THE PLUS: Very well Balanced tonality, natural timbre, great female vocal free of sibilance, good layering, excellent macro-resolution, snappy attack, versatile cohesive tuning, lean treble, excellent cable, excellent construction
THE SO-SO: Average imaging and soundstage, lack of air, lack of natural bass extension, lack of micro-details and sparkle
BQEYZ is a Chinese earphones company with a solid fan base but still understated in the western world. Unlike lot of less professional IEM companies based in China, BQEYZ is known for both their unique craftmanship and high tuning skill. As well, they patent their own drivers, the last one being a quite revolutionary dual Piezo-dynamic driver that they use in their flagship earphones call BQEYZ SPRING.
This driver used with the balanced armature isn’t a normal DD one as it uses an impressive 9-layers piezoelectric driver in tandem with the big 13mm dynamic driver. Piezo driver is known to deliver crisp treble that can extend far in upper highs and Spring1 takes full advantage of it, digging a lot of microdetails and texture nuance. I’m a big fan of the first Spring version, but I feel tonal balance can be improved as well as the overall sound can be smoother and more natural, so it sound less aggressively analytical.
BQEYZ takes all consumers and reviewers feedback into consideration to tune differently their second Spring version, and it seems they want to enlighten a balanced musicality instead of forwards technicalities of Spring1.
The SPRING2 uses the exact same Hybrid drivers configuration, which is one custom made balanced armature with dual DD-piezo driver. The physical change is minimal but still important in terms of better ergonomic fit.
If the first Spring was already very good, do we need to buy the more expensive Spring2? This is one of the questions I will try to answer in my review.
You can buy the Spring2 for 169$ directly from the official BQEYZ Aliexpress store HERE.
PACKAGING, CONSTRUCTION & ACCESSORIES
As always with BQEYZ, we have minimalist packaging , which is the very same thick cardboard box than Spring1. The biggest difference in terms of accessories is the fact you can select the cable type between 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm jack.
This cable is of excellent quality, it’s a 4 strand Litz crystal copper cable with 224 cores. It look like the very same cable than the FAAEAL Hibiscus I praise about. As well, you have 6 pairs of silicone ear tips, 1 pair of memory foam, a cleaning tool, and a carrying case. Perhaps the box is small, but it’s sure fulfilled with a generous amount of accessories!
CONSTRUCTION of the first Spring was already very impressive which explains in part why the BQEYZ engineer did minimal changes. Like the first version, the whole body is made of thick solid metal that seems to promise very long durability and isn’t prompt to easy scratching. The front housing part has been changed for a more ergonomic one with an organic shape and less long nozzle which improves both fit and long time comfort. This might feel like a small change, but to me, it’s a game-changer in terms of smooth comfort because the first Spring1 tends to sore my inner ears because the nozzle was both too large and long. The 2pin connector hasn’t been improved, which isn’t really an issue because its sturdy and well embedded in the body, but still I would have preferred that the 2pin connector has been flush with the body to permit a wider range of cable pairing.
DRIVEABILITY is easy enough due to its rather high sensitivity of 110db, but the impedance of 32ohm do benefit from extra amping power, so while you can enjoy them with your phone, I do suggest you to use either a portable amp or powerful DAP to release its full potential in term of Soundstage and Dynamic heft.
ISOLATION is great and offers above-average passive noise cancelation due to its thick metal housing. Noise leakage is minimal but present and came from the 3 front venting hole.
Gear used: Xduoo X20, Ibasso DX90, Topping E10S+JDS ATOM or Xduoo XD-05plus, Audirect BEAM2
If we can’t exactly consider the Spring2 being neutral due to little bass boost and upper treble taming, it’s so well balanced and cohesive that we do not feel any specific frequencies range is overly colored or pushed forwards. Natural in tonal balance and full in timbre is the sound, with well rounded upper mids and treble that are free of sibilance or harshness. The Spring2 offer a lush W shape signature where mids and lower treble take the first seat and both low and high end are tamed.
