Brainwavz S0 In-Ear Headphones

Moonstar

100+ Head-Fier
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


Introduction:

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.



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Disclaimer:

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.

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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)
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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.

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

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Specifications:

  • 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.

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

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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).

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

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

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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+
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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.

Tonality:

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.

Frequencies:

Bass:

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.


Mids:

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.



Treble:

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.



Comparison:

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.



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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.



Conclusion:

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


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This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :

https://moonstarreviews.net



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Cinder

Formerly known as Res-Reviews
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
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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

or

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

or

HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

or

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
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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.

Build
Construction Quality

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Comfort

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.

Accessories
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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!

Comparisons
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.

Summary
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!
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avitron142

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Build Quality, Accessories, Design, Flat cable, Comfort, Clarity and Balanced SQ, Price.
Cons: Moderate Mid-Bass bump
PreIntroduction:

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.

Introduction:


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.

Packaging:

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.

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Accessories:


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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

Microphonics:

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.

Sound:

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.

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SirdOk
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.
avitron142
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
pformagg
pformagg
Good Review, Thanks
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:
 
http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-s0-iem-earphones-free-fedex-2-day-to-select-destination
 
Introduction
 
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.
 
Disclaimer
 
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
 
DSC_0023.jpg
 
 
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.
 
DSC_0025.jpg
 
 
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.
 
DSC_0024.jpg
 
 
Opening the package, there was a clear plastic mold holding everything in place.
 
DSC_0026.jpg
 
 
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.
 
DSC_0027.jpg
 
 
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.
 
DSC_0029.jpg
 
 
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.
 
DSC_0030.jpg
 
 
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.jpgDSC_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
 
Sound
 
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.
 
Bass
 
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
 
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.
 
Treble
 
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.
 
Comparisons
 
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.
 
 
Conclusion
 
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!
Wokei
Wokei
nice one ...buddy
Charliemotta
Charliemotta
Again, great job!!
twister6
twister6
Keep them coming bro!  You are on the roll with consistently solid reviews!!!

kingpage

1000+ Head-Fier
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.

vaziyetu

100+ Head-Fier
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...
Gandasaputra
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?
vaziyetu
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.
damone
damone
very interesting, but will it blend?

kova4a

Headphoneus Supremus
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
 
IMG_20141122_154350.jpg
 
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.
 
IMG_20141122_155059.jpg
 
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.
 
IMG_20141122_154628.jpg
 
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.
 
IMG_20141201_234009.jpg
 
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
 
IMG_20141201_234557.jpg
 
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.
 
IMG_20141201_234909.jpg
 
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.
 
IMG_20141201_234840.jpg
 
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.
 
Sound
 
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.
 
Summary
 
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                                                                                                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.  
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willy156
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

Tom22

Headphoneus Supremus
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!
0.jpg

 
Accessories:
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!
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dragon2knight
dragon2knight
Well done review! 
Tom22
Tom22
Walderstorn
Walderstorn
Nice review, thanks!

bowei006

Panda Man
Reviewer at Headphone.Guru
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

 
Introduction:
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.
 

 
 
Accessories:
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.
 
Sound:
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.
 
 
Conclusion:
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:
http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-s0-iem-earphones-free-fedex-2-day-to-select-destination
 
Product Page here:
http://www.yourbrainwavz.com/s0.html
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.

TheGame21x

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great Build Quality, Good Sound for the Price, Nice Selection of Accessories
Cons: Outperformed by Other Earphones in its Price Range, Flat Cable
 
First, I’d like to thank Audrey and the folks at Brainwavz for providing me a sample of the S0 for review.
 
This is only the second Brainwavz earphone I’ve had the pleasure to audition, the first being the Brainwavz S5, a new earphone from the headphone and earphone maker that has produced quite a few different products over the years. The S0 is a step down from the S5, retailing for half the price while still promising premium sound and build quality. So, does the S0 measure up in what is still one of the most hotly contested price brackets in the earphone market? Read on to find out.

Accessories

The S0 ships with a variety of tips, including standard wide bore single flange tips, Sony hybrid style tips, double and triple flange tips and a set of Comply foam tips. In addition, a shirt clip, a nice cable tie and a zippered clamshell carrying case are also included.

Design and Build Quality

The S0, like the S5 before it, uses metal (but not heavy) shells flat cables and a well relieved straight plug. But, the S0 is infinitely better than the S5 because its cable, while still flat, is thinner and more malleable than the stiff and fairly inflexible flat cable of the S5. Not to mention the S0 utilizes a sensibly proportioned Y-split, compared to the massive and unwieldy one used on the S5.
 
Sure, the changes aren’t exactly huge and the S0 follows a very similar design ethos but the little changes make all the difference in my book.
 

Sound Quality

The overall sound signature is bass biased, but not to the same degree as the S5, and as a result, there’s a less recessed midrange but one that’s grainier in comparison. For the most part, the sound signature doesn’t try to emphasize any one frequency range too much. The low end is emphasized and offers up detail comparable to many earphones I’ve heard in this price range. Treble performance is slightly grainy, dry but neither harsh nor sibilant in my experience. The soundstage is a bit small compared to the S5’s occasional cavernous depth but still good and imaging is decent as well. Overall resolution and detail is about on the level I’d expect from the average $50 earphone but not quite as good as recent standouts I’ve heard like Sony’s MH1C and the Narmoo R1M.
 
Is the S0 accurate or neutral? Well, no, but it’s not tuned that way either. So if you’re looking for a set that will be good for critical listening, the S0 is not your earphone. In fact, the S0 is at its best when you’re not actively listening to it. I can already hear you asking “what the heck does that mean?” Basically, the S0 is better when you’re not focusing on it. It’s a great “shut out the environment and just zone out to some music” earphone. In fact, it’s one of the earphones I regularly take with me to work for just that reason.
 

Conclusion

Like the S5 before it, the S0 is thrust into the midst of some extremely potent competition and, again, like the S5, I don’t think this is a world beater. That being said, I think the S0 is more competitive in the $50 price bracket than the S5 is in the $99 price bracket and for that reason, it’s easier to recommend. For $50, Brainwavz does a good job of justifying the price with its metal build and nice selection of accessories and the sound signature and quality of the S0 is good for the price, even if there are some that perhaps perform a bit better.
 
So, all told, I like the S0, it’s a good sounding IEM that, while not quite as detailed as some of its competitors, offers up sound quality that’s easy to relax to.
 
Reposted from My Site, Musical Musings
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thatBeatsguy
thatBeatsguy
"In fact, the S0 is at its best when you’re not actively listening to it."
 
I agree with you completely. Great review!

suman134

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Nicely Balanced , cleaner and reveling mids and highs . Bang for bucks .
Cons: could have been a bit more cleaner . A better cable clip may be .
Let’s get started :- BRAINWAVZ S0: Hitting the sweet spot 
 
This time round, BRAINWAVZ have a new earphone and it seems to be a subordinate of the S5. It seems like the folks over at brainwavz are serious about making durable earphones that offer substantial value. They have a metal housing, durable flat cables, and is priced at $50, which means it's up against some of the Head-Fi favorites like VSD3/S, KC06 , Havi B3 pro 1. I do not own any of the aforementioned IEMs, but do have a Vsonic VSD1, ATH-CKX9 and XBA-C10. My VSD1 is currently with a friend so I will compare the S0 with the latter two.
 
Lets see how it fares against these two .
 
*My Apologies, Salsera. This review is unduly delayed and I may have let you down. Unfortunately, I had an emergency to attend to. I am really grateful for the opportunity to review this fantastic earphone. My aim is not to impress anyone, but convey how impressed I am with this IEM. (And it doesn't even require an amp to perform well)
 
Design build and accessories :-
 
The earpiece construction is entirely metal, just like S5. But unlike the S5 it is a straight barrel IEM, painted black with matte finish and an overall orthodox design. This time, the  L/R markings can be seen clearly on both earpieces, the logo on the back of the housing, vent around the center and another vent situated right under the nozzle. It is designed for cable down wear, but can be worn over the ear for a change, should you like it that way.
Plenty of tips are bundled including a pair of comply S-400. I like those Sony style tips. And the trademark black-red hard carry case. I used the red-blackish large tips for my listening impressions.
 
IMG_20141029_163919.jpg  IMG_20141029_163756_HDR.jpg  1.jpg
 
 
The red strain reliefs are similar in design and material to the S5 (Hard rubber). It feels okay but could have been better. Cable are flat and black, not very heavy and not grey any more. There is a cable/chin slider, as usual. The Y split or the cable splitter is smaller compared to the huge splitter found on the S5.
Brainwavz is listening to their customers feedback, and thankfully we have a cable/shirt clip this time. It is a welcome addition, but I feel it does not hold the cable nicely. .
 
