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The Brainwavz S0 (ZERO) have a balanced sound signature with each part of the sound spectrum...

Brainwavz S0 In-Ear Headphones

  • The Brainwavz S0 (ZERO) have a balanced sound signature with each part of the sound spectrum represented accurate and clear. These sleek metal earphones are designed to sound good with any genre of music.

Recent Reviews

  1. Moonstar
    The Brainwavz S0; A Solid Performer
    Written by Moonstar
    Published May 7, 2018
    Pros - Build like a Tank,
    Strong but clean bass,
    Balanced sound and clarity,
    Build-in microphone with volume control
    Cons - No detachable cable & Flat cable profile,
    Not the best isolation
    The Brainwavz S0; A Solid Performer


    The company Brainwavz is a well-known Asian Hi-Fi Audio Company, which is known for their affordable audio products. The Brainwavz S0 is one of there entry level products which futures a Clearwavz Remote control.



    The Brainwavz S0 was provided to me by the Brainwavz for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Brainwavz beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.

    Price & Warranty:

    The MSRP price for the Brainwavz S0 is 49.50 USD and has a 24 Month Warranty.

    Purchase Link: Brainwavz Store

    Package and Accessories:

    The Brainwavz S0 comes in small rectangular box which is wrapped with a white colored card board and sports an illustration of the S0 earphone. The box itself is in grey and has a soft coated surface with a nice appearance.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    What’s inside the box?

    • 1 x Brainwavz S0
    • 1 x Earphone hard-case
    • 6 x sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    • 1 x set of Comply™ Foam Tips T-400
    • 1 x Shirt Clip
    • 1 x set of Silicone Bi-Flange Eartips
    • 1 x set of Silicone Tri-Flange Eartips
    • 1 x Velcro Cable Tie
    • 1 x Instruction Manual
    • 1 x Warranty Card (24-month warranty)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Brainwavz S0 IEM comes with lots of accessories like a shirt clip, hard-case, various silicone ear tips, etc. There is also one pair of Comply T-400 foam tips which is a nice addition.


    The hard-case which is included to the box looks stylish and is also quite useful.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    • Driver Type : Dynamic, 9 mm
    • Impedance : 16 Ω
    • Frequency Range : 18 Hz ~ 18 kHz
    • Sensitivity : 100 dB at 1 mW
    • Rated Input Power : 10 mW
    • Cable : 1.2 m Y-Cord, Copper
    • Headphone Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold Plated

    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The Brainwavz S0 has is quite comfortable and sits nice in my ears. The noise isolation is average due the bass vent on the backside of the monitor.

    The Brainwavz S0 has a relative small and compact form factor. The monitor is made of a solid all metal housing and has a flat, tangle free cable which looks & feels also very durable.

    There is also a red plastic part on the shell which serves as strain relief.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    On the back of the monitor sports a bass vent and the Brainwavz logo and on the sides are the Left & Right markings.


    The Brainwavz S0 has a built in remote which is promoted as “Clearwavz Remote” and features a build in microphone (on the backside of the remote control) with a quite good voice transmission performance. The remote control sports 3 buttons which supports Apple iOS and Android products and works for phone call controls, audio player controls and volume controls with a Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System (in short MEMS).


    The cable sports a plastic Y splitter and a chin/neck slider.


    The straight headphone jack is made of plastic and has a 3.5mm gold plated plug.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Metallica – Sad But True (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
    • LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    • London Grammar – Hey Now (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
    • George Michael – Older Album (Apple Music)
    • Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
    • Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Future Heroes – Archangel (Spotify)
    • Deeperise feat Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)

    Sources used for this review:

    • IEM : Brainwvz S0, Shzoy Hibiki, VE Monk Smalls IE
    • DAP/DAC : Chord Mojo, Hifiman HM603s, Nexum AQUA+

    The Sound:

    I believe in burn-in and this review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 80 hours. I have used the stock black colored silicone ear tips (which are softer but have a smaller sound channel) that are included to the package.


    The Brainwavz S0 has a slightly warm tonality with a bright top end, strong bass response and a very clean overall sound and I was very surprised how clear and powerful this little IEM form sounded.



    You can immediately notice that the Brainwavz S0 has some strong and powerful bass presentation, but don’t get me wrong, this is not the sort of bass presentation which sounds overpowered or overwhelming. This is not an IEM which will satisfy bass heads, but most people who want some strong bass, without to lose clarity will enjoy this IEM with no doubt.

    The sub-bass area between 20 – 50 Hz has good weight and depth and this will satisfy many users who are looking for an IEM for a reasonable price.

    The bass sounds controlled and is sounds tight but is missing a little bit of extension, which is quite acceptable for this price level. One big plus point for the Brainwavz S0 is the mid-bass performance, which sounds well controlled, punchy and pretty fast without to overshadowing the midrange.

    For example; the bass presentations in some bass heavy songs like Future Heroes – Archangel and Lorde’s – Royal are sounding very exiting.


    The most important part of the Brainwavz S0 is the midrange clarity, which is in a level that is rare to find in this price class. It sounds slightly colored (warm) but has a good amount of detail.

    The definition of instruments and the level of it’s clearness above average.

    I have tested the S0 with some instrument intensive tracks like Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti and the result was pretty good.

    Both male and female vocals are presented in a quite natural and transparent way. Some Female voices like Diana Krall and Hannah Reid (vocalist of London Grammar) are represented in a quite emotional and exiting way. The overall vocal distance of the Brainwavz S0 is pretty balanced, which doesn’t sound very upfront or too recessed.

    The upper treble range of the S0 is another highlight, because it sounds controlled and transparent, with only a low amount of sibilance that is most noticeable in bad recorded or remastered tracks.


    The first noticeable thing about the treble range is the good transition between the upper midrange and the treble range, where exists a good balance between neutrality and musicality.

    The treble extension and overall speed of the Brainwavz S0 is above average and the good thing is that there is no remarkable harshness between the 4 – 6 kHz range.

    The upper treble range of the Brainwavz S0 sounds relative controlled with some instruments like violins, cymbals or bells. Megadeth’s epic song “Sweating Bullets” is a good example, where the cymbals have a pretty good attack and decay.

    Soundstage and Imaging:

    The soundstage of the Brainwavz S0 is fairly wide and is above average in depth, which should not be a drawback at this price point. The S0 represents a nice sense of space with a good amount of air between instruments and there is also a nice, 3D like imaging.


    Vs. Shozy Hibiki:

    The Shozy Hibiki has less sub-bass quantity and depth than compared to the Brainwavz S0. Both IEM’s are equal good regarding to the overall bass speed. The S0 has better the better bass extension, while the Shozy Hibiki sounds more controlled.

    .The Brainwavz S0 sounds surprisingly clinical and transparent compared to the flat but grainy midrange presentation of the Shozy Hibiki. The Hibiki sounds slightly warmer and emotional compared to the S0.

    The upper midrange of the Shozy Hibiki sounds slightly harsher, compared to the more controlled and softer presentation of the Brainwavz S0. Both IEM’s are surprisingly good for its price regarding to vocal and instrument presentation. When it comes to vocal presentation I must say that the Barinwavz S0 sounds better with male vocals, while I like the Shozy Hibiki more with female voices due the more emotional presentation.

    Both the Shozy Hibiki and Brainwavz S0 have a pretty controlled treble presentation while the Hibiki IEM sounds slightly harsher with bad recorded/remastered tracks, where the S0 excels better. The detail level of the Shozy Hibiki is slightly better.

    The soundstage of the Shozy Hibiki expands in a more natural way, while the difference for depth is minimal.


    Vs. VE Monk IE Smalls

    The Monk IE Smalls sounds quite warm in its presentation compared to the more natural sounding Brainwavz S0, which has also more sparkle on the top end.

    Both IEM’s sharing some nice sub-bass rumble, which will excite bass lovers. But the Brainwavz S0 has more depth, extension and control compared to the slower and hotter sounding bass response of the Monk’s. The Monk IE Smalls sounds a bit too warm in the bass department, where the Brainwavz S0 sounds more balanced and natural.

    Both IEM’s have a quite different midrange presentation. The Monk IE Smalls sounds fuller and warmer with a veiled presentation, while the Brainwavz S0 has a more transparent and natural midrange tuning. The Brainwavz S0 sounds more realistic with both male and female vocals, while the Monk IE Smalls has an emotional presentation.

