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BrainWavz Combined Review: R3 and Delta! The Holy Twin Driver and Budget IEM

  1. BillsonChang007
    BrainWaz R3 Review:
     
    A huge thanks to Audrey at BrainWavz for sending in the BrainWavz R3 and Delta for review.
    When I first visited BrainWavz’s website, the BrainWavz R3 looks huge and I almost thought it was going to be a pain to stuff those giant earphones into the ears but they weren’t as hard to insert as I thought after all.
     
    Built inside the full aluminium Brainwavz R3 is a twin driver facing each other. One for acounstic and the other, for bass. In between these two drivers are what BrainWavz called “Sonic Chamber” where both the sound produced by the two drivers are blended together before entering into our ears. Both drivers are 10mm in size. The aim of this design is to have detailed highs and mids, clear bass and a wide soundstage. Note that, there is no mention of “bass heavy sound” or anything similar yet. Unlike many twin drivers IEM in the market, the BrainWavz R3 are not intended to be bassy at all but more of an audiophile bass quality. Lastly, the BrainWavz R3 comes with 24 months warranty which translate to 2 year warranty.
     
    The BrainWavz R3 does not come alone packed inside a box, but it comes with an army of silicone eartips including a pair of comply foam tips, bi-flange silicone eartips, tri-flange silicone eartips and the typical standard eartips of two different color. The black one seems to have smaller open bore than the transclucent eartips. All these eartips are packed inside a tiny little quality packaging with BrainWavz’s logo on it with the ComplyFoam T-500 eartips in a different packaging. BrainWavz provided more than enough eartips so that you will for sure find one that will perfectly fit in you for the best possible sound out of the BrainWavz R3.
     
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    Aside from the army of eartips, the BrainWavz R3 comes with a hard carrying case which feels extra protective. It’s about the size of my Sony XBA-4’s pleather case except longer in length. The case included is huge, it actually fit the R3 with room left for another IEMS and you can still squeeze in the included beautiful ¼ stereo adapter and a few more eartips inside the pocket of the carrying case. However, because of the robust cable of R3, it does take up more room than some other IEM, I recommend putting only one earphone in the case for best protection. I am more of a fan of blue color but the blood-red zip does looks very attractive to me. The similar case is available for sale on MP4Nation.
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    image.gif Enough with the accessories, and other than the rugged metal housing design of the R3, I the 45 degree angled 3.5mm jack is best of both world of straight jack and 90 degree angled jack and despite its huge size, it can fit into my iPhone even with my casing. With portability in mind, I think the BrainWavz designed the R3 perfectly.
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    As mentioned early, I thought I will have trouble fitting the R3 into my ears, and in all honesty, I am never used to over-ear IEMs but I do miss the Ultimate ear’s UE900 a lot and the BrainWavz R3 kind of reminds me about it. First trial was a huge failure for me to fit the R3 into my ears but the second time was a bull’s eye. The over-ear style is supposed to avoid microphonic which it gladly did. The all metal housing does have some weight in it when worn in ear but it does not cause any sorts of discomfort. The great fitting resulted in an absolute silent in isolation from the outside world and it is just you and your music.
     
    While the twin dynamic driver did not offer huge sum of bass, the bass does goes deep and if I were to predict a frequency graph for the R3, it would be a fairly deep sub-bass with slight bump at the upper bass/lower bass region, ted recessed upper midrange and a gentle roll off at the highs.
     
    Do I like this earphone? Yes I do, and I have nothing much to complain in terms of its sound quality. Really, literally nothing much but the highs which I will get in detail soon.
     
    While it does not have thumbing bass as some may have preferred or expected from a twin driver, the accuracy and timbre is very natural and the spacious soundstage is very welcoming. While it is not as wide as full size headphones, it does have a decently wide soundstage for an IEM. Back with the bass, nothing is being focused and it hits when the music calls for it without adding anything extra.
     
    Some may mistake the warm and blunted midrange lack of details, but it is loaded with details hitting softly behind the music. The slightly south of neutral upper midrange can sound veiled with certain tracks to my ears, but I do find it the reason why the soundstage is impressive because of it.
     
    My only concern with the R3 is the higher frequency, because of the roll off, I find it lacks sparkles to give the music some life. The roll off, however, contributed to the clean and anti grain sound. The overall sound presentation of the BrainWavz R3 is smooth, anti grain, blunted, warm and natural. This makes it suitable for any genre of music.
     
    I next compared it to my current favourite sub $100 earphone, the RockJaw Alfa Genus. The RockJaw Alfa Genus spots only single dynamic driver in each earphone but what makes it special is the ability to change its filter for a completely different sound. The RockJaw Alfa Genus will be featuring 3 filters, the 3rd filter, which is in champagne color will be arriving soon. In this comparison, I will be using the silver filter, which is, the bassy filter to compare against the R3.
     
    The most obvious difference between the two is that, the Alfa Genus outputs far more bass than the R3 despite its single dynamic driver and the AlfaGenus also offers more sparkles than the R3. In short, the Alfa Genus is more lively than the R3. However, I personally find the R3 to offer a wider soundstage in comparison, and the overall presentation is more natural on the R3.
     