Lets get comparing !!
 
Comparisons with ATH-CKX9 and XBA-C10i:-
 
Let’s start with form factor, isolation and glossary.
 
Isolation and fit: The CKX9 and XBA-C10, which half in-ears, have decent isolation for their design. I must admit that CKX9 has one of the most secure fit I have experienced on an IEM, which is thanks to its wings (really good for running too).
The S0 does a good job too, perhaps better and goes deeper. Wind noise is not bothersome with any of these phones.
 
Cable: CKX9 has the best cable of this lot. The C10 and S0 have their strengths too. Negatives first. The C10 cable is weak and prone to tangling while the S0’s cable is microphonic and exhibits memory. The CKX9 cable is supple, microphonics is low, and is not prone to entanglement. S0 gets full marks when it comes to, no irritation at all. With the other two you have to deal with fins and wings which get uncomfortable after a few hours. I can’t wear CKX9 for more than 2-3 hours and C10 for more than 4 hours .
IMG_20141031_181821.jpg  IMG_20141117_135956.jpg
 
Sound quality comparisons:-
    
Let me start by saying the S0 is not as clear as CKX9. The S0 is good but is not crystal clear. One can hear everything but CKX9 sounds cleaner compared to the S0 (and S0 sounds clearer). CKX9 has its short comings too. The C10 features is somewhere in between: Better than S0 but not as good as CKX9.
It may not be fair to compare CKX9 with S0 but with the price at ~$70 it can be compared, from my point of view. 
Keep in mind that some of the issues with the older S5 have been addressed here with S0 .
 
So lets get into the usual segments.
 
Lows :-
The S0, as we all know is more balanced when compared to the S5, but it’s bass is not totally flat. It goes deep, has nice extension and the decay is good unlike S5 (which was the only thing I didn’t like about S5 . It’s got enough rumble to please me, doesn’t slam like S5, but is good. It hits nice and easy, moves enough amount of air and is pleasingly present. It’s got more sub bass and its mid bass is not as prominent as S5. The mid bass is still more in volume compared to sub bass, but thank fully not drowning. It feels like the people at Brainwavz have addressed the huge mid bass hump in the S5 with S0. This is what I would like to see happen to the S5 (add a bit more sub bass too). Thanks to the mid bass, bass feels tighter overall and the whole spectrum feels less V-shaped. One complaint however. The Bass feels a bit dry, ever so slightly, unlike the RE400 which is juicy and the notes are not deep enough like S5. The bass occasionally start messing with the mids but is clean most of the time .
 
The CKX9, the other hand, is similar to S5, bassiest of the three (huge slam and rumbles enough to get close to bass head category). I wouldn't pit it against the xb90ex but can hold its ground thanks to its fuller presentation and bass head pleasing body. Just like the crystals (crystals have ample sub bass and mid bass is not this big). Its mid bass’s prominence is what defines its bass. There is sub bass but decay of mid bass drowns the sub bass at times. It can be heard, but a drowned sub bass is not the best thing. Extension is quite good but is not distinct enough. Still it’s enjoyable and I like what it does .
 
When it comes to the C10, it's bass is deep despite being a BA IEM. No problems with the mid bass here. Even with the extra emphasis, it is unable to move much air. Rumble is nothing to write home about, bass extension is nice. Still got enough bass for BA standards, unlike the pl50 which is kind of dry and bass shy, and that translates to poor decay, and is not close to pl50 at all. Even if S0’s decay is not this fast its bass has more body and rumble. And c-10’s bass feels dry, really dry.
 
So, the S0 is no bass monster but got enough bass to keep one interested. It has more precision when compared to S5 while giving up some rumble and body .
 
Mids :-
This part of the spectrum has my attention all the time. I like mids, am not a fan of prominence or forwardness but it should be clear and not drowned. A V-shaped sig is okay, but mids should not be left deep in the valley. The S0 is V-shaped but not by much. It’s like a few DB behind, but not as much as S5, let alone the CKX9 which has one of the biggest dips I have heard. The c10 is mid centric, has no dip at all and is perhaps a bit mid-forward. The S0 still holds its own as I have already mentioned.
The S0 is not the cleanest, which may be due to a lower-mid dip in the mid section and brighter presentation. You could say I like a darker signature, mids do reflect it clearly. Everything is present, all the instruments, cymbals, guitars are heard but, it could have been cleaner. It's not a bad thing or bad enough to bother you but, it’s the only thing I can think of so I'm stressing on it. The S5 and CKX9 is clearer in this prospect. It’s doesn't seem bad until you compare it to something really good. Similar to the Piston 2, but not that unclear .
 
I have to say that I like the S0’s mids. It's spacious, the sound stage is nice and even, has nice width and depth. Believe me when I say, it's better than CKX9. The C10 has one of the worst soundstage I have experienced in this price range. The S0 may be better than S5 in this respect, separation is nice, instruments are easily distinguishable, instrument are nicely placed in the stage , nothing sounds very distant or excessively close. You can hear more instruments as it's more transparent, or should I say 'more revealing'. I find it clearer too, when compared to CKX9 and C10.
I really like the mids. Really cohesive. It's like Brainwavz has found the right tuning after all. Timber is fantastic considering it's all metal construction. It’s still a bit metallic, losing some of tonality (I mean, it sounds a bit artificial). The C10 and CKX9 aren't as cohesive. Instruments are clearer in S0, C10 comes 2nd and then the CKX9. CKX9 is not clear enough due to its drowned mid section.
 
Treble :-
This time there is no splash, it's much cleaner and is smooth and balanced with mids and lows. Not grainy, but can struggle with high speed EDM or techno trance music. Extension isn't as good as the S5. In fact, none of the 3 earphones have good high extension. C10 is the worst: not really transparent or revealing. CKX9 has elevated highs but still falls behind S0 when it comes to clarity. It isn't spiky or splashy but can be bothersome after extended listening. The S0 can be used for really long hours without any annoyance . I have to admit that S0’s highs have the most amount of detail of the 3 and separation from mid section is a good too. I want to say S0 has one of the best highs (clearer , revealing highs), I have ever experienced with an under $50 earphone . With nicely mastered tracks you can hear the highs working at its best. Fantastic,I must say. Really enjoyable, tuning again is fantastic. It's surely better than the VSD1, which is a bit harsh and not this transparent .
 
Conclusion :-
It’s the smoothness and the inoffensive presentation which makes it an excellent and class leading earphone. It isn't fatiguing at all and is easy to recommend to those who desire longer casual listening sessions.
It is enjoyable and can be easily called a more balanced version of the S5. However, the S5 has more overall clarity. The S0 is still my pick over the S5, any day .
 
I can say that, I have become a fan of this earphone. It's fantastic and replaces the VSD1 in my favorites list. Thanks to it's instrument clarity, presentation, cohesive mids , revealing highs.
Mama mia! Me likey !!
Cheers! have a nice time.
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suman134
suman134
thatBeatsguy
thatBeatsguy
Agreed. It's a lot better now. Great job, Suman!
It's kinda weird since "suman" in my native language is a type of rice cake. So great job, rice cake! XD
suman134
suman134
  people call me "smack that " i sing that a lot . Rice cake is not bad .

jasonb

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: design, build quality, comfort, sound
Cons: bit too much bass for my preferences
I was asked by Brainwavz to review their new S0 model in ear headphones. This review will be similar to my review of the Brainwavz S5 since to me these sound very similar. I will start off by saying that my prefered sound signature is more inline with the AKG Q701, Brainwavz HM5, and Vsonic GR01, that is to say I prefer a neutral sound. As a reviewer I find it important to note that. I will try to review these the best that I can considering that these do not sound as neutral as I typically like. I will be as objective as I can be.
 
Anyway... on to the review.
 
As for build quality they are above average and seem to be very well built and should take some abuse. The wire seems strong, but not quite as annoying bulky as the S5. The strain reliefs at each end are well built, as is the Y split. The Y section isn't as monstrous and overdone as the S5, but is still strong and should be plenty durable.  
 
The packaging and accessories are well done. There are a bunch of tips included, but I still prefer the S0 with some of the Meelec brand tips with the super wide bore. They just sound better and cleaner with some wide bore tips. Also included is a shirt clip and a nice semi rigid case. 
 
