IntroductionBQEYZ (I hope I won’t make a mistake in this name) is a Chinese manufacturer. In the portfolio, they have a variety of IEMs in prices between $45 and $169. Some time ago Bruno wrote about their flagship model – Spring 2, but spring is already a thing of the past and now it’s time to give some love to Summer (here in Poland summer is also gone, but let’s pretend, it’s not).
Bqeyz Summer arrives in a mid-sized black-browed box, covered by a simple graphic cover. The package is fine for the price tag, in addition to the IEMs in the box, there are 6 sets of eartips, a good quality interchangeable silver-plated copper cable, a small gray case made of synthetic leather, a velcro strap, and a cleaning brush. Maybe the maker isn’t the most generous in the world, but for me the set is complete and that’s enough.
CableAs I mentioned above, the cable is made of OCC copper with silver plating and has 8 cores. It’s available with three different connectors: 2.5mm balanced jack, 3.5mm single-ended jack and 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced jack. I’ve received an option with the 3.5mm connector. On the earphone end, the cable has a 0.78 2-pin connector that even after attaching and detaching it many times, holds the hanging earphone pretty safe. Many headphones makers get us used to changing the original cable right after taking the IEMs out of the box, but not this time, the cable of Bqeyz Summer is so good that I wouldn’t think about it. The cable is so good that Bqeyz sells it for $29 without the earphones and for me, it still has got a very good price to quality factor and if I’ve been looking for a cheap cable for my 2-pin headphones I would definitely consider this one.
The build quality is another thing in these IEM that I don’t have anything to complain about. Maybe people who like metal shells may be disappointed because the Bqeyz Summer is made of some kind of plastic, but when I feel that the material is good quality it doesn’t bother me if it’s metal, plastic, acrylic, or epoxy resin. The faceplates are made of similar material, but with some addon of shiny glitter, so when you will be looking at the images in the review remember, I’m not that lazy to clean the headphones before a photo session, these dots and fragments are just their design feature. But the material is very durable considering it’s plastic, it doesn’t scratch too easy and I think some IEM made of metal are less damage resistant.
Comfort and Noise IsolationDamn, I must be a bad reviewer. Yet another place where I have to say that Bqeyz Spring earphones are good and they don’t have any flaws. The body of the IEM is very light, 4.2g makes that even after using them for a few hours, my ears didn’t hurt. The original cable is quite soft and it doesn’t cause a microphonic effect. I think the worst part of Bqeyz Summer is weak sound isolation, for me, it’s an important thing because I usually use IEM on my commute, where it’s quite loud and I want to isolate myself from the surrounding noise.
TechAs I mentioned in the intro inside there are three different driver types. A 13mm or, if you’re a fan of imperial units, a little smaller than half-inch dynamic driver, which is responsible for reproducing bass part of the frequency range. A second generation (whatever it means, but this time second is better than first I suppose) custom-tuned balanced armature. This unit reproduces midrange. The last one and I think the most interesting is a five-layered piezoelectric ceramic driver responsible for the treble. I used to listen to only one headphone using similar technology – LittleDot Gyfu (you can read my review here) and I really like the magic it does in the highest parts of the audible frequency range, but more on that later.
