Received my R3 production model today (10/18/2013)!
NOTE: I have not tried amplification yet, but I will update and confirm if other reviews are correct about it amplifying the bass frequency a bit more.
- They sound neutral, and by that I mean you notice little to no boost of any frequency.
- Playback does not distort for any track I played at 70% volume levels.
- I've no complaints about sound quality or distorted listening after playing all genres of music from rock, metal, hip hop, pop, r&b, classic, country, reggae, electronica, latin, folk, blues, jazz.
- I don't own any IEM's with this level of control over the range of music (Other than Brainwavz I do own TF10s, FA Eternas, MG7 Atrios, VSonicGro7) Each of the mentioned IEMs sound great in their own right, but with certain kinds of music with exception of the TF10s which can do the same except they have a pronounced low and high end and not as flat as the R3.
- Do not use streaming music service like Spotify/Google unless you have audio application equalizer settings to customize the sound
- (Strangeness) On the first use when plugging into an headphone port and pressing play the sound seems to cut out for about 1-3 seconds and it seems as if the plug is not all the way plugged in. I tried to adjust by reinserting and rotating the plug so it is securely in the port. No issues after. I then tried this on several other audio players I own (laptop, iPad, SanDisk Sansa, smartphone) and the same thing happened. Is there some kind of warm up delay time needed for the drivers to respond? It reminded me of when a bookshelf amplified speaker is warming up when you first turn it on when the audio source is already in play. The first thing I notice is the right side driver is playing normal volume and then the left side seems muted. After I re-insert the audio plug it seems to play okay for the duration. I don't know if this is something the manufacturers overlooked, but it's the only aspect I find annoying.
This is a better than expected buy, even though I got worried about the reviews and comments from the pre-test reviews about the sound being different from 1 year ago to today, and tweaks prior to production. The neutral aspect seemed to worry me more as I've not owned an IEM that was reviewed this way before, but I definitely feel it will grow on me as this is the first time I have put the product through the paces on all genres of music without distortion or fatiguing to the ears. I've also noted how they sounded against my two other favorite Brainwavz IEMs, the M5 and R1, and to put it simply, it has less bass than the R1 (but not necessarily a bad thing), a way wider sound stage than both, and it has a more controlled vocal and high than the M5 at higher volumes. I would expect everything to change with amplification and equalization. Oh, and comfort wise, it is what other people say, and use the Comply tips (Comply T500 if you want a different specific size) for best comfort. Isolation is not too bad (about 80% ambient noise blocked) but I can hear a tiny bit of sound from people talking around me with them inserted without audio playing.
Definitely worth the price point out of the box, and does not disappoint. I will have to see how it holds up over time and what they sound like after I break them in after 100 hours or so.
Request to Manufacturer:
If someone can confirm this strange warm-up delay issue I pointed out, I would greatly appreciate it. If it is happening on other sets, then I hope it is a fixable flaw.