Brainwavz earphones generally have a certain look to them, are built to survive rough handling & have a flat cable. This time out we’re looking at the S3 which comes with a more premium price tag – find out what we think in our Brainwavz S3 review.
We have been hands on with a few products from Brainwavz now – the most notable being the S0 which we quite liked. The S3 are a couple of steps up the product range, as is the price tag. The description on the box make quite a few claims about their pedigree – but can they deliver?
Bold & Business Like
The packaging is very similar to that of the S0 that we’ve reviewed before (Brainwavz S0 review) – bold, clean and business. The front of the box pulls open to reveal several diagrams and lots of information. The earphones themselves are tucked away inside in a more economical, clear plastic liner.
As always with earphones from Brainwavz, you get a lot of accessories thrown in:
- 3x sets grey silicone eartips (small, medium, large)
- 3x sets black silicone eartips (small, medium, large)
- 1x set double flange silicone eartips
- 1x set triple flange silicon eartips
- 1x set comply T-400 foam eartips
- cable clip
- velcro cable tie
- storage case
The number of different eartips included is a little overkill – sometimes less is more. However, it does mean that you should be able to find a set of eartips that fit you well. The eartips do sound a little different – so keep that in mind while testing the fit. Overall, we preferred the grey silicone or Comply T-400 foam tips for both comfort and sound.
The Brainwavz S3 earphones themselves are very solidly built. The earpieces are made from metal & have been machined to a high standard. The cable exit is strengthened by a molded rubber sleeve – this will protect the cable even through rough handling. The cable itself is the flat rubber type – it has some weight to it, but doesn’t feel overly heavy. The microphone unit, cable split & jack plug are all molded as well – again making them incredibly tough.
The microphone/button unit makes a bit of a statement & might not be to everyone’s taste. It has a bold, angular design & is one of the larger button units we’ve seen. As well as the usual call/play/pause button, there are also volume controls – these are iOS devices only, Android users will have to make do with the single call/play/pause button.
Overall the S3 earphones are well designed & are built to last. While the looks might not be to everyone’s taste, they do have a chunky/techie appeal to them.
Clean, Clear, Detailed
On the box, Brainwavz claim that the ‘S3 earphones well tuned drivers are capable of producing the most subtle of notes to deep, detailed bass without sacrificing harmonic clarity.’ This makes it sound like the Brainwavz S3 have a lot of bass – this isn’t the case.
On first listen, they sound bass light – that is, they don’t have very much bass at all. However, if you use EQ and turn the bass up (+8 !) – then they do have a very nice warm and natural sounding bass (but not incredibly deep). But even with the EQ cranked up to this level, they won’t make bass heads weep with joy.
The emphasis is most definitely on the overall clarity of sound – it is very clean and crisp sounding with a good open stereo image. The mid range is very nice and balanced with the treble sitting neatly on top. Its just a shame about the bass – if that was of the same standard as the rest of the frequency range, we would be looking at something quite special. As it stands, overall, the frequency balance is off – for this price you can do (much) better.
Brainwavz S3 Review Conclusion
Brainwavz have done a reasonable job with the S3 – the lack of bass lets them down quite majorly though. The combination of price tag, very masculine looks & lack of bass make for an odd combination of choices – we’re not sure who these are aimed at. While the level of detail that the Brainwavz S3 manage to deliver is very good, we feel you can do better for the money & would suggest looking at some of our other reviews:
- Tough build that will survive rough handling
- lacks depth of bass
Sound: Good detail, but the bass is truly lacking
Design: Well thought out, quite 'butch' looking
Quality: Tough build, these will last a long time
Value: The sound quality doesn't match the price tag
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