Blon BL-01

JasonLucas

New Head-Fier
Good for the money
Pros: Easy to relax and chill with
Can sound great
Cons: Bad fit , bad cable , Edx is better for less
Bl01

warm and mild V shaped bassy at times set.
smooth and non fatiguing
good timbre and tonality medium technicalities
Treble is polite and safe, without sibilance or harshness at the cost of a loss of detail.
Easy to relax to and enjoy not monitor like
Slightly forward mids and average sound stage
Mid Bass packs a nice detailed punch , Sub Bass can rumble
Fit and tips play a huge role in sq a (Major con)
I have many different experiences with these depending on the fit I manage to get when I try them, some great some poor.
Scales up with power. Good price to performance ratio but I prefer the kz Edx as it always fits and sounds the same and has a better soundstage and Imaging.
Blon was so creative and artistic in the shell they actually hurt performance ( once again )
Nozzle too short (major con )
Bad cable and so so tips
Excellent build
Recommend for the cost


mochill

Headphoneus Supremus
Blon bl01 , a different sound from blon house sound.
Pros: Fit , build , size
Cons: Cable , tips
Bl01 is the latest blon iem from blon and it claim to have biocellulose driver which I love and it looks like a different shape and claim better fitment. Price is the cheapest of all blon all smallest blon as well. The con is tips and cable are bad with all blon so you must switch them out. I'm using upgrade cable from amazon and acoustune aet08 tips for this review.
I bought them here:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...m=5261.ProductManageOnline.0.0.3c504edfquM6Ol

Sound :
Bass : fast and light bass with decent texture which doesn't sound or feels as other biocellulose driver iems I have and had. Before burn in it was definitely same as what biocellulose should be , texture rich and deep bass.

Midrange: it is clear and open with excellent details depth and height and width . Before burn in it was definitely thicker but still clear.

Treble : it sparkly and extended as biocellulose should be . It is fast like titanium diaphragm too and airy as well . Before burn in it had more weight to it but not it lighter and more agile .

Conclusion : if you are looking for a clear cheap iem you should look into the blon bl01.
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dooxtypoox

Head-Fier
Pros: + "Safe" V-shape tuning, will work with most
+ Price!!!
Cons: - Midrange slightly more veiled than predecessors
- Strays away from BLON house sound, does not excel at anything in particular
Video Review

Special thanks to Vivian from KEEP HI-FI for arranging to have the BLON BL-01 sent over for a full review. You may purchase the BLON BL-01 with the non-affiliate links below.

Price and specifications
Price: USD$21.99
Friendly Audio Store Aliexpress

Specifications
Driver: 10mm bio-fibre diaphragm
Connector: 0.78mm 2-pin
Impedance: 16Ω
Frequency: 20-20000hz
Sensitivity: 102dB/mW

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Accessories
1.2m cable
5 pairs of ear tips (1 set of S, M, L) + (1 set of S, M)
Soft pouch

Comments on accessories
The accessories provided are still the same as previous generations of BLON IEMs which includes that 1.2m black cable with a super aggressive ear hook.

Build, comfort and isolation
The BL01 is housed in a polished zinc-alloy chassis which looks a little unconventional. Looks aside, the BL01 barely fit my ears as the fit is shallow - I had to use the largest ear tips to compensate for the lack of insertion depth. Those with larger ears may require extra-large aftermarket tips.

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Sound
First and foremost, the BLON BL01 is unlike its predecessors (BL03, BL05, BL05s). You may refer to my review of the BLON BL-05s for my thoughts on the BLON house sound regarding these 3 models. In short, the BLON house sound is a V-shaped sound signature with emphasis to the 2-2.5kHz to cause vocals to sit closer to the listener. The intimate midrange is a breath of fresh air from the sea of budget V-shaped IEMs with "recessed vocals", which could also be why the BL03 did so well upon its release along with the hype.

From what I hear, the BL01 joins the "sea of budget V-shaped IEMs with recessed vocals"- melodies are primarily driven by the mid-bass with an average amount of sub-bass extension. The amount of mid-bass is enough to lend fullness to the mix and allow bass beats to thump with some satisfaction. The BL01 does not have basshead quantities of low end hence the most apt term I can use to describe it is "average".

The mid-bass has some bleed into the upper-bass which creates a light veil over the midrange. This veil arises from the relative lack of energy in the upper midrange between 1 to 4kHz. Rather, there is a slow climb from 1kHz up till the mid-treble at 8kHz for articulation and to balance out the low end. The energy up top is concentrated in the mid-treble without much extension. The end result is an ordinary V-shape signature with a slight clockwise tilt on the frequency response - the bass is lifted more so than the treble to classify the BL01 as a warm set.

I feel that this general tuning has been implemented in many earphones and even TWS (chi-fi, including those by JBL and Sony) that have been tuned for mass appeal on a budget. However, the BL01's strong points lie in how there is nothing glaringly wrong with its generic tuning and the fact that it does not heavily compromise on technicalities in spite of its price.

Technical Summary
Slide2.PNG

The BL01 scores an average of 2 in all aspects of the technical summary. It even outperforms the BL05s which scores 1.5 for detail retrieval.

Conclusion
Those with treble-sensitive ears or those looking for an inexpensive and easygoing "beater" set will find the BL01 pleasing for its price. Although I would have preferred for BLON to bring vocals forward in the BL01 as with the previous BLON models, I find it difficult to justify any qualms given the price of USD21.99. To put it simply, the BL01 would have been "just another budget earphone" had it been priced at USD50. The asking price sets the BL01 apart from the competition to make it the king of USD20 beater sets… for today.

Thanks for reading! You may find more reviews on my Head-fi thread.

iceperry

New Head-Fier
Pros: Decent Technical Performance for the price, Fun V-shaped Tuning
Cons: Impossible Fit, Muted Mids, Potentially Sibilant
Intro

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Disclaimer: This review set is a demo set graciously lent to me by a friend from his personal collection. This review is written of my own accord and all thoughts here are my own.

BLON hits the markets hoping to strike another Oppoty with the BL-01. It comes in at a few dollars cheaper than their most successful product to date, the BLON BL-03. I would be making many references and comparisons to the BL-03 given their similar price points, which you can read the full review I did for them here.

Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 7/10)

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The same old crummy ear tips and no-frills cable that comes with the BL-03s. The cable holds up for regular use but the tips don’t work at all for me. Build quality is, rock-solid as were the BL-03s. They come in the same 2 colours, namely Gun Metal and Mirrored Silver. These have a full metal build and have significant weight to them.

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Fit (Score: 3/10)

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I’ve never struggled with the fit as much as with the BL-01s. Even if I manage to fit them in after a ton of fiddling, they never feel like they are truly secure. The centre of gravity of these earbuds seems to cause them to fall out of your ear. The adoption of this needlessly unique shape is a problem that could (and should) have been avoided if only BLON had not tried to get creative.

As much as I respect the effort to create a new product instead of simply releasing the BL-03s in another paint job, this ain’t it.

Sound (Score: 7.3/10)

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Frequency Response of the BLON BL-01

Sources Used
  • Hiby R5
  • Lotoo Paw S1
Albums and Tracks tested with
  • Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer
  • Lumineers – Gun Song
  • Spinners – Essentials
  • Itzhak Perlman – Paganini Violin Concerto No.1/Carmen Fantasy
  • Michael Bublé – To Be Loved
  • Robin Schulz - Sugar
Bass (Score: 8/10)

The bass response on the BL-01 is quite decent. It punches well with decent speed and extends deep with a satisfying rumble. The bass is more sub-bass focused and has significantly less midbass bloat as compared to the BL-03. I really enjoyed the subbass listening to Robin Schulz. This makes it sound a little faster and more detailed overall. Bass texture is really nice, listening to tracks like “Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time” from The Spinners.

Mids(Score: 7/10)

Unfortunately, the Mids onwards is where I would prefer the BL-03s tuning. This may be borne out of personal preference. The lower mids and male vocals sound especially muted and recessed, even for a V-shape signature. This took away quite a lot of soul and emotion from a lot of vocal tracks from artists like Michael Bublé, Spinners among many others. The positioning of the mids also seems to be rather thrown back and suppressed.

