brainwavz jive
PRIME AUDIO 2016

Brainwavz Jive review

“S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ BONE! Jackin’ me up… tight me!” – Airplane! (1980)

These are a review unit sent to me by Pandora at Brainwavz in exchange for my honest review. I have no affiliation with the company.

Taken from the Brainwavz website.

The Brainwavz Jive has been meticulously crafted out of high-quality metal and designed into a sleek and sophisticated shape to give crisp, smooth and accurate playback of any music. Embedded into these earphones are finely tuned dynamic drivers that not only produce high fidelity vocals & acoustics with accuracy but an incredible liveliness and a wide soundstage.
The Brainwavz Jive bring you right into the music when listening to either rock, jazz or classical. Included together with the Jive earphones, are a complementary set of Comply™ Foam tips giving you that extra comfort for easy listening.

Features

·         High Fidelity Audio.
·         Lively Sound
·         Sleek and Stylish All-Metal Housing.

Specifications

·         Drivers : Dynamic, 9 mm
·         Rated Impedance : 16 Ω
·         Frequency Range : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
·         Sensitivity : 98 dB @ 1 mW
·         Rated Input Power : 20 mW
·         Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
·         Cable : 1.3 m, Copper

Microphone & Remote

·         Phone Call Control
·         Audio Player Control
·         3-Button Remote
·         Supports TRRS Connector
·         Supports Apple iOS and Android Devices

Included Accessories

·         Earphone Hardcase (wide)
·         3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
·         1 set of Comply™ Foam Tips S-400
·         1 Shirt Clip
·         Velcro Cable Tie
·         Instruction Manual
·         Warranty Card (24 month warranty)

Note that the image on the box corresponds to the colour of the IEM inside. This is typical of Brainwavz’ attention to detail.

Build and accessories:

The Brainwavz Jive feels and looks quite premium, especially when considering the modest retail price. The paint has a high-quality glossy finish with Left and Right markings on one side and the Brainwavz logo on the other.
The cable is colour matched in the same blue as the housing which is a nice touch, as are the strain reliefs and in-line mic/remote. There’s a cable cinch above the Y-splitter to ensure a more secure fit and helps reduce microphonics.

One thing I don’t like about the cable is that it’s quite thick below the Y-splitter which is good for durability but unfortunately is rather bouncy and hard to manage (much like the original cable on the Tennmak Piano). When I put it in my top shirt pocket it’s like a coiled snake that’s ready to pop out like a jack in the box. When in use though the cable cinch and provided shirt clip help a lot with management.

The 3.5mm plug is angled with a rubberized coating. There’s even a concave indentation on the main part which makes it easier to insert and remove the plug. Brainwavz really excels with these little finishing touches and I commend them for their attention to detail.

Overall it’s a very coherent presentation which suggests that the design process has been well thought out and hasn’t just been thrown together.

Sound

I mostly use these with my XDuoo X2 and Galaxy Note 5. At the time of this review, they’ve been burned in for approximately 40 hours.

The Jive’s sound is crisp and detailed with a V-shaped signature, focusing more on the upper mids and highs. Soundstage is slightly above average. There’s a good amount of energy present and the trebles sound remarkably similar to what you’d expect from a Balanced Armature driver.

The bass is slightly emphasized but far from dominant. It’s fairly well controlled but sometimes left me wanting a bit more “oomph”. I wouldn’t recommend these for bassheads. Sub-bass digs fairly deep but feels a bit recessed.

The mids on the Jive come across with good clarity and detail, with vocals being very crisp but slightly lacking in warmth. Sound separation with orchestral music is very good, making it easy to determine various instruments but I would have liked a bit more fullness and intimacy.

Treble extends well and is fairly prominent in the sound. There are peaks in some areas that are bordering on being edgy but don’t cause fatigue. Sibilance is mostly non-existent which is impressive considering the emphasis on the highs in the sound signature.

Comparison

Tennmak Piano ($25.99 USD)

Compared to the Jive the Piano has a fuller bass which extends further, particularly in sub-bass. There is a similar amount of control in each. Mids on the Piano are more forward with more warmth. The Jive reveals details with a bit more clarity. Treble extends further on the Jive and may cause fatigue at higher volume.

Comfort wise they are both good but for me the Jive wins here because of its small size and cable down wearing style.

I found the Jive required a couple more notches on the volume to reach the same levels as the Piano.

HLSX-808 ($43.28)

Compared to the Jive the 808 has more bass presence, especially in the sub-bass. Mids are similar on both – a bit recessed and dry sounding. The details on the 808 come through more clearly, especially the highs which are super clean on the 808. The treble on the Jive gets closer to edgy due to some peaks and while the 808 can also border on piercing with some sounds they are a little more balanced in the highs.

I find the Jive to be more comfortable due to its rounded edges on the housing compared to the sharp back end on the 808. Isolation is similar between the two.

They both require the roughly the same power to drive.

Conclusion

The Brainwavz Jive is an interesting IEM. It has highs and clarity similar to BA driven earphones and a lively top end. As usual, it comes with Brainwavz’ excellent 24-month warranty which makes the low asking price even more impressive.

The build quality is superb and put together in a cohesive and professional package that makes them feel worth more than their $28 cost. If anything they’re let down slightly by the “bouncy” cable but as I stated earlier the cable cinch and shirt clip help remedy this.

I’d also like a bit more fullness or warmth in the mids which make some vocals and string instruments a bit dry and light on emotion. Bass and sub-bass are well controlled and the detail is very good for a dynamic driver.

The Jive is a solid product and in my opinion easily worthy of its price. I’d recommend these to people who like a lively and detailed sound but for bass-heads and people who like warm/dark signatures, these may not be for you.

Founder of Prime Audio

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *