The Evolution of the Seasons
- Remarkable lower range, with more speed and good technique.
- More dynamic and enjoyable sound, though pleasant for long listens.
- Great soundstage and three-dimensionality.
- Very light and comfortable capsules, with good ergonomics.
- Good cable, comfortable and flexible.
- It is not as attractive as the Spring models, nor is it as durable.
- The design of the outer face is not very eye-catching.
- In general, the texture of all ranges is not very pronounced.
- Although it has a good level of detail, micro detail and smaller nuances are not very exposed.
- The treble lacks a bit of homogeneity.
Link to the Store
The BQEYZ brand from Dongguan (China) continues to iterate its triple hybrid model. This time, it’s time to move to the summer season. This is the name of this new model: BQEYZ Summer. The external differences are obvious: compared to the Spring models, they have moved from a metal capsule to one made of resin, which weighs only 4.2 grams. Internally, three different drivers are still used: a 13mm dynamic driver, whose diaphragm is made of a PU+LCP composite material. A second-generation BA driver, redesigned exclusively for this model, provides a greater sense of air, more clarity in vocals and acoustic development, as well as a larger soundstage. Last but not least, the piezo unit has 5 layers, which are intended to make the sound free of undesirable sibilance and improve the level of resolution. Finally, the Summer comes with a new 8-strand cable, consisting of 0.08×18 cores of silver-plated monocrystalline copper wire.
In the following review we will see how all these new improvements help this new model in its main function, which is to play music in the best possible way.
- Driver Type: 1 x 13mm coaxial dynamic driver, 1 x 5-layer piezoelectric driver, 1 x balanced armature driver.
- Frequency Response: 7Hz-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 107dB
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Jack Connector: Choice of 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm
- Cartridge connection type: 2Pin 0.78mm
- Cable length: 1.2m
The BQEYZ Summer comes in a clear blue box, dimensions 167x103x56mm. The main face is very simple, in the centre is the word «SUMMER», in partly white and very clear blue letters. At the top left is the brand name, in a smaller, white font. On the back are the specifications, in Chinese and English, the contents and address of the headquarters, as well as their e-mail address. After removing the cardboard, a black box, with a silver brand logo in the centre, is visible. After lifting the lid, as if it were a book, you can read the phrase «Best Quality Earphone for You» on the back, a phrase that makes up most of the brand’s acronym. On the right side of the case is a cardboard insert, repeating the name of the model and the brand, which also contains a small window at the top, allowing the blue capsules to be seen. Underneath is a square, grey, zippered case with the logo in the centre. It appears to be made of imitation leather, which is very pleasant to the touch. The capsules are encased in a foam mould and underneath are two sets of silicone tips, among other things. Inside the case are the rest of the accessories. In summary, the complete contents are as follows:
- The 2 capsules.
- 1 2Pin 0.78mm 8-strand cable, consisting of 0.08×18 cores of silver-plated monocrystalline copper wire, with 2.5mm balanced connector.
- 1 zippered case.
- Cleaning brush.
- 1 set of clear silicone tips and blue core, sizes, SxMxL.
- 1 set of black silicone tips and blue core, sizes, SxMxL.
- Warranty certificate.
- Instruction manual.
The relatively tall, square case is perfect for storing the product, as the cable is a little thick and a smaller case would complicate the storage operation. The cleaning brush is appreciated, as are the two sets of tips, although some foam tips are missing.
On the other hand, the possibility to choose between 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm SE connectors is a detail that should be a general trend in all IEMS, as balanced output is becoming more and more popular among sources.
Construction and Design
The Summer can be chosen in two colours, black and blue. You can also choose between the three cable types 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm. The connection of the capsules is 2Pin 0.78mm. This time, they are made of translucent, skin-friendly resin. Each capsule weighs only 4.2 grams. The outer face has a wave pattern. Through it you can see inside, the dynamic driver and its connections. The shape of this side does not have the classic almond-shaped silhouette, but has two subtle vertices. The maximum width is less than 23mm and the height is less than 17mm. As for the thickness, at the lower level it is no more than 14mm and with the complete mouthpiece it is 23mm. The inner side has a protuberance at one end, which serves as an anchor for the upper part of the ear. Near it, there is a small indentation with a hole. Near the base of the mouthpiece, there is another hole. The mouthpiece is made of metal and has three distinct parts. The total length is 5.5mm. Its base has a diameter of 7.4mm, the central part of 5.2 and the crown of 5.80mm. The inside is protected by a perforated metal grid. They are extremely light at 4.2 grams and there are no noticeable flaws in their construction. On the rim of the right capsule you can read «Summer» and on the left «BQEYZ».