Things pick up a little more in the upper mids and are lively and engaging, though they can get a little thin some times. That said, tonality is still decent and doesn’t sound wonky. I was still able to enjoy the violin runs on Itzhak Perlman’s performance of Paganini’s Violin Concerto.

Treble (Score: 7/10)

The lower treble is a little more pronounced, though it sufficiently avoids sounding harsh. On some tracks, it can sound a little grainy and messy. This, however, is expected for the technicalities of a $20 earphone. In fact, what the sound quality that the BL-01 brings to the table sufficiently exceeds the expectations of its price tag.

Overall

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The BLON BL-01 is actually a decent sounding earphone for 20 dollars. Sonically, I would say it is a sidegrade to the BL-03, with its strongest suit being its reduced midbass bloat (and hence greater perceived clarity). Soundstage and Imaging are just average, nothing stellar or terrible. The BL-03s have already set the bar for what a pair of $20 earphones can do and the BL-01 isn’t going to blow anyone’s minds by being a few dollars cheaper, though… it does well. This is going to come down to preference.

Conclusion

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I’ve already established that the BL-01s actually sounds rather decent, way better than one would typically expect for a $20 earphone. It does have its own tuning, a more V-shaped one.

However, I cannot in good conscience recommend something that I could not even fit in my own ear. Should they fit well for you, then they would work well as a pair of daily beaters than would hold up well with their build quality. Personally, I would be sticking with BL-03s.

Takeanidea

Headphoneus Supremus
The blockbusting Blon BL-01
Pros: Sound - just crazily good for the price
Drawstring bag - individual style
Fit - QDC and a proper egonomic shell
Looks - shiny and streamlined
Cons: Mic button only plays/pause
BLON BL-01 Budget beating blockbuster

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Coiled and ready to pounce

Blon are a company with a steadily building reputation for value for money IEMs. They have been going since 2014, and are, you guessed it, a Chinese company. It seems most things come from that corner of the globe and head into the hands of the subjectivist.
With many thanks from our suppliers, I have the 2nd BLON product to come into our offices; the BL-01. Why 01 is after the BT-03 model is a mystery to me, in much the same way as most Chinese companies seem to name their respective models.
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BL-01, showing super shine and memory wire

The BL-01 is part of a huge market. The 01 model retails at an incredibly low $24.99 on Amazon. When I think of the rubbish that was out there at that price level some 2-3 years ago compared to now... Anyway, a few technical things about the 01. It has a low impedance - 16 Ohms, a reasonably low sensitivity of 102 dB and a reasonable frequency range of 20-20 Khz. I say reasonable; there is nothing ground breaking in the latter 2 figures, but with 102 dB and a decent isiolation, an earphone should be loud enough to work ok in a smartphone or a small dap. The frequency response will go below and above the audible threshold for any human being. Google agrees : "While 20 to 20,000Hz forms the absolute borders of the human hearing range, our hearing is most sensitive in the 2000 - 5000 Hz frequency range". So far so good.
The audio set up of these is that they are a single driver design. There is a tiny port for bass purposes. Single driver designs just won't go away. They work very well if only a decent driver is used, in a decent housing, with decent cabling and a sensible tuning. Although I am told that crossover distortion is less of an issue in IEMs, nevertheless, any chance of interference between drivers is eliminated if you only have one...
The design of the 01 is an around the ear design. Exercise fanatics take note ; this means that it might be possible to take these for a run or in the gym, without 1. pulling out of the ears, or 2. being unlistenable due to cable noise, wind noise or outside noises. The earphones take a qdc cable. Again, a step forward for the portable user, because the qdc is a stronger, tighter and more reliable connection than could be obtained using the old mmcx or 2 pin variety. I explain more in the YouTube vid.....

Within which there are things that be not part of this written piece - like EXCLUSIVE content

Memory wire, clearly but discretely marked L and R plug satisfylingly easily into the usual jewel like appearance of the shells. The cable is a twisted braid type, and is stronger than the cheaper looking fixed cables on the BT-03 that I have. What else? Well, there's a right angled 3.5 jack, I have a single button hands free cable, or, for the same price, you can have a non mic version. The shells are an ergonomic design, and you can get an idea of the fit in the video. The tips supplied are grey silicon and there are 4 types. I needed the ML size. I changed the M ones that were fitted as standard. The cables are replaceable, so not only will the diehard cable swappers be satisfied, but the 01's can be used with one of the QDC bluetooth cables that are now available for pretty darn cheap. I bought myself a rather lovely looking balanced (2.5mm) cable, so I can have the benefit of using the (arguably) superior balanced outs on my Fiio M11 and AKG AK380 DAPs. Ooh, and 1 more thing ; you get a cord bag with these..... Let's send you another pic to capture all this
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The contents

We've whipped through all the theory, so how does it add up in practice? BLON have made some good headway. THe 01 slipped comfortably into my ears ; the shells are heavy, as is typical of BLON, but the memory wire, shells and tips all serve to lock the earphones into place, and will hold their own when on the move. The wind noise doesn't easily find it's way into the ear canal because the shells have been streamlined in anticipation. The shells fit into most of my ear, so a reasonable isolation results. Microphonics, the noise that comes from the cable hitting your body when you're out and about, is pleasantly minimal. The 1 touch button does it's job. It plays and pauses the music with 100% efficiency and yet...I just wish we had the 3 button cable that the BT-03 has. With the BT-03 you get volume up and down, play/pause and back/next. The 01 is audibly better than it's older cousin but does not have the practical benefits. I should add that I can't even plug either directly into my Xiaomi 3 5G smartphone. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when either cable worked through my USBC-3.5 adapter. Now that was £7 well spent....
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Not sure about the phrase, but the shells look mighty fine on opening the box

The sound is a revelation for $25. The bass response is decent. It's fast, it's accurate. Linear bass. The bass decays quickly enough that it doesn't bleed into the mids. The mids have a good vocal presentation, which means that the vocal, or main instrument, is easy enough to follow. The highs are pushed forward. They sit below the pain threshold that initially sounds exciting and dynamic but in time becomes fatiguing and makes one reach for the volume control, or , even worse, switching the music off. For some of you that are sat on the fence and musing still over the 01, let me tell you ; these make take some time to adjust to their personality if you are used to bassier IEMs. Perseverence will pay off. These have a pedigree that put them well above their asking price. I expect even more from BLON during the course of this and next year.
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baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
Another BLON!? Aerosmith Says No More No More!!!
Pros: Well built metal shells.
Smooth and non fatiguing tuning.
Good timbre.
Above average isolation.
Good price to performance ratio.
Cons: Iffy fit (slightly better than the fit of the infamous BLON BL-03).
Same crappy accessories (stock eartips/cable).
Not the best in technicalities.
Midbass bloat, might be too bassy and warm for some.
May not be getting full potential with low powered smartphones, amping is needed to scale the IEM.
BLON BL-01.jpeg


DISCLAIMER

I got the BLON BL-01 from an Aliexpress storefront. There are many Aliexpress shops selling it, so you can take the Oppoty opportunity to get it from any of those.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The BLON BL-01 is a warm and mild V shaped, bassy set, it is smooth and non fatiguing, and it prioritizes timbre and tonality over technicalities. It is not an analytical or technical set for critical listening, but is a set very suited to just kicking back and chilling to enjoy the music. The BLON BL-01 does boast a good price to performance ratio for the price, but it needs amping to scale better, and sounds meh from a lower powered source.

Aerosmith might say “No More, No More!” to another BLON release, but the BLON BL-01 is definitely worth the cost of a small restaurant meal, and after hearing this set, BLON Cultists will surely say “More, More!! Take the Oppoty opportunity to Break the Levee to release mooooooar BLONs!”


SPECIFICATIONS

  • Driver Type: 10mm Biology Fiber Diaphragm Driver
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Frequency range: 20 – 20000Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
  • Cable type: 2 pin 0.78 mm
  • Tested at $17 USD

ACCESSORIES

In addition to the IEM, it comes with:

1) Silicone tips of various sizes (one comes in a wider diameter, the other is narrower).

