Blon BL-03 - Reviews
BLON BL-03 : Bass Galore!
Pros: Decent sound for its price
Breaks down bass lines well
Good quality bass
Good build quality
Cons: Bass might be too much for some
Mids lacks the bite/attack
Isolation not the best
Disclaimer : This unit was borrowed from my friend who purchased it as his own personal unit

INTRO
BLON has garnered a lot of hype in recent months due to its BL-03 model. It has been rated very highly by many earphone reviewers for having incredible price to performance ratio. I have also only heard of this earphone this year and seeing the ton of positive reviews, I had to hear what the hype was all about.



QUICK SUMMARY
Sound : Bass-focused with mids and highs being more laid back



Driver : 10mm Carbon Diaphragm dynamic driver
Socket : 2-pin (0.78mm)
Price : 39 USD
Where to buy it : Aliexpress

Suitable genres : Jazz or songs with interesting bass lines that you want to hear closely

WHAT'S IN THE BOX


Inside the box we get the following :
2 sets of eartips of different sizes (S, M, L)
1 x Earphone canvas pouch
1 x BLON BL-03 earphone
1 x 2 pin (0.78mm) earphone cable
1 x User manual

The accessories included are very standard stuff however, it is still a very complete set. I really appreciate it when companies include carrying cases/pouch because not everyone has one to safely transport their earphones around. So props to them for including this simple item and making the package complete.

BUILD QUALITY
The earphone does not look much but it's build quality is good. Its shell is made of metal and it weighs quite a bit, giving it a premium feel to it which I prefer. On my unit, the socket holds the pins very snugly and it definitely wouldn't drop off. The rubber sleeves protecting the 2 pins on the cable are rigid but also has some elasticity to it that allows you to press into it slightly.



I think the only problem that I have with the earphones are that it has a chrome finishing, which makes it very prone to scratches and fingerprints. Also, the seams on it are very obvious and though it isn't a deal-breaker, it does looks weird when looking at it for a period of time.

Overall, the earphone has a premium build and feel to it though the chrome finishing and seams deducts some points off the build quality. Also, several people have noted that there might be some variance between units in the sound quality (just thought that I should leave it here under this segment).

COMFORT AND ISOLATION
Due to the earphone having rounded edges, I find that it is quite comfortable in the ears at least for me. However, I believe that an earphone with such a weight might cause some fit issues for people with smaller ear canals as the earphone might fall out. To mitigate this, I think getting third party eartips such as the Azla Sedna earfit eartips might help.

Isolation on the other hand isn't the best, I still hear slight sounds from the outside while using it. As my left ear is slightly smaller than my right, I find that the seal on the left are alright while the sound leaks slightly on the right while using the largest eartips. Switching it over to my Azla Sedna earfit eartips seemed to have helped with the seal slightly but I still hear outside noises. While listening to music on it, I could still hear my Telegram notifications from my speakers.

One thing to note is that the thing most people had issue with the earphone was with its stock eartips, they aren't the best as it's too soft and unable to maintain a good seal.

SOUND
When I first put on these earphones, the bass instantly stands out. It is a bass-centric earphone with a decreasing emphasis in mids and highs in this order. Mids seem to be a bit more forward as compared to the highs and female vocals on these lack the usual brightness that I would prefer. Mids also lack that impact that I like, for instance, the impact of a snare drum or chucking sounds of electric guitars in funk genres. Highs sound too distant and on some songs they decay away too quickly.

This review will be done on my Cayin N6ii (T01 Module) with the included cable and eartips.

Highs
Treble is airy and but I find that it decays too quickly. The quality of the highs are decent enough for its price but my gripe with it is that it does not have enough presence for certain genres of music to be enjoyable such as rock.

Listening to rock songs on it makes cymbal crashes and high hats sound very weak; they lack that energy that gets the listener excited for what's to come. Instead, they shine just enough for it to be noticed but that's about it. This is particularly obvious when listening to Frederic's "Kanashi Ureshi" where all the cymbals and high hats lack that sparkle and energy to it. However surprisingly, the electronic beat (around the last minute of the song) and shakers are pretty much present still.

Personally still, I do not enjoy the highs that much and wish that they had more presence though the quality of the highs are decent. Some earphones overdo the treble and it gets too sibilant. Hence, if you're sensitive to highs/treble, you definitely have no need to worry here!




Mids
My go-to genre to test out mids are usually vocals based songs and my usual rock songs. Vocals are definitely perform better than electric guitars and drums in this area.

Starting off with my usual rock/metal genres, electric guitars and drums lack that bite/attack to it as compared to the other earphones I have such as the Spring 1 and even the T2 Plus. Similarly to the highs, its presence is just enough for it to be heard, but just a bit more for it to be felt.

However, as this earphone has decent separation, one can still tell apart the sounds within the midrange with relative ease which makes the mids a bit more enjoyable. You can tell apart the lead and rhythm guitars and drums usually and that's great for me. Listening to "JET" by POLKADOT STINGRAY, I was able to discern the different instruments with relative ease, making the mids a bit more pleasant as I can focus on whichever I prefer.

Moving onto vocals, male vocals in general are pleasant, they sound rather natural. For female vocals I found that there's a slight difference in how they might sound if you are listening to a vocals that are higher pitched versus lower pitched. Diana Krall's "Cry Me a River" is really relaxing to listen to and I thoroughly enjoy it. The overall feel of the song here is great, vocals are natural sounding and the elevated bass adds to the overall ambiance of the song. However when listening to songs with higher pitched vocals such as LeAnn Rimes' "Blue", vocals sound too airy which makes it sound too holographic and slightly artificial. In POLKADOT STINGRAY's "JET", the vocals in this song sounds a bit too airy or nasally here, which makes it sound a bit off. Trying it against other earphones, I know that her voice is quite clear and doesn't sound like that.

During my initial phases of testing, I thought it would have been suitable for rap but I realized that the core of rap songs are mostly mids, as you would need the vocals to be fast and snappy while having the impact that provides the rhythm such as kick drums or electronic beats. Thus, I have removed rap as one of the suitable genres from my review.

Overall, the mids are more enjoyable than the highs as you can tell apart the different layers rather easily. Mids do lack that impact to it which makes it less suitable for funk and rock genres. Vocals on a whole are natural but take note that it might not be that great for higher-pitched vocals as it sounds more nasally.

Lows
This is the most enjoyable aspect of the earphone; bass on this is one of the best I've heard compared to other earphones in its price range. This is due in part to it utilizing a dynamic driver, giving the bass more texture and rumble. Bass has the majority of the presence in this unit but does not go too deep. It has just enough impact for it to be heard and felt but does not throw a ton of it in your face to overwhelm you.

I found the bass on this to work really well when you need to listen out for songs with complicated bass lines. Listening to "FREE" from POLKADOT STINGRAY, you can clearly hear the complicated bass lines, where the bassist plays all around the bass guitar and it is really enjoyable! I found myself revisiting songs which have interesting bass lines such as Frederic's "Tarinai eye" and even "LIPS" by THE ORAL CIGARETTES. It makes me really appreciate the bass lines on my music much more.

I tried this out with jazz songs too and found this to be very enjoyable too. Diana Krall's "Besame Mucho" and Michale Buble's "Call Me Irresponsible" were a real treat to listen to. Given the elevated bass, natural vocals and light treble, I found this to be a very good combination to provide a relaxing ambiance when listening to such songs. These jazz songs have a very light touch, making it really enjoyable!

Bass is really where this earphone shines as it is able to reproduce it with much detail and I doubt other earphones of the same price would come close to this kind of bass quality.

OTHER NOTES
Soundstage on these earphones are fairly wide, giving the listener an "out of head" experience. The wideness of the sound is comparable to listening to music in a small hall.

Separation is done fairly well, regardless of slow or fast paced music. It does not struggle as much as compared to other single dynamic driver earphones that I have heard in the past.

I found nothing special in the imaging section, feel that it doesn't do very well in this. At most times, the sound just seems to come out as a whole instead of having a very good layering. I usually can't tell the distance between instruments or hear it to be in any particular direction, just the usual left and right channels at most. In Chon's "Can't Wait", high hats were in the top region of the space (inside and above my head) and one guitar was on the left and another on the right, but that's about it.

I think the Tin Hifi T2 Plus is also a close competitor to this unit and comparing the two, I personally prefer the T2 Plus as they have more emphasis on the highs which I prefer. Vocals are more natural on the T2 Plus and bass isn't that forward on the T2 Plus which makes the T2 Plus more comfortable for longer hours of listening. I get a slight ache in my ears listening on the BLON BL-03 but it may be also due to me being more sensitive to bass.




CONCLUSION
I can understand why this earphone garnered so much hype : Good bass with decent mids and highs at a budget price, most listeners listen out for an earphone with good bass too. Though the mids and highs are somewhat laid back and sound distant, I still find myself appreciating the bass of songs very much. This earphone would surely appeal to most bass heads out there and people who want to better appreciate bass lines. Given the right genre of songs such as jazz, I believe that this pair of earphones can be very enjoyable. I guess sometimes you just need to find the right genre for an earphone for it to shine. Thus, if you want an earphone that is easy on the wallet with good quality bass, give the BLON BL-03 a go!

