Synergy Between Drivers
- Great balance between bass and midrange.
- Possibly the best IEM in the BQEYZ piezo hybrid series.
- The bass keeps getting better and better.
- Harmonious, pleasant, smooth and controlled sound, suitable for long hours of listening.
- It has the most contained high range of the entire series.
- Very good level of detail in the mid-range.
- It repeats the comfort and ergonomics of its predecessor, as well as its accessories and the quality of the cable.
- It is available in three terminations: 3.5mm SE, 2.5mm BAL and 4.4mm BAL.
- It is more attractive than the Summer, despite having a very similar shape.
- It has the best price/performance ratio of the BQEYZ piezo hybrid series.
- The containment of the piezo spark is accompanied by a subtle first treble.
- It doesn’t have much treble extension in the air area.
- The soundstage doesn’t feel as big, the sound is more cohesive and dense, while the imaging is more compact.
Link to the Store
Autumn and other seasons passed, until a new model from BQEYZ, the brand from Dongguan, China, came out. After the great success of its previous model, the Autumn, an IEMS with a single dynamic driver and an effective and innovative magnetic mechanism to fix the tuning filters, the brand is back with a new series consisting of 1 dynamic driver and 1 piezo driver. This time, the new dynamic driver is dual-cavity and uses an LCP composite diaphragm. While a new 9-layer piezo ceramic driver has been designed and adopts a new joint structure, so that both drivers can cooperate in the best possible way. There is no doubt that BQEYZ is still determined to improve its initial idea and it seems that every time it manages to take a step forward, as well as improving the price, which is a great achievement. And it doesn’t just stop there, because the design remains highly attractive, offering an adequate level of accessories, a silver-plated single crystal copper cable and a nice zipped case, as usual. In the following review we will go into these and other issues in depth, as well as its sound, of course.
- Driver Type: 13mm dual-cavity coaxial dynamic driver with LCP composite diaphragm + 9-layer piezo ceramic driver.
- Frequency Response: 5Hz – 40kHz.
- Sensitivity: 108dB
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Cable: 4 strands of silver-plated single crystal copper, 0.06mm cores bonded in 7×7 strands for a total of 196 cores.
- Jack Connector: Choice of 3.5mm SE, 2.5mm BAL and 4.4mm BAL.
- Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm.
- Colours: Grey and violet.
The BQEYZ Topaz come in a box that is blue on the front. To me they look like dunes of an unreal blue earth, seen from above. The dimensions of the box are 165x101x45mm. In the upper left corner is the brand name in white letters. Below and very large, the name of the model is written in faint brown. The back face is simple and vertical. At the top, the model name is repeated in the same font, but in a smaller size. In the middle are the product specifications (in Chinese and English). At the bottom are the brand name and the various certifications that IEMS complies with. After opening the box, there is a white foil with the slogan. Underneath and at the top are the IEMS encased in white foam, while at the bottom is the zippered case, which this time is round and pearly in colour. On the last layer are the tips and documentation. In a nutshell:
- The two Topaz capsules.
- The 2.5mm balanced cable and 2Pin 0.78mm connection.
- One set of black tips, sizes SxMxL.
- One set of grey tips, sizes SxMxL.
- One cleaning brush.
- Instruction manual.
- Warranty certificate.
The box is attractive, not too big. The accessories are just the right amount, no more, no less. The case is now round, but it is still of superior quality to other more common ones.
It is not a great presentation, I would have preferred foam tips, but the case and the cleaning utensil, which is not common in all products, are good enough. In fact, it is very reminiscent of the presentation of the Summer model and the contents are as usual for the rest of the brand’s products.
On the other hand, it is available in two colours and in three plug ends (3.5mm SE, 2.5mm BAL and 4.4mm BAL), something I find absolutely essential for this price.
