Review : BQEYZ Spring 2
Today, we look at the latest tribrid offering from BQEYZ, Spring 2!
Disclaimer : This unit was sent to me by BQEYZ. However, this does not affect my review of the product in any way whatsoever.
BQEYZ is a Chinese earphone company that has been in the market for quite a while. Their products such as the K2, KC2 and also Spring 1 have had decent reviews with their balanced tuning sound. I personally own the Spring 1 (you can check out my review of it here) and having been impressed by it, I decided that I should give the Spring 2 a listen too. Let's see how the Spring 2 is like!
Sound : Balanced with more focus on mids and midbass
The graph depicts how the earphones sound like to me
Driver : 13mm Coaxial dynamic driver + 9 Layers piezoelectric driver + Balanced armature driver
Socket : 2-pin (0.78mm)
Price : 169 USD
Where to buy it : Aliexpress (Not affiliate link)
Comfortable balanced sound
Good detailing in the mids section
Midbass has nice impact
Wide soundstage (with "Reference" tips)
Good build quality
Complete accessory pack
Can be too chill for certain genres
Does not have very good highs and lows extension
Isolation not the best
Suitable Genres : Acoustic, Funk (just for guitars) and chill songs in general
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
1 Set of "Atmosphere" silicone eartips (S,M,L)
1 Set of "Reference" silicone eartips (S,M,L)
1 Pair of foam eartips
1 x Single crystal copper cable (3.5mm; have the option to choose 2.5mm or 4.4mm)
1 x BQEYZ Spring 2
1 x Semi-hard carrying case
1 x Cleaning Tool
Again, BQEYZ keeps up with the very complete packaging that they established in the Spring 1. I like how they provide that carrying case that actually holds the tips in a separate pocket at the upper side of the case. The case is quite huge so it can actually hold larger sized earphones with no issues too.
I also like that they provide 2 different types of eartips for users who want to tweak their sound slightly. The difference between the two is that the "Atmosphere" tips have a smaller opening compared to the "Reference" tips as seen in the picture below. I will talk about the difference a bit more in the "Sound" segment.
"Atmosphere" (Top Row) vs "Reference" (Bottom Row) Tips
As for the cable, it's good to see that BQEYZ offers the option to choose between the 2.5mm, 3.5mm and the 4.4mm connectors. I went with the 3.5mm as my target audience are mostly for people who usually don't have a dedicated Digital Audio Player (DAP) with such connections. If you do however have a DAP, I highly recommend getting it in either 2.5mm/4.4mm to take advantage of the balanced output of your players!
The earphone also comes in 2 colors, midnight black and olive green. I went with the black for my unit but the green does look nice too.
BQEYZ Spring 2 Olive Green (Image taken from their product posting)
Overall, I really like that BQEYZ provide such a complete set of accessories and that you are ready to go head out immediately when you get it. The cleaning tool is also a nice touch for users to keep their earphones clean. Great job, don't ever cut back on this!
The Spring 2's shell is made of aluminum and it was produced through a 5-axis CNC process. The earphone feels very sturdy and has some weight to it but it never feels heavy on the ears. It also has a matte finishing and I just love it when earphones feel that way as it won't attract fingerprints. It certainly feels premium and its build quality is top-notch. Sockets hold the 2 pin connectors firmly with no signs of being loose.
However, I noticed that on the 2 pin connector on the cable, there is a slight rattling sound, which was also found on the Spring 1. After further confirming with BQEYZ, the rattling sound was actually caused by the heat shrink of the cable as there are gaps between the heat shrink and the cable. Thus when you shake it, the cable slightly knocks against the heat shrink and it causes the rattling sound. Despite that, it does not affect the sound in any way.
COMFORT AND ISOLATION
The earphone feels comfortable in my ears and never feels like it is dropping out despite its weight. I generally get a decent seal with the provided eartips though I would change to a different brand of tips to get an even better seal and comfort if I were to use it as my personal unit. I would recommend using the Acoustune AET-07 tips or the Final Audio tips if you are considering other brands of tips.
However the isolation on this unit is not very good. On the train, I could still hear the train announcements slightly while listening to music. I find myself having to turn up the volume to drown out the external noise when using it outdoors. Also when I'm typing on the keyboard, I can still hear myself typing at my typical volume of 37 in a quiet room.
Spring 2 with 2 vents on the inner side
I believe that to achieve a wider soundstage, BQEYZ placed another vent in each side of the earphone on top of the bass vent for its dynamic driver, but this comes at the expense of isolation.
