If you haven’t heard of the audio company BGVP and you are an audiophile, you must have been living under a rock. Although BGVP is relatively new to the audiophile market, the Chinese company gained immense popularity with its critically acclaimed DM6 which was a pair of 5 BA per side (Balanced Armature) Knowles-based IEMs which sold for an impressive price of just $200. They had also released a cheaper pair of IEMs which they called DMG. Now, finally in 2019, they have released a successor to the DMG and that is the BGVP DMS which I will be reviewing today.
I’ve had the BGVP DMS for about 2 weeks now and have listened to them for a total time of at least 60 hours and have burned them continuously for 40 hours. I’ve used them mostly daily during this time period to listen to all genres of songs (rock, EDM, pop, movie soundtracks, Western classics, etc.).
Don’t want to read the full review? Here’s your TL;DR :
The BGVP DMS is a really excellent value-for-money pair of IEMs and I would recommend it to anyone who is on a budget and wants a pair of IEMs which can play a bit of everything.
But wait! Before you dive into the review, I have a quick disclaimer for you: I have received the BGVP DMS from Linsoul Audio for reviewing purposes. I have received the IEMs for free as a review unit and I won’t have to return it but this doesn’t mean that I have been incentivised or pressurized by BGVP or Linsoul to write this review for them. All the words used in this review are my own and this review is written in the most unbiased way that I could have done.
Now, on to the unboxing of this IEMs.
Priced at $159, these IEMs just at the extremities of the budget category. The unboxing experience is very minimalistic. The IEMs comes inside a simple cardboard box unlike some other IEMs out there at the same price but it helps to keep the overall cost of the IEMs down. Upon lifting open the top of the cardboard box, you will be greeted by the IEMs themselves, a plethora of eartips and a small black coloured paper box.
There are a total of 7 pairs of eartips displayed on the box (6 silicon eartips and 1 foam eartips), a pair of silicon eartips attached to the IEMs and 2 more silicon eartips inside the paper box for a total of 10 pairs of eartips included inside the box of these IEMs (which is a lot of tips if you ask me). Upon removing the paper box, you will find a quick instruction guide as well as a QC Pass card underneath it.
Inside the small paper box, you will find the MMCX cable included with the DMS, 2 more pairs of eartips as mentioned before and a shirt clip. Unfortunately, BGVP has refrained from including any kind of carrying case with the IEMs to cut down on the cost which is a shame considering at this price, Symphonium Audio managed to include 3 carrying cases for the Mirage IEMs which cost the same as the DMS.
Anyways, to summarize, when you receive the BGVP DMS you’ll get:
So as far as accessories goes, except for a case and probably a better cable (more on that later), I doubt that you would need to buy anything extra for the DMS as these IEMs comes with a lot of them.
The BGVP DMS is a hybrid pair of IEMs consisting of 6 Balanced Armature (BA) Drivers (1 Knowles SWFK 31736 Dual BA for the highs and ultra-highs and two custom-tuned DEK-60318 for the mid, low mids and mid-bass frequencies) and 1 Dynamic Driver for the sub-bass. Also, to keep the IEMs from getting incoherent, BGVP has implemented a 4-way passive crossover between the drivers. Now let’s move on to the design and build quality of the IEMs.
The overall build quality of these IEMs for the price is simply excellent. The whole shell of the IEM is made of CNC’d Aluminium with the nozzle having a metallic cover so as to prevent ear wax from getting inside the IEMs. They have also introduced a perforated metal grill bearing the BGVP logo on the back of the IEMs which is a nice touch. Although the IEMs are made of metal, they feel very light on the ears. The design of the IEMs has a bit of a CIEM feel in them although the back of the IEMs does not give out the same feeling as the inside part of the IEMs which will sit on the ears are contoured so as to provide a better fit on the ears.
Now coming to the cable, BGVP has used a single crystal SPC (silver plated copper) MMCX cable with the DMS. But unlike some other expensive IEMs, the cables are sheathed and not braided and also is a flat-style cable (and to be honest, gives out a slightly cheaper feeling). Due to this, the cable is much easier to manage and keep inside the pocket without getting tangled (as I always like to keep my IEMs in my pocket for easier access). Plus, the ear guides on this cable is really good. It is neither too stiff, nor too flexible. So, it does a great job in keeping the cable behind your ears (as it is an over-the-ear worn pair of IEMs).
