This week we were delivered the Brainwavz B2 In-Ear Headphones to have a play with, check out some tunes and put to the test! As a music fan with quite a extensive and contrasted music collection, I thought I’d be the one to trial these and bring our Gadget Helpline readers an insight from the point of view of someone who, in honesty, is not very technical minded when it comes to music gear – but can tell it as he hears it. So listen up!
Product: Brainwavz B2 In-Ear Headphones
Earphones, Hard Case, Foam Tips, 3 x Silicone Tips (S,M,L), Airplane Adaptor, 1/4” Adaptor, 1.3Mtr ‘Y’ Cable.
Dual Balanced Armature, Frequency Range 20Hz – 20kHz, Sensitive to 110dB, Max Input 60mW.
Packaging & Unboxing:
The B2 headphones come in a stylish three part packaging, including an outer slipcase (not pictured), interior box with clear plastic packing to keep all the parts individually contained, each in its molded section. It’s a very tidy box and looks like something you’d want to keep intact to store all your peripherals in – not something throw away for the purpose of simply delivering product to user.
Once we get into the box, we have the plugs themselves featuring silicone pods, these tucked into the mold, along with the ‘Y’ cable coiled, the interchangable 3.5mm stereo adapter attached with two spare sizes of silicone pods. There’s also a compact and protective carry case with zip. On opening the case we find the two pin airplane adapter and a pair of foam comfort plugs, as well as two ‘netted’ compartments inside the case itself for carrying spare pods.
Visually the phones and cabling look very ‘technical’ – all the insides seemingly on the outside. Unneccesarily so, maybe. Especially with the twisted cabling – it could use some kind of outer sheath for a bit better presentation. Having said that, the plugs are descrete and not cumbersome. I did however find a bit of a task trying to find a suitable wearing position, especially since the plugs weren’t marked with an ‘L’ and ‘R’ – Despite this being referenced in the instruction sheet. I also opted not to use the comfort foam plugs, as I found them a little awkward to fit.
As a music fan with diverse tastes, I made the initial error of putting the Brainwavz B2 phones to the test with some hardcore punk, a genre admittedly not for everyone and certainly not for these phones! There was clearly not enough bass or treble delivered through the dual balance and the sound rang through as tinny. I’m sure that listening through my PC rather than a dedicated audio player to begin with also contributed to the disappointing absense of those low tones. But after having a little rethink, I approached my trial again with a view to the slightly softer and more technical arrangements of 80s pop music – which these phones loved!
Once I had a suitable start point, I found using the headphones very enjoyable and I was able to explore different genres and test how the B2 phones coped with the sound delivery. I was most impressed with some acoustic tracks and musical themes which really utilised the full capabilites of the professional speaker tech behind this set.
There was some impressive sound to the more technical and layered music, this most noticeable when playing these ‘easy listening’ genres. I was particularly impressed with these as I could hear each element of the sound independently but still part fot he whole. Seperating but balancing individual instruments and vocals – each part of the songs on a different level providing a great deal of visual depth. Dissecting tracks and taking full advantage of that dual balanced armature and control of high and low frequencies which Brainwavz boasts of.
Other genres which shine on the Brainwavz B2 earphones are electronic and synth tracks, also some hip-hop was well delivered. On many familiar songs I was able to pick up new layers that I hadn’t heard before this bringing a new perspective to a few old favourites.
I tested these out on an Archos MP3/Media Player, Apple iPod Touch and HTC Wildfire smartphone and the quality remained high on all platforms – fantastic layers and no ‘clutter’. My only reservation about the Brainwavz B2 phones, as a fan of generally heavy and fast music, was that aforementioned lack of serious bass. But as I now understand these phones are not designed for this purpose, but work incredibly effectively for many others.
In summarising I think the Brainwavz B2 earphones won’t be for everyone, or at least not fans of the whole spectum of music. And be careful with that coiled cable – it’s easy to get tangled if you don’t treat it with respect. The positives however are a stylish set of phones whichdo really reward those whose music tastes span from acoustic, musical and soft rock – those more subdued tunes, up to pop and some more melodic rock. The only factor preventing me awarding the Brainwavz B2’s a fifth star is that lack of bass on a lot of my personal choice of music genres. Otherwise a fantastic and immersive listen!
Discrete earphone, Good range of accessories, Depth and layering on tracks, Great for vocals, No ‘clutter’ or distortion on tracks.
‘Technical’ appearance (particularly cabling), Lack of low tones/bass, Not suited for all music genres.
Brainwavz B2 In-Ear Headphones are available through AdvancedMP3Players.co.uk
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