The cable consists of 8 strands, and is composed of 0.08×18 cores of silver-plated monocrystalline copper wire. They have an ear-shaped sheath, 2Pin 0.78mm connectors. The metal parts of the cable, connector sleeves, splitter piece and pin are of a shiny silver colour, which has a micro roughness. The sleeves have a cylindrical shape, which narrows in the middle. On the 2Pin connectors, there are letters R and L to identify each channel. The cable is relatively thick, but is flexible and has a low stiffness. The pin fits well and stays in place tightly. There is a Velcro strap for tucking it away. The cable doesn’t seem to need to be replaced and I find it appropriate for the price and quality. Also, due to the Summer’s profile, I find it appropriate that it is silver plated, with the intention of improving the clarity of the sound.
The capsules, now in resin, are inevitably less striking and elegant than those of the Spring models. In this respect, I have no complaints about the construction, but metal is always tougher. And although the shape is nice, I find this new model less attractive.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
However, the Summer’s ergonomics are superior. Their minimal weight and precise fit mean that they do not move or rotate, producing an excellent fit. However, it should be noted that the thickness of their mouthpieces may be more critical for those with a narrow ear canal. This is not my case, but quite the opposite. Thus, the insertion can be shallow to medium, depending on the tips used. The isolation will depend on the chosen set, but basically, it is quite good.
The cable is comfortable and the over-ear guide does not bother. There is no microphony and the weight of the set is good.
In this sense, this section is superior to previous models.
The profile of the BQEYZ Summer could be fitted into a soft crescent W. It has a linear, slightly emphasised bass, with a slightly recessed and balanced first half in the middle, where the second half rises gently to gain clarity. Finally, the now typical flash produced by the piezoelectric driver. It is true that my measurement system generates a resonance peak around 8kHz, but it is clear that this effect is «helped» by this driver, as it happened in the Spring models. The result is a slightly polarised profile, although more vivid than the previous Spring models, where the bass is more striking and the clarity also feels improved.
The feeling is that the bass is quite linear, from the sub-bass to the mid-bass, with a good extension towards the mids, due to its moderate roll-off. Although the sub-bass is quite audible at the start, it doesn’t feel as deep and there is a slightly higher intensity in the mid-bass. Thus, the range has a predominance that can become clear in bass-heavy genres. However, I don’t think that the BQEYZ can fall into bass-heavy territory. The definition is quite good, even their punch has a good amount of energy and power. Its texture is relatively smooth, there isn’t much descriptive ability and perhaps this is the negative point of the equation, which limits the appeal of a zone that doesn’t quite have the punch to grab a bass lover like me, although the effort made with respect to its previous model, in providing a richer and more influential range in the sound, is much appreciated.
If one continues with the technical aspects of the lower range, one can comment that in terms of speed they are remarkable, with a decay to match. The result is a rather dry stroke, as I said, with a good dose of power and air movement, but somewhat bland in its execution. Perhaps, too, its good accuracy and resolving ability detracts from its power of surprise or that more raw character I sometimes look for. But there is no denying that the zone is very capable, skilful in the recreation of planes and in the execution of notes, perhaps more to the audiophile taste, though clearly vitaminised.
The mid-range is slightly warm and drags some weight from the lower area, due to the fact that the transition is quite smooth. In this way, both the percussions and the bass guitars have an important presence and body, even more so than the male voices. As a result, in this first half, the instrumentation receives a favourable treatment over other elements.
The presentation of the area persists in that idea of softness and calmness, characteristic of the Spring model. But there is certainly an improvement in clarity, detail, dynamics and vibrancy, thanks to a slight emphasis on some key points in the upper mids. This slight breeze adds a superior benefit to the range, bringing a subtly brighter and more cheerful edge, reviving the mids and moving them away from the neutrality, flatness and a certain apathy of the previous model, though without being definitive. Moreover, thanks to this boost, the female voices stand out in presence, but without sounding persistent or sibilant, always within that safe margin.
Although this phase is perceived as quite complete, it is not dense, overwhelming or characterised by too much information. In this sense, the profile remains pleasant and musical, without being demanding on the listener or overwhelming him with an overexposure of details and nuances. It is clear that restraint continues to predominate, making these monitors very suitable for long, relaxed listening.
The timbre is maintained in a neutrality that leans towards warmth, where the tone is presented as faintly dark. It’s curious, because I associate Spring and Summer with light and brightness, while I perceive both models more as a sunset or a change towards autumn.
