HIFIMAN is a relatively well-known brand in the audiophile circle due to its stellar products, such as the Hifiman Beauty and the high-priced Hifiman Shangri-La. We even tested the HIFIMAN TWS600, a mid-range true wireless in-ear headphone that captivated us with its sonic accuracy. In this review, we are testing the company’s new offer, the HIFIMAN BW200, which is a budget wireless earphone. Let’s see if it can affect.
Construction and comfort
The HIFIMAN BW200 sports a simple wireless in-ear headphone design although it does not have a stiff plastic neckband, as seen in many wireless earphones today. Instead, it has a flat tangle-resistant wire that wraps around the neck and extends to the earbud. There is a remote box on each side, one with all the buttons and LEDs and one empty (just to keep the balance).
Remote box volume up and down buttons on the left side, as well as multi-function buttons for power on and off and pause and play music. You can also use this button to answer or reject phone calls The buttons have a decent tactile response but are sometimes difficult to find and press because they sit flush with the body of the remote box. It also has a micro-USB charging port attached to the bottom of a rubber flap.
In the box, users get two additional silicone tips to choose from. We found that the tip of the medium-sized ear is the most suitable for us. The earbuds themselves are quite ergonomic and fit relatively inside the ear, however, the nozzles are not angled, which makes them a little less secure in the ear than earbuds with angular nozzles. The backs of the buds are magnetic and attached to each other when not in use, a common feature in wireless in-ear headphones and even in the budget section. Earphones are also quite light and can be easily carried in a pocket or small handbag.
The remote boxes on both sides are well balanced and because of this the earphones do not tug to one side. The wires are flat and tangle resistant, which we always appreciate. Overall, the HIFIMAN BW200 is particularly attractive to look at but comfortable and decently built earphones for the sub-2K price range.
If you’re looking for a pair of featured wireless earphones, the HIFIMAN BW200 isn’t necessarily the way to go. Even the Redmi SonicBass earphones which cost only Rs 999 are equipped with a large feature set from these earphones. The earphones are powered by Bluetooth v4.1, which is quite dated for 2020-2021. These come with an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means the earphones can withstand a few light splashes.
No additional codec support like AAC and aptX, just standard SBC codecs. However, in this price range, it is easy to forgive. What’s not easy to forgive and forget is the lack of voice assistant support, so you can’t control Google Assistant or Siri with onboard controls on this device, which is frustrating. In addition, the earphones come with micro-USB charging, while most have moved to USB Type-C.
One thing we were impressed with, however, was the battery life. For a pair of budget wireless earphones, the HIFIMAN BW200 has surprisingly decent battery life. Rated 12 hours of play time, we tested our own numbers to confirm these numbers and found that the buds lasted at least 11 hours from full charge.
HIFIMAN is a company well known for its audio skills, but the BW200 does not match the company’s other offers. The sound profile is quite dark, meaning the bass is very boosted and the height is given a little less importance. It creates a broody and dark sound tone that does not sound good with many genres of music.
Uncompensated Frequency Response Graph – HIFIMAN BW200 (blue) vs. reference IEM (orange)
For example, in the track Hysteria By Muse, The drums are very irresistible and they heavily cover the clarity and detail in the middle and height. The main guitar and claps of this track are heavily veiled which makes the song flat on the face. Even on base-focused tracks, the earphones create a somewhat boomerang base that takes you away from the whole experience.
The mids of these earphones actually sound quite elaborate and rich, but the heavy hearing from the shallow regions of the frequency chart affects the quality of the masking mids. All in all, there are other earphones in this price range that work better to balance the frequencies. For example, the Redmi SonicBass comes with a bus bias, but the bus does not overwhelm the medium and height to such an extent that they lose all their details.
Priced at Rs 1,999 but available at Rs 1,490 on other e-commerce platforms, the HIFIMAN BW200 is a relatively well-made headphone that lacks the finesse of sound quality. The sound profile is quite dark and the bass response impresses the details and subtlety of the middle and height. Earphones also lack voice assistant support and are powered by the latest Bluetooth v4.1, making it a bit difficult for us to recommend these buds to users.