Brainwavz Delta Review: Oldie But A Darn Goodie

Introduction: Brainwavz Audio is a well known audio company that produces IEMs, headphones and audio accessories and have been doing so since 2008 giving them time and effort towards becoming an established name in the industry. They currently have quite a few entries in the budget IEM department but what I'll be reviewing today is one of their best sellers and yet, one of their oldest design as well, the Brainwavz Audio Delta.

I would like to thank Brainwavz Audio for providing me with a review sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can purchase the Brainwavz Delta on their official website or locally if your retailer has them in stock.

Driver: 8mm Dynamic
Sensitivity: 100dB at 1 mW
Frequency response: 20-20kHz
Impedance: 16Ω
Rated input power: 20 mW
Cable length: 1.3 m Y-Cord, Copper
Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated

The Brainwavz Delta packs a modest 8mm dynamic driver that's easy to drive at 16Ω, not that it's surprising since it is targeted towards mobile phone users with the built-in microphone and call button. The max volume on my Xperia gets the Delta pretty loud but not to the point of being unlistenable, given that most other phones will be able to power and drive the Delta up to very loud volumes. The Delta does scales moderately with the source though it sounds pretty good even on a budget mobile smartphones. Note that if you buy from their website, there is a 24 month warranty for it.

Unboxing: The Delta comes in a nice sturdy little cardboard box with a hook hole, it's pretty compact and has near zero waste in space. Details and information are found around the box (above Specification). Inside, you will find the following:

Brainwavz Audio Earphone
Earphone Hard Case
3x Sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
Set of Comply Foam Tips T-400
Shirt Clip
Velcro Cable Tie
Instruction Manual
Warranty Card

The overall package is pretty generous, the hard case alone is a neat container that has ample space for your Delta and then some. The 3 pairs of silicone tips that come with the Delta are soft, wide and comfortable, add a fresh pair of Comply foam tips and you have an assortment of tips for fitting most ears. Overall this accessory set is a winner.

Cable/Build/Design: The cable of the Delta is a bit on the rubbery side though it also makes it pretty tough. There is a little bit of microphonics to the cable, so if you plan on using the Delta in a more sporty fashion, you might want to use the included shirt clip to help reduce the effects. The gold plated 3.5mm is at 45 degree angle and and made of rigid rubber with an adequate strain relief at it's end. The Y-splitter is made of the same material and also has a strain relief at the plug side, there is a chin adjuster that's basically a thin bar. The microphone unit is made of a more solid plastic and houses a single button for accepting calls and activating voice control. The microphone is sensitive and clear for calls with no issue on the voice quality on the receiving end whether its a mobile call or an internet call.

The Delta shells are made of a strong metal housing that is ergonomic and feels smooth, there are no visible vents and this does equate to a bit of driver flex when inserting them inappropriately in one's ear. There is a good strain relief at the bottom of the Delta, and there is a fine mesh at the nozzle end that helps prevent dirt, debris and earwax to enter the IEM. The tip lip is prominent and all the tips I've used on it stay securely on the Delta. There is are visible left and right markings on the shell  and the end cap of the Delta carries the logo.

Sound Analysis: The first time I tried the Brainwavz Delta, I knew it was good especially considering the asking price, and though it all sounded good on the 3 base parameters of bass, mids and treble, there are nuances with the Delta that could either show where the corners were cut or other hidden gems of the design. One thing to note is that these are one of the few IEMs that comes with a very good set of tips, where the stock tips were nearly as wide as JVC Spiral Dots, and almost as comfortable if a bit on the stubby side. So in this review, I stuck with the stock tips and did my review after running music through it for over 200+ hours and listening to various devices but mostly with my WM1a as the main testing device.

Bass: There's an above average level of sub-bass extension with the Delta, it gives drum slams from Way Down Deep, a good feeling in your ear as it reaches the lower depths of your hearing and feeling. The decay is average in speed, but it feels and sounds natural in resolution which gives it a nice rumble, this is in comparison to the a bit faster decay when I first tried it. Lose Yourself to Dance shows a good amount of control and quantity of the bass as the constant bass slam does not sound dissonant or out of proportion to the song but enhances the song well. The bass slam is on the above average side when the seal is good, it is satisfying and engaging, like the bass riffs in Lithium that sounds on the crunchy side as the strings sound clear and the rumble feels full of energy. Overall, the bass of the Delta feels and sounds good, in terms of impact, resolution, speed and control, and though this isn't the main focus of the Delta, it's one part of the sound that is easily lovable.

Mids: On the lower mids of the Delta, there is a little bit of forwardness with a little above average thickness and warmth in the tone to make male vocals in Photograph and Bohemian Rhapsody sound near emotive. On the upper mids, female vocals and instruments are a little more forward than the lower mids which presents Diana Krall with The Look of Love in a more intimate fashion. There is a bit more clarity on the upper mids as it loses some of the lower mid thickness coupled with a more airy upper mids. Overall the detail retrieval and clarity of mids are on the average side and though separation is not spacious, the Delta avoids being congested even with busy tracks and keeps individual sounds distinct but melodious, giving a good performance that is quite pleasant and never harsh.

Treble: There is a little above average extension to the treble that sounds good to the ear for the airiness and reach it provides, the harmonics from Silent Lucidity's acoustic guitar string impart a bit of crisp, a little bit of sparkle into the song and has quite a good level of clarity. Hit the Lights has a lot of treble and they sounded natural and clear, even the cymbal crashes sounded pretty good and close to what you'd expect them to sound, playing well with the music and never being swallowed by the rest of the frequencies or harsh.  There is a bit of brightness that adds to the overall airiness and a bit of sibilance on very prone songs like Come Round Soon and Silent Lucidity. Overall the treble is good with details and separation and provides an energy to the music that is not fatiguing or harsh.

Soundstage: The Brainwavz Delta's soundstage is wider than it is taller with a natural expansion in sound, though it would be more on the average size, Symphony No. 3 In A Minor, Op. 56, MWV N 18 - "Scottish" : 1. Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato - Assai animato - Andante come prima (Berliner Philharmonic) sounded nice with the instruments playing at the levels they should but could benefit from a bit more width though it is adequate as is and it's not intimate or compressed. The layering is more on the average side as exemplified by the mids, the sounds are rather distinct and separated but could benefit from more space in between notes. Imaging is good and accurate enough.

Conclusion: The Brainwavz Delta despite it's age, is one of their best sellers for good reason, with the price of admission, you get an all around mobile friendly IEM that has good thumpy bass, a lightly forwarded mid-range that has good details, a nice and light treble, adequate stage, a durable yet trendy build and a good selection of accessories that come with the package. The Delta plays well with almost any genre, specially the popular music of this time. If you want an IEM you can use for calls and listen to tunes on the go or on trips, this is definitely a good choice and worth your consideration.

Pros: A good balance in sonic ability, thumpy bass, good build quality, pretty good accessory package.

Cons: Has some minor sibilance

Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6, Zishan Z1(for comparison), Audirect Beam (for computer convenience) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)

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