BQEYZ BQ3 Review – Different

Review by: Mhark Jhoshua Q. Torres

Thank you BQEYZ and Ms. Elle Zhou for letting us give our honest take towards the BQ3. Given that the review unit is from them and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.

The Company

“BQEYZ brand factory is a complete company from earphone raw materials to earbuds goods processing. She has more than 20 years of experience in the headset industry. The BQEYZ brand consists of a group of experienced sound tuners, young and stylish ID creators, and MD engineers who have led the development of first-line headset brands. The BQEYZ earphones are light, sturdy and comfortable, the sound is smooth and natural, the mid-range is beautiful and charming, and the sound is wide. All products are design by our factory from develop to product. We are committed to: manufacturing superior products, not letting the selectors down. Best Quality Earphone for You!”. These are the words from the owner herself, Ms. Elle Zhou. 

The BQEYZ BQ3

Unique and elegant, it is definitely not one of your classic budget chi-fi that imitates designs from well known brands. The BQEYZ despite having an odd design, is very orignal, the front of the shell is quite elliptical with chamfered egdes. The cable isn’t special, the stock cable of T3 is way way better than this but to be fair even TOTL brands uses cables with almost identical physical appearance to the BQ3’s. The pouch included feels soft and reliable, though I find the silicone tips to be poor nonetheless you can easily replace it with your own favorite ear tips. Lastly I love how they mold the back part of the shell to give the users good fit, the profile of this side is close to Westone and Shure products and that’s note worthy.

Packaging

Packaging is quite simple, the box is very small and an image of the BQ3 is printed on the top of the box, some of the specifications can be seen at the bottom of the box. Inside the box is a user guide, 3 pairs of silicone tips, braided black cable and a cloth pouch. That’s actually nice for a sub 2500 Php (50USD) IEM, usually we don’t get carrying case at this price range but luckily they included one.

Fit and Comfort

Despite having the “edgy” design, the part facing the ears is actually curved and very ergonomic, in fact the fit and comfort is nearly identical to IEMs such as Advanced Model 3 and Westone UM3X and that means that the IEM offers good isolation. It is quite heavy and the nozzle is quite short, for those with large and deep ear canal, they might get irritated with these, I can also feel slight heaviness when listening for long hours (around 3 hours straight) nonetheless it isn’t a deal breaker.

Sound

I love IEMs and earbuds with mid-centric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my common test tracks.

  1. Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
  2. Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  3. Jensen and the Flips – Come Closer (Mid Bass, Mids)
  4. Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
  5. Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
  6. Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  7. Utada Hikaru ft. Skrillex – Face My Fears (Imaging Layering, Bass, Mids, Treble, Coherence, Quickness)
  8. Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
  9. Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
  10. Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)

Bass

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Sub bass goes really deep, the rumbles at the intro of “Bridge Burning” is very audible and definitely crawling in my head. Texture is great while the quantity is moderate, it doesn’t sound overly emphasized but it has good presence. Both attack and decay are impressively fast despite the hybrid configuration, it sounds coherent enough. Mid bass seems to be the highlight of the BQ3, it has the speed, smoothness, details, and enough quantity and impact to please bass heads. Comparing it to Tin audio T3, CCA C10 and TFZ Galaxy T2, it has the best bass, it isn’t linear but it is pushed forward enough at the same time it doesn’t make the overall sound to be sluggish, it doesn’t bleed to lower mids too so even though it is kinda forward and warm, it’s still great since it is well controlled.

Midrange

The lower midrange is a bit lush but not to the point that it sounds veiled. It sounds kinda nasal but not that much, vocal timbre seems to be natural enough. It sits slightly behind the mid bass but not recessed. Transparency isn’t Tin audio level but it’s good too in terms of clarity, it is smooth and very easy to listen I guess that good amount of people will love this midrange, not in the face forward nor scooped. Upper mids has moderate amount of body and clarity, “raindrops” of Ariana Grande didn’t sound cupped or veiled though it doesn’t sounds stellar, it’s still sounds nice despite being a warm IEM. It is definitely more forward than the lower mids giving the vocal presentation some sweetness. The BQ3’s midrange isn’t the best within its class but definitely one of the better ones, it isn’t cupped and dry, it’s not overly thick too it sounds cleaner and sweeter than CCA C10 and TFZ T2 Galaxy but I’ll pick the T2 pros over this in terms of midrange.

Treble

Right of the bat, I easily noticed that it’s laid back and tamed, it is far from it’s competitors like the T2 Galaxy and T2 Pros that has some treble peaks. The treble actually gave the BQ3 better sense of depth and staging, playing some metal tracks it is very spacious and coherent at the same time. For me it sounds more than enough, I want my treble to be slightly laid back but still has that sparkle and air, it’s nice for long listening and complex tracks as well. Playing “Asphyxia” by Co Shu Nie, it never sounded congested and out of pace, everything seems to be controlled, it sounds deep to as the treble is few steps behind the midrange. No sibilance or peaks, it sounds very relaxing but not muted, definitely not for treble heads but for those who want their treble in control this is a nice tuning.

