BGVP DH5 Review: Could Be Better

  • Great build quality in both the shells and the cable
  • Good stock eartips

  • Bloated midbass
  • Boxy mids
  • Subpar clarity

BGVP is a company from China that produces portable audio gears including in-ear monitors and earbuds. They have released quite a lot of IEMs already with different driver configurations. The DH5 is the second product in their DH series of IEMs. The DH3 came with tuning switches, so it's surprising that BGVP decided to completely remove it now with the DH5. The DH5 currently retails for 85 USD, and The Philippine circle of reviewers received one unit of the DH5 provided by BGVP as a part of their international tour.

Driver units: 1 10 mm dynamic, beryllium diaphragm + 4 balanced armature (2 Knowles and 2 BGVP's custom BA)
Impedance: 19 ohms
Sensitivity: 119 dB
Frequency response range: 10 Hz - 40 kHz

Poco X3 paired with FiiO KA3, iBasso DC03, Shanling UA1, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The DH5 comes in a rather large sleeved box. Removing the sleeve and the lid will reveal the earphones inserted in a big block of dense foam. Right next to the DH5 are three sets of different eartips. 3 pairs of "vocal" eartips with a wider sized bore, 3 pairs of "bass" eartips with regular sized bore, and a single pair of memory foam tips. There is also a different eartip already attached to the DH5 with a shorter than normal stem. Below is the cloth carrying case that contains the cable with velcro strap and plastic plug cap, and a cleaning tool. There is also a small envelope that contains the warranty card, instruction manual, and other paperworks.
The shells are made of 3D-printed medical-grade translucent resin. The faceplates are decorated with small pieces wood in different colors, with the BGVP branding to the side. At the top of the shell, there is a large, oval shaped vent with a metal filter. At the side, right below the female 2 pin connectors, there is another smaller vent that is connected to the dynamic driver through a tube. And upon closer inspection, the balanced armature drivers have a tube as well going to the nozzle of the shell. The nozzles has a lip to hold eartips in place, with a recessed metal filter with elongated holes.
The cable is a twisted 2-core 6N OCC silver plated copper. It is on the thicker side and has some weight to it, while being moderately stiff. The angled 0.78 mm 2 pin connectors are made of plastic, while the splitter, chin slider, and the 3.5 mm gold plated plug are all made of metal.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows are upfront and big sounding. Subbass is sufficiently deep but with a tight, quicker than average decay. Midbass is more dominant than the subbass, with its thickness being above average that audibly lingers in the background for longer than necessary and sometimes bleeds into the mids.

Overall, the lows feel and sound bloated most of the time. On its own, it's not necessarily a bad thing, but when it starts to tarnish the neighboring frequencies especially the female vocals, the vibrancy of the music is considerably reduced.

The mids sound confined and boxy. The clarity and transparency in this section is below average. Male and female vocals are distinctively thick and sound nasal most of the time. There is a noticeable lack of space in-between the instruments, and there is a peak somewhere in the upper mids that results in shoutiness.

Overall, this is definitely the area that needs the most improvement. Even in acoustic tracks where the midbass bleed is not a problem, vocals still feel lacking in resolution.

The highs have a slightly relaxed approach. The reach in the treble is somewhat adequate, accompanied by a decay with a partial emphasis. Just like the mids, the highs can get overshadowed sometimes by the presence of the midbass.

Overall, the highs of the DH5 are tuned for treble sensitive people. Fatigue will never be an issue in this section but trebleheads will definitely be left wanting for more.

Soundstage and Imaging:
The stage of the DH5 has an average expansion. The width obviously expands more than the height. Imaging accuracy is below average due to the interference of the midbass and the lack of transparency in the mids. Instrument separation and layering are adequate but definitely has a lot of room for improvements. As for congestion, there is a fair amount of it in every track.

BGVP DH5 (4 BA + 1 DD, 85 USD) vs. TinHIFI T3 Plus (1 DD, 69 USD)
The T3 Plus has more impact in the subbass, as well as a slightly longer decay. The DH5's midbass is more forward, thicker, and hits harder. In the mids, the T3 Plus is cleaner and clearer by a huge margin. Instruments are better defined in the T3 Plus and vocals sound more natural and lively. With the highs, the DH5 has a bit more bite in the upper region, but they are identical in terms of the decay. The T3 Plus has clearer definition in the imaging, and instruments are separated in a more spacious manner. In the soundstage, they are identical in the depth, but the DH5 has a slight edge in the width.

The BGVP DH5 is a classic example of having more drivers doesn't automatically translate to better sound. It's all in the implementation. BGVP surely made some questionable decisions with how they tuned the DH5, especially if we consider how well-received the DH3 was in the community at the time of its launch.

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