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Brainwavz Beta v2 Review

  1. mark2410 Contributor
    Brainwavz Beta v2 Review
    Thanks to mp4nation for the review sample
    First Impressions:  The box is reasonable enough but is a little creased from its round the word travels.  The packaging is reasonably nice but clearly this is not what you’d call a premium product.  Inside there isn’t too much but one interesting thing I see is some faux complys.  Looks wise these really remind me of the Sony MDR-EX85 and the corresponding 300 million pretend ones that the Chinese OEM market produced.  I’ve got to say it’s not giving me high expectations, I know the Sony ones were well loved but well, oh you know what I mean.  So hesitantly I decide I’d better shove them in my ears.  Not at all what I expected.  Damn these are really nice, whoever it is that tweaks Brainwavs stuff for balance should get a raise.  They consistently manage to nail it in such a way as to get the absolute best from their stuff.  Burn in time.
    Source 1G iPod Shuffle with a 75 ohm adapter added
    Lows:  I can see the low end being a bit controversial as such cheap stuff tends to go by the rule, the more bass the better.  The Beta’s don’t do this.  Now I’m not saying they can’t do a low because they can and they do with a grace and poise that would put many to shame.  They can take a rich low note and happily hold it, smoothly and gently without running out of breath.  They do the best they can to stay quick and nimble too for the faster stuff, so they aren’t the most agile ever what do you want for this kind of money, the moon on a stick?  A whirl with Pendulum’s “Propane Nightmares” and they maybe aren’t giving the punch they should or really conveying the explosive power and magnitude of where the bass should be but I cannot fault them.  They don’t go to hell and become a huge flab of bass farting all over the place.  Quantity wise I can see people wanting a bit more as the bass really doesn’t stand out the way it often does on low end stuff, they aren’t what I’d call bass light though.  They are what I would describe as evenly balanced, the bass is pretty much in line with the mids and maybe a touch above the highs.  Still they come from a big dynamic driver so if you really want more go nuts with the EQ and it will move the air you want. 
    Compared to its stable mate the M1, these have a touch more bass which seems sensible since they were just a hint on the bass light, Brainwavz  are really taking the middle space and dominating it.
    Mids:  Superb.  Vocals are light and airy and have a smoothness that belies their bargain basement credentials.  They are immensely pleasant to hear.  I can’t deny though they do favour a slower and more liquid sounding voice as they just don’t have the clarity to really show you the detail needed for dry and airy.  As I said previously I cannot fault them for this as they are so cheap and it’s not like anything at or near this price can really do that level of detail.  These are not really mid centric but the mids are pretty prominent.  When it comes to acoustic guitars they do slip a little.  They don’t quite manage the crisp snap that they should but for the money they do so very, very well.  Still I must admit the M1 does them better, it’s dryer and crisper sound gives them more of clarity.  The M1 is of course 50% more expensive though.
    Highs:  Anyone familiar with my musings will know that this is where I tend to fault most things and the Beta’s are no different.  They don’t quite get things right and let’s be honest, they don’t have anywhere near the detail to nail it either.  So they don’t really try to and what’s better is they don’t dial up the treble and dial up its edginess to pretend they have more detail than they really do.  The Beta’s put on a fine show and give you a great rendition of what should be there.  From what I remember it’s a far gentler proposition than the old v1.  Quantity wise it’s a touch behind the mids but nothing wildly so, the highs are still easily audible and clear.  However they will get increasingly muddled and lost as the music gets faster and louder.  After all this end a product at the bottom of the market and it cannot keep up but it does a pretty good job.  If you music is all pretty slow then it does a great job, if not then you maybe want to move up to the M1 which is clearly quicker.
    Soundstage:  They are moderately big sounding, possibly due to their huge drivers and that they must sit pretty shallow in the ear.  They do sound pretty big and have a pretty impressive level of sound separation.  Again though once things start getting too fast and complex that separation does noticeably suffer.  Lovely though on slower stuff.
    Comfort:  Well it was fine for me.  The buds are pretty weirdly shaped though so it wouldn’t surprise me if it did cause issues for some.  That said I don’t recall ever seeing anyone complain of issue with the shape of the Sony one.  They are pretty weightless too so that helps.
    Fit:  I can’t say I loved their super shallow fit, I’m used to shoving things in deep and obviously the shape of these means that’s not an option.  They demand to sit shallow and they are pretty weightless.  I found also I could wear these up, actually I found that more comfortable than wearing down.  So actually their fit was very good for me.
    Cable:  As I said before these aren’t a premium product and it shows a little in the cable.  It is thin-ish and reasonably flimsy to the touch.  Not that I think there is anything really wrong with it but it clearly pales in comparison to the great cable used on the M1.