So, overall the cable is perfectly fine and for the price, the overall build quality of both the IEMs and the cables is simply excellent as I had previously said.
Now this a place where your mileage may vary a lot. The BGVP DMS like most other IEMs at this price uses an over-the-ear fit. My ear canals are small so I used the small tips included in the box. Now, the comfort that the DMS provides to my ears is simply phenomenal. They are very light at only 6g per IEM and they sit flush to my ears and sit so perfectly that after a few minutes, I literally forget that these are in my ears. Also, I have the tendency to listen to my IEMs when I go to sleep and with normal cables without ear guides, whenever I lie down, the cable often moves out of my ear and dangles beside it. But with the implementation of the ear guides with the cable, the cable stays behind my ears no matter what.
The comfort (at least for me) is simply phenomenal with these IEMs.
As far as fit goes, since the insertion is not quite as deep as, say the Symphonium Audio Aurora, it doesn’t create a seal as good as the latter pair of IEMs. It sits just flush with the ear and the nozzle provides an overall good fit that is neither too loose nor too tight. So, the fit is also great in these IEMs and there is honestly nothing to complain about in here.
Now coming to noise isolation, since the fit and insertion was quite good on these IEMs (at least for me), basically most of the ambient noise was cut out by at least 15dB. Only the horns of the vehicles and the rumbling of my bus was audible (I usually test noise isolation inside public transportation as it gives a very nice idea of what to expect). So, although it won’t be able to cancel out high frequency and/or loud noises like the metro or an airplane completely, at moderate volumes, you should be able to block out most kinds of environmental noises. To be honest, these IEM’s isolation is only surpassed by the Symphonium Audio IEMs. But enough about this, let’s start with the main factor which is the make-or-break property of any audio gear, i.e., its sound.
Now, on to the most subjective part of the review: sound quality. Also, I won’t be posting any graphs in this review (or any review for that matter), as I don’t believe in graphs as much as I believe in my ears!
This time, I’ll be listening to the earbuds via 3 sources:
I will also list the soundtracks that I’ve used for each section of my sound test. (Note: All my tracks are either 44 kHz / 24-bits – 192 kHz / 24-bit FLAC or DSD64/DSD128).
The IEMs have a slightly V-shaped sound signature, although it is relatively on the neutral side compared to its predecessor, i.e. the BGVP DMG. Anyway, the bass in these IEMs are handled by its 10mm DD driver (for the sub bass) and one of the DEK 60317 BA drivers (for the mid bass) as well. Plus, it is the successor of BGVP DMG which was known to have a lot of bass. So needless to say, its bass has a huge amount of impact, depth and texture while retaining its fast pace and energy although it’s much more controlled and tighter in here than the DMG. The sub bass is full bodied and textured but it’s not overly pronounced and the IEMs are able to keep quite a bit of detail in it for its price, even though it tends to be slightly boomy.
The bass in these IEMs is impactful, energetic and nicely separated from the low mids which makes EDMs a pleasure to listen on these IEMs
As expected, there is no frequency mixing between the lows and mids and it sounds really clean and detailed. Bass guitars are well textured and sound quite natural in these IEMs as well. The mid bass is also much tighter and faster in the DMS than in the DMG but it is still able to retain most of the body and impact from its predecessor.
So overall, for a pair of IEMs targeted towards mainstream consumers and audiophiles on a budget at this price, I would say that the bass response is simply astounding for this price and to be honest, even bass heads will like to own a pair of these.
The mids here is relatively forward in nature in these IEMs which is, to be honest, a surprise to me as it had such a visceral bass in them. The vocals sound quite natural and textured in here. Male vocals have a nice warmth in them and is quite thick and sounds really natural and female vocals sound much more energetic, detailed and forward here without sounding in the least bit tinny and sibilant. Although these are not the most resolving IEMs that you can get for this price (Symphonium Audio Aurora provides a bit more detail and clarity in the mids), for the price you are getting these IEMs, I can hardly complain about that. I did not notice even a hint of sibilance even in the most sibilant which is a great thing as well and the separation between the vocals and the other instruments is also really great in here.
