Overview
Introduction
Design and specifications
Performance
Conclusion
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Brainwavz Jive Review

An affordable In-Ear Monitor that checks most of the requisites, without compromising much on sound quality
By Prajith Sabbani on 2015-10-20
Key Features
  • Noise Isolation
  • Metal housing
  • Comply foam tips (S-400)
  • Hard case
What we like
  • Impressive noise isolation
  • Good bass performance
  • Sturdy build with metal housing for the drivers
  • Impressive soundstaging
  • Inexpensive
What we don't like
  • Flimsy cable above the Y-split
  • Flattened mids
8
Our Score
Introduction

Despite numerous options of In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) in the sub-Rs.2,000 category, a majority of them fail to draw our attention solely on the basis of their performance. Of the very few companies that manufacture products with quality sound at affordable prices, Brainwavz is one such brand that is synonymous to producing value for money products. The Hong Kong-based company has made yet another addition to its IEMs with the Brainwavz Jive. Having had a good experience previously while reviewing the Brainwavz Delta, we expected the same from the new Brainwavz Jive. The Delta offered great sound without burning a hole in one’s pockets and with the Jive the company claims to offer high fidelity vocals and acoustics with accuracy. 

Brainwavz Jive -Introduction

In the Jive, Brainwavz packs plenty of interesting features such as sturdy built, noise isolation and 9mm dynamic drivers in its price point. The Jive is available separately for Android and iOS devices. We put the Jive to test whether it lives up to Brainwavz legacy.

Design and specifications
8

As mentioned earlier, Brainwavz ships separate variants of the Jive for Android and iOS devices. We got the iOS compatible unit for review. Inside the box is a Brainwavz hard carrying case that packs the pair of earphones, a shirt clip, three differently sized silicone ear tips (small, medium, large) and a Brainwavz-branded cable tie inside. 

Brainwavz also packs Comply Foam (S-400) tips, which are useful in case the silicone ear tips don’t fit well in your ears. Unlike the square hard case that came along with most of Brainwavz previous products, the Jive comes with a rectangular shaped case that we feel is much more appealing than its square counterpart.

Brainwavz Jive- Design

In terms of the aesthetics, the Jive bears a sleek and stylish design with full metal housings. Though, this is not the first time that we’ve seen full metal housings in Brainwavz earphones, as the company had previously used it on the Brainwavz Delta. Despite bearing full metal housings, the Jive doesn’t weigh much and sits comfortably in the ears. Moreover, these pair of earphones feels sturdy and durable, and are nothing less than any other pair of premium-looking earphones.  

The Jive comes in three colour options, Army Green, Blood Red, and Ink Blue. While we aren’t particularly fans of these flashy colours, these nonetheless didn’t look too bad either. The cable is 1.3m long, which makes it convenient to use. At one end of the cable is a slightly angled L-shaped 3.5mm jack. The cable looks robust before the Y-split, but after which it looks rather flimsy.

Brainwavz Jive - Design2

Above the Y-split on the left cord is an in-line microphone/playback controls. It has three buttons that are similar to the ones found on Apple EarPods: a centre button that accepts/rejects calls as well as play/pause music and two dedicated buttons for controlling the volume. 

The Jive houses 9mm dynamic drivers. These driver’s frequencies can reach as low as 20Hz and as high as 20,000Hz. They have a rated impedance of 16ohm and a sensitivity of 98dB at 1mW, meaning it can efficiently convert most of the electrical signal to sound, thereby providing loud sound.

All in all, in terms of design, we didn’t have much to complain about the Jive except for its rather flimsy cable above the Y-split. 

Performance
8

As soon as we plugged in our earphones, we were pretty impressed at how the Jive handled lower frequencies. When we listened to G-Dragon’s ‘Coup D’Etat’, we found the bass to be thumping yet balanced and not overpowering, just as the artist generally intends it to be. Do keep in mind though that the Brainwavz Jive is definitely not for bass-heads. 

Brainwavz Jive - Performance

When it comes to soundstaging, we tested the earphones with ‘Alone in Kyoto’ by Air. The earphones managed to create a sense of space that is typical of Brainwavz’s products. However, the imaging wasn’t up to Brainwavz’s standards: in Bernhoft’s ‘C’mon Talk’ when all the instruments start kicking in at once, the clarity and definition of each instrument took a hit. 

Additionally, the treble performance was also really good, and did not sound shrill. There wasn’t much considerable sibilance either. Having said that, what we didn’t like much about the Jive was that the mids were flattened. In Ed Sheeran’sThinking Out Loud’, vocals were considerably flattened, making it sound thin. It was nevertheless crisp and clear. Moreover, although the sound is not as detailed as on the Delta, it is still better than many other earphones in its price segment. 

In terms of fit, we were able to use the Jive without any discomfort. Additionally, when Brainwavz marketed the Jive as a pair of noise isolating earphones, they were spot on. We weren’t able to hear any ambient noise even when we were commuting. The microphone/playback controls worked well with our iPhone 5S and MacBook Air. In fact it also worked well with our Android device, the OnePlus One as well. However, we recommend that you to buy a version which is supported by your smartphone. 

Conclusion

Brainwavz has always been spot on when it comes to producing quality IEM’s and the Jive is no exception to this rule. That said, the Jive fails to offer crystal clear sound as some of the previous products from Brainwavz, but considering the price point that these earphones fall in, this is really something that one can’t complain about. However, we liked the bass performance in the Jive. If you are somebody who finds themselves stuck with stock earphones that came bundled with their smartphone and are looking for a good pair of earphones at affordable prices, the Brainwavz Jive is definitely worth considering. 

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