BQEYZ continues their journey in conquering the entry-level, triple-hybrid IEMs with the second generation of Spring series, the Spring 2.
BQEYZ is an IEM manufacturer from China. The spelling game in creating the brand name of Chi-Fi never stops. Besides BQEYZ, we have TRN, KZ, CVJ and a lot more. This is my second review on BQEYZ IEMs, but I still can’t pronounce its name like a pro.
Despite the naming methodology being the same, the production of BQEYZ is totally different from other Chi-Fi manufacturers. Unlike many others, 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.
I reviewed the first model of the Spring series, Spring 1 in September of 2019. A year later, I received the Spring 2, which implemented several noticeable improvements from its predecessor. We will take a look on the latest flagship, Spring 2 from BQEYZ in this article!
- Premium stock cable
- Available option for cable termination
- Anodized aluminium shell with great durability
- Affordable pricing for a triple hybrid IEM
- Good sub-bass extension
- Overly forward presentation
- Narrow soundstage
- Presentation is messy in complicated tracks
- Needs a better ergonomic design to provide better fit and isolation
Spring 2 comes in a more colorful box. The accessories provided are almost carbon copies of Spring 1’s, except for the stock cable. The stock cable is one of the major improvements of Spring 2. We will go into details in the next section.
The following accessories are included:
- 6 pairs of silicone ear tips
- 3 pairs for “Atmosphere”: – with smaller bore to enhance the bass performance
- 3 pairs for “Reference”: – with wider bore to produce a more neutral sound signature
- A pair of foam ear tips
- 4 core single crystal copper wire braided 0.78mm 2-pin cable
- Cleaning kit
- Driver configuration: Single 13mm dynamic driver, single BA driver and single 9 layers piezoelectric driver
- Frequency response: 7Hz-40kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB
- Shell material: 5-axis CNC Machined Aluminium ear shells available in two different colors.
- Cable material: 4-strand single crystal copper braided cable
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Cable termination: 3.5mm unbalanced, 2.5mm balanced or 4.4mm balanced
The aluminium shell of Spring 2 is made with a 5-axis computer numerical control (CNC) machined process. The shells are well-processed, without any sharp edges that could potentially cause irritations while wearing. To maintain the shininess of the color on the shell, it underwent a two step anodization. The brand and model name are laser etched.
BQEYZ utilized the same slightly recessed 0.78mm 2-pin connector as the Spring 1 on the new model. I’m happy with this connector because I have plenty of upgrade cables I can use. The recessed 2-pin can reduce the magnitude of protrusion of the cable connector when connected to the IEMs, and thus increase the wearing comfort.
The nozzle of Spring 2 is shorter which solves a problem; I had a difficult time finding a decent pair of ear tips that could fit the long nozzle of Spring 1. The nozzle is covered with a showerhead-like metal piece to prevent foreign objects like ear wax and dust from entering the IEMs.
Here’s the major improvement – the cable. Instead of the cheaper looking 8 cores silver-plated copper (SPC) cable provided in the first generation, BQEYZ took one step forward to a four core single crystal copper braided cable. This design looks more premium and has multiple termination options to choose from.
I think this considerate move should be extended to more manufacturers because DAPs with balanced outputs are more accessible now.
Fit and Isolation
Spring 1 gave me nightmares with its fit and isolation. I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect pair of ear tips that gave me the best isolation. The provided ear tips are too short to sit comfortably in my long, deep ear canals. Spring 2 seems to have a better ergonomics design with a shorter nozzle.
Yes, the fitting is now improved – but in a very small way. With the stock ear tips, they don’t provide me with decent enough isolation to block out the external noise. To prove my point, I can hear noise from my keyboard while I am typing this review with Spring 2 on.
Fortunately, thanks to the shorter nozzle, getting third part ear tips is an easier task now. With Symbio F foam ear tips, the isolation improves significantly and I am settled down with it. I think there is still a huge room of improvement in both fit and isolation for BQEYZ to work on before releasing the Spring 3.
Similar to Spring 1, there are three vents on the inner side of the shell to mitigate driver flex. As usual, BQEYZ is careful in designing the vent. It’s 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.
To analyse the sonic performance of BQEYZ Spring 2, I paired it with my reference DAP, Lotoo PAW 6000. Rated at 32 ohms for impedance and 110db for sensitivity, Spring 2 is not a power hungry beast, to be sure. However, a more powerful and cleaner source is definitely favorable, especially for the dynamic driver. A fuller and more dynamic bass response is the end result of feeding it with a sufficient amount of power.
