disclaimer: I was sent the BQEYZ Spring2 for purposes of reviewing it by Hifigo. I have no financial interest in either of the two, nor have I been provided with any renumeration beyond the earphone itself for this review. If you have an interest in BQYEZ, I recommend you check out their facebook page, or to purchase the Spring2, shop Hifigo.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The spring 2 ships in a slipcover style box with a large 2 on the front and specs on the reverse. The inner box is black with a woven look and BQEYZ in the upper corner. This inner box is a book fold design with a small foam block in the upper portion containing the earpieces and a box that contains the remainder of the kit. In total, the kit has the earpieces, cable, 7 sets of tips, a metal tip holder card, a cable tie, a cleaning brush, warranty card, manual, and soft case. This style kit is fairly common at the price point and while fairly complete, some others offer the addition of a balanced cable in the kit. BQEYZ has taken the step of offering three cable options at time of purchase so a 4.4 balanced , 3.5 single-ended, and 2.5 balanced cable are all options for those that prefer a balanced cable to the stock single ended.
Little has changed externally as the shells are the same 3 piece design used in the original. The body and faceplate are machined aluminum with brass nozzles. The seam between faceplate and body is well fitted with no gaps or glue visible. The ring on around the exterior of the faceplate is gold on my Spring 1 and red on the spring 2 which makes them easy to distinguish as otherwise they are identical.
Bi-pin connectors have a raised frame around them that is machined into the faceplate and the body rather than making it from a single piece and is extremely well mated as visually the lines formed by the mating of parts show no separation or misalignment. L and R are stamped on the inside of the earpieces with a small vent below the lettering and two larger vents nestled in a slot cut in the space immediately behind the lettering.
Size is about average and is roughly comparable to the Fiio F9 or the TFZ series 2 albeit slightly thicker than either of those. I found the Spring1 to be comfortable and with the new model using the same shell and tips, not much has changed. I did find that while I liked the sound better with the Foam tips, I did fatigue more quickly from them than I did some of the silicone styles. Because of the thickness of the earpieces, the Spring models sits a bit further out and is likely to be level with the surface of the ear or just slightly raised above it.
The only thing I found odd about the aesthetics is the cable hardware is all brushed aluminum while the earpieces are matte black. This is most notable at the junction of the bi-pin connectors where the two colors sit within a millimeter or two of each other.
The Spring2 uses a combination of a 13mm dynamic driver, a single balanced armature, and a peizo-electric driver. This is very similar to the spring 1 which used the same combination of driver types, but not exactly the same drivers. My understanding is the BA driver is the same, but both the dynamic and the piezo elements have been updated (They share a housing so hard to do one without the other). The piezo has gone from 7 to 9 layers in the new release, and the dynamic has improved speed per what I have been able to gather. Impedance is d0wn to 32Ω from the 43 of the Spring1 while sensitivity is increased from 108 dB/mW on the original to 110 dB/mW on the Spring 2. Those numbers suggest an easy to drive model, and the spring2 does do very well with smartphones, tablets, dongle dacs, and even the occassional laptop. I did find it scales extremely well qualitatively and encourage the use of a good source to get the most out of it, but in A/B compare it definitely does not require as much power as its predecessor to keep everything happily ticking along.
The cable is a step above the previous model as well. What hasn’t changed is oxygen free copper throughout, what has is larger diameter strands in a 4 wire braid from the brushed aluminum jack up to the matching splitter. Above the splitter a clear bead chin slider risde the two twists up to the preformed hooks and .78mm bi-pin connectors. The earhooks are much less taut than previous models and are pliable making them particularly comfortable. The bi-pin connectors are well marked L/R. The earpieces are also marked on the inside surface although they are a bit harder to see depending on lighting and angle as the markings are black on black.
Again like the Spring1 before it, the Spring2 comes with 7 sets of tips. Two styles of silicone tips, one called Atmosphere and the other marked reference rest on metal credit card form, and a pair of foams is included as well. Atmosphere tips are bass heavy compared to the reference tips which are more well reference sounding. The card itself tucks neatly into the carrying case should you decide to take extra sets of tips with you on the go. I found tips were quite effective at altering the signature so those who want to alter the default should probably start there before moving on to more costly items like the cable. I found the Comply round f0ams from the comfort series to be the best fit for me using the original so tried those here too and they work equally well on the Spring2.