As for the sound, they are a bit more balanced that the S5, but are still a bit warm and bassy. The mid-range is a tad bit recessed, and the top end is smooth and decently extended. They offer a fun, non tiring, and smooth sound signature. While the S5 has a bass boost all the way through to the very bottom, I find the S0 to just have a bit of a mid-bass hump. Bass is still tight and punchy, just with a good bit of heft. A 5db cut centered at 100hz makes them sound a lot more neutral and less congested. Again this is just my personal preference, I like less bass than the average person. The mid-range is clean, but just a tad distant or recessed, just a tad. The top end is smooth and non tiring, and decently extended. Never have I heard any harshness or sibilance with these. The S5 seemed to have a bit of a peak in the treble somewhere that made them seem extra "exciting" to listen to, and these don't seem to have that. These definitely sound more natural up top. These are also very efficient and easy to drive. My Samsung Galaxy S4 drives them plenty well in the 27-40% region on the volume control, so they will work well with any decent device out there. With the slight "V" shape signature they actually sound very good at lower volume levels too. Thats what the whole "loudness" contour thing is about. Soundstage depth and width are good, average, or slightly above for the price. Detail is very good for an earphone of this sound signature. I always find detail and neutrality to go hand and hand, these aren't quite neutral so they won't have exceptional detail, but it is very good for what they are.
 
For $50 you can't go wrong, and I can't say I've heard anything do better for the price. I've heard headphones that cost twice as much sound much worse. I could listen to them all day with the 5db cut in the mid bass, they aren't bad at all after this very small amount of EQ. I think I said this about the S5 as well, but for the mainstream listener I think these will do great. If you are seeking a fun, laid back sound, these are it, if you are looking for absolute neutrality and clarity seek elsewhere. Just don't mistake "balanced" for "neutral" and you should be very happy with them. 
 
Thank you to Brainwavz for the review pair. Keep up the good work. 
Pros: Solid built, easy to drive, great accessories
Cons: Need EQ to reduce the mid bass
First of all I'd like to thank Brainwavz and Audrey for giving me a chance to check out the Brainwavz S0 IEM.
 
Introduction:
The Brainwavz S0 is the newest and smallest member of the Brainwavz S family. Having recently reviewed the S5 the similarities in design is striking. I really enjoyed the design on the S5 and I’m pleased to see it passed on to the S0 as well. The S0 is really like a baby brother of the S5. The smaller size on everything from housing to y-split actually makes them even more to my liking.
 
The outer packing:
IMG_1810.jpg
 
 
The inner packing:
[size=12.8000001907349px]IMG_1812.jpg[/size]
 
S0 with it's bigger brother the S5:
IMG_1823.jpg
 
Built and accessories:
The accessory pack is very good and includes nine pairs of tips (foamies, double flanges and regular silicone tips), a shirt clip as well as a zippered case to store them in.
 
The accessories:
[size=12.8000001907349px]IMG_1817.jpg[/size]
 
Built quality is top notch and while some may have problems with the flat cable I actually like it. Everything about the S0 feels robust and well thought out. The only thing I'm missing is an L-plug instead of the straight one.
 
The S0 is easy to drive and works great out of portable devices.
 
I've let them play for over 100 hours and I've used them while working out, at the office and at home and I've not found any weaknesses to the way they're constructed. I've been using them with my HTC One M7 phone, iPod Shuffle, Nexus 7 tablet, FiiO X3 dap and with my Geek Out720 playing music from my computer.
 
Sound:
The sound signature of the S0 is on the dark and warm side without being overly so. The sub bass have good impact and control but unfortunately the mid bass doesn’t show the same control and it’s also a bit too much which makes it interfere with the rest of the spectra more than I prefer. This is by no means extreme and it’s really just a bit too much for them to be fully enjoyable to me. Using them with my FiiO X3 and turning the bass down to -4 makes it sound really balanced and nice. It also makes them a bit less dark which is more to my preference. In this configuration they really shine and I enjoy them quite a bit.
 
The treble is nice and polite but I personally would have preferred a bit more extension and some more sparkle to it. Soundstage and separation is also good without offering something spectacular. They’re also pretty forgiving with bad recordings but I do feel that they llack some details.
 
I’ve also used them a lot with my iPod shuffle while working out. The Shuffle has a pretty thin sound which pairs extremely well with the more dark and bassy signature of the S0. With this pairing it sounds really great and I’m pretty sure that I’ll continue using this pairing in the future. The excellent build of the S0’s also makes them a very good partner for a lot of different activities.
 
Paired with iPod Shuffle:
IMG_1824.jpg
 
 
Summary:
The Brainwavz S0 is a good all rounder. If you don’t mind some overemphasized mid bass or using the EQ to reduce it the Brainwavz S0 is a great offering in the sub $50 bracket. Its great built and the fact that it’s easy to drive makes it very versatile as well.

drbluenewmexico

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Inexpensive, decently made, good bass does not distort midrange or treble, friendly, easy to fit in ears, gives S5 competition at half price
Cons: lack of detail, car radio kind of sound eventually kind of boring, other IEMS at 50$ price range like Tenores superior
Thanks to Audrey at Brainwavz for this opportunity to review the new Brainwavz S0.  I am not affiliated
in any way to Brainwavz, although i did review the S5 recently with a review sample from them.
 
The S0 is the so called "baby brother" to the recently released S5 from Brainwavz and is a welcome
addition to the Brainwavz family of inexpensive IEMs.  It is smaller than its bigger brother and actually
had a better fit for me with its on board tips, with a good seal and is remarkably comfortable.  Still made
of metal at 50$ it is well built and has a good selection of alternate tips and supplies with it and a case.
 
Brainwavz advertises the S0s as having a "clear balanced sound" and after burn in they pretty much do
although there is still a mid bass hump to them but its pleasant for most music. The cable has good strain
relief and was pretty tangle proof. The design is straightforward and fairly simple, with neodymium magnets
and aluminum housing, and they seem well made and fell good in your hands and ears.
 
The out of the box sound changed a fair amount with 100 or so hours of burn in, which tamed the
initial bloated bass and sibilence and rounded the sound to a fairly balanced presentation.  the bass
is still humped, but less so than the S5, and after burn in the S0 is pleasant for a variety of music from
blues to EDM  through rock.  More lyrical wavy or ambient music sounds more digital than one might like
but the phone does nice things to streaming audio and makes it pleasant to listen to in a good way.
 
Overall the sound quality is that of a decent car radio--pleasant for background non critical listening
good to do work or chores to, or while watching sports or news you don't want to hear the sound to
and prefer music to.  I don't say this as a criticism:  a good car stereo is a major achievement!  i once
had a contest with a doctor friend who won the contest after putting 14 speakers, six amps and
four subwoofers in his old cadillac...and thousands of dollars. his car was a rolling boom box!
Well this S0 is not THAT kind of car stereo, but it is pleasant
light weight IEM that is fund to "cruise around " with while one is doing other things.  It sounds very
good out of my HTC one M8 without an amp, and stays put in my ears while i do other things with
good sound isolation.
 
This phone is a welcome addition to the Brainwavz lineup.  Some folks, indeed,  might prefer its smoother rounded
sound to the S5.  Its not pretending to be anything its not or trying to out muscle more expensive
IEMs and is worth the 50 dollars I believe.  At the same time there are more exotic earphones
like the Zero Audio Tenore which have a smoother midrange and vocal presentation that is magical
at the same price range. (not up to the bass of the S0 however, so as Mark Twain says "you pays your
money and you takes your choice"  And for forty nine  dollars more you can upgrade to the new Fidue A71 which
has three drivers and sounds super LIVE, not like a car radio.
 
But for an entry level IEM that transcends the basic Phillips,Sony, and assorted Chinese cheap phones available,
and such it outperforms the 20-30$ mass market phones by quite a bit! And so it becomes
a very good pocket companion to me, stashed in my jacket in case i want to tune in and out
of the default realities with streaming audio like JohnnyBlue on Soundcloud, or such, or
relax with my amazon cloud library on the go...it works just fine and is quite listenable for these.
 
I think this phone would make a great holiday present for newbies into portable audio and everyday companion
for those with good smartphone sound on the go.......

earfonia

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Solid full metal housing, flexible wearing style, generous accessories.
Cons: Below average noise isolation.
Thanks Brainwavz for the review sample of Brainwavz S0!
 
 
01_P1240569.jpg  

 
Designed to be the little brother of Brainwavz S5, Brainwavz S0 uses single 9 mm dynamic driver that is slightly smaller than the 10 mm driver in Brainwavz S5. At about half the price of the S5, thanks to Brainwavz, the sound quality of S0 is much more than half of the sound quality of S5.
 
02_s0.png  

 
In this review, I will use S5 as a reference for comparison.
 
03_P1240552.jpg  

 
Smaller than S5, S0 also has full metal body which is sleek and durable. Unlike S5 that is designed to be worn over the ears, S0 symmetrical housing design can be worn both ways, straight down and over the ears. This is a good feature for those who are not used to wear IEM over the ears. S0 has similar flat cable as S5, but with improved, smaller and sleeker, IMHO much nicer, Y splitter.
 