The definition is high, without this quantity implying an analytical sound. Although it is true that, along with the remarkable level of resolution and the new sparkle, there is a slight perception of a more defined and technical sound. In contrast, the texture is smoother and less descriptive, with hardly any roughness in the vocals, something that detracts from the mid-range’s appeal, losing punch and soul.
The high end of the Summer has two faces, the friendly and the insolent. The piezo driver continues to play this double game when it suits it best. To begin with, these IEMS are not eminently sharp, especially in the first part. However, it is true that there are some more penetrating phases, which provide that rebellious tone, non-existent in the previous ranges. This rebelliousness is not always well understood, even though its intentions are good, sometimes it is slightly incongruous. Most of the time, gentleness predominates and the treble sounds delicate, fine, subtle, fast, defined, even quite well extended, without sounding overemphasised or overexposed.
Despite all this, it cannot be denied that its sonority remains particular and one feels that its provenance gives it that distinctive nature, which adds a generally superior quality. It doesn’t need to elevate its presence above everything else to stand out in terms of definition and resolution, without completely losing its naturalness. It seems that the piezo driver is becoming more refined, especially in many areas of its timbre and tonality.
Perhaps one of the most improved aspects of this new model is the soundstage. In addition to the traditional width, a more pronounced lateral sensation has been added, capable of extending the sound in a more semicircular, or even superior, manner. In this way, both the instruments and the voices, especially the female voices, are able to occupy a large part of the stage, covering both the side areas and the zenithal positions, giving it an immersive character, and also providing it with a good height and presence in the upper area. It is thus possible to achieve a sensation of incipient three-dimensionality, which lacks a point of greater depth to generate a more complete semispherical dome.
However, the separation is not on a par with the scene, perhaps betrayed by homogeneity, balance or the lack of greater dynamics in the sound. Despite the good level of detail and resolution, in the distance between elements, there is not enough space to distinguish the darkness from the silence or the transparency of the tiniest micro details or nuances, remaining at a level more remarkable than superior.
BQEYZ Spring II
Starting with the obvious, the capsules of the Spring IIs are smaller, in the shape of their outer face, and also slightly less bulky. It is clear that the metal construction outweighs the durability of resin, although the weight is higher. The Summer’s anchorage makes its fit more durable and its ergonomics fit the anatomy of the ears better.
The Spring II’s wire is 4-strand copper, while the Summer’s wire is 8-strand silver-plated. The copper wire is subtly stiffer, with a slightly greater tendency to take shape. The connectors and sleeves are the same, the difference is in the pin.
The Spring IIs are more sensitive and that’s something you notice – you get more volume for the same power.
Sonically, the new Summer has a more emphasised low end, which is comparatively unbalanced compared to the homogeneous mid-range of the Spring IIs. In the old model the vocals remain more prominent than the bass. In the new Summer, the low end dominates the vocals. Their more powerful sub-bass gives them a different warmth, as well as a higher fun factor. However, if you prefer more prominent vocals, you’ll have to turn to the Spring IIs, basically because of the bass’ greater respect for their presence. But going back to the low end, in addition to a lower incidence, the bass is slower in the Spring IIs. Both their power and ability to move air is lower, and that lower impact also reduces their texture, making them feel smoother. The Summer has the ability to make the bass rumble in our ears, a sensation that is reduced with the Spring IIs. At first glance, one might think that the technique falls on the side of the previous model. But with the Summer, you don’t feel a loss of resolution or definition, as the higher speed and decay contribute to the sonic improvement of this range.
The mid-range of the Spring IIs, although more balanced in sound, feels a little more backward. In my opinion, there is a slight perception of a comparative veil, which in the Summer has disappeared, mainly thanks to the greater sparkle in the upper mids. Now, the voices are more dynamic, even that more light, brings their presence and details closer. On the Spring IIs, they feel denser and wider, but also more opaque and somewhat darker. Although they sound thinner on the Summer, they definitely have a more realistic timbre, as well as being more vivid and clear, with more air and clarity, which is a step forward in this new model. With the midrange instrumentation, it’s much the same, although it’s not always so obvious. The greater density and more muted sound can benefit some genres or songs. But the Summer’s superior sparkle, combined with its greater clarity and transparency, gains in dynamics, nuance and brightness, something that moves the sound of this new model away from the flatness and greater apathy of its predecessor.
