The Brightest Autumn
- Great tuning, with the possibility of adjustment thanks to the filters.
- Balance and coherence between the three bands.
- Magnetic filters are very easy to change and effective.
- Very good soundstage.
- Overall design and construction.
- Good cable, with the possibility to choose between three plugs.
- Very good fit and ergonomics.
- Carrying case.
- I would have liked more micro-detail extraction capacity.
- Absence of foam tips.
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Autumn is over and BQEYZ (Dongguan, China) has made the most of it. After the iteration of its triple hybrid, it has started a new journey based on a 13mm dynamic driver with a wide frequency range. But the brand wanted to introduce a more noticeable and important new feature. It’s not the dual-cavity acoustic structure, nor its 6µ diaphragm, nor its new 4-wire silver-plated copper monocrystalline mixed cable. It’s about the magnetic tuners. BQEYZ has created a kind of filters, which are like magnetic discs, inside which there are different networks that manage to change the air pressure in the ear canal, through the amount of air permeability, so that the sense of hearing is completely different. At the same time, the magnetic force of the tuner makes the dynamic driver obtain a double magnetic flux, to improve the lateral sound field of the earphone. Also, he has devised a very simple way to interchange these tuners. This, and its influence on the sound and everything in general, will be discussed in the next review. Stay tuned.
- Driver Type: 13mm dynamic driver with ultra-thin 6µ diaphragm.
- Frequency Response: 7-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 11dB
- Impedance: 46Ω
- Jack connector: Choice of 2.5/3.5/4.4mm
- Cartridge connection type: 2Pin 0.78mm
The BQEYZ Autumn comes in a medium sized, dark grey box. Its size is 170x113x60mm. In the upper left corner is written the brand name. In the centre, in larger letters, the model. And in the lower right corner there is a small description. All this, in white ink. In the background, there are subtle lines that evoke the profile of one of the Autumn capsules. On the back are the specifications, also in white letters, on a clearer grey background, along with a drawing of a capsule with its cable connected. At the bottom, again the model and at the bottom, on the right, the brand name.
The interior slides out and consists of an orange box. The inside is protected by a black cardboard cover, which has a window at the top, allowing the capsules to be seen. In the centre of the lid is a sentence and at the bottom is the brand name. After removing the lid, the plate containing the magnetic filters and the tool for exchanging them can be seen. This is a thin bar with a magnet at each end. There is a second layer of accessories, in short:
- The two capsules.
- The magnetic plate containing the tuning filters.
- Three pairs of tuning filters, the normal one is placed in the capsules.
- The tool for exchanging the filters.
- Three pairs of silicone tips, with black core and very clear grey exterior, sizes SxMxL.
- Three pairs of dark grey silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
- The zippered carrying case.
- The 4-strand silver-plated, mixed monocrystalline copper cable.
- One cleaning brush.
- Instruction manual.
- Warranty certificate.
The box is the classic BQEYZ box, but this time it is slightly taller and black. Perhaps it is to store the filters. It is square and the tool fits a bit tight, but without problems. I would have liked it to be elongated and with a light pouch to store the filter holder and the tool, in order not to lose the magnetic tuners.
6 pairs of tips are fine, but I miss a couple of foam tips. It has the detail that they are stored individually in foam rubber.
The cable doesn’t look very thick, but it feels high quality, you can even buy it separately. The fact that you can choose between 2.5/3.5/4.4mm plugs is what should be standard for products in this category, even lower.
In conclusion, the packaging and contents are not very different from the Summer model.
Construction and Design
The capsules are made of metal and are manufactured with a 5-axis CNC. They are medium sized and lightweight. They have a fine, smooth sandblasted surface and the colour is a very attractive dark turquoise blue. The shape of the outer face is slightly similar to that of the Spring 2. It is a semi-circle with one corner stretched and the other more rounded. The flat side is not so flat and has a slight curve.The outer face is not plain, but has two indentations, a kind of irregular groove, close to the two vertices. The inner face has the classic protrusion at one end, with a slight valley, in which the magnetic hole is located, in which the tuning filter is fixed. It is close to the skirt of the nozzle. Near it, towards the protrusion, is inscribed the letter indicating the channel. Following the edge is a sunken oval with three holes. The nozzles are of a different colour, but also metallic, silver-plated and polished. They have three levels, wide base (7.5mm), narrow neck (5mm) and wide ring again (5.8mm). The length is 5mm and the nozzle is protected by a mili perforated metal grid. On the rim of each capsule is a word written in white lettering. The right side has the name of the brand, the left side the model. On the rounded edge, on the flatter side, is the 2Pin 0.78mm connection. It is a rectangular machining, with slightly rounded corners, inside of which there is an oval/rectangular piece, containing two golden cylinders, which are the female connectors themselves.
