BQEYZ Spring 2: Spring leads to fall nicely

Spring leads to fall nicely

Pros: Gorgeous color
Gorgeous shape
Excellent build
Solid sound (I really like the BQEYZ sound)
Vocal support is quite good at this price
A certain sparkle up top is quite appreciated
Good bass, but not overwhelming
Should be very competitive (and it is) at this price
An immediate favorite of mine

Cons: Could use a bit more bass for me
Tough market
Not much else

BQEYZ Spring 2 ($169): Spring leads to fall nicely

Spring 2

Some time ago I reviewed the BQ3 from BQEYZ. I came away with the appreciation and understanding that this was a very fine unit and moved it quickly to the near-top if not top of my choices at the sub-$75 price point. The bass was well thought out and reached deep enough to satisfy my tastes. There were also enough details present to keep me interested. I was impressed. At the time, Elle from BQEYZ asked if I was interested in the Spring 1. I said yes, but then logistics and other things took priority. I did not mind, as those who received their copies were impressed by the Spring 1.

Fast forward through COVID-19, to this year, and Elle made contact with me again asking if I was still interested this time with the Spring 2. I agreed, letting her know how much I liked the BQ3. During that time span many other manufacturers have come forward with their price appropriate models as competitors. Some are lauded for their sound. Others are put forward for excellent characteristics even though the same reviewers had to modify (sometimes heavily) the unit tested. I took note of those flavor of the month IEM’s and waited patiently.

As luck would have it, I had @wiljen’s unit on hand with which to listen before the arrival of mine. I was glad, and thus anxiously awaited the green copy coming my way. As such, this is a free sample, and it is implied the Spring 2 is mine to keep but may be asked to return or forward to another at any time. The unit may not be sold for profit as that is still uncool, and unethical to do. All that is asked is an honest appraisal of the sound and other characteristics present. I would have it no other way and thank Elle for the opportunity. First impressions were good.

*As per my standards, the unit was listened to in order to insure all was in working order, then set about on various DAP’s as needed for approximately 150hrs (other reviews were worked in in the interim). After that time, the sources listed below as well as the songs listed were used to write this review. My philosophy is that the reader wants to know how the unit in hand will function after that “new toy” syndrome has worn off; i.e. 6 months to a year down the road.

Spes/In the box:

1. Item: Spring 2
2. Dynamic Driver: 13mm
3. Impedance: 32 Ω
4. Sensitivity: 110 dB
5. Frequency: 7-40KHz
6. Cable Length: 1.2m
7. Pin Type: 0.78mm-2 Pin
8. Plug Type: 3.5mm
9. Driver units: 13mm Coaxial dynamic driver+9 Layers piezo electric+Balanced armature
10. Contents: Spring 2 earphone, Cable, Carrying Case, Brush, Memory foam, Atmosphere and Reference silicone ear tips of 3 types in 3different sizes. Always something that fits your ears and sonic tastes.



Gear used/compared:

Oriolus Finschi ($150)
Hidyzs MS4 Mermaid ($209)
LZ A6 mini ($180)

Shanling M0
Cayin N6ii mk2
Shanling M6 Pro



Songlist:

Joey Alexander-Warna album and others
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
twenty one pilots album, Trench
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Big Head Todd & The Monsters-Beautiful World
Mark Knopfler-Down The Road Wherever
Tidal MQA

Unboxing:

The Spring 2 comes in a very tastefully colored green-sleeved box, with large print specs on the back. There is no hiding the specs here in fine print, BQEYZ wants you to see what is going on with the Spring 2. Sliding the sleeve off, you are met with the proverbial textured paperboard box of the unit itself. Opening the “cover” like a book, there is even an added part to keep pressure on the contents inside.