2) Stock cable.

3) Sackcloth pouch.

Essentially, the famous (or rather infamous) stock accessories of previous BLON iterations is here to greet us. This includes the barely serviceable cable and the usual BLON tips and lame sackcloth pouch. The meme generating BLON box advising BLON cultists to “LET MUSIC BURN”, together with BELIEF and NEVER GIVING UP and OPPOTY is however, not present!!!

Budget CHIFI companies need to cut costs somewhere, so as to pass down a cheaper price to the consumers, and accessories are understandably the first area they target. Some CHIFI (cough cough TRN BA8 and TRN VX) retailing at much more expensive prices may also have a similar dearth of accessories, so I won’t beat BLON with a stick for this and can close one eye, since this is a sub $20 USD set. Anyway, what’s more important is the IEM’s internals and how it sounds, and I think those of us in this CHIFI hobby might have some aftermarket tips and cables lying about, so no biggie swapping the BLON BL-01’s stock tips and cables out.

For the purposes of this review, I stuck with the stock tips and stock cable, so as to give a fair impression of what the average layman will encounter when opening the packaging (who may not know about tiprolling). Aftermarket tips (or cables if you are a cable believer) may skew the sound signature, and aftermarket eartips may not fit every individual ear anatomy, so it might be quite different in sound if reviewed with aftermarket accessories. Hence, I felt it would be a more fair apples to apples comparison to do the review with stock accessories, even though they ain’t optimal, at least we have a common baseline accessory set to discuss. But for sure I’d swap to aftermarket tips and cables for music appreciation for the BLON BL-01 once this review is over.

BLON Accessories.jpeg



BUILD/COMFORT

The BLON BL-01 really looks like a mango or banana, in fact it is nicknamed the “BLONANA” on some audio forums. Looks aside, the BLON BL-01 is just slightly better in fit for me than the infamous fit of the older brother, the BLON BL-03 (ie that’s not saying much, they are both iffy in fit due to a too short nozzle). But as usual, when it comes to fit, it’s YMMV, as we have different ear anatomies. I managed to get a proper seal with the BLON BL-01 using the stock tips, but I would have preferred a longer nozzle eartip or spacer to use with the BLON BL-01 as it felt a tinge insecure for me with stock eartips.

The BLON BL-01 is made of a nice metal build, and comfort is very good. I have used it for hours with no issues. The shells are on the heavier side due to the metal, so some who are sensitive to weight may have issues with it.

I didn’t find any driver flex. I liked that the BLON BL-01 came with a 2 pin connector, as I had tons of issues with MMCX connectors and their general longevity in my CHIFI journey.


ISOLATION

With stock tips, the iolation on the BLON BL-01 is above average, better than the BLON BL-03 older brother. But like most dynamic driver types, it is vented and hence it doesn’t have as good isolation as some unvented multi BA types.


DRIVABILITY/SOURCE

I tried the BLON BL-01 with a Khadas Tone Board -> Fiio A3 amp, Khadas Tone Board -> Topping L30 amp, Shanling Q1 DAP, lower powered smartphones, Ziku HK-X9 DAP -> Fiio A3 amp, Sabre HIFI DAC (ESS ES9280C PRO) and Tempotec Sonata HD Pro. The BLON BL-01 is rather hard to drive from low powered sources. One only gets the full potential when amping it (due to the lowish sensitivity of 102dB/mW). It is not an issue of volume only, but the BLON BL-01 scales better in soundstage, details, dynamics and bass tightness with amping. I preferred brighter or at least neutralish sources with it in general, as the midbass was a bit bloated in the BLON BL-01, so it doesn’t pair the best with overly warm or bassy sources.

One might then ask a quite relevant question, does it make sense to pair a more expensive amp with the $20ish BLON BL-01 to unleash the full potential? Fair enough, I think most folks entering into this budget price bracket, or newcomers to the hobby may not be interested in getting an amp, compared to those that are entering the midfi market. As such, I probably won’t be recommending the BLON BL-01 to new users if you don’t have a more powerful source than the average non LGV smartphone. You can perhaps consider an alternative IEM if so, there are many other gems at this price bracket that don’t need amping. But for those that have been around the CHIFI block and are long term recalcitrant addicts to CHIFI, do whip out your amp or balanced gear if you have one lying about, so as to unlock the full potential of the BLON BL-01.


SOUND & TECHNICALITIES

BLON BL-01 graph.jpg

Graphs courtesy of KopiOKaya from Audioreviews (IEC711 compliant coupler). 8 – 9 kHZ area is probably a resonance peak.


In a nutshell, the BLON BL-01 is a warm mild V shaped, bassy set, which is smooth and non fatiguing, it prioritizes timbre and tonality over technicalities. The BLON BL-01 is not an analytical or technical set for critical listening, but is a set very suited to just kicking back and chilling to enjoy the music. Those wanting microdetails and technicalities best look elsewhere, but I would argue that it is much easier to find a technically proficient set at the sub $50 market, rather than something with good timbre/tonality such as the BLON BL-01.

With a good fit and eartip seal, the BLON BL-01’s bass is north of neutral, and is a level shy of true basshead quantities. It is slightly more midbass focused than subbass focused, but the subbass extends very well and can give a good rumble when amped. The bass is definitely faster and tighter than the BLON BL-03 older brother, but the midbass is still quite bloated and bleeds into the lower mids. Some might like or dislike the additional warmth this gives to the music, it’s gonna be a love it or hate it thing, so those that want a very fast and clean bass best look elsewhere. The bass is rather thick and is unfortunately not the most textured (though as said still an improvement over the BLON BL-03).

The BLON BL-01’s lower mids are recessed compared to upper mids. There’s a slight upper mids boost but this is quite tamed compared to most of the budget CHIFI out there. Female vocals are still more forward than male vocals, but not shouty. Some might find the mids a tinge too recessed for vocals and guitars, so mid and vocal lovers best consider an alternatively tuned IEM.

Treble is not that extended on the BLON BL-01, it is polite and safe, without sibilance/harshness. Though the other side of the coin of such a safe treble is that some microdetails and resolution in the treble is lost. I’m treble sensitive and this treble actually is my cup of tea, but maybe trebleheads and those wanting a bit more pizzaz in their music might find the treble too tame actually.

Timbre is good for acoustic instruments as per its single DD roots. Note weight is on the thicker side.

In the area of technicalities, the BLON BL-01 loses quite a lot of points for me. For example, instrument separation and details are not the best in the BLON BL-01, compared to other budget single DD types. There’s a fair amount of microdetails lost in the music, for pieces I’m familiar with. In terms of soundstage, height is above average, but width and depth is bang average. Imaging is good for the price, but music can sound congested and be smeared in very complex movements. Honestly, against other multi BA/hybrids at the same price bracket, the BLON BL-01 gets eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper in the technicalities department. Amping does help improve the technicalities, but overall, the music sounds a bit low res even when amped. But then again, this is nitpicking for a sub $20 USD IEM, and as we discussed, this set focuses on timbre and tonality over pure technical performance.


COMPARISONS

I chose some common budget single DD sets to compare below. I left out multi BA/hybrids from the comparison as the different transducers have their own pros and cons, so it would be an apples to oranges comparison as such.

VS the BLON BL-03:

BLON BL-01 vs BL-03.jpg

Graph courtesy of KopiOKaya from Audioreviews (IEC711 compliant coupler). 8 – 9 kHZ area is probably a resonance peak.


For myself at least, the BLON BL-01 fits a tinge better with stock accessories than the BLON BL-03. I actually didn’t need to swap any stock cables or tips out to secure a fit, so that’s a plus point already. Isolation is also better on the BLON BL-01.

I am not sure about QC and unit variance, but my BLON BL-03 has more recessed mids than the BLON BL-01. The BLON BL-01 is a tinge cleaner and brighter than the BLON BL-03 in terms of tonality. BLON BL-03 is warmer and more organic sounding. In terms of technicalities, the BLON BL-01 is slightly better, in the areas of instrument separation, imaging, details, bass tightness, maybe soundstage, but both BLON siblings are better in timbre and tonality than technicalities.