    The instrument clarity, separation and detail level of the Brainwavz S0 is superior compared to those of the Monk IE Smalls, which has some clarity problems.

    The treble range of the Monk IE Smalls sounds darker and is missing some sparkle. The treble extension and detail level of the Brainwavz S0 is one of the best in this price class and is superior to those of the Monk IE Smalls. The upper treble range of the Monk IE Smalls sounds softer and more controlled, but is missing some sparkle.

    The Brainwavz S0 has an airier and wider soundstage presentation in both directions.


    The Brainwavz S0 is a very well made IEM, which has a very nice accessory package and pretty good sound quality. The powerful bass, overall balance and clarity level makes it to a good performer in this price range.

    Summary (plus and minus):

    • + Build like a Tank
    • + Strong but clean bass
    • + Balanced sound and clarity
    • + Build-in microphone with volume control

    • – No detachable cable & Flat cable profile
    • – Not the best isolation


    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :


      karanehir35 likes this.
  2. Cinder
    Brainwavz S0 Review: Budget Balance
    Written by Cinder
    Published Apr 15, 2018
    Pros - Great metal build, nice stress relief, great accessory package, good case, tangle-free cable, excellent vocal tonality and intelligibility, good ergonomics
    Cons - Aging driver design, mid-bass likes to overpower the lower-mids, smudging in the lower mids and lower treble
    Brainwavz S0 Review: Budget Balance
    Brainwavz is a company whose roots lie in building consumer audio products. They strive to produce high-quality audio products at an affordable price; a laudable goal indeed. The S0 is an outcropping of that passion. How well does it hold up against the rest of the market with a design that’s already a couple years old?

    You can find the S0 for sale here, on Brainwavz’s official website, for $50.

    About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

    • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. My preferred “speed” of sound is slightly above average, using a standard dynamic driver for reference.
    Source: The S0 was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones


    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones


    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones


    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Sound Signature
    Sonic Overview:

    The S0 features a mildly V-shaped sound signature with a mid-bass hump and mild mid-range warmth. Vocals are brought forwards but often compete with the mid-bass.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy, Little One

    Treble is well fleshed out. It has a good energy to it and lacks any sort of peak or valley. Its timbre is natural and effortless. High hats and cymbals sound quite natural and are audible, but can smudge together in busy parts of a song. This is less the case with songs like In One Ear than it is with Little One, so the differences I heard in clarity may be due to the different mastering choices made by the producers of those two songs respectively.

    Detail retrieval in the upper range is a bit complicated. The S0 does a great job picking up small details in the treble when there isn’t too much going on (even some things I rarely ever hear on “clarity” focused IEMs) but tends to not really pull much through during busy choruses. It’s not a complete blowout though, as certain details like the finger-snapping in the right channel during the bridge to the chorus in In One Ear was clear to a surprising degree.

    There was no sharpness or sibilance in any song I listened to through the S0, even in very poorly mastered songs such as Satisfy.

    Mid-range: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams, Too Close, Little Black Submarines

    The mid-range of the S0 is about where it shows its age. While the timbre and expressiveness of it is quite good, the technical aspects such as decay speed and detail retrieval (which are quite deeply linked) are pretty average for an IEM of this price in 2018.

    The S0 implements a warm mid-range with a somewhat heavier lower end. That said, the majority of my test songs didn’t have any problem with it, which is a pretty impressive feat considering how finicky their mastering can be.

    Guitar timbre is fairly good and expressive. And again, the word “natural” comes into play as a descriptor. There isn’t really anything about the S0’s mid-range that doesn't meet that description and I’m really impressed by that.

    But the cherry-on-top for the S0’s mid-range is the vocals. They are phenomenally clear and are far above average in terms of intelligibility in the vast majority of songs I played through them.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    Bass is stronger than “neutral” but not so strong that the S0 could be called a “bassy” or “basshead” IEM. It has a mid-bass hump but lacks the full expressiveness of the sub-bass to complete the lower-register equation. For a dynamic driver IEM, I’d expect to hear a little more rumble than I’m currently getting.

    Furthermore, the mid-bass tends to push around the mid-range. It isn’t too noticeable in some songs, but when it is, it really is. Examples of mid-bass over-stepping its boundaries exist in In For The Kill and War Pigs. Gold Dust and Moth remained relatively unaffected.

    Packaging / Unboxing
    The S0’s packaging has been heavily revised since it first launched a couple years ago, and all for the better. Gone is the crappy plastic shelling. In its stead is an eye-catching paint-splatter laminated cutout on top of a specially-cut foam later that holds the case in place within the packaging. The packaging itself is built from a pretty sturdy cardboard that feels pretty hefty. Based on the packaging alone it would be hard to tell that this is only a $50 product.

    Construction Quality

    The S0’s construction is focused on durability and usability. Instead of regular round cables, the S0 finds itself with a flat “non-tangle” cable that does its job surprisingly well. The stress relief on the cable where it connects to the S0 is generous and plentiful. You’ll likely never run into a scenario where the cable will wear out at that connection point, excluding extreme cases of abuse. The cable has some microphonics while running, but they’re average at worst.

    The shell is made from metal, as is the nozzle. The machining is clean and free from flaws. The S0’s nozzle is of an average length and diameter. You’ll find that it is guarded by a black mesh filter.

    Along the cable lies a microphone and control unit. While its style isn’t exactly aligned with my preferences, I’m sure there are people out there who appreciate it. The buttons are made of rubber and are set well within the control unit’s plastic shell. You’ll find three controls: increase volume, pause/play, and decrease volume. The unit works with Android, iOS, and even some Windows machines. The mic quality is average but works absolutely fine for making simple phone calls.

    The Y-splitter and 3.5mm jack, like the control unit, are made from a touch matte plastic. Each of them has good stress relief and are unlikely to fail, even after the 2-year warranty wears off.


    The S0 is very comfortable, especially when used with the included Comply eartips. It can be worn either over-ear or cable-down. The shells are light and didn’t fatigue my ears even after long listening sessions.

    Inside the box you will find:

    • 1x semi-hard carrying case
    • 1x shirt clip
    • 1x velcro cable wrap
    • 1x pair of Comply eartips
    • 1x pair of dual-flange eartips
    • 1x pair of triple-flange eartips
    • 6x pairs of silicone eartips
    The S0’s accessory package is quite impressive, especially at this price point. The case is quite good and can easily accommodate the IEM and all its accessories while still being small enough to bring with you on the go. The eartip selection is top notch and has something for everyone, and each of the eartips is of a high quality. You even get genuine Comply!

    1: Alpha and Delta D3 ($35)

    The D3, like the S0, uses a single dynamic driver. Unlike the S0, the D3’s dynamic driver is of the micro variety and is physically much smaller. But given its bass response, you really wouldn’t ever guess that. As far as sound goes, the D3 has a considerably stronger bass presence overall but has a less invasive mid-bass. The D3’s mid-range is warmer and more detailed but has worse vocal expression and tonality. The D3 wins out for bass quality but loses out on vocals and overall tonality. The D3’s construction is better by a mile though, so you might want to take that, and the D3’s lower price, into consideration when choosing between the S0 and D3.

    2: HE 150 Pro ($30)

    The HE 150 Pro clocks in at about $20 less than the S0 but maintains a pretty competitive edge with it in terms of detail retrieval in the mid-range. In fact, I’d say that the H 150 Pro, in a quiet environment, actually beats the S0 by a non-negligible amount detail-wise. The drawback here is, of course, the earbud form-factor of the HE 150 Pro; it is essentially like wearing open-backed headphones, so utility in public and loud spaces will be limited.

    The S0 maintains a very solid lead on the HE 150 Pro in terms of bass and ergonomics as it is an IEM and comes with a very capable set of eartips (including Comply!). So if you want bass or isolation, the choice here is obvious: go with the S0. If you want to save some cash and don’t mind the form-factor of the HE 150 Pro, then go for it! You’ll be getting more detail

    3: Brainwavz B150 ($70)

    The B150 isn’t quite a fair comparison given that it is far more expensive, but I thought it would be interesting to see how far Brainwavz has come as a brand. The S0 has a more prominent bass presence, especially in the mid-bass, and has about 2dB more in the 50Hz–150Hz range. The B150 (unsurprisingly) outclasses the S0 in detail retrieval and timbre in both the mid-range and treble. That said the S0 is far more sturdily built than the B150, so clumsy listeners will value the added durability it offers.