04_P1240559.jpg  
05_P1240560.jpg  

 
One thing to be noted, probably due to the position of bass tuning vent that is located at the back of the IEM, S0 has less than average noise isolation. Less noise isolation than S5. Not necessarily a bad thing, occasionally I do need less isolating IEM. But those who require high level of noise isolation, S5 is the better choice.
 
06_P1240550.jpg  

 
My experience with S0, from new till now, for about a month, has been quite consistent. Rather different than my experience with S5, as I mentioned in my review of S5, that S5 was pretty bright when new, and suddenly turned to be natural sounding IEM for unknown reason. S0 sound signature has been consistent, only smoother after about 4 days of burn-in.  I do recommend a few days of burn-in for S0, that though the improvement was not drastic, S0 sounds smoother and more relax after burn-in.
 
07_P01_P1240547.jpg  

 
S0 is more forgiving than S5, to changes of sound signature by different eartips. But it doesn't mean all eartips sound the same. It is still important to try all the supplied eartips to get the best sonic performance and comfort. My favourite eartips for S0 is the default large bore, translucent gray eartips with red centre cylinder. S0 comes with some different set of eartips than S5. The tri-flanges and bi-flanges are the same, but the Comply foam tip is S-400 instead of T-400. Tested the comply S-400, I still prefer the sound using the default silicone eartips. The rest of the silicon eartips are also different. 3 sizes of large bore translucent eartips with nice red color center part, and 3 sizes of smaller bore eartips that looks like Sony Hybrid eartips. S0 nozzle size is the standard 4.5 mm that widely compatible with common generic eartips.
 
08_P1240564.jpg  

 
 
Pros:
Good quality, durable & solid full metal housing.
Designed for both straight-down and over the ears wearing style.
Various types and sizes of eartips are included, for flexible sound tuning and maximum comfort.
The famous Brainwavz semi-hard earphone case is included.
 
 
Cons:
Below average noise isolation.
The white colour Left and Right marking is not easily identified in dimly lit environment. There is no left dot / dimple near the left driver. Probably it would be easier if the Left and Right marking are using different colour, for example white and red.
 
 
Suggestions for improvement:
Bass and Treble extension, and level of detail.
As many people these days using their smart-phones to listen to music, to include a microphone is probably a value add that can be considered.
 
 
 
Sound Signature
 
Smooth-warm, balanced, and forgiving, are the main sonic characters of Brainwavz S0. Slightly mid-centric due to lacking of some low bass and upper treble extension. While S5 has higher level of detail and wider frequency extension, with better overall sound quality, S5 is also less forgiving to recording imperfection. S0 on the other hand is a much more forgiving IEM. Overall sonic character is quite smooth and balanced from bass to treble without any annoying peaks and dips on the frequency response. Only some very gentle emphasized around upper mid - treble area that adds perceived clarity. In comparison to S5, the lacking of low bass rumble and upper treble extension in S0 makes it sounds less lively than S5, and sometime a bit boring, especially for classical music. I prefer modern genres (closed miked recordings) for S0, as they match the sound characteristic of S0 better.
 
There is some mid bass emphasized that bleeds a little to the midrange. Probably the lacking of low bass extension giving the impression that the mid bass is slightly emphasized. Bass, especially mid bass level and impact are pretty good. Bass level is good and never sounds bass anaemic, but not yet at the level for bass lover and basshead. The bass is rather boomy, especially on the mid bass area, and bass texture is not very clear, but for a sub $ 50 IEM, IMHO the bass is pretty good.
 
Midrange sounds smooth-warm and quite natural, which is good. Sometime may sound a bit too smooth for my taste, and may sounds a little muffled, as I prefer higher level of detail on the midrange. Vocal, both male and female sounds natural. Vocal presentation is not forward nor laid back. I imagine it would be much better if midrange detail could be as detailed as S5.
 
Treble is on the soft side, good enough to gives a good perceived clarity, but not at the level and quality of S5 treble. I prefer the sparkling and airy treble of S5, but S0 treble is smoother and much more forgiving. Bright recordings or high pitch female vocal would probably sound less offensive on S0. I would say it boils down to personal preferences, some prefer a more lively treble; some prefer smoother and more forgiving treble.
 
Level of detail and clarity of S0 are pretty good for sub $ 50 IEM, but again, when compared to S5, not yet as realistic as S5. Level of dynamic and transient are on the average level of an IEM in this price category, not a very fast and impactful IEM. I would say level of detail is comparable with the famous Zero Audio Carbo Tenore, with slightly better perceived clarity, which is good.
 
Instrument separation though pretty good, not the best that I've heard from an IEM in this price category. Imaging size is average, not the wide and spacious type, but also not annoyingly congested. For classical, binaural recordings, and other type of recordings which use distant stereo miking techniques for a more realistic space virtualization, S0 is not able to give real sense of space, which is expected for an IEM in this price range.  As mentioned before, modern genres recording with closed miking, or electronic, match better with S0 characteristic.
 
As for players, I do prefer to pair S0 with detailed, rather analytical sounding player. From the equipment used in this review, Fiio X3, Dragonfly, and ifi Micro iDSD, match pretty well with S0. S0 is slightly less sensitive than S5, but generally easy to drive, so smart-phones have no issue to drive S0.
 
09_P1240551.jpg  

 
The fact is, sub $50 IEM is very crowded with choices. I do have some collection of good sub $50 IEMs, and have tried quite many of them. Based on my experience, I would rank Brainwavz S0 as a ‘Good’ sub $50 IEM. Not yet a ‘Giant Killer’ IEM. The big brother S5, in my opinion, has better sound quality, but at double the price. In some user comments, some people might even prefer S0 over S5. So it is again boils down to personal preferences. In fact, S0 sounds better than some good models in my collection, to name a few, ATH-CKM300iS, MEElec M-Duo, & TDK LoR "CLEF-Premium P" MEGA BASS Tuning. That shows that Brainwavz S0 competes quite well in the sub $50 category.
 
 
Brainwavz S0 is a nice, friendly sounding, affordable IEM from Brainwavz. But I do hope that in the near future, Brainwavz will come up with a better, ‘Giant Killer’ sub $50 IEM. Jiayou Brainwavz!  
etysmile.gif

 
 
 
Specifications:
Transducers/Drivers: Single Dynamic, 9 mm
Rated Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 100 dB at 1mW
Frequency range: 18Hz - 18kHz
Cable length: 1.2m, Y cord, Flat, Copper.
Plug: 3.5mm gold plated, straight.
 

 
Included Accessories:
1 x Comply foam S-400 eartip
6 x Silicone tips
1 x Bi-Flage tip
1 x Tri-Flange tip
1 x Shirt clip
1 x Earphone carrying case
1 x Instruction manual
 
 
10_P1240566.jpg  

 
 
Equipment used in this review:
ifi micro iDSD: Powerful and excellent sounding DAC + HeadAmp combo. Transparent, detailed, and powerful. Slightly lean to analytical sounding.
Audioquest Dragonfly v1.0c: DAC + HeadAmp combo. Marvelous little DAC. Transparent, airy, and powerful. Slightly lean to analytical sounding.
iBasso DX90: Portable player. Natural sounding, not warm and not analytical. Good dynamic, detail and resolution.
Fiio X3: Portable player. Powerful, balanced sounding with good bass and sparkling treble.
 
 
Recordings used for this review:


DanMar
DanMar
In your package were no cable tie?
Salsera
Salsera
There is a cable tie included in the Brainwavz S0 package.
earfonia
earfonia
Thanks guys!
Right, I forgot to take a picture of the nice cable tie :)
Thanks for pointing out!

twister6

twister6 Reviews
Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: durable design, smooth warm sound, lots of accessories
Cons: flat cable (microphonics), lack of details in sound
First of all I would like to Thank Audrey for providing me with a review sample, and would like to add: You run the most BRILLIANT marketing campaign :wink:
 
When I heard Brainwavz is releasing a new S0 model, a budget oriented "little" brother of S5, the first thing that went through my mind was how much corners they're going to cut in order to get it under 1/2 price of S5 model (S0 retails for $50 versus S5 @ $100). To my very pleasant surprise, accessories and build quality remained the same, including even some improvements, while I found most of the changes included the design, the driver, and the sound signature which obviously differentiates S0 from S5. But overall I felt like they raised a bar by lowering their price down to $50 price mark. Here is what I found.
 
