bboooll BO-T1…not your ordinary BOT

The bboool BOT1: Not your ordinary BOT.

Available from bboool’s Amazon page here for $22.99 USD. I want to thank Sunny from bboooll for sending the unit. All they ask in return is an honest review. I would have it no other way.

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Specs from their Amazon site:

Product description

Better wired earphone, 3 hybrid driver · HIFI stereo headset noise blocking earphone
Color: Black. with microphone. Amazing Balance · Armature Hybrid Dynamic Driver Professional: electronic crossover division of reasonable sound, Balance upgrade cable or Bluetooth cable, noise canceling ear, design using headphone, ergonomics
Suitable for: Perfect suits, audio recording ear monitors, band practice, church in-ear monitors, recording equipment, headphone enthusiasts, musicians

Product specification:
♫ Product model :BOT1
♫ Earphone Type z Inner ear
♫ Headphone output source: HiFiHear
♫ Sensitivity: 105 db
♫ Impedance: 16 Ω
♫ Frequency: 7 – 40, 000 Hz
♫ Plug type: 3.5 mm
♫ Line length: 120 ± 5 cm
♫ Driver Unit: 3dd Driver Unit
♫ Cable length: 1.2 M ± 3 cm
The package includes the following:
✔ 1 * Original BOT1 HiFiHear earphone

be careful:
Better Audio all products are original.
When purchased from Better Audio, we offer 12 months warranty from date of purchase.
Initially, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us, give us a satisfactory solution with only your reply within 24 hours.

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Songs used:

Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:

REM-Losing My Religion

Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You

Coldplay-A Message

Coldplay-White Shadows

Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente

Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)

twenty one pilots-Trees

twenty one pilots-Car Radio

twenty one pilots-Heathens

Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody

Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow

Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues

Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse

Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders

Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes

Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado

Comparison equipment:

TinAudio T2

Lypertek Mevi

Geekwold GK3

MacBook Pro through Audirect Beam

Shanling M3s

Questyle QP2R

Aune M1s

Unboxing/Fit-N-Finish:

As stated above, this is a 3 dynamic driver unit, which comes in a plain black paperboard sleeved box. Inside you will find the IEM nestled neatly inside soft foam, mimicking a nest. Covered by a see-through plastic, the other end houses the accessories. Those include silicon tips and a nice gray drawstring bag for the IEM’s. A nice thoughtful presentation for a $20 IEM. I found that repeated ingress/egress of the paperboard sleeve did tend to tear the cover, but an owner will more than likely take the box out once, recycling that sleeve (please recycle!!).

Once one gets past the initial shock of looking at the back side of the purported drivers (gold accents on back), the BOT1 isn’t that bad of a looking unit. Fit is slightly out of ear for my average sized ears, and insertion is simple. Fit inside the canal is a bit off, due to the severe angle at which the nozzle juts out from the base. This hinders isolation with the included tips but can be controlled via tip rolling. Speaking of which, I always utilize the included tips first, then most often fall back onto my standard Comply/Unique Melody foam tips.

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Insertion depth can suffer as a result of the nozzle/tip combo and as such so can sound. I found I had to adjust both IEM’s fairly often to maintain a good seal as well as isolation. Overall isolation is moderately above average. Finish is a non-fingerprint-mongering semi-clear black. As a result, you can somewhat see the inside of the IEM itself. Think of a darkly tinted car window, and you get the idea. Fit and finish of the glossy triple driver is again, pretty decent. And when you consider the price, VERY decent. I continually am amazed at what one can get for sub-$50. And this comes in at sub-$20. With soft, pliable, rubbery memory sleeves coming from the IEM the fit is easy, and without pain as well. With smoked plastic housings, you can again see slightly inside. This does bely the fit and finish of a somewhat higher priced category.

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As a result of the incomplete fit inside my ear canal, I found that I had to work quite hard to reach an even placed sound, hinting toward the right side (could be my ears). As such, I had to continually work to keep that placement within my ear. Once I did though, the sound was fairly even and placed fairly well.

Initial listen:

Due to a full queue, I now burn in, or play whatever I am going to test for a minimum of 50hrs. I do so, not because I believe in burn in (I do on some), but because I believe that customers are interested in how the critter will sound months down the road, or hours down the road. That to me, is the benefit of playing music through your newly acquire review items. The end user wants to know how it will sound down the road, not just new out of the box…

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Once able to get a decent fit, I plugged the BOT1 into the excellent Audirect Beam through my MacBook Pro. I find this combo easy to use in a pinch and the Beam certainly tops the DAC inside my MBP. A nice combo for quick listening or writing sessions.

Starting with the seminal REM song Losing My Religion, I used that to find proper fit. Michael Stipe’s vocals sound fresh and clean. A good start. Continuing with Mark Knopfler’s Laughs & Jokes & Drinks & Smokes, I found male vocals to be pretty decent. Ziggy’s Lighthouse furthered this initial listening experience with male vocals. A hint of shade was heard, but more listening would be needed.

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That more listening:

As it went the more I listened, the more I began to appreciate this little 3-driver critter. No world beater, but one in which you can enjoy what you hear. Ample bass when needed, male vocals of decently high quality to enjoy, and enough detail to keep you interested. Not bad, indeed.