    The S0 is an interesting IEM that’s aged pretty well. It features a durable metal build, good accessory package, and excellent vocal quality. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of the midrange’s overall sonic performance. So while the S0 still does have its place in the market, it no longer holds a top price-to-performance ratio in the ever-competitive $50 segment. But hey, I’m not sure there are too many budget IEMs that can put up that much of a fight after so long, so props to Brainwavzs for creating IEMs that are meant to last!

    As always, happy listening!
      hqssui likes this.
  3. avitron142
    Excellent choice for the price, Solid sound for everyday usage.
    Written by avitron142
    Published Jun 7, 2015
    Pros - Build Quality, Accessories, Design, Flat cable, Comfort, Clarity and Balanced SQ, Price.
    Cons - Moderate Mid-Bass bump


    I am in no way affiliated or work for Brainwavz. For this review, I’ve received the S0 as a review sample courtesy of Audrey from Brainwavz.


    Keep in mind that all the pictures, while looking small on the page, were taken by a quite decent camera. I just didn't want to clutter up the page with large pictures. So feel free to click on them to see them in full resolution throughout the review!




    I remember when I got my first $30 IEM; this was before I was fully invested in sound quality and high end audio. Rather than going to head-fi to check which ones are valued for the price, I went to Amazon instead and looked for the highest rated IEM’s at the time. So I bought one. Wasn’t too impressed. Bought another one, and it broke; etc. Pretty much every time I tried to get my hands on a budget IEM, there was always some massive qualification that prevented me from liking it.


    So a year later when Audrey told me she could give me the S0 to review, my expectations for this new ~$40 IEM weren’t too high. From my experiences, budget headphones always sounded muddy, didn’t fit, or had something else which completely spoiled the experience for me.


    But when I started listening to the S0’s, I was quite surprised. Clear sound that even $80 headphones sometimes gets wrong was present on these IEM’s, and an overall sound that is well above the $40 tag.


    I was afraid I would have to give my first mediocre rating to a budget IEM, but I can say with confidence that rating is clearly not meant for the S0’s. Let’s begin.




    The S0’s box had a magnetic flap on the front, and on the inside it has a few neat surprises. First off, there’s a history of Brainwavz and the company’s primary goal. A nice touch in my opinion, and a good way to inform buyers of the company behind the product without being over-the-top. Also on the inside flap is a detailed part-by-part explanation of the S0, comply tips, and wire – this provides an air of seriousness that shows that Brainwavz puts hard work into its products, not just ‘whatever’ing the more budget end - like so many other companies do for their less-costly IEM’s.


    P1000764.jpg P1000765.jpg P1000767.jpg




    Speaking about putting hard work, Brainwavz really outdid itself here; the amount (and usefulness) of accessories they provide makes me grin. Starting off with the IEM case - it’s really sturdy and small as well, one of the better cases I’ve seen overall. Definitely using it over the other IEM cases I have. Moving on to the tips - gosh, there’s really something for everybody here. A pair of comply tips for those who like foam, a pair of bi-flange, a pair of tri-flange, three pairs of good quality silicone tips (small, medium, and large), and three pairs of translucent red silicone tips (again, small, medium, and large).

    The difference I found between the translucent and the regular tips was the nozzle size – although how that exactly affects the sound is up for grabs. For the listening tests, I used the default tips that were on the S0 out of the box – the medium pair of translucent red/gray tips. These actually look quite cool, and are visually a nice break from the standard tips that we’ve seen over and over again.


    Overall, you get nine pairs of tips – something I definitely wouldn’t expect from this price point. Remember that the case + tips alone could cost quite a bit of money if bought separately, so Brainwavz is taking that hit for the buyer and providing everything you’d need in one package, and at a ridiculously good price point to boot.


    3 other items included are the 1 year warranty card/manual, a Velcro strap, and a shirt clip, which helps reduce microphonics a lot for those who have that problem. This is definitely good foresight planning by Brainwavz, and a smart move to make. More on this later though.


    Basically, you get much more than your money’s worth in accessories. From a nice hard case to a huge arrangement of tips, at this price point the amount of effort put into this is truly amazing.


    P1000770.jpg P1000780.jpg P1000773.jpg P1000778.jpg

    Build Quality & Design:


    At first glance, the housing looks like it’s made of hard plastic – not so. The shell is made out of metal – definitely a good sign, especially at S0's price point. The second point of interest to me was where the cable connected to the shell; I’d expect it (like so many other IEM’s in this price range) to be flimsy or have minimal protection. But Brainwavz did well here too, molding a thick rubber piece to protect that weak spot where so many of us have broken our cables. The cable itself is flat, which avoids tangling, and it is quite strong, which is good because many flat cables aren’t. The Y-split seems of good quality to me – doesn’t seem like any breakage will happen there either.


    The S0 can be easily worn straight down or over the ear, whichever you prefer. I kept mine over the ear from the start, as I’ve gotten a good fit that way. You know what they say – “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”


    And from this build quality the S0’s definitely won’t be broken anytime soon – it has a solid build quality that is much above the standard in this price range.


    The S0 also has a sleek look – one that doesn’t scream “fancy” but at the same time doesn’t look drab or dull. The red rubber that I mentioned before (to strengthen the part of the cable that connects to the housing) matches well with the red/gray translucent eartips. The shell itself looks smooth and simple – which is why so many were surprised with the metal shells. Combined with the red and black case it requires a moment to appreciate the effort Brainwavz took to make everything match. Simple and elegant – design is a definite winner at this price range.


    P1000785.jpg P1000791.jpg P1000788.jpg P1000787.jpg

    Fit & Comfort:


    I only tried one set of the included tips, but I can confidently say that you won’t have too much trouble as the average man trying to get a good fit on these IEM’s. The S0’s is very comfortable whether worn down or over the ear, and for the 45 minute session I listened to them, I experienced no fatigued or tip annoyance. The ergonomics of the shell is quite simple, and doesn’t leave anything to be desired. Honestly though, with so many different tips you can try, I’m not sure there’s any possibility for the S0 to be uncomfortable to begin with; this section gets a huge thumbs up from me.




    Isolation is pretty darned good at this price range – It blocks most outside noise when I first put them in. For the average outside use, these isolate quite well. This will be dependent on your fit though, so YMMV.




    I wear the S0’s over the ear, which eliminates most of the microphonics altogether. However, if you’re finding the flat cable or whatnot to produce too much noise when you rustle the cable, the included shirt clip (when used) will eliminate most microphonics that way. I don’t know exactly how it works, but shirt clips are the #1 best homemade cure for microphonics without tampering with the actual wire of the headphones – I’m not kidding around. Brainwavz was clever enough to preempt the problem before it materialized – so overall I’m giving a nod of approval to Brainwavz for making this smart move. However, for all those that where it over the ear like me, there’s no noticeable microphonics to speak of.




    For listening, I used a Cowon J3 with various tracks of different genres (to gauge what genres the S0 is a good match with), without an amp. Most portable devices have plenty of power for the S0, the amplification is not necessary.


    This is definitely a fun section, and one I was quite surprised in. The only slight caveat (to me) of the S0 lies here, as well as its biggest strengths. Shall we begin?


    Highs: In general, I don’t usually care if there’s a slight treble roll-off, as long as the treble's there. I liked the clarity the S0 had at the upper regions, although some might say it’s slightly laid back. For my tastes though, it’s perfect – I don’t need the highs in my face at all times, but I do want it present. And present it is on the S0. Drums sound great, as well as violins. For an IEM, it does a great job. Details on the higher end don’t leave much to be desired either. In short – a great job, and one I wouldn’t expect from this price range.


    Mids: Instruments/acoustics sound good, albeit not the best I’ve heard. Again, we’re dealing with a $40 IEM though, so for the price range I have no complaints, which is actually a compliment considering how many in the price range get it wrong.


    Vocals though – here’s where the S0 really shines. Female vocals sound musical and sweet – if I were to blind test the female vocals on the S0 I would put it in a much higher price bracket. Definitely gains favor in my opinion of the sound quality, and for those who listen to a lot of hip-hop and such – I’m just going to cut to the chase and say buy the S0 right now. You’ll enjoy it enough for it to be a great investment on the go. Daft Punk by Pentatonix, Burn by Ellie Goulding, and Samantha Jade’s “Firestarter” were but a few of the first tracks I used to listen to the S0, and it just went to replay from there. ‘nough said.