Before I give a general overview of the sound, the setup I use to test are as follows :
DAP - Cayin N6ii (T01)
Cable - Stock (3.5mm)
Eartips - Stock ("Reference" tips)
The most prominent aspect of the sound is the mid bass; bass guitars stand out a lot more, kick drums has a fast and hard hitting impact. It has a natural sound and is very easy on the ears. Due to it having that comfortable sound, lows and highs however take a hit. It does not have that good of a low and high extension; bass doesn't go very deep and rumble much and treble doesn't sound as energetic as what I'm used to. However, when listening to my typical genres (rock, metal, blues), the groove provided by the highs is still audible but mostly tucked in the back. I also noticed that it has a wider soundstage than most earphones. The experience I get while listening to this is an out of head experience.
Given its comfortable sound, I find it really relaxing to use this pair of earphones to listen to songs that are slower paced or low energy. I find myself enjoying this pair of earphones with genres such as jazz and even some funk songs where it is not so upbeat.
Comparing tips, due to the "Atmosphere" tips having a narrower opening, you get a more directed sound with a slight boost to the highs and midbass. Highs would have a bit more sparkle to them while the midbass has more slam to them. There was no noticeable difference in the subbass.
Highs have air in them and is clear. Ever-present but doesn't overwhelm the listener and doesn't decay very quickly even during fast paced rock songs. It doesn't have a much extension and thus it might feel less energetic for certain songs that rely on high hats or cymbals for the rhythm.
This can be heard in POLKADOT STINGRAY's "FREE" where the high hats and cymbals don't stand out as much throughout the song.
Another example of this is in Polyphia's "Saucy" where the high hats are abundant. You always hear it but it doesn't particularly jump out to you immediately.
Then again, having lesser presence in the highs doesn't equate to it being bad. In certain songs where the treble can get really sharp, this would dampen it and make the song more palatable.
Such an instance is Keina Suda's "Charles (Self-Cover)" where there are very high pitched melodies in the chorus. On the ThieAudio Monarch, it sounds a little too sharp for me so I would usually turn down the volume. However on the Spring 2, it's much more acceptable and I don't find myself cringing from the sharpness of the sound.
I have to say that I really do enjoy the quality of the highs overall, though it has a lesser presence, the highs are crisp with a good spacing in it. It's a bit on the thinner side but I wouldn't call them thin either.
Similar to the highs, the mids doesn't have much presence in the upper mids region but the lower mids take center stage here. Rhythm guitars tend to be more audible than the lead guitars at times and have a decent amount of presence though lesser than that of mid bass.
In Frederic's "Kanashi Ureshi", you can hear the rhythm guitar very clearly when it comes in at 0:07 and tends to be more forward than the lead guitar. Even during the chorus, you can clearly hear the rhythm on the right side while lead is slightly more laidback on the left side. All while this is going on, drums tend to be tucked behind the rest of the instruments; even vocals are more audible than the drums!
I noticed that the Spring 2 excels in funk genres due to its ability to dissect the midrange section well and provide that bite to the the funky guitar, you could almost feel each chuck of the guitar in your ears. This is clearly evident in Vulfpeck's "Cory Wong" where you can feel each strum of the guitar and the bass guitar can also be felt. I'll dive more into the bass in the next segment.
In Frederic's "Sukiraism", I can hardly hear the drums save for some snares, kick drums and the high hats. The other drums on the drum kit are barely noticeable such as the Tom Tom drums.
Vocals are definitely one of the main focus here as they always stand out from the rest of the other frequencies in the mid range. However, it tends to be a bit shy at times, never overextending it's presence when the singer belts their voice.
I decided to try listening to "Tieduprightnow" from Parcels and it was a delight. Vocals are very defined, even the harmonies can be clearly heard. On top of the that, the bass lines are tight, filling in every pocket of the music and the drums aren't too overpowering. Guitar is also subtly tucked in the corner but has adequate amount of presence to chime in to the song. The whole song comes together very nicely through the Spring 2, and I think it excels for this particular genre that Parcels fall under.
Overall lower mids excels here with its ability to provide a good attack in instruments such as electric guitars. Upper mids and vocals are clear but doesn't have that much of a bite to it such as when the singer belts out those higher notes.
(This unit has not been burnt in for more than 100 hours. If there are any changes to the sound after, I will note down the changes then)
Upon putting on the earphone, midbass definitely stands out the most to me. You can always feel the kick drums and Tom drums. Subbass is decent but does not rumble as much nor goes as deep as I would have liked. There's a slight rumble when listening to most songs but it tends to hover closer to the mid bass region.
Going back to Parcel's "TiedUpRightNow", bass is tight and fast in general. You get a lot of that nice bass groove and that nice midbass slam. This is also the same for their song "IKnowHowIFeel" where the kick drums can be felt in your ears and the bass guitar has a decent enough rumble with each note. The Spring 2 really brings the groove to such funkier songs and I really like that about it!
