up, volume down, and pause/play. This remote (thankfully) works fully on every Android phone and iPhone I’ve tested.[/color]
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Comfort[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Comfort is decent, provided the driver-flex doesn’t bother you. I experience it to a pretty high-degree myself. This alone is a deal breaker for me, as I don’t quite enjoy having to pull suction-cups out of my ears each time I want to talk to someone (nor do I think it is healthy to do so).[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Accessories[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The M100 comes well stocked with accessories. Inside the box you will find:[/color]
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  1. one Hard case
  2. 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
  3. 1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
  4. 1 Shirt Clip
  5. Velcro Cable Tie
  6. Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I like the accessories provided, and find them to be decent for an IEM of this price. The case is especially good, as it is easy to fit the M100, and all of its accessories, into. Furthermore, the case is light and sturdy, all the while not taking up too much space in my pocket.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Summary[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I don’t really understand why Brainwavz chose to release this IEM. I understand the allure of entering the $90 single-dynamic market, but at the same time I know that they can do so much better in terms of tuning. Had the mids been less colored and the drivers better-vented, I would at least be able to recommend this IEM for some limited use cases. However, I can’t in good conscience do so considering the driver-flex and the price that Brainwavz has set for what is ultimately and underwhelming listening experience.[/color]

B9Scrambler

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Clean design - Fantastic build and material quality - Comfort
Cons: Stock sound not up to par
Greetings Head-fi!
 
Today we are going to be checking out a new single dynamic driver earphone from Brainwavz, the M100.
 
2016 was the year I was first introduced to Brainwavz, kicking things off with their entry level micro-driver, the Omega. From there they gave me the chance to review the XFit XF-200, BLU-200, Jive, the S5, and a couple accessories in the form of the Hooka and Krudul Duo. Every single one of these products has been enjoyable and competitive in their respective markets which made my first impressions of the M100 all that much more disappointing.
 
I was excited when the M100 was first announced. The marketing pitch was that it was 'made for amping' which said to me that it was being targeted at the hi-fi crowd, not the average consumer that probably isn't even aware of the existence of portable headphone amps and or dedicated DAPs beyond your dime-a-dozen iPods, Hipstreets, and entry level Sony Walkmans. I'm glad Brainwavz has moved away from this marketing angle now that the M100 has officially been released. While overall I do truly enjoy this earphone, my thoughts on them are mixed and I'm happy to explain why.
 
Disclaimer:
 
I would like to thank Pandora and Brainwavz for providing a complimentary, pre-production pair of the M100 in exchange for a fair and impartial review. The thoughts within this review are my own and do not represent Brainwavz or any other entity. There is no financial incentive to writing this.
 
Since this was a pre-production unit, no retail packaging was provided.
 
The M100 is available through Brainwavz at the retail cost of 89.50 USD. You can check them out here; http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/collections/earphones/products/brainwavz-m100-earphones
 
Also be sure to follow Brainwavz on Facebook and Twitter!
 
https://www.facebook.com/brainwavzaudio/?fref=ts
 
https://twitter.com/BrainwavzAudio
 

 
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Accessories:
 
As I have come to expect from Brainwavz, the M100 came with a generous pile of quality accessories. Should you choose to purchase this earphone expect to receive the following;
 
- the more recent extended length Brainwavz hard case
- six pairs of silicone eartips in green and black (s/m/l)
- one set of T-400 Comply foam eartips
- one shirt clip
- one Velcro cable tie
- instruction manual and warranty card
 
If you haven't used one of Brainwavz's hard cases, know that they are compact yet quite spacious inside, extremely durable, and are wonderfully built. The shirt clip is on the beefy side, but grips with confidence and does a great job of holding the cable securely in place. Back when I first came across the Velcro strap on the Omega I thought it was a neat, but somewhat useless addition. Since then, these straps have migrated to the cables of many of my favorite earphones. Don't underestimate the value of this accessory.
 
While I appreciate the addition of Comply foams, this isn't earphone that benefits from them. The M100's stock signature is much too dark and treble far too recessed, qualities that are deeply exaggerated with foam tips. Luckily I found the preinstalled medium black silicone tips to be my preferred tip, so all was well.
 
Overall the accessories provided with the M100 are plentiful and useful. Thanks for being generous once again Brainwavz.
 

 
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Design, Build, Comfort, Isolation:
 
While I've found Brainwavz's past designs to be somewhat straightforward, they've always incorporated queues that improve their visual interest. The XF-200 has three ribs down the side of what is otherwise a flat, dull looking housing. The Jive a clean, smooth flared shape. The Omega puts a steely focus on their unique strain relief. The S5 is an understated, tapered bullet. The M100 continues this trend full force and it works.
 
They use a matte black, barrel-shaped aluminum housing. Where the two pieces of the housing meet is a well-defined crease that adds some dimension. The two ribs that encompass the rear circumference of the housing differ in width and depth, aiding in grip when inserting and removing the earphone. At the rear is a small dimple. This industrial design is pulled off near flawlessly with outstanding fit and finish and matches up well with their recent hanger accessory lineup, as you can see here with the Krudul Duo;
 
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Brainwavz equipped the M100 with a stellar braided, 1.3m copper OFC cable. It's supple, flexible, and very tangle resistant. This offsets the slight memory it carries. Strain relief is well-incorporated into the 45 degree angled jack, the bottom portion of the y-split, through the inline microphone, and leading into the earpiece housings.
 
The somewhat generic shape and light weight of the earpieces combined with a very flexible cable means the M100 is quite comfortable. This opinion applies when worn cable down or around-ear. There are some minor microphonics when worn cable down, an issue almost entirely mitigated when wearing the M100 with the cable looped up and around your ear.
 
I found the M100 to isolate better than average for a dynamic-driver based earphone. With music playing at my typically lower than average volumes, external noises were seriously nullified. The clacking of my keyboard, voice, etc. are all effectively drown out. If you want to separate yourself from your surroundings, the M100 will likely meet your needs.
 
Overall the M100 is a well designed and constructed earphone. They're comfortable, isolate well, and I would expect them to stand up well to abuse.
 

