Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones review

Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones review: what they are, why you should care

The Brainwavz XFit XF-200 are noise-isolating in-ear earphones, intended for the sporty type who likes a better quality of audio. They have a three-button remote and microphone, and a design that allows them to step slightly outside the run of the treadmill. Is that enough to make them worth your while? Read on to find out.

Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones review: Price and competition

Brainwavz told us that the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 will retail in the UK for 'around £18'. As of this writing we can find them only on Amazon US for $25. Brainwavz tells us that the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 will be available on Amazon UK soon enough, and the company does typically ship a lot of product through that channel.

At that price the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 are playing at the bottom end of the price pool, even in our Best Budget Headphones chart. We're at the same level of cost as Sony's MDR EX110AP earbuds, and the amazingly cheap UMI Voix. This prices the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 below even the Brainwavz S0, a headphone of which we are fond.

In essence we are talking about headphones that are cheaper than everything you can buy apart from (a) the freebies you get with your phone and (b) the terrible panic-buy headphones you pick up in transit before a flight or long train journey. So they don't need to be amazing to be well priced, but they do need to be good to be good value: free is still bad value if the product is no good.

Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones review: Build quality, design and comfort

The new Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones are designed for users who engage in sports and athletic activities, Brainwavz tells us. It is certainly the case that they wrap around your ears and are relatively difficult to dislodge once popped in your lugs. As a sweaty man, I find this over-the-ear design useful.

And comfortable. I'm listening to music as I write this, and when all of my tracks ended I wasn't prompted to pull out the Brainwavz. They just sit in there doing their thing. Other ear sizes are available, of course.  A complimentary set of Comply Foam tips are included, so you should be able to find a fit for you. And there is a hard case in order to keep them safe.

You get a 1.4 m chord, and the 3.5 mm jack is gold plated. Nice. There is a three-button control built into the cable for volume control, and to skip tracks, pause and play. And, yes, there is a microphone for taking phone calls.

Brainwavz XFit XF-200

We had a minor problem in that the 3.5mm jack proved too big to work with our LG G3 handset - this is a known problem with the LG G3, that is not the fault of the earphones. Some phones work, others don't, and which is which appears to be arbitrary. I don't think it is an issue with the Brainwavz XFit XF-200, but it happened so I feel I ought to mention it.

They do look the part, too. Available in black and something called 'Frosted white', the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones offer a square box with clear plastic through which you can see the electronic gubbins. It looks better than it sounds when I describe it. In fact, the overall effect is a pleasing mixture of high-tech and overt engineering. And, well, they look different to your average cheap earphones. See also: 20 best headphones UK 2016: The best headphones you can buy.

Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones review: Specs and audio quality

Brainwavz claims that it offers 'crisp, clear, bold sounds'. Well, crisp and clear is fair, in our view.

Technically, it comes with dynamic 9 mm drivers, and offers a rated impedance of 16 ohms. Brainwavz claims a frequency range of 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz, and sensitivity of 95 dB at 1 mW. At the less interesting rang of specs is the rated input power of 10 mW.

How do they sound? Good but not great. As you might expect at this price. The sound is plenty accurate. We weren't over impressed with the slightly cold treble, but it is sharp. High-end sounds are clean and detailed, overall, regardless of what type of music you play.

The detail followds into the mid range, where again we were happy with the clarity and detail. I like to listen to podcasts as I exercise, and the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 are really good for that. As they are for music with a lot of mid-level sounds such as guitars and vocals. It could be warmer, but is warm enough for a non-audiphile to enjoy. And the detail is great.

The bass, not so much. Again, expect clarity rather than overpowering punch. But even listening to really bassy music such as drum n bass and heavy metal we found that we could both hear and enjoy the bass.

Overall this is a solid performance. The Brainwavz XFit XF-200 are not great, but they are better than freebies, and better than you should expect at this price. (See also: Best budget headphones 2016 UK: Best cheap headphones under £50.)

Brainwavz XFit XF-200: Specs

  • Drivers: Dynamic, 9 mm
  • Rated Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB at 1 mW
  • Rated Input Power: 10 mW
  • Cable: 1.4 m Y-Cord, Copper Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated
  • Drivers: Dynamic, 9 mm
  • Rated Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB at 1 mW
  • Rated Input Power: 10 mW
  • Cable: 1.4 m Y-Cord, Copper Plug: 3.5 mm, Gold plated

OUR VERDICT

We like the Brainwavz XFit XF-200 earphones. At this low, low price they offer something that is noticeably better than either free earbuds bundled with your smartphone, or even other superbudget headphones. The sound is okay and no better, that is - well - okay. And they are nicely constructed, and comfortable to wear.