If you like my reviews, check out my site here and follow my instagram here
FastAndClean
Pros: Balanced sound
Cons: Bad fit, little bit to much bass
First impression was bad.
Changed tips to JVC Spiral Dots.
Changed cable to Dunnu Hulk (had it layin around).

changed the set completely.
New headphones...
Still like my Thieaudio Legacy 3, and Empire Ears Legend X, better, but at this price range they’re unbeatable 😃
Pros: - Lively, exacting sound
- clean edges
- bass control
Cons: - elevated bass
- slightly depleted lower mid-range
ERGONOMICS AND BUILD

Let's start off with build and fit. From these few days, I spend with them build looks nice and sturdy, so does the cable which doesn't tangle much, unlike KZ cables and Tin Audio cables that are quite annoying. I heard a lot of complaints about the fit but I didn't notice any. In fact, BL-03s don't seem picky when it comes to ear-tips and frequency response stays fairly similar no matter which ones I choose, unlike some other models (TinAudio T2 for example). They're also much less bulky than most of the KZs, so points for that too.

SOUND QUALITY

Overall clarity, sound stage, and separation is in line with the best of the class - Tin T2, but these are wrapped in a bit different sound signature that you might like or not. Frequency response is slightly V-shaped with emphasis on the bass much more than on the highs (so it's not really a compliantly symmetrical V). That said the bass is fast, precise and punchy most of the time, showing it's unnaturally high presence mostly with acoustic bass notes. Up the frequency range we have nice, detailed mids and vocals with plenty of textures and nice leading edges. They do lack some body because of the lower mid-range depletion. So if you favor music with strong, prominent, natural-sounding vocals - I'd go for T2s instead. That said, vocals are still rendered better than on any KZ model I heard so far, best of them being KZ ZSX. Highs are again crisp and not overly pronounced, making these detailed but pleasurable listen for longer periods of time. KZ should be worrying because BL-03 beat them at their own game. They're altering natural balance to sound more muscly and fun, but they're doing it in a better way, without ear-piercing emphasis on upper mid-range and lower highs.

CONCLUSION

If you're looking for a lively, dynamic, energetic sound with plenty of details - these have it all. Just be sure that you don't mind elevated bass and a bit thinned out vocals. Personally I still deem Tin Audio T2s to be the king of the hill under $50 bucks due to their more natural bass and lower mids. But if you're a fan of the bassy sound and you put a bit of fun over natural balance - there's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing these BLONs.

...

You can check out my website for more reviews - iiwireviews.com
I made a video review too:

Pros: Sound quality that puts many higher-priced IEMs to shame
- Price-to-performance ratio through the roof
- Fantastic imaging
- Natural/Life-like vocal tonality and timbre
Cons: Terrible fitment
- Poor accessories and unusable stock eartips
- 2-pin connector protrudes outside and is prone to breakage
Did someone say Flavor-of-the-month? Well, the BLON BL-03 has been the FOTM for a few months running, so maybe, just maybe, there’s a gem in the hiding.

The BL-03 uses a Carbon (nanotube?) driver, and is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest IEM to use such tech inside the housings. The first CNT driver IEM that I recall was Dunu Falcon C, and that thing had a price-tag of over $200. The “trickle-down-effect” has done its wonders indeed and so we have a strictly budget IEM that aims to take a shot at the big boys.

IMG_3881.JPG


Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. Definitely the expectations from a $15 IEM won’t be the same as a $150 one, and that’s the approach taken while assigning scores. I bought the IEMs with my own funds, still, Disclaimer
Sources used: LG G7, Questyle QP1R, Yulong DAART Canary, VE Odyssey, Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle, iPhone SE

Build:
The BL-03’s housings are made of “Kirsite” alloy, which apparently is a variant of Zinc alloy. Irrespective of the metal used, they feel really solid in hand, and there is no roughness around the seams. The mirrored finish does not attract fingerprints or smudges easily, which is a plus. My biggest complaint would be the protruding 2-pin connector, where using 3rd-party cables will put unnecessary strain on the connectors and this might be a potential point of failure in the long run.
4/5

IMG_3854_R.JPG IMG_3856_R.JPG

Accessories:
The accessory set is pretty complete in terms of the amount of stuff you get: 6 pairs of eartips, a 2-pin cable and a carry-pouch. However, the tips are practically useless as they are shaped in an oblong manner, thus not getting a good seal. Moreover, the cable is really tangly and worst of all — that memory wire is absolutely atrocious. Buy a separate cable to make life easier (you can find cheap ones under $10 on AliExpress). That leaves the only usable thing that you get with the box — the carrying pouch. Sigh.
2.5/5

Comfort:
The Achilles’ Heel of these IEMs would be how awkward their fit is. In fact, it is one of the most fit/eartip-dependent IEM I’ve come across in quite a while. Just changing from Final E-type tips to Spinfits bring about drastic changes. The nozzle size is the culprit here as it’s too short and thus the IEMs often dangle about. The only way to get a good seal is to use double/triple-flange tips, or using Final E-type/Spinfit tips that bend into your ear-canal. I’ve personally used Spinfit CP-500 tips throughout the course of this review. Another thing to note would be the driver-flex as these IEM exhibit that phenomenon quite often.
2.5/5

IMG_3860.JPG


Now, on to the sound:

Lows: The bass response on BL-03 depends on the type of tips used and how deep an insertion you’re going for. For the usual shallow-insertion, the bass is neither overpowering nor lacking in any sense. It mostly gives you a faint sub-bass kick and that’s about it. Bass decay is faster than the usual dynamic-driver IEMs, which gives a pacy “rhythm” to every song you play that has a punchy bass-line. On Fort Minor’s Where’d You Go, the heavy baseline never overshadows the mids, nor does the bass distort in high SPL (volume).
It won’t be enough for bass-heads, but it’s quality bass indeed.
4.5/5

Mids:
Vocals are slightly accentuated, with high-pitched vocals being given more emphasis than lower-pitched/baritone ones. The comparatively leaner sounding male vocals might be the only point of contention with BL-03’s midrange as the rest of it is just sublime. Acoustic guitars and string instruments have a very natural attack and decay, with mostly spot-on tonality and timbre. I find that acoustic guitars/piano tend to sound a bit brighter than reference, but it’s nothing too noticeable unless you’re A/B-ing and it’s mostly a matter of taste. Micro-detail retrieval is where it will fall short, but that’s the only time when you’ll realize that you’re listening to a budget device. Instrument separation is excellent.
All in all — some great mid-range performance here, and not just “for-the-price”.
4.5/5

Treble:
Treble is neither on-your-face, nor is it veiled. Balanced — the word that best describes it. There is enough emphasis around the presence (5/6KHz) region to keep things exciting, while the 8–10KHz region is tuned down even further with some peak around 13KHz or so to introduce more air into the treble. This makes cymbals sound more distant than reference, and the initial cymbal hits are less exciting than they should be. It’s just nitpicking at this point though, as BL-03’s treble performance is more than adequate, if not outright great.
4/5

IMG_3870.JPG


Soundstage: Soundstage width and depth is above-average, while the height is just about average. Nothing to write home about here.
3.5/5

Imaging:
Imaging, on the other hand, is exemplary. Yosi Horikawa’s Crossing is a good song to test out imaging performance, and here the BL-03 just shines. The motorcycle going from left to the right, the ambient noises that pop up every now and then throughout the whole track — everything is in the right place. Tool’s Chocolate Chip Trip is another song where you can point out the general direction of every single drum hit.
5/5

Bang-for-buck:
Outstanding, in one word.
5/5

IMG_3871.JPG


Source and Amping: BL-03 sounds good outta everything, or at least out of most decent sources. It sounded as it should out of both iPhone SE and LG G7. Obviously plugging into a good external amp makes everything sound better, but it’s a complete overkill for such a budget device. If you have a good DAP, however, that will bring the best out of these, just that it’s not necessary and more of a luxury.

IMG_3878.JPG


Select Comparisons

vs
TinAudio T2: Tin T2 is perhaps the most well-known chi-fi IEM at under $50, and for very good reasons. It sounded unlike anything under $50 in the chi-fi realm back in the day. Pitted against the BL-03, it holds its grounds when it comes to sheer details, and I would say that T2 out-resolves the BL-03 in terms of sheer details retrieval. However, the bass response is far superior on the BL-03, and the mid-range tuning is more “mature”. The treble is also more even-handed on the BLONs, without the often annoying peaks of the T2. Soundstage is wider on T2 while BL-03 has better imaging. Build quality is about the same while T2 is slightly more comfortable. Both have terrible cables and stock tips, so it’s mostly a home-run for the BLONs.

vs KZ ZSX: KZ ZSX has more treble detail and bass quantity, but BL-03 has far better bass quality and treble tuning. Midrange is where KZ ZSX falls apart, just like every other KZ IEM before it (and probably in the foreseeable future). It just sounds completely off in terms of tonality. Moreover, there is the infamous “BA Timbre” that’s on full display here. Comfort and soundstage width goes to KZ’s way for once, but it’s handily beaten in terms of overall sound quality.

vs Fiio FH1: Fiio FH1 only has better build and cable/accessories. It doesn’t even register as a competition elsewhere. Sorry guys, but this thing was overpriced to begin with and now is getting handily beaten by IEMs that cost ~70% lower.

vs Sennheiser IE40 Pro: Now this is more like it! IE40 Pro is one of the best IEMs you can buy under $150. Compared to the BLONs, it has more accentuated mid-bass while the sub-bass extends even deeper. Vocals are slightly better on the IE40, esp male vocals. Cymbals also hit harder and has more authority in the mix.
Rest of it is pretty much back and forth though, with imaging being about par on both and the IE40 having a wider soundstage at the cost of having the vocals sound more distant.
The best part about this comparison though is that if you prefer a mid-forward signature, the BL-03 would surely be the one you’d pick after a blind audition, provided you can get a good fit (an area where the Sennheiser absolutely shines). Overall, the IE40 is the better IEM if you consider every single facet, but the BL-03 is the better buy due to the off-the-charts price-to-performance ratio.