 
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Earphone stand provided courtesy of ​
 

 
Sound:
 
Tips: I'm a big fan of tip-rolling and usually hunt down the pair that offers the best combination of sound quality and comfort. For earphones with a relaxed treble presentation, such as the M100, I almost always pull out something with a wide bore. Tips from Ultimate Ears, JVC, and even the generic wide bore sets that come with many budget earphones all work well. That said, since I run the M100 heavily EQ'd I usually use the stock medium silicone tips or the orange-cored tips that come with many Knowledge Zenith earphones.
 
Amping: The M100's original marketing pitched them as being made for amping. I think it helps tighten up their overall sound, but the payoff isn't worth carrying around another device. Equalization is more effective.
 
I'm not going to mess around here; the M100 is a pretty underwhelming sounding earphone out of the box. Coming from the Jive with it's exciting presentation and the S5 with it's quite balanced and technically competent sound, it's downright disappointing. They have a thick, soupy, overboosted lower mid-range and mid-bass presentation that on many tracks completely intrudes and interferes with the rest of the frequency range. It also doesn't help that the M100's treble is extremely recessed and rolls off early. Their sub-bass presentation is lovely though. On some tracks the M100's stock sound is fine, such as Aesop Rock's Dorks. It suits the M100's unique balance. Aesop's voice is clearly the most prominent and forward aspect of the mix with a light guitar riff playing in the background that carries great weight and texture. This is not the norm, unfortunately.
 
To try and get around these issues I ran through a slew of unique tips, over 100 hours of "burn in", and amping. None of this worked to make the M100 more palatable. That said, if there is anything that makes the M100 worth the purchase, it's their reception to equalization. With some heavy shifting of frequency emphasis, I felt I was able to address many of the M100's shortcomings. With my EQ settings they're quite enjoyable, or at least I think they are. This is what I settled on when using them through my HTC One M8;
 
60 Hz / -1db
230 Hz / -4db
910 Hz / no change
4 kHz / +4db
14 kHz / +8db
 
Applying these settings lifted the M100's mid-range out of the mud and removed the veil. It gave their treble some life and presence, revealing the M100's surprisingly dynamic soundstage. Infected Mushroom's Deeply Disturbed shows off this earphone's impressive ability to carry sound precisely from channel to channel with clearly defined layers and distances.
 
On Gramatik's Bluestep, which I like to use when testing treble tightness, you hear the M100's treble is clearly defined, lacking any sense of sloppiness or splashy artifacts. In addition, this song reveals excellent texturing in the lower frequencies. Another good track for to run through when checking out these aspects is Run The Jewel's Oh My Darling (Don't Cry). At 2:33 the song really takes off and has the tendency to reveal intense sibilance and metallic qualities in the treble. M100 passes with aplomb.
 
I find the chaotic final moments of King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black does a great job of revealing an earphones inability to handle complicated and congested music. After minutes of slow and agonizing buildup, the song explodes into a cacophony of jazz infused, erratic, and completely spectacular noise. It's one of my favorite pieces of music and when EQ'd, the M100 handles it with way more competence than I could ever ask given how hard it falls without EQ. It's certainly better than the LZ A2S, which I wasn't expecting. There is still some congestion and confusion when everyone in the band is going all out, but it's still possible to hear each instrument and pick apart the song, layer by layer, without much effort.
 

 
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Overall Thoughts:
 
The M100 is definitely an interesting release from Brainwavz. I personally love the design and feel they are both comfortable and extremely well-built. Their stock sound? Well, I can't recommend it for more than just audio-books, podcasts, or commentary focused Youtube videos.
 
When EQ'd, the M100 comes together and reveals itself to be a competent earphone and an enjoyable listen. They're still dark and moody, but they perform strongly, you just have to work for it. Unfortunately, that's not really something worth praising, especially not at the asking price for the M100.
 
I'd give them two stars as they are out of the box. After applying a good custom EQ tune, I'd happily give the M100 four stars and maybe more if I spent additional time refining my tune. Since it doesn't feel right to give them a final rating on what they can be, nor completely right to rate them on what they are first glance, I'll meet these two conflicting opinions halfway. Three stars it is for the M100.
 
Thanks for reading!
 
- B9Scrambler
 
 
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Test Songs:
 
Aesop Rock - Saturn Missles
BT - The Antikythera Mechanism
Daft Punk - Touch
Gramatik - Bluestep (Album Version)
Incubus - 2nd/3rd/4th Movements of the Odyssey
Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians
Infected Mushroom - Deeply Disturbed
Jessie J - Bang Bang
Kiesza - Hideaway
King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black
Run The Jewels - Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)
Skindred - Death to all Spies
Supertramp - Rudy

dnun8086

Sponsor: Trinity Audio Engineering
Pros: Easy fit, Solid Build Quality, 2 Years Warranty?
Cons: Too much bass, Colored Sound, Lack of Detail
Deep, Dark but not Handsome?!
 
Disclaimer
 
Firstly, I would like to thank Pandora for sending these to me for the purpose of this review. All impressions will be made from an objective standpoint but do carry some serious subjective views, you’ve been warned. I’ve been involved in audio for some years now and enjoy music extensively. With a good set of earphones, headphones and source you’ll be set for life.
 
Specs
 
  1. Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
  2. Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
  3. Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
  4. Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
  5. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
  6. Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
  7. Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible
 
Accessories
 
  1. Earphone Hard case
  2. 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
  3. 1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
  4. 1 Shirt Clip
  5. Velcro Cable Tie
  6. Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24-month warranty)
 
If you have read any of my previous Brainwavz reviews, then you’ll pretty much find the same impressions and things included. I have uploaded a picture below just in case you wanted to see the case.
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Features:
  1. Tuned for clear sound with well-defined bass.
  2. Special crafted drivers, with high purity copper and feather light diaphragm.
  3. Made with aircraft grade metal.
  4. 3 Button microphone & remote, compatible with iPhone & Android.
 
Multi-Function 3 Button Microphone & Remote:
  1. Supports Apple iOS & Android Products
  2. Phone Call Control
  3. Audio Player Control
  4. Volume Control
  5. Supports TRRS Connector
 
Ergonomics/Fit+Mic
 
Hum it is hard, for a guy who loves to talk I haven’t much to add to this section at all. Due to the very basic design the M100 is just easy to get on with anyone who finds the ones you have to hook over your ear a little tricky there is no need to worry about that here.
 
Even with the provided silicon ear tips fitment wasn’t an issue and for those of you who are struggling Brainwavz very kindly throw in a pair of Comply ear buds just in case. Although, it’s worth mentioning as much I like a good set of foamies they can add a veil and bass to the sound something this earphone doesn’t need. But hey you can always try them out and your mileage will vary. As for me I have stuck with good old silicon for a change.
 
