BLU-200
PRIME AUDIO 2016

Brainwavz BLU-200 review

Our Score

As always Brainwavz are on top of their game and keeping up with the latest technologies. Welcome to my Brainwavz BLU-200 Bluetooth earphone review.

“Don’t you step on my Bluetooth phones”

Disclaimer

The BLU-200 was provided to me for an honest review and I am in no way affiliated with the company. I’ll make my best effort to express my real experience and opinion of them. This is the first time I have tried a Brainwavz product. Welcom

Link to the company website:  http://www.brainwavzaudio.com
Link to the BLU-200 webpage:  http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/products/blu-200-bluetooth-4-0-aptx-earphones

Features

·         Wireless Bluetooth earphones
·         Stylish matt black aluminum design
·         Full bodied sound signature

Specifications

·         Transducers/Drivers: Dynamic, 9.2 mm
·         Rated Impedance: 16 Ω Closed Dynamic
·         Sensitivity: 96 dB at 1 mW
·         Frequency range: 20 ~ 20000 Hz
·         Bluetooth 4.0 (CSRBC8645) with aptX
·         Operation max distance: 30 ft (10 m)
·         Battery: 60 mAh – 4 hrs playtime, 100 hrs standby, 2 hrs for full charge (Micro USB charging)
·         CVC echo and noise cancellation
·         Supports voice prompt for MMI: Power on / Paring / Connecting / Battery low / Power off
·         Supports HFP, HSP and A2DP
·         Supports pairing with two devices at the same time
·         3 button remote, works with Apple iOS products, Android & Windows phones & PC

Sources used during this review

•    Samsung Galaxy Note 5
•    iPhone 4S

Accessories and packaging

The iem comes in a very compact white box with a clear image of the earphones on the front and details of the contents and accessories on the back, along with a picture of the in-line remote.

Included Accessories

·         Earphone Hard case
·         3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
·         1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
·         1 pair of Ear Hooks
·         1 Micro USB Charging Cable
·         Velcro Cable Tie
·         Instruction Manual
·         Warranty Card (24-month warranty)

Unfortunately, all the supplied tips are too small for my ears so I’m using stock ROCK Zircon tips which are my main go to when I can’t get a proper seal. The ear hooks are easy to apply, soft rubber and comfortable. I only use the hooks when I’m moving around a lot – If I’m just lounging at home or the office the earphones stay in my ears well without them.
Note the size difference. Such a shame because the black tips with green cores look fantastic.
The BLU-200 comes with a concise and easy to understand booklet.

Bluetooth pairing, signal, battery, controls

Pairing is stupidly easy to do and near idiot proof (Hey I did it!) Once you learn the basic controls of the in-line remote they’re very logical and work well.

The range of the signal seems around what is stated in the specs (30ft) and I had no trouble or dropped signal unless I went into another room behind a thick wall where it would sometimes cut out. I did have some problems while I was at a large shopping mall on a particularly busy day. At certain locations the signal would cut out very badly making them near unusable. Note this was only in areas surrounded by many stores all with their own Wi-Fi and thousands of people around all using their mobiles and I’m guessing that was the cause. I didn’t have any such issues anywhere else.

The included microphone seems to work well. Whilst talking to my wife during a call she said my voice was coming through clearly even though I was standing beside a very busy road at the time. Answering calls can be done by simply pressing the middle button on the remote and calls can be ended using the same method.

Battery life is also as stated and should last about 4 hours even using at loud volume. The earphones give you an audible message telling such information as: Power on, Power off, Pairing, Connecting and Battery low. There’s also an audible beep when skipping tracks forwards and backwards. All very intuitive.

The LED on the in-line remote can be very hard to see as its partially hidden by the controller

Build, fit and comfort

These are obviously pretty big earphones but the size is actually pretty standard for a Bluetooth set. Despite the bulk they are not all that heavy and I can easily forget that they’re in my ears. This might not be the same experience for those with smaller ears but I can wear these for hours on end with no discomfort.

The BLU-200 build quality is excellent and feels like a premium product. Brainwavz also gives a very generous 24-month warranty. The cable is of the flat ribbon type and comes with a handy chin slider. I prefer to wear them with the cable down but you can also put it over the ears and on the back of your neck. Microphonics are average and didn’t cause any concerns.

Note these are not the stock ear-tips but some from my own collection (stock tips are much prettier!)

The sound

I was quite shocked at the level of detail coming through the BLU-200. In fact, they put many iems in my collection to shame for detail retrieval. That was really unexpected. They even trump some of my other iems (in the same price range) in overall sound quality. (My experience may vary from others due to the fact that I use these with different tips). For a single dynamic driver these do a fantastic job of covering all the bases and more than once I caught myself dancing in my living room.

Has a strong presence in the music but it doesn’t dominate.  I find it to be at a good level, although admittedly I tend to like a bass heavy signature and it suits my preferred music genres well. I couldn’t determine any major bleeding into the mids. There’s some nice sub-bass rumble that stays hidden in the basement until called upon and then it sneaks up on you and growls in your ears in a pretty satisfying manner although I would have liked it to be a bit more forward.

The mids are slightly recessed which is the norm with V-shaped signatures but they sound natural and have enough presence so it feels that the artist is singing for you and isn’t someone passing by outside the back fence. String instruments have a nice resonant tone that projects warmth like a nice pair of furry slippers in winter. The bass detracts from the mids a little but hey, these are a $50 Bluetooth kit so I don’t expect them to be perfect.

The treble in these suits my taste very well, allowing good detail and a bit of sparkle, sometimes bordering on being harsh but only at high volume (higher than my normal listening levels). They help to provide a clean sound and balance out the low end nicely.

Brainwavz Blu-200 Conclusion

The BLU-200 caught me unawares with their competent and compelling sound. Because they’re wireless I was expecting signal problems or a much lower sound quality in general but these don’t hold back and can easily compete with many of the similarly priced wired earphones in my collection.

It’s very refreshing to be able to get up and move about without having to worry about wires getting tangled or accidentally pulling my music source off the table if I forget to pick it up when I get out of the chair. The earphones maintain a stable signal when moving about and sound only cuts out if you’re near the maximum range or behind a solid wall.

When considering the intended use and cost of the BLU-200 (sweating it out at the gym, doing chores at home, walking the dog etc.) I believe these perform above their price point and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a Bluetooth earphone.

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