    Bass: Sub bass is nice, quantity and quality have no complaints from me. Again, clarity is a big bonus to this section, and I’ve been so sick of muddy bass on budget IEM’s that I was really glad when the S0’s held up. However, there is a noticeable bump in the sub-bass region. Not enough to overpower the rest of the frequency, or spoil the sound even to a small extent, but it’s there. I personally like my frequency flat, but I do have to appreciate the fact that this is the only caveat in the whole review. After a few minutes of listening, I found myself ignoring the slight bump and just enjoying the music. So it’s really not a big deal, especially given that the rest of the frequency is quite balanced.


    Clarity: The crowning glory, in my opinion (vs vocals? I’d still give it to the clarity). The clarity of the S0 is just amazing given its price, and helps provide a well-balanced sound that is great for everyday listening use. I’m really, really glad the clarity of this headphone pulled through, and it did so quite effortlessly. All the frequencies are quite clear, with the mid-bass lagging slightly behind due to its small difference in quantity.


    Imaging: I thought the good parts were done, but Brainwavz managed to squeeze in one more – the imaging. Or, more precisely, the 3d-ness of the sound it presents. Gone are the days where budget ‘phones sound like a block/wall of sound going in your direction – the S0 manages to provide a more 3d sound from the back and front as well as left and right. Obviously, jump up a few hundred bucks and it will get much more refined, but for a $40 IEM the S0 provides a nice effort that pretty much succeeds in this regard.


    Soundstage/Detail/Coloration/Separation/Accuracy/Immersion Factor: Most of my other reviews have these sections, but due to the nature and price range of this IEM, I’m going to jump over these, as there’s not much to say. Consider performance in all these sections good for its price bracket, and don’t expect it to be a HD600.


    Overall Tonality/Balance: The S0 is quite balanced, barring the bump in the mid-bass. The bump doesn’t ruin the balance the rest of the frequency provides though, and just gives it a bit of extra oomph for people who are a bit more bass inclined (which in the audience for this price bracket, seems to be quite many). The overall tonality seems to be a hint of warmth, without the quantity which makes you feel “woah, Fiio house sound alert.”


    Frequency Shape: Many say the S5 (which the S0 is modeled after, to my understanding) is V-shaped. The S0 is definitely not V-shaped to my ears. The mids are present in full force, and like I said earlier, there is an overall balanced sound. I would say these have a basically flat frequency with a bump somewhere in the bass region.


    EQ: I know most audiophiles don’t like using EQ, but c’mon, a budget IEM for on the go – how can you resist? The S0 responded well to the EQ presets I used on my Cowon J3, with the exclusion of the bass presets – giving a bass boost to the S0 made it overpowering to my ears. However, it is not rocket science that you don’t add bass to something that has a bass boost already. All the other presets worked fine with the S0, and I would recommend using them on whatever device you have – whether it be android, iOS, or other – to maximize your enjoyment with these headphones.


    Genre Recommendation: I would definitely recommend anything that is vocal dominant, whether it be Pentatonix, Chris Brown, or other mainstream artists. For instrumental listening such classical music, or even modern instrumental music like the Piano Guys and Lindsey Stirling, I wasn’t as happy with the S0 – but then again, it’s a budget IEM, so I can’t judge this by audiophile standards. EDM/ electronic music also performed well with the S0, due to its clarity and boost in the bass region.


    Basically, anything genre that benefits from a good quantity of bass and shining vocals – the S0 excels. Any genre that flails when given a boost in any way – the S0 should only be used for with proper EQ, which every android device has; so no worries there.


    Sound Summary: The sound of the S0 is clearly (no pun intended) enjoyable, and very well suited for both mainstream audiences and those who’ve been listening to music for a while as well. Definitely a winner for the listener of mainstream music, and for the classical listener too with proper EQ. I believe that since EQ is so integrated with mainstream devices today (phones, tablets, music players) that it is very reasonable to buy the S0 and play around with the unique things that it brings to the table, even if you’re not a fan of the genres mentioned above. The clarity throughout the frequency, as well as how it treats vocals makes the S0 definitely a keeper in the sound department. Is the mid-bass bump a deal-breaker in my opinion, especially given the things the S0’s good at? No. I’d prefer to say this is what makes the S0 “human,” so to say. But if I had to compare it to a human, I would consider the S0 a person who’s reached many milestones, and has little left to work on. Bainwavz definitely knows what they’re doing when it comes to the sound of their IEM’s, and if they can find a way to remove the slight bump in the mid-bass, I would easily say this is the best IEM under $50, hands down.


    Value & Conclusion:


    There’s so much value here at this price point I’m pretty much at a loss for words. The accessories themselves would probably cost $20 separately, and for a $40 price tag, the build quality and comfort of the S0 are phenomenal. Regardless of all that, the S0 delivers a sound that is definitely well-suited for the average consumer and the music lover alike. Clear and enjoyable sound makes the S0 a winner to me; for all those looking for an IEM on the cheaper side that will sound good and last for quite a while, the S0 is a bargain for the price, and it should definitely be on your list.



