MP4Nation ships the Brainwavz S5s in a flashy flip-top box. Inside, the in-ears are well protected.
A good bundle is essential for a set of quality in-ears, and here, the S5s are no let down. They ship in a semi-hard clamshell-type case and with a good selection of tips, including a set of Comply foam tips. Despite being a set of in-ears, MP4Nation includes a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter, which is nice if you plan on using them with a dedicated headphone amplifier at home.
Design-wise, MP4Nation stepped up their game for the Brainwavz S5s. The new design is much sleeker than any of the old ones. These are much more comfortable in the ears due to the work that has gone into shaping the housing and the strain relief so it does not collide with your ears.
The S5 in-ears feature a very distinct cone-shaped housing with great ergonomics. It is also well made. MP4Nation's Brainwavz in-ears are typically a little more rugged than what we are used to and made for everyday use and abuse, the S5s are no exception. There is clearly a trade-off between durability and comfort since each rugged element adds weight and volume, but MP4Nation managed to strike a nice balance between both in the S5s. They are comfortable and feel as though they can handle daily use, without having to be treated with extreme care. Using the clamshell is always a good idea, but most of us just roll up the cable to chuck them into a compartment in our bag.
The S5's flat cable is quite similar to the S1's. It is rugged and does not tangle as much as a regular round cable. Its microphonics are not quite as good as with Wesstone's Epic cable or the cable solution featured on newer HiFiMAN in-ears. The right mixture of comfort and durability is always hard to get right, and durability concerns took precedence over comfort in this particular case as the cable is stiffer and slightly heavier than what is usually seen on modern in-ears.