The capsule is undeniably beautiful, its colour, surface and size is ideal and very attractive. But the tuning filters are exquisite. They are metal discs, magnetic, with a hole in the centre, in three colours (grey, gold and silver), inside which there are different grids that change the air pressure. This alters the frequency response, especially in the low frequencies. The high frequencies are also changed, albeit slightly.
The cable consists of 4 intertwined, silver-plated strands of mixed monocrystalline copper. The cable is not very thick. It is very comfortable and easy to handle. It is available in 2.5/3.5/4.4mm plugs. The shape of the connector is a cylinder with a depressed centre, which is smaller in diameter. The end where the cable exits is slightly and evenly tapered. On the depressed part and longitudinally, the marking is written in white letters. The dividing piece is only the depressed cylinder of the plug sleeve. The pin is a metal ring, also with a recessed centre and bevelled edges. The connector sleeves also have the same shape as the plug sleeve and the two connectors are mounted on a rectangular plastic plate. Both are marked with the letters L and R. The cable is ear-guided.
The metal plate that holds the filters is finely sandblasted. It has 6 metal holes for fixing the filters. BQEYZ is written on the top, in white letters. At the top is the grey filter for bass, the normal gold filter is in the middle and the silver filter for treble is at the bottom. The tool is a cylindrical metal bar. It has a flat part in the middle and tapers subtly towards the ends. There are magnets on the ends which allow the filters to be attached to the capsules. The procedure is simple, just place one end of the tool near the chosen filter. The magnet on the plate is of lower intensity than the one on the tool, so it sticks easily. To put it in the capsule, just fix it in its hole and slide the tool sideways, rather quickly, as if you were writing a line. It’s simple, very nice, and there are even videos showing it.
BQEYZ has created something extremely practical, an alternative to the screw-in filters that other brands have. The overall construction is excellent, as is the shape, colour and finish. But I have to stress that the filter mechanism is superior. And although it is magnetic, they do not fall out easily. I haven’t tried running with them, but daily use shouldn’t be a problem. Although you never know the bumps in the road.
The cable is thinner and the shapes are similar to the previous cables, with a colour to match the new capsules. The design of the new capsules has changed slightly from the Spring and has a slightly larger inner protrusion. But overall, although the outer face is also different, both the size and the lines are similar. But that does not detract from the beauty of the whole thing.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The size is very ideal and both the shape, with the slightly larger protrusion, as well as the angle and length of the nozzles, provide a very good, firm and durable fit. Insertion is shallow to medium, depending on the tips used. Even bi-flange or tri-flange tips can be used, with remarkable results.
The sound insulation is simply good.
I understand that the profile of the BQEYZ Autumn can vary from a tiny w to a more balanced, neutral, even midcentric profile, with the treble filter. In any case, none of their profiles are polarised and their whole curve is smooth and pleasant, with a certain touch of warmth with the bass and normal filters.
