BRAINWAVZ B200: Delicate but accurate with acoustic music style (Basshead run away!)

BRAINWAVZ B200 (late) REVIEW:

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SOUND: 8/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8/10
DESIGN: 8/10
VALUE: 7.5/10

INTRODUCTION :

Brainwavz lauch 3 new universal customs earphones since 2018, the last on the list is a single BA name the KOEL. With the B200m we have a dual BA’s Brainwavz describe as ‘’not coloured’, and leading to a neutral sound presentation. I can already comfirm that this is mostly the case, and that for a dual BA’s the B200 cover a very wide range of frequencies, never sounding dull even if bass light.

As well, Brainwavz are quite pround of there new 3D print machine, and for good reason, as it can create very organicaly shaped housing that offer next level of comfort, and unlike the B400 being slightly big but still very comfy, the B200 is so small that you will be able to keep it all day as well as all night sleeping with them.

AT 100$, this dual BA’s enter a price range with lot of competitors, so can it keep up with the competition and represent a good value? Let’s see if it do in this review.

Disclaimer (whatever) : I contact Brainwavz to know if they would be interested I review this because of my eternal quest to find the best sub-100$ budget earphones. I’m happy they send me this sample free of charge even if I underline the fact that I’m an independant reviewer that share is NO BS toughs. I’m not a promoting agent for Brainwavz and I buy other earphones from them in the past.

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SPECS & Features :

– 3D Printed ergonomic housing
– Detachable MMCX Cables
– Balanced audiophile grade sound
– Dual balanced armature, tweeter & woofer configuration
– Ergonomic over the ear design for comfortable fit.

Drivers : Dual Balanced Armature

  1. Rated Impedance : 30Ω
  2. Frequency Range : 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
  3. Sensitivity : 110 dB at 1 mW
  4. Detachable cable : Yes, MMCX Type
  5. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold plated

 

CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN & ACCESSORIES :

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When Unboxing the B200, you know this is a serious audio products you have. The presentation is really nice as it come in an elegant grey box that you don’t wanna put in garbage after. AT 100$ this type of products presentation is very rare, and appreciate.
In this intriguing grey box we have a good lot of accessories, wich will impress the humble consumer. We have a nice quality protective case, good lot of eartips including foam tips, and more importantly 2 mmxc cable-one with mic and other being standard. Again, all look of standard irreprochable quality.

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Now, about the B200 housing, first thing is how VERY small they are for a 2BA’s, wich explain too the level of comfort we get. The resin plastic is very slippy and will fit perfectly any ears. The nozzle is very thin and nozzle hole is so little, like 3mm in circumference, that I wonder how sund can go out of such a little hole . As well, the 3D resin printing make the housing trasparent at some place and opaque at other, for esthetical aspect thats a little disapointing because they would be so more beautifull if all perfectly translucide. MMCX connection is well implemented in housing and will must likely never break. So, about durability i’m not that worry, perhaps the plastic can crack if beaten up, can’t tell for now.

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As said, these are slippy iem, because the form design have an organic shape, wich is perfect for comfort and fitting, but can make connecting MMCX cable a little clumsy….but this is not really an issue. Just don’t change mmcx cable in front of a grinder or alligator.

SOUND:

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OVERALL Sound impressions will really depend on music style, as well as music source because the B200 are very sensible to too powerfull or noise source, these are delicate sounding earphones that need special care. What impress me at first listen with these is how airy and mid centric they sound, when signer is either alone, with a piano or acoustic intruments, the voice have a wonderfull presence that really take your attention and impress by its level of details without sibilance. Solo soprano signer was really what impress me the most, as if I was in the very church she sign, the voice expending greatly in a hall like soundstage. Solo instrument like violin or harpsichord are real delight too, but, when I try bassy music my happy face turn to yucky face because of messed up crosstalk, and distorted transient response. So, i decide to put low gain and lower volume of my Xduoo X20 to see if there any change and yes, it solve the distortion issue, but do not make the bass sounding marvelous, just okay. Anyway, here, the tuning is really about mids and treble, wich are fantastic and give plenty of presence and highs sparkle and brillance, with an admirable naturalness to it. So I really think the B200 are targeted for classical, acoustic instrumental and folk (or guitar, piano accompanied) singnersongwriter, for any beat driven music, they should be avoided.

