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Sunday, June 6, 2010

[REVIEW] Brainwavz M1

First, I’ll like to thank MP4Nation.net from the sample.
 
It is stressful to have a successful sibling when everyone is expecting you to live up to the family name. I guess nothing can be more true to Brainwavz M2 littler brother, the M1 in this case. Coming from the same blood line, M1 is supposed to be a step down version of M2 while still maintaining the same high price / performance standard established by M2. Well that is going to be a tough job since M2 is certainly one of the best valued IEM in the sub $100 category. Now if you have read my previous M2 review, you would have known M2 as the international version of Visang R03. M1 is however a little different. There isn’t any corresponding Visang IEM to M1 as it is specifically tuned by MP4Nation to be a unique model just from the Brainwavz series.
 
Spec
Transducer: 10.7mm Dynamic Driver
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Impedance: 32Ω
Rated Input Power: 10mW
Sensitivity: 110dB @ 1mW
Distortion: <= 0.3% @ 94dB
Maximum Input Power: 40mW
Connector: 3.5mm L-shaped plug, gold-plated
Cable: 1.3 m, Y-cable, silver plated OFC
 
M1-1.jpg
 
Accessories and Build Quality
Since what I have is the sample unit from Visang factory, I won’t bother to tell you how nice the packaging is nor the fine detail on accessories. From past experience with Brainwavz product I can almost be 100% sure that the package will look nice and all the standard accessories (plus a few extra) such as different sized silicone eartips and foam tip will be included, along with a good case, shirt clip and probably an earhook just like the M2. Build quality wise, M1 as nothing less from the M2 (which is pretty excellent by the way). The only downside I can see is the lack of strain relief on the earpiece. The good news is that silver plated cable is so well made that I don’t thing overstressing on the cable exit will be too much of a problem, though a proper strain relief will be even better.
 
Like M2, microphonics is decent on the Y-splitter up and almost silence from the Y-splitter down. Isolation is on par with M2, which is above average. The eartips is different from the Sony Hybrid like clone that M2 has, but it is still quite good in quality and fairly comfortable in long use.
 
Sound Quality
As always, I put in about 50hrs on the IEM before the review though didn’t really notice any significant change in sound characteristic. One of the first things to notice on M1 is the ‘house sound’ carried over from M2. It is the same warm and musical presentation that makes the M series easy on the ear and appeals to people who are looking for musical experience as a whole but not a mixture of notes.
 
The overall sound signature is warm, smooth, musical while a little laidback. Treble is decently extended but doesn’t have a lot sparkle, smoother than that of M2.  Mid is full and vocal is quite sweet. Bass has good body and decent impact though just a tad slow and mellow out the general sound impression. Above average soundstage but limited by its inabilities to present good airiness and form a detail image.
 
M1-2.jpg
 
Verdict
If you seriously can’t afford the M2, then M1 is probably one of the next best things. Like the M2, It has a great price, good build, more than decent selection of accessories and a one year one-to-one replacement warranty to back it all up. It is IEM like the M1 that really redefines the borderline of what it means to be a high price/performance ratio IEM in the budget market.
 
Quick sum up can be found here.

 This above rating is for Brainwavz M1 only and may change without notice. Please refer to the list for a complete listing. 

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Important: All postings are my own personal opinion only and should not be treated as absolute truth. I do get things wrong just like everyone else. Always do your own research!

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