As for the microphone it works perfectly fine for calls and music you are able to play, pause and skip tracks all with the click of a few buttons. 
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Build quality/Design
 
Okay usually I would have bored you all to death with ramblings in each section but being pressed from time I thought to let you just read the details for yourself.
 
Build quality must be discussed though as you do need to know if you are about to plunder into a purchase that is inevitably going to break. Thankfully in the case of all Brainwavz’s products you are covered by a 24-month warranty and for good reason they are confident enough to offer that on all their products.
 
They never seem to skip the build on their products ranging from low to high you find a consistency of solid materials. In the case of the M100 this is no difference you get a pliable yet rugged twisted cable; pictures below. Great strain reliefs and a durable, meaty yet light Y splitter.
 
Moving on to the earphones themselves they certainly don’t look like anything special it’s a typical straightforward design. The earpieces themselves are a little cone shaped almost reminding me of a mega horn, perhaps that was the idea behind the bass but more on that later. Each earpiece is also fashioned out of aircraft grade metal according to Brainwavz and is marked with left right indicators and of course Brainwavz’s signature printed across the body.
 
All in all, nothing noteworthy here to mention but certainly another solid build. Let us move on to the reason we ever bother to read reviews anymore anyway.. the sound!
 
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Sound Quality
 
My first impressions….
 
I was pre-warned, if you will, of the need for burn in these require. Usually straight from the get go you can tell if you will like something or not. In this case, not! Now I am not saying these sounded terrible just not my cup of tea and considering I am a reformed bass head these should have tickled my fancy a little bit more.
 
I’ve grown quite fond of Brainwavz tuning over the months I’ve been reviewing for them their house sound is never an intent on being overly aggressive and they always push for the best out of whatever materials they are using despite the price. However, in this case I couldn’t grasp what Brainwavz were trying to do there was just a ton of bass, a wispy veiled treble and midrange which just seemed to hanging about.
 
I chalked this down to the warning so I stuck them in the draw playing loops of music hoping for a miracle to happen before I typed this review up. Well I can say for now there are improvements but maybe not to the extent I would have liked, maybe I knew in my heart this would happen but damn it I hoped.
 
Ramblings aside my first thought of these were bass cannons just being fired for the fun of it. Thankfully cannons have many uses when operated by a skilled hand who has had countless hours of practice. What I am saying is you’ll need to give these a chance at first glance they’re a monster but give her about 60-100 hours and you’ll tame the beast enough to appreciate her beauty.
 
(All impressions made here were after the earphones receiving over 50 hours of burn in)
 
Treble
 
Shining in the darkness there is a ray of hope these earphones didn’t offer much excitement to begin with and I can’t wholly say they will after burn in but there are some improvements which have led to my slightly sunnier disposition on them.
 
First things first don’t ever expect these to hurl detail at you because they just won’t if you want to put a character to them they are the moody teenager whose emotions are a simple mask to a pleasant soul. You get splashes of detail but nothing is over pronounced and I will throughout this review be making comparisons to the first range of Beats earphones because they are very similar in presentation.
 
You tend to get a touch of treble roll of when aiming towards the higher peaks but this does lead to a warmer more forgiving presentation. I wouldn’t claim these do a bad job but there is certainly nothing there that will stand out to impress.
 
Midrange
 
Testing, testing, mic check, hello is this thing on? Literally how I felt when I plugged these in the first time! Honestly when I get to the bass you’ll see why I’ve had issues with these. This part of the sound spectrum is almost hard to describe because of the copious amount of mid bass that overshadows it.
 
If you manage to overlook that blemish, you’ll find a U-shaped sound signature no bountiful amounts of detailing here but there is something a little special. Now I am pretty much settled in my audio preferences I know what I like and what to listen out for. One of my main selling points for any good piece of equipment nowadays is its ability to reproduce lush natural sounding vocals.
 
This may lead you to believe the M100 offers that well in a way they do but it is all too quickly ruined the moment a hair of bass appears. Vocals take a back seat to the rest of the sound but when you do get a chance to hear them there is a little bite and a seductive midrange to be heard.
 
When testing, these I ended up back on Andie Case listening to a few of her covers, check her out does some amazing work, digressions aside these paired with her vocals ticked the magic realm just a bit. Of course, it was soon destroyed by the bass but for the moments when it wasn’t, there was a blissful sound that echoed through my soul of peace and warmth. These are no doubt a warm earphone and certainly not for the analytical listener however, on a good day with the right track there is a something to be admired here.
 
 
Bass
 
Argh!!!! Can I use more exclamation marks please oh please let me!!! I have no idea who was behind the tuning of this model but damn it I wish they hadn’t been. Now I know this is coming across as aggressively harsh and critical but I will redeem it somewhat with further impressions just want to make a few things clear before I do.
 
No way in hell is anyone going to appreciate these fully without burn in, secondly if you have made it that far then please stick to Hip Hop or anything that requires bass by the bucket load. I am exaggerating and I have heard worst but the bass here is just unflattering, in my opinion, to the rest of the sound.
 
Sub bass extends well but it’s hard to pick out over the almost mono tone mid bass that seems almost ever present regardless of what song I play. For anyone looking for a decent set of bass earphones these may fit the bill, whilst I can say I’ve heard better if these come down to about half the price they are well worth a look.
 
Sound stage and Imaging
 
Somewhere amid all this I did find some space not really a lot but some. The soundstage is not tall, deep or wide just present enough to let you know instruments are being played and being occupied in different areas.
 
It is such a shame as Brainwavz have released a couple of earphones that have done a much better job and for the price I would pick the Jive in a heartbeat over these. Anyway, back to the topic at hand you can expect a decent amount of imaging and whist not airy there is enough breathing room to allow most instruments a place on the stage.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Okay this is a section I am happy to write and hopefully something Brainwavz will read into. I shall start with a question; are these really worth it? Simple answer no, not really. Now I know that isn’t what any company would want to have put in a review but it is the truth I have the up most respect for Brainwavz and their ethos but these didn’t hit the nail on the head or they did and just went in for overkill.
 