Just like their S5 model, S0 arrived in a very similar packaging box with eye popping bold graphics, detailed listing of accessories and specifications, a magnetic cover to reveal a display setting of S0, and my favorite - a detailed diagram of internal design. I mentioned this in my previous reviews of Brainwavz headphones (S5 and R3) and will repeat it again, they take a lot of pride in their product and it shows off in the packaging. Out of the box, you will find their premium quality double pocket hard shell headphone case (by itself sold on Amazon for $10), a shirt clip, and impressive collection of premium quality eartips including pair of genuine T-400 Comply tips, a set or double flange and a set of triple flange, and two sets (S/M/L) with a total of 6 pairs of silicone hybrid tips with narrow and wide bore opening. These eartips are not just for tip rolling to find the best seal, but also to control the sound where for example wide bore tips will give you brighter sound and narrow bore will attenuate higher frequencies in favor of lower ones.
 
Moving on to S0, you are not going to see any cut corners and still have a solid build with all metal shell. Looking closer you find an air port pinhole opening in the back of the shell and at the base of the nozzle, a clear marking of L/R sides which is important due to symmetrical nature of the design, and excellent strain relief. Unfortunately the "little" brother inherited flat cable design. It's not necessary a negative thing since it helps to keep cables tangle free, but it adds microphonics when cable is rubbing against your shirt/cloth. Also, flat cable is not the most comfortable with over-ear fitment, though in case of S0 you don't have to worry about it since they fitment is wire down. Sure, you can attempt wire up fitment, but unlike S5 with an angled nozzle and considering angled direction of the strain relief - you will not be able to get a good seal with S0 wire up. Thus, wire down is the only practical fitment. In comparison to a bigger and heavier S5 where it benefits to use them with wire over the ear, S0 is smaller and lightweight. Plus, the flat cable is thinner and not as heavy to pull these down. In my opinion, despite not being a fan of flat cable, S0 cable is an improvement over S5. Another improvement is a much smaller y-splitter and chin slider, through a strain relief is as robust. 3.5mm plug is straight, gold plated, and has an equally good strain relief.
 
This brings me up to a sound evaluation and comparison. Obviously, that's where you are going to hear a difference due to a smaller acoustic shell enclosure, 9mm vs 10mm dynamic drivers with lower sensitivity and input power rating, and different tuning. Keep in mind, we are not talking about one being good vs the other one bad. This is just a matter of a different sound signature and other improvements such as S5 having a wider soundstage and a more detailed brighter sound and some cut back in bass. With that out of the way, let's look into S0 sound which has a balanced smooth sound signature. It is a little more on a warm side but still with enough brightness to have clarity across entire frequency spectrum. Low end extends down to sub-bass with a nice rumble and punchy mid-bass which is definitely above neutral but not at the level to be classified as basshead delight. Mids are nicely balanced with lows and have a smooth full body sound with some emphasis toward lower mids. There is somewhat of a lack in details in upper mids/lower treble but it's still very clear. Treble doesn't extend too far, and also has a nice clear non-fatigue characteristics. Soundstange is not as wide as S5 but still above average. Also, you can drive S0 from any source, though they probably will benefit from a brighter one; and btw for my sound test I was using included eartips with a wider red core to bring out more high frequencies.
 
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this new release from Brainwavz and was very pleased they still kept up with a high standard of build quality and included accessories despite budget friendly price. S0 is a great pair of durable headphones for everyday listening to enjoy music when you are not looking for a more critical listening or sound isolation during a noisy commute. As a matter of fact I found them quite forgiving and enjoyable even connected directly to my laptop while I'm writing this review. Under $45 (as I see it now on Amazon), with a great set of included accessories, durable metal shell build with all around strain relief, and smooth warm sound - definitely a great value in my book!
 
Here are the pictures (click for a larger image):
 
brainwavz_s0-01_zpse4184105.jpg
 
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Next to S5
 
 
brainwavz_s0-19_zps6c3c746f.jpg
 
brainwavz_s0-20_zps746dcd99.jpg
Brooko
Brooko
You can wear them cable over ear and get a great seal. That's the only way I ever use them
twister6
twister6
@Brooko : I guess due to my ear canal anatomy, I found I can only get a good seal with S0 shells pointing upward which creates a rather large cable loop with cable over ear due to a strain relief direction.  Cable cinch doesn't help either since it pulls the wires down behind my ears making S0 point down.  Guess it's one of those cases where a fitment will be specific to a shape/anatomy of your ears, but it doesn't work for mine :frowning2:
Brooko
Brooko
Yep - will be individual.  Just thought I'd comment as yours is second review to comment that these are designed to be worn cable down.  I don't think they are.  I think they're designed so they can be worn either up or down.

thatBeatsguy

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Simple sound. Simple looks. Simple (but very solid) build. All in the trademark Brainwavz package at a very competitive price.
Cons: Not very good for critical listening. Microphonic cable.

Intro​

 ​
 ​
TL;DR: The Brainwavz S0 offers a smooth, versatile package that just about anyone can enjoy.


 
First of all, I would like to thank Audrey (@Salsera) and the Brainwavz team for providing a sample of the Brainwavz S0 in exchange for my honest opinion. Second, I would like to clarify that I was neither paid to write this review (except for me being given this review sample), nor am I an affiliate of Brainwavz or any of its staff. All opinions expressed in the following review are my own unless otherwise specified, and as it is an opinion, please take it with a grain of salt.Also, the unit I have received for review is the final production version, complete and in its retail packaging. So basically, what you see (in this review, anyway) is what you get.
 

Over the past two months, my ears have been blessed with Brainwavz, Brainwavz, and only Brainwavz. Why? Because over my past two years in this audiophile journey, my ears have never been more satisfied than with their IEMs. From the bass-heavy S5, to the smooth and sweet R3, I’ve been given a taste of the very best of Brainwavz’ creations. And now, Audrey has given me the chance to sample their newest release has them taking a step back in price with the youngest brother of the single dynamic S-series, the S0 (ZERO).

 

Now, let’s see if the new kid in town has what it takes to step up to its big brothers – and maybe even the huge battlefield of IEMs its price. Interested? Let’s move on.
 
Author's Note
: This review is a little bit old, so expect some cringe-y parts if you're reading this in 2015 or later. I'm a little too lazy to edit the whole thing, and I want to keep the chronological flow in my reviews as I grow, so you can definitely see the improvements over time.

 
 

[size=x-large]== Aesthetics ==[/size]​

Packaging, Accessories​

 
 
 
As a member of the S-series of IEMs, the Brainwavz S0 comes in standard rectangular retail packaging that looks exactly like the S5’s packaging, from the form factor, to the opening front panel, and even the window inside. Behind the front panel is a quick summary of Brainwavz’ roots, as well as cross-sections of 3 key parts of the package – namely the IEMs’ housings, the included Comply S-400 foam tips, and the cable. At the back of the box is a short description of the IEMs, specifications, a list of accessories, and a compatibility list for the 3.5mm connector (not that audiophiles need it, although I would see how less savvy consumers will find this useful).
 
Once you open the box, you get to take out the S0 (the cable of which leads into the small hard carry case), housed in a clear plastic mold. It’s really just your regular retail packaging, to be honest. Once you take out the S0 from its mold and open up the carry case, you see the S0’s cable bound in a very neat Velcro strap (a little bit that I hardly found in the Brainwavz R3), along with its other accessories in the pockets inside.
 
I have to say, I’m really impressed with what Brainwavz offers with the 50-buck S0, as they come with a similarly generous amount of accessories just like the S5 and the R3 I reviewed before it – but even then, those were at least twice the price of the S0. In the S0 package, you get nine pairs of eartips – 3 translucent grey/red eartips in S/M/L, 3 pairs of black colour-coded eartips in S/M/L (an equivalent to the black tips of the S5 and R3, albeit with even narrower nozzles), double- and triple-flange tips like the S5 and R3, and a pair of Comply S-400 tips. After that, you have the carry case, which is again the same as the ones in the S5 and R3, and a shirt clip, which only recently was being sent out with each of their IEMs now. Not that I needed one with the S5 and R3; it’s still a welcome addition nonetheless. The only thing that’s missing from this package is the 6.3mm (1/4”) adapter – although I could assume the shirt clip replaced it in the S0. Oh yeah, don’t forget the 1-year warranty card and instruction manual.

 
EDIT: The folks at Brainwavz changed up their warranty policies as of Q4 2015, so all new pairs of the Brainwavz S0 (and pretty much every other earphone they sell) comes with a 2-year warranty.

 
 

Design, Build, Microphonics​

IMG_4860.JPG
 
A far cry from what I’ve seen from Brainwavz’ IEM designs, the Brainwavz S0 employs an unusually conventional design, with a smooth, tapered housing. There are no weird angles or funky shapes here; just a simple, round, conical earpiece. Though this offers nothing in the way of getting admiration (or confusion) from anyone you show it to, Brainwavz makes up for it by making the L and R markings a lot easier to find – although I find it rather sad the Brainwavz logo was pushed aside to the back of the housings where the vent is (I would prefer it on the opposite side of the L and R markings like the S5).
 


