Seasons change, but good sound lasts.
Pros: BQEYZ Build
Cable is really, REALLY nice
Mature, organic tuning fits my bill
Deep guttural bass reach
Cons: Mature, organic tuning is not for all
Lack of micro-details hinder technical ability
Too much bass for some (not me!)
BQEYZ Autumn ($199): Seasons change, but good sound lasts.
The Autumn can be purchased from many sources.
I am a methodical (slow) reviewer. Often, I am behind and other units have come since receiving the latest unit. This would be the case in point. The Summer review will be posted before finishing this write up, but the Autumn has been out for a good bit as well. When Elle contacted me yet again, I was thankful that she did. For what I had read about the Autumn was good and I appreciated the support. I like BQEYZ. I appreciate what they do with their models and the Autumn is no exception. Interchangeable filters is not new, but having the unit on the outside using magnets is a first for me. I do worry a bit about them falling out, but it takes a tangible effort to do so. I again thank Elle & BQEYZ for the support and will provide an honest assessment of this model. Until further notice, the unit is mine to keep, but may be asked back for at any time or sent to another. Until then the unit is mine, and shall not be flipped as that still to this day remains really, really uncool and unethical.
Large 13mm dynamic driver.
>Dual-cavity acoustic structure.
>Replaceable tuning vents with a magnetic structure.
>Professional tuning delivering pure sound with a wide soundstage.
>5-Axis CNC machined metallic ear cavities.
>Ergonomic and comfortable.
>High-quality silver-plated and copper hybrid cable.
>Frequency response range: 7Hz-40kHz.
>standard 0.78mm 2-pin connectors.
>Available in three different plug options: 2.5mm/4.4mm/3.5mm.
In The Box:
Single crystal copper silver-plated mixed braid cable
3 pairs of tuning filters
Magnetic tuner pole
6 pairs of eartips (S/M/L)
DDHiFi Janus2 E2020B ($199)
IKKO OH1S ($199)
Thieaudio Legacy 4 ($199)
HiBy R3 Pro Sabre
VE Odyssey dongle/MBP
Buena Vista Social Club
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Gone is the lighter color of the Spring/Summer, replaced by a quite thick black sleeved cardboard unit. A large silhouette of the Autumn resides on the front, while the specs are on the back. Sliding the sleeve off you are met with a more traditional fall-like color of orange box. Peeking out the top in a cutout are the IEM’s themselves. Take the paperboard off, which protects the top and you are met with a cutout in the foam for the aluminum piece, which holds the filter at the midpoint, and the removal magnetic tool on the bottom.
Under that is the larger square case on the bottom and another foam piece, which holds the six sets of tips in two varieties (s, m, l of each). A nice presentation and a decent set of accessories.
Coming with a 13mm dynamic driver, which has a dual-cavity acoustic structure for an open, airy sound along with a 6μ diaphragm purported to provide a better response in the whole frequency range without distortion. This helps deliver a smooth sound as well. As a result, the Autumn boasts one of the biggest dd’s out there. You can tell when we get to the sound portion. Also included on the inner portion of the shell are the inserts where the filters go. Normal (gold) is fitted automatically, but there are both bass (gray, to match my sample) and treble (silver). I could definitely tell a difference between the filters, but with that large of a driver, and the tuning; the Autumn tends toward warm and rich. Too warm and rich for some. I will note all three in the sound portion.
I continue to be impressed by the build of BQEYZ models, and the Autumn is the best so far, to me. Made of three pieces, the shell has an organic shape to it on the faceplate, along with three evenly spaced vent holes inward below the interchangeable filter. The nozzle is chrome colored and with a good lip, affords excellent handling of the tips. The main shell has two distinct acoustic chambers by design and is the way most manufacturers are treating their shells currently. Separate chambers for separate drivers allow for better isolation of each, minimizing distortion and cross feed of sound. Like mini listening rooms, acoustically patterned for the best response, this works.
There is also a small nib on the inner shell, which aids in retention within your ear. It is small enough that tits placement did not bother me. Between that nib and the nozzle lies the divet for the filter. Not perfectly flush with the shape but having an equidistant amount of the filter showing on each end, there is a nice swerve to the shape. And yes, one can use their fingers to remove the filter. I worried a bit, but the magnetic force holding it in place is quite sufficient. There are even L/R marks on the inside shell parts as well as a tiny “L” on the faceplate of the left IEM. Not the right, though.