If you would ask me what does summer mean to me I would play Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Summer and I would say that it’s totally not my type. For me summer means fun, dancing, getting intoxicated by the pool, or by the warm sea, that’s why this time for testing purposes I used even less audiophile music than usual. After that lengthy intro let’s start the most important part of the review and this time the bass goes for the first shot. The amount of the bass is pretty impressive, maybe Bqeyz Summer ain’t the most bassy headphones I used to listen to, but still, this part of the frequency range is the most forward. But what’s important is that the bass is not only loud but it’s also pretty good in terms of speed and precision. Maybe it’s not as good as my Craft Ears Four CIEM, but let’s be honest I shouldn’t expect that a five times cheaper IEM can be as good as the CE4. As I mentioned above the bass is very well controlled, but it isn’t dry at the same time. This makes it sounds very engaging. Listening to Bohemian Bird by Grizfolk was very pleasant, the bass goes very low and has a very nice attack, but there are also a lot of details. If only I didn’t listen to Craft Ears Four and Aurum I would really say that they reproduce the bass exactly like I expect the bass should be reproduced, but now I can “only” say that the Bqeyz Summer does amazing work in the bass. When I put the reviewed earphones into my ears for the first time I asked if Bqeyz didn’t forget to put the midrange driver into my model of Summers. I think the main reason for these feelings was that at the time when I received them my daily driver was Focal Elegia and the Bqeyz Summer wasn’t burnt in. After 50-100 hours of playing the midrange got much more exposed and I also got used to their signature. Now while listening to Cliffy by Maeson I feel that I would love some more meat in the midrange because his voice is more dead than usual, but I could get used to it because of the other advantages of Bqeyz Summer IEM. The treble sounds exactly as I expected after reading the specs, especially the part about piezoelectric drivers. On one hand, it’s very precise, crispy, and technical, but on the other hand, it’s still pleasant and forgiving, in these terms, it reminds me of the treble of LittleDot Gyfu. The intro of Plymouth by Crooked Colours played with the Bqeyz has an amazing texture, I nearly felt it on my back, maybe the treble is not as detailed as in HiFiman Susvara, but Susvara costs more than a lot of cars on Polish roads when Summer costs less than most of the bicycles on Polish roads. On the other hand, even while listening to Premonition from Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By I don’t want to die because of the sibilants and that’s why I think piezoelectric drivers should be more popular in headphones. Very detailed and enjoyable treble at the same time is the thing I love in audio equipment. The last but not the least thing I need to write about is the soundstage. The best description is that it’s acceptable. Separation of sound sources is fine, but the size of the soundstage is not the best possible in their price class, to be gentle I would say that it’s intimate, because it’s not too wide and very shallow. I think that there are many, even cheaper earphones available, which can perform better in this regard. El Cuarto de Tula sounds like it would be recorded in a closet (and I’m still wondering, how did they put drums into the closet). Every instrument is very close to each other, but I have to admit that it’s a very clean closet, so I can easily tell where each musician is.
Fiio FH3Here I must write again that a product made by Fiio requires less power than Bqeyz to be properly driven. Both headphones are similarly, V-shapely tuned, but I would say that FH3 presents sound much more in your face. FH3 has much more bass, but it’s controlled not as well as in Bqeyz Summer, especially with the original Fiio LC3.5-B cable. The treble is more aggressive and not as pleasant as in today’s review star. But Fiio has also advantages, their soundstage is pretty impressive when we consider the construction and the price of the earphones and it beats the soundstage of Bqeyz Summer. I mentioned a cable of Fiio FH3, well the cable in the package is and that’s everything positive I can write about the original Fiio cable. It’s stiff and doesn’t sound very good and that’s why the first thing I did after buying the FH3 was also to purchase an LC-4.4C cable. In the question of comfort, this comparison is much harder than the previous one. On one hand, Fiio FH3 isolates noise better and feels more solid, but on the other hand, metal shells weigh more than plastic ones, so they aren’t as comfortable as Bqeyz Summer for long listening sessions.
SummaryBqeyz Summer is yet another +/- $100 IEM with a V-shaped frequency response graph. They definitely will find some fans, if you’re looking for maybe not the most technical sounding but quite bright headphones with powerful bass, you definitely should take them under your consideration. Recommended. Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – AKG K712, Audio-Technica m50x, Craft Ears Four CIEM, Craft Ears Aurum UIEM, Fiio FD3, Fiio FH3, Focal Elegia, Kinera BD005Pro KZ ZSX, LittleDot Gyfu.
- Sources– Fiio M11Pro, Fiio BTR3k, Palab M1-mini, SMSL su9&sp200