Review: Brainwavz S0 In-Ear earbuds and Truss headphone hanger
Brainwavz for your soundwavz.
We recently looked at one set of earbuds from Brainwavz and a headset hanger and found them punching above their weight class with ample accessories. Now, we’re repeating that trend slightly with the S0 IEMs with Clearwavz remote and microphone, and their TRUSS under-desk dual-hanger.
The S0(zero) is a weight-class above the Delta IEMs we looked at, coming in at $49.50. Let’s see if these also perform above their asking price.
Brainwavz says the S0’s are tuned for clear and balanced audio across the range, so that’s right in line with my listening preferences. The remote on this set is set up for iOS devices, so I’ll be doing my usual listening tests on my iPad so I can test all functionality.
The S0’s are made with 9mm dynamic drivers, in a fully-metal housing. The housing itself is pretty stylish, with a nice anodized finish. The rest of the headset is more sporty, with flat ribbon cables, that are heavily reinforced where they go into the housings. There is a Micro-Electrical-Mechanical (MEMS) silicon microphone and a 3-button inline control, complete with audio controls. They will work with Android, but your mileage may vary with the audio controls.
Just like the Delta set we recently looked at, the S0’s come with a plethora of accessories. There are 6 sets of Silicone ear tips in 3 different sizes, a set of Comply foam tips (T-400), a shirt clip and a zip-up hard case to hold it all. There’s also a set of bi-flange and tri-flange silicone ear tips, which give better sound isolation than single-flange tips. That’s a crazy amount of add-ons for a low-cost set of earbuds and shows Brainwavz dedication to added value. After all, the sound is only part of the equation when shopping for audio equipment, comfort and style are also important considerations.
Fits to a “T”
The TRUSS under-desk dual-hanger is a similar style to the HENJA we looked at recently, with the same all-aluminum construction and industrial aesthetic on the pads that your headset hang on. It’s a style I really like, and having two spots for both my gaming and music headsets is welcome.
It simply attaches to the underside of your desk with powerful 3M VHB™ tape, which can withstand desert heat or sub-Artic cold and still hold fast. Just be careful when applying it, as it’s near-permanent once it’s on. I don’t have a VR headset on-hand to test if it can hold heavier headsets, but for over-ears, it’ll be more than enough.
Listening to Radiohead – High and Dry reminds me of singing around the campfire as a teenager. The balance between the frequencies and the sense of space sounds light and airy, just like the Oxfordshire fields at night. The S0’s do a great job with the bass-light track, portending good things to come.
The dub-heavy track from Noisia – Square Feet, has a slightly subdued bass note but only because the S0’s are tuned for a balanced response. There’s still enough low-end to satisfy the bassheads among you, while still keeping the clarity of the vocalizing and piano melodies.
I love using Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah for testing audio equipment. Cohen’s husky voice can sound flat on weaker-performing headsets, almost being drowned out by the female chorus line. Not here, where both sets of harmonies come through clearly. This is another recent set of IEMs that I’ve tested that excel at vocals, so if that’s your thing look no further.
The eclectic David Bowie – Starman has a multi-layered instrumental that can sound very muddled on anything but clear equipment. Again, the balanced tuning of the S0’s comes up aces, with accurate reproduction of both David’s vocals and the string backing track.
Time for some acid jazz with Red Snapper – Image of You now. Mixing orchestral strings with a didgeridoo-like bassline and a soulful vocal performance from Alison David, the track comes across beautifully. Definitely one to pick up if you like jazz or downtempo, and certainly a winner with these IEMs.
Conclusions on the S0 earbuds
Brainwavz has created a balanced-signature set of IEMs for under $50, something that’s a tricky proposition at best. Putting the added-value of the included accessories into the mix adds even more points in their favor. The only minor issues I found were some microphonics due to the flat cables, and that the remote is iOS-keyed only.
Still, if you’re an Apple user that still has a headphone jack, you should consider the S0’s. Their sound signature works across the board with a refined sound that will please all but the die-hard bassheads out there.
A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.