The cable of copper and silver braid matches the blue/gray color of the IEM quite nicely. I prefer understated to garish, and the silver color with the hint of copper looks stunning to me. Sufficiently stiff to not be flimsy, the cable also has a nice amount of sheathed plastic for an over-ear guide. Terminated in two-pin, the black IEM end is also labeled with an L/R designation. More like dark gray than black, the color does not hold fingerprints and the two-pin fit snugly and flush, with only a bit of the inner plastic housing showing. The dark gray carries over with a Y-splitter laden with the BQEYZ label and proper metal cinch. Even the termination at the 3.5mm end carries the gray color scheme along with the initials. Slightly wider at the jack then the point where the cable enters, this gives the jack a very good grip in hand, along with the slight hourglass shape of the barrel. The only “blemish” I found is a slight mismatch of faceplate and inner shell of one IEM. And it came down to not finishing the curvature of the shell where it connects. A minor detail to me and the other shell/faceplate interface was perfect. As a result, I could feel a small lip, but this did not hinder the connecting of faceplate to inner shell at all.
Nary a fingerprint carries over onto the shell or cable, which is nice to see.
Fit in my average-sized ears is very good as well, with a minimal amount sticking out. Using the largest silicon tips provided, I found very good isolation, which became even better once the music started. Moving my head around did not break the seal either, like some I have in house on another review.
The build, fit & finish is exactly what I would expect from a quality IEM at this point, and could be considered a benchmark as a result.
From a website: “BQEYZ Autumn earphone is designed with a 13mm dynamic driver complemented with dual cavities. With this structure, it can effectively control the air pressure, increase amplitude of diaphragm and improve the longitudinal soundstage by more than 50%.”
This means that the isolation of the large 13mm dd can be controlled better by an individual chamber, and thus control air pressure distortion along with potentially increasing the width of the soundstage. See “sound” for the impressions. Also new to this are the three interchangeable filters of bass, normal & treble tendencies. The unit came mounted with the normal, and after a listen quickly switched to the bass. In talking to another reviewer, he lamented that all three were too bass heavy for his tastes, and possibly covered the wonderful mids. I posit it could also be due to the immense size of the dynamic driver itself. All technologies worked well together, and I came to appreciate how BQEYZ does not sit with their models, but also do not rush new ones into production like some “affordable” models from the Far East. BQEYZ tries their technologies, tests and retests them until they are happy and satisfied. Not all will like the sound, but that is the way it rolls with all headphones/IEM’s.
The Autumn comes across with a mature sound, that has a good amount of vibrancy to it, as well as a richer warmth than previous models to me. Bass is indeed heavier as well. Running the bass filters on the Burson Funk gives a very solid sound, which goes deep with a bit of bleed into the mids. Only as the decay is a bit slower to me, which gives a somewhat lush sounding to that interface. Vocals are good, and darn near dead center to me. Sans Tois by Pomme comes across as melodic and her rich succinct voice tends toward tight notes up top. It could be mistaken for stridency, but it sounds so good that you realize it isn’t. The Autumn gives a warmth to the clarity as a result of all the above rolled together.
Done with my favored bass filter, but all will be discussed at the end.
The Autumn comes across with deep reaching bass, where attack is faster than decay giving a lush sound to the sub bass, which tends to linger. To me this aids in the spatial presentation of the low end as well. Those who favor tighter, faster responding bass may want to change filters. On Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lenny, the song naturally runs slow and sweet, so the Autumn fits the mood perfectly. This is not droopy or drippy by any means, it simply isn’t the fastest responding bass. I still like this treatment for my favored richness and warmth in the signature.
The mids are nicely laid out, without taking frontal stage like some. As mentioned, female vocals sound dead center and on par with how the song intends; no stridency involved. Pink Floyd’s live Comfortably Numb sounds a bit slow and methodical until Gilmore releases the guitar solo. Then it simply sings with passion and energy like it should to me. But, the mids still seem to take a backseat to the rest and could be a bit more forward for my tastes. A bit more urgency or vibrancy would take this into real consideration at this point.
Treble note pushes up nicely, almost countering the bass and mid, for a V-shaped signature. But it does so without the stridency mentioned before. Cymbals do seem to be lacking the depth or thickness usually associated with good treble note, and it could be the choice of filter changes this. I do like the note, but with the bass filter wish for a bit better spatial relationship and vibrant tone to those notes and instruments.
Soundstage is good, and the dual chambers notes an increased width as a result. I cannot really state whether this is true or not, for what I near is a pretty evenly spaced box, with a bit more height than width and depth. As I have stated in some reviews lately, I take less note of soundstage now as opposed to the overall tone, and movement towards my favored character. That said, it is still important to note characteristics such as those here for people who prefer to put a checkmark by those aspects mentioned first. Good but not cinema-quality.
