Review: BQEYZ Autumn – Autumn Waltz

3 tuning signatures are on offer here, from neutral, U-shaped, to a bassy sound.
3 tuning signatures are on offer here, from neutral, U-shaped, to a bassy sound.
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BQEYZ has released a tunable single dynamic driver set of IEMs with 3 unique sound signatures via innovative, magnetic, and swappable tuning filters!

Thank you, BQEYZ, for providing the BQEYZ Autumn review unit.

Tuneable IEMs are dime-a-dozen nowadays (Moondrop KATO, LZ A7, Smabat Proto and TRI Starsea, just to name a few). They allow the user to change the sound signature on-the-fly with a flick of a switch or by putting on a new filter, to change the sound signature from a single pair of IEMs.

Some of these tuneable IEMs may provide sound signatures that are just subtle variations of their stock sound (i.e. not much value-add or bordering on gimmicky). And some users may find it a chore to unscrew and put on a new filter, and only use a single filter setup, forgoing the tuning option entirely.

Some tuneable IEM filters are easier to swap than others.
The Autumn can hang with some established single DD big boys like the Tanchjim Oxygen and Moondrop KATO.
Bottom Line

The Autumn are good IEMs in the mid-FI single DD pantheon, bringing innovative, magnetic, swappable filters to the table, ensuring that switching sound signatures is as fuss-free as possible. The 3 different sound signatures on tap are not a gimmick, and they add increased versatility as a feather to the Autumn’s cap.

What We Like
  • Solid and comfortable build
  • Generous accessories
  • Organic timbre
  • Very versatile – 3 sound signatures which can be easily changed via an innovative magnetic swapping tool
  • Good soundstage
What We Don't Like
  • Below average isolation
  • Benefits from amplification
  • Tangly cable
  • Occasional glare at the 5 kHz (lower treble) region at louder volumes

The BQEYZ Autumn promise to fix these issues by bringing a magnetic swappable tuning filter concept to the table! This allows for quicker and easier filter changes and also reduces wear and tear when compared to switches or screw-on filters.

Company Overview

Although there is little company information available online, BQEYZ are one of the more prominent IEM manufacturers in the ultra-competitive CHI-FI market. Their motto is “Best Quality Earphones For You”.

BQEYZ produced some crowd favorites such as the KC2 and Summer, and the piezoelectric tribrids Spring 1 and Spring 2.The Autumn is the 3rd release (after the Spring and the Summer IEMs) in a 4 season themed release.

Technical Specifications

  • Form: IEMs
  • Drivers: 13mm dynamic driver with dual-cavity acoustic structure.
  • Impedance (Ohm): 46 Ω
  • Sensitivity (dB): 110dB
  • Frequency Response (Hz): 7 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Removable Cable: Y
  • Cable: silver-plated and copper hybrid cable
  • Cup/Shell Plug: 2.5mm/4.4mm/3.5mm with 2-pin 0.78 mm – can be selected during purchase
  • Mic: N

Packaging

The outer packaging looks a bit generic, but the stuff inside isn't!
The outer packaging looks a bit generic, but the stuff inside isn’t!

In the box

  • BQEYZ Autumn IEMs
  • 6 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L) – 3 pairs with narrow bore, 3 pairs with wider bore nozzles
  • 3 pairs of external filters (for tuning)
  • Magnetic swapping tool for filters
  • Cleaning brush
  • Cable
  • Semi rigid carrying case

The accessories are par for the course for a pair of mid-FI IEMs.

One set of tips have a wider bore nozzle (which boost upper frequencies), while the other set have a narrower bore that boosts the lower frequencies. YMMV.
One set of tips have a wider bore nozzle (which boost upper frequencies), while the other set have a narrower bore that boosts the lower frequencies. YMMV.

While there are no foam tips provided, I do find the silicone tips are good enough for regular usage.

Cable

The included cable is a silver-plated and copper hybrid. During the ordering process, BQEYZ offers the consumer the option to choose a termination of their choice: balanced 2.5mm or 4.4mm, or single-ended 3.5mm.

These are quite welcome options, as one can choose the cable depending on your preference for balanced or unbalanced sources.

The stock cable is well braided with only slight microphonics. There is a chin cinch to secure the fit. Unfortunately, the cable is on the thinner side and does tend to tangle easily.

L and R are printed on the distal terminals to indicate the left and right sides of the cable, respectively.
L and R are printed on the distal terminals to indicate the left and right sides of the cable, respectively.

Thankfully, the cable has 2-pin termination, which generally has a better shelf-life than MMCX, especially with frequent cable changes.

