Review : BQEYZ Spring 1
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
In today's review, we look at the BQEYZ Spring 1 IEM, an earphone that has garnered many praises in reviews and on the HeadFi forums.
Disclaimer : This was a personal unit purchased at retail price
Another chifi IEM has entered the game and this time it's the Spring 1 by BQEYZ. I have only read about this brand through other review sites but hadn't had the opportunity to try them out until now. After reading other reviews online, I decided to purchase this earphone for myself as it was also on sale during Black Friday on Aliexpress. Let's dive into the details of this IEM!
Sound : Balanced
Driver : 1 Piezoelectric driver, 1 BA driver, 1 13mm Dynamic driver
Socket : 2-pin (0.78mm)
Price : 139 USD
Where to buy : Aliexpress
- Very balanced sound
- INSANE amount of detail retrieval for its price
- Sturdy matte finishing aluminium shell
- Could use a bit more bass extension
- Some could find this earphone a bit "dull" (More explained in "Other Notes")
Suitable genres :
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
The earphones come packaged in a neat and compact box, greeting you with the brand and earphone model upon opening it. Digging deeper into the box, you can find the following items :
1 x Semi-hard case
1 pair of foam tips
1 set of "Atmosphere" and "Reference" ear tips (Small, Medium, Large)
1 x 0.78mm, 2-pin 8 core silver-plated cable with 3.5mm jack (standard headphone jack)
Given its value, I feel that the accessories provided are sufficient for most people and that the 8 core cable is a nice add on. The case is good enough to protect the earphone and has a little compartment in it for you to keep the ear tips on hand. The cable does not feel heavy at all and the build quality of it is good too. However, maybe a cleaning tool would have been nice, though you can easily clean off any dirt on the wax guard of the nozzle.
The Spring 1 is made of a sturdy aluminium frame and this attributes to the weight of the earphone, making it light and easy on the ears when wearing them. I must say, I am a sucker for matte finishing products as it makes everything feel more premium and this does not disappoint. Also, one advantage of matte finishing products is that it's not a fingerprint magnet and that's already a great plus point for me.
It feels great, looks great and it's also light weight, though some may argue that a heavier IEM feels more premium, which I agree to a certain extent. The wax guard of the earphone isn't your typical mesh, but a metal plate with holes in them. Though it may be slightly more prone to small ear wax getting stuck inside the holes, I feel that it's easier to clean it as you can simply wipe the earwax off of it.
Overall, the aluminium frame of the earphone is of good build quality and does not disappoint in build quality.
COMFORT AND ISOLATION
Earphone is on the smaller side and though it is thicker than most earphones, it would still fit in most people's ears. Wearing the earphones for several hours has not provided any discomfort towards my ears does not seem like it would fall off any time.
Isolation however, leaves more to be desired for. The ear tips provided (both the "Atmosphere" and "Reference") do not insert deep into my ears and always feels like there's a gap, resulting in sound interference from the outside and sound leakage from the earphones. Due to the wide nozzle of the earphones, insertion into the ear is not deep, but changing to the Acoustune AET-07 eartips helped a lot. Upon changing ear tips, I get a better seal though it still does not insert as deep.
In summary, the earphone feels comfortable to wear but the ear tips provided out of the box does not provide very good isolation. I would recommend that you change the ear tips to find one that provides a better seal.
This earphone has a balanced sound when I first heard it, everything is of equal levels with nothing overpowering the other. It does not compromise in any aspect, it reveals the music as it is and shows it to you at face value. Also, it is not an earphone that sounds boring but on the contrary, engages the listener and gets them into the groove of the music.
For this testing, I would be using the earphones with the stock cables and my Cayin N6ii (T01 module) as player. My sources would include both lossless files and Spotify but I would only state the general characteristics of the earphone that I can perceive.
Treble is slightly laid back with a nice sparkle to it that does not overwhelm the listener despite it being fitted with a piezoelectric driver. For most songs, it shines in the background, adding that groove to it and giving it that extra added clarity. Highs definitely have a nice slow roll-off to it, so if you like your music to have a surreal feel to it, give this a shot.
On slower paced songs such as with Anthony Neely's "The Last Embrace", cymbals in the background give the song that much needed feels and as the song ends, I heard chimes that were only made more revealing in this pair of earphones. As with Diana Krall's "The Look of Love", the shakers feel very spacious, it does not sound congested, reiterating my point of it giving the music a surreal and spacious feel. The shakers also sound very detailed, almost as if you can hear how the shakers are being played.
On faster tracks such as with UNISON SQUARE GARDEN's "Sugar Song to Bitter Step", cymbals are fast and snappy. Highs are very precise but as it is laid back, it could be hard to listen out for on such rock songs where all the instruments are coming together. Listening to Frederic's "Hello Goodbye" reveals the acoustic guitar in the background in detail that I was desperately trying to figure out when learning this song. I really enjoyed listening to the highs on this!
