Brainwavz B400 - Quad Balanced Armature Earphones

Average User Rating:
  1. jant71
    "The B400 - New Heights For Brainwavz!"
    Pros - Affordable price, solid accessory pack, plenty of color and cable options, wonderful fit, flagship sound quality with a nice speaker-like presentation.
    Cons - Stock silicone tips take a bit of quality from the bass articulation.
    Today I'd like to give a review of the new Brainwavz B400 quad armature earphones. Thanks to Raz from Brainwavz who contacted me to offer me the B400 in exchange for an objective review.

    I have heard plenty of Brainwavz earphones from the S series to the R3 to other B series models such as the B2, B150, and B200. I liked the previous lower models B150 and B200 for their fit and smooth, well behaved sound yet thought they were a bit overpriced for their lack of removable cables and overall technical ability at the original prices. You might have seen a post from me applauding Brainwavz for adjusting those models prices lower.

    This time around Brainwavz comes pretty strong with a current flagship product that is an evolution of the lower B models. They have upped the comfort/fit, added plenty of color choices, removable cables with options, high technical ability, and started with a very affordable price point!

    The B400 can be found here:
    • 4 Balanced armature drivers
    • 3D Printed housing
    • Ergonomic Design
    • Detachable MMCX Cables
    • Drivers : Quad Balanced Armature
    • Rated Impedance : 30Ω
    • Frequency Range : 10 Hz - 40 kHz
    • Sensitivity : 115dB
    • Cable : Detachable MMCX
    • Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold plated
    Included Accessories:
    • 3.5mm Standard MMCX Stereo Cable
    • 2.5mm Standard MMCX Balanced Cable
    • Earphone Hard case
    • 1 Set earphone cleaning kit
    • 6 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    • 1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips T-100 Red
    • 2 Earphone sanitary wipes
    • 1 Shirt Clip
    • Velcro Cable Tie
    • Instruction Manual & Warranty Card (24 month warranty)
    I did receive the B400 w/o the retail packaging so not much of an unboxing experience. Still opening up the case found a very handsome earphone with nice accessories! Here is the B400 in pics:
    My B400 came with the Candy Cane 2.5mm balanced and Frosty 3.5mm cables:

    Some info provided to me by Raz...
    - Drivers are produced by Knowles
    - 3D printer and resin are from/made in the US, printed & assembled in house at Brainwavz
    - The silver cable is made in USA by a very well know manufacturer within the IEM industry, high purity, OFC silver plated cable
    - The balanced cable is made in Taiwan, high purity, OFC silver plated cable
    - The standard cables will be made in Taiwan by the same manufacturer of the balanced cable using OFC copper cable
    - The litz wire used within the housing is from Netherlands by a premium litz cable manufacturer
    - We are using Kester Solder (made in USA) for soldering the wires within the housing, and soldering the balanced cable and standard cables.
    - Comply T-100 tips included (made in USA)
    - The only components that are made in China are the earphone case, silicone tips and packaging material.
    - The entire earphone is assembled and packed at our workshop in Hong Kong by our own team, so the quality control and attention to detail is very high.
    - The entire process from printing the housing to final assembly, finishing, burn in, quality checking and packing per earphone takes 28+ hours.

    The Frosty B400 design is excellent. A frost translucent textured finish with an excellent fitting ergonomic shape. The housing seems decently thick and sturdy. It has MMCX connectors that spin free with no locking mechanism for the cable. I have found the connection snaps in nicely and have had no connection issues in my time with them.

    The shape fits me wonderfully. Flush, very stable, and extremely comfortably. The Frosty cable has a metal wire memory portion you can shape to fit the ears. I went with more of the squared off bend style which I like.

    Looking straight into the B400 bore you don't find any screens or filters right away but further back you'll see two Knowles dampers one green and one white. Like a little speaker with woofer and tweeter then some room in between allowing things to mix and then out the bore/tip and into the ear canal.

    Sound Impressions:
    Coming off the speaker-like design description, I will describe the sound presentation.

    If you have read the B400 thread on Head-Fi you'll have seen that fellow member Brooko posted an early F.R. graph for the B400 and it agrees exactly with how I hear the B400. A bit of a low arched smooth bass hump that rolls slow into the sub 50Hz frequencies and gentle sloping treble with nice reach and a bit of a peak between 3-4K right before that keeping them from being too smooth like the B200 is to my ears. I also hear an excellently matched earphone that delivers wonderfully well edged notes that are sharp clean and super well focused helping the detail and resolution be top notch.

    Not a flat earphone nor boosted to really U or V but right at a sweet spot that many will love and others can push in either direction to suit either more neutral or more warm tastes without too much trouble.

    The "little speaker" look inside the bore seems to help give then a wonderfully well layered and blended image and soundscape. Like a more speaker presentation on a smaller scale. Stage is a good size and things inside can be placed pretty much anywhere the recording may call for it. Aided by the great channel matching and sharp edged notes from the Knowles drivers the particular set-up can seemingly place things anywhere in that little room/space in front of the dampers and the ears hear a realistic image that is further up the scale from earphone sounding to a more realistic speaker sound than most of the earphones I have heard. Only thing holding back here is the sealed design not being as open or 3D as an earbud or semi-open earphone can be.

    Still you are transported to a warm smooth but not dark musical place that really engages with great ability, great balance, and great character or personality. Not a monitor sound here stripping away towards the sterile but a real house sound. The Knowles flavor is there and familiar but a Brainwavz has instilled a house sound or flavor more like a dynamic earphone does and more well done than most any all armature earphone I have come across. Not all the dynamic bass reach or power but impact and some feel is there. In fact notes throughout the range have a good weight and tactile nature making them more 3D in and of themselves.

    As for the bass we have a high quality bass with some heft and a bit of warmth. Solid sub reach only bested by TOTL armature models and quality dynamics. I do feel when using the stock silicone tips the note get a little smudged and loss their sharpness and tightness. A bit easier to hear with the ability of the B400. Any loss of that sharp edge in any part of the spectrum is easy for me to pick out. Points to the resolving ability of the B400 and is fixed with tips if ones hears it. The bass mixes with the treble wonderfully for cymbals and drums to form a realistic drum kit that is integrated and positioned accurately. The bass is both very tight and quick enough to keep up with any type of music yet still has good punch and weight. Satisfying armature bass if you will :)

    Mids are airy, clean, wonderfully imaged, and to me the most 3D part of the spectrum. Imaged in front of the drum kit nicely they space out well, are super intelligible, and float wonderfully in thier own space. Revealing and the most well spaced or distinct part of the spectrum. Probably hearing all my familiar tracks the mids stood out most as far as a "hearing them like I haven't heard them before" kind of effect.

    The treble is a team player but still excellent. Accurate and clean tones. Just metallic enough, transparent with an accurate decay. Blends in well but still reaches quite high with the polite roll off. Plays well with the whole image popping up to highlight things when called for more than being a constant focus. Real treble detail and not forced, or boosted/exaggerated to give more detail or hear it easier. Lacks only the highest registers as far as reach.

    The new B400 is a quad done right plain and simple. All the technical ability you'd expect from 4 armatures blended together the right way to give weight, texture, personality, and a wonderfully coherent and immersive presentation. They designed a sturdy housing with one of the better fitting shapes, added an array of color choice and cable options. Then they gave it an extremely fair price and configuration options that don't make you pay for something you don't want or need. Brainwavz took what they started with the B100/150/200 and nearly perfected it! I recommend them heartily!!