Brainwavz B400 – In Ear Headphones – Review

If you have read my review of FiiO FH-5, those headphones got me excited about in ears in general. Since then I have actually bought a pair of JH13-V2Pro, but more about that in a later review. Meanwhile I managed to get my hands on a pair of Brainwavz B400.

Introduction & Specs

The B400 are Balanced Armature Earphones with 4 drivers inside. When I first looked at them, the design reminded me of Shure 215, as they have the same see through aspect. Other than that, the build quality looks good. I also like the small carrying case they come with. There are two issues that I would improve. One cable connector disconnected quite easily from the headphone.

Another thing that annoyed me was that the foam earbuds were very hard to mount because of their very small canal diameter. 

Let’s go through some paragraphs from Brainwavz.

B400 – MULTI-DRIVER SYSTEM

The Brainwavz B400 uses a 4 Driver system, with each driver focused on its’s own specific range of the sound spectrum, resulting in a true audiophile grade sound.

To achieve a truly ergonomic housing, we have used the latest in 3D printing Technology.

DETACHABLE MMCX CABLES

The Brainwavz B400 use the industry standard MMCX cables.
Detachable cables extend product life span, allow for additional features and creates a truly custom product experience. 

BALANCED ARMATURE INSIDE

The B400 plays host to some of the finest drivers around. But this is only half the story, our unique 3D modelling and printing systems have enabled us to constantly design, test and hone the B400.

3D modelling and printing means we can innovate faster and experiment more, enabling us to create a unique system that lets the the Balanced Armatures perform above and beyond expectations.

3D PRINTED
Brainwavz B400 are unique in many ways, but one standout feature is how they are made. The main shells are printedusing state-of-the-art liquid Resin 3D printers, enabling a shape not possible by normal manufacturing methods.

Accessories:

  1. MMCX 3.5mm cable with In-Line Microphone and Remote.
  2. MMCX 3.5mm Cable
  3. Earphone Hard case
  4. 6x Sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
  5. Set of Comply™ Foam Tips T-100
  6. Shirt Clip
  7. Velcro Cable Tie
  8. Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)

Specs:

  1. Drivers : Quad Balanced Armature
  2. Rated Impedance : 30Ω
  3. Frequency Range : 10 Hz – 40 kHz
  4. Sensitivity : 115dB
  5. Cable : Detachable
  6. Cable Connector : MMCX
  7. Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold plated

Tests and Impressions

I have tested the headphones in various combinations and systems: Chord Mojo, Chordo Mojo + Aune B1, MSB Analog Dac + Massdrop THX AAA 789, and directly from my OnePlus 5 phone. 

I also have other news. I have recently bought a Mini DSP Ears unit, so yes I started to play with headphone measurements. I am still learning and still playing with the measurements methods so, don’t take them very seriously just yet. I used REW and for compensation I used the IDF: IEM diffuse field compensation files provided by minidsp. 

Also, I found that EARS is not ideal for measuring in ear headphones and I had to fidget a lot with it to get the right fit. For the measurements I used the small silicone tips and for the listening sessions, I used the foam tips.

There seems to be a little difference between the two channels, but it might very well be from the positioning in the measuring unit. 

The thd graph from above confirmed my findings that they sound very clean. Considering that I had to take a lot of measurements until I got the right fit on the EARS “head”, I also saw a few random distortion spikes in the trial and run measurements done before the one from above. The measurements are done directly in my room which is pretty quiet, but I actually suspect that the distortion is actually less than in the graph from above.  Under the circumstances the graph looks great. 

Let’s go through some songs and see how they actually sound. 

Hot For Teacher – Van Halen

Listen to the first passage of the songs. The drums there are a good test of the bass speed, depth and impact. The performance here was decent, but I can’t say that it’s a strong point of b400. I mean the weight is ok (actually a little bit too more weight), but the impact and speed is a little bit on the soft side. When the electric guitar entered the song, it managed to bring some more energy as it added a good vibe. The voice is also good. 

Caprice for Solo Violin No. 1 “The Arpeggio” in E Major

This is a song where I was quite impressed by B400. The Violin had good extension, detail and texture. It also extended holographic-ally in the scene which was not very big, but well placed in terms of holography. 

Love you forever- Dawn and Hawkes 

The guitar plucks have good weight, the pluck has decent impact. The voices are warm, present and clean. 

Falling – The Civil Wars

The vocals are really awesome on B400. Both the female and male voice on this song were mesmerizing: excellent texture, presence, cleanliness and tonality. The guitars manage to tickle your ears, but in a smooth manner. 

In Stiller Nacht – Pink Martini

This song was quite a pleasure to listen to on the b400. I love that the background is super dark, the soundstage is not very big but very holographic and natural. The voices were full, natural, well textured and very clean. 

Creep – Stone Temple Pilots 

The drum has decent impact and good weight. The bass is a little too present actually, showing a darker presentation. The vocals are nice again with good timbre and texture, even if sometimes a little bit shadowed by the bass on this song. The guitars would have used a little more sparkle and a little more presence, but overall they still managed to induce a little more energy into the presentation. 

Summary

Bass

The bass has good extension/weight and it is actually a few db more elevated than the midrange. Let’s say that the impact is decent, but these headphones are not on the aggressive side. Also the control and detail on the bass section is decent but not included in the strong points of the headphones. 

Midrange

This is where it’s at, if you ask me. The midrange is creamy, mostly present, well detailed and pure. From vocals to instrument, you will get a good experience here.  

Treble

The treble is smooth, but B400 are more on the dark side. Some people enjoy this and it’s certainly a part of the B400’s signature, which I actually enjoy. For me, dark is better than bright/harsh.

Transparency / Clean Sound

I consider the sound of B400 to be very clean. Very dark background, the sounds are coming from nothing. The measurements also confirmed this, showing very low THD. 

Smooth / Natural Sound Signature

These headphones are easy going. They don’t hit too hard nor too weak. Combined with a darker sound signature, this makes them a very good partner for long listening sessions. Also the tonality is very natural and this translates into natural vocals and instruments. I remember Tyll saying about Shure 535 in one of his reviews, that they sound as liquid gold. I would say that this description fits B400 better. 

Soundstage

The soundstage is decent. It’s not very big, but it has a natural presentation and good holography.

Details

The bass and the treble section don’t excel when it comes to details, but when we are talking about the midrange the game changes.

Conclusions

The B400 overall offered a very pleasant listening experience. I clearly enjoyed the clean and liquid sound. They are more on the dark & smooth side, but they really make a good partner when it comes to long listening sessions. Also when I am saying smooth, don’t think they are boring, they still offer some sparkle and energy on guitar plucks, drums, etc. It’s more about the attack and decay that makes the transition from one note to the other smooth, but not slow or dull.

I usually enjoy more energetic and more aggressive headphones, but with B400 I found myself listening to music for hours without getting tired. So yes, I do recommend them!

Pros

  • Excellent Midrange & Vocals
  • Good details on midrange
  • Liquid & easy going sound signature
  • Natural tonality
  • Very clean sound
  • Natural and Holographical soundstage
  • Good price/performance ratio

Cons

  • Bass is a little more elevated than the midrange and some might want a little more impact and control here
  • Some people might enjoy a little more sparkle in the treble area