IMG_3867_R.JPG

IMG_3876.JPG


Conclusion:

BLON BL-03 has officially changed the status-quo of budget IEMs, at least for me. It absolutely shames some of the popular IEMs with a much higher price-tag, and it does it all in such an unassuming manner that it boggles your mind. Why can’t Fiio do something like this with far more resource at their disposal? What can’t KZ still figure out something an obscure company has managed to do with aplomb?

The poor eartips/cables, and the short nozzles that further compound the awkward-at-best fit aside, this thing aces everything else. This is not a flavor-of-the-month, rather a flavor-of-the-year.

Moondrop Crescent, before its discontinuation, was my singular recommendation if you were looking for an IEM under $50. I don’t know how long the BL-03 will survive, but it’s on sale as of today, so grab a pair while you can. Don’t forget to get a pair of SpinFits/double-flange eartips though (mandatory), while getting some decent cable (I’m using this one) will help in the long run.

The BLON BL-03 demands a recommendation of the highest order, and that’s what it’s gonna get. I wait with baited breath to see what BLON comes up with as a successor.

#Recommended

Test tracks (as YouTube playlist, often updated):


Please check out my blog: https://www.medium.com/@kmmbd
Last edited:
F700
F700
For most of us, there will be "a before" and "an after" BL-03 :) very good impressions! Thanks
Pros: Authentic vocal rendering & micro-detail retrieval
Refined treble response
Gorgeous mid-centric sound signature
Accurate bass/sub-bass
Non-fatiguing – ideal for prolonged listening sessions
Ample deep/wide sound-stage
Cons: Slightly recessed bass/sub-bass
Occasional seal adjustment is required due to very shallow nozzle/tip protrusion.
Confusing & obscure graphics on packaging
Average stock cable and tips
I acquired this amazing set from the very friendly AK Audio store (URL link here) the iems were dispatched quickly with no delivery issues!

I became aware of Blon BL-03 subsequent to watching the video review & glowing recommendation of Tanchjim Oxygen by ‘Bad Guy Good Reviews.' Out of the box, it’s apparent that the accessories stock cable and tips are useable but probably need upgrading to make the Blon truly shine.

IMG_1676.jpg



In order to attain their optimum listening experience I changed stock with a balanced 8-core SPC silver cable. Also, I attached wider bore tips: JVC Spiral Dots - this combination helping to add a feeling of “air.” Any further modding is not required, additionally they appear to open up and benefit from a burn in period.

The Blon sound truly awesome with any source: whether laptop, DAP/DAC or android smartphone. For the latter I’ve been using an app: Max Volume Booster.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cool.volume.sound.booster&hl=en_GB

The Blon respond extremely well to being amped, especially via a warmer source. When switching on a high gain selector to boost all frequencies – emphasis of mids & treble response is very noticeable, plus bass and sub-bass rumble can be effectively be extended further with additional EQ.

Their only caveat appears to be the short nozzle – this was also a shortcoming of the much more expensive Tanchjim Oxygen.

IMG_0869.JPG



Build:
The extremely light Blon shells are constructed with very durable metal – the stunning gunmetal finish leave a premium impression. The small form factor & excellent build quality are faultless!

Listening preferences:
Ambient Internet Radio (NTS) / Electronica LP’s / Binaural Soundscapes / Live Gigs & Events / Vocal/Classical/Jazz & Soundtracks.

Sources:
Balanced output:

I find the best synergy is attained listening to FLAC files with Sony NW-ZX300a (bluetooth receiver mode.) The Sony DAP remains distortion-free at max volume.

SE output: Xiaomi Mi 9T smartphone
&: iPad Air3 / Laptop /Cayin N3 & NX4 DSD/DAC (- gain switch increases all frequencies plus the quantity of bass slam and the rumble of sub-bass.) Volume level needs to be limited to just over halfway for optimum clarity.

Fit:
Amazing fit which is ergonomically streamlined to the ear....however the shorter nozzle does require experimenting with suitable tips, in order to achieve perfect seal. This certainly excludes any possibility of being worn down securely. Over-ear wearing has no such problems – especially when using wider bore tips.

Tuning / Sound Signature:
The DD driver renders timbres of instruments amazingly well, adding to the authentic signature. Their warm tonality is analogue rather than cold or analytical. Not overly bright, details are transparent & revealing, whilst retaining an energetic presentation. The smoothed out treble extension manages to avoid any peak transients.

Modding:
8-core silver SPC balanced 2.5mm cable, plus wide-bore JVC Spiral Dots tips.

Soundstage:

For electronica and binaural recordings, Blon are wide and deep enough to render tracks with an expansive aural vista admirably! Not overly congested or too intimate, however they’re not quite at 3D holophonic level. Modifications can be implemented to reveal a greater sense of air - helping with stage and micro detail retrieval.

Highs:
The DD driver does a fine job rendering the timbre of instruments and percussion, making them sound extremely authentic, whilst never succumbing to being sibilant, shouty or shrill. Any transient peaks are kept at bay - so even for the treble sensitive....the Blon never become fatiguing.

Mids:
The real star of the show are the truly sublime mids. They’re well extended and lush, adding to the addictive nature of the sound signature. Alas sometimes, low-end mids can be perceived to overshadow bass and sub-bass – this is an area for future improvement which would further help with image separation and instrument layering.

Bass:
Once a good seal is achieved there is a enough quantity of bass/sub-bass, however this is slightly compromise by the short nozzle. Switching from silver to more expensive 16-core copper cable, there is a perceptible improvement in bass, which in turn slightly reduces the treble.

Amp Scalability:
The set attains a chi-fi sweet spot very easily, responding well to being amped with a warm source (SE or balanced output.) Once frequencies are duly bolstered, the mids become totally engrossing, in turn, eking out extra micro details, thus totally engaging and encompassing the listener.

EQ response:
I found that by increasing bandwidths <1 KHz had an overall beneficial effect on boosting bass and sub-bass. However, any adjustments are very much trial and error - susceptible to producing muddy bass. In such cases exchanging the cable to copper might be a better option. Fortunately, the Blon don’t really require any additional EQ boost in the 1-16KHz frequency range.

Musicality:
An extremely accurate timbre organically renders any genres you audition them with!...the Blon are not just limited to appreciation of Jazz/Classical/Vocal genres- they also excel at electronica allowing tracks to breathe with a “live” feel. Tuning is warm, coupled with an energetic refined presentation - hence a unique experience.
Additionally, the superb mids generate an overall incredibly musical signature….LP’s that traverse a wide gamut of styles e.g. Floating Points - Late Night Tales…do sound especially awesome!

Comparisons:
NX7: The three-way hybrid configuration presents an extra level of energy compared to the Blon, the piezoelectric of the NX7 boosts the bass, treble, and detail retrieval. The single DD driver doesn’t match their energy, but the treble is smoothed out to avoid transient peaks. Coupled with the mid-centric presentation, this results in a more refined TOTL level set.

DB3:
Where the DB3 deliver in extra bass, the single DD driver of the Blon excel at pushing the mids upfront, extending them way more forward. This helps to really appreciate the timbre of instruments, improving their separation and layering - but alas can perceptibly be noticed on some tracks, at the cost of bass response.

Conclusion:
A fraction of the cost of Tanchjim….the Blon are simply stunning value – imho they are the best bang for buck. The fact that the Tanchjim currently retail at £210 make this set an absolute no brainer imho!

At the paltry sum of £23 - have Blon achieved TOTL level of experience??…..no question undoubtedly!

The single dynamic driver is tuned to absolute perfection. The next iteration will no doubt boost bass & sub-bass frequency responses, & address the issue of having a more extended nozzle.

I’ll be looking forward to comparing this set with Shuoer Tape during the 11/11 sales. It will be interesting to discover if the DD driver of Blon competes with the new tech: “Low-Voltage Electrostatic Dynamic Driver.”

Ultimately, the Blon manages to magically sound both energetic and refined, it seems almost impossible to be fatigued by their signature - they easily deliver a balanced TOTL performance - which is very addictive indeed!

For this reason, they have now become my go-to reference set, brilliant with all genres & excel especially whilst listening to my favourite electronica tracks! :)

Ratings:
  • Build: 90
  • Fit: 82
  • Accessories: 55
  • Bass: 80
  • Mids: 95
  • Treble: 85
  • Imaging/Layering: 87
  • Soundstage: 80
  • Price: 95
activatorfly
activatorfly
Thanks!.....in comparison the Blon are not a definitely not a downgrade!
RomanRise
RomanRise
Ok, will keep that in mind. Thanks again
activatorfly
Pros: Excellent timbre, natural dynamics and coherent tonality - great for jazz, classical, acoustic genres
Analogue sound signature, like from old school vintage vinyl recordings
Non fatiguing
Light and comfortable
Airy, open sound
Above average soundstage
Great midbass kick
Cheap - sub $30 USD
Cons: Slightly below average isolation
Stock cables and eartips are poorly fitting, will need a longer nozzle aftermarket eartip or spacer mods
Clarity/instrument separation/details not as good as some dedicated multi BA/hybrid IEMs
Slight distortion at higher volumes at midbass frequencies with a lowend source - can be fixed with good source/amp.
Drivable from low end sources/smartphone, but is quite power hungry and truly needs an amp to improve dynamics, details, soundstage and tighten the bass
Disclaimer #1:
I bought the BLON BL-03 from Aliexpress at my own expense.


