(Last Updated On: September 30, 2019)

With the release of the Spring 1, BQEYZ offers the audio audio community an affordable ticket into the growing carnival of triple hybrid in-ear-monitors.

Thank you, Elle Zhou, from BQEYZ for sending me the Spring 1. The products were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

Introduction

BQEYZ is an in-ear monitor (IEM) manufacturer from China. Unlike many manufacturers, BQEYZ is involved at every point of their products’ development: from design to development and even to production.

Engaging the service of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can potentially save a manufacturer a lot of cost. However, BQEYZ strives to keep it all in-house.

Triple hybrid IEMs, like BQEYZ’s Spring 1, utilize three different types of drivers to cover the sound spectrum. The strengths of some types of driver cover the weaknesses of the other types. This can improve the overall performance of an IEM compared to conventional non-hybrid configurations.

Elle Zhou, the person in-charge of BQEYZ, notified me in June 2019 of the Spring 1 release. I am fortunate to be selected to review this new flagship from BQEYZ. In this review, I will bring you through the Spring 1’s amazing journey!

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

BQEYZ Spring 1

“The BQEYZ Spring 1 is a great choice for audiophiles who are looking for an affordable triple-hybrid configured IEM. The price may be steep compared to other Chi-Fi brands on the market such as Tin HiFi and Knowledge-Zenith (KZ), but with its great build and sonic performance, I think the differences are totally worth it.”

Pros:

  • »Classy aluminium shell
  • »Detachable design
  • »Excellent accessories within price range of USD $150

Cons:

  • »Provided ear tips are too short for those who have long ear canals

Unboxing

The packaging of BQEYZ Spring 1 is classy. The outer sleeve is black with a photo of IEMs, the model name, and BQEYZ’s logo.

The outer sleeve of Spring 1 packaging
The outer sleeve of Spring 1 packaging

Removing the outer sleeve, you’re greeted by a hard black box with a silver logo printed on the top corner. Opening the hard box, Spring 1 officially makes its first appearance to the happy recipient. The metallic faceplate caught my attention immediately. There is an accessory box in the lower part of the inner box.

Removing the outer sleeve
Removing the outer sleeve
Opening the box, Spring 1 makes her first appearance
Opening the box, Spring 1 makes her first appearance

Opening the accessory box, users find a black semi-hard case. The following accessories are included in the semi-hard case:

The semi hard case provided
The semi hard case provided
Accessories in the case
Accessories in the case
The stock ear tips and cable
The stock ear tips and cable

Technical Specifications

  • Driver configuration: Triple hybrid – a 13mm dynamic driver, a balanced armature (BA) driver, and a 7-layer piezoelectric driver
  • Impedance: 43Ω
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Frequency Response: 7Hz-40kHz

Build

Upon opening the box, I was immediately sold on the physical appearance of Spring 1. She is a distinctive and attractive IEM. The faceplate is glossy. Unlike other brands from China who source shells from OEMs, BQEYZ works hard to present a unique IEM to customers, internally and externally.

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

BQEYZ uses an aluminium shell when crafting Spring 1. This gives Spring 1 a premium look. I chose the black color and the combination exceeds my expectation.

By using 5-axis computer numerical control (CNC) cutting mechanism, the shell produced is smooth and free of sharp edges which would otherwise cause discomfort when worn.
A closer look on Spring 1
A closer look on Spring 1

The nozzle is made of aluminium, too. I have seen a lot of broken plastic nozzles when users change ear tips, so this is an important selling point for me. The nozzle is often a fragile section of an IEM and I am glad BQEYZ paid special attention to it.

Side view of the nozzle
Side view of the nozzle
Top view of the nozzle
Top view of the nozzle

On top of the shell, there is a slightly-recessed 2-pin port. I am glad that BQEYZ is using a conventional 2-pin connector for this model. It makes cable rolling easy.

2 pin connector on top of the shell
2 pin connector on top of the shell

The cable provided in the box is an eight core 0.78mm 2-pin 3.5mm unbalanced SPC cable. There is a heat-shrink ear guide without metal wire in it. I like this type of ear guide because those with a metal wire will create noise when walking, with the metal wire clicking against spectacles.

Eight core 0.78mm 2-pin 3.5mm unbalanced SPC cable
Eight core 0.78mm 2-pin 3.5mm unbalanced SPC cable
2 pin connector on the cable
2 pin connector on the cable

Moving down the cable, the Y-splitter is grey in color and includes a neck slider which I found very useful. The 3.5mm jack has the same color scheme as the Y-splitter and there is a strain relief to provide additional durability.

Y splitter on the cable with chin slider
Y splitter on the cable with chin slider

Fit and Isolation

I spent a lot of time here to find the ear tips that give me the best isolation. The provided ear tips are too short to sit well in my long and deep ear canals. Eventually, I found the SpinFit CP145, which is provided in FiiO FH7 packaging and which fits me better than the original ear tips.

With the correct ear tips, the isolation is moderate. I seldom use this commuting because the noise from the surrounding environment leaks in. This is distracting. However, fit and isolation is subjective. Ear tip rolling can improve the isolation. I am still on my way to find the best ear tips.

There are three vents on the inner side of the shell to mitigate driver flex. BQEYZ is careful in designing the vent. It is good practice to implement the vent on the inner side because this minimizes the external noise once you are able to find a good fit.