If you ask different audiophiles on the forums, there will be multiple impressions for the BLON BL-03 when it comes to the bass department, since most folks are using different aftermarket tips with the BLON BL-03 due to the atrocious fit (too short nozzle). The different aftermarket eartips all influence seal and isolation and hence subbass amounts, to varying extents. Different eartips also change the sound signature of the entire frequency spectrum (which changes the perceived midbass amounts), so it is gonna be tough to compare the bass amounts on the BLON BL-03 among different individuals against the BLON BL-01 (not to mention QC may cause unit variation in bass amounts). Nevertheless, I did A/B testing with the same source/eartips/cables and when volume matched, the BLON BL-01 may actually be a tinge bassier (in quantity) than the BLON BL-03. But in terms of quality of bass, the BLON BL-01 is better. The BLON BL-01 has better subbass extension than the BLON BL-03. I find the BLON BL-01 is less bloaty in the bass and faster and tighter than the BLON BL-03 in the bass frequencies, with a faster bass decay in the BLON BL-01. Some may find that the midbass of both BLON siblings does bleed and encroach a bit into the lower mids, the BLON BL-03 being a much worse offender in this area. I’m a basshead so I don’t mind, but perhaps amping and aftermarket eartips may tighten the bass for these sets.

Overall, I would say when adequately powered and fitted optimally, the BLON BL-01 is a marginal upgrade over the BLON BL-03. The BLON BL-01 is also slightly cheaper, but of course that is in stock form (assuming aftermarket cables and tips are not added to the equation to achieve a fit among the BLON siblings).


VS the BLON BL-05S

BLON BL-01 vs BL-05S.jpg

Graph courtesy of KopiOKaya from Audioreviews (IEC711 compliant coupler). 8 – 9 kHZ area is probably a resonance peak.


Not to be confused with the shouty BLON BL-05 (non S), this set we are describing here is the radioactive green shelled one, the BLON BL-05S. For myself, the BLON BL-05S fits much better and is lighter than the BLON BL-01. The BLON BL-05S is less V shaped, and has a thinner note weight, with less bass quantities than the BLON BL-01. In terms of bass quality, the BLON BL-05S is tighter and not as bloaty as the BLON BL-01.

Both sets have good timbre as per their single DD roots, but the BLON BL-05S trumps the BL-01 in technicalities (imaging, instrument separation, clarity, details, soundstage, transient speed), and is easier to drive.

When both are amped, I would consider the BLON BL-05S to be a true upgrade over the BLON BL-01, though the BL-05S comes in quite a hideous shell colour, and of course the BL-05S is more expensive. But if you can top up the additional outlay, the BLON BL-05S would be my recommendation, if you don’t mind the gaudy shell colours.


VS the Moondrop SSR

The Moondrop SSR is tuned somewhat diffuse-field neutral with an upper mids boost, with a colder tonality and thinner note weight and poorer isolation than the V shaped BLON BL-01. It has less bass and is much more sibilant than the BLON BL-01. Moondrop SSR is shoutier at the upper mids/lower treble than the BLON BL-01, especially when used at louder volumes (Fletcher Munson Curve). For technicalities, the Moondrop SSR is much ahead of the BLON BL-01 in the areas of better clarity, imaging, details and instrument separation.

I’ve said this before, but the Moondrop SSR actually sounds nice at low volumes, but by pumping up the volume a few dB, the 3 kHz area is shouty and is too much for me (Fletcher Munson Curve). The Moondrop SSR has very polarizing reviews, and I think this may be due to the different volumes all of us are using it at, and volume levels are typically not mentioned by reviewers or consumers. Not to mention the different sources, tips, hearing health we all have may affect our perception of upper mids/treble in the Moondrop SSR. After doing A/B testing using the same source, tips (and even cable), I’ll take the BLON BL-01 any day over the Moondrop SSR, as the 3 kHz peak and the sibilance on the SSR is a deal breaker for me.

Different strokes for different folks though, I know a lot of our friends like the Moondrop SSR, especially those that use it at lower volumes. The Moondrop SSR actually has better technical performance than the BLON BL-01, but unfortunately it isn’t my cup of tea in terms of tonality, and I’ll take tonality over technical performance as my first priority. I haven’t had a chance to try the newer Moondrop SSP, which is supposed to be bassier but I’ll update this review if I get the Oppoty opportunity to try it.

Oh ya, how could I forgot the most important point of comparison here?! The Moondrop SSR comes with a waifu anime box! This box packaging may actually be the most important criteria for some purchasers and may make some shout at the moon (no pun intended)!


VS the HZSound Heart Mirror

The HZSound Heart Mirror is tuned neutralish bright with less midbass quantity and is less “fun sounding” than the BLON BL-01, especially when bass foward music is involved. The HZSound Heart Mirror sounds more analytical and colder, with a thinner note weight. Timbre, vocals and technicalities are much better on the HZSound Heart Mirror. The HZSound Heart Mirror wins in transient response speed. Both sets do need amping to scale to their best.

I see the mildly V shaped BLON BL-01 and the neutralish bright HZSound Heart Mirror as complimentary sets with different tunings to suit different music genres/preferences. But tonality aside, even though the HZSound Heart Mirror is more expensive, I think it is a true upgrade over the BLON BL-01 in most areas (accessories, timbre, technicalities, build, fit).


CONCLUSIONS

The BLON BL-01 is a warm and mild V shaped, bassy set, it is smooth and non fatiguing, and it prioritizes timbre and tonality over technicalities. It is not an analytical or technical set for critical listening, but is a set very suited to just kicking back and chilling to enjoy the music. The BLON BL-01 does boast a good price to performance ratio for the price, but it needs amping to scale better, and sounds meh from a lower powered source. I can see a lot of folks liking this set, considering it is rather affordable and has nice timbre and is not shouty or fatiguing. It is much easier to find a technically proficient set at the sub $50 range than something that has good timbre and tonality like the BLON BL-01.

So, this latest BLON hypetrain is being hyped to the moon and back and is being heralded as the next best thing since sliced bread and a giant killer. Does it deserve the hype? Well, I do think it is a very good budget set, but my honest assessment is that in terms of overall performance, it is probably a marginal upgrade over the BLON BL-03. IMHO, what holds the BLON BL-01 back from truly legendary status is that it hasn’t the best technicalities and the bass has bloat, this is more apparent when faster or complex passages of music kick in and things get congested and muddied. The BLON BL-01 also needs amping to truly shine (which a lot of folks entering into this budget segment may not have) and one may also need to swap the usual poor stock tips/cables for aftermarket accessories to secure a better fit, which can add to costs. Overall, these are nitpicks, considering it is a sub $20 USD set, and I still think it is a very good set, for sure it punches above its weight and has excellent value proposition, and is indeed a great addition to the BLON family.

Aerosmith might say “No More, No More!” to another BLON release, but the BLON BL-01 is definitely worth the cost of a small restaurant meal, and after hearing this set, BLON Cultists will surely say “More, More!! Take the Oppoty opportunity to Break the Levee to release mooooooar BLONs!”

Thanks for reading and Let Music Burn!!!
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Wretched Stare

Head-Fier
My Favorite BLON so far
Pros: Built solid, looks cool, sound is relaxed and smooth great for many kinds of music
Cons: cable eartips same as always
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The package is different from the rest of the line missing that classic mantra of the cult of oppoty but inside is the classic cable, tips and canvas pouch.

The build quality is all metal and exceeds its price range by far. Comfort is also good for my ears this will not be the case for all. I found isolation to be above average and can be improved with tip rolling.

Sound:

Bass: Mid Bass packs a nice punch with a fair amount of details , Sub Bass definitely has some nice rumble but is focused and has a good degree of control and texture too it in general bass is good and smooth with a better than average tonality in my opinion.

Mids: Have some bleed into them from the bass giving them a nice warmth but not enough to hinder the pleasant quality at some points the upper mids can even seem a little bright but far from shouty, the forwardness negates the recession making them at a very natural position with a balanced presentation to me vocals both male and female sounded great and pleasing to my ears.