Disclaimer #2:
The stock eartips and cables are very poorly fitting (not only for myself but based on lots of feedback on headfi). My review is based on pairing with aftermarket eartips and cables (specifically spinfits and 8 core copper cable) and the sound signature may change with different eartips and cables,YMMV. I suspect some users who do not do tiprolling may think the sound quality of this set is poor out of the box.


Introduction:
The latest CHIFI hypetrain single DD IEM, the BLON BL-03, has rave reviews on headfi the past few weeks (as of the time of writing). Some headfiers and reviewers have said the BLON BL-03 is not too far away in sound quality from more established and more expensive DD sets like the Moondrop KXXS, Tanchjim Oxygen and JVC HA FDX01 (though I haven't heard these more expensive IEMs).
So does it live up to the hype, or will the hypetrain be derailed?

IMHO, I think this IEM may not suit all users. But for audiophiles that can appreciate its strengths, and can do tiprolling or cable changing, it will truly reward the effort put in. In a flood of bright CHIFI IEMs with a 2 - 4kHz harsh peak, the BLON BL-03 sports a truly refreshing tuning, with very natural timbre, tonality and dynamics.


Specifications:
- Driver: 10 mm carbon diaphragm dynamic driver
- Sensitivity: 102dB
- Cable: 2 pin detachable cable
- Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Impedence: 32Ω


Accessories:
In addition to the IEM, it comes with:
- Sackcloth pouch
- Detachable 3.5 mm stock cable
- Multiple silicone tips


WhatsApp Image 2019-10-09 at 18.29.17 (1).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2019-10-09 at 18.29.19.jpeg


WhatsApp Image 2019-10-09 at 18.29.21.jpeg

Pictured here is the BLON BL-03 with spinfit eartips and a NICEHCK 8 core copper cable, as the stock tips and cables were not optimal IMHO.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-09 at 18.29.18.jpeg

Forgive the spelling errors, but this was the stuff printed on the box. Indeed if you didn't give up with the BLON BL-03's stock tips and cables department, a musical dreamland will be revealed with your persistence!


Build/comfort:
So as per the above, the stock eartips won't do the BLON BL-03 any justice, as the nozzle of the IEM is short, so most headfiers and myself had poor sound and fit with the stock short tips OOTB. From the headfi CHIFI forums, longer nozzle eartips or a spacer mod seems to fix this issue. Indeed, out of the box with the stock tips, I thought the sound quality was subpar, but I got a magical sound once I attached spinfits to the BLON BL-03. YMMV.

The stock cable also is not too optimal for the BLON BL-03 as the earhooks are stiff and tend to yank the IEM out of the ears. From the CHIFI forums, there are other aftermarket 2 pin cables one can opt for to improve the fit, and some are even resorting to mods like cutting open the earhook or heating and reforming cables.

*From feedback from headfi forums, the stock eartips seem to be more problematic than the stock cables. Some folks have no issue with the stock cables, but it seems majority do have issues with the stock tips. So my suggestion is to get a set first and see if the stock cables suit you, but definitely have some standby eartips around. It seems later batches of the BLON BL-03 come with a grey stock tip instead of the older black ones, and the grey ones have longer nozzles, and it may be better fitting, YMMV.

Otherwise this IEM is actually very ergonomic, comfortable and light. I can wear it for hours without issues.

I did not note any driver flex.


Isolation:
Slightly below average compared to my other CHIFIs. I have tested it on the subway and buses and I would suggest to stick to home use with this. In fact, with strong wind blowing in my ears, there is a whirling sound heard. Perhaps foam tips may improve the isolation, but I have tried several pairs of silicon tips with not much improvement in the isolation department.


Sound:
I tested the BLON BL-03 with a Desktop -> Khadas Tone Board -> Fiio A3 and Ziku HK-X9. The BLON BL-03 is drivable from smart phones but definitely scales better with a DAC/AMP. It is quite a power hungry little beast despite the specs on paper, with amping improving the details, soundstage, dynamics and tightening up the bass. Also distortion in the BLON BL-03 is decreased with amping (see details in the bass section).
I didn't have any hiss with this IEM on laptops/PC/smartphones.

The BLON BL-03 has a slight L shaped tuning, with boosted bass, very slightly recessed lower mids, with some light roll off at the upper treble. I didn't notice any awkward peaks or troughs in the FR. I found the clarity, instrument separation and details to be good for a single DD driver, but it won't trump a dedicated multi BA/hybrid IEM in this aspect and it also loses in these areas to some single DD IEMs I have. With very complex instrumentation or in music with lots of competing riffs/melodies going on, the BLON BL-03 does have a bit of difficulty keeping up.
Neverthless, imaging is quite accurate in the BLON BL-03.

The best aspect of the BLON BL-03 has to be its excellent timbre, natural dynamics and very coherent tonality. It really paints the music very naturally and organically. My previous gold standard in timbre was the Toneking Ninetails, and the BLON BL-03 beats the Ninetails. Coming from multi BAs/hybrids with their occasional artificial timbre of acoustic instruments (like woodwinds, strings, and brasses), I was pleasantly surprised that the BLON BL-03 could recreate the sound of these instruments almost perfectly (I'm quite OCD about timbre as I've been studying music and playing in a band since my teenage years). With the BLON BL-03, I can truly imagine the sound of the horsehairs on the violin bow being bowed, the reedy sound of woodwinds being blown, and the waa waa of trumpets and trombones in my music.

As such, I would say that the BLON BL-03 would excel at slower genres which incorporate a lot of acoustic instruments, such as in classical, jazz and acoustic genres. Its strengths may not be so apparent if your choice of music uses synthetic instruments like in electronic/EDM, or if you wanted a hyperdetailed analytical signature.
In fact I gave away my **** and KZ ZS10 Pro after a few days with the BLON BL-03 as even though they were excellent in details and clarity, they lacked in the timbre department, and my mainstay music genres were jazz and acoustic.

Overall, the sound of the BLON is very analogue sounding compared to the usual sterile/surgical precision of the multi BA/hybrids out there, it's really as though it was an old school vinyl recording played thru tube amps.


Bass:
It is very typical of a well tuned DD driver, with good subbass extension and displacement of air. Bass is quite fast for a DD bass and hits hard in the midbass. Subbass has a very slight roll off compared to midbass. It has good timbre and quantity, but I wouldn't classify it at basshead levels. Nevertheless, I'm a basshead and I find that the bass was of adequate amount to not necessitate any EQing. I noted that in some songs with very complex bass movements, it generally managed to keep up with good control and details, but had occasional smearing.
I did notice a slight midbass bleed, but this seems to be quite source dependent as per some feedback on headfi. Indeed on my desktop setup (Khadas tone board -> Fiio A3) I had minimal midbass bleed, but I had some midbass bleed on my smartphone and Ziku HK-X9 DAP. Nevertheless, I felt the midbass bleed adds a bit of warmth to the lower mids which creates an "analogue" sound that can aid in classical and jazz genres. YMMV.

One thing to note is that some headfiers and myself found slight distortion at higher volumes at the midbass frequencies with a lowend source on the BLON BL-03. It can be fixed with a good source/amp, and in general for home usage, I wouldn't foresee most of us turning up the volume so much anyway.

Mids:
Very slightly recessed in lower mids. Note weight/density is very good and natural compared to most other multi BA/hybrid setups. The upper mids are slightly brighter than lower mids, hence female voices sound more forward than male ones. The BLON BL-03 doesn't have the typical 2 - 4 kHz harsh CHIFI peak and hence it is non fatiguing. The mids are detailed with good clarity and instrument separation, although dedicated multi BA/hybrid setups will trump the BLON BL-03 in these areas.

Treble:
Treble is very airy and has no fatigue/harshness/sibilance. Very good for listening for long sessions and having a relaxing listen. Cymbals sound very authentic compared to the usual splashy cymbals heard in some budget CHIFI sets. I would class the treble as marginally bright compared to the usual bright CHIFI treble tuning, and it extends quite well but has a slight rolloff at the upper treble. The lower treble is slightly boosted but not harsh. Overall, I didn't notice any spikes, and neither did I notice any grain on the treble.


Soundstage:
Above average in width.


Comparisons:
As detailed above, the BLON BL-03 won't beat most multi BA/hybrids in the clarity and details department by virtue of it being a single DD IEM. So I have compared it to a few other single DD IEMs that I currently own (TFZ No. 3, Semkarch SKC CNT1, Toneking Ninetails, Sony MH755):

1) Isolation
TFZ No.3 > Semkarch SKC CNT1 > BLON BL-03 > Toneking Ninetails > Sony MH755

2) Timbre + Tonality + Note weight
BLON BL-03 > Toneking Ninetails > Sony MH755 > Semkarch SKC CNT1 > TFZ No.3

3) Comfort/fit
All equally good fitting/comfortable IMHO (with aftermarket tips/cables for some of them). None causes any irritation or discomfort with long usage.

4) Clarity/instrument separation/details
TFZ No.3 > Semkarch SKC CNT1 = Toneking Ninetails > BLON BL-03 > Sony MH755

5) Soundstage width
Toneking Ninetails > BLON BL-03 > Sony MH755 > TFZ No.3 = Semkarch SKC CNT1

6) Bass (quantity)
TFZ No.3 > Semkarch SKC CNT1 (black filter) = Toneking Ninetails (both red bass filters on) > BLON BL-03 > Sony MH755

7) Sound signature
TFZ No. 3 - U shaped, most basshead of these single DD IEMs, with great subbass extension and quantity. Has elevated 2 - 3 kHz and 8 kHz frequencies, but has treble roll off at higher treble frequencies. Lower mids are recessed compared to higher mids.