 ​
Although the S0 does seem very orthodox (which makes them stand out from the rest of the Brainwavz lineup) in terms of looks, they fit in perfectly with Brainwavz’ other IEMs in the build department. As always, the never fail to impress me with their solid aluminum housings that exude strength and reliability. The rest of the build is no slouch, either – the flat cable (now black instead of grey), the connector, and the strain relief on the housings (now red instead of grey) were all adopted from its older brother, the S5. The Y-split, however, was completely redesigned and completely streamlined, with the cables now pressing together when you straighten them out with the cable cinch. Another major improvement is the lack of driver flex when putting on the S0. As I’ve found from Brainwavz time and time again, they’ve designed the S0 very well, and I don’t think I could ask for much more.

 
However, there was a little something that sneaked into the package having adopted some of the S5’s characteristics – and that is microphonics. To my experience, flat cables do tend to be more microphonic than most round cables (although there are a few exceptions), but I didn’t have any complaints with microphonics in the S5 at all.

 
 

Fit, Comfort, Isolation​


This is where the fit is factored in. As you might have already noticed, the S0 is designed to be worn straight down, and not around-the-ear like its older brothers (the S1 and S5, if you didn’t know). Normally, when you wear an IEM around-the-ear, a lot of cable noise is deadened thanks to the vibrations having to pass through the outer ear, which will absorb most of that. Now, when you wear it straight down, the cable will not have to pass around the outer ear, sending any noise in the cable straight to your ears. And that means trouble

 

Cable noise complaints aside, I find the S0 to be perfectly easy to fit. It’s literally plug-and-play, thanks to its simple housing. If the default tips don’t fit you, Brainwavz also has you covered with 8 other pairs of eartips. You really can’t complain about anything there. But hey, nothing is perfect, so let me throw in a downside. Despite being designed to be worn straight-down, it is possible to wear the Brainwavz S0 around-the-ear, but fit gets a little iffy at first. With a little practice (and maybe a tip roll) you should be able to get a secure fit and seal.

 

Wearing straight-down, comfort is equally straightforward, which, of course, is a good thing. No broken seals, no unusual wearing styles; just plug and play. As with all IEMs, isolation is a varying factor that partly depends on the eartips you use. In this regard, they can go from below average to great. However, with stock tips, I found them to be rather ‘meh’ as they didn’t really drown out the sound much unlike the S5 (and even the R3, to some extent). It’s nothing a simple tip roll can’t fix, though.

 

 

[size=x-large]== Sound ==[/size]​

Specifications​

 

Headphone Type
Closed-back, vented in-ear monitor (straight down, around-the-ear)
Driver Type
9 mm dynamic, neodymium magnets, CCAW voice coil
Frequency Response
18 Hz – 18 kHz
Rated Input Power
10 mW
Sensitivity
100 dB @ 1 mW
Impedance
16 Ω
Weight
N/A
Cable
1.2 m (4 ft.) flat Y-cord, OFC
Connector
3.5 mm (1/8”) gold-plated straight TRS
Accessories
Hard carrying case Shirt Clip 6 sets silicone single-flange eartips (gray S/M/L + black S/M/L) 1 set silicone double-flange eartips 1 set silicone triple-flange eartips 1 set Comply S400 premium foam eartips
 

 

Equipment, Burn-in​

 
As sources, I will be using my iPad 3 and PC through Headphone-Out, running unamped. In the more in-depth amp test, I will be using a Yamaha RX-V359 5.1 receiver through headphone-out. For the EQ test, I will be using Viper4Windows on the PC and the EQu app on the iPad. As always, test tracks are located here for reference. The eartips I’m using for the review are the included double-flange eartips, as well as the double-flange MEElectronics M9 eartips. Also, as per review protocol, the Brainwavz S0 was burned-in for a minimum of 100 hours prior to writing this review, with mostly music and some games to the side.

 

To make the sound review relatively easier to follow, I’ve listed down a few of the tracks I felt were worth mentioning in the review for more specific reference purposes:

 
  1. Daft PunkGet Lucky, Lose Yourself to Dance: The former is probably one of my most-used (if not the most used outright) test track in my playlist. I personally know it enough that I could be able to determine an IEM’s basic signature from this track alone. The latter track is another of my most-used test tracks, used to test the balance of bass weight vs. accuracy.
     
  2. Eagles Hotel California (Hell Freezes Over): My prime test track for testing stereo imaging and overall proficiency with live recordings.
     
  3. Connecticut Early Music Festival, Igor Kipnis A. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Winter (Mov. 1): Forgive me for the really long artist and title line; it’s really how it goes. Anyway, this track is my main classical track to test the midrange, soundstage, and imaging.
     
  4. Noisestorm Surge: To be frank, I don’t strictly use this track to test bass power. In fact, I have a playlist devoted to that purpose. I just thought I chose this particular track since I really, really like it.

 
Again, I would like to stress that my opinions in the review are to be taken with a grain of salt. Now, without further ado, let’s get right down to the sound!

 

 

Sound Quality​

 
The very first time I put these on, I was blown away. They sounded great. What's more, they sounded great whether I was listening to classical pieces or EDM. But over time, as I began to listen closer, I began to notice things that detracted from my first impression. Let's take a look.


First of all, we have the bass. It punches down hard and deep. It's pretty strong, but not Brainwavz S5-strong. Because of this leaner presentation of the bass, this allows the S0 to have better tonal accuracy and speed compared to the S5, which can and will bunch up notes in bass-heavy tracks (i.e. Lose Yourself to Dance). So far, so good, right? Let's continue. The S0's midrange is honestly pretty good and strikes a balance between the S5's warmth and the R3's clarity and accuracy. However, being part of the bass-enhanced S family, the balance leans more towards the S5. I'm not complaining, though -- they almost seem to go hand-in-hand with the bass to adjust depending on the type of music you're listening to. Of course, this is simply a vivid description of my own perception, so again take this with a grain of salt

 

Now, we're onto the treble. Despite the rest of the signature being all well, I honestly feel the treble ruins the whole signature for me. Now, I know, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but it does tilt the whole signature into something not so favorable to my ears. The S0's treble inherits much of the characteristics of the R3, which means they sound polite and laid-back. Now, I don't have anything against laid-back treble, but the rest of the signature doesn't add up well together. The overall signature, in a nutshell, sounds rather dark because of the polite treble. Sure, they may be non-fatiguing and all, but I'm rather dismayed to be listening to this rather dark signature, which I do not like at all. The midrange as a result sounds rather veiled in comparison to the S5 and R3. The treble for me is a pretty epic fail on Brainwavz' part, seeing as how it would've been an amazing IEM. I mean, even the soundstage and imaging are pretty good, with a decently-sized soundstage (similar to the S5) and great positional accuracy.

 

But though I may be just focusing on a lot of negatives here, the whole sonic package still had this positive quality to them I couldn't really put my finger on. So, I laid off on listening to it for the night, and the next day, I listened to them, and BOOM. I came to a sudden realization: I'd been listening to them wrong.

 

The Brainwavz S0, as it turns out, sounds great – no, they sound amazing – when you were looking at the big picture, and not focusing on the little things. When I listened to the S0s from that perspective, the sound somehow all came together into one amazing IEM. It was then I recalled how great they were when I first listened to them. The Brainwavz S0 doesn’t dress to impress. It doesn’t try to wow you with unreal clarity or heart-pumping bass. The S0 is there to make you enjoy music, not analyze it. And, as an audiophile, that's exactly what we're here for.

 

 

Gaming, Movies​

I haven’t been playing FPS games lately, but I can say for certain that the S0 is perfectly game-ready. It’s got great imaging for positional audio, and should give you that extra edge in a Battlefield 4 match. As for movies, well, I haven’t been watching movies lately either, but rest assured they should do perfectly fine in that regard as well.

 
 

EQ, Amping​

Though I’ve used EQ extensively in the past, I am now rather averse to it and avoid using EQ whenever I can. However, I can make an exception when I review IEMs. With the S0, I feel that there is a clear deficiency of sparkle in the treble (which is only apparent now because of the enhanced bass). A “Treble Booster” preset in the iOS system EQ works, but it doesn’t really improve much. You will need a configurable EQ app here to be able to get somewhere. With a little amplification, I didn’t really notice any game-changing differences. But hey, the S0 is a very easy-to-drive IEM. Even with a cheap MP3 player like the Sansa Clip, the S0 will be able to run out of it just fine.