Testing the extension of the low ends, I decided to test it against Polyphia's "So Strange", starting from 2:40 till the end of the song. Having listened to this on other earphones with a deeper bass extension, this song further confirms the fact that the bass doesn't go as deep and hovers mostly at the midbass segment. You could still get a rumble but it's as if the bass driver is very stiff (could be due to driver not being burnt in, will confirm again!). As the bass further descends in the final 30 seconds of the song, it doesn't really show as much.
I however found this rather suitable for jazz because of its calming sound overall. The bass just adds enough depth for most jazz songs without overpowering the song, allowing you to relax while listening to it. Still, the bass hovers around the midbass region but to me, I feel that it's just enough.
Overall, though bass doesn't have that much of a low end extension, it provides a decent rumble in the midbass segment that allows you to groove to the beat still.
Here are more detailed explanation about imaging, separation and soundstage :
Imaging is alright for most but don't expect it to be very well detailed. For most songs, imaging is mostly just between the left and right channels only.
If you've read my reviews enough, my go to song is "Can't Wait" by Chon for testing imaging. I don't hear much detailed imaging going on, mostly just between the left and right channels and how far the instruments are on the left and right side to me. There isn't the case where I sense an instrument diagonally to me and such.
From first impression, separation is only okay as the sound usually comes out as a cohesive unit. However upon closer inspection, I noticed that the separation is actually rather decent in the mids especially. Each segment (highs, mids and lows) have their own distinct layer when listening a bit close but tend to come together as one when you're not paying so much attention.
The most unique part about this earphone is that the mids section tend to be very well segmented. Instruments in the mids section have a very clear distinction from each other. Guitar, vocals and drums, each tend to be very well separated from each other. It's rather easy when trying to discern guitar riffs between the lead and rhythm section as each comes to you from each side. As a guitarist, I really enjoyed this aspect of the sound profile.
Soundstage is wide, usually I get an out of head experience with the earphone which I think is rather enjoyable when I want to listen to this and relax. If you are trying to listen to some music to relax on your bed, you wouldn't want it to all be in your head, that would sound too cramped. Hence I think that this level of soundstage is really comfortable to listen to.
I think what most people would like to know is how does it compare against its predecessor which has a similar driver setup. Hence, I will only be doing a comparison against the Spring 1. I will be using the "Reference" tips on both the units.
The Spring 2 is definitely easier to drive and does not require you to turn the volume up as much. To match the volume, the Spring 1 is at 44 while the Spring 2 is at 40. It could partly be due to the cable as the provided cable on the Spring 1 is thicker.
Comparing the lows, the extension of the bass on the Spring 1 is deeper. Using "So Strange" by Polyphia for testing, the subbass is much more audible on the Spring 1 and you can hear the change as it goes deeper. However, the Spring 2 has a better midbass slam as it has more kick to it in the kick drums. The kick drums on the Spring 1 is a bit more hollow than on the 2s. Personally feel that the Spring 2's bass has more substance than the 1s overall.
Moving on to the mids, Spring 2's has more attack in the midrange; chucking of the guitar strings sound thicker and have more bite to it. Using "Tieduprightnow" from Parcels again, the Spring 1 does not have that much attack and sounds a bit thinner. That upper midrange is clearer on the Spring 2. Vocal clarity is the same but similarly, it sounds bit thicker on the Spring 2 and has more presence on the Spring 2 than on the Spring 1.
As for highs, more audible on the Spring 2 than on the 1s and with a bit of a higher extension on the Spring 2 than on the 1s. High hats and cymbals sound thicker and have more spacing in them on the Spring 1s.
Spring 1 however, has a larger soundstage and it feels so much more spacious than the Spring 2. Spring 2 feels a bit more directed to the listener and maybe that is why some things are less audible on the Spring 1.
Imaging levels are about the same but separation is only just a bit better on the Spring 2 as music tends to sound more dissected than on the Spring 1 especially on tracks where the instruments start to get heavier.
Personally, I feel that the Spring 2 still retains the qualities of the Spring 1 but with slightly improved overall sound but it does so by losing some soundstage. I feel that the Spring 2 addresses some of the initial issues I had with the Spring 1 (review of Spring 1 here) where the earphone sounds a bit dull. The Spring 2 adds a tad more excitement to the earphones with its more present highs and midbass impact.
BQEYZ has released the Spring 2 that has a very comfortable sound with enough midbass impact, decent mids, laidback highs and a wider soundstage than most earphones. The Spring 2 is clearly an earphone that's more suitable for a comfortable listening session, such as on the way home after a long day or work or just laying in bed with some light tunes. I definitely enjoyed my time reviewing them as it was different from most of the high energy earphones that I've been listening to! If you want an earphone for a comfortable, musical sound, do give the BQEYZ Spring 2 a go!