Semkarch SKC CNT1 - V shaped, recessed mids. Has 2 tuning filter options, one for bassier sound, one for less bassier/more neutralish tuning. Lower mids more forward than higher mids. Also has higher treble roll off but better control of dynamic range than TFZ No. 3 with no obvious peaks/troughs. Non fatiguing. Subbass extension and quantity less than TFZ No. 3 with bass filters on.

Toneking Ninetails - 9 potential tuning filter configurations (front and back filters), from basshead to V shaped to more neutralish sound signature. Mids recessed on all configurations. Also has high treble roll off and is non fatiguing.

Sony MH755 - harmanish tuning

BLON BL-03 - L shaped as above (see sound section)



Conclusion:
So if you have read till this point, does the BLON BL-03 live up to its hype?

I guess it depends on what you look for in your music, and what are your music genre preferences. It probably will not be the cup of tea for everyone. It does most things well, but there will be other sets that excel at certain other areas compared to the BLON BL-03.

The BLON BL-03's best aspect is it's tonality, timbre and natural dynamics, and I would 100% recommend it for aficionados of jazz, classical and acoustic music. It has above average clarity/details/instrument separation (not comparing it with dedicated multi BA/hybrids of course) and it is non fatiguing with an atypical tuning compared to the usual CHIFI fare out there.

The sound of the BLON BL-03 really harkens back to an old school vintage "analogue" sound like in vinyl recordings, that's how I can best summarize it.

For those looking for a hyperdetailed analytical sound with brightness, you would be better off looking elsewhere for a multi BA/hybrid IEM. And perhaps if EDM and electronic music is your staple genre, other IEMs may fare better. Also it requires the effort to tiproll and possibly get another aftermarket cable, only then will you be rewarded with it's magical coherent sound signature.

Nevertheless, the BLON BL-03 does well in most areas, and for its price of $28 USD, it would be a good affordable entry IEM for those wanting a natural and coherent sound.
Last edited:
5
531359
Sweet thanks for the reply
skeptical
skeptical
These kinds of reviews are priceless with short and yet to the point compare. Have you heard anything else with more subbass amount than Tfz No 3? What about Isn audio D10, they are in the same price range and they were recommended by penonaudio, not to mention how pretty they are.
baskingshark
baskingshark
I haven't heard the D10, but I've read many favourable reviews about it, especially on the subbass. It's on my wishlist for sure, let us know if u get it.

Subbass wise, I think the Jade Audio EA3 and DUNU DM-480 may have about equivalent or just slightly less subbass quantity/extension, but they also have leaner midbass, so the midbass thump isn't as prominent as TFZ No. 3.
Pros: Great bass quality
Natural sounding timbre
Non-fatiguing treble
Good resolution
Superb value
Cons: Awkward fit
Treble light
This is a review of the BLON BL-03, a recent $40 IEM that features a 10mm carbon diaphragm dynamic driver. I got this as a review unit from Linsoul. If you're interested in it after reading this review, you can grab one here.

Overall Sound Signature: The BL-03 has a bassy sound signature that is fun, colored, and inoffensive. It shines with slower well-recorded tracks while stumbles a little on faster-paced music that has an emphasis on the hats and cymbals.

Bass: Without a doubt, the bass is front and center of this IEM and is surprisingly very good considering the BL-03's budget status. The BL-03's DD is nuanced without the one-notedness of its competitors, being able to show off the underlying note and timbre complexities in well-recorded tracks. The BL-03's DD is also fairly balanced to me, without too short or long of a decay, having a realistic DD timbre that isn't too punchy nor bloomy. There is a minor roll-off in the subbass compared to the midbass but both are present in spades. The subbass rumbles cleanly while the midbass adds plenty of color to tracks, be it quick bass guitar lines or the thump of the kick. Even though the BL-03 is bass heavy, it doesn't come off as overly boomy to me. The only complaint I have with the bass is that it can come off as a little soft at times compared to something like the enormous subbass slam that comes with the (in)famous MH755.

Mids: The BL-03's mids are a little on the thick side thanks to the emphasized low end of the IEM. However, I don't get a sense of muddiness from the BL-03, something that is rare to find in bass-heavy budget IEMs. Similarly to the midbass, the lower mids of the BL-03 very colored. Backing synths pads fill out tracks more fully while electric guitars take on exaggerated grittiness. Vocals are slightly warm and are well presented, neither recessed nor too forward. For the fun, colored sound signature the BL-03 shoots for, the mids serve their part just fine.

Treble: The BL-03 is a little treble light, lacking both the airiness of upper treble extension and the energy that comes with the lower treble. While there is good individual note definition in slow, well-recorded tracks, its DD cannot keep up with hats/cymbals in faster tracks and becomes trashy quickly, a common issue with many IEMs. Thankfully, however, the BL-03 doesn't have any treble peaks, keeping it from ever sounding sibilant, fatiguing, or having strange timbre.

Staging and Imaging: The soundstage is a touch above average, with stage depth but lacking stage height. Imaging is fairly decent with a couple more "steps" horizontally rather than the standard 3 blobs of left-center-right but can feel vague.

Resolution and Separation: Resolution is solidly above average for the <$100 range while instrument separation is good as the BL-03 doesn't feel congested even with so much going on in its lower range.

Build and Fit: The BL-03 sports a shiny, all-metal shell that's meant to be worn over-ear. The included 2-pin cable isn't great but is serviceable. It has a very shallow fit, leading to low isolation and an often awkward fit and seal. The included tips have a spinfit-like mechanism as you can see here, the short and narrow flexible region between the stem and the tip head. This is necessary for extending the length of the tip to compensate for the short nozzle. If you have larger ears, the BL-03 may not fit as I needed to move up from medium tips to large and even then I feel like I could go up a size to get a better seal. Something to keep in mind when thinking of purchasing.

Should you buy it?: For $40, the BLON BL-03 is definitely worth its price tag. I was surprised listening to it as I expected another bassy, low-res boom monster but instead got a fun sounding IEM that's rather clean with an outstanding budget-fi dynamic driver. This should be a superb IEM for most genres except for fast-paced technical tracks.

Attachments

Pros: Natural timbre and dynamics; good clarity; spatial cues; incredible value.
Cons: Poor accessories; needs tinkering with tips and cable to unleash its full potential; a bit bright; short nozzles.
image.png


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Blon BL-03 is a neutral to slightly warm, marginally bright single dynamic driver earphone that excels by its tonal accuracy, natural dynamics, clarity, authentic soundstage, and spatial cues that gives you the feeling of sitting in the first row of a concert.

Note: i'd give this earphone 5 stars if it worked ootb.

You find the full review with all the usual blablabla here: https://www.audioreviews.org/blon-bl-03-review/
This version is abbreviated in order not to be repetitive with the other reviews and to make sure to stay within the posting guidelines.

...

TONALITY AND TECHNICALITIES

JK’s tonal preference and testing practice

The Blon BL-03 is neutral with a tendency towards bright that excels by its clarity, good speed, tonal accuracy and homogeneity/balance. The sound details depends a lot on eartips used so that results may vary between listeners. Hence, please also look at the other quality reviews out there.


Frequency response of the Blon BL-03 measured with an IEC711 coupler. Diagram courtesy of KopiOkaya.


The Blon BL-03 has a rather subtle, balanced sound signature with my setup and for my ears with a tendency to a forward upper midrange, which gives it a margially brightish flavour….it is certainly a far cry from the previous generations of V-shaped single DDs. Nothing punches (too much) from the low end or pierces at the high end. It is a polite and refined earphone all around. The Blon BL-03 is primarily an earphone for “audiophiles” imo and only secondary for rockers and dance music fans as its strength lies in the authenticity of sonic reproduction. It largely lacks perfume: the bass is rather natural in quality and quantity…and not substantially boosted to prefer certain musical genres with a hard beat. Fitting to the low end, the dynamics are rather natural, too. Further, the stage is quite authentic (wider than deep, including a good height), and the spatial cues is good, too, so that you really think you are in the first row of a concert.https://www.audioreviews.org/blon-bl-03-review/

With the tips used, the bass is well extended and has the aforementioned decent but not unnaturally strong punch, it is well textured and adds subtle warmth to the image. It can be a bit slow at times but is never thick. A subtle sub-bass rumble is pleasant on my ears. Overall, bass is tastefully dosed. The midrange is clean and clear, organic, energetic, and maybe a bit on the bright side because of a lift in the upper midrange. It has good air but not as much density as the more expensive Drop + JVC HA-FDX1. There is no congestion anywhere, including the upper midrange. Treble is very well extended, well resolving, and never strident (but not smooth either). Cymbals are surprisingly realistic sounding as transients are surprisingly natural. Stage is rather wide and high with enough depth. Resolution and instrument placement on stage are almost incredible for a budget earphone. 3-D impression is very good. And then there is the timbre, which is absolutely spot on. No budget hybrid can keep up with the Blon BL-03, although the TRN V90 gives it a good try.

Condensing all these observations, the Blon BL-03 cater particularly to fans of classical music, folk, and jazz. I don’t usually give music examples (as most people don’t have access to them) but have a look at the recent John Williams re-recordings by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A very fluid listening experience.