 

 

Value​

 
At the low, low price of only $50, you get probably one of the best packages I’ve ever seen from Brainwavz. You get a nice assortment of accessories, a solid build, a very straightforward fit, and a sound that’s easy to like. At $50, what's not to like?

 
 

Comparison​

 
Versus Brainwavz S5 ($100):

With some quick A/B tests, I realized this wasn’t going to be as easy of a comparison as I thought. The Brainwavz S5 is an IEM “engineered for maximum fun-ness,” as Apple liked to advertise their iPod Touches. It’s got visceral bass punch with extension so far unbeaten with my current inventory of IEMs, a recessed (but still pretty clear) midrange, and treble that sparkles and shines (though it tends to be sibilant).

 

However, as much as Brainwavz and others say these are the little brothers of the S5 (and they are), sound-wise I would have to disagree. The S0’s sound signature is smooth, cool, and laid-back – nothing like the party-all-night attitude of the S5. In fact, the S0 sounds a lot like an improved R3 instead. Right now, I’m finding it hard to find out which I like over the other. When both are placed head-to-head (rather, ear-to-ear), the S0 sounds veiled in comparison to the bright treble of the S5 – even in classical recordings. On the other hand, the S0 is smooth, relaxing, and hardly non-fatiguing, which is a good thing in its own way.

 

If I were hard-pressed to keep only one, however, I would probably pick the S5. Yes, I know, I know; the S0 is the more ‘audiophile’ choice. But what does it matter? The S5 is fun, lively, and gets me up off my feet every time. Although the S0 apparently is more technically capable, I find the S5 to be perfectly suitable for my music preferences.

 

 

Versus Brainwavz R3 ($130):

This comparison was a little hard for me to do due to the R3’s higher impedance which makes them significantly quieter, rendering me unable to review them ear-to-ear. However, I do have a fairly good grasp of both of their sound signatures to allow me to write a fairly detailed comparison.

 

The Brainwavz R3 is a mid-centric IEM; that goes without a doubt. They have a sweet, balanced signature with a polite treble which makes them sound nice and smooth. However, the S0 takes things a little bit further. The S0 has a powerful, well-rounded low end which the R3 fails to catch up to in terms of power. This makes the S0 the clear winner in terms of the fun factor. On the other hand, the R3 wins in the rest of the signature with its midrange that rings nice and clear, and treble that, though polite, doesn’t sound veiled thanks to the lean bass and overall balance.

 

In the end, picking one over the other is a no-brainer for me. I would very much pick the S0 over the R3 any day, because its smooth, fun, and well-rounded signature allows me to just jab them in my ears and happily enjoy anything that plays through them.

 

 

[size=x-large]== Conclusion ==[/size]​

 
IMG_4874.JPG
 
I have to say, the S0 is probably one of the most well-rounded IEM packages I have ever seen, both from Brainwavz and from all of the IEMs I’ve reviewed so far. They have a very generous assortment of accessories, a great build that puts some IEMs twice its price to shame, and a sound that anyone can like. It’s not an IEM that will impress you with its awe-inspiring detail-whoring or anything of that sort, but it is an IEM you can rely on to give you great sound with music, games, or movies – all at the very competitive price of $50.
 
In short, the Brainwavz S0 is a winner.

 

Category
Score
Comment
Packaging, Accessories
8/10​
Despite the $50 price tag, Brainwavz’ trademark treasure trove of accessories still remains at your disposal, albeit with different tips than the higher-end models.
Design, Build, Microphonics
8/10​
Contrary to what I’ve seen with Brainwavz’ recent models, the S0 has a very conventional look to them. The build, however, is very Brainwavz. The straight-down design with the flat cable does make for some noticeable microphonics, but the included shirt clip is there to remedy that.
Fit, Comfort, Isolation
7/10​
The straight-down design makes them easily digestible for the consumer crowd. With a little getting used to it, you can also wear these around the ear. Comfort and isolation both vary based on the tips used, though.
Microphone
N/A​
No microphone? Nothing to see here, then. Move along!
Bass
8/10​
The Brainwavz S0 has a remarkably well-rounded bass for a bass-enhanced IEM. It’s big enough to satisfy mild bassheads, but is capable of taking a step back when the track doesn’t call for it.
Midrange
7/10​
The midrange is overall pretty good, and has a decent amount of clarity. Much to my surprise, they worked pretty well with both male and female vocals.
Treble
6.5/10​
The treble is a polite and laid-back, which makes the whole signature rather dark overall. However, they’re smooth, relaxing, and non-fatiguing.
Presentation
7/10​
 
Gaming
7/10​
The pretty balanced signature and great positional accuracy makes them a solid choice for games.
Movies
7/10​
The TV shows I like to watch often have a lot of music in the background. Well, the S0 doesn’t fail to impress here.
EQ, Amping
7/10​
Amplification doesn’t really do much to the S0, but some EQ will really help to better the overall sound.
Value
8/10​
At $50, it’s really hard to not want to get this IEM.
Total
7.3/10​
Like I said earlier, the S0 is a winner for Brainwavz, with a very well-rounded package that somehow does everything just right.
 
I do have a few suggestions to make for Brainwavz:

  1. Improve treble crispness (maybe in a future model?)
     
  2. Make the cable from the connector to the Y-split in line with the cable from the Y-split to the housings (like the S5) for better cable management (I’m pretty sure the slimmer Y-split is capable of accommodating this)
     
Yep. Just two suggestions. I really don’t have any complaints about the S0 other than this.

 

 

Shout-Outs, Gallery

Again, I would like to thank Audrey and the Brainwavz team for again giving me this opportunity to review one of their fine products. I feel very humbled and honoured having been given this third IEM to review for them. Thanks again, you guys! I had a lot of fun reviewing these, and would no doubt be looking forward to the releases coming in the next year.

 

I would also like to thank my sister, who has been taking the beautiful pictures for each of my reviews since the very first one. And now, here is a link to all of the pictures taken during the shoot, with a lot of other pictures not seen in this review (to shorten loading times). As always, any constructive criticism is welcome, and will help me to better write my future reviews.

 

Finally, this is thatBeatsguy signing off; thanks for reading!
 
 

Changelog

12/23/14: Added a new scoring category (Presentation) to the score table on all reviews since the Brainwavz R3.
12/20/14: Changed scoring.
12/08/14: Fixed some typos. I really need to work on that.
11/18/14: Added "vented" to Headphone Type in Specifications section.


AmberOzL
AmberOzL
Very nice review, I actually like laid back and polite treble. Do you think midrange is also laidback/recessed or it is forward? Also, what do you think this iem as a workout buddy? I don't really wanna pay something more than 50 bucks for a gym iem so it is either this or I will get something even more cheaper regardless of the sound type, like Piston 2.0 or something.
thatBeatsguy
thatBeatsguy
Hey, @AmberOzL! It's been a while since we last met.
 
The midrange, to my ears, isn't recessed or laid-back. It doesn't seem forward, either. To me, they blend in well with the trest of the signature. For workouts, I would use them, although you might want to wear them around-the-ear since the microphonics will be a prevalent issue. As for build, they easily suprass the Piston 2.0, and you can be sure these will last quite a long time.
 
-- thatBeatsguy
AmberOzL
AmberOzL
Hey man, thanks a lot. I think I will be ordering one to see how it goes, if the cable really ruins the experience, I think I can sell them and use the money to get Pistons or whatever.
 
Unfortunately I can't spend much time in the forum anymore, responsibilities kick in and a lot of things to do, write my master thesis and all. I reduced the threads I am following etc etc. Still, thanks for the help, I will definitely try to check. I think the midrange would be totally fine, I don't think it will disappoint in this price range. As you said, apart from the cable, I have no doubts about this iem.

YoYo JoKeR

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Good Sound Quality, Build Quality, Accessories, Value, Affordable.
Cons: Cable is relatively heavy and noisy.
The Brainwavz S0 IEM I am writing about, is an review sample provided by Audrey from Brainwavz.
 
I am writing my honest opinion about these IEM’s. I will try to keep this review simple I hope it be easy to read, and will help fellow enthusiasts to know more about the S0.
 
Brainwavz is an renown brand in the audio world. What I like about Brainwavz is that they always deliver quality products in an affordable price. The S0 (zero) is the latest In Ear Monitor offering from the house of Brainwavz, which was probably released to compliment the already loved S5.
 
View attachment
 
 
Me : I am an 21 year old Engineering student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself an music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile.
 
I was inspired by music since childhood. My mother had taught me to play ‘Sitar’ and ‘Harmonium’ instruments many years ago. As time passed, the passion of music grew in me, I tried to reproduce and listen to the recorded music, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music by the HD600 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs.
 