I would classify the sound signature of Spring 2 as bright W-shaped – good emphasis in sub-bass, mids and treble. The transition across the frequency spectrum, or rather across different types of drivers, has been handled well. Coherency in hybrid-configured IEMs is essential – different types of driver respond differently in terms of speed and magnitude.
The presentation is clean and neat in most of the audio. Despite saying that, I found that Spring 2 is not sufficiently capable of handling more complicated tracks. I will elaborate more in the soundstage section. Otherwise, the overall listening experience delivered by Spring 2 is enjoyable.
Soundstage, separation and imaging
The soundstage of Spring 2 is average. I find the presentation is too near to the listeners, sometimes a little aggressive. This might cause fatigueness after long listening. With the implementation of a large dynamic driver, the extension in the depth is great. However, the soundstage is insufficiently three-dimensional. This is partially due to the imaging of Spring 2.
Spring 2 has an odd imaging – the instruments and vocals are arranged parallelly in a straight line, positioned on your left and right ears. The headroom is more like a squarish box with nothing from the front or back). Every note produced is either from left or right. This is why I called it incapable of handling the more complicated tracks. The notes are congested in the left and right planar.
Based on the configuration, I guess the lows are handled by the large dynamic driver. Similar to most of the typical dynamic driver powered IEMs, Spring 2 has a good extension in sub-bass. The sub-bass is well controlled – neither too bombastic nor too lean. It has a full body and creates sufficient rumbles. However, I think the sub-bass rumble might not be sufficient for bass-head audiophiles’ needs.
Moving to the mid-bass, it’s slightly less aggressive. The quantity and speed are reduced to make space for the mids to expand their muscles.
I think BQEYZ missed this important factor to keep the mids clean – speed of mid-bass. When the speed of mid-bass is slow, it tends to bleed towards the mids and cause some muddinesses there. This is exactly what happened in Spring 2.
The mids of Spring 2 have some warmth, due to the slightly slower mid-bass. This gives the vocal presentation liveliness and emotion. The mids are smooth and articulate with rich texture – it penetrates deep into the audiences’ ear drums.
Listening to simpler tracks like Somewhere, Somebody by Jennifer Warners, she sounds sweet, emotional and lively. The overall presentation is airy and spacious. I find Spring 2 suitable for tracks like this – a vocalist with only one or two instruments.
In more complicated tracks like Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, the vocal tends to be shadowed by the overly forward positioned instruments. You need to put in effort to find the vocal presentation in a sea of musical notes. This is a result of positioning everything parallel. Otherwise, Spring 2 aces the midrange with warmth and good texture.
Be it soundstage, lows, mids or highs, all of them need to be taken care of in tuning. Otherwise, the neglected one will pull others back. Cannikin Law or wooden bucket theory explains this well – a bucket’s maximum capacity is determined by its shortest stave. The performance of a pair of IEMs is determined by its weakest characteristic.
Handled by a 9-layer piezoelectric driver, the highs of Spring 2 have good presence in the track. However, the soundstage, once again, limited its performance. Due to the parallel positioning, the air in the presentation is insufficient and results in the highs being stiff. Besides being stiff, the overly forward positioned soundstage might cause fatigueness for those who have lower treble tolerance.
This is definitely a deal-breaker and I hope BQEYZ can put more effort in this.
As mentioned quite a number of times – in simpler tracks, the highs perform well. It has good extension and air. It’s more polite and gentle compared to more complicated tracks. The performance is restricted by the soundstage.
If and only if the soundstage can be pushed outwards, the Spring 2 would be a pair of astonishing sounding IEMs. It’s sad to see the restricting factor pulling everything backward.
There are noticeable improvements in the second generation of Spring, such as better stock cables and shorter nozzles. However, in terms of sonic presentation, as a user who owned both Spring 1 and Spring 2, I find the latter to be disappointing. The imaging and soundstage did not reach its potential.
All the flaws surface when Spring 2 handles complicated tracks. I can see the potential again but, unfortunately, no one can unleash it – except BQEYZ themselves.
BQEYZ Spring 2 is retailing at USD$169.99. You can purchase it from HiFiGo.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I hope BQEYZ can pay more attention to the weaknesses in the Spring 2 and revise them in the new generation of Spring. Despite some disappointment, I’m still looking forward to their upcoming flagship because of their passion in this industry.