Kidding aside Brainwavz have something that could be worked with and tweaked to create something a little more befitting of its price tag but currently where it stands the company offers much better earphones in my opinion for less than half the price. These are a reminiscent version of the first gen Beats earphones that came out nothing more or less. Which is a shame as I had higher hopes.
 
Speaking of hopes I am sure for those who are aware of what Brainwavz are up to know of the new BA earphones they will soon have. I have heard the B200 prototype and all I can say is if I have the privilege of writing that up I imagine it to be a complete contrast to the feelings I have expressed within this review.
 
I must make an apology for not being able to fully articulate my impressions on these as I haven’t had as much time to write or listen to them as I would have liked. So please take these impressions with a pinch of salt and leave a comment below if you would like anything clarifying or elaborating on and once again thanks for reading. 

Wokei

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Built Quality & Accessories
Cons: Bassy,coloured sound & price
Brainwavz Intro

ABOUT US
Brainwavz provides high-end earphones specifically designed for high-quality sound and tailor-made to provide the user with a solution that can be used across a wide range of audio genres and styles at affordable prices. Brainwavz believes in the idea that sound is a deeply personal experience, and strives to provide users with earphones that match their personal inclinations, to inspire with intensity. The Brainwavz name is known in many countries across the globe, and the company is continually committed to providing the best products at the best value.

At Brainwavz we have a simple mission, to produce innovative, high quality audio products with a dedicated focus on high-end sound. Our strength, success and product range is built on the unique relationship with our customers. A relationship that has produced a simple and obvious result, we give real users real sound quality.

BRAINWAVZ brand is owned and manufactured by GPGS.

FYI - taken from Brainwavz company webpage http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/

GET THEM HERE - Brainwavz or Amazon for USD89.50

Thank you very much to Brainwavz and Pandora for providing me with Brainwavz M100 for review.
 
 
From Brainwavz website Brainwavz M100 description 
 
The Brainwavz M100 Earphones have been delicately crafted from aircraft grade metal, contained within are hand crafted drivers constructed of high purity copper voice coil and a feather light diaphragm, which combine to create the M100's high fidelity audio. The wide soundstage, well defined bass and clarity make the M100 suitable for most genres of music.
 
The M100 come with a universal 3 button remote and microphone that will work on Apple iPhones and most Android phones.
 

Features:

  1. Tuned for clear sound with well-defined bass.
  2. Special crafted drivers, with high purity copper and feather light diaphragm.
  3. Made with aircraft grade metal.
  4. 3 Button microphone & remote, compatible with iPhone & Android.

Multi-Function 3 Button Microphone & Remote:

  1. Supports Apple iOS & Android Products
  2. Phone Call Control
  3. Audio Player Control
  4. Volume Control
  5. Supports TRRS Connector

Specifications:

  1. Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
  2. Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
  3. Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
  4. Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
  5. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
  6. Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
  7. Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible

Included Accessories:

  1. Earphone Hard case
  2. 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
  3. 1 set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
  4. 1 Shirt Clip
  5. Velcro Cable Tie
  6. Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)

Compatibility for 3.5 mm Jack:

iPods, iPhones, iPads, MP3 Players, Computer & Laptops & Other Audio Devices
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Packaging
Brainwavz M100 was sent to me without retail box packaging and its a review unit with all the included accessories as in retail version. Brainwavz is always excellent in term of accessories especially the excellent hard case coupled with their selection of tips, comply foam , cable tie and shirt clip which is better than some pricier IEM.
Built Quality
 
- Design of the IEM shell is quite generic looking imho but fitting is excellent for me
- Black metal with Brainwavz logo with L and R white indicator which is always welcome in my book.
- Cable is an improvement imho compared to earlier Brainwavz models and the twisted and rubber coated 
- Chin slider above the Y splitter  ( however its pretty hard to slide then up ..lol )
- Three button remote control for Android and Apple devices 
Overall the build quality is excellent and very sturdy imho which is expected as always from Brainwavz products.
 
Sources:
Fiio X5
Fiio E12
Sound
Did burnt in as suggested by Brainwavz for 150 hrs and imho not much changes. 
Bass
M100 is very bass oriented and boomy imho. The sub bass is too dominant for my taste and really dig real deep which in turn bleeds into the mid range. The over powering bass frequency does muffled the overall of this IEM and concur with the few reviews of this particular IEM as stated by @HiFiChris as "playing behind a very thick blanket". Test track used by Bruce Hornsby & The Range - The Way It Is and Mandolin Rain where the glorious piano tinkling sound very boomy and overbearing with the sub bass racing through the whole track with vocal sounding muffled and singing through a towel . 
Mid
First off the midrange is very much influenced by the bass and sub bass bleeding very much especially vocal and sounding very thick and makes it sound very slow . Test track with Norah Jones " Don't Know Why" and the double bass is very much in your face where the vocal sounding very strained where this track is more of her ethereal voice but not so in this case. The separation and clarity is clouded by the boom of the track.
Treble
Treble is polite and good for those who wants IEM with no sibblance and sharp peaks. Micro details are very faint and reccessed imho and stays in the background which makes the treble playing very minor role in the tuning . 
Soundstage
Average in term of height and depth and also not much separation/air mainly clouded by the bass bleed and rather veiled.
 
Conclusion:
This M100 is a "love it or hate it" kinda IEM and will appeal to those who are into bass/no high peaks or sibblance and loves this kind of signature. Unfortunately for me it is not my kind of sound signature and too dark for my liking. The asking price is wee bit high as what is available in the market nowadays with the influx of other Chinese brands flooding the market and even much cheaper offering by Brainwavz like M3 or Jive is better value for money in term of sound preference and value for money.
 
 

NA Blur

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Excellent and clean look/feel, great tip selection
Cons: Too bassy, extremely rolled off treble
M100_Case.jpg
 
SPECS:
Driver Type                      8mm Dynamic
Plug Type                        3.5mm Gold-plated
Cord Length                    1.3m Y
Frequency Response     12 Hz – 22 kHz
Impedance                      32 Ohms
Sensitivity                       110dB / mW @ 1kHz
Remote                           Android and Apple compatible
 
WHERE TO BUY / COST:
$89.50
 
OVERVIEW
The M100 is a new IEM from Brainwavz that has a goal of sounding great amped. Amping any headphone can provide better control of the driver by damping which essentially removes unwanted distortion caused by ringing in the driver. An amp also provides enough power to overcome the needs of low sensitivity headphones where a portable source or on-board soundcard might lack in power. Lastly, amping a headphone can play around with impedance matching conditions between the output of the amp and the headphone impedance which in many cases is not always linear. In this review I will look not only into the sonics of the M100, but compare it amped and unamped and conclude if the M100 is truly designed to sound better amped.
 