Driver flex: when the driver bends under the pressure of air against it. This usually occurs when inserting the IEM into the ear. The air in the shell creates pressure, which bends the driver.
Three vents to mitigate driver flex
Three vents to mitigate driver flex

Pairing

For this review, I paired the Spring 1 with the Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii digital audio player (DAP). I used SpinFit CP145 size L ear tips for this review.

I cannot comment on the differences between BQEYZ’s provided ear tips because they did not fit me well.
Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii and BQEYZ Spring 1
Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii and BQEYZ Spring 1
Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii and BQEYZ Spring 1
Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii and BQEYZ Spring 1

Sound

Exuberant is the most appropriate word to describe the sound signature of Spring 1.

This is a relatively neutral IEM. When I first listened to it, it reminded me of Empire Ears’s Empire Studio Reference (ESR). There is a lot of energy in this IEM from all the regions of the frequency spectrum. It is fun but not fatiguing to listen to. The soundstage is deep and wide. I would call it an oval shape stage because is extends more in the Y-axis than it does in the X-axis.

Although the impedance is relatively high compared to other IEMs on the market, it can be properly driven with my Lotoo Paw 5000 mkii. It could be hard for a smartphone to unleash Spring 1’s potential. So, I would encourage users to use a dedicated amplifier or DAP to obtain the best result.

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

Lows

The bass extension is decent. I do not experience any sub-bass roll-off. A dynamic driver is used here to produce the low frequency. Due to the response speed of the 13mm dynamic driver, the bass decay is slightly prolonged; this injects some warmth into the overall sound signature. This is especially pronounced when listening to jazz. I really like how saxophones in jazz recordings sound on Spring 1 – warm with full body.

On the other hand, due to the slower response in the low frequencies, there is some bleeding of the mid-bass into the mids region. This slight bleeding could affect the mids performance a little but the correct layering during tuning minimizes the effect. BQEYZ has actually managed to make the transition from lows to mids smooth.

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

Mids

A BA driver covers the mid frequency region and the mids take centre stage (no pun intended) during playback. I would not call this a mid-centric IEM, but it does have a slightly forward midrange. This could be a selling point to those users who listen to pop songs like me.

Male and female vocals are handled well by Spring 1. When Olivia Ong starts singing in Fly Me to the Moon (from the album A Girl Meets Bossanova), she owns the whole stage. Sweet, airy, and spacious female vocals melt my heart immediately.

For male vocals, the energy from the lows gives the overall sound a full and organic body. Andy Lau sounds emotional and full of soul in When I Met You (from the album Blue Heart) with Spring 1.

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

Highs

Spring 1’s secret weapon dominates the war of IEMs in the USD$200 price range!

The Spring 1 uses a piezoelectric driver for the treble region. Soaring highs are a good adjective for Spring 1’s performance in the high frequencies. It is airy, spacious, and very well-extended. I call this the secret weapon because within this price range, it is rare to find an IEM with such amazing performance in the highs.

The air in the highs improves the overall fidelity of Spring 1. The sparkling highs also balance the warmth of the lows, making this IEM well-balanced overall.

Are the soaring highs bright or fatiguing? Well, although I have a good tolerance for high frequencies, I find the highs in Spring 1 to be as comfortable as a gentle tickle on my ear drums.

BQEYZ Spring 1
BQEYZ Spring 1

Comparisons

BQEYZ Spring 1 vs NiceHCK NX7

This is an attractive comparison and was a frequent request by netizens in the comments on my unboxing post. A quick introduction, NiceHCK NX7 is a triple hybrid IEM with 7 drivers: 2 dynamic drivers, 4 BA, and a single piezoelectric driver. I have always been more of a believer in Campfire Audio’s ideology: less is more. Driver count does not always tell us which is better.

NX7 is a cold and dark sounding IEM. The lows response is touch and go. The extension in Spring 1 is much broader than NX7. This makes Spring 1 more enjoyable to listen to. Soundstage wise both of them are equally wide, but Spring 1 is deeper due to the bass extension. Personally, I would vote for Spring 1 without any doubts.

NiceHCK NX7 vs BQEYZ Spring 1
NiceHCK NX7 vs BQEYZ Spring 1

BQEYZ Spring 1 vs Simgot EK3

Both of these models are triple driver configured. For those who wish to know more on EK3, you can refer to my earlier review. In this comparison, there is no absolute result because they cater to the needs of different groups of audiophiles. Both of them have a neutral sound signature, but there are some differences.

EK3 is darker compared to Spring 1. I would describe Spring 1 as an untamed horse galloping through a field, while EK3 is a small rabbit hopping around a meadow. Spring 1 has more energy and excitement when producing sound while EK3 is on the shy side. The extensions in lows and highs is a sure win for Spring 1 due to the limitation of the full BA configuration in EK3.

Simgot EK3 vs BQEYZ Spring 1
Simgot EK3 vs BQEYZ Spring 1

Conclusion

The Spring 1 retails for USD $139.00. It can be purchased through BQEYZ’s Official Store on AliExpress. There are 2 color options for this model: Black-Gold and Blue-Gold.

The BQEYZ Spring 1 is a great choice for audiophiles who are looking for an affordable triple-hybrid configured IEM. The price may be steep compared to other Chi-Fi brands on the market such as Tin HiFi and Knowledge-Zenith (KZ), but with its great build and sonic performance, I think the differences are totally worth it.