It might come as a shock to those of you waiting for the arrival of your DM6 but we have just got in a set of the soon to be released BGVP DM7 in for review. This is a 6 BA (Balanced armature) earphone in a universal monitor style. it is aiming to offer a very high level of sound quality at a fraction of the price of established western brands. We have been talking about the Chinese HiFi invasion for a few years now and it seems that in 2019 things are really heating up with a number of awesome earphones being released in the first half alone. So what do you get for your money, lets take a look and get into the review.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging for the BGVP DM7 is extremely simple and without too much fanfare.
Being honest it has a very striking resemblance to the packaging of the Fearless Audio S8P that I reviewed last week. Its a plain recycled cardboard box with a black cardboard sleeve.
On the outside you get a couple of outlines in the style of the earphones but no real life images. On the back there is some information about the contents of the package and the earphones properties. Again nothing fancy just straight to the point simple packaging.
When you take off the sleeve and dig into the box you get your first glimpse of the earphones that are nicely presented by being set in foam and laid alongside the included eartips. At the bottom you get another smaller cardboard box which contains more accessories.
The tip selection is bountiful and you have a lot of options for eatips in different styles and sizes. In order to get the perfect fit for your ears I suggest playing around with these because for the best sound possible you need to ensure a good seal with your ear canal. Soft and hard silicone compound eartips are included and there is the Comply foam styles in there as well.
In the smaller box I was hoping to find some form of carry case but unfortunately that seems like BGVP have decided not to include one which I think is something of an oversight on their part. The Fearless S8P comes with an excellent carry case and I can’t see it adding to much to the price. It would be nice to have somewhere safe to store the DM7 when not in use. So as always when a case isn’t included we are going to recommend this Pelican 1010 case at Amazon.
What is in the box is a few more eartips of a very soft silicone style in various sizes and the earphone cable.
The cable is stunning. I don’t believe for a second in the the BS about cables and sound quality. So many times people say it better but I’m 99% certain its just placebo unless of course the cable causes changes to impedance.
So if I don’t believe in the sonic properties of these highly expensive aftermarket accessories why do I case about an earphones cable so much? Well arubbish cable can ruin your experience, it can cause microphoneics, tangle itself and just generally be a pain in the *** to deal with. I would consider myself a massive critic of cables that have bad design. However, the cable that comes with the BGVP DM7 is simply excellent.
Seriously this is a brilliant cable and something that a price gouging boutique company would happily charge you well over $100 dollars for as an aftermarket option.
Its MMCX, braided, unbranded. It’s and terminated at the jack point with a really nice metal straight 3.5mm connector. The splitter is also metal and there is sufficient although not over the top strain relief implemented throughout.
The thing that I like most about the cable other than its gorgeous looks is how slinky it is. Slinky is the term that I’m using to describe some of these new cables coming out of China. It is meant to be a reference to the way it moves. It has a super nice flow to its and is resistant to both holding memory and tangles. The included Tin-Hifi T3 cable is still on of the best out there but this is pretty darn good and its far easier to manage than the included cable Silver Litz Cable on my Campfire Audio Solaris (Which costs $250 USD).
Other than that you get a small cleaning tool to keep the tubes clear of wax and the usual pointless warranty cards and instruction manuals.
The build quality of the DM7 is excellent and it really feels like a well finished product. They are an acrylic shelled earphone which is very similar to what you find on a custom in ear monitor. On these t the ends are made to accommodate standard eartips meaning they can be used as a universal earphone.
They do have that exciting CIEM feel about them as well and if this is your first time owning a set my bet is you are going to spend at least 10 minutes staring inside them at the driver configuration.
From experience i know that you will need to handle these with more care than a metal bodied barrel style earphone.
Not only will the shell be less resistant to drops because of the brittle housing but the driver setup on the inside is also incredibly delicate. I am not saying you will have to baby them, but if you do misplace them and step on them or you carelessly drop them on a concrete floor there’s a good chance it won’t end well. Again my suggestion to store them in the pelican case above should keep them safe when not in use.
The cable, which I talked about earlier, is of course detachable. It connects to the earphones via MMCX connectors and that will further extend the life of the earphones. If the cable ever breaks through accident, wear or failure then you simply pick up an aftermarket model, plug it in and start back where you left off.
Maintenance wise there will be very little to take care of but be sure to clean out the vents with the included tool if you see any build up in wax. This a problem more common on custom monitors due to insertion depth and the situation would have to be pretty bad to cause failure but it can have a profound affect on sound quality.
The DM7 has a quad bore hole design but please take not that one of these is stuffed with acoustic foam. Do not go so deep with the cleaning too that you dislodge the foam because it will alter the sound quality.
Aesthetics - Custom Earphone Style in a Universal Fit
The BGVP DM7 are a gorgeous set of earphones and just a few years ago this sort of style would be impossible at this price point. As I said they are universal earphones but in a custom styling. My set has a translucent shell and through that you can see the driver setup on the inside.
This is a very cool thing from a technical perspective. You get to see all the internat workings and the way they have crammed so much tech into a small space vontinues to impress me. Everything on the inside is done for a purpose and it sure looks cool.