AESTHETICS
M100_Cable.jpg
Being the most recent iteration the M100 is sleek having metal housings, an angled jack-plug, in-line remote, and a ton of tip selections. The carrying case is hard and acts as quick storage of the IEMs and tips. The much needed shirt clip is also included. Most IEMs these days have noticeable microphonics in the cable and the M100 is no exception. The shirt clip removes the excess noise generated by the microphonic cable.
 
M100_Acc.jpg
As you see there are several tips to choose from including a pair of Comply foam tips which I find a must with IEMs. The carrying cause is robust enough to keep your precious IEMs safe, but it is small enough to easily tuck away in a small pocket of a backpack. The jack-plug is angled at 45-degrees making it slip into all of the portables I tested including an Android phone and an Apple iPod both of which were in their cases.
 
The M100 is well accessories. Well done Brainwavz!
 
ACOUSTICS
Being so new at the time of this review I contacted Brainwavz inquiring about the specs and any recommendations they had regarding sonics. With a sensitivity of 110dB / mW this IEM is super easy to drive which made me scratch my noodle a bit because when I think about amping a headphone I immediately think low efficiency. Keeping an open mind I started my listening tests using an amp. Both the VA2 from SMSL and the BUDA from HeadRoom have output gain switches which alter the output impedance along with the output voltage. This is handy when testing headphones that have impedance curves that are not flat like the Shure SE315 or any multi-driver IEM for that matter. The M100 has a single dynamic driver so I suspect its impedance is quite flat, but at the time of this review I did not have the impedance measurements
 
Amped: Plugging the M100 into the low-gain jack on the VA2 amp, turning up Arye’s Pink Noise track from their Irrational, but Efficacious test album, and listening to the general sound signature revealed ann immediate emphasis on the bass, some unevenness in the treble, and definite to severe treble roll-off. This is a bassy IEM.
 
So how steep is the treble roll-off? I moved to my treble test tracks and selected Entry Into the Great Hall / The Banquet from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). At the beginning there are some chimes along with bells that are easily discerned with the HE-400i I use as a reference, but they are faint with the M100. I am not surprised, but I had hopes that the pink noise test was missing something. Sadly, the micro-details found in the treble are hidden away behind the bass. I would really like to see Brainwavz increase the treble extension to at least 7 kHz before the drop and increase the amplitude 4dB to provide a more spacious-sounding and detailed IEM.
 
Does the M100 have the sweet midrange that Brainwavz is known for? Yes, it sure does. It is not laid back at all, but it also is not so up-front that it causes listening fatigue. The M100 is easy on the ears.
 
Amped I did notice some distortion develop on busy-sounding tracks like Fallin' & Flyin' from the Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The lack of separation and extra bass distorts the driver and muddies up the clarity of tracks like this one.
 
M100_Nozzle.jpg
Unamped: I test all headphones amped and unamped and because the M100 is being marketed as amp-friendly I started with amped listening. Let’s look at how it sounds unamped, notice the strengths, and list some of the problems that develop.
 
I immediately booted up my iPop touch and selected Te Veo Nena by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico from the Arroz Con Habichuela album. I like this track because it instantly tells how well a headphone can separate instrumentation in busy beats. Unfortunately the M100 exhibits distortion on this track from the beginning. The horns in particular sound crunchy like the smooth sinusoidal notes are becoming jagged and square. The distortion reduces using an amp, but persists.
 
Amped it was easy to find tracks that were fun to listen to with the M100. Unamped it is much more difficult. The bass boom overwhelms the clarity of tracks like Blockhead’s Insomniac Olympics track from their Music By Cavelight album. The overlaying downtempo bass suffocates the nuances of horns and piano
 
I figured the M100 would sound good with electronic music with all of its bass emphasis and laid back sound, but even Dub Sessions 1 (Nadja Lind Sickness of the Mind Remix) by Universal Language & Nadja Lind from the Golden Karma - Finest Selection of Relaxing Chill out, Yoga Flow, Deep Electronic Ambient and Binaural Meditation is simply too bassy to be enjoyed. I did like the extras on tracks like Great Big Sea’s Summer on their Something Beautiful album. The lack of treble does make the echoes and instrument separation hard to discern, but the smooth-sounding bass is sublime.
 
The M100 has an in-line mic which I tested. To all callers it sounded muffled and distant which is a shame because some people will really enjoy the bassy M100. The poor quality mic makes the M100 less utilitarian and more about just being a fun, albeit, boomy IEM.
 
CONCLUSION
In hopes that Brainwavz lowers the bass by 3dB and improves the treble by the same amount I suggest waiting on future iterations of the M100. I found this IEM does sound its best amped so Brainwavz has achieved that goal, but it would make more sense to make it sound even better through a portable which is where I suspect most users are going to use it. Many of the design features make the M100 hard to shy away from because you get a wonderful selection of tips, a shirt clip, and a tough carrying case. The built-in cable cinch is a nice touch too. If getting the best sound from an IEM is your goal I suggest going with a different IEM, but if you enjoy extra bass and comfort then the M100 is worth a try. To me it was too colored to be called hi-fi and due to the excessive treble roll off it become almost unlistenable at times.

crabdog

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Build quality, bundled accessories
Cons: Bloated and colored midrange, unnatural sound, price
20161110_215732.jpg
 
 
Many Head-Fiers will be familiar with Brainwavz already as they have a fairly large user group within the community. Brainwavz has a large inventory of quality earphones at reasonable prices and offer a sterling 24 month warranty on their products. Today I'll be looking at the new M100 single dynamic earphone. At the time of testing, the retail price of the M100 is $89.50 and are available on "Brainwavzaudio.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other authorized Brainwavz resellers around the globe."
 
Disclaimer:
 
This product was sent to me for the purpose of this review. I have no affiliation with the company and all opinions and observations here are my own, based on my experience with the product. I'd like to thank Brainwavz and Pandora for the opportunity to test this product.
 