Compared to the more aggressively bright Spring1, the biggest difference is due to the use of damping material to cancel unwanted spike in whole sound spectrum. The bass is less boomy and forwards, upper mids are smoother and upper treble is more balanced and less prompt to push forwards unwanted sound artifacts. The Spring1 has been healed by literally using damping plasters (or filters) on it’s bleeding wounds. To some extent, this healing process affects technicalities like clarity sharpness and details retrieval, but drastically improve tonality.
SOUNDSTAGE is wider than deeper, it has as well good tallness. Presentation is panoramic and stereo-like, making center positioning, not as holographically perceived as the left and right channel.
IMAGING is good, having a good mix of transparent enough layers and crisp highs positioning. Higher is the range of the instrument, better and wider the separation will be. Lower end instruments aren’t as precisely define. In that regard, the Spring1 have crisper and more precise imaging.
TIMBRE is a hint warm and transparent, has average density, texture nuance are more organic than grainy and lacks a bit of micro-details.
BASS stays in the back and has weighty slam, lacking some tightness edge even if the attack is very fast. The lack of lower end extension down to 20hz of Spring1 haven’t been healed, but most of its unwanted bleeding in lower mids are. Resolution isn’t the best as well as crisp separation from mids, as well, it lacks a bit on proper rounded kick punch, making it warm and chunky in its presentation even if as said it isn’t overly boosted at all. Here we are in a strange lukewarm bass territory, were it has the quality of basshead IEM but a tamed quantity, so you have lot of background rumble which isn’t that well balanced with the higher bass part. Sub-bass line has more presence than drum kick, which is good for pop and electro but not as good with jazz. Acoustic bass will lack natural extension and transparency, because yes, the bass is thick and quite opaque too. Nonetheless, the bass arrticulation is well done and offer extra dynamic heft to overall tonality.
MIDS are forwards, transparent and crisp. Female vocal sound particularly good, lusher than any other instruments and quite clear, though a bit breathy which affect the precise articulation of words. Full range instruments like piano can sound thin in lower register, but this benefit woodwind instrument like saxophone that sounds superb. Male vocal are a bit thinner than female vocal but don’t sound recessed or veiled by bass. The whole mid-range is very revealing in macro-resolution and can deal with busy tracks effortlessly, thanks to the great cohesion between the balanced armature and dual Piezo-DD drivers, the Spring2 deliver a highly accurate sound without sounding clinical. Sure mids are a little bright, but you don’t have any harshness or sibilance due to a well-polished tone. The spatial presentation is rather intimate and lacks a bit of air to sound enough open.
TREBLE is full and natural, snappy in the attack, but not the most brilliant or sparkly due to tamed upper highs. Still, it’s the most energic part of the sound spectrum. The percussion sound very realist with good harmonic balance, it’s neither metallic nor thin sounding. Snare does sound more aggressive in brightness and less well balanced than cymbals that kept its place in the back. Micro-details aren’t pushed forwards, making the Spring2 less analytical and revealing than the first version. Though the attack is very fast and thigh, the definition lacks a bit of edge to give some grip to the violin or electric guitar. The highs are the more open sounding frequencies and add a much-needed bit of air to the overall sound. Again, what impress here it’s how fluid sound the treble with rest of the spectrum, it doesn’t feel detached from mids and add pleasant naturalness to tonal cohesion. As well, don’t be afraid about the number of details the Spring2 can dig, because it sure delivers plenty of it if you search for it by entering critical listener mode.
I’m no treble sensitive but tends to be very sensitive to sibilance, less so to aggressive upper highs. Still, I’m very critical about proper lower end extension too because of numerous jazz bassists I listen to like Lars Danielsson or Arild Andersen. So, my biggest issue with the first Spring was more about the bass presentation too, which I found overly boomy and forwards. Unfortunately, while the bass is less boosted and more on the back seat, the sub extension cannot be healed by damping and do sound rolled-off. It really questions me about the use of a 13mm dynamic driver, especially if it’s a good idea to make a dual piezo-dd instead of using 2 separate drivers for proper sound expansion. In fact, untrained ears would perhaps not even be bothered by this little roll-off around the 50hz ultra-low zone, but to me, it makes acoustic bass sound boxy. That plus a slightly sloppy high bass make it for less accurate bass response lacking refinement in both attack and texture. So, personally, I do not find the bass of Spring2 enjoyable.
