Monday, September 24, 2012

Brainwavz Beta VS Superlux HD 381 F

At first I was looking for replacement for my broken craptastic Superlux HD381F that had served me for a year plus. Hence, I visited a modest shop yet this shop sells decent varieties of audiophile gadgets than most other bigger shop in town. My original intention was to find a conventional type of earphone instead of IEM or the "hybrid" type, like Superlux HD391F. However, I was a bit disenchanted due to the fact that only few options available to try for the normal earphone type as I was expecting able to try the famous YUIN pk1 or the fancy Sennheiser MX980 but... No demo unit available for both series. So if you guys know where I can found a shop that generous enough to have them as demo unit, please do let me know ;) Then I tried the Blox... Forgotten which type but the look was similar to Sennheiser MX400. Unfortunately, found out that it's too warm for me. After that I decided to try the iem type. After almost trying 20iems and make the shop keeper irritated... :P I have shortlisted 2 iems that catch my ear and yet having good price performance ratio. They are: Sunrise and the Brainwavz Beta. Finally I decided to buy the Brainwavz Beta instead since the design is more comfortable for my ear although the Sunrise outperform in term of sound clarity. And yet the price was only a third of it hehehe The impression: As my IEM database and knowledge are very limited, I only can compare against Superlux HD381F. Bass: First thing that I missed from HD381F was the bass quality. It's not that Beta has bad bass... But compared to the HD381f, it is less deep. Hopefully it's because it hasn't fully burned in yet :P as I only listen to it for less than 10hrs when I wrote this article. Vocal/middle: this one I prefer the Beta as it is less forward or more laid back :P probably it is only my personal preference Treble: some of the forum mentioned that this Beta is harsh. But for me it's still reasonable although in some songs I still could find sibilance... However, I can hear the high frequency "detail" or "ambient" that I wasn't able to hear by using HD381f. Sound stage: It's impressive! In my opinion, HD381f only can beat Beta in term of sound stage if plugged into amp. Direct head to head, certainly Beta beats HD381f. Probably it is because due to less forward vocal characteristic. Clarity: Both almost similar in my ear Detail: As I mentioned earlier, I can hear more ambiance sound in Beta. Conclusion: Both Superlux HD381F and Brainwavz Beta are craptastic IEM! They both no doubt offer fascinating bang for the buck. And although they share the same "weird" hybrid design, their sound character are different. Hence, both serve different purpose. If you look for forward vocal characteristic, just grab the HD381F but if you prefer the laid back vocal, then the Beta will make you happy. In addition the Beta gives more "ambiance" sound, but lack of deep bass. Hence, there is no absolute winner here. They both have their own superiority and inferiority. My suggestion for those who confused to decide which one suitable your taste, buy both and trust your own ear as their combined prices still arguably cheaper than one other "branded" iems with similar performance :)