Brainwavz Audio: http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/
 
Product page: http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/brainwavz-m100-earphones
 
Specifications:
 
 Drivers : Dynamic, 8 mm
 Rated Impedance : 32 Ω
 Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
 Sensitivity : 110 dB @ 1 mW
 Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
 Cable : Braided 1.3 m OFC Copper
 Remote & Mic: 3 Button, Apple & most Android phones compatible.
 
Packaging and accessories:
 
 Earphone Hard Case
 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
 1 set of ComplyTM Foam Tips T-400
 1 Shirt Clip
 Velcro Cable Tie
 Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
 
As this was a review unit the earphones came to me without retail packaging.
 
First we have Brainwavz' excellent hard carry case. These are some of the best cases you'll find supplied with earphones, even more impressive when they're packaged along with their more budget oriented IEMs.
 
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As always the supplied accessories are very good, including the ear-tips, the comply tips, shirt clip and Velcro cable-tie.
 
Build, fit and isolation:
 
Brainwavz are known for their excellent build quality and the M100 are no different. With their smooth, aircraft grade metal housing, meticulous finish and clear Left and Right markings. The housings are a generic, cone shape that tapers off towards the rear. They're not the most interesting looking IEM but that's not an issue for me as I prefer something that's practical and comfortable and the M100 to me are both. The previously mentioned Left and Right markings are clear making it easy to determine both sides and it's little touches like this that make Brainwavz products rise above the competition when it comes to build quality.
 
20161110_215752.jpg
 ​
The cable is a twisted, rubber-coated affair with good strain reliefs and a universal three-button inline control with built-in microphone. The cable terminates in a forty-five degree plug that's contoured to easily grip when plugging in or removing from your device. There's also a handy cable cinch placed above the Y-splitter. The cable is reasonably supple and sits well without any noticeable kinks. Microphonics are present but fairly minimal and can be negated by utilizing the cable cinch or wearing the cable over your ears (or both).
 
 
Due to their shape and smooth finish I find these to be extremely comfortable to wear and can basically forget they're there at all. Sound isolation is slightly above average for this style of IEM, doing a pretty good job of blocking external noise.
 
Sound:
 
Sources:
Foobar2000 > Micca OriGen+
NiNTAUS X10
FiiO X1 II
 
All of the included tips were too small for my ears so for testing I used some Large silicone tips from my own collection.
 
The M100 has a very unusual sound signature that I think people will either love or hate with not much in-between. For me it is, unfortunately the latter and I will try to explain why.First of all the bass is a bit soft and not etched but not too bad overall. Sub-bass digs deep enough but just becomes part of the lower-mids bloat making things sound congested and blurred.
 
face-paint-800.jpg
 
Midrange on the M100 is more colored than blindfolded finger painting day at kindergarten making everything sound as though you're listening through a witches hat covered with a blanket. Depending on the track a fair amount of detail can still get through but things just sound unnatural at least to my ears. Female vocals fare much better due to the heaviest of the coloring being in the lower midrange. I found things sounded a lot better with some EQ, specifically pulling the 110Hz-311Hz range down -4db to -5db but I generally don't like to EQ and certainly not this heavily.
 
The treble is very subdued giving things a very warm or dark sound. I found a bit of boost in EQ helped things here too but some people may like it in its default state. It certainly doesn't get sibilant or splashy up top.
 
Soundstage isn't too bad but it's nothing to write home about. Imaging is pretty ordinary on anything except percussion in the upper frequencies where the M100 shows some potential.
 
20161110_215351.jpg
 
Comparisons:
 
vs Hidizs EX-01
 
Sub-bass levels are fairly similar between these two, both going pretty low and able to give you some rumble, slightly more so with the EX-01. Mid-bass has more impact on the Hidizs but had less mids-bleed than the M100. The Hidizs has slightly recessed midrange but sounds a lot more natural with better tonality. There's not a whole lot separating the treble between these two, both being very smooth and warm but the Hidizs sounds clearer in the highs due to a more balanced (but bass oriented) overall signature. The M100 is the more comfortable for me and I get a perfect seal every time while the EX-01 needs a bit of maneuvering every now and then to stay in place.
 
vs SHOZY Zero
 
Bass on the Zero is a bit tighter, faster and more clearly etched than that of the M100. Midrange is a bit forward on the Zero but manages to sound natural and without the apparent veil of the M100. Highs are clearer on SHOZY's offering with hi-hats and cymbals sounding very lifelike while the M100 is more subdued/washed out by the lower mids. Both of these IEMs are very comfortable for me but slightly more so for the Zero as the housings are shorter and the tips are about the only part that come into contact with my ears.
 
vs LZ A2S
 
Although the A2S is a hybrid I thought it relevant for comparison due to its warm signature. Mid-bass on the A2S is way forward and in my opinion has a detrimental effect on the overall sound whereas the M100 in my opinion does the same with its lower midrange, both IEMs being too unbalanced to sound coherent and engaging. Separation is superior with the A2S as you'd expect from a hybrid (but not guaranteed) with most sounds able to be distinguished from one another. The M100 has a slightly wider soundstage than the LZ model but at this point it's not enough to make it a competition.
 
20161110_215900.jpg
 
Conclusion:
 
Some may like the sound of the M100 but I suspect that more would not, unless my hearing and preferences are totally off-kilter. The midrange (especially lower midrange) seems to be rather poorly tuned making it sound unnatural and congested. For the $89.50 asking price there is a vast number of IEMs to compete against - many single dynamics and as of recently a whole bunch of double and triple driver hybrids which to my ears sound a whole lot better. I suggest you don't take my word alone though, if you have the chance to listen to the M100 yourself then you definitely should. Perhaps I've spent too much time in the realm of digital cleanliness, of hi-res files and everything being sourced from computers, DACs and DAPs. Maybe this is a throwback to the analog days of warm, non clinical audio. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Although the M100 signature isn't for me I can say without a doubt that Brainwavz retains their standard when it comes to build quality, finish, high class materials and bundle of accessories.

HiFiChris

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: good fit and comfort, might please those who are into a very warm and mellow sound
Cons: extremely coloured sound (very warm mids, very warm root, really dark treble), driver rather on the mellow and slow side

IMG_2283.jpg

 
 
Preamble:

Brainwavz Audio, who belong to the GPGSHK, are an internationally quite well-known company that manufactures in-ears, full-sized headphones and audio accessories (mainly holders and ear pads). All of the models have in common that they are in the affordable price range and that the company doesn’t carry any expensive products – even the higher-priced Brainwavz headphones are still in the very low three-digit Euro/Dollar range.

