disclaimer: I was offered the DN2 for review by a representative of BGVP. I have no financial interest in BGVP, nor have I received any remuneration for this review. If you have an interest in the DN2 see BGVP’s facebook, website, or AliExpress store.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The outer box is typical glossy stock with a picture of the earpieces on the front and specs on the reverse, it is what is inside the outer packaging that sets the DN2 apart from a lot of budget offerings. Opening the outer box reveals a press-board lift-top style box in a neutral tan color with the BGVP logo and initials in black. Lifting the top reveals a well thought out kit with the earpieces and 8 sets of tips visible (two more are in the box), Also in the box are the cable, velcro tie, and shirt clip. The only thing not included is a case which at the price point is forgivable. Tips include 3 types of silicones in S,M,L each as well as one set of foams. Tips are listed as vocal, bass, and reference or standard types, so users have a good set of options without going to your tip collection to find more.
The DN2 has a 3 piece metal shell made of an aluminum/magnesium alloy with a faceplate, main shell, and nozzle section well fitted do seams are visible but show no glue or uneven spacing. Venting is cleverly hidden in the center of the P on the outer face and in a single vent at the base of the nozzle (directly to the front of the nozzle itself.) Nozzles have a good lip for tip retention as well. Connectors are MMCX that have a forward lean and a red ring around the base on the right side. There are no R/L markings on the housings as the only markings are the silver BGVP and ring on the faceplate. Shells are what I would call small-medium and fit mostly in the ear so those with smaller than average ears will want to try before purchase as they may be too large for some. The nozzles have a forward and upward rake and seat fairly shallowly so isolation is only average. Overall, I found the DN2 a comfortable long term wear in ear with no physical fatigue associated with such listening sessions. Oh and for the record, it looks heavier than it is.
The heart of the DN2 is a 10mm dual cavity beryllium alloy dynamic driver that handles the lower half the frequency range (sub-bass through lower-mids) and a customized Phoenix made balanced armature that handles the upper end duties. The shell is custom designed for these drivers with an aluminum/magnesium sound chamber. Nominal impedance is listed as 21Ω with a sensitivity of 110 dB/mW. Rated power is 12mW which is also low enough that most phones and tablets to drive the DN2 without any issues. I did find that the DN2 scales qualitatively with better sources and is capable of a surprising amount of micro-detail when paired with the WM1A. The DN2 does not need the additional power of those higher end sources, but does benefit from the improved rendering of high end units.
The provided cable is a 4 strand braid of 6N silver plated Ohno Continuous Cast copper wire. This helps minimize grain in the wire and annealing problems associated with typical Oxygen free Copper alloys. The Jack is a straight 3.5mm gold plated model in a black metal housing with anodizing matching the shells. A short strain relief helps at the exit point and a velcro tie is provided for storage. The splitter is a metal barrel design again matching the anodizing of the earpieces with a clear bead slider above it. Wires exit the splitter as two strand tight twists and run to the pre-formed hooks and mmcx connectors again in matching housings but with L/R printed in white on the sides for easy indexing. The cable is nice and pliable with minimal microphonics due to the hooks and light weight. I found the cable had little memory and little tendency to kink or tangle.
4 tip styles are provided giving the user several tuning options. The reference tips that come preinstalled on the earpieces are shallow wide bores in black silicone. Vocal tips are translucent white with a medium bore and bass tips are dark blue with different color bores depending on size. The materials used are similar for the vocal and reference tips with the bass tips being a bit less flexible. The foam tips are slow to recover and give the user time to fit them in ear before expanding back to original shape. For purposes of review, listening was conducted with the large reference tips.
Sub-bass has a mild emphasis but is well defined and doesn’t get boomy when using the reference or vocal tips. The bass tips are too much for me as they introduce some boom and bleed that overshadows other elements. Mid-bass is also mildly elevated giving the DN2 a bit of a low end boost regardless of tip used but here again detail is fairly good and bass bleed while present is kept to a level that adds a bit of warmth without obstructing. The Be driver shows good speed on both attack and decay with slight lingering on the decay lending a more natural tone. Both sub-bass rumble and mid-bass slam are satisfying when called upon but not dominating of the rest of the signature which is a nice change of pace in the budget space.
