Review: Brainwavz Audio HM100

We were expecting disappointment, but the HM100s deliver on the promises and offer a studio sound at a consumer price.

Brainwavs Audio HM100
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Price £169
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HM100 key features:

  • Studio headphones
  • Drivers: Dynamic, 52mm
  • Rated impedance: 6 ohms
  • Frequency range: 10Hz–40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 96dB +/-3dB at 1mW
  • Max. input power: 1000mW
  • Comes with 1.3m and 3m straight cables
  • Hard case supplied
  • Weight: 350g

Headphone manufacturers are making ever-more-outrageous claims and design decisions to grab our attention in an increasingly crowded market.

Only a couple of issues back, we looked at some Nuraphones that spoke to you while adjusting their sound to fit your hearing – yes, really. This month we have the latest studio headphones from Brainwavz Audio which, according to Amazon, make “you feel like you’re in the studio with the artists”, as they offer such a true representation of what you’re hearing – as all useful studio headphones should, of course.

And in this instance, what do the outlandish design decisions consist of? Well, how about a retro look and wooden earpieces? They “simply shout the finest quality”, apparently.

Before we get too carried away in our cynicism, we should say that the HM100s are pretty competitively priced for studio-grade headphones. They’re also light enough to wear for long periods, which is obviously important, and do offer decent sonic isolation – both good for mixing – with the latter being down to that wood! Comfort levels are high, too, with a decent level of head hugging – not too loose or alien face-hugger tight.

The design itself is a personal one – Marmite perhaps – as some might love the colour and width; others might find both excessive.

Really, though, these phones, like all, should live or die by their sound, which is claimed to be both neutral and crystal clear. And next to our reference headphones, the Brainwavz stack up very well. They deliver a wide sound which is flat, with nothing standing out too much. Importantly, the detail is also there; those clashing basses we needed to surgically move apart in one mix are both present and correct, but crucially not flabby, just distinct.

Accurate headphones and monitors can often sound harsh and the fine line that a great set has to walk is balancing that accuracy with a decent listening experience. These, like our reference phones, do just that, and to a surprising level given that our reference phones are three times the price of the Brainwavz.

So those initial claims could well be true, after all, and they also come with a full two-year warranty. Great sound and a great price – you ‘wooden’ believe it.


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