Traditionally, filters on the nozzles are used to tune the mid/high frequencies. This is usually the simplest traditional tuning method. There are other filters, which have become more common in recent times, which are the rear filters, located in the capsules. But the real revolution of these back filters is that they are magnetic, like the ones designed by BQEYZ for the Autumn. Normally, these filters alter the lower frequency range. On this occasion, between the treble filter and the bass filter, there is a difference of just over 6dB between them, while the normal filter is almost half that. With the low-cut filter the Autumns do not become IEMS for bass heads, but for bass lovers. One of the great advantages of the Autumn’s dynamic driver is that it doesn’t lose quality when the internal pressure is increased to achieve maximum bass power. And that says a lot about BQEYZ. With the normal filter, the bass is quite linear, with a slight emphasis on the mid-bass, which gives a very realistic timbre to the set. The punch is very dry and has a high speed, both in execution and decay. There is no aftertaste or contamination towards the midrange. Even the texture is quite remarkable with the gold filter, and I’m sure those who find the grey filter too much for their taste will find that the gold is perfect for maximising the rest of the Autumn’s characteristics. But it’s when the grey filters are put on that the fun begins. It’s really pleasing to see how the bass is maximised with this driver, while maintaining the speed, definition and level of resolution. Despite the speed, it is true that the decay feels slightly affected, but the texture is quite enjoyable, gaining in richness and roughness. This is not a harsh, overbearing or strongly impactful bass, but possesses a blend of delicacy, technique and power, classic of a finely tuned and truly capable dynamic driver. Both colour and timbre are natural and expressive, reflecting these characteristics in reproduction. The bass feels very full, agile, deep, with impact. Testing the pure sub-bass tones denotes the realism that exists in its execution. As it should be, the audible end is only perceptible, so there is no colouring whatsoever and the physical representation dominates in this aspect. This results in a very deep low end, a high degree of lamination, the ability to recreate layers and the ability to draw bass lines with great ease and fidelity. This is the real test of the Autumn’s technical ability in the low end. And even with the grey filter, the midrange does not suffer, because it is the sub-bass that is maximised. Moreover, because the confluence occurs between 300Hz and 400Hz, the difference between each filter being only 1dB at 200Hz. Pure art in tuning.
But the grey filter can shine not only in the low end, because its use also serves to enhance the warmth of the final sound, as well as increasing the weight of the beginning of the mids, which helps to give this first segment more body. After switching to the gold filter, the drums and bass become less powerful, but the guitars become more prominent and the vocals become sharper. It’s a matter of taste, if you want clarity to prevail perhaps the normal filter is the most appropriate, even the silver one. But if you want extra corpulence, the grey filter is still very effective, a way to enhance male vocals and give them extra prominence. It’s true that the detail with this filter is very good, but the clarity you get with the other filters makes your sound a little softer, but technically effective. It is not an analytical sound and its ability to extract micro details is at a limit, because it manages to hint at them, but not to present them in a complete way. With the gold filter the notes are sharpened and even more so with the silver filter. The sound also becomes clearer, cleaner and more delicate. This separates the notes even more, but technical skill goes only so far. One thing is level of resolution and the Autumns go to a mark. Filters help to clear the nuances, but the driver is the same and its ability is not that of a complete analytical sound. True, the technique is remarkable and the representation can veer from smooth and delicate, to more critical and thorough, but I wouldn’t rate the Autumns as excellent in the sense of micro-detail extraction, although I would rate them a good B. What is undeniable is the clarity with all filters, the enormous sense of separation, the amount of air and the dark, clean background. Even with the grey filter and the warmer exposure, the ability to articulate the notes is highly descriptive. The exposure of the whole range of voices and instruments is rich and tonally accurate, and the tonality can even be corrected to taste with the filters. It is clear, then, that the tuning is very accurate and achieves a very complete central range, which can be tuned to one side or the other thanks to the filters, which gives the ensemble a versatility within the reach of few, because it starts from a base, a response that I find very accurate, balanced, full, which manages to highlight each range, in a soft way, not strident, but with its own personality, which achieves a relationship between presence, clarity, closeness and excellent fullness. The result is a beautiful, descriptive range, very well presented and represented in its full width. It has a very appropriate presence, which feels respectful to the recordings, giving them their space, place and position. In this sense the Autumns are very democratic, they don’t dictate the distance where the elements should be, but they are free to present themselves in their precise spot. And this is another skill that I appreciate very much and that raises the level of this product.
The Autumns have a high end tuning that is a good mix of controlled sparkle. They are not treble IEMS, but they have a pleasant extension. The brightness is felt, but not overly so, nor are the highs linear, but they have slight drops in control, which are intended to produce that sparkle, but without becoming fatiguing. This is something you feel when playing sibilance-sensitive tracks: to see how the Autumn resolve these situations is commendable. The good thing is that these abilities are not altered by the change of filters, as they are very much in the lower zone and very subtly in the upper zone. Although it is true that its perception is freer when the bass is lightened. The notes are delicate, quite fine and have a natural, realistic timbre that does not feel forced. The sparkle resides in the thin expression of the treble and the control, in the light emphasis with which they are finished. Truly, the compromise BQEYZ has made in the tuning of this band is very eloquent and verges on excellence. The integration of the upper band with the rest is totally coherent and no disparity is felt in its expressiveness. The amount of air is just right, but not exceptional. But it can be enlarged by lightening the bass.