Layering & separation suffer a bit with the bass filter, but using the normal one, definition of both is better. But when a song such as Los Lobos Porquito Para Aqui comes on you get the stage of instruments playing across the whole set, and in pretty distinct character as well.
Using my preferred Bass filter-gray, the sound reached deep and with good rumble. I did find that the mids and upper suffered due to the preponderance of those deep notes. Soundstage, while not suffering too much was average as a result using this combination.
Switching to the Normal filter-gold, the stage opened nicely as did the notes up top. I could also tell a difference in the spatial clarity of notes, and using Pomme as a reference, her voice seemed to float with good character. I hate to use the term “holographic,” but there did seem to be better depth of that soundstage as a result. This is a good middle ground filter, that works across many genre, but might be suited to faster dance or hip hop as well.
Using the Treble filter-silver last This was the most airy, but also sounded the thinnest to me as well. To me, the treble filter would be best for orchestral or light female-based listening, because there is still good bass reach to be had, but without the domination. This could work for EDM as well I would imagine due to the speed of note, without giving up too much bass.
BQEYZ Autumn ($199) v DDHiFi Janus2 E2020B ($199):
The Janus2 is a completely retuned model, but with the same cool, quirky looks to it. Many of us lamented that the insides were not as open while looking at the connection ribbon, but with the redesign, the chamber is much better acoustically. I will admit this is one aspect of which I applaud manufacturers. Innovating the shell to enhance sound much like speaker placement in your listening room is a very good next level. I have another in house right now, that actually modifies the chamber for the dynamic driver, much akin to a subwoofer (Fir Xenon6). But anyway, the Janus2 is much more open sounding than the Autumn, even when the treble filter is used.
Bass is a bit deeper on the Autumn, but that could be the use of the Air Nyx cable I had as well. Detail retrieval of the J2 is very, very good; topping the Autumn without much effort. But, organically sounding goes to the Autumn, which gives off the wonderful richness pervading my senses. If you prefer a more detailed sound, you could do worse than the J2. Organic, naturally sounding
BQEYZ Autumn ($199) v IKKO OH1S ($199):
The 1S is the latest iteration of the OH1 series, and as such is retuned for a more even sound. Bass still runs strong, with fast decay, but it does not sound weak while running deep. The bass treatment here is better than the Autumn by a bit but the Autumn bass sounds more organic to me.
I would call the IKKO s funner sound, and the Autumn a more mature sound. Either would be good choices.
BQEYZ Autumn ($199) v Thieaudio Legacy 4 ($199):
The L4 would be the old IEM of the bunch, having been around for a good bit of time. Thieaudio took the audio world by storm with this model and their more expensive ones. Coming with excellent build, gorgeous looks and the sound to back it up the Legacy 4 is considered by some as the standard at this price. I get it and understand why. I rate it highly as well. Maybe not having the deep reaching bass as some here, but solid nonetheless it comes across as honest and fully worthy of supporting the rest. Vocals here could be the best of the lot, even if a bit hot for my tastes. Mids are solid (really all here are…), and female vocals simply sing. The L4 is the whole package from good looks to a wonderful cable and sound commensurate with what a price point choice should have.
The Autumn is again more mature and laid back, but certainly not boring when compared. Some might find it dull in comparison. I would say that it is the maturity of sound, which you will either like more or less than the L4. Both are worthy choices.
I write this part appropriately enough listening to San Tois & Lenny, two wonderfully different songs, but both worthy of the laid-back signature. Pomme’s voice is ethereal and sensuous making for a wonderfully organic sound emanating into your ears. Lenny is just a love song for the ages without words. When I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan play this one hot summer night at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, he was dressed to the nines in a white suit, complete with his trademark black hat and feather. He played the song as he gently swung his legs from the stage. I was second row center and could see and feel every pluck. It was superb.
And here is where I think the Autumn makes its mark. Sublime in presentation like a fine quiet fall afternoon as you watch the leaves fall gently to the earth after a nice cool shower passes. Almost crisp in weather but not quite. It is that quieter sense of being that comes forth from the Autumn and highlights the best parts: natural and organic, richness without being soft, and warmth without being too much so. To me (and others) The Autumn is the best iteration of this “season series,” and I for one am glad I had the chance to listen and kick back while the songs and memories flow.
Thank you, Elle & thank you, BQEYZ