COMPARISONS

See https://www.audioreviews.org/blon-bl-03-review/

Keep on listening!
Ollie the bear
Ollie the bear
“neutral to slightly warm, marginally bright” this is a new standard of how to contradict yourself twice in a half a sentence
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
This is not a contradiction: slightly warm refers to a bass above neutral and marginally bright refers to a boosted upper midrange. But overall, the sound is close to neutral. You may wonder what neutral means: diffuse field or Harman Target? In this case, it is more Harman Target. Note the words "slightly" and "marginal": the world is not black and white.
Pros: High price to performance ratio
- Deep and textured sub bass
- Punchy Mid bass
- Smooth and full sounding Midrange
- Airy Treble
- Spacious sound stage
- Solid Build
- Has carrying pouch
- Good fit and isolation
Cons: So-so cable and ear tips
- Short Nozzle
- A bit loose bass
- Slightly lacks treble sparkle
- Weird Packaging
This review unit was provided free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.

The Company



There’s really few information about BLON but they are making audio gears for 5 years already, as far as I know they started out with a headphone named BossHifi B8 then this year they suddenly became much more aggressive releasing their first IEM as well as a Planar Headphone. The box they are shipping out is still unripe with very confusing words imprinted on it but the inclusion feels good enough.

The BLON BL03






The BL03 is a single Dynamic Driver and has a metal shell (stainless steel) which feels kinda heavy yet rigid. I can easilt say that the material used and the level of durability should be on par or even better with the likes of BQEYZ BQ3 and Tin Audio T3. The 2 pin female which I think is a 0.78 mm is level with the surface of the IEM and there’s a space around to insert the 2 pin male which is recessed, the connection feels a lot better than KZs since it is recessed and feels secured. There’s no information about the material used for cable but it is coated with black plastic, it is quite decent for me but the ear guides/hooks feels too aggressive nonetheless it is manageable.

Technical specifications:

  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW
  • Frequency response range: 20-20KHz
  • Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated L Type
  • Earphone interface: 2 pin connector
  • Driver unit: 10mm Carbon Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
Packaging, Comfort and Isolation










The packaging resembles the TFZ Series 2, the rectangular body is made out of card board while the cover is a printed transparent acetate/plastic. The problem for me is the message above, it feels sketchy for me but at least there’s a lot inside and the IEM sounded spectacular (considering the price of course). There’s a manual, 3 pairs of useless ear tips, cable and a nice pouch. To be honest the stock tips are next to useless, they are very thin and doesn’t give any resistance when inserted to the ears resulting to a poor comfort and isolation. Luckily, when tried with other trusted ear tips, it has a very good isolation (very minimal outside noise when on commute) and fits very well. I can compare the fit with an advanced Model 3, the weight doesn’t bother me in any way so I can say that it is comfortable indeed. Overall, the packaging is more than decent for a sub 2000 Php (40USD) IEM, in fact it is a notch better than the packaging of KZs.

Sound
I love IEMs and earbuds with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.

  1. Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
  2. Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  3. Jensen and the Flips – Come Closer (Mid Bass, Mids)
  4. Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
  5. Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
  6. Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
  7. Utada Hikaru ft. Skrillex – Face My Fears (Imaging Layering, Bass, Mids, Treble, Coherence, Quickness)
  8. Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
  9. Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
  10. Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Bass

Sub bass goes deep and has excellent texture for the price it is far from being too smooth. It decays pretty quick and easily picks more than enough amount of details, rumbles and riffs feels very present. Mid bass has moderate tightness it isn’t the most rounded and tight bass out there, but it is speedy especially it is a single DD IEM, it is quite smooth but the body of mid bass is very engaging and enjoyable, it is slightly coloured but heck playing Bad Guy by Billie Eilish is just euphoric, I can confidently say that the bass of this guy can beat even the likes of ZS10 Pros and BQEYZ BQ3 which is double the price.

Midrange


Lower midrange sits a little bit behind the bass, it has moderate warmth to keep male vocals and guitar strums realistic and far from being dry or hollow. Playing Spies by Coldplay, the strings sounded natural and has enough body, same goes to vocals, it has more than decent details and it still sounds full and quite smooth. Listening to Birdy’s Beautiful Lies, it sounds quite dull since her vocals isn’t that thin and pitchy compared to other Pop singers but it sounds natural and far from being sibilant, the upper midrange has more forward positioning than the lower midrange, I love the right amount of warmth here, I’d say that it has moderate amount of transparency and body for it to sound versatile with various artist and instruments, the details feels sufficient but not overflowing.

Treble

Playing Asphyxia by Co Shu Nie, despite complex presentation, the treble sounded airy and smooth I’d say that it is placed quite neutrally, the treble never sounded aggressive with my tracks. Decay speed is good enough, it lacks sparkle and definition at times but that makes the BL03 easy to listen and can be listen with for number of hours. Details is just decent since the tuning seems to focus with smoothness and air, nonetheless it extends quite well.

Sound Stage and Resolution

Sound Stage feels spacious, there’s more than enough depth, width and height seriously I didn’t expect this to sound this good. There’s a slight peak between 5k and 10k and that must helped the stage to sound more open. Imaging and layering is pretty impressive for the price, in fact I never expected a sub 2000 Php (40 USD) IEM to sound this good especially from BLON since this is their very first venture in IEMs. Resolution isn’t spectacular but from sub bass to upper midrange it is above decent, it is quite smooth but there’s still enough resolution.

Sound Signature and Synergy

The Sound Signature of the BLON BL03 leans on warm to slightly U shaped, there’s ample of warmth and that helped in making the IEM sound energetic and natural in timbre. Sub bass and midbass is slightly prominent because of the extra fullness but it doesn’t sound too warm in my preference. I’d love pairing it with neutral sources or a slightly analytical one to slightly give more sparkle at the treble.

Hiby R3

Hiby R3 is slightly warm, I’d say it is one of the best DAPs that I’ve tried under 20,000 Php (400 USD) in terms of fullness. This pairing isn’t too warm at all I expected it to sound dark but it didn’t, in fact there’s just ample amount of mid bass emphasis and midrange still sounded clear enough for it not to sound muddy. The treble sounded less sparkly but still it is airy and quite smooth. Sound stage still sounds spacious, not as huge as when using the Micro but still it sounds expansive especially once I used the Satin Audio Kraken 4x. Details doesn’t feel overpowering but it is there especially on the lower end of the spectrum. Vocals sounds stellar with this pairing, I never expected something like this under 2000 Php.

iFi iDSD micro LE


With great power comes better staging, more natural timbre and better resolution. Playing it with micro (Ultra sensitive on) it sounded cleaner and leaner in comparison with Hiby R3, bass is still punchy and has good amount of body but it is more controlled and is tighter. Midrange sounds as meaty as with the R3 but it is cleaner here, it is more transparent and natural. Treble still sounded smooth ans airy but now with better extension and better presence. Again, the stage feels more spacious, layering and imaging feels more accurate as well. There’s a slight improvement in resolution especially on the treble but it isn’t humongous compared to Hiby R3 balanced.

Smartphone (Huawei Mate 10)

As what you’ll expect from a smartphone, there’s a reduction in terms of dynamics, resolution, coherence, transparency and staging but that’s given. The phone made the BLON BL03 slightly thinner and sweeter especially on the upper mids, there’s less bass emphasis and the treble sounded slightly more forward as what I’ve expected from a bright sounding source. Nonetheless the BL03 can be easily used with smartphones and that’s a plus.

Comparison

Final Audio E1000


They sounded similar for me except that the E1000 sounded more linear and has more treble presence. Sub bass feels smoother and less extended on the E1000, the BL03 on the other hand sounds more textured and has better depth and decay speed. The Midbass of the two sounds almost identical with almost same level of emphasis but the BL03 has slightly better control and speed over the E1000. Lower mids sounds a bit more forward on the E1000, they are both warmish I’ll give the win to E1000 since it is less recessed. Upper mids goes to BL03 due to sweeter presentation, the E1000s is too warm resulting to bland upper midrange. The treble sounds better on the BL03, slightly more sparkly and well extended as compared to the E1000, there’s some peak above 8k on tbe BL03 which actually helped for the sound stage. Sound stage seems to go with the BL03, though it is a very close match, the BL03 snatched the win due to its deeper stage and slightly better imaging and layering. Resolution goes to the BL03 as well but the difference isn’t tremendous.


KZ ZS10 Pro


Sub bass depth and texture easily goes to BL03, no question it goes deeper and has better texture in it. Mid bass goes to BL03 too again though the ZS10 Pro sounds tighter, the punch and body of the BL03 is just superior over the ZS10 Pro. Lower midrange still snatched by the BL03 it sounds fuller, less hallow and has more natural timbre compared to the ZS10 Pro, clarity and resolution is on par as well. Upper mid range of the ZS10 Pro sounds cleaner and more intimate but it sounds unnatural when pitted against the BL03, so I’ll give it a draw. Treble goes to ZS10 Pro since it has better sparkle and extension, it packs more details as well. Sound stage goes to the Bl03, the treble actually helped as well as the airy presentation. Resolution may go either way since for the upper midrange to treble I hear more details with ZS10 Pro while for the bass and lower midrange, the BL03 sounded more detailed.