      Walderstorn likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. SirdOk
      I'm sorry, but where can you get these for sub $40? On sale you can get them for $45 USD. Much more expensive in other countries.
      SirdOk, Jun 9, 2015
    3. avitron142
      @SirdOk I'm pretty sure I saw it on Massdrop for less than $40, and on Amazon for $41-42. I'm just going with the prices I saw during the review. I apologize if those were on sale, but then again, when is anything not on sale somewhere? :D
      avitron142, Jun 9, 2015
    4. pformagg
      Good Review, Thanks
      pformagg, Jun 11, 2015
  4. Hisoundfi
    A S0lid offering from Brainwavz. The Brainwavz S0 in ear monitor.
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Mar 7, 2015
    Pros - Great build qulaity and accessories.
    Cons - Mid bass hump in tuning can be fatiguing without an EQ adjustment.
    At the time this review was written, the Brainwavz S0 earphone was on sale for $49.50 USD on MP4NATION. Here is their listing of this product at the time of review:
    This Head-Fi journey has led me to try many different models and brands. However, I have only heard bits and pieces on Head-Fi about Brainwavz and their product line. Aside from the HM5 headphone pads, I hadn’t purchased any of their gear because I was unsure of what to expect. When Audrey at Brainwavz contacted me to try their products, I was excited to try a sample of their earphones.
    First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to Audry at Brainwavz for the opportunity to try the S0 earphone. I am in no way affiliated with Brainwavz, and was given an opportunity to sample this product in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
    My Background
    Please allow me to share a little bit about myself so you can better understand my observations. I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
    There’s something about quality DAPs, amplifiers and earphones that intrigues me, ESPECIALLY if they can be had for low prices. I’m a budget-fi guy. I buy the $5 to $400 headphone or IEM that looks promising, in hopes that I can find that one new gem that can perform above its price range, and compete with the big boys of this industry. If you look at my profile and inventory you will see I have purchased many, and I mean MANY different headphones ranging from $5 all the way up to $400. For me, it’s been more about getting great price to performance ratio, and hearing a variety of different gears with diverse signatures. With this hobby, we often times pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned is that price DOES NOT always indicate good sound and build quality.
     I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me that “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different signatures as long as they are presented in a way that is pleasing to my ears. It’s my pleasure to share my experience with audio products, and make recommendations based on what I have heard.
    The Package
    The Brainwavz S0 came in a black box featuring a simple and stylish display of their name, the model, a brief description of their product’s features, and a glossy “cut out” image of the product.
    The back of the package had a description of their product, stating that it had a balanced signature, and that their earphone would play any genre of music well. It also gave a listing of their contents and accessories, and a listing of the device specifications.
    Driver:                                 Dynamic 9mm
    Frequency Range:             18Hz ~ 18kHz
    Impedance:                        16 Ohm
    Sensitivity:                          100dB at 1 mW
    Rated Input Power:            10mW
    Plug:                                   3.5mm, gold plated
    Cable:                                 1.2 m Y-Cord, Copper
    Flipping open the front flap of the display, there was a nicely layed out statement from the company and their commitment to sound quality, and detailed schematics of their design on the left. On the right is a teaser of the IEM, and the AWESOME red and black zipper case. It is very sharp how they did this.
    Opening the package, there was a clear plastic mold holding everything in place.
    The zipper case is of semi rigid and high quality mesh material. It is a slightly larger than normal clamshell cases that is easily capable of holding the earphone and all of the accessories, or you could opt for storing the earphone and something like a Sansa Clip Zip, or a small mp3 player along those lines. This was a really nice touch.
    The S0 comes with 9 sets of tips.
    1X High quality comply foam premium tips (Medium size)
    1X Medium/Large dual flange silicone tips
    1X Medium/Large triple flange silicone tips
    2X Small single flange silicone tips (1X Sony Hybrid-ish style, and 1X Gray/Red wider bore)
    2X Medium single flange silicone tips (1X Sony Hybrid-ish style, and 1X Gray/Red wider bore)
    2X Large single fange silicone tips (1X Sony Hybrid-ish style, and 1X Gray/Red wider bore)
    Note: The Sony Hybrid-ish type of tips are the same shape and size as the authentic Sony version, but they are more rigid and less supple then the original. Because of that expect a slightly different fit as compared to the ones that come with Sony earphones. There are plenty of tips for just about everyone to get a secure fit and seal.
    The build on these are solid. Starting at the housing, they have a black metal exterior. Everything seems of high quality and it doesn’t look like anything will break any time soon. The red strain reliefs seem tough and work well in the transition from the housing to the flat cable.
    The cable is flat and of high quality. I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of flat cables because my preferred method of wearing IEMs is over the ear. Although I am capable of wearing the S0 over the ear, I have to be mindful of not twisting the cables leading from the Y-split to the housing too much to prevent creating tension and tugging from the cable. I also find myself losing a seal from time to time, and more often so than when using a round cable with the same housing design (your mileage may vary). Some will like the flat cable and others won’t. Please note I speak from my own opinion. There is no chin slider to snug the cable in place.
    The Y-split is made of tough plastic, and has rubber strain reliefs on each side. It’s well built and leaves me with no concerns. The cable jack is made of the same plastic and rubber as the Y split. It is a straight cable and seems sturdy. I sense that there could possible and eventually be a short where the flat cable meets the strain relief at the plug IF handled roughly for a long period of time.
    Fit & Microphonics
    I touched on over the ear use while describing the cable, but these work great being worn straight down. The housing sits comfortably in the valley of my ear canal. You will get considerable microponics when wearing them down. When wearing the over the ears microphonics is reduced significantly.
    DSC_0031.jpg DSC_0032.jpg
    Review Materials
    I primarily did my demo with my LG G3 phone, and with my portable rig, a Samsung Galaxy S (Wolfson chip) with Topping NX1 amplifier. I also used my Fiio E17 DAC/AMP at 24 bit, 96000 Hz out of my laptop setup. I also tested them with other portable DAPs and amplifiers, and didn’t notice any significant changes with different sources. I used Google music downloaded in its highest quality download setting (320 kbps), and streamed flac via Tidal streaming service. I made sure to have approximately 30 hours of burn-in by playing them at loud volumes with different varieties of music.
     I used my usual same songs for testing this gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake
    “One” by Metallica
    “Madness” by Muse
    “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
    “Some Nights” by Fun
    “The Soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie
    “One” by Ed Sheeran
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack
    “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits
    “Ten Thousand Fists” by Disturbed
    These are described as balanced on the box, but I definitely wouldn’t consider that to be case. I won’t say its false advertising, but if you are an audiophile looking for a flat tuning, you aren’t going to find it with these. These are a mid bass forward earphone that can play many genres very well. The midrange is full bodied and the treble is decent and not harsh to my ears. I didn’t necessarily care for how much the mid bass effected the overall resolution and soundstage in their stock configuration. Making adjustments with an EQ rendered a much more pleasing sound to my ears. The good news is that these are very capable of quality sound reproduction and respond well to an EQ adjustment. I really enjoy them with the mid bass turned down.
    I find the bass to be punchy and mid bass forward. The sub layer is decent, but it gets over shadowed by the large amount of mid bass. At loud volumes the amount of mid bass gets slightly fatiguing to my ears. The good thing is that turning the mid bass down with an EQ adjustment, they can be a very balanced sound that is really fun to listen to.
    Midrange is full bodied and smooth. Before an EQ adjustment the mid basses resonate and impact the clarity of the midrange. With an EQ adjustment they have an above average response. Male vocals carry a lot of weight and some will considered it to be veiled.
    It is smooth and in balance with the midrange. Cymbals have a nice smooth attack and decay. I really enjoy the treble response as it is easy on the ears and not lacking IMHO.
    Soundstage and Imaging
    I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but the mid bass impacts the soundstage. When anything from mid bass regions through upper mids takes the front of the stage, it makes it very hard to say that they are extended or airy.
    Imaging is average for an IEM with a signature like this. It’s not bad, but not great.
    Hisoundaudio ES212 ($40 to $55 USD on many sites)
    The ES212 has more sub extension, giving it a sense of more depth to it’s sound. Bass is more mid bass forward on the S0, putting more weight on the midrange at the expense of some resolution. The ES212 has more of a V-signature. The treble on these two are very similar, with just a hair more crispness in the Hisoundaudio model.  
    Build quality is about equal, but in terms of accessories the S0 destroys the ES212. The case and tip selection is far superior on the S0
    Xiaomi Piston 2.0 ($20 to $30 USD on many sites)
    The Pistons bass is more extended into sub regions, but mid basses are very similar on both models. Mid bass on both impacts the midrange. The midrange is more full on the SO, with the Pistons midrange being more recessed. Treble on the S0 is a touch smoother than the Pistons.
    The Pistons offer a three button control for android which is a plus, and a very clever case that holds all of the accessories. The tip selection is much better on the Brainwavz model.
    Soundmagic E10 ($25 to $40 USD on many sites)
    The Soundmagic E10 is a more balanced sound than the S0, and with a boosted sub layer. These are actually quite similar in terms of tuning, but where the E10 is boosted in sub bass, the S0 has that boost in it’s mid bass layer.
    The build on each is equal, but I slightly prefer the E10 because of the over the ear fitment. The S0 has a better accessories package.
