Brainwavz M100

Firstly, a massive thank you to Brainwavz for sending me these M100 earphones for review.

Secondly, I love these earphones - they are amazing! They currently retail for around $90 and are available here from Amazon (in the US).

Check out my other reviews of Brainwavz products with the Jive and BLU-200

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The M100 have similar packaging to other earphones in the Brainwavs range including a hard earphone case. The case contains a range of earphone tips including the Comply (TM) T400 foam tips which provide very effective noise isolation. As I write this review my wife is using the vacuum cleaner next to me and I can’t hear it even at a relatively low volume setting,

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The earphone has an all-metal housing which feels very secure in my ears even when walking and running. There is very little noise leakage from the earphones even at a high volume level which I found hard to believe at first. I found the medium sized tips to be the most pleasant and these wasn’t a massive improvement in audio using the T400 Foam tips although they did offer a greater amount of noise isolation.



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Technical specifications:

  • Universal remote (Android and iOS compatibility) - phone call, audio player and volume control
  • Dynamic 8mm drivers
  • Frequency range 12Hz - 22 kHz (a wider frequency range compared to the Brainwavz Jive)
  • Sensitivity 110dB @ 1mW
  • Cable 1.3m (braided copper)

The cable features a special braided cable design which as well as feeling very satisfying to the touch also prevents tangling of the cable.

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Audio quality

For around $90 these headphones definitely are worth the price tag.

The audio quality is excellent with a wide range of frequency ensuring that the bass is very punchy and high frequencies are clear. Vocals sound very clear and frequencies are reproduced cleanly. The quality of bass came as a very pleasant surprise with such small earphones. Bass guitar and drum kicks are reproduced with a very satisfying and solid depth that you would expected of a much larger headphone. Instrumental recordings are very clear and you can hear a lot of detail such as breath sounds with a flute solo.

At loud volumes I found there to be very little distortion and the sound still remained clear and very crisp.

I generally use Let it Go from Frozen as my standard test piece both in the theatre when setting up sound systems and reviewing headphone. This track was reproduced extremely well with a very crisp introduction, clear vocals and a solid, but not overpowering bass line.

In-line remote

The in-line remote sits on the right hand earphone cable about 4 inches below the earphone. I personally found this a little close and would have preferred it a bit lower. The remote responds quickly and has both phone and music player controls and volume.


These are a lovely pair of earphones and great things can definitely come in small packages. The volume, depth and clarity of sound produced by such a small pair of earphones is awesome!


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Brainwavz Jive

This is my second review of Brainwavz earphones and I am really grateful to them for sending me this is pair to review. If you haven’t read my review of the Brainwavz BLU-200 please check out the review here.




These earphones are priced around £20 on Amazon and have a very good set of specifications.

  • 9mm dynamic drivers
  • Frequency range from 20Hz - 20 kHz
  • 98 dB sensitivity at 1mW
  • 1.3m length cable
  • standard 3.5mm gold-plated mini-jack


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The packaging follows the same design of other Brainwavz products with their red hard case. Within the case is a good range of ear tips and foam tips including the Comply (TM) foam tip which offers excellent external noise blocking.

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The multifunction 3 button microphone and remote is designed to support iOS products and controls both phone calls and audio player. The remote has volume controls and supports the TRRS standard.


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So what about the audio quality?

  • Using both the silicone and Comply(TM) foam tips the sound produced is very clear and loud enough in noisy situations such as a swimming pool.
  • The Comply(TM) tips provide a higher level of external noise reduction.
  • There is sufficient base and good differentiation between low and high frequencies.
  • There is little distortion at higher volumes


These are very comfortable earphones to wear and fit well into the ear. They are not overly bulky or heavy. The Shirt clip also prevents additional pull or tug on the earphones.

I highly recommend this earphones if you are looking for a lightweight, comfy, loud and rich sound.


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Brainwavz BLU-200

A huge thanks to Brainwavz for sending me a pair of the Blu-200 Bluetooth 4.0 Earphones.

Since buying my Apple Watch I have been looking for a pair of Bluetooth earphones which I can keep in my bag, pair to my watch and use to listen to music without being connected to my iPhone.

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The headphones are presented in a hard case containing:

  • Ear Hooks
  • A velcro (branded) cable tie
  • A micro USB charging cable (it is charged via a port on one of the headphones)
  • 3 Silicone Ear Tips
  • 1 set of Comply (TM) Foam tips

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Design and comfort

Having looked at several Bluetooth 4.0 earphones recently I was impressed with the size and fit of the earphones. With the integrated technology the headphones are clearly larger than a normal earbud but don’t feel large when in the ear. I found them to be comfortable and well fitting and even with a little jog didn’t fall out!

Pairing with iPhone and Apple Watch

This was really easy - simply switch on and search for device on Apple Watch or iPhone. I used the Blu-200 as my primary earphones for a week with my Apple watch listening to music as I started my day at work.