As it goes, the bass is sufficient to keep your interest, but will certainly not rock your ear drums to pieces. And I say just adequate. For a 3-driver DD unit, the BO-T1 is a bit weak on reach of bass. It doesn’t rumble the floor, nay it is much politer in its reach. An almost “we are close, but won’t get there,” type of bass. Not bad, but it leaves you wanting. It is there on some songs, but that is due to the Engineers response not the BO-T1, itself. On Stevie Ray Vaughan’s live version of Life Without You, which is small venue, the bass is decently represented and present, but it is due to the Shanling M3s/Beam combo not the BOT1.

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Male vocals are again decent with enough air to be recognizable as realistic. In other words, the mids are sufficient enough to be on the plus side of the ledger in this account. Stevie Ray’s voice is firm and subtle at the same time. Melodic would be an apt description, but not much above this price point. Enough to keep me interested.

With sufficient treble reach without being sibilant, there is again decent reach up top. Nothing piercing, nothing which may grates one’s senses; just good detail and reach. Of course, what with my hearing, please take that with a grain of salt. It is somewhat congested, but not too much.

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Overall, there is just enough detail to make me remember that this is a $20 IEM that strives to replace your Smartphone buds and could do so adequately. There is enough air between notes to give sufficient width of soundstage, while not overwhelming you with a fake cavernous sound-space. Height is average, and depth to me a bit shallow, kind of like a skinny average width/height room. And here is where the BOT1 can get a bit congested in detail. On Dire Straits Heavy Metal it sounds good, with sufficient beat, but when all instruments are played together during the song, it is a bit hard to separate from whence they came. Think of a goal line scramble on a corner kick in soccer as the goalie desperately tries to clear her line. IT may work, or it may not.

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Comparisons:

The sub-$50 market is an ever-increasing rush hour of IEM’s. It seems like every day another company pops up wanting your hard-earned dollar. And this is where is becomes increasingly difficult. Quite often we must rely upon reviews and comparisons for that “edge,” which would allow us to make an informed choice.

Against the Lypertek Mevi, ($29.95) the immediate difference becomes quite clear. There is a preponderance of open sound coming from the Mevi. Much more forward of sound, a veil seemed to be lifted from the darker tone of the BOT1. The Mevi came my way a while ago and I still like them. Easy to use buds, which actually STAY in my ear, I like the sound signature. The cable on the other hand can be quite microphonic and as such might not lend itself to commuting. The BOT1 has no such fallacy. Plus, with a slight advantage in the bass department the BOT1 would be a better choice for commuting. That said, and even though mid-centric sounds tend to bother me more than a darker signature; I would consider this a near-draw.

Moving up the food chain even more so to speak, we find the TinAudio T2 ($49.95) at a little over twice the price. More refined, better control of the mids, and bass; this really isn’t a fair comparison, except that the BOT1 can hold its own in regard to a pleasant sound. The T2 also has replaceable cables so using your expensive after markets can widen the gap. That said, there is still much to like about the Bot1’s sound signature. But it just cannot compete at the same level as the T2.

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A linear comparison with the affordable Geekwold GK3 ($19.99) is a very good comparison. The GK3 scales very well, especially for its price. As state in my review, it is not a world beater, nor does it punch well above its weight. But, it DOES compete very well at the price and a bit above. It would be a good consideration below $50 due to its overall pleasant nature and sound. Decent reach of bass, and good detail hides a bit of congestion in the mids (not middling though). The BOT1 is pretty decent in comparison but does not have the reach of bass. A bit more forward it is still a good bet at this price. Accessories certainly go to the GK3, with a very nice cable.

Pairings:

Sometimes the beauty of an IEM is that it may have the ability to scale very well, as in when you move from your portable DAP’s to more mid and hi-fi DAP’s the critter in question will sound equally or almost equally as good. This holds somewhat true with the BOT1.

Starting with a new favorite of mine, the Aune M1s, the sound represents itself remarkably well. Not world beating of course; but with what you might say aplomb. While not the richest of sounds, think single layered-chocolate cake and you get the point. Congested would not come to mind, but crystal-clear clarity does not either. Sufficiently satisfying would be an apt description.

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Moving laterally, the Shanling M3s provides a warmer sound (warm to start with), while losing a tiny fraction of the detail wrought by the above pairing. “Budget pairing” and you get the idea. Not yet double-layered chocolate cake, but another satisfying piece of cake. Go ahead and eat it, you won’t be disappointed. Deeper reach of bass, with only a bit more muddying with that bit o’less clarity. Satisfying indeed.

Skipping the hi-fi and moving to the top, the pair with the Questyle QP2R doesn’t get much better. The QP2R is known for bringing out the best of pretty much everything you plug in and that case would still ring true here. I can clearly separate instrumentation of an IEM at this price-point. Adding a bit of reach up top, the BO-T1 certainly shines through the QP2R nicely. This would indeed be that double-layered chocolate cake. And it is good.

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The above pairings were and are certainly laudable for such an inexpensive IEM, but do not be fooled. This is still a budget IEM trying to use triple dynamic driver technology. All three drivers are on the smaller side (out of necessity due to the size of the critter itself), so you will not get the physical rumble of a 10mm driver or the detailed clarity of a triple/quad BA unit. The BO-T1 isn’t meant to be, though. It is meant to be that possible first foray away from those “wonderful” included Smartphone buds. And in that vein, it is certainly worth a look and listen. I did find that the sound became more pleasant over time, whether that was in my ear or plugged in for those 50-75 hours beforehand. And isn’t that really the point? We want to know how it will sound a month or year down the road after purchase. And in that regard, I can say that the BO-T1 is all right in my book.

I again thank Sunny from bboooll sound. This was one I took a flyer on, and I am satisfied with their product.

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