Treble: Is polite with what I would call a relaxed tuning not to say there isn't details or some sparkle but its not the strongest feature here but still very good in this price range.

Soundstage and Imaging: Soundstage is not as pronounced as the BL03 but has a better than average width and I find it good for games with a detailed atmosphere. imaging is good and accurate.

The Conclusion: The BL01 is a worthy successor to the BL03, I find it fun and engaging in sound and considering the price, build quality , comfort and sound signature I can recommend this without hesitation.



Specifications:

Driver unit: 10mm Biology Fiber Diaphragm Driver

Impedance: 16Ω

Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW

Frequency response range: 20-20KHz

Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated L Type

Cable length: 1.2m±3cm

Attachments

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chinmie

Headphoneus Supremus
Blon BL-01, Inexpensively Expensive
Pros: -Tuned like more expensive IEMs
-Solidly built
-A more mature and polite tuning compared to the BL-03
-Good for long listening/ relaxed session
Cons: -Not as engaging and attention grabbing as the older brother BL-03
Disclaimer: I rarely do reviews, if ever. I usually prefer to write my impressions on the forum thread and talk about it there instead, but Yaoyaotiger from Aliexpress send me this at a discount, so it's fitting for me to write a review to honor their good gesture

Gears used for testing:
Centrance Bluedac
IFI Hip Dac
Fiio BTR5
Audio Technica AT PHA55BT

all running Spotify (and also Tidal) from my Android phone

Built and accesories:
Nicely built, a bit heavy, but in a positive way for me personally.
I used only the stock cable, and Symbio peel eartips, so no comment on the included stock tips.
I'm one of the few who actually have no problem with the stock cables. it's light and pliable..it just works. The only improvement i can do to the cable would be removing the ear guide tubes

Fit:
Comfortable. i can get a nice seal, but the body of the IEM doesn't "hug" all the surface area of my ears, so it wiggles and floats a bit. I doubt it would fall off though, so i'd say it's quite stable on my ears

Isolation:
Average

Sound characteristic:
Like i mentioned earlier: this IEM sounds expensive. Meaning it's tuned in mature way. The price of this IEM would reveal itself on it's overall resolution quality, which shows that it is a budget IEM after all.

Bass:
This is a more subbass focused IEM, especially when compared to it's midbass heavy BL-03. It does provide rumble.

Mids:
The mids is thinner sounding and lower in volume compared to the BL-03. The result is the overall sound is less engaging, but clearer in definition and separation on the mid area.

Treble:
The treble has more sparkle and bite compared to the BL-03. It might sounded harsh and brittle to some people, though me personally am not bothered by it

Soundstage:
It has a more spread out stereo imaging compared to the (again) the BL-03. it also has more depth on the soundstage than the BL-03

Conclusion:
I personally like this IEM. It reminded me of the sound of ZS10 Pro that i used to have, but in a more coherent presentation. Does it surpass the older BL-03 in sound quality? no..not really.. it plays on the same level of SQ, and to me it compliments the BL-03 really well because of the different presentation/ tuning. I think i would keep this and replace my ZSX as my daily bluetooth IEM. I recommend this for the price


What's in the package:
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Close up shot of the IEM (Symbio Peel Tips attached):
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1clearhead
1clearhead
Short, but very nice write up! :beerchug:

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
A worthy successor
Pros: Well made
Entertaining sound
Authentic timbre
Balanced tuning
Value for money
Cons: Fit (see text)
Cable and tips
Lack of refinement
Separation and resolution
Soundstage
Needs amplification
The BL-01 is the latest model from BLON and is marketed as the successor to the BL-03, despite the rather muddled nomenclature. Like its predecessor, it has a single dynamic driver 10mm in diameter, but the diaphragm material is now "bio-fiber" instead of carbon nanotube as featured in the BL-03 and BL-05S.

It comes in a small white rectangular box similar to that used by KZ, CCA, etc., with a line drawing of the IEMs on the front and the brand name, WGZ BLON, below which is written "Music and Dreams, let music burn", now correctly spelt! Sadly, we have lost the "Belief", "Oppoty" and "Nevergiveup" which made BLON's acronym so memorable! The model number BL-01 appears below and the rear of the box features specifications in Chinese and English.

The box contains:
* BLON BL-01 IEMs.
* 2-pin cable, black, braided, 4-core 6N OFC.
* Three pairs grey silicone tips.
* Two pairs conical silicone tips.
* Linen finish cloth pouch.

The IEMs are made from the same zinc alloy, "kirsite" as the original '03 and come in two finishes, silver or gunmetal. They are "bean" or "kidney" shaped with some contouring on the face and "WGZBLON-L" or "-R" in the centre, with "BL-01" in a smaller font below. They are well made but quite heavy. The 2-pin socket in clear plastic projects slightly and the silver-coloured nozzle with silver mesh is quite short.

The supplied cable is black in colour and is tightly braided. It is a 4-core OFC copper type with 6N purity. The 0.78mm 2-pin shielded connectors are made of black plastic. It is available with or without an in-line microphone. The right-angled 3.5mm plug is in black plastic and no chin slider is provided. I replaced the supplied cable with a silver one and after experimenting, I settled on the large tips from the Sony MH755.

A good fit, as with the BL-03, was difficult to achieve. The smooth earpieces are heavy and have an uneven weight distribution which resulted in some instability and the nozzles are very short which made tip selection more problematic. I did obtain an acceptable fit with the replacement tips and cable mentioned above but it could have been better.

The BL-01 was tested using an Xduoo X20 DAP. Impressions on online forums suggested that the BL-01 benefited from amplification so I connected my Fiio A5 via line out and a burn in time of 100 hours was carried out.

First Impressions
The BL-01 displayed a similar profile to the other BLON models, with a strong, well-textured bass and somewhat recessed mids, but in this case, with a brighter treble. There was some bass bleed. Lower mids, although warmer than neutral, had good timbre with the upper mids slightly brighter. Initially the treble showed good extension and reasonable levels of detail but lacked refinement and there was some "grain". After a change of tips this was improved. The overall profile was now a combination of the BL-03's bass and lower mids with some of the features of the upper mids and treble of the BL-05s. The midrange recession was reduced. The soundstage had reasonable dimensions but the depth was a little less than the width. I did find the BL-01 harder to drive than expected and an amplifier did prove beneficial. After burn in, there were significant improvements.

Bass
There was plenty of depth and texture on offer with that warmish tonality seen in other BLONs, resulting in the "vintage" or "analogue" tonality the brand is famous for. The focus lay between the sub bass and mid bass, giving good punch and a little extra warmth to the region. The sub bass had some decent rumble and the mid bass was a little more forward. The timbre was quite natural, with cellos and basses possessing a woody vinyl-like tone. There was a slight amount of bass bleed which added a friendly bloom to the lower mids, but with the change of tips, this was reduced and the bass became tighter. The mid bass did dominate on certain material.

Mids
With a little additional warmth from the bass, the lower mids were very similar to that of the BL-03 with excellent timbre and a "cuddly" quality. There was a pleasant richness here which although a little coloured by the bass bleed, was attractive with cellos sounding warm and inviting. The rest of the range was pushed forward with a reduced depth and vocals displayed a slightly brighter tonality shared by string instruments, brass and woodwind. The mids became gradually brighter as they approached the boundary with the treble where a mild peak occasionally reared its head.

Treble
The BL-03's treble was gently profiled and easy going. The following model, the BL-05, was tuned with a brighter tonality and better detail but suffered from some unevenness and peaks, whilst the next iteration, the BL-05S, fixed this with improved extension and definition without the peaks. The BL-01's treble lay somewhere in between these profiles with perhaps a little less resolution than the BL-05s. The lower treble was fairly detailed but sometimes became more assertive, and as the frequency increased there was a gradual increase in brightness which gave the impression of more detail but this resulted occasionally in a slightly thin or unrefined tonality and some "grain" was present. Extension was good with fine detail clearly audible but the timbre was not as natural as the bass and midrange. A little more "air" and smoothness would have been welcome.

