Sometimes we get caught into the hype of the big brands that the small ones get swept under the rug. We’ve tried to cover a variety of manufacturers here on MajorHiFI, but there’s always bound to be a few we miss. A certain name we have yet to cover is BGVP, another Shenzhen Audio partnered brand. Much of the output from this partnership, such as Kinera or Shanling, have proven to be successful. Their products have ensured a lasting impression on me, and I’m very much looking forward to what BGVP has to offer. The model we’ll be looking at from them specifically is the DM8, an IEM for $349. Let’s see how they stack up.
What You Get
- Cable MMCX 2.5mm 6N OCC *1
- Earphone box *1
- 2.5mm to 3.5 Adapter
- 2.5mm to 4.4 Adapter
- Eartips *10
BGVP takes the Shanling approach to ear tips, offering three sets of silicone separated by a certain function. You’ll have three tips for more bass, three for vocals, and three for balance. That’s not including an extra set of foam tips and the extra tips you receive in the carrying case.
Look and Feel
These ChiFi brands always sport interesting looks, and the DM8 is no different. There are two variations of this model that you can choose between, silver and woodcarving. My model was the silver edition, and they appeared equally as marvelous. While the front plate has this sleek silver, it’s covered with a smooth resin. The rest of the body is completely translucent, showing off the inner components of the IEM. The overall size is quite small, making the fit mostly not a big issue. I do believe that ear tip selection is very important here though.
The standard tips that are already on the DM8 when you open the box were rather large for me so I stuck with the small balanced tips for most of my listening. What makes the Initial fit seem so bulky is the larger nozzle piece at the end. It makes the earpiece feel larger than it actually is, but thankfully this was solved with a generous ear tip selection offered by BGVP. After a while, you can barely notice that they’re even in your ears, with the thick cable the only indication you’re wearing anything at all. The cable is a beauty as well, being made from high-purity silver-plated OFC welding wire.
It has been a while since I’ve seen an IEM support this many drivers at this price range. The DM8 features a total of eight balanced armatures made by both Knowles and Sonion. Each armature driver is sorted into a specific range of frequency with a four-way crossover that evenly distributes the signal. Two Sonion armatures are dedicated to bass output, one Knowles and one Sonion deliver the midrange, two Knowles for treble, and finally two more Knowles for the super tweeter. The super tweeter aims to help out the high-frequency extension quite a bit, aiming to replicate that of an electrostatic driver.
The DM8 uses a low impedance of 27 Ohms in order to drive sufficient volume through most devices. Of course, plugging the IEMs straight into a smartphone or laptop should give you more than enough volume control, using a proper DAC/Amp will definitely help get the most out of those balanced armatures.
There are a lot of interesting things going on in the DM8’s soundstage. You’ll find a host of IEMs like the DM8 that is impressively wide, but the DM8 itself responds differently compared to those models. The extreme left and right positions in the stereo field are brought in a bit while maintaining their accuracy. What’s interesting about the DM8’s sense of imaging is its almost exaggerated sense of separation. Instruments and effects are completely split apart with a great amount of air between them.
Not only does this highly increase clarity, but the music comes off like a real performance rather than a naturally blended mix. This works great for live music, and to be even more specific, music performed in small venues. The DM8 does a great job immersing you in its soundstage without being heavily exaggerated in width, even when the imaging is a bit thin at times. It still creates a unique sense of depth that provided enough satisfying immersion that kept me engaged for long periods of time.
The most immediate response you’re going to get out of the bass here is the energetic and punchy mid-bass. The frequencies here are very fun, giving kick drums and other percussion instruments a pep in their step. I definitely enjoyed hearing this type of mid-bass timbre when listening to certain metal and punk rock tracks. This is where the DM8 is the loosest with its tonality, but those looking for sub-bass might be disappointed. The only feel you’re going to get with the low end is strictly centered on mid-bass.
My biggest treat was mainly reserved for the midrange, where detail and transparency were king. Due to the excellent level of separation, the instruments are able to breathe properly and exhibit a level of resolution rarely matched at this price point. Some of the tonality here is satisfyingly crisp, especially with vocals and string instruments. Classical tracks and film scores have exceptional clarity, with a touch of textural warmth that makes for a more tender resonance. Vocals are given a great amount of space, with male and female vocals receiving an equal amount of detail and fidelity.
I liked a good amount of the overall timbre here. The upper highs receive some nice extension that resonates with textural sweetness at times. They glisten at a point with proper shimmer, especially when it comes to dancing hi-hats. High-mids are also very well defined, but a little crisper and with equal gain. A little more sparkle would have given the treble a lot more character and added to the overall height of the soundstage as well.
If BGVP’s library is as good as the DM8, then I’m more than looking forward to trying out more. What you get here is a wonderfully detailed sound signature with a unique amount of separation that makes your music sound even more articulate. The DM8 also gets some style points for its sleek aesthetic flourish. At $349 it’s a steep competition with many of the other Shenzhen audio brands, but the DM8 is definitely worth a try.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Excellent separation, Punchy mid-bass, Design, Price, Ear tip selection
Cons: Large nozzle
The BGVP DM8 is available at Audio 46.