Headphone Review: Brainwavz R1

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Brainwavz | In-Ear Monitor | $ 39.50 – 49.50

I’ve really found myself impressed with many of Brainwavz’s offerings lately. Most of which, however, have been closer to the neutral spectrum. Brainwavz takes their first stab at a dual dynamic headphone with their new R1. It represents the entry-level, dual-dynamic for Brainwavz. Aiming towards a bass-heavy signature, the R1 does very well for itself. 

Specifications

  • Driver: 9 mm Woofer + 6.8 mm Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB

In the Box

  • Brainwavz R1
  • Ear Tips (Single Flange: S/M/L; Single Flange: S/M/L; BiFlange: M/L; Comply Foam: M)
  • Carrying Case
  • Airplane Adapater
  • ¼” Adapter
[IMG]The Brainwavz come with quite a few accessories.

Design

The Brainwavz R1 have a very peculiar shape to them, even for an over-ear design. The design isn’t ugly, but very unique for sure. There is a circular protruding area towards the upper hand of the housing, most likely for the tweeter. The color scheme comes close to matching the B2, but with a darker, duller red color; almost a maroon. This maroon color drapes over the other side of the plastic housing, but is never seen by the public. The design itself is still attractive, but reserved in a sense.

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The R1s have a unique shell used to house the two dynamic drivers.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

The R1s are powered by 2 dynamic drivers, one for the lows and one for the highs. Separating out the drivers is a dual-bored nozzle allowing separation of the frequencies through the nozzle. The sound characteristic of the R1 is the classic V-shape. Boomy bass meets splashy highs.

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Two bores separate out the low and high drivers until it reaches your ear canal.

Bass

The bass that sticks out the most would be the low bass. This creates the strongest of impacts that just about hits the boomy mark. Textures have a nice fluidity to them, but also have a thick body. The mix of these two together create a very fun low-end that slams very wellThere is a punch on these, it isn’t tight and can be overwhelmed by the lower bass.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

For what it’s worth, the midrange is still very musical. Many detail are lost in the lower mids, as well as some mid-mids. The vocals have a nice lushness to them, but also need stronger sweetness when needed. That said, dynamics as a whole are still strong. What really sets them apart is the clarity that engulfs the higher mids. The mids are musical, and engaging despite being imperfect.

Mids: ★★★★

Highs

The highs have their ups and downs like the lows and mids. Their down side is definitely the lower highs. Snare snaps really don’t snap, or have that strong presence that they really need. They simply lack the enthusiasm and energy they would need. Luckily, the upper-highs make up for that lost enthusiasm by offering quite a bit of energy, despite having the softer treble. Splashes come along very strong with great presence and energy. They can smear at times though. Despite all this, the highs do have good detailing characteristics.

Highs: ★★★★

Audio: ★★★★

Build

The build of the R1 is actually pretty good. Brainwavz includes a new case with the R1 that has a nice red accent to it, although brighter than the R1’s maroon color. The case is compact enough for travel and has a hard enough outer shell to protect the IEMs from crushing and the environment in general.

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The included case is strong.

The plastics used on the R1, despite being plastic, are still thicker and seem to be a higher grade. It will protect the internal drivers of each housing when needed. The strain reliefs are made of a thick, stiff rubber. This makes it seem very strong, but the loss of flexibility can be worrysome.

The cable coming out of the housings seem to be PVC cables. The cable itself seems very strong with good flexibility. They do have the more quality feel of a cable that really won’t snap on you over time. However, plastic cables do have a tendancy to stiffen and succumb to the memory effect.

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The cable has a nice stiffness to it while being flexible enough. It seems very well built.

The headphone jack has a nice long strain relief coming up on it. It has the stiffness as the strain relief on the housing, but the extra length allows it to also be more flexibile. The jack itself is very strong and angled at 90 degrees wearing the Brainwavz name proudly.

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The headphone jack is really built to perfection.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

The R1 can only be worn over the ear. The cable has a good flexibility to it to allow it to loop over the ear very comfortably. I do understand why the strain relief on the R1 wasn’t longer, if it was, it’d be uncomfortable. Fortunately, these IEMs have a very light weight, and are comfortable to wear over the ear. About 9 sets of tips are included to make sure you get a proper fit.

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A multitude of tips ensure proper, and comfortable, fit.

Comfort: ★★★★★

Value

The B1s come in at a whopping 40 dollars for the unmic’d model and 50 for the mic’d model. I have to say, they may not be as bang for the buck as other Brainwavz models (that tend to be on the best spectrum for this), they are still well worth the price. The fun signature matches up well with mainstream music. The overall strong build and great comfort really seal the deal.

Value: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

I’m not really one to absolutely love a bass heavy signature, but I will say this: Brainwavz did do a good job with the R1. It’s their first dual dynamic driver headphone, and it certainly won’t be their last. Walking into the entry level headphone price range, I would definitely be more than willing to recommend these.

I’d like to thank Raz for the product sample.

Overall Score

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Brainwavz R1

Amazon | MP4Nation

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Raz for the product sample.
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