Highlighted up top on the right side are the IEM’s themselves, while a paperboard cover hides the case, cable and accessories below. Often when one purchases something you like the presentation as much as the purchasing. Call it new toy syndrome. Sometimes one does not care, and you simply want to listen. I would call this on the better side of anticipatory ancillary information and I certainly appreciate the presentation. Hooking the gorgeous cable up, I place the Spring 2 into the large enough sized case, and even have room to include my Shanling M0. Nice to see that BQEYZ has included a case, let alone a usable one. Knowing their products, I would expect nothing less.

Fit-n-Finish:

Similar to the aforementioned BQ3, the Spring 2 comes well equipped as mentioned above, and has a quality feel, fit and finish to boot. A 2-piece shell has a cover plate lined in “chrome” much like the fine chrome on a 1950’s Chevy bumper. The green color of the shell also harkens back to the throwback era of the 50’s diner or interior, making you feel transported to a simpler time. A gold nozzle (not garish at all, thankfully) seems a bit out of character from the other parts, until you notice how subtle the gold is. Then it makes for a fine addition to the overall scheme of laid back and carefree. Thankfully the nozzle is not too large and fits nicely into one’s ear without fuss as well.

The 2-pin cable of copper is four large strands braided, splitting to two each way above the silver splitter. Nicely curved over-ear plastic sheathing makes for a pleasant package overall. To me, the cable seems quite big compared to the shells, but the feel is one of good fit, without pressure or added weight. Tactile in feel, with a bit of stickiness, but not enough to be a bother, the package seems quite appropriate for the price range. The cable does not tangle, which is a definite positive.

Add in the overall build quality matches a $4500 IEM I happen to have in house at the same time, and I feel confident that this is the BQEYZ norm after two samples. I am quite impressed with the Spring 2’s look, fit and feel. It does not stick out too far from my ear, which is good. And that subtle Aloe Green color and you get the sense that the Spring 2 is here for one reason: sound.

Sound:

I will admit again that I was thoroughly impressed with the BQ3, and hence had high expectations for the Spring 2. Even with good to glowing praise, it seems that for a certain segment of the “audiophile” kingdom, that the Spring 2 is not held in any higher esteem than cheaper alternatives, because those same hold that the sound is not that much higher of quality than the cheaper. Well…I would respectfully (more disrespectfully, actually) disagree. The Spring 2 is much more than the price accords it to be. Yes, it is approaching that vaunted $200 price point of “mid-fi” IEM’s, but it isn’t there yet. At $169, the price hits a sweet spot to me. Yes, it costs more than what the other cheaper ChiFi cost. But it is close enough for many to make that leap into a higher tier. I don’t fault the cheaper ChiFi offerings, no. But I do fault those who think it is not worth the look into that next category. You can be satisfied on more than one level, and the Spring 2 proves it.

So, what is it that I like so much? To start, the clarity of sound does not pretend to be top of the class. No, it provides an evenness of sound within that regard, which the cheaper ones cannot offer. A slightly warm tonality, which belies its overall signature. Not bass shy, nor bass heavy, the Spring 2 provides the right reach, speed and decay to be called “tight.” My words only and an apt description to me. I always like more bass, look at my favored Legend X for details. But, depth and quality of that reach has as much to do with the offering as a Marianas Trench reach. On Gaucho from the excellent Away From The World of Dave Matthews Band fame, the bass hits at the right depth and space. Not thumping, but the support mechanism of sustenance. Sustaining a quality that blends nicely into the mids as a result, there is no bleed to my ears. I find this quite refreshing for the items I have had in house as of late.

I will admit here though, that the mids take a hit on cleanliness. Not as crystalline as some, but not really meant to be either. The tying together continues with the vocal support. Dave’s voice on Sweet sings contentedly as the Ukulele plays as a backing. There is good detail here, making you listen quite closely to discern any differences from that smooth tonality. It is there and comes across with the male vocals quite well.