    Microphonics:  This will greatly depend on if you wear these up or down, up you get none down you get plenty.  It’s not terrible down but the lack of shirt clip and chin slider means there isn’t going to be much you can do to alleviate it.
    Isolation:  Erm well if there was one place these fall down its here, if you want a lot that is.  They aren’t really all that isolating.  To me that’s fine as I’d rather things lack isolation than seal a dynamic and get nothing but air pressure/venting issues.  Still if you want something for the tube of long flights, this really is not it.  I’m not even sure I’d be happy using these on a bus, I’d hear others and I be concerned I was being that annoying bottom hole who is blasting music out on earphone and annoying everyone else.  I think they would be great for situation where you need to hear things though, if you were out jogging or something.
    Amped/Unamped:  Honestly these kinda did like more power as you would expect a dynamic to but these aren’t ever going to meet an amp in the wild.  If they ever do (thinking FiiO E5 or 6, maybe even a 3) then it will likely be because the people who buy things at this price want them wore for their bass boosting qualities than anything else.
    Value:  Playing devil’s advocate, if you look at things as for only US$16 more you can get xyz then I can see pretty good reasons to step up.  If you look in terms of percentages then US$16 more is a huge increase.  Also a quick flick round the net and I can see the M6 for practically the same price and they are both just outstandingly good for the money.  I can’t say the Beta is the better of the two, they do things differently and for me and my tastes the Beta is the better suited.  Still both are just stupendous value, just amazingly good.
    Conclusion:  The first Beta, hand on heart, I didn’t really like.  Not that it was crap or anything; it just wasn’t suited to me.  It was a cheapo trying to do something really hard (Ety esq treble) and it while it really, really tried it just didn’t manage it.  The new Beta is doing none of that.  It’s taken the middle ground that Brainwavz seems to be dominating, going for a balance that is undramaitic and unexciting but is something that you can hear every day, day in day out and enjoy.  They are nailing that balance and offer a smattering of things all around it.  The M1 a touch on the bright and dry, the M2 on the thick and warm.  The M3 in pretty much the middle, possibly a touch middy.  The beta here sits almost bang in the middle, maybe a touch middy and tiny touch treble reduced.  It makes for an immeasurably enjoyable sound that can frankly turn its hand to anything and everything.  Sure it’s still dirt cheap so it can’t offer you the same level of detail and clarity the M3 can.  Still it does offer a superb level of emotional expressiveness.  It’s beautiful and enjoyable in a way that so few very cheap things can.  As I mentioned earlier whoever it is that is tuning these things for Brainwavz deserves a raise because they are doing the most amazing job of it.  Low end things are supposed to be all about the colour and flavour (often big bass or a strong V shape) and these manage to do everything with a level of poise and refinement that they shouldn’t have.  Now granted if you make them work too hard, too fast and too loud, then they will get rather flustered and somewhat become a gibbering heap but who can honestly fault them for that?  I’m a grumpy misery and I can’t.
    I think these are just fantastic for the money.  They deal with everything as best they can and never in anyway cause offense.  They do everything better than they ought to for the money and sound so much more grown up than their price point implies.  If you are new to the world of quality audio and taking their tentative first steps to see what out there then trust me, you really cannot go wrong with a pair of these. 
  2. mark2410 Contributor
    Brainwavz Beta v2 Quick Review
    Thanks to mp4nation for the review sample
    Brief:  Brainwavz is kicking ass once again.
    Price:  US$28.50 or £18.45
    Specification:  Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 13.5mm, CCAW Drive units,  Rated Impedance: 16ohms, Frequency range: 20 ~ 20KHz, Rated input power: 10mW, Maximum input power: 40mW, Plug: 3.5mm, 45 degree, gold-plated, Cable length: 1.2m, 1 year warranty, Dimensions (Packaging): 101 x 72 x 36mm, Net Weight: 13g, Gross Weight: 35g
    Accessories:  3 x Pairs of ear tips (S/M/L), 1 x Pair of Comply foam tips S-series, 1 x Instruction manual and 1 year warranty card
    Build Quality:  Good to fair, nothing wrong with them but doesn’t feel super sturdy like the M1 does.  Still is good for the price.
    Isolation:  Not a lot, a boon if you’re a big jogger perhaps and need to hear things , you know so you don’t get run over and such but I think its pushing the limits of what I’d feel comfortable using on a bus.  Who wants to be the irritating chap blasting music out while everyone else wants to throw him under the wheels?