The soundstage is very well laid out. I have previously commented that the placement of voices and instruments has a distance that I feel is in keeping with and faithful to what is supposed to be the original recreation of each track. There doesn’t seem to be anything forced or arranged in a forward or backward manner, but rather there is a harmonious freedom in representing the scene. This means that the image distribution is also very coherent and there is a good relationship between the three axes. Without the scene being huge, the sense of air and separation is very effective, very adequate, providing a very pleasant and realistic representation of three-dimensionality and envelopment, but without there being a clear perception of sound outside the head, which provides that necessary degree of realism.
Thanks to the filters it is possible to gain a sense of depth, even width, by using the grey filter. While using the silver filter it is possible to gain a sense of air and the scene becomes more volatile, delicate, with a more perceptible and clearer separation. And commendably, the sense of height is always noticeable, something that is not easily sustainable.
Slightly lower in price, there are the Ikko OH10, an IEMS that I like a lot and that have a more U-tuning, with a more emphasized sub-bass and high mids on par. The construction is metallic but heavier and they have an ergonomics that if it adapts to our morphology, with a superficial insertion, is excellent, as in my case.
In terms of sound, if you use the bass filter on the BQEYZ, there is no doubt that those 3dB on the sub-bass end are clearly perceived on the Ikko, they are also slightly easier to move. But the bass rating is very similar, because in performance, as in loudness, timbre and technical characteristics they are very similar. And that’s something that says a lot about the Ikko, because having more emphasis, their control is exquisite. It is possible that the Autumns have a slightly darker bass and the OH10s have a little more comparative colour. This may give a sense of greater clarity in the Ikko. It is also true that their dynamic driver does not necessarily cover the entire audible range and may be more focused on midrange and bass. On the other hand, the BQEYZs are subtly faster and also overcome decay in the same proportion.
In the mid-range, the two have similarities as well. Many parameters are similar and the male voices sound similar. The greater emphasis on the upper mids is the biggest difference, something that is felt in that area, in the harmonics of the lower mids and in the female voices. There is a bit more density, fullness, balance and body in the Autumns, while the Ikko’s give more sparkle and less warmth. But the bigger bass can also influence the overall sound pressure of some recordings, giving the BQEYZs an advantage of greater freedom. However, on those recordings where the bass is light or non-existent, the Ikko’s less body and superior brightness is noticeable.
It is in the upper area where I find the most differences between the two IEMS. The brightness is obvious in the Ikko, being more present, linear and extended. There is more control in the Autumn, even shifting towards the silver filter. The overall perception of the sound is another matter, though.
The coarser detail is perceived as more shaded in the Autumn, while in the Ikko, their greater brightness and extension projects them higher, being thinner, crisper and more pronounced, giving a good account of their somewhat more analytical character. In terms of micro nuances, the Ikko is subtly superior, something that is almost evened out if other normal and treble filters are used on the Autumn.
The scene and image rendering is more three-dimensional in the Autumn, with a more enveloping and ethereal feel. The Ikko’s are a bit more concrete, giving a more flat feeling, not as volatile as the BQEYZ.
In general, my thinking is that if you have the Ikko, the Autumn is not necessary, unless you want to take advantage of the other two tunings of the BQEYZ. On the other hand, unless you prefer the double emphasis of the Ikko, I would choose the BQEYZ Autumn, for several reasons, but I would highlight their versatility as a truly outstanding point.
Comparative Frequency Responses with other IEMS
Perhaps autumn can be associated with the maturity of a life. In this case, that maturity is the fullness of BQEYZ, when it comes to designing what I think is the best IEM I’ve been able to try from this brand, the one I like the most. The Autumn return to the most basic design, that of a single dynamic driver, but with a great novelty: its magnetic tuning filters. But not only are they good for this reason, which makes them an extremely versatile product, but they also start from a great base. It is true that BQEYZ has been fine-tuning a frequency response with some similarities in its previous models. But it is only now that it has hit the nail on the head and managed to balance it, and even make it more flexible. And there would be no point in filters if that base were not good. Fortunately, it’s not just good, it’s excellent, so the result is even better.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- HiBy R3 PRO.
- Tempotec Sonata E44.
- Earmen Sparrow.
- Hidizs DH80S.
- Hidizs S9 Pro.
- Burson Audio Playmate.
- S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MKII + iFi ZEN CAN.
- ACMEE MF02S