Thankfully, the treble does not become sibilant, sharp or anxious to make up for any perceived differences. There is a nice roll-off that still manages to come across as full and vibrant. Not as vibrant as a TOTL mind you, but a nice contrast and addition to the rest of the platform. Cymbal clashes sound nicely done, without being over-anxious or obnoxious. I would say that an apt descriptor would be that all works complimentary to each other without offending, nor trampling the other. In a day with many “sound signatures,” which partition to be “VIBRANT” or “FULL of RICHNESS,” the Spring 2 comes across as full, with enough detail to represent the sound, which fits my manner of listening. I can turn the volume up without having to combat competing sounds. I do not have to worry as the song gets louder or hits a spot where the highs become brittle or with too much emphasis.

Belly Full defines this nicely. Dave’s acoustic guitar work sound succinct and concise, without being strident. Melodic, with complimentary tone to the voice, the song sings nicely and sweetly. Follow that with If Only, and you get the added bass of support mentioned above. There is even a bit of thump here as well. A great album, highlighting a wonderfully musical sound. Color me impressed.

The impression of space is about what I would expect from a triple-hybrid driver unit. Piezo-electrostats of late have grown in quality by leaps and bounds thankfully. Early iterations were just plain bad. Period. The Spring 2 with its 9-layer piezo makes amends with dividends in return. No harshness or shrill sound emanates from the Spring 2, and with a height greater than depth, the sound stage manages to be smaller venue-like. There is an older theater, which holds concerts in downtown KC. It smells of neglect and mildew due to the humidity, but acoustically sound fabulous. Tall and narrow (only difference from the Spring 2), the Uptown Theater has held some truly epic shows over its history. The sound, which can bellow melodically from there reminds me of the way the Spring 2 sounds. Clear, clean and concise, but without being antiseptic. Just a good time.

As a result, layering and separation are better across the vertical plane, but not as much so horizontally. This is not bad mind you as the width of the sound stage is still enough to give a decent space with which to work. And because of that combination, there is decent air between the notes, and timbre is quite pleasing. I am thoroughly enjoying the Spring 2, and this coming off the back of the fabulous MMR duo of Thummim and Homunculus variety. Goodness, what a duo they are…

Switching to the large “Atmosphere” tips from my favored Complys adds the right amount of airiness to tone and the Spring 2 becomes like that first fine Spring day where you throw the windows open. Not too breezy mind you, just right (boy, that was a scenario you didn’t expect, eh?…). I do like the sound, which emanates from the silicons, but the seal is not good enough for me in noisy situations, and hence I revert back to the foams. That said, the “Reference” tips open the width yet more, and actually tone the upper end down a bit. Bass hits a bit harder, but not like the foams. Of the two silicons, I would not admit a favored, for each brings their specialties to the table. It is refreshing for a tip to actually do its job. Nicely played.



Returning to the Spring 2 after giving it a break (called other reviews…), I did peak at some reviews. The treble was a bit hotter than I recalled, but the bass is still good and tight. With good presence down low, the V-shape comes out, but does not overshadow Ziggy Marley’s voice on See Dem Fake Leaders. His voice penetrates to such depths that often you have to turn the volume down.

Comparisons:

BQEYZ Spring 2 ($169) vs Oriolus Finschi ($150):

Absolutely one of my all-time favorites period, the Finschi hits all of my required spots: bass is vibrant, deep and rich. Vocals are extraordinary (to me), supporting the rest in a near perfect fashion. And up top? Thankfully there is a bit of sparkle, but not overwhelming. I once said to another reviewer that if I could only have three IEM’s, the Finschi would be one of those. As such, the Spring 2 has an extremely tough time muscling into that realm. But it should not be judged based upon that, no. It should be judged on its own merits and for whom it may tailor itself to.

And here, the Spring 2 can certainly acquaint itself well enough to be in the “argument.” Playing Aretha’s At Last, you get the sense of her voice ringing ever so nicely in your head. She seems to be all over the place in a good way, and her sumptuous vocals sing with perfection. Not having the bass reach of the Finschi, the Spring 2 provides better clarity to me. The Spring 2 exudes confidence here but in a different way. Think of Formula 1 versus rallying. Both a racing of the highest caliber, but oh so different. I like both types of rallying, and both of these.