Case

While perhaps not the most eye-catching, the provided case is semi-rigid and pragmatic.
While perhaps not the most eye-catching, the provided case is semi-rigid and pragmatic.

Design

During ordering, one can opt for an ash green or benzo blue shell color. I selected the ash green variant in an effort to tie in with the Autumn concept (I hope the leaves will turn orange soon).

The shells are manufactured using 5-Axis CNC machined metallic ear cavities. They have three vents which do let in some outside noise, so isolation on the Autumn is admittedly below average.

Swapping tuning filters

The big selling point of the Autumn are the tuning filters that can be changed with the magnetic swapping tool. In fact it is literally a magic wand, in terms of usage and practicality.

There are 3 tuning filters provided, to give a bassy to neutral sound.
There are 3 tuning filters provided, to give a bassy to neutral sound.
The filters are magnetically attracted to the tool. Just place it near to the filter and viola, the filter literally jumps onto it.
The filters are magnetically attracted to the tool. Just place it near to the filter and viola, the filter literally jumps onto it.

The magnetic tool is quite dummy-proof. Just put it near the Autumn’s bass vent hole, and the filter will stick onto the tool and be removed easily. Placing a filter onto the bass vent is likewise easy, just stick the filter into the hole and slide the tool away and the filter sticks in.

The magnets for the filters are quite strong, and once placed inside the bass vent of the Autumn, they do not drop out, even with robust shaking.

The magnetic swappable concept promises less angst compared to flipping small switches or screwing on filters to change the sound signature.
The magnetic swappable concept promises less angst compared to flipping small switches or screwing on filters to change the sound signature.

I’ve seen reports on forums of tuning switches getting stuck or breaking with repeated use, and even conventional screw-on filters getting lost or causing wear and tear in the grooves. Even if not lost or damaged, the time taken to switch out a conventional screw-on nozzle filter must be factored in, and anyone with poor eyesight or shaky hands may face challenges with this sort of design.

The Autumn’s swappable magnetic filters get the task done in a few seconds and this gives the user more incentive to swap sound signatures on the fly.

Comfort

The Autumn are light, ergonomic, and comfortable. I encountered no issues with using them for marathon listening sessions.

There is a concha protrusion that provides extra grip without poking the ears.
There is a concha protrusion that provides extra grip without poking the ears.

I didn’t find any driver flex during testing.

Internals

The BQEYZ Autumn feature a 13mm dynamic driver with a dual-cavity acoustic structure.

The Autumn can be driven from weaker sources, but in view of their higher impedance, they do benefit from amplification, with improved soundstage, dynamics, micro-details and bass extension/tightness when more juice is added.

BQEYZ Autumn Sound

The Autumn have 3 distinctly different sound signatures with the various filters:

Bass FilterSound Impressions
Gray - “bassy” signatureThis gives a V-shaped tuning with bass above neutral but shy of bona-fide basshead levels. Sub-bass extends well with a big rumble. Mid-bass unfortunately has a mild bleed, but this adds some warmth to the lower midrange and adds heft to the music. Vocals are furthest in the background with this configuration. Clarity is the least of the 3 configurations and the soundstage can sound a bit compressed.
Gold - “balanced” signatureThis signature gives a midpoint between the silver and gray filters, with a U-shaped balanced sound, as per its namesake. The bass quantity is just slightly north of neutral with some sub-bass rumble. Upper mids are forward without shoutiness. Treble is moderately extended, but there is a small 5 kHz peak in the lower treble region.
Silver - “treble” preferenceThis tuning is cold neutral with added clarity and micro-details. Bass lies at neutral levels with a somewhat anemic sub-bass. Midrange is also neutral. The treble here is extended but there might be slight sibilance and a more prominent peak at the 5 kHz region.

While the Autumn can generate sound without any filters used at the bass vent, the bass frequencies totally disappear! Totally not advisable!

Across the various configurations, timbral accuracy on the Autumn is very organic and natural, as per the Autumn’s single DD roots.

Micro-details are above average at this price range for a single DD set, though there might be some multi BA/hybrid competitors with better resolution. Soundstage is a particular highlight on the Autumn, with good height and width. This aids instrument separation with no congestion noted even on busy tracks. Imaging is decent but not class-leading, and admittedly there are other single DD competitors with more accurate imaging.

The following sound impressions were done with the gold filters, which are the default setting and provide the most balanced sound signature.

Bass

The Autumn have moderately extended bass, with the mid-bass linearly descending to the sub-bass. The bass quantity is well-dosed, just being slightly north of neutral, being neither anemic nor intrusive.