Lower-mids share much with the mid-bass and male vocals have good weight and timbre as a result of the driver’s speed. Lower mids actually feel mildly elevated which helps bring those vocals to the front and give them equal footing with their female counterparts which is a nice touch. Although technically mildly recesssed, the true-mids, still have very good presence in the mix and strings are quite well presented as a result. Guitar growl has a nice crisp sharpness to it and still enough weight to sound natural. Detail is the only downfall here as the DN2 has good tonality and a smooth delivery at the expense of some micro-detail that higher cost models deliver. Upper-mids transition over to the armature in a fairly seamless transition although they do jump forward slightly. There is a bit more energy in the upper-mids but it is well done and stops short of strident or harsh. It will reproduce sibilance if the track has it, but it does not introduce it.
The DN1S sported a 30019 balanced armature and either it or the 30095 are very commonly seen used for highs in budget products. Both of those two drivers have some known negatives so BGVP set out to create their own driver. It is arguably based on the 30019 but has been tuned to mate with this dynamic and shell and is a different tuning than the original. BGVP calls the driver the Phoenix and you may well see it turn up in other BGVP models as well. The good news is the Phoenix does seem to address some of those negatives of other treble balanced armatures and results in a very well-controlled signature that isn’t shouty, strident, or outright harsh like the 30095 can be and the 30019 to a lesser degree. Lower treble is on the same level with the mid-bass and gives enough energy to highlight voices without pushing them too hard. Snare rattle is satisfyingly crisp although maybe again slightly smooth compared to some others, and cymbals are not metallic and have good energy. There is a distinct drop in level as you move into the upper treble that keeps the DN2 from having a lot of sparkle, but this tuning choice will please the treble shy for sure and won’t bother all but the most devoted treble devotee. Final roll-off is somewhere around the 15kHz mark and gives the DN2 enough air to avoid feeling enclosed.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is wider than deep but better than expected in both dimensions and manages some height as well. Seating the orchestra is fairly straight forward with most things aligning as expected. There is a little hiccup right at the transition point between drivers and those instruments voiced in that range can seem to shift at times while listening. This is a minor annoyance and something that has to be listened for to hear but will be notable to those who do. Instrument separation is quite good as well with better stereo separation than anticipated as well. Imaging is good with sounds easily traced around most of the stage but gets a little blurry at dead center stage. Overall again, better than expected for a budget model and certainly not a detractor at the price point.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
Some brands I expect to produce good things, others I take a wait and see attitude about as they have made some good things and some not so good in the past. BGVP falls into that later category. I am a fan the DM7 and DMS but the Q2 was not good and the Zero while it had some positive elements also failed to deliver the kind of performance I was hoping for. So when I was asked about the DN2 I wasn’t quite sure what to anticipate. Luckily it falls into the group with the DM7 and DMS and I really like what they have managed to do with it having not been a big fan of the DN1S. The DN2 is a near neutral sounding in ear that manages to remain fun and energetic in the process. There are no huge peaks here, just a few mild elevations that help emphasize areas that most popular music relies on. The sub-bass is good but not over-done. Mid-bass is cleaner than expected ,and mids steal the show which is definitely not what I thought I was going to get in a DD/ single BA hybrid. The DN2 opts for smooth rather than trying to eek out that last bit of detail, but retains enough detail to be an engaging listen. Stage is better than most in this price bracket as well. I found the DN2 also worked well when paired with phone and tablet and at the same time did scale some qualitatively with better sources. I think BGVP is back on the right track with this one as it has a lot I like and very little to complain about for $60. Those looking for big bass or treble won’t find it to their liking but those looking for realistic levels of treble and bass and better than average mids in between will find a lot to like here. The DN2 is a worthy competitor at $60 and well worth an audition. (It might be a fantastic buy at forty something dollars on 11.11 if you keep an eye out).
- Bass - 7/107/10
- Mids - 7.5/107.5/10
- Treble - 7/107/10
- Soundstage - 7/107/10
- Imaging - 7/107/10
Pros: Good build quality and kit, good control at low end, Manages to pull off near neutral but still fun
Cons: smooths over a few details, no case provided, limited sub-bass and sparkle