AMPING is not suggested at ALL, I mean, B200 are very sensible to current (or sound source) distortion and the drivers can’t handle too much of it. Even if high gain can open the mids even more, as soon as bass will appear, transient problem with lower ends and lower mids will occur. This would NOT happen with low gain. You really need to push the volume high before hearing any type of distortion. Anyway, don’t use portable with the B200, it will hurt them and make them bleed.

SOUNDSTAGE is average wide but quite great in deepnest and tallness. It have an airy feel that is taken full advantage off with solo or not over crowded instrumental music. B200 have a circular hall like presentation, where the air can flow, for the better or the worst (as with too much instrument soundwave can mess up in all this background air).

SOUNDSIGNATURE is Mid centric, with extra focus on extended sparkly treble and slight soft mid bass push.

BASS is the weakest aspect of B200 and take a back seat under the mids without interfering with clarity. It have a roll off before 20hz, and a dry sub bass, the mid bass is better and have more body and punch, but still is on the soft side. Bass is really moe about timbre than impact with the B200, wich can do good to give enough body to cello or acoustic bass, but will feel underwhelming for punchy rock, beat driven electro, and well, its neither for basshead or hip hop lover for sure.

MIDS are simply breathtaking even if they do not lack air to breath at all! The presence is wide and immersive, the timbre is transparent but well detailed, its really the star of the show and take advantage of treble extension as well. They feel very realist and alive and not unnaturaly push fowards or overly bright, they have a kind of juicy musicality. Rarely I have been as impress by vocal, piano, cello or violin performance, there a sens of urgency to it that give attack and decay great grip, in the 500hz to 6khz range, Magic happen. But the magic tricks do not always work, especially when the soundstage is crowded in whole frequencies range, where we will hear more precisely upper mids instruments than lower mids, because there extra treble texture to upper range that can shadow a little rest of spectruc, when bass come in too, well, suddenly it became too warmed up. Anyway, as I am a big fan of chamber orchestra, this problem do not really happen and it sound really lively and marvelous.

TREBLE is the other aspect of B200 that utterly impress me, its full of sparkle and brillance without near any harshness or violent peaks. The highs are very resolved and you will sure find secret microdetails in upper range wich is sharp like the razor of a talented barber that never hurt his beloved consumer. This type of treble give extra air to overall presentation as well as more grip to instruments and voice. The decay do not feel artificial as we can heard with harpsichord note that sound full of brillance and authority, with fast decay and realist presence. This again, make me in awe, and underline the fact B200 is a special contradictory earphones, it can sound phenomenal with some music and ackwards with other. Treble extension go so far, and were it emphased is so well tuned, that in fact the B200 will perhaps became my go to suggestion for instrumental music and chamber orchestra.

SCORES:

LOWER BASS: 6/10
MID BASS: 6.5/10
LOWER MIDS: 8/10
UPPER MIDS: 8.5/10
LOWER TREBLE: 9/10
MID TREBLE: 8.5/10
UPPER TREBLE: 7.5/10
SOUNDSTAGE: 7.5/10

COMPARAISONS:

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VS GT600S :

B200 is more detailed and airy sounding, have more attack and decay in mids and highs and a wider-deeper soundstage. GT600S is warmer and bassier, especially in sub bass wich B200 lack dangerously, tough bass impact of GT600S bleed a little on lower mids, giving it extra body but less resolution. Being V shape inits ADN, GT600S will do better with electronic especially if lower end is very present, but separation will be less good as well as detailsand mircodetails. B200 will shine with acoustic, instrumental, jazz, folk, classical and signersongwriter and feel from another leaguein term of overall musicality, realism and layering. HIGHS and treble extension is sublime with the B200, while without being bad feel unbalanced with the GT600S. Anyway, because bass never distort with GT600S I feel its a better all arounder even if inferior in treble extension, if you only listen to isntrumental B200 are marvellous earphones that will certainly wow you with its timbre, attack and vast airy musicality.