    For a younger crowd looking for a bass forward tuning that puts plenty of weight on male vocals and with treble that is not fatiguing at all, the tuning will be right up their alley. They are a solid package with great build quality and lots of accessories. While there are models at this price range that offer a better tuning in my opinion, all things considered this is a great offering from Brainwavz.
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      twister6, mrmoto050 and wgrish7 like this.
    1. Wokei
      nice one ...buddy
      Wokei, Mar 7, 2015
    2. Charliemotta
      Again, great job!!
      Charliemotta, Mar 7, 2015
    3. twister6
      Keep them coming bro!  You are on the roll with consistently solid reviews!!!
      twister6, Mar 7, 2015
  5. kingpage
    Jack of all trades - Brainwavz S0
    Written by kingpage
    Published Jan 12, 2015
    Pros - Likeable, balanced, low price, isolation
    Cons - Slight microphonics, small soundstage
    S0 is the new little brother of S5 which I quite enjoy. It costs about half the price of its big brother, at US49.50. It's great to see more competition in the sub-$50 price range, because that's how much most mainstream consumers are willing to pay for a pair of good earphones/in-ear monitors.
    S0 has the same flat cable as S5, which may take some time getting used to compared to the traditional round cables. There's some microphonics even when worn over the ears, but adjusting the cinch upwards makes it a lot more bearable just like S5.
    While the housing has left and right channels clearly indicated unlike S5's tiny letters that were very hard to see, S0 doesn't have any tactile way of knowing which side is which. I prefer to have that because it may not be possible to see things in the dark. I think isolation is very good. It came with different standard silicone tips, including a set of very nice Comply S-400 foam tips. I quite like the default tips (with the red colour), normally I would rather pick Comply tips. Like most IEMs,it’s very easy to drive.
    It has the sort of balanced sound found in S5. This is a great IEM for portability and easy listening.
    Bass is definitely not deep like S5, but it's there. It's warm but not bassy. Good control. Like most balanced phones, it excels at classical music, instrumental, etc. Low-mids are a bit grainy, vocals are excellent. Treble is just as smooth as S5. Even with the silicone tips I'm using, it doesn't sound harsh or sibilant unless the recording is that way. Like S5, imaging is very good. 
    There isn't much else to talk about with S0 because it does a good job with most things. 
    For $50, you get a pair of jack-of-all-trades IEMs. Due to its balanced sound (even more so than S5), it is suitable for any genre you throw at it, except for bassheads. If you just want more bass, this is not for you. I do believe most people won't find this IEM offensive. It's very likeable, reminds me of Soudmagic PL-30 I owned a long time ago, with more warmth and intimacy (more bass & treble). Because there are so many choices in this price range, you'll need to buy according to your favourite sound signature. If you're a newbie who can't decide, then this may be an option as your first journey into audiophilia.
  6. vaziyetu
    My only concern is the price, mostly...
    Written by vaziyetu
    Published Jan 3, 2015
    Pros - Compared to M2, M4, M5: soundstage is finally done right (widened), everything fits now.
    Cons - Sounds very similar to Koss budget earphones while offers no price or warranty advantage even with the discounted price
    okay, it seems mp4nation & brainwavz have a habit of boosting their prices first, then offering the regular prices as discounts. this is probably not news for head-fiers though. $50 regular price for this ? come on... koss ruk30's original price is just $30 and it can be found around $20 and sounds slightly better imho (see my review for details). i cannot bear any earphone that has a lower quality than this level and i'll not welcome any earphone which costs more than koss and offer nothing more but i'm happy for the competition at least. 
    compared to s1, there's some frequency balance adjustments. judging from other reviews, i guess people liked that. so what actually people liked ? changes made are on 125hz and mostly on 250hz frequencies. they're the strong bass frequencies which mainly controls drums (250hz especially). lowering these frequencies help earphone compatibility with wide range of song types, by absorbing some distortions in certain songs, while making drums more muffled. the point most people are missing is, this also easily doable with an equalizer setting on your device. but you know some people...
    other than frequency balance, i think s1 is slightly superior than s0 (no surprise due to model numbering ?). i didn't read all the reviews yet but i guess most people choosing s0 over s1. i think s1 is slightly better in terms of distortion tolerance of bass & vocal positioning. on the soundstage size ? i think i felt something too, isn't s1's mids occurs a little more distant to ear ? maybe due to slightly bigger bass ? i don't know, but i know following things for sure:
    * both s0 & s1 is similar, very similar, actually very very similar (except the frequency balance)
    * they're pretty much alike to koss ruk30 (s1 is more comparible but the frequency balance again)
    * they're bass earphones and you're going to forget there was a treble in songs sometimes
    * their treble is not bright thus sound a little bit dark (s1 is the darkest i think)
    * their mids are detailed due to properly incorporated mid layers (unlike m series)
    * their bass doesn't interferes with other frequencies due to better seperation 
    more about the bass: actually if we consider the total amount of bass power, m5 is slightly leading among others. but due to larger soundstage & better seperations, s series & koss earphones delivers more quality, more proper sounding bass and feels more satisfying both with the punches and the overall bass feeling but most importantly they don't interfere with mids (due to more seperation). and hey, these earphones are the most bassy earphones among i've tried yet (see the list on my profile).
    i've to note that s0 has smaller case and better fitting but other reviewers probably already done that, no need for me to state the obvious :) both s1 & koss have more chance to fall down due to horizontally long case. only reason i cut some stars from these is the pricing, what can i do if koss offers better price ? they say hearing is believing. maybe brainwavz believe in pricing instead...
    1. Gandasaputra
      X'cuse me, your review stated that you paid $25 for the s0 and koss ruk30lk currently costs $23 at this moment, as I saw from amazon. So $2 difference, which I thought very very dismal, cuts down the rating star by two?
      Gandasaputra, Jan 4, 2015
    2. vaziyetu
      as i stated in the review i'm actually critisizing the original price which is around $50, who cares what i did paid for it ? actually ruk30 can be found as low as $14 in turkey but it's a discount price too (some sellers doing a stock clearance or something) so i don't know how long it'll continue on that price. same goes for brainwavz, the discount is already ended and s0 is now $40 who knows when it'll reset to original price again and who knows how long it'll take for the discounts again ?
      i'm following the prices on the mp4nation for some time. it can take months & months between discounts. why should we rate this product higher while there's a better (imho) or at least equal quality choice is available for constant incredible price ? well brainwavz is not my father's company and this is not justice. koss.com doing discounts too by the way.
      it's not just the ruk30 by the way, there's also some products named plug-sparkplug-ispark etc. these products also incredible and cheap but i'm not ready to review them yet. i'll publish a review about kdx100 in near future which is the bigger brother of them.
      vaziyetu, Jan 4, 2015
    3. damone
      very interesting, but will it blend?
      damone, Jan 21, 2015
  7. kova4a
    From Zero to Hero
    Written by kova4a
    Published Dec 30, 2014
    Pros - solid build quality; solid overall performance without peaks and splashiness in the treble
    Cons - some dryness; treble rolls off a bit early
    First off, I want to thank Brainwavz and Audrey for this S0 unit and  to apologize again for the ridiculously long delay of my review.
    Packaging and Accessories
    The package has the embossed image of the S0, which pops up with the help of its glossy finish. Once you’re finished running your fingers over it and looking it at a different angle you can move your attention to the embossed Brainwavz inscription followed with their description – Clear & Balanced Sound, Accurate Sound Reproduction and Durable Metal Housing.
    On the back of the box there is a short description of the S0 followed by a list of the contents of the package and the S0’s specs and compatibility.
    Once you open the magnetic flap you are greeted by the S0 and the Brainwavz case and a detailed description of the iem’s and cable’s construction and Brainwavz’ mission on the inside of the flap.
    The box is pretty standard but as I've stated before I personally am a fan of this type of presentation with the front opening up and revealing the product.
    Inside the box reside the S0 and the Brainwavz case. I’ve mentioned multiple times that this is my favorite iem case. It’s quite tough and specious and can easily fit a pair of iems and a small DAP like a Sansa. Inside one of the red pockets there is a shirt clip and a small gray bag with the included tips. There are 2 different types of single flange tips. Translucent ones with red cores and wider bores similar to what comes with other iems including higher-end stuff like Noble but actually these are of slightly better quality. The other single flanges have a narrow bore and are somewhat designed after the sony hybrids. The single flange silicone tips come in 3 sizes. There is also a pair of bi-flange and a pair of tri-flange tips, which come in only one size. As usual with Brainwavz a pair of comply foam tips packaged separately is included to complete the package.
    Build Quality, Design and Fit
    The Brainwavz S0 is a pretty solid iem with a nice metal housing which has a nice smooth feel in the hand. The cable is flat and pretty sturdy. As I’ve mentioned before, I personally am not a huge fan of the current flat cable trend but it has its positive sides.
    The strain reliefs again are quite substantial but this time around the Y-splitter is a lot more slender and shows the Brainwavz listens to its customers and their complaints. I personally had no issues with the beefier Y-splitter Brainwavz used on some of its previous models. The Y-splitter also smartly conceals a chin slider that is easy to miss.
    The straight plug is small and has slightly flattened sides for better grip and overall seems solid. Again an L-plug might have been a better choice but it’s mostly a personal preference and I’m fine with it.
    Design-wise the S0 is a fairly standard affair. Relatively small straight-barrel housings, which make the fit easier than the S5’s bigger housings and angled nozzles.
    The fit is good with most of the provided tips but the included bi- and tri-flanges might be too big for most people. I settled with other tips though – the blue-core Noble single flanges due to the better fit and the better sound they provided IMO. The isolation is about average.
