Hey there PA fam and welcome to another review. Today we’re looking at the BQEYZ K2 quad-driver hybrid earphone. The K2 has an incredibly smooth, balanced and detailed sound that’s good enough to give it a place in my top 3 earphones under $50 so far in 2018.
The K2 consists of one 10mm and one 6mm dynamic driver and 2 balanced armature drivers, which is the same configuration as the excellent TRN V80 that we reviewed recently.
BQEYZ (where do they come up with these names?) is another one of the seemingly neverending new earphone manufacturing companies coming out of China. It appears to be a creation of Dongguan Xianchao Acoustics Technology co. LTD. That’s pretty much all I know about them, except that they also appear to have a K1 model as well.
Beautiful, smooth finish on the earpieces
Very linear transition from upper midrange to lower treble
Tight, controlled bass
Balanced sound signature
Fantastic cable for a budget earphone
Above average noise isolation
No lip on the nozzles so some eartips may become loose
Limited accessories included
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.
Headphone sensitivity: 105db±2db
Frequency range: 7-40kHz
Cable Length: 1.2m±5cm
Color: black / silver
Driver type: 2BA +2DD per side
Package and Accessories
The BQEYZ K2 comes in a small, black, rectangular box. On the front is the brand name and over on the back are some specifications and company information. Inside you’ll find the K2 secured in a cardboard and foam inlay with the spare eartips on display just above.
Underneath are the cable and user manual/warranty card. It’s another super basic package, just like other recent IEMs we’ve reviewed. There seems to be a trend at the moment where manufacturers are simplifying the delivery system in order to give buyers the best earphones possible for the price. I’m all for this, as you generally just throw the box away after opening it anyway and I love to see great value for money gear like this.
Build Quality and Design
The BQEYZ K2 has a gorgeous metal body with a matte black finish. It’s difficult to capture in a photo but I can tell you this thing looks and feels great in person.
Just like the TRN V80, the BQEYZ K2 has some heft – enough to make it feel robust and premium but not heavy. The K2 is available in two colours: black and silver and there are options with and without a microphone.
Fairly large housings make up the bulk of the K2 and while it does have a low profile and doesn’t protrude out from your ears, the faceplates do have a large diameter. Something to keep in mind if you have very small ears.
The earpieces are beautifully crafted, with smooth, rounded edges from top to bottom. On the outer faceplates is an L and R marking for easy identification. On the inner side are two bass ports just near the bass of the nozzle.
Speaking of the nozzle; it’s the one area that I do have some criticism for. There is no lip on the nozzle end so some eartips have a tendency to come loose. This is basic IEM 101 stuff and I’m still surprised when I see no nozzle lip in this day and age. Let’s hope their future models remedy this oversight!
BQEYZ K2’s cable is in a word, magnificent for a budget IEM. It’s similar to the TRN V80 cable but superior in a couple of ways. First of all, the Y-split is positioned more sensibly towards the top of the cable. Secondly, there is a chin slider as well, which helps to get a more secure fit and also can be used to avoid tangles when coiling up the cable.
It’s a black, braided cable that feels strong but is supple and doesn’t have any memory or kinks in it. At the top end are the 0.78 2-pin connectors. There are preformed ear hooks with heat-shrink tubing, which many people will agree are preferable to memory wire.
There’s a metal Y-split with branding printed on it and a solid strain relief. Just above this is a transparent cable cinch. The cable terminates with an L-shaped metal plug that has another good strain relief. Overall this is a superb cable for a budget earphone.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
With all those rounded edges and smooth finish, the BQEYZ K2 is a very comfortable earphone. I can wear these in my ears for hours on end and thanks to their low profile they’re quite good for lying down with too.
The larger than average housings fill in most of the ear’s concha and in doing so, block out a good deal of external noise. Even with my music at a very low volume, I can barely hear anything outside. I’ve had people talking to me and I had no idea until they started waving their hands in my face. Don’t you just hate it when you pull an earphone out of your ear just to hear some idiot say something completely pointless? Maybe that’s just me; I’m an ass like that!
Gear used for testing: Sony NW-ZX300, ATC HDA-DP20, Radsone Earstudio ES100.