Sub-bass is mildly elevated with a center around 50Hz and roll-off only evident below about 30Hz. The driver seems to be faster than the previous generation and provides a little better texture as a result. Mid-bass also benefits as texture and detail are very good with only a very slight mid-bass bleed due to slightly slower decay than attack. This gives the Spring2 a bit of warmth in the mid-bass and lower mids. The low end of the Spring1 was already good so the fact that what minor differences are there are positive is a good thing. They didn’t fix what wasn’t broken.
Mids were very good on the Spring1 and if anything are even more so on the Spring2. Lower-mids are slightly more forward and have a bit more body. Vocals have good timbre all the way through the range with only a very slight forward step to higher voices so duets come across sounding proper without one voice being markedly ahead or behind the other. Guitar growl is good as well as the driver is fairly quick with good transients and clarity. Strings have good tonality as well. I wouldn’t have been able to forgive BQEYZ if they messed this up as to me the Spring 1 was probably the most natural string tonality in the sub-$200 segment, even with the newer arrivals since. The Spring2 is every bit as good and BQEYZ is off the hot seat as they did a good job again not fixing what wasn’t broken.
I felt the treble on the Spring1 was already pretty good, but it crossed the line and was too hot for others. Lower treble drops back very slightly from the upper mids and keeps the lower treble from getting hot. Treble has a very smooth delivery with no ragged edges but at the same time has good detail levels and clarity. Snare rattle is tight and well defined with good sharp edges. Cymbals are realistic with just a very slight metallic edge. In A/B testing, I do find the treble better extended and slightly smoother compared to the Spring1.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is well proportioned with depth and width being roughly equal and a good amount of height as well. In this regard, the stage is a little better balanced than the original which hand more width than depth comparatively. Seating the orchestra is straight forward with no overlaps as Instrument separation is quite good. I think BQEYZ has found an interesting tuning with the Spring series in that instruments don’t overlap, but don’t seem to have much open air between them either. Imaging is quite good as well with spatial cues having good precision and movement around the stage easily tracked and pinpointed. Layering is also very good with no tendency to compress even as tracks get quite busy.
Spring 1 vs Spring 2 – Differences in the Spring1 and 2 are covered throughout the review, so to sumerize, diffferences are more a matter of degree than of wholesale changes between the two. Improvements in cable are the only visible difference, while improvements in speed of the dynamic driver and improved smoothness and clarity above that low end are evident the minute you listen.
Moondrop Starfield – The Single dynamic Starfield is less expensive than the Spring2 and offers a bit different sound signature but both maintain a near neutral smooth delivery. At the low end, the Spring2 is a bit more textured while the Starfield seems a bit more smoothed over. Mids have good tonality and position on both, but again clarity and detail is improved on the Spring2 comparatively. Treble is a bit more pronounced on the spring2 but so is detail. Overall, this will come down to budget, fit, and personal preference but in many ways the spring 2 is an improved Starfield.
KBear Diamond – Again this is a very similar battle to the one listed above. The diamond is a single DD with a very smooth near neutral delivery, but again the Spring2 has better clarity and detail. Kit is fairly closely matched on both and build quality is nearly identical as well although I prefer the aesthetic of the Spring series personally. I do think the thing that probably seperates these two more than any other factor is the bass texture which is markedly improved on the Spring2.
Ibasso IT00 – Too early to tell on this one, but this is where the battle ground for the Spring2 will likely be. The listening I have done so far has shown the IT00 to be easily the best of the Ibasso earphones below the IT05 with the IT01 and o1s quickly falling by the wayside and even the IT03 having trouble competing with it. They have different tonalities for sure, but these two will definitely compete for your dollar. The good news is either way you end up with a great in ear.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
I went into this review with the thought “Please don’t have messed these up”. I really liked the Spring1 and all too often when a V2 comes out it is a step backward. Luckily that is not the case here. The Spring 2 is an incremental step forward from the 1st generation. You have to listen closely to hear the differences in the two and the improvements are subtle. Those who wanted more low end energy than the Spring 1 provided won’t find the Spring 2 to their liking either. Those that wanted a bit more bass texture will find it in the Spring 2. The same is largely the case all teh way through the mids with better texture and a slightly more linear signature. Treble is a bit smoother and easier going than the 1st generation model but doesn’t sacrifice detail to get there. The Kit is solid if not out of the ordinary for the price point, build is solid, cable is good, and signature is among the best available in the sub $200 space. BQEYZ continues to impress and the Spring 2 is strongly recommended.
- Bass - 8/108/10
- Mids - 8.5/108.5/10
- Treble - 8/108/10
- Soundstage - 8/108/10
- Imaging - 8/108/10
Pros: Good build quality, improved cable, very natural tonality, lots of detail
Cons: Treble slightly smoothed, minor mid-bass bleed