Bainwavz is slowly but surely making a name for itself in the consumer audio business, and has made dozens of models of headphones that come at an excellent price. Budget audiophile brand Brainwavz Audio is back at it, closing out 2016 and kicking off 2017 with a bevy of new earphone offerings.
Today we’re taking a look at another pair from the company — the Brainwavz M100, which come in at a slightly higher 90’ish USD. Claiming to be crafted from aircraft grade metal, and boasting hand-crafted 8mm dynamic drivers tuned to present a “wide soundstage, well defined bass and clarity,” the M100 seemed like the perfect lightweight and durable travel companion. In the carry-on, it went. Thanks, Brainwavz.
But are the new earbuds worth the extra dough? Or should you save your cash and buy something else? We took a look at the Brainwavz M100 earbuds to find out.
Inside the box:
Let’s see what goodies come inside the box, shall we? The M100 comes in a pretty minimalistic black and white carton containing a plastic inner tray that keeps packaging modest, although not as minimal as it could be. It’s simple and functional and it’s what I’ve come to expect from Brainwavz. Inside, you’ll find everything neatly packed and organized.
For the 89.50USD you’ll part with to add the M100 to your portable audio arsenal, you get an array of accessories—something Brainwavz thankfully never skimps on. The M100 includes their branded zippered hard case, Velcro cable tie and shirt clip, a set of premium Comply foam ear tips, a set of bi-flange silicone ear tips, and two sets each of standard S, M, and L silicone ear tips (Because you know you’re going to lose one, or maybe three. Don’t judge me). No complaints here.
All-in-all, for the retail price of 90ish USD, that is a really solid accessories package. Now, on to the M100 itself.
Build and Appearance:
The first thing there is to notice about the Brainwavz M100’s is their design, and they look very sleek indeed. Brainwavz say that the M100 is made out of aircraft grade metal and the body of the unit feels solid enough where I don’t doubt it. It is also feels pretty light and I found it to sit comfortably in my ear. I never had an issue getting a good seal, but I know that is a personal thing. Still, with all of the tips, I am betting you can find something to work for you. All metal housing in an in-ear earphone design with special finish to give a smooth, slick feel. Designed to be noise isolating, passively blocking most outside ambient sound.
Brainwavz opted for a twisted cable design for less tangle and easy wearing. The cables are made with high purity OFC copper wiring at its core. The twisted plastic gives it a much more premium feel than a standard plastic feel, and while that may not help improve build quality, they also don’t seem too prone to tangling — which is great if you plan on carrying these around in your pocket. Halfway down the right cable, you’ll get in-line controls and a microphone. The controls are a simple three-button setup — one center button, one volume up, and one volume down.
The M100 earphones, according to Brainwavz, has special crafted drivers with high purity copper and a feather light diaphragm. In short, this feels like an IEM that is built to last. It comes with a 2-year warranty, but I would doubt you will be invoking it based on what I see here.
The M100 is quite warm. Too warm I might say. Treble is surprisingly dynamic, but lacks overall emphasis in the sound. Upper mids remain unaffected, but everything else from the lower-mids down is cloudy and colored.
They say “the wide soundstage, well defined bass and clarity make the M100 suitable for most genres of music.” Is this correct? Um…. Ehh… Kind of. Bass is certainly emphasized. It is big, but it doesn’t reach down especially deep. It punches, but it won’t make the bottom of your feet tingle. There might be a little bit of bass overwhelming the mids, as well. I think that explains part of the reason the mids sound withdrawn, is that the bass simply commands more attention. Voices do a good job of standing out, and given the right recording, can even pop a little. The treble is rolled off, and doesn’t extend too far.
So, I think the part where they said that it does well with most genres is true enough; it is the other parts that I don’t agree with. I certainly wouldn’t call the sound stage wide. It isn’t constricted, but it is a pretty centered sound. It isn’t a problem, but it isn’t strength either. Adding to that is the darker sound means that there isn’t a lot of air around the top; an airier sounding earphone this is not. Neither of these are real big issues; they just don’t fit the description. My biggest problem is this, if there is one word I would not use while describing the M100, it is clarity. The combination of the bigger, not terribly detailed bass with the rolled off treble means that clarity is not something that is going to be jumping out with this IEM. Again, I don’t want to sound like I am making this out to be a bad sounding IEM, because it isn’t. I just feel this is its weakest aspect, and as it is called out as a strength in its description, I felt the need to speak up.
that is where I think Brainwavz M100 is meant to be used; when you are out, running from place to place, with its tough build and pop loving sound. If you want to sit around your house, appreciating great music critically while thinking great thoughts, this is not the droid you are looking for. If you are looking for something affordable but good to mate with your phone when on the go, the M100 is something to audition.
I was provided the M100 earphones as a review sample. Head over Brainwavz website to know more about their products.