What about the Brainwavz Alpha…
Brainwavz is a Hong Kong-based audio company that manufactures portable audio devices including IEMs, DAPs, Headphones and even DACs since 2008. I’ve just finished reviewing its excellent M2 earphones and now I am testing the Brainwavz Alpha IEM. The M2 was highly regarded on many review sites. The Brainwavz Alpha at around US$ 18.50- half the price of the M2. Naturally, we would all like to know what would you get out of it and if its good enough.
The specs and features are as follows:
- Deep, full bass
- Sleek and stylish
- Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 8mm, CCAW Drive units
- Rated Impedance: 20ohms ± 15%
- Sensitivity: 110 ± 2dB at 1KHz 1mW 20upa
- Frequency range: 15 ~ 28000Hz
- Distortion: <= 2% 94dB (20upa)
- Channel balance: <= 3dB (at 1000Hz)
- Rated input power: 10mW
- Maximum input power: 30mW
- Plug: 3.5mm 24kgilt stereo plug
- Cable length: 1m
- 1-year warranty
- Dimensions (Packaging): 145 x 100 x 5mm
- Net Weight: 10g
- Gross Weight: 19g
- 3 x Pairs of ear tips (S/M/L)
- 1 x Cable Clamp
- 1 x Comply ear tips
The Brainwavz Alpha has a decent package but doesn’t provide a carry case which I loved to have with the earlier reviewed models! As a trade-off, the Alpha is a lower priced earphone so Brainwavz would have to cut something. That said they did include a set of Comply ear tips, which is pretty neat. You also do get the basic set of ear tips. The Brainwavz Alpha has a plastic housing and an average cable. The build quality is better than the cheaper earphones I have tried like Soundmagic ES19s which we reviewed but not as good as its more expensive brethren like the S0 and the M2.
One glaring omission is the lack of a microphone which is something even much cheaper earphones come with.
The Brainwavz Alpha is a pretty fun earphone to listen to. It is not strictly neutral with a rolled off treble but boosted bass and mid range. While it is not necessarily bad as it got some fun bass impact. It has a very decent punch and impact, without going overboard but it doesn’t extend very low. Compared to Brainwavz Xfit XF200, it has a less bass quantity. However compared to its more expensive sibling the Brainwavz S0 IEM, it has noticeably more bass in both quantity and quality. But the IEM has better detailing and treble.
Its mid-range and detailing is decent and better than cheaper earphones like the Soundmagic ES19S. Soundstage is average in size and imaging too.
The treble is rolled off and there is no real sparkle. On the plus side, there are no real peaks and spikes. The Brainwavz Alpha has smoother treble while the XF200 has slightly more treble while having more spikes and some harshness.
At the end of the day…
Honestly, the earphone is a bit too average for its own good. The Brainwavz XFit XF200 has an awesome bass. Sure, that earphone has its own faults, but I love its boosted bass when I am in the mood to listen to some bass heavy tracks. But otherwise, the XF200 has a bit too much bass and I get fatigued after a while. The Brainwavz S0 IEM is my ‘Go To’ earphone since it got a very useful volume control and microphone.
If that sounds like your cup of tea then it is a decent earphone to pick up but don’t expect any real standout feature.
The Brainwavz Alpha is a strictly decent earphone with not a high pricing, but there’s nothing really compelling about it. If you need a decent earphone for your daily commute, it is not a bad choice with a decent fun sound, very light earphones and pretty comfortable to listen to for a longer period, which is its main strength. However, the absence of a microphone is pretty glaring since almost everybody uses a smartphone as an audio source these days.
- Decent fun sound
- Decent build quality
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Smooth fatigue-free sound
- Rolled off treble makes for a slightly dark sound
- No microphone and in-line controls