Hill Audio Altair Lite

The Altair Lite sounds darker for me, it has more sub bass and mid bass punch maybe because of how it is designed, I’ll give the bass to the Altair Lite. Lower midrange and upper midrange both sounds way more natural and less recessed with the BL03, it packs more details and clarity too so it’s an obvious win for the Bl03. The treble goes to the BL03 too with airier presentation and better sparkle, extension is greater with the BL03 too. Sound stage still snatched by the BL03, the Altair Lite sounded intimate due to the design I think (lack of vent). As for the resolution, the BL03 has more details from midrange to treble while they are almost on par on the bass, therefore it is a close win for the BL03.

Conclusion


I was very amazed with the BL03, I never expected to have the same feeling as when I tried the lovely HS1551 CU as I first tried the BLON BL03, don’t misunderstand me, the BL03 obviously isn’t as detailed, wide, coherent and clear as the former but what I’m trying to say is that they have the same “wow factor” the moment you try it. It has very good bass with deep and textured presentation. Midrange sounds natural with commendable timbre. Treble has good amount of air and sparkle without slowing it down. Sound stage sounds more open as compared to the KZ counterpart and it is a very good start from a company that’s still on its first few steps. I can easily recommend this one even under the 5000 Php (100 USD) range since picking the likes of ZS10 Pro or Tin Audio T3 won’t really be a major leap from the BLON BL03. I never thought budget IEMs to sound this good, honestly.
Pros: Deep, fast and very detailed bass, clear tonally correct mids, natural treble without sibilance, very good soundstage and imaging, can compete with Moondrop Kanas Pro and it is 30$, the highest price to performance ratio I've ever heard
Cons: you need longer tips, you can change the cable too, isolation is avarage
IMG_0003 (8).JPG


source for the review - Sabaj DA3 (balanced out)

Songs used for the review

Jim Keltner - Improvisation
Eric Clapton - My father's Eyes
Nah Youn Sun - My Favorite Things
Inception - Dream Collapsing
Steve Strauss - Youngstown
Stimulus Timbre - Expression
Diana Krall – Let's Fall in Love
Trevor Jones - Clear The Tracks!
The DALI CD - Zhao Cong , Moonlight on Spring River
Baba-Yaga, for orchestra, Op. 56
Rebecca Pidgeon - Grandmother
Sara K - Maritime
Trevor Jones - Promentory
Patricia Barber - Regular Pleasures
Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Marcin Przybylowicz - Go Back Whence You Came
James Horner - Going After Newt
Hans Zimmer - Dream Is Collapsing
Hans Zimmer - Molossus
Harry Gregson - Emergency Launch
Shpongle - Shpongle Spores
Dizzy Gillespie - Could it Be You
Dominik Eulberg - Bjorn Borkenkafer
Trentemoller - The Forest
Kryptic Minds And Leon Switch - Ocean Blue
Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York (Album)
Xiomara Laugart - Tears and Rumba (2015) [192-24](Album)
Xiomara Laugart (2006) Xiomara (24-96)(Album)
Xiomara Laugart (2010) La Voz (24-88)(Album)
Jed Palmer - Upgrade (2018)(Album)
Plug_-_Drum_'N'_Bass_For_Papa-2CD-1997-FLAC(Album)
Jon Hopkins - Insides (2009)(Album)
Eric Serra - Lucy (2014) [flac](Album)

Specs
Earphone type: In-ear
Impedance: 32Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm
Plug Type: L-shaped
Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
Colors: Silver, Gunmetal
Cable type: 2-Pin 0.78MM connector
Driver unit: 10mm Carbon Diaphragm Dynamic Driver

Packaging

3 pairs of tips, caring bag, cable
IMG_20190903_105754.jpg


Here's what I think happened.
Bunch of people gathered in a room and one of them told the others - "What if we take a high quality dynamic drivers similar to those in Moondrop Kanas Pro and Tanchjim Oxygen , put them in high quality metal body and sell the earphones for 30$?"
Silence in the room, deep breath, after that the boss said - " sure, why not, let's see what will happen"
That is how the Blon BL03 came out.
I bought two pairs after a saw some measurements and reviews, i was sure that i am gonna like them. Was right, after i heard the first pair made a purchase for one more, it was hard to believe at first, was expecting good sound for the price of 30$, not a similar sound quality compared to Moondrop Kanas Pro.
To get the best performance from them you need aftermarket eartips (longer than the stock, nothing fancy) and i use soft aftermarket balanced cable.

Build, fit and comfort
The build is great, fit and comfort great with aftermarket tips
IMG_20190903_105825.jpg

Isolation
The isolation is average at best, the fit is not very deep and they are vented

Overall sound signature.
Blon BL03 is L shaped, sub bass focus with neutral mids and treble.

Bass
High quality bass, not only for the price but in general.
The shape, as it should be - rise in the sub bass, mid and upper bass with small boost lower in level compared to the sub bass. I find that type of tuning the most natural, you get impact without bleeding into the mids, no boominess. The bass impact is visceral but not very big, it is over the neutral DF target but is not a bass head in ear. Detail retrieval is very high for the price, excellent bass texture, it moves between the notes in a effortless way. Control of the bass is also very good, never bloated, without loosing control no matter the volume level, it is always tight and clean bass, amazing with high quality recordings with real instruments.
I am trying all my in ears with sub bass boost every time, to see if they can be fun sounding for electronic music and doom metal (i like a lot of bass for those types of music), BL03 does not disappoint, with about 5db boost under 60hz the bass is significantly more, retaining the texture and control, carbon drivers respond very well to bass EQ.
Overall great bass response, very well controlled, deep and textured.

Mids
Midrange sound very even and open, tonally correct. No recession, no big narrow spikes or wide overemphasis anywhere. It is not completely free of coloration, it has a bit of warmth from the mid and upper bass, but is not a lot, also in the upper mids it sound very open and lively, no depression there to my ears.
Male vocals sound realistic and clean, female vocals sound a touch more open and dynamic compared to male vocals. Instruments in that area are clean with good amount of body, never thin or overly thick, just the right tonality with full and clear at the same time performance. Overall impressive midrange performing great with every type of music.

Treble
The treble have a neutral tone. The extension is slightly better than average, they go up to about 12-13khz. The best thing for me is that the treble is not overly forward and sibilant. It is a very rare thing those days to have neutral sounding treble coming from China. The timber is realistic and clean, they have some sparkle but it is just there without drawing too much attention. Good amount of air and micro details. Detail retrieval is very high for the price avoiding harshness and sibilance even with high volume. Overall not the most extended treble but with natural clean tone.

Soundstage and imaging.
Soundstage size is above average, there is no dominating side, it sound like it is similar size in all directions.
Imaging is very good, it has good positioning, even on fast complex tracks is keeping the instruments well separated with easy to hear positions. The background is dark but not the blackest, some of my BA earphones have blacker background and the imaging is better, but for single DD with that price the imaging is very good.

Comparisons
Bl03 vs CNT1
IMG_20190910_192153.jpg

At first when i started to listen i was not very happy with the CNT1, i changed the black filter with the gold one and decided to give them time, after a couple of hours they sounded better to me, probably i was adjusting to the sound. Keep in mind that the CNT1 is at around 25 hours of playing.

Bass
BL03 has more sub bass, CNT1 more mid bass.
Blon have better texture and details, CNT1 is very punchy and tight but the texture is not as good.
CNT1 has sort of a rough, tight impactful punch, BL03 is more clean and effortless.

Mids
Blon have more open sounding mids, it is dynamic and very clean.
CNT1 has more laid back mids and they are not as open sounding

Treble
Blon have more realistic timber to the treble, CNT1 have sparkle but with a bit of a grain to it.

BL03 vs Kanas
IMG_0001 (6).JPG

Bass
Kanas have a little bit more bass overall, the tonality is very similar, sub bass focus with some mid bass emphasis but lower in level compared to the sub bass.
Blon have better speed and texture, Kanas is more dramatic sounding with longer decay.
The other thing is that Kanas with bass EQ can rattle your skull , it is very wide and huge bass when you EQ them, the Blon can have big impact with a boost but not at the same level as Kanas.

Mids
Blon have more open sounding mids, Kanas have warmer, lusher tone to them.
I like both types of tonality, Blon cleaner and more open with more upper mids, Kanas calmer and more euphoric.

Treble
Kanas have a sparkle in the upper treble, it sounds like it is high, over 12-13khz, that gives them more air and the treble to me sound very sweet and gentle. Before that peak it has depression somewhere, that makes the treble not very transparent but very enjoyable to me nevertheless.
Blon sound more tonally correct in the treble, the dipped area in Kanas is present on Blon, that makes the tone of the treble more realistic.


Conclusion
One of my all time favorites, i like them better than the CNT1, equal with Kanas.
For the price they are unbelievable.
Everything below 5 out of 5 rating is a crime against humanity.

Have a good one.

IMG_0004.JPG

IMG_20191010_164843.jpg
ShakyJake
ShakyJake
Are comparing the Blon to the Kanas or the Kanas Pro? Both are mentioned above
FastAndClean
FastAndClean
direct to Kanas, by memory with the Kanas Pro (it sound very similar to the regular Kanas, the difference is less bass and more treble basically)
carliber1
carliber1
Particularly interesting review of BL-03, thank you.
Pros: * Well controlled bass that extends low
* Single DD has a musical quality
* Price is right
Cons: * Veil / high roll-off that some might prefer
* Elevated bass can get tiring when volume compensating for the highs
* Cables are not great
* Driver flex
* Uneven driver variation
*Disclaimer, I was sent this one for a review. I promised an honest one as I don't have any affiliation with the company and don't host a channel or a website that would make this review profitable.