    The S0 is meant to be worn straight down but could be used in an over-the-ear configuration with some fiddling. Microphonics aren’t bad, especially with the included shirt clip but flat cables tend to increase microphonics. There is no driver flex.
    The S0 has over 100hours of burn-in at the time of writing this review.
    The bass seems to have tamed somewhat after the burn-in because I remember it being bigger and a bit bloated at first listen. It is not too boosted and relatively tight with solid body and good impact but lacks some depth. In comparison Brainwavz’s own S5 is bassier and its low end is less controlled and softer. Vsonic VSD3S is also less impactful and softer in this area next to the thicker and more solid S0’s bass.
    The mids are slightly laid back. The note presentation is a touch thick throughout the midrange. The overall tonality is on the warm side. Male vocals have good presence, while female vocals lack a bit of energy due to the laid back lower treble and there is a hint of dryness in them but also have good presence. Clarity is pretty good due to S0’s blacker background and drier presentation. The slight dryness also reveals more texture in the sound. Timber is pretty good and string instruments in particular sound pretty good. In comparison S5 is brighter and clearer but also more artificial sounding. VSD3S, on the other hand, is more neutral in tone and sounds smoother and sweeter but less focused and textured than S0.  
    The highs are on the laid back side. There seems to be a dip in the lower treble and S0 lacks some energy and sparkle but that also means no peaky or splashy treble. S0 is not prone to pointing out sibilance at but is touch thin and dry, which leads to some graininess. The treble rolls off a bit early, which makes the S0 sound a bit dark but that, on the other hand, plays a big part in S0’s darker background. In comparison both S5 and VSD3S have more treble energy, sparkle and shimmer but they also have a lot more problems up top like peaks and lack of refinement and overall sound splashy.
    The S0 sounds a touch dark. It has very good center imaging and overall positioning. Width is about average. Depth is pretty good due to the blacker background and the same goes for the instrument separation. In comparison both VSD3S and S5 sound more spacious and airy due to their more prominent and extended highs but S0 sounds more focused and grounded and has them beaten in the depth department.
    I have to take some time to discuss some of the changes different tips bring to the table. First, I chose the Noble blue-core single flange tips because they tighten the sound overall and make the S0 sound a touch clearer and add a touch more energy to the lower treble. Not that the stock tips are bad but with them the S0 is a bit warmer and slightly veiled in comparison. The Ortofon tips with their thinner silicone make the S0 brighter and bring up more sparkle and also improve the top extension but also showcase a bit more the dryness of S0 and soften the low end.
                                                                                                    S0 and its big brother S5
    Brainwavz S0 is a pretty solid performer, which ironically carries a strange moniker, which implies it should be at the bottom of the S-series. The ironic part is that this “zero” is actually quite competent and while Brainwavz went a bit on the safe side with its tuning, I actually consider it better overall than its biggest brother the S5. Yeah, the S5 is clearer and more spacious sounding but that’s what impresses the average consumer. In reality the S0 has less weak points and that paired with the lower price and more straightforward design makes it a much easier recommendation.  
      mebaali likes this.
    1. willy156
      Nice write up! The more I listen to my pair the more I'm enjoying them. They still hurt my ears a little, probably because I have small ears lol
      willy156, Feb 8, 2015
  8. Tom22
    A Perfect Budget All- Arounder
    Written by Tom22
    Published Dec 5, 2014
    Pros - build quality, balanced yet warm sound, isolation, ergonomic, acceossories
    Cons - midbass a bit more than id like, a bit dark for me in the treble, (cable noise can be a bit bothersome when worn cable down)
    The Brainwavz S0s were nicknamed as the “little Brothers” of the Brainwavz S5. I had previously reviewed the Brainwavz S5s, while I did like how well they performed as a V shaped earphone. In the end the sound was not exactly my cup of tea. With the release of the S0s, Brainwavz attempts to take many of the features that made the S5s great, but channel that into a more affordable, consumer friendly package (especially now since you can easily wear the S0s cable down). I think Brainwavz have succeeded with the S0s. Now on with the review!
    I want to thank Brainwavz for their patience and for sending a pair of these S0s out for review.
    Below is my video review over on youtube: Check it out and subscribe if you like what you see!
    The S0s comes with a nice set of accessories given their price range.
    9 sets of eartips
    1. 3 sets in the red and grey in the S,M,L
    2. 3 sets in the black (sony-like hybrids)à they have a narrower bore
    3. 1 set of Triple flange
    4. 1 set of Double Flange
    5. 1 set of Comply S400 in the medium
    1 Hard shell protective carrying case
    Overall: 8.5/10 (given their price range, they paired different size bore eartips plus a very nicely made hard shell carrying case)
    Design: They have a subtle, minimalist design. The entire housing has a barrel like design, with smooth black finish with the exception of the bright red strain relief and having “Brainwavz” written on the side. You wouldn’t be able to spot that their Brainwavz earphones if you didn’t know already, minimal branding. Some would prefer the sleekness of the minimalistic design, while others would call it plain.
    Overall: 7.5/10 (I’m indifferent about the actual design, not great or bad looking)
    Build Quality: Surprising this earphone I feel is built almost on par with their older brother the S5s, which is a great thing. The earpieces is made of a very solid but lightweight brushed metal, with a  black paintjob that is resistant to scratching. The cable is a flat(but sturdy feeling), flat (tangle-free cable) with plenty of reinforced strain reliefs throughout.  I felt that their older brother, S5s was built very well but my biggest complaint was the fact that the y split was far too chunky. Brainwavz listened and corrected this issue with the S0s here, (making it a much more appropriate size) and I didn’t think they sacrificed anything as a result.  The earphones terminate in a well relieved straight angle jack, (I still feel they need to move towards a L shape jack, but this is more of a personal preference).
    Overall : 8.5/10
    Comfort: These earphones have an effortless fit. The housing has all of the edges rounded off, and the earphones themselves are on the smaller size, and I felt no discomfort while wearing them at all. The cables exit the housing on an angle, which allows the S0s to sit flush in your ears (when worn cable down) without causing irritation to your outer ears.  I do wish that the eartips are bit softer, but aside from that they are very comfortable.
    Overall: 8/10
    Isolation: these earphones are vented, however noise isolation is still very good. I can easily recommend them for most general purposes (from the coffee shops, malls, busing and train use as well). They do an above average job of blocking out outside noise.
    Overall: 8/10
    Cable noise: when worn cable noise cable noise is moderate, I suspect it’s due to the flat cable design. When worn cable up, the S0s are almost silent.
    Overall: 7/10
    Sound: Nicknamed as the “little brother of the Brainwavz S5” I was surprised with what I heard. It’s nowhere as bassy or as V shaped as its older sibling. Instead, it opts for a slightly more balanced sound signature. It’s a rich, warm sound, and surprisingly I actually prefer the sound signature of the S0s over their older brother(the S5s) which is almost twice the price. It’s a competent sound overall, and with has a broad appeal at this price range with whatever music you throw at it.
    * note I think the sound benefits with some aftermarket wide bore eartips* (opening up the treble a bit and toning down the midbass)à the narrow sony-like hybrids made them even bassier
    Bass: the bass here is still rich with more of it’s weight in the midbass where it retains good, solid punch with a bit of bloat but the impact is not as intrusive for less bassier genres. In terms of quantity, I think its at a level where it would have a the widest appeal from the bargain-hunting-audiophile, all the way to the average consumer. Its perfect for those looking for a versatile earphone while preferring a bit slightly richer, bassier sound but doesn’t want to go overboard in this department.
    Midrange:  Rich and smooth midrange, just behind the bass. It retains fairly decent clarity throughout, definitely favoring smoothness over clarity. Male vocals have nice richness and character while being more forward than female vocals.
    Treble: The treble rolled off, but comes back up in the upper treble. For the most part it’s laidback and lower in level compared the bass and midrange. This results in a darker signature, allow the user to turn up the volume without fear of the treble getting harsh. This is great in noisy environments like trains and buses, where I think the S0s are mostly going to be used.
    Soundstage: Fairly average in size, separation, and depth.
    Comparison: the S0s ($49) to older brothers S5s ($99):
    The S5s much more V shaped, as such they are much bassier, and punchier. The midrange are more recessed but clearer, with more emphasized female vocals in particular. The treble has more brighter ,“airer” and cleaner. In terms of soundstage, the S5s are wider in presentation and provides better vocals and instruments separation.
    The S0s has a better and smoother balance throughout, as a result the bass is less appropriate with less bass bloat. The midrange has good note thickness, and more natural sounding in proportion to the bass and treble. The treble is less peaky, avoiding any potential issues of harshness that comes with a crisper treble.
    I will be doing a comparison review/video between quite a few very popular sub $100 chinese earphones: the Brainwavz S0, VSONIC VSD3S, Havi B3 Pro 1 and (maybe the TTPOD T1E as well) in the near future.  (subscribe to my youtube channel for the latest update)
    Sound Overall: 7/10 (It has a sound though not the most detailed or clearest but it’s just a nice, enjoyable listen)
    In conclusion, the Brainwavz S0 has earned my recommendation as an great all around option for everyone from the casual music lover (non- head-fier), all the way to the “audiophile” on a budget.
    Overall 55/70= 78.6%
    below are some pictures of the S0s. Enjoy!
      dragon2knight and H T T like this.
    1. dragon2knight
      Well done review! 
      dragon2knight, Dec 6, 2014
    2. Tom22
      Tom22, Dec 6, 2014
    3. Walderstorn
      Nice review, thanks!
      Walderstorn, Apr 9, 2015
  9. bowei006
    Great Budget Unit for the price
    Written by bowei006
    Published Dec 1, 2014
    Pros - Good sound, utilitarian build, accessories pack
    Cons - Vocals a bit thin at times, small case, y cord is a pain