Construction and Design
The shape of the Topaz capsule is very similar to that of the Summer. It is true that the colours, materials and the external face are different, but ergonomically they are very similar. Although it is still a triangular shape with rounded sides and a sinuous vertex. This time, the outer face is of a different colour and material than the body, it has a metallic appearance on two levels. The outer tier is higher and the middle tier is lower, separated by a triangular gold stripe. The brand name (right) and model (left) letters are on each capsule, written in the same gold-coloured capital letters. The inner body is made of black resin with a slight transparency. The mouthpieces are metallic, gold-plated, 5mm long and 5.8mm in diameter. The protection is a perforated grille with medium-sized holes. Between the two sides of the capsule is the 2Pin 0.78mm connection, slightly recessed in the body of the capsule. They are inside a plastic oval, but the cable has no other shape than the two visible pins to fit perfectly. Near the nozzles is a protected hole. On the way to the edge is the inscribed channel lettering, barely visible. Then there is a small oval part, more recessed, with two holes at the ends, near the apex of the inner side, which serves as a fixation in our ears.
The cable consists of 4 strands of silver-plated single crystal copper, 0.06mm cores joined together in 7×7 strands, making a total of 196. The connector sleeve is a regular, metallic grey cylinder, with the marking written in white font lengthwise. The divider piece is the same style, but one-third the length. The pin is a metal ring that fits into the divider piece. The sleeves of the 2Pin connectors follow the same cylindrical shape, with a recessed ring near the cable guides. They have the channel letter written in white. The 2Pin 0.78mm connector is the classic external gold-plated connector.
As I say, the shape is very similar to the Summer model with the change of the colour, the external face and the gold-plated nozzles instead of silver-plated. Otherwise, the details are the same.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
I can’t hide the fact that BQEYZ is a brand that has a path and seeks to perfect it. That’s why it continues to focus on this series of hybrids with DD and piezoelectric. It is true that it has broken the saga of the seasons that ended with the Autumn and now, the new one in the series, has a different name. Although some objectives have been achieved, such as the packaging, the accessories or the cable. I also think that ergonomics is the strong point here. So why change it? Actually, it is not necessary.
The Topaz maintain the same level of ergonomics as the Summer because their shape is the same. This means that the weight is minimal, the fit is very good and the adjustment is superior. At least, in my case. I maintain that the thickness of the mouthpieces can be the critical point for those with narrower canals and the fit is shallow. As the cable is also similar, the over-ear fit is comfortable, there is no microphony and it is still a light set, which fits well, does not move and generates a high level of freedom. An earlier success that will not be changed.
I could describe the profile of the Topaz as a rising W. The first half is quite flat and reminds me a lot of the Spring 2. But the big breakthrough of the Topaz is that it manages to master the piezo driver in a way that its predecessors did not. This results in a more controlled and less unrealistic treble. Then, there is also restraint in the upper mids, generating a well-balanced profile, with a very good tuning in the first half, as usual, but this time it is accompanied by a second part that matches very well, obtaining a more homogeneous and adequate result.
The low end is very linear, but enjoys a slight emphasis on the transition from sub-bass to mid-bass. It should be noted that the roll-off from the highest point of the bass to the lowest point of the midrange barely reaches 5dB. While the bass moves in a range of less than 2dB of variation. This gives an idea of the linearity I am talking about. It also implies a deep sound, a contained, sufficient mid-bass and a fairly full and homogeneous range. But it’s not all about tuning, and if there’s something surprising about the Topaz, it’s its technical quality. BQEYZ has managed to splendidly combine power and dryness in a great dynamic driver. The bass is tight, clean, very well controlled, but has enough power and punch to be enjoyed by a bass-lover like me. There isn’t too much decay, the speed is good and the retrieval is remarkable. In this way, a level of precision and a highly effective drawing of planes and structures prevails. With these outstanding technicalities, the bass feels greedy and makes you want to turn up the volume so that it fills the scene. But even then there is no loss of control. The power is kept in check and never loses its way. It is a wise authority that knows how to keep its manners and show itself to be impeccable, even when it is forced to turn up the potentiometer or reproduce thick, badly recorded or unfiltered bass. The Topaz know how to show their class and firmness, achieving a great response in the lower area, as well as a lot of versatility. The texture is sufficient. It is usual for drier or more technical drivers to have less roughness, but here we feel a tight, delicate, but descriptive trembling, which is perceived at the first instant, enriching, even more, a range that I value highly.