Soundstage
The BL-01's soundstage was average in width, had a reasonable height but a reduced depth courtesy of the somewhat forward midrange. Layering was also average except in the bass where there was a lack of definition. Separation was a little disappointing and imaging was good across the spectrum but when the volume increased or in complex productions, there was a flattening of perspective and a merging of detail.

Comparisons
BLON BL-03 (purple version)
Configuration: TRN 16 core SPC, Spiral Dots (L)
The 03 displayed a warm overall profile with reasonable sub bass and a prominent mid bass with some bleed. The mids were recessed but possessed a natural timbre and were very easy to listen to. Lower mids were coloured by the bass influence and this did lead to some veiling of detail. Upper mids were slightly brighter and the presence region could have done with a bit more bite. The treble was gentle and somewhat lacking in detail with soft transients and rolled off fairly early. Soundstage was average in all three dimensions and a little more "air" would have been welcome.

BLON BL-05S
Configuration: Hifi Hear 16 core hybrid cable, Spiral Dots (L)
The 05S's bass was more focused on the sub bass which showed good texture and extension with good speed. There was more immediacy here and the mid bass was more linear, which freed up the lower mids and led to a more open presentation. Mids were very natural in perspective, not as forward as the 01 but not recessed and were detailed with good separation and imaging. The tonality and timbre were not as soft or "analogue" as the 03, but were clean, precise and more consistent than the 01. The treble took over in a natural progression where the mids left off with a gradual climb to the mid treble and good extension and detail and a good deal of "air". Soundstage was very expansive with superb width, excellent depth which was maintained in busy tracks, and a good depiction of height.

Note
A major factor in these findings was the fit achieved with the BL-05S which was snug and secure. I found it difficult to get such a secure fit with the 01 and 03 because of the shiny surfaces offering little grip, the very short nozzles and the unusual weight distribution which led to insecurity.

Conclusion
Marketed as the upgrade to the original 03, on this basis the 01 can be regarded as a success, with improved detail and less midrange recession, and retaining most of the natural timbre of its progenitor. However, the resolution could be improved, there is a lack of refinement and, like the BL-03, the mid-bass emphasis colours the sound. The new bio-fiber diaphragm did not possess the immediacy of the previous CNT unit and this resulted in a slight reduction in transient speed.

The BL-01 is a capricious beast which needs pampering. In its stock form and powered by a smartphone it does not distinguish itself. It does need work to bring out the best in it, and getting a good fit is essential. With a change of tips and a good cable, fed by a quality DAP and furnished with some extra amplification, it is capable of a good performance beyond its very reasonable price. However replacement cables and tips, and additional amplification do add to the cost.

That said, the BL-01 thus equipped, presents music in a highly entertaining manner. Feed it with quality material and it will reward you with a musical and animated sound.
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Tonytex
Tonytex
I am the owner of two BL03 and earlier model and a later purple version. There is a slight difference....I don't wanna sound like its my mind playing tricks but the later one sounds better in the upper mids and highs. As for the 01 I just got it but so far I love it. One thing is apparent be it 01 or 03 , they sound heaps better when amplified....I have a ifi Hip DAC and Xduoo XD-05 and they sound fabulous. With my phone or with my BTR3K the magic is somehow lost. Anyway love the Blons.....they have changed the game and it's a good thing for everyone....us final consumers and manufacturers
Nimweth
Nimweth
Yes,agree, I think the purple BL-03 sounds better than the gunmetal one, and all the BLONs do improve with extra power except perhaps the BL-05s which sounds fine out of the 3.5mm output of my Xduoo X20.

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
The Future
Pros: Hard to believe this level of sound quality can be found for $22.99
Bass tone normally only obtained at a higher price
A new and previously unknown sonic value
Cohesive and complete sound signature
Friendly and inviting natural tone and timbre
Great build and design
If you were wondering which entry level IEM to buy this year, this is it
Cons: Nozzle could borderline on being too short
Cable included not the best
Tips included not the best
Amplification mandatory
The BLON BL-01 10mm Biology Fiber Diaphragm IEM
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Every once in a while you get surprised. Surprises are fun and the best ones are unplanned...........a style of happenstance, resulting in an enjoyable outcome. What if I told you one of my favorite IEMs is priced at USD $22.99? You probably would not believe me and that’s OK. Understanding the price to performance ratio here………it challenges our ability to make sense of it all. So for the sake of simplicity I’m not going to mention the price again in this review. In many ways price is irrelevant really? I mean if you buy something you don’t like.......it doesn’t matter if it’s $20 or $2000, you still don’t like it. So from here on out we will forget about price and just try to judge the BLON BL-01 like we found it and had no idea what it was.
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Build:
Made from Kirksite (whatever that is.....maybe zinc alloy I hear?) we find the BL-01 rather heavy for it’s size. Yet in fact it’s very small and offers a nozzle just about the right length....though on the short side. It’s a shape resulting from ear-shape-data-base findings. Also it’s way smaller than even the semi-custom BA IEMs you’ve seen. It’s like what has been taken away in size is actually helping the form-factor achieve success. The finish results in a newfangled resistance to corrosion...........even not showing finger prints...........how I have no idea?

Model: BL-01

Driver unit: 10mm Biology Fiber Diaphragm Driver
Impedance: 16Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW
Frequency response range: 20-20KHz
Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated L Type
Cable length: 1.2m±3cm
Color: black/silver

Earphone Interface: 0.78mm 2pin

The BL-01 comes in a choice of silver or dark silver/black. You have a choice of a cable with a mic or not. Purchase link below at review end.

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Sound:
Interestingly this sound is all about being complete. Yep, in a world of incomplete sound signatures that seem off and wrong……it’s the completeness and correctness here that’s the joy of it all. It’s how it’s all interlaced together, the glue here? In many ways this style of replay is a little scary? I mean if they can do all this with a single driver what’s next? I mean really what’s next? Are BA’s going to be a forgotten technology?

Smoothness:
I should talk about the bass, but I’ll wait. I want to just poetically reveal the smoothness here. It’s this aspect of long drawn out reverberations which don’t seem wrong but simply totally right. Right at any price? The fact that that smoothness is also seemingly interrelated to a realistic timbre. Stuff just sounds real here? Meeting the BLON is like meeting a new friend and hitting it off; those times when you just know about a relationship. The smoothness is everywhere showing BA IEMs who's boss!
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Reality:
I kind of have to be careful as if this review ends too “off the ground” then it will create the reverse effect. All I want is for people to get a set of IEMs and be happy. Yet we all know about HYPE. What is hype? It quite simply is fame. Fame is all it is. It comes when many folks dig a piece of gear, and their enthusiasm goes on and on and creates more enthusiasm until at some point it dies down and folks are left with reality. Still the fame much of the time is founded on truth and ability. And while I don’t suggest people sell all their gear and get the BLON BL-01, I suggest to not fear the HYPE that’s about to come down in the next 100 days or so. Embrace the HYPE. The Hype will in many ways have a basis in reality. Befriend the HYPE.

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Bass:

It’s not that it’s excessive? It’s there but offers people on board with this sound.........a firm and slightly slow foundation. If you choose to judge that slight almost stop-step in bass PRAT, it’s probably a matter of taste? Because, when you get used to what the BL-01 is trying to do in the bass department, things start to get good. That same tiny slowness starts to become provocative and sexy. After a day of listening something happens where you start to look for that character…….........and need it. :)

In a famous suggested mix of fantasies and mixed realities the BL-01 has been compared to the Sony IER-Z1R. I am not in any way responsible for such malarky...........yet?


I have the $1600 Sony flagship loved by many a review and reviewer. And of course there are technicalities available in TOTL IEMs not found here. Still it’s amazing how close these two IEMs can be in personalities at times. My best way to describe this is overall tone goals. The IER-Z1R and the BLON have the same goals in mind. They approach this thing called IEM music replay in the same fashion and with the same sonic methodology. So? If you like the Sony sound, it’s a good chance you’ll like what’s going on here.
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The Future:
This IS 2020 after all, and a style of "the future" I could have often guessed and dreamed about being a possibility. I mean........if your into IEMs, and simply wondering how far and fast stuff has moved on since the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 from 2012?

