PRIME AUDIO 2017

BGVP YSP04 review – A Budget basshead IEM with unique design

BGVP has been around for a while and as far as I know, they used to be known as Sidy, or at least released several earphones/earbuds under that name. So, with that very informative little nugget of information let’s get into it. Today I’m looking at the BGVP YSP04, a single dynamic earphone utilizing 10.2 mm titanium composite drivers and tuned for those who like bass. Lots of it.

The BGVP YSP04 is currently priced at $29.90 and is available from Penon Audio.

This product was provided for the purpose of an honest review. I’m not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions here are my own.

Pros
  • Solid build quality
  • Unique and interesting design
  • Price
Cons
  • Overpowering bass

Packaging and accessories

The YSP04 arrives in a simple black box that is wrapped in a black sleeve. The sleeve is plain except for the BGVP logo on the front. The box itself is adorned with the same logo and is likewise bare except for some specifications on the back.

Inside the box, you’re presented with the earphones in a foam cutout. Underneath are the accessories which include:

  • 9x pairs of silicone ear-tips
  • Carrying pouch
  • Shirt clip
  • YSP04 earphone

It’s a very basic package but this is one of the methods manufacturers can employ in order to bring consumers high-quality products at lower prices and I for one appreciate this as most of the time boxes just end up in the trash or repurposed anyway.

Build, comfort and isolation

Right away you’ll notice the YSP04 is very well built considering its low price. They’re crafted from a lightweight, gunmetal coloured metal in an unusual and striking teardrop-shaped design. There’s a truncated cone attached to the side that holds the cable connector, has a small bass port and also denotes the Left and Right sides. On the inner side of the housing, the model number is printed in black text. Overall the build quality is exceptional.

I noticed that the nozzles are very short but they have a good lip on the end which holds tips securely and because the nozzles sit at the tapered end of the housing you can still get a good insertion depth.

The YSP04’s cable is also excellent with its black and silver colouring and clear outer tubing. Starting at the top there are some decent strain reliefs attached to the housing. Down the right side is a metal in-line remote with microphone. Even the button is metal and feels solid with a nice tactile click.

The Y-split is also metal and just above it is a hard rubber chin slider. The cable terminates in an angled, gold-plated plug which again has good strain relief. Even when wearing them cable down there is very little microphonics present.

Comfort is surprisingly good despite the unusual shape and these IEMs can be worn over-ear or cable down. Even though the housings have a flat back with a straight edge I found the YSP04 to be right up there with the most comfortable of IEMs.

Isolation is above average (assuming you have a good seal) with the “teardrop” filling in the ear’s conch and providing a natural barrier to the outside world. These are definitely suitable for noisy environments.

Sound

Sources used for testing

ATC HDA DP-20

Acoustic Research AR-M20

Music Bee > Topping DX7 > YSP04

The YSP04 is easy to drive and doesn’t require amplification but hooking up to a good source improves separation and layering. Having said that though it still sounds fine coming straight out of my Galaxy Note 5.

This is where things get a bit tricky for me. At times I feel the YSP04 sounds great and others pretty underwhelming. It depends a lot on what kind of music you’re playing. I’ll start by saying that the YSP04 has a very bass heavy sound. However, it’s still surprising that this earphone is also capable of revealing quite a lot of detail and good tonality. With its L-shaped signature, there’s lots of emphasis on mid and sub-bass which carries over well into the lower midrange but quickly clears up once you get to the middle midrange. I found that it responds very well to some EQ and with a bit of tweaking can sound much more balanced and quite nice.

Bass is definitely the star of the show here and is pretty huge. It’s not boomy or loose but rather thick with good impact. Despite its slow attack and long decay, it does manage to keep pace reasonably well during complex segments. Sub-bass gets a great rumble going on and is capable of shaking skulls but the metal housing and quality dynamic driver keep things in check, avoiding any distortion or looseness.

Midrange is fairly recessed, particularly in the upper mids. Male vocals get plenty of love, coming through thick and rich but retaining good tonality regardless. Female vocals don’t fare quite as well as they tend to get swallowed up by the low end. What is impressive here is the separation and detail that still manages to come through the thickness of the low end.

Treble is polite on the YSP04 but it does have good extension and timbre. On bass-light tracks you’ll appreciate its nimbleness and lightness but most of the time you’re attention will be drawn to the low frequencies.

Soundstage is decent but depends a lot on the music you’re listening to. Bass heavy tracks feel a little confined but in acoustic music the YSP04 is able to spread itself out a lot more. Imaging is not bad but it’s not great either falling somewhere in between.

Comparisons

Brainwavz Jive ($28 USD)

The Jive has long been (in my opinion) the undisputed king of budget IEM build quality and while the YSP04 comes very close it can’t quite match the exquisite craftsmanship of this offering from Brainwavz. Another area where the Jive is unmatched is in the accessory bundle which included the fantastic semi-hard carry case.

In terms of sound, the Jive has a really clean and clear sound and a relatively linear bass in stark contrast to the massive mid-bass hump and coloured lower midrange of the BGVP. While the Jive will leave bassheads feeling deeply dissatisfied it’s much better suited for those who prefer a more balanced approach.

Accutone Lyra ($39 USD)

The Lyra is one that escaped the attention that it deserves as it’s a very competent budget earphone. The build quality is excellent, as is the cable but the YSP04 a better feeling, metal in-line remote. The Lyra also comes with a magnet sealing semi-hard carry case. It’s much more balanced than the BGVP although it does have a boosted bass presence. The Lyra has a fantastic treble that’s energetic and lively but never becomes strident or harsh but does leave the mids a bit recessed.

Similar to the Jive, bassheads will likely be left feeling underwhelmed with the Lyra and if it’s bass you want the YSP04 brings it in spades.

BGVP YSP04 Conclusion

While the BGVP YSP04 won’t appeal to everyone, those who like a good extra dose of bass won’t be disappointed. A standout characteristic is how it’s able to allow the details to come through and the tonality to remain natural. It’s a testament to the fact that the titanium composite driver and housing materials are top quality. It comes across as an intentional tuning rather than poor implementation which is why I’m giving it a 4/5 rating even though it’s not my preferred type of sound signature – objectivity and all that.

So it’s very well built, does what it’s tuned to do (bass) well, is comfortable and priced at around $30. If you’re a budget basshead you’ll most likely get a kick out of the BGVP YSP04.

Founder of Prime Audio
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