Brainwavz S0 IEM Noise Isolating Earphones


The Good:
Earbud-style headphones have always presented me with problems.  While they are convenient in size and have a low profile, they also tend to get lost, tangled, or broken.  Additionally, they can be uncomfortable to the ear, and sound quality is often sacrificed in order to create a product small enough to fit into the human ear.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a pair of earbuds that addressed all of these issues.

The Brainwavz S0(pronounced ‘S-zero’) In-Ear Monitors surpassed just about every expectation I had regarding earbuds. For starters, the box is packed with extra things that aren’t necessarily required for earbuds, but might make your life a little easier.  For instance, a zip-up hard case is included for storage of the S0s, which makes them harder to lose, and will protect them during travel.  Also included is a shirt clip, which may seem gimmicky, but as someone who spends a lot of time working outdoors in various environments, I can tell you that nothing is more irritating than an earbud falling out of your ear while performing tasks.  The shirt clip allows you to give yourself slack between the clip and the earbuds, meaning increased mobility.  Not to be overlooked are the 9 different eartips included with the S0s. The human ear is very diverse, and earbuds certainly cannot be one-size-fits-all. Brainwavz knows this, and equips the buyer with a multitude of options so each buyer can find the perfect fit. One of the included eartips is known as the Comply Foam Tip, which is made out of memory foam and is sound insulating.

I was impressed right off the bat with how easy the S0s fit into my ear.  Some earbuds take a little finesse to put in, but that does not seem to be an issue with the S0s. During the actual sound testing of the Brainwavz S0s, I decided to use a splitter so I could have two earbuds (S0s and generic iPod earbuds) plugged into the same device.  This way I could preform a real-time comparison between the two earbuds.
Hearing the difference was easy within the first few seconds. As I listened to a song I had heard dozens of times, I was able to hear details through the S0s I had never heard before. The sound of someone taking a breath. The sound of a piano key as it is depressed. Melodic overtones that had previously just been noise. I couldn’t believe the clarity and richness of what my ears were hearing, and the quality was evident through a wide range of genres. Good, solid bass is hard to accomplish in earbuds, but the S0s delivered a performance to match larger, over-the-ear headphones, and this is no small feat. The bass isn’t just a low noise that your ear and brain interpret as bass, but instead is a dynamic sound that arrives to your brain as the artist intended.
While these aren’t active noise-canceling headphones, they are noise-isolating. Essentially, they perform similar to foam earplug inserts–they don’t make you deaf to outside noise, but they dampen everything so that your listening experience is focused on what you are actually supposed to hear.

The Bad:
While it is hard to find anything “bad” about this product, I can certainly identify an area that I would like to see improved, even if it is minor. Regarding the carrying case, I believe it would beneficial to have a loop or carabiner attachment.  This way, they can be clipped to keys, backpacks, belts, etc.
The only other bad thing about these earbuds is that they are going to ruin your ability to use average earbuds.  Your standards will be raised, and you just might find yourself throwing out your old pair.

The Verdict:
The name “Brainwavz” is the perfect name for this brand, as the superb sound from the S0s seem to be happening inside your head rather than in your ears.  With these earbuds, rather than listening, you are experiencing.

Would I recommend: Yes

What’s in the box?

  • S0 Earphones
  • Hard Carrying Case
  • 1 Set Comply Foam Tips S-400
  • 6 Sets Silicone Ear Tips ( S M L)
  • 1 Set Silicone Bi-Flange Ear Tips
  • 1 Set Silicone Tri-Flange Eat Tips
  • Instruction Manual
  • 12 Month Warranty card