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Brainwavz B400 review: The best earphones under £200

Christopher Minasians
3 Apr 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
134
inc VAT

For around £134, you’re getting one hell of a deal; impressive sound and a load of bundled accessories make this a must-have product

Pros 
Incredible sound quality
Package includes two removable cables
24-month warranty
Cons 
Cable is hard to detach
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In 2017, I reviewed the Brainwavz B200, a set of dual balanced-armature driver earphones at £150. These received Expert Reviews’ most prestigious Best Buy award. Now only £95, the B200s are at an unbeatable value; and now Brainwavz is back with the B400.

Amazingly they look even better value, with four balanced-armature drivers per earpiece and a price of £134. The key question is: is the sound worth an extra £39?

READ NEXT: Brainwavz B200 review: The best sub-£100 earphones

Brainwavz B400 review: What you need to know

The Brainwavz B400 don’t look much from the outside. They’re cabled in-ears with a looped cable that hooks over the back of your ear to take the strain. Nothing fancy, though they do look quite handsome.

The B400 are all about providing maximum bang for your buck. They have four balanced-armature (BA) drivers per ear, come with two sets of removable cables, one of which has an in-line mic, and a wide array of accessories – from foam Comply T-100 tips to a set of cleaning tools to keep your earphones from looking spic and span.

The company set itself high standards with the B200, but its latest creation, the B400, is a true marvel.

READ NEXT: Best headphones - our pick of the best headphones of 2018

Brainwavz B400 review: Price and competition

The Brainwavz B400 cost £160 on Amazon but can also be found for around £134 on the manufacturer’s website.

It’s not short of competition, although at this price there are no other earphones with quad BA drivers. There’s the triple-driver Dunu DN-2000J for around £230, though, these are hard to source. Then there’s the flat-sounding dual-BA Westone W20 for around £215 and the more fun sounding Shure SE315 at around £135. Its sibling, the Brainwavz B200, should also be considered as a viable option, as they provide a tasty proposition at only £95.

As for warranty, the B400 follows in the company's footsteps by coming with a 24-month warranty, a step up from most manufacturers’ 12-month offering.

Brainwavz B400 review: Build quality, design and accessories

Inside the B400’s sleek box there’s a huge array of extras. You get a hard carrying case, a standard cable with a straight 3.5mm plug and a mic/remote cable with an off-angle 3.5mm plug. There are six sets of small and wide hole silicone ear tips in small, medium and large, a set of Comply T-100 foam tips, a shirt clip, a cleaning kit and a velcro cable tie.

For an additional cost, you can upgrade the bundled cable to ones that are terminated differently or made from silver. On Amazon, the B400 is only available in a clear shell that the company calls ‘Stay Frosty’. However, you’ll find four additional colours on the manufacturer’s website: Black, Cosmic Black, Crimson Red and Blue Knight.

The cables are worn over-the-ear with ear hooks that provide a snug fit and cables that, thankfully, don’t noisily rub against your clothes. They’re detachable, too, and use the standard MMCX (micro) connectors for termination, which means they can be replaced with third-party manufactured cables.

However, I do find the cables hard to detach from the shell. You’ll only get them to break free if you yank the cables with brute force – an unpleasant experience if you’re worried about damaging the cable’s strain relief.

READ NEXT: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless review

Brainwavz B400 review: Sound quality

The B400 house four balanced armature (BA) drivers, double that of the B200. The result? A more engaging sound, with a wider soundstage, better sub-bass extension and less rolled off highs. Simply put, the B400s are an improvement in almost every domain.

The B400s extend lusciously into the sub-bass frequencies, producing a soft, yet deep rumble. The mid-bass is controlled and accurate and, at the low end, they’re far better than the bass-light Westone W20 and somewhat uncontrolled Shure SE315. Even compared its sibling, the Brainwavz B200, can’t hold a candle to the B400’s bass performance.

Much like the B200, the B400’s mid-range is both forward sounding and hugely detailed and they cope spectacularly well with vocal tracks. In Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown - Freaky Friday, both rappers’ voices can be distinguished clearly throughout the bassline punches. The B400 aren’t quite as sparky as the Westone W40, for instance, but remember, the W40 cost more than three times the price. Compared with earphones that sit under £200, the Brainwavz B400 are by far the most technically capable I’ve listened to.

As for the highs, the B400 provide a little more extension at the top end than its smaller sibling and here those extra drivers really do come into play. Background sounds and percussion are executed perfectly, with cymbals and high hats in particular presented with crystal clear precision.

To me, though, the B400’s most impressive characteristic is its incredibly wide and deep soundstage: the sound they produce is truly expansive, allowing you – especially in atmospheric live performances – to discern every subtle nuance in the recording; every fret-scrape and caught breath, every foot tap and guitar thump. These are details that are harder to distinguish with the Brainwavz B200.

READ NEXT: Creative Sound BlasterX H5 review

Brainwavz B400 review: Verdict

Even though the Brainwavz B400 cost £134 they’re easily the best earphones I’ve ever listened to at under £200. There’s simply nothing else that offers such a complete package for the money, from sound quality to the bundled ear tips and other accessories. In fact, these are up there with some of the best universal-fit earphones I’ve heard, and I’ve listened to a lot of earphones in my time.

The B400s are simply incredible and deserve every accolade they get. That’s why I’m giving these Expert Reviews’ Best Buy award. If you’re in the market for high-end earphones, but don’t want to shell out a fortune, get the Brainwavz B400. You won’t be disappointed.

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