Highs on this would be enjoyable by both treble sensitive people and treble heads : Treble sensitive people would not find this too overpowering, only showing when needed, and treble heads would enjoy the accuracy and detail that this earphone reveals. Simply amazing!
The mids on this earphone are rather balanced, usually sounding closer than the highs and the lows. Vocals tend to be more intimate to the listener, sounding closer to the listener than other instruments in the mid range such as the electric guitar or drums.
Listening to slower paced tracks such as David Choi's "Uneasy" allows you to hear the nuances in his voice albeit it being slightly overshadowed by the bass and guitar layers. Testing it with Jay Chou's "不该" clearly shows you how separation is done right. AMei and Jay Chou's voice have a very clear distinction here, allowing you to easily tell how the harmonizing was done with the vocals while maintaining the feeling of the song.
Moving on to faster paced songs, BRADIO's "Super Wonderful" sounds, well, super wonderful! It sustains that nice rhythm maintained by the kick drum and the funky guitar rhythm, allowing one to tell apart every strum and chuck of the guitar. "Darwin Derby" by Vulfpeck further confirms the points made above, revealing each strum of Cory Wong's rhythmic strumming pattern, immersing you in this funky song.
In essence, mids generally take center stage here, but never being too "in your face" and the insane level of detail retrieval here clearly shows what it's capable of.
(Note : Impressions of bass is before the 100 hours of burn-in on the dynamic drivers. Will update again if there are any changes to the bass)
Bass quantity on this unit is adequate on most songs, it is definitely there and does not overpower the other aspects of the music. I love deep rumbling bass and this earphone does not disappoint. No matter the song, you can always hear and feel the bass, adding a nice weight and depth to the music.
With slower tracks, such as Khalil Fong's "四人游", bass does not disappoint, rumbling at the points where the bass is meant to shine and gives that weighty feel to the overall mood of the song. Going slightly further back into the past, the bass guitar in "Plastic Love" by Maria Takeuchi retains that rhythmic vibe to it. However, I wished that it had a slightly deeper extension as some songs could sound better with a bit of a deeper bass.
As with faster songs, bass in "Silent Libre Mirage" by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN has a great presence, adding to the rhythmic vibe of the song. There are no signs of any bass bleed, where the bass extends to the mids of the song. Listening to "Flamingo" by Yonezu Kenshi shows that the music could better benefit with a deeper bass extension as this song is mostly dominated by the bass though it still kicks and rumbles when its supposed to (but not quite enough).
Overall, bass feels adequate enough in almost every song I listen to and does not overpower the other layers of a music. However, I sometimes wish that the bass has slightly more extension to give some songs that extra weight and feel especially in jazz tracks.
For a 139 USD earphone, I have to commend it for having an INSANE amount of detail retrieval that most earphones lack. I have yet to hear anything at this price range that has the same amount of detail retrieval. I was very surprised at the amount of details it could pick up. It revealed every nuance in a song so smoothly and with such ease, never once struggling even with heavy metal songs. In Jupiter's "ARCADIA", you can easily tell apart the rhythm and lead guitar on the left and right channels, while never compromising on bass nor the cymbals of the drums.
The highs, mids and lows sound balanced to me on this earphone and everything was done just right. Given its value, I really don't have much bad things to say about it except that bass could use a bit of an extension to give it that extra oomph (but this is before the 100 hour burn in, will update if needed).
I also noticed that I kept mentioning how everything is adequate. This is because yes, everything is just enough. However if you'd like more of a certain aspect, you could always tweak it slightly by changing the cable. I have found that pairing this with Effect Audio's Virtuoso cable gives it an extra kick in the mid range that sounds great with funk and rock songs though it would sound duller.
After comparing it against the Moondrop KXXS, I noticed that Spring 1 may sound a bit "boring" against it. However, this is probably due to the analytical nature of the Spring 1. It lays it to you bare, revealing everything and not trying to color nor distort the sound as much as possible. The KXXS on the other hand, seems to jump at you with more life in its music, giving the song a weightier feeling with deeper bass and with airier, brighter highs. That is not to say that Spring 1 isn't enjoyable at all, it's just that Spring 1 is much more surgical in its sound and people who aren't used to this kind of sound should spend more time with such an earphone to identify if they can tolerate such a tone for long hours.
I really enjoyed listening to this earphone a lot, it is well-balanced, has insane amount of details and does everything just right. At its price point, it is hard to find anything that is remotely close to this. I would highly recommend this earphone to anyone looking for a balanced sound with insane levels of details, you will not regret it!