Quite some time has passed since there was a Brainwavz in-ear that cost more than $/€100. Back then it was the positively received B2, a dual-BA in-ear, that I however never got into my ears – when I wanted to buy it few years ago as an inexpensive backup in-ear as alternative to some of my more expensive multi-BA in-ears, the production had already stopped and there were no remainders anymore.
Now Brainwavz is giving it another shot and leaves the two-digit price range to enter the very low three-digit range. No, this review is not about a possible successor of the B2 (, however one new dual-BA as well as two single-BA in-ears have recently been presented in London and a reincarnation of the B2 is also supposed to be in the makes,) but concentrates on an in-ear that features a single dynamic driver per side and is called “M100” (http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/brainwavz-m100-hifi-earphones).

The competition of dynamic driver in-ears in this price range is still quite steep and there are not only a few models that offer quite some sound quality for the asked price. Will the M100 be able to offer something unique to stand out and be something special?


Before I head over to my actual review, I want to take the time to personally say “thank you” to Brainwavz Audio’s Pandora who reached out to me and invited me to the review of the M100. I then received a free sample of it in exchange for my honest thoughts and a review.


Technical Specifications:

Price: $89.50
Drivers: dynamic, 8 mm
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency Range: 12 Hz – 22 kHz
Remote & Microphone: 3 buttons (compatible with iOS and most Android devices)


Delivery Content:

My review sample didn’t arrive with a cardboard or plastic box, however with all accessories that are: the in-ears, a Velcro cable tie, a Brainwavz carrying case with the typical black and red colour scheme, a shirt clip, one pair of medium Comply Foam tips, two pairs of small silicone tips, two pairs of medium silicone tips and lastly two pairs of large silicone tips.
 

IMG_2275.jpg IMG_2276.jpg



Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

The in-ears look quite simple and also somewhat elegant, however their design is not extraordinary or easily recognisable. They simply don’t stand out of the crowd and look just regular and easily forgettable.
The bodies are made of metal and black, with small Brainwavz logos and commendably large side-markers with a good colour contrast to find the correct side more easily.
 

IMG_2278.jpg IMG_2279.jpg


The cable reminds me of Brainwavz’ M3 and some of SoundMAGIC’s models (it is twisted and then rubber-coated), however it is more flexible and less springy than those although it is not the most flexible cable I know either. Nonetheless, it appears extremely sturdy to me.
There is really good strain relief on all transitions except for directly above the y-split that also features a chin-slider that however doesn’t move easily. On the right hand side is a three-button remote control with a built-in microphone.
 

IMG_2281.jpg IMG_2282.jpg



Comfort, Isolation:

Due to their shape, the in-ears can be inserted both normally and deeply. As it turned out later, the latter was better for the sound (at least in my case).
Comfort is good and the in-ears seal quickly in my ears.
It is possible to wear the M100 classically with the cables down but also with the cables being guided around the ears, which is my preferred method with all in-ears as it also reduces microphonics and makes the fit more secure. There is fortunately about no cable noise with this wearing style.

Isolation is better than average and is only beat by in-ears that have fully closed bodies (the M100 has got one vent per side).


Sound:

My main source devices during the weeks of listening and testing were my iBasso DX90, the Cowon Plenue M2, HiFime 9018d and last but not least my Chord Mojo plus Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII stack.

Just as advised, I have burnt the in-ears in for 150 hours using sine-, noise- and music-signals although I do not really believe in burn-in effects with headphones.

For listening, I used the included medium silicone tips for a pretty deep insertion so that the in-ears could not be seen if a person was standing face-to-face to me – I am usually in need for the largest size of ear tips for about any in-ear, however if I had used them with the M100 and normal insertion depth, you would have found me complaining about even more fogginess, bloom, un-precision and so on.

First and foremost: I have not a single problem with a bright, bassy, warm, v-shaped or mid-centric in-ear as long as the midrange remains overall not too affected and sounds more or less natural (there are many bassy, dark, warm or v-shaped in-ears that I really really like not to say even love). Then I can also like it subjectively although I always try to leave my personal preference out as much as possible and to stay objective. Unfortunately an unaffected and natural midrange is not really given with the M100. After some days and hours of exclusively listening to the Brainwavz, I also managed to adapt to its sound signature more or less in order to not dislike it completely on the subjective level, however my harsh criticism regarding its objective tuning and technical qualities didn’t really change.

Tonality:

The sound is bassy, full, warm and especially dark. Very dark to be precise, and there is not much treble to begin with. The tuning is like a downwards slope from the bass towards the treble with the quantity of a certain frequency decreasing the higher it climbs on the frequency ladder.
The sound is like everything was playing behind a very thick blanket; the lows bleed noticeably into the midrange and the treble is a good bit darker than what could even be remotely considered neutral or balanced with just a slight hint of darkness.

Taking the Etymotic ER-4S as a reference with its diffuse-field flat neutrality, the M100’s bass is a little more than 11 dB more present.
To my ears, listening to music and a sine generator, the lows’ emphasis starts anywhere around 900 Hz and then climbs up with the shape of a hump and is already quite full sounding between 200 and 300 Hz. It however continues climbing, although not by much, and reaches its climax a little below 100 Hz. To my ears, the bass doesn’t really lose presence towards the sub-bass.
It is an overall very full sound with a strong and warm root (fundamental range) that bleeds into the midrange a lot and makes vocals sound very thick and full.
Unfortunately the level continues decreasing between 1 and 2 kHz, which results in the midrange also to become dull.
The rest of the treble is noticeably in the background and very dark. To my ears it gains a little presence around 5 kHz where it is however still in the background. As for the rest of the highs, they are still audibly recessed. Cymbals sound quite muffled, too.

The good thing is that there are no sudden peaks and no sibilance at all, but the bad thing is that vocals don’t sound natural because of the lows bleeding into the lower and middle midrange by that much. I would have welcomed a warm signature, but this one appears just muffled and like the in-ears were playing through a thick blanket (associations that are circulating in my head are “being trapped in a sedan’s boot”, “old tube radio with very little treble presence and coloured mids”, “very old monitoring headphone from the time of World War II I was able to listen to in a museum” and “Koss Porta Pro with even darker and more blanket-like mids”).

