With the Brainwavz HM3 on sale for $39.50 with free shipping at MP4Nation, I thought I’d give a quick “first impressions” review for potential buyers. Almost an exact replica of the Fischer Audio FA-004, the HM3 is an entry-level portable that stands next to the HM5 as the only full-size headphones in Brainwavz’ lineup.
I bought mine at the same preorder price, and it seems like a steal at this price for what it is, but a few things are holding it back in my opinion. I plan on posting a review but two things are preventing me from doing so. First, they could use some more burn-in I think, as they only have about 5 hours on them, and I do have some bones to pick with the sound – hopefully this will change. Second, I am pretty sure I have a defect in my HM3. A buzzing sound has developed in the right ear that is really obnoxious in the treble. I’m hoping it will go away with burn-in, but I have contacted Brainwavz about it. I own several Brainwavz product and this is the first one I have had an issue with, so hopefully their customer service will help me out.
Here are some first impressions, which can hopefully hold you over until I do a full review:
Build Quality: Pretty solid all-around but nothing spectacular. Adjusting the ears is really easy as it slides very smoothly up and down instead of clicking into place. It is extremely light. One of the big downsides is that cups do not swivel, making it difficult to call this a true portable. I found that a bit bothersome on the airplane because I could not tuck them away safely anywhere… I decided to just hold them on my lap.
Comfort: Feels pretty good when I first put it on, but I can start to feel the clamping force after a few minutes, and I start sweating too which is a bit irritating. This is just my personal experience though, everyone is different.
Sound: I will hold off on commenting on the sound for now. I will let them burn in in hopes that it will fix the buzzing problem. For now I’ll just say that they have a mostly balanced sound tending a hair towards warmth in the mids.
Check back soon for the full review!
Update 4/24: I will be sending my HM3 back to Brainwavz for a warranty repair — they are based in Hong Kong so it might take some time for it to get back to me… sorry!