How exactly can a 9 speakers hybrid configurationequate to a slow, honky & downright dull signature?Only BGVP knows the answer to that, and so far these NS9 have been practically void of any life in the treble! Despite a plethora of ‘name brand’ balanced armatures per ear. So, something is definitely up here, BGVP.
The NS9 features a whopping 9 drivers per ear! Consisting of 2 dynamic drivers & 7 balanced armatures. They also have a 3D-printed acoustic chamber that is supposed to help tune the reverberations inside the body of the IEM or something like that.
That is a bunch of drivers. No way around that, and while it makes me marvel when I imagine 9 speakers working together in each of my ears, I don’t really think that BGVP was able to flesh out the full potential of their own setup, unfortunately. I feel like these NS9 could have been so good!
Recently, weeks after the actual release of the NS9, I saw that BGVP has issued a statement suggesting something like ‘the NS9 is great for bass heads, to which I have to disagree with.
Now… I greatly appreciate a nice variety of signatures amongst my collection. I like to have both fun IEMs as well as earphones more suited for critical listening. I also have a healthy appetite for bass, specifically sub-bass. These NS9 are NOT basshead earphones in my opinion. I’m sorry, but no basshead wants this type of bass: Wooly, bloomy, muted, blunted, slow, glossy, mid-bass focused…
The tuning filters…. UGH! I’ve never wanted ‘user tuning’ of any kind. Whether that be nozzle filters or dip switches! The idea of tuning the earphone I just bought to my preference is nonsense. That is what I pay the company to refine and deliver to me.
These filters are very small, made out of soft metal, and threaded… That’s a recipe for issues and issues they have. They barely even fit together. Some don’t even thread on at all! Total mess. Total gimmick anyways, when you consider that the different filters don’t even affect the sound at all. Just stop it already. Out of necessity, I’ve chosen the red filters for this review as I feel they looked the best, lol!The design language & aesthetics are great and the overall build quality is really good, despite the threads on the tuning filters not mating together well or in some cases not at all. I chose the all silver version and I think it looks very nice in person.
I love how BGVP used this 3D-printed tuning chamber! While it’s not exclusive tech by any means, it is somewhat rare, and very Campfire Audio-inspired. It looks very impressive too when you remove the nozzle filter & you can look directly at the white plastic CHUNK with the tri-frequency ports. It’s just too bad that all those impressive visuals and technicals don’t produce a more high-definition signature. I can’t help but wonder what these could have been, given the configuration of drivers. 2 dynamic drivers & 7 balanced armatures PER EAR!
The included cable is fantastic. I got the 4.4mm version to use with my Fiio M11 & Ifi Zen can. I love the color scheme and the chrome terminations. The ear hooks are stiff and I would much prefer none at all, but they’re not bad here. It is a heavier cable and fairly stiff with some memory as well, but overall I am impressed with this cable and much prefer it to the included one with the much more expensive BGVP DM8.
I will be using my fiio M11 via the 4.4mm balanced output to stream tidal premium via UAPP. I am using spinfit SS tips.
Bass: The low end here is authoritative for sure. It’s robust, full sounding & dominant. It has a decent sense of sub frequencies, but it doesn’t sound like the lowest of sub frequencies extend very well, which gives an overall blunted or one-noted feel to the sub-bass. The mid-bass seems to have the odd ability to be both forward on some tracks, but also more subdued or linear on other tracks. When it’s forward in the mix, the mid-bass creates a bloomy, dull bass response that bleeds into the mid frequencies and sounds very veiled. But when the mid-bass is more reserved in the mix, the bass performance starts to show the potential for some good musical fun. Overall, the lows here do not give me any sense of nimbleness, tightness, speed, or tactility. Really not getting the basshead vibe from these NS9, besides just the big sense of bass. It just sounds big and heavy.
Mids: Due to the large nature of the low end on the NS9, the mid frequencies tend to sound well-rounded, dull, boxy, and honky. The tonality of singers seems to sound artificial. Instruments like pianos also show this artificial tone to them. On top of the boxy tonality, there also isn’t much depth to the vocalists either. No bright, detailed, or lively mid-range here. Nor is there a velvety dark, smooth, emotive mid-range neither. Instead, a relatively flat mid-range that is not as prominent as the bass without much vividness or real shimmer to anything.
Treble: The high frequencies on the NS9 are simply puzzling. When considering the technical aspect of these IEMs, there should be NO WAY that the treble could be so smoothed over and dull sounding! 9 speakers per ear! The tonality of the sleepy treble seems to be…. ok. There is some decent detailing going on but nothing I would consider special or noteworthy. The extension seems to be ok too. I don’t get a very congested or closed sense of space up top but I still think that overall, the treble has no business being so soft and inoffensive.
Staging & Imaging: Stage size is intimate on the NS9. There is more depth than there is width or height and the level of stereo imaging is just average to me. These are not open-sounding earphones. They have a smaller, more personal feel to the music.
First the DM8, now this!?
I don’t get samples from earphone companies or websites. I actually buy all of my earphones, so you can understand if I won’t be buying any more BGVP products any time soon. Based on my two previous experiences, I feel that a much better signature/tuning can be found for much cheaper.