This kind of sound signature really needs to suit your personal preferences that need to be a very warm and dark sound with very dark mids in order to being fully enjoyable. Yeah, it reminds me of an even darker and woollier Koss Porta Pro that I never found to be special either (not only because of its tonality).
For my preference of a more balanced sound and especially midrange (I could well live with the M100 if the vocal range war more natural and realistic), I would need to apply a heavy S-shaped EQ curve.
 

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Resolution:

The amount of details is really not bad and it heads into a solid direction that is average for the price, however the M100 is definitely not special and gets beat by a good number of other similarly priced in-ears based on pure performance.
It is definitely not the fastest sounding in-ear and works better with slower than faster and busier recordings. While it doesn’t really sound confused or overpowered then, the lows lack some quality, details as well as tightness and sound somewhat dry/blunt. The bass is not really too slow and decays more or less reasonably fast, but it is quite soft in terms of attack and decay. Especially the lower midbass and sub-bass soften up more.
The amount of details in the midrange and treble is not too bad and about average. The safe and smooth tuning without any harshness or peaks can then even sound quite nice, nonetheless the M100 doesn’t have the best separation or refinement with busier recordings that are either faster or feature more tonal elements or musicians.

The combination of the tuning and the rather soft and mellow appearing driver is definitely not the most convincing pairing in my opinion.
I really could accept this with a $30 in-ear/headphone and likely also for one that costs $50, but around the $100 threshold, there are just so many other in-ears and headphones that do most things better than the M100 and also sound warm and/or dark, however their midrange appears natural which the M100’s does not. The pure performance, excluding the tonal tuning, is reasonable and average, but can also be found for around half of the price.

Soundstage:

To my ears, the M100 doesn’t have the widest nor the narrowest soundstage but seems rather average in terms of lateral expansion. Depth is almost as present as width and one can also imagine some layers, nonetheless there is no/only very little air or empty space around instruments and the overall presentation appears rather foggy, especially with tracks that contain more than just a few musicians.

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In Comparison with other In-Ears:
 

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Side-note: I sometimes had to counter-check the technical differences by EQing the in-ears closer together which is usually not necessary. In case of the M100, it however was and was only done to bring the treble more forward and to make the midrange more natural to see whether it sounded more detailed then. It did to some degree but the technical basis didn’t change, so my following impressions regarding the resolution are mostly true for the equalized as well as pure sound of the M100 and its competitors.

Ostry KC06A:
Both are quite different and the KC06A (using the stock “treble” tips) sounds v-shaped however with less bass presence. Its midrange is a lot more realistic and tonally accurate.
The Ostry’s Bass is not the tightest either and a bit more on the softer side, nonetheless with higher speed, control and nimbleness than the Brainwavz’. I also see it somewhat ahead when it comes to midrange and treble refinement as well as details.
To my ears, the KC06A’s soundstage is somewhat wider and also a bit deeper, along with the more precisely placed and separated spatial cues.

DUNU Titan 3:
The DUNU sounds much more balanced and with the way its vent is sitting in my ears, it is also not bass-light (the harmony between my ear anatomy and the vent seems to be very good, as I am among the fewer people who find it to sound balanced and even instead of shouty, bass-light and thin which is the case if the vent is sitting too freely), however it has got considerably less bass than the M100. The DUNU’s midrange is tonally much more accurate and it has got a treble that is not too much on the brighter side but still a bit north of neutral.
The DUNU sounds more nimble, tighter and quicker in the bass and also better differentiated in the midrange and treble.
The soundstage of the Titan 3 is about as large as the M100’s but a bit better separated with more noticeable air and empty space between and around instruments.

Advanced AcousticWerkes Nebula One:
The Nebula One is a bassy in-ear too and has even got a bit more bass presence. However, its bottom end stays much better out of the mids that sound quite noticeably more natural, and even though its treble is more on the neutral to smoother side, it is quite a bit brighter than the M100 in comparison.
The AAW has got the tighter, faster and better controlled bass along with also the more refined appearing midrange and treble.
Both have got about the same soundstage size (depth and width) but the Nebula One’s appears somewhat better separated.

Fidue A65:
Out of all the other models I compared the M100 to, the A65 is the closest match when it comes to midrange and treble, but both are still quite a lot different here. The M100 is the noticeably bassier in-ear but keeps its level better into the lowest sub-bass. The A65 is also a dark sounding in-ear that does not sound unnatural though – its midrange is not unnatural, there is no bleed from the bass/root and voices don’t appear unnaturally sounded or coloured. Its treble is also inoffensive and dark as well as smooth but still quite a bit more present compared to the Brainwavz’.
The A65 has got the better controlled and tighter as well as faster and cleaner bass and sounds more differentiated in the midrange and treble.
The Brainwavz has got the larger soundstage whereas the one of the Fidue is quite small. In terms of precision and separation though, the A65 is very clean and razor-sharp whereas the M100 is foggier and with instruments that tend to bleed into each other.

Brainwavz M3:
The two sound quite different – the M3 is much more balanced, with just a slight v-shape north of neutral and much more realistic mids.
The M3’s bass, while it is not the tightest either, is still somewhat tighter and faster. The overall amount of details isn’t too much different, but I still see the M3 a bit ahead even if I EQ both to sound more comparable.
The M3’s stage is a little narrower but noticeably deeper in my ears and features the more precise instrument separation and layering.


Conclusion:

I wouldn’t generally call the M100 bad because there might still be people who find its tonality pleasant, but based on the very coloured and woolly tuning with an unnaturally fat as well as dark midrange and its technical qualities, I just don’t see it being worth its price. At half of it, I would not complain as much and see it around the level of the Koss Porta Pro that I would rate around 3.5 stars if I would ever convince myself to review it.
Some people might describe this sound signature as being “analogue”, and if you are into this tuning and like the Porta Pro’s tonality, you will likely also enjoy the M100. On the objective side that I try to concentrate to most however, it is just too coloured in the midrange and there are other in-ears that are technically superior for the same price and even less.
As days went by I quite managed to personally adapt to the sound and like it, which however didn’t change my opinion on the objective qualities that I feel are not so good. What’s for sure though is that this tuning is rather unique and isn’t found too often.
Shawn71
Shawn71
Nice review....I liked brainwavz but knew they lost traction when I bought S3 and waiting for their BA series now but not with their expected street price.
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