The transition between the bass and the midrange is smooth in the roll-off. That implies that there is a good amount of body in the sound of the first half of the range, as well as warmth. However, the male voices are not overbearing, but respectful of the rest of the performance. In this way, they are not shown in the foreground either, which is something I would have predicted just by looking at the graph. Once again, the graphs do not show everything, and it is welcome that there are pleasant surprises in this respect. These are not midcentric IEMS, nor are they very dense in this range. The thickness of the voices is average, not too thick, not too thin. The male voices feel reinforced by the weight of the first half and the female ones by the effective emphasis of the mid-highs. They also possess a good blend of smoothness, sweetness and definition. The Topaz have improved their piezo sparkle and the subtly particular look and feel of the driver. The sound and harmonics have become more natural. But, with time and testing, you can notice its impact on the overall timbre, albeit for the better. Of course, this is not only true for the vocals, but for the entire midrange instrumentation. That mix of warmth and evolved piezo sparkle is the constant companion in this range, offering a remarkable character to the overall sound.
Once the turning point is passed, BQEYZ has managed to refine the mid-highs in a respectful manner. The enhancement there is progressive and moderate, accompanied by a somewhat early drop in control of the first treble. This also affects the mids: they possess clarity, transparency and a somewhat dry sparkle, but never overflowing excitement. In this respect, the Topaz are secure, and BQEYZ has taken great care to create a more sedate ensemble in this respect, in order to maintain overall homogeneity and balance. Thus, the mids don’t feel bright and sibilance is non-existent, but a little bit of well-controlled flare could be missed. Even so, the midrange enjoys a good level of detail, richness of nuance and surpasses itself in passion, smoothness and warmth, something that brings a remarkable sense of musicality, as well as a more organic sound.
The Topaz upper zone maintains the ambivalence of the IEMS in the series. But this time with a special restraint. The critical mid-treble point has been softened and the first highs have been lowered. It still seems to be difficult to make the high notes more linear in gain in this first half and it is easier to lower the response of the piezo driver. And this is what has been achieved. There is an early control roll-off that cuts the first brightness and detracts from the sparkle in the incipient highs. You feel that point of dryness I’ve talked about in the mids. These are not dark IEMS, but there is a sense of dullness in the beginning. The best thing is that the characteristic peak has not only been reduced, but also softened. The piezoelectric edge persists, but it is now even more enjoyable. The Topaz have been tamed at the top end and this has consequences, many positive, some a little more unfavourable. It’s not a brilliant sound, but it’s a safe sound, so many enthusiasts now know what to expect. Thus, the representation of the zone is initially very fine, with subtle flashes and a quick finish. Its prolongation is more limited and its extension feels split. If the notes go further, there is a hint of that more classic excitement of the series, but enhanced. Finally, I don’t find the air feel to be superior to previous models, even this extension could be guilty of a more concise and squeezed sound.
The representation of the scene is eminently frontal. The level of depth is good, although it is not a very three-dimensional, spatial or airy sound, nor does it become surrounding. The height is noticeable, but the laterality is not very high. In this way, the stage appears more rounded, with a certain proximity, without being overwhelming or too much on top of the listener. In this sense, it is a calm presence, which does not become intimate.
