So you appreciate good sound, but you don’t have much to spend. The earphone ocean is deep and broad and it is hard to tell which earbuds outperform their price. Well I recently got my hands on an earphone that does just that. Today, I’ll go into a bit more detail for who would enjoy these earphones with this BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
The Best Earbuds Under $20 – BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
In the Box – The Best Earbuds Under $20 – BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
-BlitzWolf BW-ES2 earbuds
-eartips (small, medium, and large)
-semi-hard zipping case
Design – The Best Earbuds Under $20 – BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
Look and Build
The BlitzWolf BW-ES2 earphones have a sporty, energetic, and masculine look to them. My sample is the red and black color and features a vibrant, red cable with black driver housings and black accents. In many ways, these earphones are simple and uncomplicated. However, I enjoy the little details in the driver housings. For example, the soft silicone ridge adds a little buffer of comfort to protect your ear from the hard plastic.
So yes, it’s no surprise that the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 earphones have plastic driver housings based on their inexpensive price. As a result, the earphones feel a bit cheap. However, the plastic housings also make them light, easy to manage, and easy to fit and stay in my ears–a feat, considering my stubborn shaped ears. So I suppose if you were to compare these for a pair for $100, you might scoff a bit, but you’ll find earphones in the $50 range made of the same materials as these.
Additionally, the remote control worked seamlessly with my iPhone and the microphone sounded remarkably clean and clear.
Since the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 earbuds are made of plastic, they’re inevitably susceptible to durability issues. However, I was impressed because it seems they took visible steps in the design to help prevent these issues.
First, a cable strain relief shoots off the driver housing of the BlitzWolf BW-ES2. This protects the wire connection in the housing from potential tugs. As a result, this commonly sensitive area has a layer of protection.
Secondly, the 3.5 mm connector is has a thin housing around it (so it will fit in your phone even if your phone has one of those bulky cases). This thin housing feels like it is made of metal and also has a short strip of strain relief.
Lastly, another potentially vulnerable piece of the earphone might be the drivers themselves. Since the driver housing is made of plastic, all it would take is one wrong step, and it could damage the earphones. However, the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 has aluminum alloy protective shield underneath the front acoustic cavity of the earphones. As a result, it would take more than force to hurt the drivers than it would otherwise.
Sound – The Best Earbuds Under $20 – BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
The low frequencies of the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 are emphasized. They are a little bit cloudy, but very impactful and effective, especially for genres that want a lot of low end power. For example, when I was listening to the song Price Johnny by St.Vincent, the kick drum wasn’t as precise sounding as it might be with a more expensive earphone. However, it felt full and adequately drove the groove of the song along. That kick drum was really able to move some air, so I found it to be emotionally impactful as well.
This low-end boost in the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 is not an even boost. As a result, it is better for handling low frequency info from transient, rhythmic instruments rather than melodic or harmonically complex ones. For example, the low, subby synth in Prince Johnny, unfortunately, is louder on certain notes than others. However it does add this immense sense of weight and power to the mix as a whole.
The BlitzWolf BW-ES2 earphones are heavy on the low-mids and crispy in the high-mids. Therefore, for midrange instruments, they tend to either add significantly to the weight of a mix or stand out as a central figure in the listener’s attention. As a result, this scooped midrange doesn’t instill a sense of realism or express a sense of complexity in the sound. Rather, it ignites power and creates a real sense of feeling from the music.
For example, when I was listening to the song Carolina in my Mind by James Taylor with the BlitzWolf BW-ES2, the energies from the acoustic guitar, piano, slide guitar, and fiddle all come from their high-mid frequency information. As a result, they sound clear and forward in the mix, but less harmonically rich and complex than they normally do. In other words, their tonality is a little bit different than usual. Additionally, the low-mid rich bass guitar is elevated in the mix and less nuanced. However, it carries a lot of weight and grounds the rest of the mix which would otherwise feel thin and fleeting.
The high frequencies of the BlitzWolf BW-ES2, like the low frequencies, are emphasized but in a bit of an uneven way. Therefore, it sounds best for transient and rhythmic high frequency instruments rather than harmonically rich instruments. In particular, I really enjoyed these while listening to hip-hop. The earphones do wonders with a simple kick/snare/high-hat pattern.
For example, when I was listening to the song Short Eyes by Camp Lo, the emphasized high frequencies provided nice breath to the vocals but also brought out the drive and attack of the high hat. As a result, this added energy to the song, and provided a strong, straight beat for the groove.
The most well done part of the soundstage of the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 is in the left-to-right imaging. The left and right feel nicely matched which is great for an earphone at this price! Because the midrange is a bit scooped, these earbuds aren’t great at depicting the sound of room microphones as they relate to the sense of depth. Likewise, there’s a bit of a lack of high frequency extension and so the sense of tallness isn’t expansive. However, the earphones do better at depicting a sense of lowness in the height domain because of the big low-end response.
For example, when I was listening with the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 to the song Inception by McCoy Tyner Trio, I could clearly hear the left-to-right placement of the instruments (the piano to the left, the upright bass in the center, and the drums off to the right a bit). However, each musician sounded like they were in a straight line with the other players, without a sense of depth. However, there was certainly a sense of height. The kick drum and the lowest parts of the upright seemed to live downwards by my chest whereas the ride cymbal felt more like it came from a higher place, around my eyebrows.
Overview – The Best Earbuds Under $20 – BlitzWolf BW-ES2 Review
Overall, the value of the BlitzWolf BW-ES2 is great! They’re under $20 but will provide a strong, impactful sound. They aren’t for those who want a neutral sound signature and will be best for those who like hip-hop, electronic, pop, and rock music!