Sound Stage and Resolution

The sound stage of BQ3 is more than decent, depth and width are fairly nice while I felt that the height is kinda lacking but not that much. The recession on the treble region helped a lot on giving good depth to the overall sound of the BQ3 but in return the resolution took some toll. Bass and midrange both have good amount of details, not for details freak but more than acceptable for easy listening, on the other hand I find the treble to be lack of resolution since it is too smooth and recessed.

Synergy and Sound Signature 

The BQ3 is warm and smooth with recessed treble, I would love to pair this one with analytical or bright sounding DAPs like QP1R or Opus 3. Pairing it with Periodic Audio Ni sounds good as well since it is quite bright for an amplifier.

Shanling M3s

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Warm and smooth, the M3s’ treble is known to be it’s weak point and it’s very evident when using the BQ3. Even Satin Audio Chimera 4x isn’t enough to bring the treble forward enough to satisfy treble lovers. My treble head friend find the BQ3 to sound dull in comparison to the bright Tin Audio T2 pro. But for me who doesn’t like piercing treble, the BQ3 sounds better especially for longer listening period, I agree that the T2 Pro sounds cleaner especially the treble region, but it’s harsher than the BQ3 plus it’s a bass shy IEM which may not be a good tuning for bass heads. Playing some Foo Fighters tracks, I can easily feel the rumbles crawling and that’s nice, midrange is kinda neutralish while the treble is recessed, airy and smooth.

Shanling m1

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This pairing sounds dark, smooth and very good for bass lovers out there. Though I find the upper mids to be the weak point, it sounded too cupped and recessed for my liking but for those who preffer V shaped with vocals a little bit away from their face, then this pairing is nice tho you may also find the treble less sparkly and extended. Nonetheless playing tracks by Melanie Martinez and Billie Eilish sounds nice (unless you love that upper mids sweetness).

Shanling M3s + Periodic Audio Ni

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The Periodic Audio Ni is kinda British, and man this pairing is the best pairing I was able to get amongst the sources that I have. Playing the track “Heartbreaker” by Led Zepplin, I can still hear that crawling rumbles and bass line, yet I can also appreciate the faint cymbals that’s still kinda recessed but with better sparkle and definition. On the other hand, playing “Beautiful Birds” by Passenger, lower treble seems to be slightly more forward and with better resolution and definition, still airy but a lot more present than playing it straight to my DAP. Vocals seems to be pushed a bit more forward too especially the lower midrange.

Smartphone (Huawei Mate 10)

The Mate 10 is kinda bright compared to the DAPs that I’m currently using but the Ni is a tad bit brighter so I find the treble to be more present with the Ni than with my phone but still it is more forward than with the M3s. Lower midrange is a bit recessed here as I listen to “Moon on the Water” by the Passenger, it sounded far and a bit boxy as compared when I’m pairing it with either M3s or M3s with Ni. Upper mids sounds more forward than the Shanling m1, it’s neither recessed nor forward as I listen to “Islands (Acoustic)” by Reese Lansangan, I can hear some upper midrange sweetness unlike when pairing it with the m1. I can say that the mate 10 has good synergy with the BQ3 but I love it better when paired with the M3s and Ni.

Comparison

Tin Audio T3

First of all, I love these 2 IEMs for the reason that they punch way above their price range. For the bass, the BQ3 easily wins in depth, quantity, and impact while the the speed and tightness goes to the T3, therefore the win easily goes to the BQ3. Going to the midrange, the T3 wins in positioning (more neutral), transparency and resolution while the BQ3 snatches the lushness, the fight isn’t that far but the win goes to the T3. Treble easily goes to the T3 with better resolution, extension and definition but the BQ3 has better smoothness and air. Sound stage goes to the BQ3, it has better separation and imaging too. Resolution on the other hand goes to the T3 as it has more detailed midrange and treble. Overall it really depends with your cup of tea both are great and I love the effect of amplifier with the BQ3.

TFZ T2 Galaxy

The T2 Galaxy has more cupped midrange, and it is V shaped compared to the warm and smooth tonality of BQ3. Bass depth, quantity and quality easily goes to the BQ3 mid bass also goes to the BQ3 with better control, faster attack and decay and less bloated. Midrange goes again to the BQ3, it has better body, positioning and smoothness compared to recessed midrange of T2 Galaxy. I’ll call the treble of these two tie, the BQ3 might be more recessed and smoother but the treble of T2 is not that controlled despite being more sparkly. Sound stage seems to be pretty fair, both have good depth and width while lacks height tho the T2 has more airy presentation but lacks imaging and layering. Resolution goes to BQ3 as well.

Conclusion

LRM_EXPORT_298867013119323_20190521_152921967The BQ3 looks and sounds great, it has powerful bass without compromising speed and tightness, deep and textured sub bass that delivers rumbles and riffs very well. Midrange is quite smooth and lush but it doesn’t sound veiled at all, upper midrange might lack transparency but it doesnt sound sibilant. Treble is the weak spot, smooth and quite laid back, airy and quick in return. Sound stage is pretty nice for the price but I still prefer the staging of T2 Pros. Lastly resolution is above average especially for a smooth sounding IEM this is pretty detailed. I would say that not everyone would love this IEM but for those who hate treble peaks and love that meaty midrange and bass, this is the budget IEM to get, good job BQEYZ!

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