CONSTRUCTION of GT600S metal housing is sturdier, neer invincible, B200 housing seem fragile compared to it even if more comfortable. Accessories of both products are god but B200 have 2 cables, one with mic and one without, while GT600S have only one.

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VS Final Audio Design E4000 (150$) :

B200 have a wider around your head soundstage, with more decay, wich is a plus for not too complex tracks while a drawback for more complex due to extra echo and decay that can veil certain frequencies range especially in bass region and lower and middle mids.

E4000 in other hand feel overall better balanced and more agile in layering.

Bass of E4000 is more bodied, especially in mid bass where the punch have more weight than the dryer hitting of B200, sub bass of B200 have some roll off begining around 100hz that make it feel tinner than the E4000 even it have a bump to compensate lack of weight. This make E4000 more natural and realist in lower end without the need of any treble push, its lively and make it for better rounded up presence. B200 feel mid centric compared to more neutral E4000, and have upper mids fowardness give extra presence to violin or vocal, but not to piano note that lack weight, another time, the mids of E4000 are more realist and have better attack and body in a tigher more intimate presentation, between 2-8khz we can easily separate each instrument that play in this range, while it will be more messy and veiled with B200 mixing.

Highs have more emphasis with the B200, but do not give more details, tough you will have more sparkle and decay and better feel of air with certain music style like solo harpsichord, classical guitar or folk signer. Talking about harpsichord, even if the strings plucking sound less full in attack timbre, but the decay will give extra liveness to the instrument wich is quite delicious in fact even if I would have like better weight in attack. As well, it most be noted that B200 can sometime create little distortion when too much different instrument are mix togheter, like bass, electric guitar, violin and voice….this will never happen with E4000 whatever you trow at it.

All in all, the E4000 is more neutral and agile with less emphasis on mids and vocal, while the E200 is more airy and less bassy and is less a great all arounder than the masterfully tuned E4000.

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VS TinAudio T2 :

Soundstage is deeper with the B200 and have a clearer more transparent layering, where the T2 is more about widness.

T2 have way more sub bass presence as well as more mid bass body, while the B200 feel anemic in this region, with fowards dry mid bass punch. Bass of T2 is slower tough, and can warm the lower mids more than B200.

MIDS make the B200 fell more balanced because they are more controled and less coloured in upper range, where the T2 can have some harshness in this region, B200 doest and sound more natural in tone and timbre. T2 have more thickness to the vocal but less transparency, and can hollow other instrument more easily, so the B200 are more agile and well layered.

TREBLE is more emphased in lower region with a mid treble peak, while the B200 feell more extended and linear, giving more air and sparkle to highs. B200 are more resolved and will not hide any details in this region, while the T2 will focus on specific microdetails.

For construction, even at 50$, the T2 feel more sturdy and esthetically pleasant than resin plastic B200, cable included with T2 is beautiflull twisted SPC but we have 2 cable with the B200 (of lower quality).

All in all, the T2 is a better all arounder even if B200 is more balanced and will sure surpass it with instrumental music.

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CONCLUSION :

The Brainwavz B200 is generous in mids and treble tuning as well as accessories, little less generous with bass, wich in fact is a good change from too coloured sounding iem we can find nowadays.

For 100$, you get a well tuned iem that deliver lush immersive vocal in an above average soundstage, level layering and details is as well quite impressive for this price range. If you listen to mostly bass light music, I think the B200 is a stellar contender for 100$, but if you listen to electronic or bassy music, you should look elsewhere.

Brainwavz get more and more serious with there iem offering and have a bright promising futur if they continue to create such good sounding iem that put to shame most other chi-fi audio engineer in term of tuning capabilities.

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