These IEMs produces the vocals in a much more energetic and forward manner which was somewhat unexpected after hearing its bass.
Drums also sounded clear and detailed in these IEMs. In tracks like “Back in Black” or “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, the drums sounded thick, full bodied and also had a good amount of impact without losing too much detail. Also, the separation between them and the vocals was also better than the DMG without any mixture of the different frequencies even in not so well-recorded tracks like “Paradise City” by Guns n’ Roses. In the song “The Reason” by Hoobastank, Doug Robb’s voice (the lead singer of Hoobastank) sounded wide and the drums had a nice impact, detail and energy to them.
So, for its price, BGVP DMS did a great job in the mids department as well. Now, onto the treble.
Now, coming to the treble, I felt that the DMS has a slightly boosted treble due to its v-shaped sound signature although it is not by a lot. Let’s start with those cymbals and hi-hats. They sound much more crisp, energetic and the instruments extend quite nicely without any roll-off. The DMS also had quite a bit of detail in them. Especially its rendition of guitar is really good. They sound clear, well textured, detailed and natural although I did feel that it made them sound slightly thicker than what it naturally sounds like. In tracks like “Numb” by Linkin Park, even though they are not the best recorded amongst tracks, the DMS did an overall great job separating the electric guitar from the piano that is played at the part “I’ve become so numb…”.
Now coming to pianos, their rendition sounds natural, clear, precise and detailed, although like the guitar, I did feel it being a bit thicker. In the track “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, the piano is handled quite well and has a lot of detail in it. Now, bells sounded controlled and energetic in the DMS with a slight boominess in them. Trumpets also sounded clear and natural in here.
So overall, I am really impressed with the treble that the DMS has offered me considering it is only $159.
Now, there are 2 ways to accurately measure a IEMs’ soundstage and positioning. First, is to use well-recorded binaural tracks (see track list below for more info). The second method (which I personally prefer more) is gaming. I have used two games specifically for this purpose. One is the well-known CS:GO and the other is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (the latter is a much more immersive experience).
Now, soundstage. For a pair of IEMs, I would say that they have an above average soundstage for its price. I would say that the soundstage of the DMS is much wider than the Symphonium Audio Mirage, although it is not as wide as the Moonbuds Crescents which are a pair of earbuds which tend to remain slightly open. I felt that the soundstage here was moderately expansive and was spread out in a circular fashion.
Now coming to its positioning, I felt that it is very similar to that of the Mirage. To test it out, I fired up CS:GO and I could easily pinpoint the source of the gunshot. Furthermore, in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, I could feel the voices whispering in my ears. Even in orchestral soundtracks like in Symphony No.5 by Beethoven, the overall layering and positioning of the instruments is quite good for its price. So overall, I was pretty impressed with the soundstage and positioning that the DMS provides with respect to its price.
The separation of the instruments is also quite good in these IEMs. Again, coming back to orchestral music, the separation between the different instruments in, say “Symphony No. 5 in C minor” by Beethoven, is honestly remarkable for its price. You can distinguish between all of the instruments that are being played in the track. Also, the instrument layering was also much better in the DMS than in some other IEMs at a similar price range. So overall, I was really happy with the separation of instruments it provides.
You should be able to easily drive them out of a smartphone although I did find that it opens up a bit more with a DAP or DAC/Amp. They have an impedance rating of only 12Ω and a sensitivity of 110 dB +/- 3dB. Also, I got a good volume from them in my Hiby R3 in Low Gain at about 65% volume so you shouldn’t be facing any difficulty while listening to them out of your smartphones directly.
To be honest, for the price of just $159, you are getting exactly BGVP wanted you to receive: a solid pair of IEMs which looks, feels and sounds really good for its price. It comes with a lot of accessories to get you started (although a case would be a welcome addition) it is very comfortable (at least for my ears) and the sound you are getting for this price is honestly second to only a very few IEMs. It has made a lot of improvements over the DMG, especially in the bass department, which although is still very powerful, is not as dominating as the DMG. So overall, I really liked the DMS and I would say that these IEMs provide really good value for money and I can heartily recommend it to people who are looking for an overall all-rounder pair of IEMs which can do a bit of everything for a low price.