Its beautiful to look the inside but on the exterior the faceplate further enhances that feeling of something special. My set came with a perl finished faceplace that looks incredible when the light catches it . The company logo is also inlayed and its quite subtle and matches well with the design.
Now onto on the head aesthetics and this are a really classy affair. The fact that the earphones cable is worn over the ear means that it is very discrete and the housing also sits flush with the outer ear. On the head they look really good, they dont stick out too far and just allow you to pull off a clean aesthtic look whilst remaining classy and not over the top,
On their own merit the BGVP DM7 sound very very good. Price to performance is through the roof on them. Yet again with these asian HiFi companies we are forced to use that own standby the perform better that headphones X times the price. Well its becoming abundantly clear that earphones like these are becoming the new norm because they make the midline from Shure, Sennheiser and Westone look positivley shocking in terms or performance for price.
From what I have heard there has been mentions of BGVP following the Harman tuning curve. This is important as it is considered one of the most pleasing tunings of audio products. In years gone by Asian companies have tuned their headphones and earphones towards a prominent treble tuning.
This turned off a lot of western buyers who wanted more depth, bass and warmth. In this latest crop of earphones from Moondrop, Fearless Audio and BGVP we are starting to see a softer approach to the tuning and it is really paying off on the DM7.
This is a detail monster and that detail shows in every area of the spectrum. Some earphones have will have detailed highs or mids but that doesn’t follow in the lows. The DM7 have it from top to bottom and shine with crisp clarity,.
The highs are exciting because the are not overemphasised in comparison to other areas . The shine and sparkle but fall off before sibilance. The best thing about them is the the way they convey the reasonably large soundstage that these earphones have. It is airy and well spaced giving the listener a strong sense of width and almost 3d presentation.
The midrange is smooth with and slight overlay of warmth but again it’s the micro detail retrieval that stands out here. I get the feeling that this tuning will suit a lot of peoples tastes. There is no sharp upper midrange bump that was detected during the review and the pairing on the top into the highs on the bottom into the lows is super sooth in its transitions. The drivers with their crossover systems have been put together and matched very well.
The lows go deep for a balanced armature. It’s a fast paced and very detailed again with crisp punchy attacks on low notes. They are in fact almost bass perfect to my ears though lack an ethereal rumble that you can get with a dynamic driver earphone like the IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith. For the majority of my listening they just work so well on the low end.
Modern Genres positively sing with these earphones and if you are pairing them with any kind of electronic music you are going to have a hell of a grin on your face. It does good in rock as well with the detail in the midrange being able to bring out all sorts of nuances in stringed instruments and vocals.
Source wise they were ok. Some of my devices like the AK70mk2 did display some hiss with the wrong gain settings. More concerning was how utterly ruthless the DM7 were with badly mastered tracks. If you have poor source material this is likely going to show it up and it makes listening to low res on Spotify quite unpleasant. However, when paired with a good source like a Spectra X, Hiby R6 or even my AK Norma SR15 and files 320kbps or higher seemed to work best and resulted in outstanding sound that at times sounded eerily close to my Westone W60 which were twice the price.
Really I cant find fault with the sound of the earphones. They have a beautiful tuning, excellent imaging, good width (slightly less depth) and cost so little in relevance to the competition that they should be measured against. They won’t be for those looking for a flat sounding workhorse studio earphone due to the bump on the bass and slight warmth but at the end of the day this tuning works best for people who want to enjoy a wide variety of musical genres.
Fearless Audio S8P
The Fearless Audio S8 Pro are another excellent earphone available from Linsoul and they have 8 drivers a side. The biggest difference between these 2 is in the tuning with the S8 being more focussed on accurate reproduction hence its pro designation. Design wise its a was as the housings are for all intents and purposes identical. The cable on the DM7 is superior although the included cable on the S8P is no slouch.
IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith
The R1 are the more expensive of the 2 but I have included it here just as an alternative for someone who has a little bit more cash to spend. The IMR are true bass monsters and have a jaw dropping soundstage that is one of the best on the market right now. It doesn’t resolve detail as well as the DM7 which is also far better tuned to a variety of different types of music. If I was making the choice I would save the extra $200 and go with the DM7.
Here we have a perfect example of a long established western brand getting trounced. Do I think the DM7 sound better? Yes I prefer the clarity of the DM7 over the 535 which are no slouch and its a refreshing more away from that thicker Shure house sound. The thing that Shure and Westone still have going for them is that they are an established trusted brand with a solid warranty structure in place and that counts for something.
Conclusion - Multi Driver Delight
Another day another amazing asian brand headphone that punches well above its weight when put up against its western competition. Its great to see these sorts of earphones do well because it means people are going to be getting far more for their money at a time when more established brands are moving to position themselves as luxury products with matching price tags.
I understand that warranty support will be a concern for some but if you buy through established vendors like Linsoul on Amazon you have more of a recourse if anything goes wrong.
The biggest threat to earphones like the BGVP DM7 is not the established brands but the sheer number of far eastern companies that have started to put out similar multi driver earphones with near identical housings. In fact it is getting quite hard to stay on top of all the new products appearing in this category but out of the ones that I have tested to date they are one of the more impressive offerings.
Rating: Very Highly Recommended.
The BGVP DM7 are just released and currently available on Massdrop.