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Friday, September 7, 2012

Brainwavz B2 [UPDATED]

Inks, this is an IEM over-load! LMAO

For the last, but not for the least, Brainwavz B2, which is a rebranded Fischer audio DBA-02 (mkI), is the final IEM sent by Inks. (And I believe it is owned by Anaxilus. Thanks a lot, Mike!) Please keep in mind that below data have been obtained with stock silicone sleeves, donated by Finn, aka Jupiterknight.

[ADDED ON 09/07/12]
With my newly acquired occluded simulator, I quickly re-analyzed B2 again. There's some level discrepancy in the frequency range above 10 kHz, but it was to be expected after all. I wish I could borrow DBA-02 mkII once again, to update the data.

PRO: Well-extended frequency response, though not as far as the DBA-02 mkII. The treble driver is still tuned to be little too bright. It's good both channels are well-matched.

CON: Distortion-wise, worse than the DBA-02 mkII. Inverted polarity issue is still there too.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: If I am not experiencing a Déjà vu here, Brainwavz B2 is definitely a Fischer audio's OEM product. Even the frequency response is virtually same, yet users tell a completely different story: DBA-02 mkII being warmer, slightly less treble and a bit more bass. Well, I doubt people in such mass are all experiencing a placebo effect at the same time, so this "perceived deviation" will be my next topic to be discussed

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: B2 can definitely benefit from a very deep insertion, up to the reference plane. It will even out the peak @ 10 kHz, while extending the high frequency bandwidth over 20 kHz. This is very nice.

Of course, inserting this IEM up to the 2nd bend of the external ear canal using stock sleeves will be very challenging. This issue will be discussed in an upcoming topic as well.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #3: Unfortunately, I was not able to take out 1000Ω brown dampers, which were already inserted into the B2's stem. However, there was some residual space of which I could simply snuck my Knowles dampers into, and later slide them out. 

As a matter of fact, adding dampers simply attenuates the high frequency range gradually, and do not necessarily tame the peak @ 10 kHz as I initially expected. 

ON SECOND THOUGHT #4: Simply by adding a resistor in series, B2 becomes a lot more balanced. The maximum resistance value that can fully underdamp B2 will be around 480 Ω, considering the unusual impedance hump @ 1.6 kHz caused by the cross-over network. As long as you do not overkill the mid-frequency with too much value, this underdamping scheme is highly recommendable.


  1. Strange... Left channel has much more distortion @ 3.5 kHz than the right one. Anyway thanks for measurements!
    Could you please explain how does wrong polarity affect on the sound?

    1. Distortion mismatch happens all the time. If it is below 1%, don't even worry about it. Inverted polarity does not really affect the sound quality as long as both channels are in the same phase. Still, I would want my money's worth LOL