Vocal treatment is better in the Spring 2. Bass is phenomenally better in the Finschi. Clarity goes to the Spring 2. Warmth and that “matureness” of sound goes to the Finschi. Pick your choice, both are good.

BQEYZ Spring 2 ($169) vs Hidyzs MS4 Mermaid ($209):

Another of my all-time favorites (just shy of my three…) the MS4 presents the most forward signature of the models here, and that can either be its Achilles or its positive. Vocals are the highlight, and Aretha is there in full-on force. But with bass that backs it up (better than the Spring 2) you are not privy to a one-trick pony. The top end provides another base of clarity to the overall signature. Superb would be an apt descriptor for the clarity of the MS4.

But and here is where the Spring 2 passes the MS4 by, the overall signature of the Spring 2 seems a bit more “modern.” By that I mean it provides a bit better signature for an. Overall picture. That sparkle up top in the MS4 can become biting with bright (or crystalline clear) sources such as the EarMen Sparrow. When used with a warmer asignatured DAP such as the E01 on the Cayin N6ii, or Dual DAC on the Shanling M6 Pro, the MS4 is exemplary. But use a bright signatured source, and the Spring 2 bests it, providing a tamer (not by much) sound. When compared here, the Spring 2 sounds much more laid back. When with the Finschi, the Spring 2 sounds vibrant, and that may be the trick to it. Provide a multi-characteristic sound, which tries to meld both worlds.


BQEYZ Spring 2 ($169) vs LZ A6 mini ($180):

Reading another review, I noticed someone wanted a comparison to the LZ A6 mini, which is enjoying renewed enthusiasm. When first received, I enjoyed the A6 mini. With a cheaper rubberized cable, I am glad to see they lowered the price, as to me it had hit the limit of what was acceptable back then for what you in turn received. Plugging the A6m back in, I immediately noticed how much harder it was to drive. Having to turn the volume up several notches on my MBP, the sound was still quite good. With tamer treble, but deeper reach of the bass, the A6m shifts the sound signature of the Spring 2 down the scale.

Acclimating myself again to the A6m, I again appreciated the tuning, which seems to be a more mellow sound. Time referenced I appreciated the A6m yet again. With vocals a bit more forward as well, this compensates for the rounded treble (to me) but providing sound, solid vocals. This is mind you not too shy treble, though. Just in comparison to the sparkle of the Spring 2 up top. I would think that the two would not be direct competitors, but complimentary and justified together. The A6 mini remains one of my favorites at this price.


Finale:

I lamented to @Wiljen how I thought this review was complete, but upon coming back to post; it was not. A shame on me moment turned to an advantage. While others have come and gone; and will be posted soon, the Spring 2 gets a revisit following some pretty much perfect IEM’s, such as the Thummim, M5 and Luna. I do not feel this is a curse for the Spring 2 to follow those fine (extraordinary) IEM’s, no. I find that this can give me a greater appreciation of what the Spring 2 provides.

Finishing with REM’s seminal Losing My Religion, the words, “I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough” comes out strong and with a somewhat gut punch. Not knowing whether I had finished was that gut punch but given the ability to say more; gives me the chance to remember the Spring 2 for itself. Listening to the REM song again, before ACTUALLY finishing with Mark Knopfler’s Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes, I relish my revisit with the fine Spring 2. The color green emotes an Irish character to it, and the sound backs it up.

As far as the above comparisons go, the Spring 2 falls behind all of the three at some point. But when taken together, the Spring 2 composes itself with aplomb. That sparkle of treble does not sound too hot after listening to the others. The pure lack of bass reach does not hinder the overall signature. And the vocals can stand on par with the best in class to me. When taken together and complete, the Spring 2 is an extremely fine unit, and one in which I relished my “revisit.” For once my forgetfulness helped me out here…

I thank Elle and BQEYZ for the Spring 2. I really liked (and still do) the BQ3 some time ago, and the Spring 2 continues that fine sound and quality product offered from them.

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