Have you heard of BGVP yet? They used to be a small IEM manufacturer dabbling in the budget arena until they recently started scaling things up. In 2018 they released the DS1 which received mixed opinions but never really caught on. Now, in 2019 they have released the DS1 Pro, a 1DD+2BA hybrid earphone which we are reviewing today.
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Fit and comfort
Fun bass, clean midrange
Harsh high frequencies
Package and Accessories
The DS1 Pro unboxing experience begins with a white cardboard sleeve with the BGVP logo. Underneath is the classic BGVP brown box, the same one we saw with the DMG and DM7. Inside is the ubiquitous foam insert where the earpieces are seated and another smaller box holding the rest of the accessories.
In the box:
BGVP DS1 Pro earphones
Detachable MMCX cable
3 pairs of narrow-bore silicone eartips
3 pairs of wide-bore silicone eartips
2 pairs of foam eartips
Build Quality and Design
I’m beginning to wonder how much longer this section will be relevant in IEM reviews. More often than not, we’re seeing similar pseudo-custom styled 3D-printed shells that are beginning to all look very alike.
The DS1 Pro is available in black, blue and red. I received the red variant which has clear transparent shells and a red see-through faceplate with gold-coloured BGVP logo. You can clearly see the single dynamic and double balanced armature drivers inside.
There’s a single vent on the inner side of the shell along with an L or R denoting the left and right sides respectively. Next, are the gold-coloured aluminium nozzles. The nozzles have a proper lip for securing eartips and a fine mesh covering the opening to protect the internals from ear wax. Overall, the build quality feels good and the DS1 Pro is quite a handsome IEM.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
For my ears, the DS1 Pro is really comfortable. The shells are small and very lightweight. Like most housings of this kind, the surface is very smooth and there are no sharp edges or rough areas. Noise isolation is good and the DS1 Pro blocks out a lot of external noise. These would be perfect for public transit or noisy environments. There is no significant noise leak either so you’re unlikely to bother other people nearby.
I received the silver no mic version of the cable. This is like the one that comes with the DMG and is one of my favourite budget cables. It’s extremely supple, light, smooth to the touch and has hardly any microphonics.
At the top are colour-coded aluminium MMCX connectors. There are some very soft pre-formed ear guides as well. The aluminium Y-splitter is small and barrel-shaped. There’s a clear plastic chin slider too. The cable termination is an L-shaped aluminium 3.5mm plug.
Sources used for testing include the FiiO M5, iBasso DX120 and FiiO K3. The BGVP DS1 Pro is easy to drive and can be used directly from a smartphone. I’d recommend pairing it with a warmer source if you have one.
DS1 Pro has a V-shaped signature. It has a really nice bass, slightly recessed lower mids and a clear but edgy treble. Clarity is good and it has a detailed sound that leans towards bright in the upper ranges.
Unlike the DMG and more recent DMS models, the DS1 Pro has a tighter and faster bass. The sub-bass has a nice and deep but fast rumble. It’s a strong bass but not too emphasized and it doesn’t overshadow the midrange or treble.
The mid-bass is punchy with a well-defined slam and good control. In Shpongle’s “Dorset Perception“, kick drums are delivered with impact and authority but at just the right quantity. The bass has good body, definition and natural decay.
DS1 Pro’s midrange has good clarity and detail. The lower mids are nicely separated from the upper bass so there’s no feeling of bloat or muddiness. The midrange is fairly neutral but has a typical upper midrange boost giving percussion instruments like snares a good solid attack.
In Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster’s “Sunday” electric guitars crunch and are loaded with texture. Midrange notes and vocals have good weight and articulation. I also found the DS1 Pro to be quite good for classical music because of its clean midrange.
Things were going great up until this point but the DS1 starts to falter when we get to the treble. The prominent 7-8kHz peak causes a lack of definition and introduces sibilance and shrillness. From that point on it falls off fairly sharply with not much action in the middle treble which leaves you with a sound that is not only strident but also lacks sparkle and air. The DS1 Pro’s treble is thin, lacks definition and the timbre sounds off.
The soundstage dimensions are moderate – a benefit of a reasonably tame bass and clean midrange. A limited middle and upper treble mean the stage doesn’t feel expansive or airy but it’s not cramped either. It has the feel of a large room with a natural central stage position.
Tin Hifi T3
The T3 (review here) is more linear from top to bottom. It has a more neutral, faster bass response and less bass quantity. T3’s upper midrange is less emphasized, giving it less vibrancy but bigger vocal size and density. T3 pushes its treble further up than the DS1 Pro, avoiding more of the sibilance range. Finally, the T3 has more middle and upper treble, making its overall tonality brighter but without the harshness that the DS1 Pro has.
The TRI I4 (review here) is an impressive debut product from this new brand. The I4 has similar bas quantity (not reflected in the measurements) and a similar pace and decay. The key differences lie further up the scale. While both IEMs have an enhanced upper midrange, the I4 dips in the sibilance range (4-8kHz) and peaks in the lower treble. This allows it to sound less harsh but with added airiness and sparkle and a larger soundstage.
The BGVP DS1 Pro has some strong points, such as its excellent bass (arguably better than DMS/DMG) and clean midrange but feels let down by a shrill, artificial-sounding treble. Other than that it is a decent IEM with solid build quality and that lovely silver OCC cable (which can be bought separately). The DS1 Pro is available on Amazon.
Model: BGVP DS1 Pro
Driver: 2 BA + polymer composite diaphragm dynamic driver