The separation is palpable, but not huge, it matches the size of the scene. Even so, I was surprised that there are details that are very visibly exposed, even better than other sets. Maybe because they are more sensitive to some specific nuances, but I must comment that it has been very pleasant to appreciate this good exposure. In this way, the sound seems richer and more enjoyable, especially in the mid-range. Perhaps this is due to the new generation piezo driver. It should be noted that this is not an analytical sound, but rather a warmer, sweeter and more harmonious sound, but it does include these good technicalities. Starting with the bass, an area in which the dynamic driver’s ability in this respect already stands out. Then, in the central range, I think that the mix of this better endowed dynamic driver, together with the improved piezoelectric driver, combine a technical competence that allows to reveal details at micro and macro level, with ease, but without showing any analytical tendency. This is possibly a clear example of synergy and I think that this beneficial effect is a great virtue that BQEYZ has been pursuing and has found in this model.
Both models have a close resemblance in shape, but the Summer is made entirely of resin, while the Topaz has that outer face that looks metallic. Simply because of this detail, the Topaz seems to have a more premium finish. The cable is also almost the same and the differences are in the metal parts. While for the Topaz these parts are pure cylinders, for the Summer these cylinders are tapered in the middle and have a lighter colour.
In terms of sound, the Summer has a more pronounced W-profile, with a higher low end in the sub-bass, while the mid-highs and highs are also more excited. At first glance, the Summer doesn’t have the fullness and homogeneity of the Topaz. And that’s something you can feel in the mids, which are denser and fuller in the new model, while the Summer’s show a more pronounced comparative remoteness. The sonority and quality of the two lows are similar. But the more restrained tuning of the Topaz gives it a superior technical point, though also less texture. That point of power in the Summer makes it more unbalanced but also more fun. Although boosting the low end does lose the audiophile advantage over the Topaz.
The mid-range might look very similar, but the greater linearity of the Topaz gives it a superior balance. The feeling of fullness, density, homogeneity and body is more accentuated in the new model and that responds to a more restrained tuning at the extremes.
The treble response is clearer and more perceptible in the Summer, perhaps the range that offers the most differences. It is true that the mids, due to the influence of these differences in bass and treble, also feel clearly different. But the upper range has an excitement in the Summer that is far removed from the Topaz. You could say that the Summer is the rogue sibling of the Topaz, while the new model is the polite child of the family. I suppose each will have its fans, but the classic mid-treble peak is a point of detriment to the overall quality of the Summer.
Mid-range detail is perceived as superior in the Topaz, while in the treble, the help of their greater presence in the Summer improves their exposure in this range. The slight midrange remoteness offers a scene, in the Summer, that looks different. It feels flatter in the Topaz and a little more oval in the Summer. This sensation gives the Summer more depth, while the Topaz image is more compact and compressed in this respect. I don’t find much difference in the separation of the two IEMS, but I think the Summer’s tuning works in favour of the appreciation of the distance between elements. There is more air and sparkle in them and this gives a sense of space around the elements that is not so distinct in the Topaz. The more homogeneous and compact sound of the new model results in a more cohesive presentation that brings the notes closer together.
I think the BQEYZ Topaz are the most rounded product in the brand’s piezo hybrid saga. They seem to have been able to tame the beast here and the treble is more restrained, although you also pay a price for it. The Topaz have a balanced, calm and more homogeneous profile, which makes them a safe, slightly warm, musical and pleasant IEMS. The classic sound for hours of enjoyment. They are elegant and comfortable, maintain the same level of accessories of the brand and perfect the tuning in bass and mids with respect to the rest of the models of the previous hybrid saga. The consequence of a more controlled upper zone and the reduction of the classic piezo-sparkle is that the first highs feel slightly more subdued, something that can be the delight of some or the Achilles heel of others. It is in this upper zone that the balance is lost or the right to buy is gained. Still, it’s worth noting that this is also the cheapest model in the series, which can be a great opportunity to experience the great, evolved, characteristic sound of some unique hybrids.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- TempoTec Variations V6.
- E1DA #9038D.
- Hidizs AP80 PRO-X.
- xDuoo Link2 BAL.
- Tempotec V1-A + Hidizs DH80S.
- xDuoo XD05 BAL.
- Burson Audio Playmate.