    Comfort/Fit:  I though it may cause trouble but actually they were really very comfortable.  I could wear these up no problem and they weigh practically nothing.  They felt safe and secure and id be totally happy wearing these all day long.
    Aesthetics:  Hmm, there is nothing wrong with how they look per say but I can’t say I really liked them.  Brainwavz has a habit of not making the best looking stuff but honestly does it matter?
    Sound:  Kapow, they may not be a joy and a pleasure to look at but they certainly are to listen to.  They are wonderfully balanced, and can turn their skilful hand to anything and produce a cacophony of wondrous noise.  Sure they are el cheapo’s and yes they can’t beat a set of GR07’s but they have the same basic style.  Do everything and do it well.  For the money I cannot hope to pick fault in how they behave.  They can go smooth and low, serenade with effortlessly flowing vocals and give a jolly good display in the top end too.  Yeah they get a bit muddy and confused if you go loud, fast and complex but they still hold up better than they have any right to at this price.  They are great for never ever being offensive or overblown anywhere or doing much of anything wrong.  This is so grown up sounding and really is the little IEM that could.
    Value:  Fab, buy one.
    Pro’s:   Everything, it sounds so mature and skilful, it can do everything.  Stupid cheap.
    Con’s:  If you need a lot of isolation this aint it, not very pretty to look at.
  3. selferinoz
    Did u did ur review based on what tips? using the silicon and also comply tips produce diff kindda sound abit, trust me i tried coz i own it :)

    ....also can i have ur honest opinion comparision bout the trebel n sound stage compared to m1?
    I own both the M1's and Beta's and to me the treble on the Beta's are a little too harsh for my tastes. I've been using the beta's periodically for the past couple of weeks and to be honest I'm not that fond of their sound signature. This is just my opinion but to me they are a little bass light and the treble a little too harsh.
    Personally I very much prefer the sound of the M1's over the beta's and by a fair margin I might add. For the $14 I paid for the beta's they were worth a shot but unfortunately their sound signature just doesn't appeal to me.
  5. mark2410 Contributor


    i think it was foamie tips i used as they looked interesting.
    soundstage the betas sound bigger but less defined than the M1 do.  treble the M1 is better, no question about that i did mention that before, the M1 are proportionally rather more expensive though but at this price paying a bit more can produce reasonable quality increases.  they are both great value for money though.
  6. garcsa
  7. dsan
    Got these in the mail yesterday and I gave it a good listen.
    Pros: good accessories. nice features and looks. Since when did you get earphone clip and so many ear tips on $30 packages?
    Cons: unfortunately the sound. It just sounds like a budget earphone nothing more.
    What do you expect from an earphone that costs around $25? Maybe I can say it sounds similar to some $50 bad earphones. 
    I do like the fact it comes with comply style tips which is quite impressive.
    But at the same time these tips are not as soft as the original and it does not show the best
    fitting experieces you get from the original.
    also it tends to increase bass even more from already boosted bass, so it is really a personal call.
    (or bass is not much boosted, it just has low highs which makes me think it has boosted base)
    The sound stage and wideness of the music is narrow and it does not have much highs.
    I did not see the freqeuncy graph but I will imagine it to be Something similar to 'Treb reducer' euqaliser
    with short frequency range.  
    Conclusion: It is a $30 earphone. Buy Open earphones for this price - Will give you much better sound. Try MX400
  8. 5bucks
    WARNING-----stay away from these, so very disappointed with these headphones.
    Purchased them based on the reviews on Head-Fi....now thinking 'What the hell were they thinking or listening to'.
    Not worth $8 let alone $25.  Purchase any SoungMagic and they will blow these away.
    To describe the sound...muddy, cloudy, and in a can.  Best explanation and comparison I could provide.
    BTW...I burned these in 100 hours before coming to that conclusion.
  9. mark2410 Contributor
  10. 5bucks
    Highly unlikely since I was stupid enough to purchase a 3 pack on sale. So I received a regular set and one with a mic for my phone....they sound the same.  I paid to upgrade the 3rd pair but haven't opened them as of yet.
  11. mark2410 Contributor
    oh well thats unfortunate.  i rather liked them for the money, could it be possibly their more natural soundsignature was just greatly not to your tastes?
  12. 5bucks
    As a matter of fact, a neutral signature is what I am constantly after.  I prefer a detailed balanced signature, slightly on the warm side, down to at least the 60hz level if not lower.
    For the money I would still lean toward the SoundMagic, however i find most of them with a slight V sound signature and a slight enhanced bass.  However the bass is extended to the lower frequencies and the sound is both detail and clear with a good soundstage.  It is the most consistent brand that I have found in the price range.  I am now looking at the Ivery and KZ to compare.

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