Yep……….this is that future and there is no way a person would want the $200 ATH-M50 after getting a taste of what’s gong on here. What is happening is IEMs are slowly getting better and better and the price is getting lower along with build quality and sound getting better. This bass has real timbre, it has detail and a style of speed. It’s just so darn musical for what it is.

So at the risk of sounding totally 5150………I’ll say this is (almost) some of the best bass I’ve heard at any price.

Is It A BASS-HEAD IEM?

Well…….the bass is pretty much exactly like the Sony IER-Z1R in amount. So? If you think that’s bass-head territory then yes, but to me it’s perfect bass. Stuff like the CA Atlas or 64Audio N8 are bass-head IEMs to me..........the IER-Z1R is not. So I tend to generalize this style of bass as bass emphasis and even bass heavy, yet not bass-head style truly.

Midrange:
There is of course many IEMs in the $200 range which will singularly do a better midrange. The BL-01 comes off exactly like the modern Sony house sound in this regard; where there are no illuminated from within vocals. The vocals sit just like the IER-Z1R. Luckily there is no lower midrange bass bleed into the mids, like the price point would normally provide. I normally listen to rock, metal and EDM. Those genres demand special interaction where the lower midrange glues everything together. It's of critical importance.......as too much lower midrange causes a loss of PRAT........or too little, distinct disconnection. Here none of these issues are found! The term for what’s going on here is called "an even and correct frequency response". Yep. It’s all here, all of it. Everything is so complete there are not enough stars at the top to fully get the point across. My views are probably due to BLON completely nailing my favorite overall IEM frequency response. Out of the box the mids may seem slightly off but after a few hours of burn-in, the party starts…….and does not stop. :wink:

Grain:
If you’re new to the IEM game there are special characteristics in the delivery of tone which is indicative of the methodology. Typically DD (Dynamic Drivers) are smoother. BA (Balanced Armatures) actually provide many special attributes though can emit a style of grain and off timbre and tone. And while DD drivers have their own issues.............grain/distortion they can freely walk around. With many full BA IEMs it’s the midrange detail they excel at but also inclusion of BA grain. If you were wondering why IEM designers don’t just keep developing BA ideas, it’s trying to achieve detail and tone quality characteristics with DD drivers. It’s the natural personality and advanced smoothness that seems to help raise the BLON above many competitors and many rivals occupying even much greater price points. The results of this advanced smoothness means extended listening times and a fatigue free experience. Historically full DD driver IEMs have not had a history of accurate or dynamic imaged high frequency replay. This is where the importance is centered in discovering a great single DD IEM. That lack of DD full-range detail inspired hybrid IEM makers to add the BA drivers........seeking a band-aid for the flawed single DD response. It's the BLON single full-range Biology-Fiber-Diaphragm ideas which are responsible for the science fiction in sound here.
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BLON Treble:
Personally I don’t think this IEM can be beat for less than $500....maybe much more? I know that’s a big statement........ but whatever my reputation is........ I’m vary happy to add such a remark, even though fantastic. The fall-out will be possibly divergent.......yet among those folks will be a fair share that will absolutely agree. While the BL-01 does not have all the TOTL detail, the tone is spot on, everywhere.......for the most part. Of course if there was a less than perfect place I would say to focus on the understanding of the treble. It’s of course the treble right? As mentioned earlier it’s the treble that’s always needed to be fortified (adding BA units) thus making DD drivers complete, resulting in hybrid IEMs. Here we have far from the biggest soundstage to work with, and within that soundstage the treble can still humbly make it out in places.........showcasing what’s there. Yet it is ever so slightly muffled or harmonically not as complex as TOTL flagships. In contrast, any laid-back-backness in the treble is just added pixie dust to the magic charm going on.

The soundstage is average, the imaging above average yet I say all this because whole listening experience is so simply enjoyable. It’s like IF stuff is left out it’s not in a way that sounds wrong. In fact despite of the flaws in treble there is an overall style of unification of tone. Everything is held together firm and tight with what sounds like not much conflict. It’s this oneness and togetherness that’s so appealing even with-in what soundstage exists.

Conclusion:
This style of IEM release is a game changer. The BLON is so great at what it does it’s startling. It’s obviously the next in line to have arrows shot at it due to a perception of unearned HYPE.


Yet:
The BL-01 success will be eminent. If somehow perceived as IEM market manipulation or plain old fashioned street shilling, it will simply be what it is. My simple suggestion is to give the BL-01 a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.....I was.


The Future:
Well, this IS the future. A quasi-audiophile IEM for under $25? An IEM to make a budget-fi monopoly. An answer of sorts as something many have been hoping for for a very very long time. With the BL-01 the future is yours......


Music Used:
Korn-Issues 192/24bit

Green Carnation-Leaves of Yesteryear 44/24bit
Mastodon-Leviathan 44/24bit
Yello-Point 48/24bit
Korn-Twisted Transistor 96/24bit
Hawkwind-Space Ritual 48/24bit
Kamelot-The Shadow Theory 44/24bit
Haken-Virus 44/24bit
Katy Perry-Witness 44/24bit
Wintersun-Wintersun 2.0 44/24bit
Vader-The Messenger EP 44/24bit
Korn-Follow The Leader 192/24bit

Judas Priest-Firepower 48/24bit


Equipment Used:
Sony TA-ZH1ES Firmware 1.03
Sony NW-WM1Z/ NW-WM1A

Walkmans running MrWalkman DMP-Z1 emulation firmware

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sony-walkman-os-custom-firmware-non-android.943661/
Walkmans changed to “J” region with Rockbox region changer.
https://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SonyNWDestTool

I tried different cables and tips but settled with:
The $18 FAAEAL Hibiscus 4.4mm High Purity Copper 2pin Cable
DUNU L Blue Tips

Edit: Many have experienced a style of correction using SPC over OFC cables. The BLON BL-01 may show slight resolution improvements and a more balanced tone with SPC in the end? In my tests both styles of cables brought something special in their own way to the BL-01. Your results may vary.

Disclaimer:
This IEM was sent to me by the Yaoyaotiger HIFI Audio Store on AliExpress for review. I’m clueless as to how the $20 IEM market is today, yet I’ll take a leap of faith and guess the BLON BL-01 is special. Of course this is a single review and a single opinion, your results may vary.

5th ONE .jpg

Get Them Here:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...w_Detail&utm_source=admitad&utm_content=47843

376DE92A-BCEA-425A-9261-338BA1980F25.jpeg

Edit:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/blon-in-ear-monitors-impressions-thread.916702/post-16034788
These were just tuned perfect and made into soundstage monsters with the inverted tip modification and SPC cable. Truly amazing!

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/flip-tips-or-fliptips-prepare-to-have-your-mind-blown.906357/
Last edited:
Redcarmoose
1clearhead
1clearhead
Awesome review! :beerchug:
Malfunkt
Malfunkt
I’ve read a number of your posts on IEM, and if I recall correctly, on the Sony line of IEMs such as the XBA-Z5. So I know you are not one for hyperbole. Having
Owned many great Sony IEMs and now receiving the BL-01 I share your impressions. Really pleased with these and I was surprised at how well they did with classical music amped with an O2.

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Tuning
Non-fatiguing treble
Very bassy but still pretty clean
Mids (quality)
Timbre
Build quality
Fit
Good for enjoying music
Cons: bad for analyzing music
Somewhat recessed mids
Lacking bass texture
Low details
Bad instrument separation
Lacking air/treble extension
Might be too warm and bottlenecks overall naturality
Not very versatile due to bass quantity, poor technicalities
Very Heavy
Cable
Tips
20201204_140057.jpg

Disclaimer: Bought at my own expense at AK audio store on AliExpress during the 11/11 sale.

Price: 17-18 usd

Specifications:

Driver unit: 10mm Biology Fiber Diaphragm Driver

Impedance: 16Ω

Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW

Frequency response range: 20-20KHz

Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated L Type

Cable length: 1.2m±3cm

20201204_140541.jpg

Accessories:

Carry bag

S/M/L silicone narrow bore tips

SM/ML silicone tips

20201204_140603.jpg

Cable: Same garbage cable (and tips) that is present on the Blon BL-03/05. Measured at 0.73 ohms. No chin-slider and plastic divider/connectors


20201204_140921.jpg

20201204_140935.jpg

Build: Very high-quality build that is fully made out of metal. It is very heavy so it gives it a premium feel. No L/R markings on it though.

