I will kick off the review with an admission. Before Brainwavz contacted me, all I ever heard about them was their ear pads from /r/headphones.
My impression of them was like, “Damn, these guys make really good third-party ear pads”. So when they wanted me to review their IEM – Brainwavz B200, I wasn’t too sure on what to expect from it.
While waiting for the product to arrive, I did some research on it. From their website, it states that it is using dual balanced armature (BA) drivers. This is also one of their highest-end product at $199.
My previous experience with BA drivers was the noticeable lack of bass response. This is not surprising given that BA drivers do not use air movement to produce sound and consequently unable to reproduce accurate bass effect.
Among our growing stash of IEMs, we have another multi-driver IEM – 1More Triple Driver. It has an additional dynamic driver that boosts the bass response and yet still comes cheaper than the B200.
So can B200 lives up to its price tag and how does the B200 measure up against the 1More Triple Driver? Let’s find out.
At $199, I will expect a more luxurious packaging. However, the Brainwavz B200 comes in a sleek yet subdued box. It is not as extravagant as the Triple Driver or as accessory-packed as the SoundMagic E80C. But it gets the job done.
The most important accessory that I always look for in a packaging – earphone hard case, is there. The hard case also comes with compartments that you can keep other stuff like your ear tips.
The full accessories list:
- Earphone Hard case
- 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
- 1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips T-100
- 1 Shirt Clip
- Velcro Cable Tie
- Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24-month warranty)
Build Quality and Comfort
The distinctive feature of the B200 is the familiar over-the-ear configuration that you have seen on Shure earphones. I have since gotten used to putting on the B200 but it still requires some awkward tugging to get it off my ears.
The over-the-ear configuration is great because it does two things well for me:
- Keeps the cable out of the way
- Greatly reduces microphonics
The B200 stands out in terms of comfort. I could wear them for hours and not experience any soreness of the ear. However, I must add that the experience will differ with the size of your ear. My ears are roughly of medium size (stay comfortably snug within most over-ear headphones).
The driver unit has a glossy black exterior that looks sleek. However, it is a fingerprint magnet. I will have preferred a matte surface.
Built to last
When picking a durable IEM, the first thing you should look at is the strain relief. Cheaper IEMs tend to place less emphasis on the relief. The B200 has flexible yet sturdy strain relief at all the important areas.
It also has my favorite angled jack which the SoundMAGIC E80C has too. A slightly angled jack reduces the amount of stress that a straight jack (1More Triple Driver) or a full 90-degree jack (Carbo Tenore) will go under.
Just the right length of cable
After trying out multiple IEMs for public commute, I find that the B200 has got the sweet spot in terms of cable length. At 1.3m, I rarely had to adjust my cable to prevent it from getting caught with other stuff.
The B200 is one of the best passive noise isolating IEM that I have worn. I wore this during my daily commute to work and it filters out most external noise at just a quarter of the max volume.
I credit the excellent noise isolation to the snug fit of the B200 that produces a proper seal.
I’m equally pleased with the lack of sound leakage from B200. It gives me the confidence to enjoy my music at a comfortable volume in public. It’s now my go-to IEM for public commute.
Brainwavz B200 Sound Quality
As mentioned above, I wasn’t expecting much of a bass response from the B200 due to the BA drivers. But boy was I in for a surprise.
My first track to test for bass is Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack. Immediately, I experienced the tight and punchy bass that I get from other IEMs with dynamic drivers. Nice.
Excitedly, I switch to my go-to track for testing sub bass, Intro by Yosi Horikawa. To my disappointment, the B200 did not have much of a sub-bass response. It did not sound half as great as compared to my Triple Driver.
The B200 delivers a good performance in the mids department. Vocals on Hide And Seek by Imogen Heap are detailed and clear. It easily brought out the intimate emotion of the song.
I noticed the vocals definitely were more forward. You can easily hear that in songs like Lost In Translation by Moira & Nieman and also Halving the Compass by Helios.
The B200 is edging at the bright side for me. It sails through violin pieces like the Beauty and the Beast by Daniel Jang beautifully but for songs like Rude by Daniel Jang, I had to turn down the volume a bit.
I have to commend on the way the B200 handles the electronic violin distortion in Rude. Not many IEM can handle that without muffling the sound or making it sound grainy. The B200 stays in control and reproduces the electronic distortion in an accurate fashion.
Overall, the sound quality of B200 is in sharp contrast of the 1More Triple Driver. I get more warmth out of the music from B200 whereas, for the Triple Driver, the music tends to sound much more analytical.
The B200 has an impedance of 30 ohms and a sensitivity of 110 db(1mw). No amps are required because it is extremely easy to drive. Mobile devices will be able to drive it up to the loudness of 110 DBSPL.
- Drivers: Dual Balanced Armature
- Rated Impedance: 30 Ω
- Frequency Range: 12 Hz ~ 22 kHz
- Sensitivity: 110 dB at 1 mW
- Cable: 1.3 m Y-Cord, Over the ear, OFC Copper
- Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated
Use our Headphone Power Calculator to check if your audio source can sufficiently power your headphones
Overall, I will say the B200 is a well-serving IEM that you can use for public commute and also for work. It is comfortable, sounds great and has excellent noise isolation. I find myself switching from my work headphones (Bose QC35) to the B200 from time to time.
The music sounds warmer than what I get from my Triple Driver and the bass response is satisfying. The only thing lacking is the sub bass but it is a not a big issue for me. As for now, it remains as my top few favorite IEM.
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- Great build quality. Durable.
- Over-the-ear configuration
- Very comfortable. Could be worn for hours.
- Excellent Noise Isolation
- Very little sound leakage
- Warm sound signature
- Good amount of bass response
- Glossy surface of the driver unit attracts fingerprints
- Slightly bright treble