 
Let's go down to the review, shall we?
 
Packaging and Accessories : The S0 is sophisticatedly  packed inside an attractive finished cardboard box. The box itself has features and functions of S0 written over it. The fonts, colouring is nicely done. The 3D connector cable sticker on the front of the box took me by surprise!
 
View attachment
 
Once can flip over the outer cover and look through the window provided onto the S0 drivers. The flip cover has magnetic lock to it, which feels very special indeed!
The contents are sealed inside the actual box, and can be slid open.The S0 housing shell is securely placed inside an transparent sheet, and the cable stored in the hard case, in which the rest of the accessories are present.
 
View attachment
 
Brainwavz has been generous in case of accessories, by providing  exceptional amount of accessories, including  hard case, shirt clip, manual an band to tie up the cable, six pairs of single flange tips, a pair of double, triple flange and comply tips each. The accessories again remind us of the refined Brainwavz quality management. They have the same high quality and sophisticated feel as each and every part of the S0.
 
View attachment
 
Overall the packaging and accessories leaves an very positive first impression on one’s mind.
 
View attachment
 
 
Design and Build : The S0 has an excellent and practical build quality with professional grade materials. Metal housings, durable cables and reliable overall construction, The driver housing shell is light weight, made up of metal and has clearly visible Left and Right markings. Strain relief on the housing are rigid and well implemented.
 
View attachment
 
The cable is 1.2 metre long, flat type exterior, has a rubbery feel to it. It is noisy to some extent. The Y splitter on the cable has correct size and includes an sliding cable lock function. The cable is a comparatively rigid and heavy from housing shell till the Y splitter. From Y splitter till the connector, the cable is fine and flexible. The 3.5mm connector jack is gold plated and straight type.
 
View attachment
 
Overall the S0 has solid construction, which ensures in long life and easy maintenance of the IEM. 
 
 
Comfort and Fit : The S0 is pretty comfortable to wear. Apart from, The driver housing shell is quite long and protrudes out of my ears. The cable from housing till Y splitter is quite heavy and if the cable is swayed, the housing may be dislodged from their positions inside the ears. This can be avoided by simply using the shirt clip provided on the cable.
 
View attachment
 
The comply tips suited my ears better, as my ear canals are slightly uneven. Next best fit for me was the default medium sized single flange tip.
 
 
Sound : The S0 is overall ‘clean and clear’ sounding with smooth highs,  good sound stage, imaging and detail retrieval. Considering the S0’s overall neutral sound quality, It can match up with any genre without sounding bad in particular.
 
Lows : Lows are punchy. Balanced and fairly tight and clean. But I have always felt mid bass and sub bass were stronger than the rest of the lows.
 
Mids : Mid frequencies are flat, clear and open sounding.
 
Highs : Smooth and  laid back. An advantage of laid back highs is that, one listen the S0 for hours without any fatigue, which is an plus for sensitive ears like mine.
 
Sound-Stage and Details : Sound stage width is good especially for an IEM in this range, though it is not deep or layered as an headphone. Detail retrieval is also comparatively very good.
 
According to my observation, the S0’s sound qualities can slightly change according to the tips used.  When using the comply’s the S0 sounded a little ‘closed in and dark’ than the single flange tips. This happens due to a slight leak in seal and hence the bass leaks out giving the silicone single flange tips an more clear and spacious presentation.
 
Amplification requirements : The S0 does not technically require amplification from an external amplifier. It sounds good straight from an decent sounding source, but the sound quality is noticeably improved, especially in terms of soundstage and dynamics, when paired with an good sounding amplifier like Objective2.
 
 
 
Specifications by Brainwavz :
Drivers : Dynamic, 9mm
Rated Impedance : 16 Ω
Frequency Range : 18Hz ˜ 18kHz
Sensitivity : 100 dB @ 1 mW
Cable : 1.2m/Y-Cord/Flat/Copper
Plug  : 3.5mm Gold Plated
 
 
Conclusion : The Brainwavz S0 is an truely capable contender in its own range, and is an very good IEM. The S0 ensures one does not spend much for an good listen. It has almost every feature an music enthusiast may look for : good build quality, sound quality, comfort, and along with all these, the S0 is affordable.
 
View attachment
 
Pro’s of S0 :
Good Sound Quality  
Appreciable build quality
Accessories and value.
Affordable. 
 
Con’s of S0 :
Cable is relatively heavy and noisy.
 
Scope for Improvements: Engineers at Brainwavz have done a very good job in designing these, But nevertheless, small improvements can make the S0 even more perfect.
 
1) It would be appreciable if Brainwavz could reduce the weight of the cable from housings till the splitter and make them a little more flexible, If possible.
2) I would also like to suggest that the 3.5mm connector can be made 45 degree angled instead of an straight type.
 
 
 
I would like to thank Audrey for providing me an opportunity to review these. 
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JoeDoe

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Consumer-friendly SQ, Build Quality, Accessories
Cons: Not really any at this price range
[Disclaimer: Audrey from Brainwavz reached out to me for a review. I'm in no way affiliated with the company and frankly, I'm quite humbled that I was asked to post my thoughts!]
 
The S0 is yet another sub-$100 offering from Brainwavz that, like its siblings, punches about its price point. It boasts a fun yet detailed sound signature that will bring a smile to both the average Joe and to the audiophile who'd like to have a gym-ready IEM that won't cause tears if it needs to be replaced.
 
Here's the breakdown:
 
Packaging/Accessories/Build Quality
 
I'll give a few thoughts, but since this review is for the S0's sound (after all, that's why we're all here), I won't bog you down with pictures and critiques of tips, clips, or cases. Tips: check. Shirt clip: Check. Case: check. It bears mentioning that the hard-side case that Brainwavz has started including with their IEMs is just awesome. Zippered, roomy (but not huge), and it has internal pockets for things like tips, clips, and adapters. The sleek black/red colors are pretty sweet too.
 
Also, build quality is excellent. I've been impressed with the implementation of the flat cables, meaty Y-splits, and sturdy strain reliefs that Brainwavz uses. Always makes you feel like you're dealing with a quality product. Metal housings on the S0 are well finished and also lend to the feeling of something that's going to last you a long time!
 
Sound
 
First thought that comes to mind: easy. The signature is very reminiscent of the Shure SE215 or maybe TDKBA200. Detailed, yet smooth. Rich bass with a little bloat, smooth mids, and refined yet slightly rolled off treble. 
 
Bass: Bear in mind, the bass changed the most with tip-rolling if you ask these ears. With the pre-installed tips, the bass was Grado-esque. Punchy and dynamic, rich in mid-bass, not as much in sub-bass. Present, but not very meaty or terribly thick. At least not at first. Bassnectar and Lupe Fiasco were both underwhelming. Changing to some wider bore or double-flanges brought the bass forward and although the mid-bass was able to yield some decent slam, it definitely starts to bleed into the lower mid/vocal range. For EDM or trance, I don't think anyone would say boo, but for those of you who live for the mosh or want to hear the nuances of Paul Chambers upright, may want to look elsewhere.
 
Mids: Smooth and clean. The upper mids are a little more present than the lower but neither are recessed. Once again, Grado-esque. Musical, but not too thick or unnatural. Florence + The Machine is sounding great! Some of the male-vocal lead stuff (Pearl Jam, Aloe Blacc) is less engaging by comparison, but certainly not unlistenable!
 
Treble: In a word: polite. Here's where the sound is not so Grado. The treble definitely rolled off, but still detailed, and clear. I can hear everything textures on strings and harmonics from solo piano work well, however, things like intricate cymbal work from Neil Peart is sometimes blurry. In this case, the S0 reminds me of a diet version of the Sony MH1. 
 
Soundstage/Separation/Imaging: Decent but nothing to write home about. L to R placement is accurate and probably better than average at this price point. The sense of space isn't huge, but I never felt like it was collapsed or congested either. Both of these points speak highly of the S0 tuning. In my experience, budget IEMs are often tuned decently, however, developing a coherent sense of space and separation usually sucks. Not the case here! Listeners of rock/jazz/pop/hip-hop and they like will be just fine with the S0 staging attributes. Fans of larger ensemble work or decent live recordings may feel a little underwhelmed. 
 
Overall, the S0 from Brainwavz is a very good all-rounder that will play quite nicely with rock/pop based genres. Tip rolling will help you dial in the bass just right (as well as treble to some extent) and mids are musical and rich. Soundstage isn't the widest, but it won't disappoint for the price bracket. If you need a new budget IEM that fits nicely in the niche carved by the Havi B3, VSonic VSD3, and Ostry KC06, the S0 is certainly one to consider, especially given its excellent build quality and included accessories. Check 'em out!
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