Bass quality is high, with good speed, texture and timbre, and no mid-bass bleed.

The Autumn have good bass quality and quantity with the default gold filters. One can easily adjust the bass amoutnts with the other filters.
The Autumn have good bass quality and quantity with the default gold filters. One can easily adjust the bass amoutnts with the other filters.

Midrange

The lower mids are slightly recessed, with a boost in the upper mids. Vocals are forward without being shouty. The midrange, while not being the most transparent, balances a fine line between musicality and being analytical.

Layering is quite well done, aided by the aforementioned big soundstage.

Listening to Diana Krall’s Autumn In New York (no pun intended), some IEMs with sawtooth shaped upper mids can sound piercing, but there is none of that with the Autumn’s default gold filters.

Treble

The Autumn’s treble is moderately extended with the gold filters. While some CHI-FI IEMs have a peak in the 2 – 4 kHz regions, the Autumn have a peak around the 5 kHz (lower treble) region. In practice, the treble isn’t too harsh or sibilant, and most treble sensitive folk should be able to tolerate this area with the bass or balanced filters.

At higher volumes (Fletcher Munson curve), a peak in the 5 kHz area can occasionally be a bit jarring, but at moderate volumes, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Clarity and micro-details are quite good on the Autumn (for a single DD set), though there might be more airy competitors that give better treble extension.

Comparisons

I compared the Autumn with some other mid-FI single DD sets. Hybrids and pure BA IEMs were left out of the comparison as the different transducer types have their own pros and cons.

All my comparisons were done with the gold (balanced) filters on the Autumn.
All my comparisons were done with the gold (balanced) filters on the Autumn.

Vs. Tanchjim Oxygen

The Tanchjim Oxygen have better clarity, imaging, instrument separation, micro-details, and air.

The Autumn, however, have a bigger soundstage and thicker note weight, with the Oxygen sounding a bit thin in note definition.

The Oxygen do not have any tuning options, and can sound a bit bass light for bass forward music genres, so the Autumn have the edge in terms of versatility.

The Oxygen may also have fit issues due to their shorter nozzle, and they also weigh in at a substantially higher price than the Autumn.

Vs. Moondrop KATO

The Moondrop KATO follow Moondrop’s virtual diffuse sound field (VDSF) tuning philosophy (which is their in-house variant of the Harman curve). The KATO have 2 sets of screw-on nozzles to give a subtle difference to the sound flavor, but the differences are not as marked as the 3 sound signatures on offer with the Autumn.

The Autumn’s filters are far more convenient and easier to change, with the magnetic design bringing dividends.

Hence, versatility is better with the Autumn, as some might not want to keep unscrewing and screwing on nozzles on-the-go for the KATO. Both sets have an organic timbral accuracy for acoustic instruments, but the Autumn edges the KATOin soundstage, instrument separation, imaging, and micro-details.

Having said that, the KATO are slightly cheaper than the BQEYZ Autumn, but for the extra coin, the more impactful and easier to accomplish tuning options make the Autumn a better purchase.

Vs. KBEAR Aurora

The KBEAR Aurora are a harman-like set that have good timbre and tonality. However, they have weaker technicalities (imaging, micro-details, clarity, and instrument separation) than the Autumn, but the Aurora have a thicker note weight with a more analogue-sounding signature.

The Autumn are more versatile in view of the 3 tuning options on offer. Even with the bass filters placed on the Autumn (to give more bass heft to sound tonally more similar to the Aurora), the Autumn still have better technicalities than the Aurora.

Where to Buy

Conclusion

The Autumn are good IEMs in the mid-FI single DD pantheon, bringing innovative, magnetic, swappable filters to the table, ensuring that switching sound signatures is as fuss-free as possible. The 3 different sound signatures on tap are not a gimmick, and they add increased versatility as a feather to the Autumn’s cap. Bassheads to trebleheads should all find something to appreciate here.

It would be doing a disservice to the Autumn to just say that the magnetic filter concept is the main selling point of the IEM, as the Autumn are no slouch in terms of sonic performance, with their expansive soundstage being a particular highlight.

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and there are some areas for improvement. The Autumn have below average isolation, require amplification to scale better, and an occasional 5 kHz glare at louder volume rears its head.

The Autumn can hang with some established single DD big boys like the Tanchjim Oxygen and Moondrop KATO.
The Autumn can hang with some established single DD big boys like the Tanchjim Oxygen and Moondrop KATO.

I enjoyed my time with the various sound signatures available with the Autumn, and very much look forward to the upcoming “Winter” IEM in BQEYZ’s four seasons line-up!

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