The BQEYZ K2 has a very balanced sound signature with above average clarity and amazing coherency. There’s good detail throughout and a very linear transition from low to high frequencies with no noticeable peaks or dips. In terms of presentation, the K2 is very smooth and non-fatiguing. Due to its balanced nature, it doesn’t have an instant wow effect but will draw you in with its technical prowess as time goes by.
The bass is only slightly boosted and is not nearly as prominent as the frequency response chart would suggest. It’s very much in line with the midrange and treble, making it one of the most balanced IEMs in this price range.
Bass extension is good but it does start to roll off fairly quickly below 50Hz. Sub-bass has a fast and very controlled rumble but could use just a touch more quantity. In “Awake To You” by R+R=Now, there’s a sub-bass note throughout the track that approaches the elusive “brown sound”. ^_^ The K2 reproduces it nicely and maintains good control without muddying up the rest of the track but doesn’t rock your socks like some monitors can.
Mid-bass is slightly more pronounced but is still largely reserved. The quality of it is very good, perhaps not as textured as the TRN V80 but very tastefully done. Bass-heads will find it lacking but those looking for refinement over quantity will be pleased.
The K2’s midrange brings more of that smoothness into play but is still quite resolving with good instrument separation and space between elements. Male and female vocals alike are rich and vibrant and in balance with the bass and treble.
Vocals have good density without being too intimate or overly distant. In “Nierika” by Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard’s unique vocals are vibrant and engaging and brought wonderfully to life by the BQEYZ K2.
The BQEYZ has an interesting take on the treble. It’s nicely extended and provides brightness and detail but remains very smooth without any harshness or sibilance probably due to the significant dip between 5kHz and 9kHz.
It picks up again from 9kHz onwards and adds airiness and lightness with its harmonics and impressive extension. Overall it’s a nicely executed treble that’s non-fatiguing but does not lack excitement.
The K2’s soundstage is modestly sized but has good depth and height. Vocals are positioned in front of the listener and have good density without being too intimate or distant. Female vocals, in particular, stand out vividly in a spectacular and tangible fashion.
There’s good space between instruments presenting a stable soundstage with solid imaging and positioning.
TRN V80 ($38 USD)
The TRN V80 has a more emphasized bass which is more punchy and textured than the K2. Its midrange is cleaner and slightly more resolving at the cost of being leaner and less rich, although it does maintain smoothness similar to the K2.
The V80’s treble is a bit more energetic than the K2’s making its overall tonality a little brighter. It can occasionally be a little too forward in the lower treble, where the K2 is very linear and smooth. The V80 treble is crisper and has some added sparkle to it.
I would put the BQEYZ K2 slightly ahead of the V80 in build quality and the K2’s cable is just a little better too. Both IEMs come with the bare minimum in accessories but what you get in return is amazing sound and build quality for the price.
Tin Audio T2 ($49 USD)
The Tin Audio T2 is an amazing IEM that raised the bar for sub $50 Chi-Fi earphones across the board. It has a more authoritative sub-bass and a meatier mid-bass than the K2 but in similar quantity. The T2’s bass is extremely well-defined and textured compared to the more uniform notes of the K2.
It’s almost unheard of for a budget double dynamic driver to have resolution and separation in the midrange like the T2 has. It has more clarity than the K2 and a more accurate timbre but it does demand a bit more of your attention than the laid back presentation of the K2. Fast transients and a black background make up the T2’s midrange compared to the warmer and more relaxed K2.
Treble has more sparkle and energy on the T2 but is smoother and more laid back on the K2. The T2 treble is really crisp and solid.
The K2 doesn’t have as expansive a soundstage as the T2 but it has more body and warmth in its midrange making it more laid back and inviting. In contrast, the T2 has a very large and stable soundstage with strong imaging, depth and height.
Both earphones have fantastic build quality, offer the same accessories and punch above their price points. The T2 is more suitable for those who want tonal accuracy and detail while the K2 is more for those who want a non-fatiguing sound and warmer tonality.
BQEYZ K2 Conclusion
The BQEYZ K2 is another amazing value quad-driver earphone adding to the increasingly growing number of quality sub $50 Chi-Fi offerings. It boasts superb build quality, a great cable and a balanced, smooth, yet detailed sound.
If you’re looking for a high-quality earphone that has a resolving but non-fatiguing signature then grab one of these right away. It’s simply a great IEM and I absolutely recommend it.