    Brainwavz S0 Headphone Review

    It’s 2014 and Brainwavz is hot off the success of their S5, R3 and S1 IEMs before they have, yet again, introduced another IEM for the world market. This time, it’s a budget unit called the S0! It’s a petite black and red colored earphone that has the sharp looks of the S1 and S5, but at a fraction of their price.
    Unboxing Video:

    Build and Design:
    Getting right into the unit, we are met by a heavily downsized unit from what Brainwavz has given us in the past. No longer are we given aggressive plastic on the wire, a super thick 3.5mm jack, or even an over-ear design. Nope, this time, it’s fully stock and ‘normal’. Quite weird considering how eccentric Brainwavz has been in the past year –check out the R3 – and how much success they have had with them.

    The unit is utilitarian throughout. The driver housing is quite small and uses a ‘bullet’ insertion style that then angles itself naturally to your ear. It’s terminated by a small but sizeable stress reliever that is colored a fiery red. The flat cable – a stable feature of their IEMs recently – ends up at the cable splitter and hidden chin slider. Honestly, the best kept secret of this unit is the chin slider because of how intricately it fits into the pattern of the cable splitter. It appears to be part of the splitter construction itself, but a few prods and pulls revealed a petite delta shaped morsel that separated itself from the pack. But after that, we end up at the small terminating 3.5mm plug that sports the same jigsaw pattern as the terminator and splitter. It’s a much downsized and torpedo shaped plug this time.

    While the overall usage of the unit has been improved drastically, a few annoyances still remain. The flat cable and over-ear design on the S5 makes it angled weird (as the cable is ‘shaped’ and not circular), and so the regular hang-down style of the S0 fixes this quite well. The unit fits snuggly in the ear, and the overall cable is light enough to not cause a lot of tugging during walking. The problem then remains in the y cable itself. The semi thick plastic that wraps it is not of the highly maneuverable kind, it holds a sort of crinkly shape that it develops overtime from bending. This makes unknotting the unit hard at times as the stiff y-cable just makes it a pure joy to work with, said no one ever. The second problem I had was that due to the stiffer nature of the cable (not saying it is by any means ‘stiff’, but it is just enough to have a few problems that I’m noting) I have problem using the chin slider as it keeps getting stuck. The unit is overall fine for use, but a few kinks here and there could be worked through in the future.

    The accessories that the S0 came with were the standard that Brainwavz gives us. It’s the usual multiset pack of ear tips and a pack of the S0 specific specialty tips. Next up we got the 3.5mm to quarter inch jack, and lastly the shirt clip. All of this is housed in the nice soft – but fairly hard – case that Brainwavz gives standard with nearly all their more expensive IEMs right now. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s nice to have. My only criticism is that the case is just a tad bit too cramped. This works better for company logistics and personal packing, but I’d rather it have a bit more room.

    The S0 was tested with the Encore mDAC sporting a Sabre ESS 9023, the FiiO X5, X1, and an Objective 2 with Burr Brown op-amps and finally a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC.
    The general sound signature of the S0 can be said to be warm with an airy mid and a strong bass. The S0 had a fairly good sound signature for the price, especially considering the accessories they include.
    The mids of the S0 are a bit pulled back with a tendancy towards being clear rather than ‘accurate’. The unit is able to produce a clear vocal range that is separate from the other sonic frequencies. Not to confuse clear with forward or bright, as there is a difference and the S0 is neither of those. The downside to this is the vocal fullness is a bit thinner than usual, but at this price point, it’s not that much of a strike against it. But the clarity really helps it as it works well on close to all genres. This makes lead singers stand out from the rest, and it’s pretty good at doing it consistently. The spatial separation in the mid range was something I was not expecting from a unit in this price range. It has an almost concert hall sound for the mid-range whereas the instruments and bass are much closer.
    The bass is quite polite with good texture. It’s not very noticeable or loud, but it offers a well meaning background ‘oomph’ to most tracks. It adds to the song, but it isn’t as prevelant as I would have wanted it. This isn’t necessarily bad as it means it works better for classical music. The best part about it though, was the texture. It was this vibrant buzz deep in the song that kept it going when the bass kicked in.
    Overall, the layered sonic ranges, textured bass, and the clear vocals make the S0 a nice sounding unit for the price. It’s normally $50, but Brainwavz puts it on sale for $25 every now and then which is a fantastic price!

    Product Info:

    Buy it here:
    Product Page here:
  10. mark2410
    Brainwavz S0 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Nov 26, 2014
    Pros - Solid. Inoffensive yet potent sound signature. A crowd pleaser.
    Cons - Detail retrieval isn’t really a priority here.
    Brainwavz S0 Quick Review
    Thanks to mp4nation for the sample.
    Full Review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/743834/brainwavz-s0-review-by-mark2410
    Brief:  The S5 has a baby brother
    Price:  US$50 or £31
    Specification:  Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 9mm, Rated Impedance: 16ohms Closed Dynamic, Sensitivity: 100dB at 1mW, Frequency range: 18Hz ~ 18kHz, Distortion: <= 0.3% @ 100dB, Channel balance: =< 1dB (at 1000Hz), Rated input power: 10mW, Maximum input power: 40mW, Plug: 3.5 mm, gold plated., Cable length: 1.3 meters Y cord, Copped OFC, 1 year warranty, Dimensions (Packaging): 160 x 135 x 38mm, Net Weight: 10g,   Gross Weight: 140g
    Accessories:  1 x Comply foam S-400 tips,  6 x Silicone tips, 1 x Bi-Flange tips, 1 x Tri-Flange tips, 1 x Shirt Clip, 1 x Earphone carrying case, 1 x Instruction manual
    Build Quality:  Rather nice.  Look and feels well put together.
    Isolation:  Yeah it’s pretty reasonable.  Sufficient for day to day stuff, but not what I’d pick for a flight or Tube commute.  As always more than enough to get you run over.
    Comfort/Fit:  Very good.   Even wearing these up there was no issues and were comfy to use for hours.
    Aesthetics:  They look fine.  Like the S5 they are just black and I’ll confess, if they are all metal then why paint them black, I’d much rather see the metal.  Mostly they are uneventful visually.
    Sound:  These are little versions of the S5.  The bass is big lively and gets a notable amount of air moving.  These, though are much more in line with I expect for their price range.  There are aimed clearly at a consumer style crowed and as such cater that way.  The bass is heavy, it’s not all that lithe but it doesn’t care.  It’s a had good few drinks, it’s gonna shake that ass and to hell with what anyone else thinks.  It unabashedly brazen that it wants to just get down and enjoy itself.  The mids aren’t amazing but they suit pop.  Clear enough, slightly warming and like to slightly gloss over how good or bad the artist really is.  Its likes to belt out a vocal with some enthusiasm rather than with nuance.  The highs are also a bit of a let’s not worry about the details sorta thing.  They get on and toss on a handful of glitter to show a little sparkle.  The running theme is let’s have a good time and not worry about the little details.  It’s not unlike the S5 again but here it’s I feel a more playful and comparable offering for its price range.  It isn’t something I’d say is sonically pure, it the sort of thing that would suit the gym.  You’re not trying to hear any specific aspects, you just want the whole and presented in bouncy lively fashion.   This makes it a goodly solid option.
    Value:  As always it’s a great wee bundle.  Loads of tips, a nice case and solid IEM that is reasonably priced.
    Pro’s:   Solid.  Inoffensive yet potent sound signature. A crowd pleaser.
    Con’s:  Detail retrieval isn’t really a priority here.


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