Fit: Good fit, the best out of the Blons I have tried (BL-01, BL-03, BL-05). But do be aware that the short nozzle is still here on the 01, just that the rest of the body is shaped better so it fits better.

Comfort: Now while the fit is good, the comfort is a bit uncomfortable for me due to the heavy weight that makes it push my ears. So, it’s kind of like having weights in your ears. (only noticeable on longer sessions.)

Isolation: Since the shell covers my entire ear, isolation is quite good.


Setup: Ibasso DX160 (low gain, volume around 33), Sony EP-EX11 LL tips, Tri Through cable (4.4mm)

Lows: Very bassy (both mid/sub-bass) and it is generally on the clean side due to the speed/tightness, but on busier tracks it gets bloated due to the instrument separation.

Mid-bass: Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), speed and tightness are pretty good, but the instrument separation isn’t good enough so it can’t keep up and gets bloated, individual bass strikes aren’t very distinct due to that bloat. The (02:55-03:01) section with the chopper is quite muddy as well.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), good bass quantity, but could be a bit faster and tighter. Texture is lacking though.

Sub-bass: Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Punch quantity is high and is clean due to the speed/tightness but is lacking texture. Extension is pretty good and there is a lot of rumble.

Will Sparks – Sick like that (03:08-03:22), A lot of bass quantity, but could be cleaner if it was faster/tighter and needs more texture.

Mids: Natural mids and good vocal balancing between male/female. But has a somewhat recessed mids, usually on the acoustic/vocal focused tracks.

Female-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Tonality is too warm and vocals aren’t that detailed and needs to be more forward. It is clean and very natural due to the timbre though.

Yuki Hayashi – MightU (01:58-02:55), Lacking even more warmth and needs to be more forward, along with the low details that is making it sound somewhat “low-res”.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), Not shouty at all, but the vocals needs to be a bit brighter and forward.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Crescent (02:07-02:26), Not shouty at all which is impressive.

Male-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), Tonality is very good but is lacking some details and isn’t very clean.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Somewhat recessed mids and sounds low-res due to low detail and clarity.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), Electric guitars aren’t sharp at all, but they lack detail.

Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), It can’t handle this track due to the instrument separation making it sound very chaotic.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), good texture with both the violins/cellos. Tonality is good for the cellos but needs to be brighter and thinner for the violins. Lacking detail and clarity with both.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Not very good treble extension and lacking a lot of air, details and clarity.

Soundstage: Average, nothing special but can’t complain at this price.

Tonality: Warm L-shape, timbre is very good but overall naturality is bottlenecked by the warmth that is too warm on most tracks and also by the instrument separation on busier tracks.

Details: Low details, making it somewhat low-res.

Instrument Separation: Decent for normal tracks, but terrible for busier ones and even worse for busy + fast tracks.

Songs that highlight the IEM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8JN3gFWm3c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq6Q_uaJF4k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DobQ-dJC-U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySo8vwSB1Sw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VTkBuxU4yk

Good genres:
Hip-hop, EDM, Trance, Pop, Kpop

Bad genres: Busy tracks/genres, Acoustic



Comparisons:

IEM: Blon BL-03 (mesh mod), JVC Spiral dots ++ L tips, Cable 196 (4.4mm)

Bass:
Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Extends a bit lower on the 03 but rumbles more on the 01. Punch has similar quantity but is bassier and not as clean on the 01 due to it being looser/slower. Texture is similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Much cleaner on the 03 and is tighter/faster with a bit better texture.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), Low detailed and muddy on the 01 in comparison.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Better tonality on the 03 and better timbre so it sounds much more natural and is also cleaner and more detailed.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), Not shouty on either but less fatiguing on the 01 due to the warmth.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Tonality is better on the 01 due to the warmth but it is lacking details and needs to have more forward male vocals.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), Less fatiguing on the 01 but sharpness isn’t a problem on either. Less detailed and not as clean on the 01 though.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Tonality is better on the 03 and sounds cleaner, better textured, more detailed and has better timbre as well. The 01 sounds low-res here.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Better tonality, cleaner and more detailed and without recessed mids on the 03.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Soundstage, details, instrument separation, imaging and timbre are better on the 03.

Overall: The mesh modded 03 is better than the 01. Tuning wise the 01 is warmer and less fatiguing so it might suit certain genres more than the 03 (like hip-hop) but the technicalities on the 01 is a huge bottleneck that is making a lot of faster/busier tracks sound muddy and chaotic and also low-res so it doesn’t bring out the potential of high quality/well mastered tracks.



IEM: Blon BL-05, Sony EP-EX11 LL tips, Faaeal Litz copper cable (4.4mm)

Bass:
Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Similar extension but rumbles more on the 01. Punch quantity is higher on the 01 and has similar texture, but speed/tightness are better on the 05 so it sounds cleaner.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Similar texture but is faster/tighter on the 05 while it has more quantity on the 01.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), Faster and tighter on the 05, but texture is lacking on it and also quantity. It is cleaner and more detailed though.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Tonality is much better on the 05 and is cleaner and more detailed

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), Shouty on the 05 but cleaner and more detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Better tonality on the 01 but much cleaner and detailed with more forward vocals on the 05.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), A bit sharp electric guitars on the 05 but is cleaner and more detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Tonality, timbre, details, texture and clarity are better on the 05. Treble extension as well.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Better tonality, details and clarity on the 05.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Details, instrument separation, imaging, timbre, soundstage are better on the 05.

Overall: The 05 has better SQ and technicalities but tuning is worse because it is shouty and much more fatiguing. I recommend the 01 over the 05 because of that (and also because it is half the price of the 05).



IEM: Sony MH750

Bass:
Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Extends lower on the MH750 but rumbles more on the 01. Punch quantity is higher on the 01 but is faster/tighter on the MH750 while texture is similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Bass quantity is higher on the 01, but is tighter, faster and better textured on the MH750.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), Much cleaner on the MH750 due to the faster/tighter bass, but lower bass quantity than the 01. It is however sharp on the MH750 due to the treble.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Better tonality, details and clarity on the MH750 with more forward vocals as well. But it is a bit sharp.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), Sharp on the MH750.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Better tonality on the 01, but cleaner and more detailed on the MH750.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), Sharp electric guitars on the MH750.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Better tonality, texture, details, treble extension and clarity on the MH750.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Better details and clarity on the MH750 but sharp.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Soundstage, details, imaging and instrument separation are better on the MH750 but timbre is better on the 01.

Overall: The SQ and technicalities on the MH750 are better than the 01, but it is sharp so I recommend the 01 over the MH750. Although if you can use EQ to tame down the 3,5k/7k peaks on the MH750 it is better than the 01 without it being shouty/sharp, but the 01 is more to my personal preference in tuning. (but since I am very treble sensitive, you might not have any problems with the MH750 at all.)



Conclusion: Now, while It does sound like I am criticizing the 01 a lot. I say it is a very good iem and nothing is really offending on it, IF you simply want to enjoy listening to music without analyzing every single aspect of the iem/track then it is very enjoyable. But for those that do want to analyze or are perhaps used to the higher tiers, I don’t really rec it for you because it doesn’t make high quality/mastered files sound as good as they should (like having a 1080p picture but only a monitor with 720p resolution). Thanks for reading.

Graph:

BL-01.png


Cable source: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/resistance-of-cables-pics-comments-and-links.907998/

Reference/test songs:
Last edited:
F700
F700
Thanks for the review mate. Based on it and on the previous comments, I might have stumbled upon a « specific » set. Anyway,
Schiit happens (I am avoiding mods hehehe). Always nice to read your impressions and big big respect to your dedication on sharing them on the forum 🙏
RikudouGoku
RikudouGoku
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Darkeye999H
Darkeye999H
@kennyhack Did you use the same tips and cable on both?
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