We’ve seen a lot of newer IEM brands make a name for themselves this year with easy-to-miss products that you may have never heard of if you’re not immersed in the audiophile world. One of those brands is BGVP, whose DM8 model is one of my personal favorites you can get for the price. If you go up a little higher, you’ll find the new NE5 model for $499. Is this new model a considerable upgrade?
What You Get
- BGVP NE5
- Shadow Grey, Red, and Champagne Gold Filters
- 6N Silver-plated mono-crystalline copper cable.
- Balanced, Vocal, Bass, and Black ear tips in small/medium/large.
- A pair of memory foam ear tips
- Cleaning tool
- Manuals/warranty cards
Look and Feel
The outside of the NE5 is a silver shell that feels weighty and ergonomic. Its diamond-cut faceplate is polished and you can tell from its design that the crafting of the NE5 was of top priority. I particularly like the feel of the ridges on the faceplate that make a star-like pattern in its chrome body. As for the fit, I said previously that the style of the housing was ergonomic, its shape fitting naturally within my concha and inner cavity. This is true for whichever nozzle you decide to use too, as they won’t affect your level of comfortability. All in all, the NE5 grants you good support and coziness, although they can get cold in certain environments, and that’s something you will feel.
This driver system consists of a dual 10mm dynamic driver with two balanced armatures made by Knowles and Sonion, and one electrostatic driver from Sonion as well. The diaphragm is a new silicone design coated in titanium, with an N52 magnet that has a large surface area for increased bass performance. It’s also protected by a full metal shielded shell and houses a ccav voice coil. BGVP also develops a four crossway tuning for more precise signal output. 3D printing technology helped develop the NE5’s driver system, with an acoustic cavity made from aviation-grade aluminum completing a more high-end experience in craftsmanship.
The NE5 definitely shows its greatest strength in its imaging and depth but displays an average width and height. Spatially, the NE5 saves its best attributes in the lower end of the sound spectrum, wrapping its frequencies around you in a pleasing bubble of bass. This gives an impactful scale to the soundstage that’s hard to replicate, bringing a dramatic portrayal of spatial imaging that also clearly defines each position of the mix.
In a way, this is the main course of the sound signature, as the NE5 is a true bass-heads IEM. When I started listening to the NE5 for the first time it was hard to ignore the rich thumping bass that immediately jumps out of the sound signature with engrossing texture and a booming tone. Its transients are quick and effective, and the vibrating resonance of the deep sub-bass timbre expands the frequency response for a darker coloration.
When it gets to the mid-bass the NE5 starts showing less coloration and a bit more control, moving into a more neutral response that works to display a bit more detail compared to other bass-centric IEM. Here, sound elements are a bit more clear and consistent, with cleaner textures replacing boomier ones. Altogether, this makes an enticing bass timbre that offers more than you may think in terms of a detailed presentation.
While parts of the midrange offer a good amount of emphasis to make instrumentals pop, some recession bogs down the clarity of those elements. You still get a full sense of solidity in the mix, especially around the low-mids. It helps deliver a meatier performance with a significant amount of body. However, the frequency response is hampered by a dip in the fundamental midrange, affecting instrumentals and effects emanating with a little less clarity and definition than desired. Thankfully, the upper-mids add some needed presence, making all the difference in vocal performances adding that extra layer of crispness to their timbre.
With the treble end of the spectrum, the frequencies are clean and detailed, showcasing natural qualities that make them easy to digest. It’s a smoother tonality that features some effective detail without becoming bright or piercing but sacrifices tonal presence for it. Not every sound signature needs sparkly highs, especially for a darker tone, but the NE5 could have used some of its extension to expand the height of the imaging using the treble frequencies.
If you’re into bass-heavy genres, I think the NE5 fits well in this price range along with other low-end IEMs like the Moondrop Variations or the Campfire Audio Mammoth. Even with this competition, the NE5 stands on its own even with its picky sound signature. While this new model from BGVP delivers the dark and enveloping bass, other areas of its sonic content remain consistent throughout many styles of music. For $499, I’d say these are definitely worth trying out, but if you’re not into too much low-end, the NE5 might not be what you’re looking for.
The BGVP NE5 is available at Audio46.