The treble starts in the same vein. Whereas in the Spring IIs they feel more nuanced and soft, as if displaced, in the Summer they have a more real colour, with a more accurate timbre. Again, the dynamics are superior, even the speed. In this way, the tone is more in tune with reality, without the silkier patina of the Spring IIs. The Summer’s treble is sharper, rising higher, with an improved verve, again giving it that extra edge in the enjoyment factor. It’s true that the area is more secure on the Spring II, but, again, it’s haunted by that more boring, dull tendency that, thankfully, has disappeared on the Summer.
The Spring II scene is more like a homogeneous, continuous wall, set in the middle distance. The Summer sounds more splashy and its greater dynamics give it a more agile sound, where the movement translates into a sense of greater freedom, which expands the music in all directions. There is no longer that mutual anchorage between all the elements of the Spring IIs, but more space and transparency in Summer. The result is a larger, more ethereal, more three-dimensional scene, as opposed to the flatter, more compact width of the Spring IIs. Likewise, details are more easily distinguishable, thanks to the more explicit detail in the Summer.
NF Audio NM2
The NM2s are one of my references in the $100 range, and NF Audio has been able to extract a lot of potential from their dynamic drivers. This time, it’s their turn to take on a triple hybrid driver. And the first thing you notice about the NM2s is their enormous sensitivity, they move very easily, bringing a sense of power superior to the Summer. As for their profile, the NM2s have a more pronounced W, with an even more powerful bass and a more noticeable upper-mid range, where the treble feels more explicit. However, no one should see the bass power of the NM2s as a drop in quality, because that is not the case. The NM2s have more impact, a clear and rough texture, a thunderous tremble, a very deep sub-bass and a lot of energy. Technically, it seems unlikely that they would perform as well as the Summer, but they do. What more could you ask for? On the bass side, little else.
The midrange of the NM2s is more recessed, due to the polarisation and higher emphasis, in the adjoining ranges. The female voices, though, feel close, but thinner, less complete and with a sharper timbre than in the Summer. The BQEYZ come across as flatter and wider, with a fainter light, but more homogeneous. It is clear that they sound smoother and quieter, with a better blend between the elements of this midrange. They also offer a larger and more compact body. Meanwhile, the NM2s feel more uneven, as if the V feels sharper: on the one hand, the power of the low end can overpower the upper midrange. On the other, the high mids can make the details more perceptible than the fundamental of the notes. In this way, the Summer, with its greater calmness and gentleness, presents a more balanced, pleasant and rounder zone.
In the upper part of the NM2s everything is more blatant and present, the difference in brightness is very clear and explicit. This makes the sound feel sharper, crisper and brighter. But, technically, the treble on the Summer is quite good, even if it does feel quiet and smooth. The only downside is their rebellious side, something the NM2s don’t have, being more coherent with their more prominent and extended presentation, especially in the first half.
The more polarised and energetic sound of the NM2s makes them more fun for short listens. Meanwhile, the Summer allows for longer listening, thanks to its friendlier and less penetrating treble. But, of course, this will also depend on individual tastes.
The NM2s offer more explicit detail, but at the level of micro nuances, there is little difference, being at a similar level. They seem more dynamic, something that gives a sense of greater separation, as their notes seem sharper and more isolated. But the stage is slightly superior on the Summer, with that more ethereal, vaporous, three-dimensional feel more perceptible.
In terms of construction, both are similar, made of translucent resin. The NM2s have a more streamlined shape, but lack the Summer’s anchorage. Thus, the NM2s can rotate slightly inside the ears. The insertion is very similar and except for the above detail, the fit is similar, as is the feeling of isolation. The difference may be in the diameter of the nozzles, which is larger in the Summer, something that may be noticed by those with a narrower ear canal.
Overall, compared to the larger IEMS, the BQEYZ Summer is a winner, providing different skills and very good qualities that surpass, in some respects, the NM2.
BQEYZ has improved practically every aspect of the sound in this new model. Starting with a subtle variation in the tuning, which seeks a greater enjoyment factor, but without falling into a classical tendency and without losing the personality of their previous models, the Summer’s enhance those fragile points, which previously hindered the quality of the Spring models. With more emphasis on the low end and high mids, the sound has gained in dynamics and speed, but also in stage and three-dimensionality. In addition, the aesthetic changes are noticeable: the capsules switch from metal to resin, gaining in lightness, but losing in durability. And in the cable, silver replaces copper and the number of strands is doubled, even improving flexibility and reducing rigidity. There is no doubt that BQEYZ has made some concessions, but with the idea of improving the most important thing: the sound. The best thing is that it succeeds.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Xuelin H7
- S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MKII + iFi ZEN CAN
- Earmen Sparrow
- Hiby R3 Pro
- Hidizs DH80S