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Audio quality

The dynamic 9.2mm drivers (16 ohms) produce a crisp and clear sound with a good all-over frequency range. The bass was very clear and punchy without too much distortion at loud volumes. The specs show a frequency range of 20 - 20000 Hz mirroring the normal range of human hearing.

I found the noise isolation and reduction of the in-ear design very effective particularly in noisy areas such as the swimming pool.

Bluetooth

I am always keen to see if the bluetooth specs match real world use and I could clearly get the 10m advertised in an empty hallway. I also found good connectivity around my house going through some fairly solid walls. The earphones can be paired to two different devices using the Multipoint connection feature.

The controls

The controls are easy to operate and control both volume (short press) and track skip (long press) and voice dialling. It appeared that the volume control adjusted the output from the earphones but not the volume level on the iPhone or watch.

Overall conclusions

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The earphones currently retail for approximately £40 on Amazon (see below) and I feel that this is very good value for money. The battery life of around 4 hours (continuous playback) for 2 hours charge is definitely going to keep you going. The remote is easy to operate phone control is a good additional feature.




Comments

SoundPEATS Q800 Sports Earphones

Firstly a massive thanks to SoundPEATS for sending me a pair of the Q800 Sports Earphones to review.

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These are the second pair of sports earphones I have reviewed recently and unlike the last pair these are Bluetooth (4.1) enabled and offer a fully wireless and connected audio experience.



Design

The bluetooth technology and battery are contained in the ends of a band which sits around the neck. The earphones are connected by a wire to the main unit. This provides a pleasant wearing experience as there is no bulky weight pulling on the earphones during use. The design took a little getting used to and I noticed a couple of people looking as I was trying them out in public. Weighing in at just 30g the whole unit is very light and comfortable to wear.

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Battery life

The manual quotes up to 12 hours talk time, which I have not been able to verify. The quote up to 10 hours Music time which during testing I achieved a similar time streaming from my iPad. Standby time is quoted as 100 hours which I am still testing.


Bluetooth pairing and functionality

The Bluetooth 4.1 specs should provide compatible devices with Headset (music playback and control), Hands-free and A2-DP profiles. Bluetooth pairing was simple and worked first time with both my iPhone and iPad. The 10m range appeared realistic. The controls are very simple to use and the manual gives clear instructions.

Sound

Having listened to both music and speech I am fairly pleased with the audio quality. The sound reproduction is balanced with a well relatively well defined bass and high end frequencies with the overall sound being bright. Phone call audio is clear.


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For around £25 this is a nice pair of earphones. I found they stayed on my head even during fairly vigorous movement. The design is comfortable to wear and Bluetooth functionality works well.

For more information visit the SoundPEATS website here.





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Sennheiser ClipMic Digital

Review: Sennheiser Clip Mic Digital



Firstly, a huge thank you to Sennheiser for sending me a ClipMic Digital to review.

In this age of YouTube it is so great to see that audio podcasts are still very popular and increasing in number. It was estimated that out of all the audio listened to in 2014 in America 2% came from Podcasts. With large proportions of podcast recording being made out of a studio setting many people are turning to mobile devices to record their audio.
Introducing the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital clip-on microphone.


Sennheriser ClipMic Digital

Specifications:

  • Designed for Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
  • 30 - 20,000 Hz
  • Omnidirectional pickup
  • 96 kHz sampling
  • 24 Bit

In the box:

  • ClipMic digital microphone
  • Clip
  • Metal wind screen (which is washable)
  • Carrying pouch
  • Instructions
  • 1.6m cable
  • Connection and power: Lightning connector

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The microphone features a Sennheiser ME 2 capsule connected via the Apogee PureDigital module. The module carries out pre-amp and analogue to digital conversion. The headphone / microphone port is not used on the phone and is available for headphones.


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The package is really well designed and holds all the components securely in place.

Putting together the ClipMic is very simple and the whole assembly feels very secure and solid.

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The apps



ClipMic Digital apps

There are two apps available frog Apogee and both provide a different function:

The Apogee Maestro control app gives software control over the microphone and includes: preamp, rumble reducer, hiss reducer and overload eliminator. There is also control over input monitoring.

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My first test recording recorded with the MetaRecorder app. This app both provides a clean interface for recording but also lets you save additional metadata for use in Final Cut Pro which I really look forward to trying out). The app has dropbox support for sharing files easily.

This file has been converted from a .wav to .mp3 in Audacity.

I am extremely impressed with the first audio recording made using the ClipMic Digital and the MetaRecorder App. I was stood by the bust A45 in Birmingham at rush hour on a windy afternoon. The audio pickup of my speech is very clear and whilst their is traffic noise in the background it does not dominate the recording. The recording was also made during windy conditions which has been effectively screened out.

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