Mini Headphone Showdown: Pioneer HRM-6 vs Brainwavz HM5

Thanks for reading and for the question! I’ve got some more content planned for the HRM-6’s in a week or two, but for now here’s a little bonus showdown so I can try and answer your query.


The HM5 is cheaper, at about $99 vs the $169 price tag of the HRM-6.

The HRM-6 comes with three cables, the HM5 only comes with two.

The HM5 comes with a hard case, compared to the soft bag of the HRM-6.

Neither one has a cable with a phone remote/mic.

Sound Quality

The HM5’s sound is a little bit thin and boring compared to the sound of the HRM-6’s. If you’re used to warmer, more bass-focused headphones, you’ll be right at home with the HRM-6’s, and the HM5’s will sound lacking to you.

They are both in the range that I would classify as “neutral,” but the HM5 has less body to its tone.

I think they both surpass the bar for what I’d consider to be good sound quality…so it’s going to be down to whether you want a more treble-focused sound (HM5) or more overall clarity and more fun in the bass (HRM-6).

I like the sound of the HRM-6’s much more personally, and I would choose them every time on audio alone. They’re a little cleaner across the whole range…as befits their higher price.

Winner: HRM-6


This is a close call. Both headphones have a higher-than-average clamp, a light weight, and excellent ear pads.

The openings on the HM5 ear pads are a bit larger, so if you have the biggest ears, I’d say those will work better for you. Otherwise, this is more or less a tie.

Isolation is above average for both pairs. The HRM-6’s leak a bit more due to the bass ports on the top of each cup, but it’s not a huge deal.

Winner: Tie


The HRM-6 is built and designed so much better that it’s not even a contest.

I think the HM5 has a slightly flimsy and cheap feeling to several of its components, and a design that’s large and clunky.

Pioneer has none of these problems on their model. The HRM-6 is light, yet well-built. It makes good use of metal and metal accents. It has nice-feeling adjustments and rotation mechanisms.

Again, this isn’t surprising considering the price differences here. Pioneer also makes the HRM-5 headphones at the same $99 price point as the Brainwavz pair, and they cut the build down a little to hit that price. But I think those are also built a bit better than the Brainwavz pair. Build/design is the one weak link the HM5’s have.

Winner: HRM-6, no contest

Final Thoughts

It’s a bit of an unfair comparison since they’re priced so differently…but I think the HRM-6 is a better pair of headphones than the Brainwavz HM5’s.

However, the HM5’s are still very good for their category. They come with two nice cables, and a hard carrying case. And they sound pretty darn neutral for the price. And they have great comfort thanks to their huge ear pads.

Those are the reasons why they outranked the HRM-5’s in my Best Headphones I Reviewed list for 2017.

However, the HRM-6 makes good use of its higher price point to excel above both of them. The HRM-6 has a touch more fun and clarity to its sound, three cables, and lovely build quality. And I really like their styling. The pads are super thick and full of memory foam just like the Brainwavz pads…a trend I wish more manufacturers would follow!

Hope that helps you out!

Also, I kind of hate how similar the names of these headphones are, haha. I had to triple check every time I was typing one of them.

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