Brainwavz has been building high-quality in-ear headphones for some time now, and we’ve seen some of them in the past — including the Brainwavz B100, Brainwavz B200, and the Brainwavz M100 headphones. Recently, the company took the wraps off of a new pair of headphones — the Brainwavz Koel balanced armature in-ear headphones.
The headphones aren’t overly expensive, coming in at $50 — but are they truly worth buying? We put the Brainwavz Koel headphones to the test to find out.
The design of the Brainwavz Koel headphones isn’t all that interesting, but they look perfectly fine. The headphones feature an earhook design, which is aimed at ensuring that the headphones stay nicely in your ears during use. The earbuds themselves are transparent, and feature removable cables — which is always helpful.
According to Brainwavz, the earbuds themselves are actually 3D printed, though you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell. The headphones look like any other pair of moulded in-ear headphones. In general, the build quality of the Brainwavz Koel headphones is pretty good. The headphones are largely built from plastic, but it’s a strong plastic, and we never really felt like the headphones would ever break.
In the box, you’ll get the headphones themselves, along with a total of six gel ear tips, a pair of comply memory foam tips, and a nice clamshell case.
We found that the Brainwavz Koel headphones were pretty well-designed. We like the transparent build, and found that the headphones seemed pretty strong.
The headphones are aimed at offering an ear-moulded design, which is helpful in ensuring a generally comfortable fit. You will, however, want to experiment with the different ear tips to find the right fit — as the pre-installed ear tips may not be perfect for your needs. We liked that the headphones come with Comply tips too — it’s always a handy feature.
While the headphones were generally pretty comfortable, we found that they weren’t the best at remaining in the ear — even despite the ear hook design. Eventually, we were able to work the headphones into fitting decently well, but the ear hooks didn’t really help with that.
Of course, perhaps the best thing about the Brainwavz Koel headphones is how they sound — considering the fact that they sounds pretty good, though with a few quirks. The balanced armature drivers here help ensure a nice, flat frequency response, which is great news for audiophiles on a budget.
Let’s start with the bass, which is generally pretty punchy, if only a little weak. It would have been nice to get a little more bass extension and a slightly more pronounced low end response, but the bass that is there still sounds fine.
The mid range is decently tuned. The low mids are a little laid back, while the headphones seem to prioritize vocals and other high-mid heavy instruments. It’s not a bad sound at all, though a slightly flatter response in the mid range might have been nice.
The highs could use a little extra work too. For starters, the high end could extend a lot further than it currently does, which would have helped create a slightly more exciting sound overall. The high end isn’t terrible, by any means, but it’s not all that interesting either.
But are the headphones the best option in the price range? Well, that depends. If you’re looking for in-ear monitors, then it’s worth considering the slightly more expensive Mackie MP-120 headphones. Alternatively, if you don’t mind going for standard in-ear headphones and don’t need the removable cables, then we recommend the Focal Spark headphones, which are also slightly more expensive.
Still, considering the nice design and good sound quality, we’re awarding the Brainwavz Koel headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.