    Those who prefer a smoother midrange should look into the R3 whereas those who prefer to switch around with different signatures, the Alfa Genus is worth looking into. Both are relatively easy to drive, but if I were to choose one out of the two, I would go for the Alfa Genus because the signature of its sound can be changed making it easily adapt to any genre of music or even tracks wise. If only the R3’s highs could provide more sparkles that will literally make it a true winner to me.
     
    Besides of sound quality, the Alfa Genus uses mostly wood for housing where as the R3 uses high grade aluminium metal. There are times where I find the R3’s cable to be bulky and too heavy duty for an IEM especially compared to the Alfa Genus. I very much adore the Alfa Genus’s cable and I think that all IEMs should come in such light and free of microphonic cable.
     
    The BrainWavz R3 is well built, wonderfully engineered, very natural, isolates extremely well even with the standard silicone eartips but even better with the ComplyFoams or Triple flange tips and it does not require anything to sound good. This makes it one of the best IEM to use while on the go for $129.50. However, the cable leans more on the bulky side for an IEM specially when you wish to wear them straight down instead of over-the-ear. It is more targeted for audiophiles in mind more so than for the average consumer but in an affordable price.
     
    BrainWavz Delta Review:
     
    A huge thanks to Audrey at BrainWavz for sending the BrainWavz Delta and R3 in for review!
     
    For less than $30 or $27.50 to be exact, I was honestly hoping to be something great such as the recently reviewed TekFusion TwinWoofer but the BrainWavz Delta is unfortunately, rather disappointing, I am sorry to say. It is a decent sounding IEM, but not as impressive as the TekFusio TwinWoofer as mentioned in a few regards. In this review, I will be mainly comparing the BrainWavz Delta to the TekFusion TwinWoofer which can be had for a similar price at the time of writing.
     
    The BrainWavz Delta comes in a nice and a tiny box that includes the Delta itself and 3 pairs of standard silicone eartips. Additionally, it comes with what I believe to be an M-size ComplyFoam S-400 eartips for extra isolations. It would have been great if BrainWavz could squeeze in a carrying pouch like what the TwinWoofer offers but the Delta is pretty well built enough, in fact, really well built for the price to not need a carrying pouch. Not to mention that, the BrainWavz Delta have two color choices, the red and white or black and red color. The one I received from BrainWavz is red and white edition and I would argue that they do look impressive or at least, something different from the mainstream standard color.
     
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    The entire housing of the Delta is made of metal which makes it durable and ready to face all the challenges while on the go. However, I do feel that the BrainWavz R3 to be more sturdy in hand and so is the cable stiffness. Apart from that, both the R3 and Delta utilizes the same 45 degree angled headphone jack for best of both world and a similarly designed splitter although again, the R3 feels more heavy duty. Don't get me wrong however, the Delta is still a very well built IEM for the price and in fact, I would rank it's build quality higher than the TekFusion TwinWoofer whose cable feels thin and fragile. I currently have no build quality issue with neither the Delta nor TwinWoofer yet.
     
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    The most important aspect apart from sound of an IEM is it's fitting, isolation and comfort. I think the Delta did nothing wrong with any of those aspects. The bullet shape makes it an easy insertion into the ear and it's light enough to not feel anything sitting in your ears. The easy insertion and great comfort resulted in a great isolation which I personally find it extremely essential while in a noisy bus or busy train. Its great isolation, fitting and comfort makes it a very good on the go gadget for musics.
     
    The Delta looks beautiful, built mostly well, isolation, fittings and comfort has all done well too, however, the sound quality wasn't as impressive as I may have expected. Firstly, the bass is rather thin, which makes the treble to have "something that can't be erased" feeling. I could feel an early sharp roll off in the bass region. Everything sounded too "tiny" for my liking without the bass presence. The Delta's midrange is focused with the upper midrange drowned down a bit similar to the R3 except deeper downwards South of neutral. While the midrange is very detailed, it does not sound as smooth as I may have preferred. The vocals, especially, female vocals, can sound breathy at times and instruments sounded veiled with certain tracks.
     
    Without the bass presence, I find that the highs to sound blanketed and carries slight grains in the music. The instrumental separation is good, but not the soundstage in my humble opinion.
     
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    In comparison to the TekFusion TwinWoofer, the TwinWoofer is not as detailed as the Delta nor is its instrument well separated as the Delta, the TwinWoofer have better presence although sometimes can be overwhelming. The TwinWoofer's highs rolls off early in comparison. If I will have to choose between the two, I would most definitely go for the TekFusion TwinWoofer purely by sound quality, but the BrainWavz's Delta overall, offers ted better build quality.
     
    For less than $30, the BrainWavz Delta builds quality, isolation, fitting and comfort is great, but there is something is missing in audio quality and it could possibly be a huge turn off for many. However, the attractive color should appear to most teenages. 
     
    BrainWavz R3 Rating:
    Build Quality: 9/10
    Comfort: 8.5/10
    Sound Quality: 9/10
    Value: 9/10
    Overall: 8.9/10
     
    BrainWavz Delta Rating:
    Build Quality: 9/10
    Comfort: 9/10
    Sound Quality:3/10
    Value: 5/10
    Overall: 6.5/10
     

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