Review by Mhark Jhoshua Q. Torres
Thank you Brainwavz Audio for letting us give our honest take towards the Zeta. Given that the review unit is from Brainwavz Audio and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.
Brainwavz provides high-end earphones specifically designed for high-quality sound and tailor-made to provide the user with a solution that can be used across a wide range of audio genres and styles at affordable prices. Brainwavz believes in the idea that sound is a deeply personal experience, and strives to provide users with earphones that match their personal inclinations, to inspire with intensity. The Brainwavz name is known in many countries across the globe, and the company is continually committed to providing the best products at the best value. This is what they stated in their website but hey, Brainwavz has been in the industry for years and they already build a good reputation in terms of build and sound quality in fact the B400 was a hit!
The Brainwavz Audio Zeta
The Zeta are made out of plastic and for me it doesn’t feel premium or even reliable, but looks can be deceiving as I’ve been throwing it in my bag for weeks and it still work as fine as when I pulled it from the box for the first time. The color is black with red accent, the cable isn’t removable but that’s fine for a beater IEM at this price. The Zeta has 1 year of warranty so this is a good option for those who have trust issues with Chi-fi like KZ, QKZ and TRN. Detailed specification isn’t listed on their website but this is a single dynamic driver IEM.
Here’s the simple packaging of Zeta, you’ll get 3 pairs of silicone tips, the IEM itself, Velcro strap (can’t find it atm) and a clip. Decent packaging since most sub 20 USD IEMs don’t actually came with case.
Fit and Comfort
Fit, isolation and comfort is very good, due to its small profile and lightweight materials it feels like nothing is inserted in your ear. I never felt ear strain even if I used it for hours, this is definitely a good daily beater IEM.
I love IEMs and earbuds with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.
- Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
- Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- LANY – Thick And Thin (Mid Bass, Mids)
- Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
- Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
- Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- Radiohead – Life in a Glasshouse (Imaging Layering, Bass, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
- Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Moderate extension and quantity while rendering the rumbles in smooth manner, details aren’t spectacular but don’t fret it is audible but for those who nitpick while listening, you can easily distinguish the lack of texture. Sub bass is not forward or recessed, it is properly positioned. Elevated, full and a bit loose, bass lacks control but definitely packs a lot of punch. The mid bass gave the Zeta a warm-smooth tonality that is suited for easy listening. The intro of Dive by Ed Sheeran is prominent and will surely please bass heads that aren’t picky with the speed of bass and it’s decay. The bass is quite slow and even decay speed isn’t that quick causing congestion with complex rock and metal tracks.
Full and lush sounding, the lower mids never sounded hollow or dry, tho the texture and clarity isn’t something to be praised, it will sound veiled if you love transparent sounding gears like Tin Audio T3 or Moonbuds Bunting. Even instruments that falls in this certain range of frequency is being rendered in thick manner, the lower mids is slightly recessed with respect to mid bass. Playing IV of Spades’ ”Bawat Kaluluwa” is definitely fun when using Zeta, lush sounding vocals and punchy bass notes is suitable for quick and easy listening. Still quite lush sounding but sounds great with majority of tracks with female artist. Playing Lonestar by Norah Jones, the Zeta gave justice with her vocals by making it even more lush. It isn’t sweet nor transparent at all, but the thickness of its upper mids isn’t as much as the lower mids. Upper mids is slightly more forward than the lower mids, texture and details is average since the upper mids is still smooth sounding. Luckily the upper mids is sibilant free, therefore annoying “S” isn’t present here.
Treble is smooth but rolled off, none fatiguing at all. If you love treble with good definition and sparkle then this IEM isn’t for you, the treble has the least quantity and the most laid back amongst the three major frequencies. It’s airy but with metal and rock tracks like Asphyxia the treble is lacking, cymbals aren’t energetic and engaging at all. It’s good for acoustic tracks and edm tracks where treble isn’t that prominent along the track. Decay has decent speed while the resolution is just average.
Sound Stage and Resolution
Sound stage isn’t that boxy like some or budget KZ IEMs, depth is decent while the height and width is pretty good. Layering and imaging is not spectacular, it gets pretty congested with busy tracks, but for the price, it’s decent in this category. Resolution is satisfactory, from sub bass to lower mids the details are pretty nice despite its smoothness. Upper mids and treble is not that resolving but that’s fine since the target of this IEM is casual listening with non fatiguing sound signature.
Synergy and Sound Signature
Zeta’s sound signature is warm and smooth with rolled off treble, the bass is prominent and elevated that will actually please bass-heads out there and just enough to give a taste of thump in your tracks. The mids is not that recessed while the treble is presented in smooth and relaxing manner while losing details and extension.
The M3s is known to be an intimate sounding DAP with balanced sound signature and stellar mids, with this the Zeta sounded really warm with very smooth and thick presentation. Sub bass has good extension and quantity, mid bass is still elevated but kinda slow for busy tracks. Mids is still lush and not thin or hollow, male vocals are delivered very well while female vocals lacks sweetness. Treble lacks extension, resolution and sparkle. Really good pairing for easy listening during commute.
Adding Jazz R7.0 to the link and copper IC, the bass became quicker and more controlled without adding further quantity, mids became cleaner and smoother while the treble remains the same.
Smartphone (Huawei Mate 10)
The Huawei Mate 10 has a sound signature of neutral-bright, sound quality is not on par with the M3s, noise floor is a bit high. Bass extension became shallow, and the quantity was reduced. Mids remains full sounding and smooth while the treble gain more definition and sparkle. This pairing is good for those who doesn’t want excessive warmth.
The KZ ZSN and Zeta are opposite since they have emphasis on treble and bass respectively. Clarity, resolution, build quality and aesthetics easily goes to the ZSN due to its thin presentation. Bass, fit and staging goes to the Zeta plus 1 yr warranty. The Zeta sounds more natural and airy while the ZSN has more transparent presentation but sounds boxy at times.
The Zeta is built for casual listeners who is looking for a nice sounding pair, with good fit, isolation and comfort. It is perfect for daily commute. Bass is elevated and rich in quantity, mids is lush, smooth and far from being dry. Treble is quite the weak point but still nice for easy listening. Technical performance such as sound stage, resolution, imaging and layering is good for the price. This isn’t the best sounding pair for the price, but it is the most comfortable one and it has 1 year of warranty in case you’re clumsy, you can also order it without shipping fee, pretty sweet right?