In the other hand, I find the mids very appealing, and female vocal sound sweet and full, though the overall definition of mid-range lack some sharpness, I do think it’s among the best mid-range of whole BQEYZ line up. We have both transparency and body, and the slight lack of lower mids presence does not affect overall tonality.
TREBLE too is surprisingly cohesive, it’s more liquid sounding than the first version and you don’t have an aggressive spike, nonetheless, I would have preferred a more resolving and sparkly treble and I miss the timbre texture of first Spring (not the harsh cymbals). In fact, the piezo driver sounds overly veiled.
I’m familiar with damping filter used with the balanced armature and tends to always pull them off so we can get more open sound and if there something that lacks with the Spring2 it’s AIR, this does affect negatively the imaging and soundstage depth and while we sure got a more balanced tonality, it’s a ”woolly tonality” that lack a bit of micro-resolution.
VS BQEYZ SPRING1 (around 100$ now)
I can just resume the difference between those saying that both are W shape but the Spring1 is brighter and more analytical while the Spring2 is lusher and more balanced, but it’s not enough.
The SOUNDSTAGE of Spring1 is about the same wide but taller and deeper with a more holographic feel and imaging has better transparency in layering and more air between instrument. The BASS is slightly boomier, less impactful and well define than Spring2 which seem to have a better extension too. MIDS are more transparent and textured as well as more sibilant, while vocal sound fuller and smoother with Spring2, the attack of instruments like piano, electric guitar and violin isn’t as immediate and detailed. TREBLE is more vivid and sparkly, making instrument like acoustic guitar have more decay, while the Spring2 have a more balanced treble that doesn’t force artificial analysis of the sound.
The Spring2 is like a domesticate Spring1, it’s warmer, slightly bassier with lusher vocal and less aggressive technicalities.
VS IKKO OH1 (140$)
The OH1 is more U shape and has a less natural tonality.
SOUNDSTAGE is again bigger and airier, but IMAGING is very similar and feels overly concentrated in the higher range. BASS is more boosted in sub-region and dig deeper, it’s weightier and more rounded, can we say it’s juicier too? Dunno, but the bass of OH1 feel higher in quantity AND quality with a more transparent density and more authoritative definition in separation. MIDS aren’t as full and sound more artificial, shouty and harsh, as well, complex busy track will make mid-range fastly overwhelmed compared to Spring2. TREBLE is again thinner, brighter in timbre and not as snappy as more resolved Spring2, but it’s airier and cleaner.
While the bass is sure better with the OH1, everything else apart Soundstage is more refined, full sounding and balanced with Spring2.
VS KINERA FREYA (250$)
The FREYA is Quad-Hybrid 1DD+3BA IEM, and while the overall technicalities are superior to Spring2, the Tonality isn’t as cohesive and full sounding. SOUNDSTAGE is more holographic and circular with deeper spatiality, imaging is sharper and has more amount of transparent layers than Spring2. Clarity is cleaner with the FREYA. BASS is similar, but slightly less boosted and has better separation and more controlled impact, it’s rounder too. MIDS are slightly more recessed but brighter, thinner and less natural, as well, they have more sibilance. TREBLE is more airy and delicate, but less full in timbre making it sound more artificial than Spring2.
The overall signature is similar, being both between U and W shape balance, but the Spring2 have both extensions tamed, making it less aggressively bright than the FREYA, but less clear and accurate in imaging too.
While i’m not sure you really need the Spring2 if you already own the Spring1 and aren’t offended by its vivid bright nature, I sincerely think it’s the best sounding one in term of musicality and tonal balance.
The Spring2 really find the sweet spot between natural tonality and capable technicality where everything sounds dynamic yet cohesive.
BQEYZ show again their tuning talent with the Spring2, which isn’t easy task for a trip hybrid configuration using 3 different types of drivers. To be able to deliver such a fluid and realist sound is nothing less than a tour-de-force.
If you like smooth W shape sound signature that delivers lush female vocal, excellent macro-resolution as well as weighty dynamic, the Spring2 should be on your Must-have list because this IEM will please as much the audiophile searching for accuracy than audio enthusiast searching for versatile musicality.