Hey guys,

This is thatBeatsguy back again, this time not with a review, but a major update, and a sponsored message!

Now, I know you're wondering, "Wait, we have sponsors now?" Well, we've had them for quite some time now! Gearbest has been kind enough to give me the opportunity to give you reviews on great earphones like the Xiaomi Piston 3, the Superlux HD381F, and the Macaw T60, all of which are (in my opinion) fantastic earphones for those without much cash to spend. Though DB Headphones is technically sponsored, we are still committed to give you our most honest opinions on every review you see on this site.

Anyway, I’ve been planning on bringing some major changes to the site, which I’ll probably roll out over the year if I can get it all sorted out. The way the site looks is really growing long in the tooth, and we have about the worst mobile support for any headphone review blog ever. So over the year, all that’s going to change, and that may mean I will move the site to a new platform. I’m not entirely sure how that will turn out, but that will happen nonetheless, so stay tuned!

And now for our sponsored message. Gearbest has lately become quite a bit of a big shot as a third-party earphone seller, giving people around the world the chance to buy some stellar earphones from Mainland China. Most of the time Chinese manufacturers like KZ don’t sell beyond the border, but third-party sellers like Gearbest instead take up that torch.

The Gearbest team has recently informed me that they will soon be selling the KZ ZS10. It’s a hybrid earphone with 1 dynamic driver and four(?!) balanced armature drivers. To be honest, I’ve always been quite wary of multi-driver setups in cheap earphones, and my experience with the Piston Hybrid is proof of that. I, too, will be quite wary of this model once they come out, but regardless, I’d like to see how KZ will pull off this five-driver setup in an earphone that only costs $45. They’re now available for preorder on Gearbest.com in a variety of colours and with mic/non-mic options. You can check that out HERE.

Anyway, that’s all from me; see you very, very soon!

Intro



Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has, since their inception, a proven track record of providing well-specced gadgets at very competitive prices. Though their earphone lineup is easily outclassed by many other brands both within and outside China, they still have a sizeable following, and I am one of those followers. In fact, their second-generation Piston earphones were one of the first earphones I reviewed over the course of this so far four-year journey. Hence why we will be looking at one of their latest offerings, the Xiaomi Piston Air. Designed not as a successor to the main Piston earphone lineup (we have the Hybrid and Hybrid Pro for that), the Piston Air — also known as the Piston Capsule — is a non-isolating earphone marketed as being free and lightweight, focused on relaxing, all-day comfort. It is an interesting concept, no doubt, but how well has it been executed? Find out after the jump.

TL;DR: An otherwise decent performer at under $15, its overall design limits its usability to one of those earphones you can only use at home – and it’s not really that good there, either.

Intro




TL;DR: The KZ ATE sings loud and proud for such a cheap IEM. Despite that, they're one of the most aggressive sounding IEMs I've come across, for better or for worse.

Chinese manufacturer KZ is to headphones what Oppo or Huawei means to cellphones – cheap, of a decent quality, and Chinese. KZ was one of the first who came into the audiophile market riding the wave of distributor-sellers bridging the gap between Eastern manufacturers and Western consumers. They have seen become a staple recommendation for audiophiles with not much cash to burn, offering sound quality of much higher value than what their price tags would suggest.

This week we will be taking a look at one of the older, but still highly recommended KZ models – the ATE. My experience with the KZ ED9 was not a very good first impression (it had channel imbalance issues straight out of the box), so now, let's find out if maybe I simply got off on the wrong foot.

(Disclaimer: the product in review was received free of charge from George at Gearbest.com in exchange for my honest opinion. Please take the following with a grain of salt and always try before you buy.)


Intro



TL;DR: The Macaw T60 is not a particularly amazing IEM. That is, until you factor in the low, low price of $20, at which point it becomes one of the best bargain Bluetooth IEMs on the market.

In many markets, there is no denying the significant presence of Chinese brands that compose the bulk of its products – and the audio industry is no exception. However, what I feel is unique about the audio industry is the rather broad acceptance of these brands in consumer and critic circles. Brands like HiFiMAN and FiiO have maintained a solid following as full-blown manufacturers, while sellers such as Penon Audio and Gearbest built the bridges between the small-time Chinese manufacturers and the rest of the world.

That's why over the next month and a half, I will be releasing four back-to-back reviews of Chinese-brand IEMs, starting with the Macaw T60, a Bluetooth IEM. As far as I can tell, Macaw has a decently-sized product line being sold by various online sellers, and a particular earphone, the GT100s, has had a decent reception on the forums. Now, with that impression aside, I guess we can say the T60 will be pretty good, right? Let's get to it.

(Disclaimer: the product in review was received free of charge from George at Gearbest.com (whom I would also like to thank) in exchange for my honest opinion. Please take the following with a grain of salt and always try before you buy.)

Intro



TL;DR: The Brainwavz B200 exceeds expectations with its flagship IEM status, providing an excellent all-around package that embodies the very best of Brainwavz.

(Update 1/05/2018: Sometime in 2017 the B200 ahs been updated with removable cables and halved in price. This review, now since this B200 is now discontinued, is now obsolete, but sound impressions should still be accurate.)

Brainwavz has long been known for being a manufacturer that consistently releases great-sounding, high-quality earphones at price tags that won't break the bank. This combination has been the core of every Brainwavz release since the very beginning. But what if they decide to take all of that experience and channel it into a set of truly extraordinary earphones? That, my friends, is what I'll be covering here today: the Brainwavz B200.

The B200 is the highest-end model of Brainwavz' brand new balanced-armature B series of earphones, and is priced at a cool $200 – by far the most expensive Brainwavz earphone to date. But does that mean they're the best Brainwavz earphone? Let's find out.

(Disclaimer: the product in review was received free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. Please take the following with a grain of salt and always try before you buy.)