4* assuming the driver variation is a one-off

Testing with Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2 that tends to present detail forward. Spotify at max quality, auto-gain turned off.
Used frequency sweep to match seals/resonances, checked for phase and whatnot using playlist below.
Some test tracks: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4vhv7XQ8UeAgCS6R6mZL18?si=Ri0dAQ0wQYmYmdsAFn9_UQ

In sum
Warm with detailed mids, defined by elevated lower textures with good sub-bass reproduction, albeit a touch slow seeming. Relatively controlled with an early rolloff around 12khz. Should appease most bass lovers that want well defined bass while avoiding fatiguing V signatures. Not the best resolving earphone for those looking for something on the brighter side of things. Still very good for the price and easy to recommend to most people.

Build
Once you get past the ridiculous box, you get well made metal two piece shells, a short/medium nozzle with a mesh cover. It is advertised as a zinc alloy. One vent on the middle of the inner shell. Their small size and smooth shape make for an easy fit once you find a good tip. The cable is too tightly coiled over the ears with a heatshrink that is on the thick side that gets uncomfortable for me (with glasses). Others reported the ear hook rotating the earphones out of their seal. I think its a .78mm 2-pin connector.

It comes with two sets of tips: one is a conical, super lightweight silicone that I could get a seal initially that would not last; the other are the typical, flanged/lipped inset bore (where the outer cap extends beyond the end of the bore) silicones. The largest were not large enough for inserting as deep as they go so I switched to another tip I had on hand that was almost identical but slightly larger. (I usually use ML, sometimes L on thre right here). Important note here not to seal that vent since it will lead to -more- driver flex.

Cable is meh, not a very tight or neat braid/twist and while not that tangly, it tends to spring about when you want to coil it nicely on a flat surface. KZ style 90 degree 3.5mm jack. I much prefer the 90 degree connectors where the strain relief start at the shaft so that you are not putting torque on the earphone connectors with daily use. It has a kz stype spread-eagle split and no chin-slider. I'm not sure what cable replacement would work best as they have a shroud. I'd be happy to hear. I have not tested the mic to see how much crosstalk there is.

Sound

Range

Very present bass from 10hz onwards.
Treble Rolloff starts at 11-12kh though it remains audible at 17.

Bass

Elevated but controlled bass that doesn't bleed into / muddle the mids too much. Some normal distortion in the 50hz region. Pretty good definition thanks to the sub extension. 40-70hz can be a little too forward with some contemporary masters, droning over other sounds at times. I actually found the bass to be a little tiring after a while when I upped the volume to compensate for the lack of detail at the higher end.

Mids

While not recessed, they are not forward either. Higher vocals lose an edge with the early high rolloff. Generally it does alright though it can feel a touch congested if there is a lot going on in the sub 100hz range. For contrast, the Final audio e2000/e3000 are also warmer earphones but they are mid-forward as they lean on lower-mids more than sub 100hzs, they do trade off some bass control in doing so.

Highs

Fast and early roll-off following elevated high mids leave them detailed feeling without being fatiguing. Resolution is so-so. I can't help but feel the veil at all times, rounding the edge of instruments and stealing the rasp of some vocals. Despite the veil, peaks in the 4750-7300-9000hz (depending on insertion depth) maintain the feeling of detail.

Soundstage/Separation

The rolloff of highs sucks some air out of the soundstage. While not congested, it lacks height and can feel dampened thanks to percussions losing an edge to the rolloff, and dominant lower frequencies that humans cannot as easily place in space. Average.

Issues
Drivers not well matched, running a sweep sways left to right several times.
Driver flex, though it is not always present and largely on one side, crinkle is never good.

ETC
You can wear them down if you can find a cable that will do so. It's a shallower fit and will likely bring up resonances in the 4-6k region which makes it more detailed sounding but possibly harshly so.

Attachments

Pros: Gigantic airy soundstage, beefy lower bass, nice and wide vocal, sparkling highs, Good construction, Good value
Cons: Diffuse imaging, lack of mid bass roundness, slightly unbalanced mid range and highs,
BLON BL-03 REVIEW:
P1040134.JPG

SOUND: 8.5/10
CONSTRUCTION: 9/10
DESIGN: 8/10
ACCESSORIES: 7.5/10
VALUE: 9.5/10


Hi budget audiophile pals,

today this review is for you because it’s about a great affordable fancy looking earphones call the BLON BL-03. Perhaps some of you already have heard about them, or are one of lucky owner that buy it for supreme absurd price (20$) when it was sell as a Lucky Bag on Ali express, if so, I applause your braveness cause you hit the jack pot!

Because let’s say it straight up No BS way, the BL-03 are nice sounding single dynamic drivers earphones!

Is it because it use a mysterious 10mm carbon nanotube drivers that these iem sound that lush, spacious and musical? Can’t say because I do not have heard the 200$ Dunu Falcon or other TOTL iem using this audio technology wich exist since more than 15 years now.

Here a small description of how nanotubes drivers work :

‘’The tiny speaker doesn't rely on moving parts and instead produces sound through the thermoacoustic effect. When an alternating current passes through the nanotubes, the material heats and cools the air around it; as the air warms, it expands, and as it cools, it contracts. This expansion and contraction creates sound waves. The new nanotube speaker could be manufactured at low cost in the same facilities used to make computer chips, the researchers say."

Reading this, it make me wonder if this heating process explain why these will benifit from good amping, not extreme, but if I plug it directly into low output DAP or DAC-AMP the sound will be dry and restrain in soundstage. More the amping is powerfull, more the sound became rich, dynamic, spacious and thicker in timbre.

P1040133.JPG

BLON audio company aren’t new into audio market, I thinkthey’ve been active since 2014 but they still are rather mysterious like lot of other chinese audio company mostly active in well...China. Anyway, they create multiple iem and headphones in the past and none of them got suspectfull bad reviews. In fact, they get lot of praise on headfi for their BLON BOSSFI B3 hybrid iem as well as BLON B8 closed wooden headphones. This is sure a No BS good sign.

Priced around 30-40$, the BL-03 are utterlly impressive value, now let’s see if they should stand appart in this over crownded sub-50$ iem market.


ACCESSORIES, CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN :

P1040126.JPG P1040132.JPG

UNBOXING is well presented and proove that BLON give some thinking about presentation of their product. Anyway, when you open it, you get the minimal, wich is still more than most Chifi products like KZ. Your Spoiled with a portative eco-friendly iem BAG, hourray! And a quite nice standard 2-pin 4cores braided cable and 6 pairs of silicones eartips (2 type of model). For thsi price I do not complaint, but some will find the iem ‘’protective’’ bag quite underwhelming.

P1040136.JPG P1040135.JPG

CONSTRUCTION is quite impressive and extremely similar to the cheaper BLON BL-01 (or NiceHCK EP10). This is similar all metal heavy housing with the exception having mmcx connection and over the ear design, wich is a game changer in term of secure fit and comfort, as well, the nozzle being a little longer it solve the fitting issue of EP10. Cable that come with it is of basic quality, and as always, will thrown in my pile of unused cable that take dust and include 60% of cheap KZ cables.

DESIGN isn’t the more organicaly shaped and is on the heavy side. Still, due to the weight that push the housing into the ears, the fit is natural and steady. Sure the housing is rather big and bulbous, but if you use other eartips than the one included, it will fit nicely. You need longer-bigger eartips, I use L size KZ starline and the fit is wonderfull. For people that do not have lot of extra eartips collection like me, the BL-03 can be frustrating in term of fit as well, it can negatively affect the sound.

P1040246.JPG

DRIVEABILITY is quite hungry type. My very first impressions was mitiged because I use included tips and not enough powerfull DAP, wich make them sound foward, brightish and congested. Amping do make night and day difference!

ISOLATION is above average and have good passive noise canceling, as well, their near 0db sound leakage.


SOUND :

P1040245.JPG


GEAR USED : Xduoo X3, Ibasso DX90, Xduoo X20, Xduoo XD-05 (as DAC-AMP and AMP for other DAP)

Overall sound presentation is a U shape with fowarded upper mids that give a slow bassy and mid centric kinda sound. Timbre is thick but not too opaque, its well polish but lack in attack, should it be in mid bass, mid range or highs. First impression wasn’t that positive due to bad fit and bad pairing, strangely they sound brightish and too foward, wich isn’t normal as they are warm iem in fact, with some upper mids brightness and treble spike.

P1040245.JPG


SOUNDSTAGE is quite gigantic, airy and out of your head, this is to me the big PLUS of BL-03. It’s way above average for its price range.

IMAGING is a little ackward, as if it some part of audio spectrum was veiled, you have a ‘’summarize’’ imaging that tend to separate specific range like lower bass, mid mids and upper treble, this give lot of space between instruments when their not lot of them but do the opposite when its complex music because lot of them will mix togheter or stay shadowed by overemphasis of particular tonalities.

BASS is very emphased in lower region, wich give slow rumble and sometime artificial resonance, but not in a particurly bad way, the problem with this type of bass its that it drown mid bass so you will struggle to hear correctly the kick. Its not a punchy bass at all, but it got slam to share. This do good for cello or acoustic bass that we find in jazz or classic, even if tonaly not super accurate it give extra body and excitment. For electronic, its hit or miss, fast IDM will struggle with slow bass but Rap and Drum&bass and sub centric music will sound very fun.

MID RANGE is slightly warmer in lower range, wich give extra body but stole imaging details. It have thick timbre that give sens of fullness and naturalness to vocal but can have some breathiness to it due to upper mids push, in fact, the problem with mid range is that it tend to be mixed up and lack transparency for other instrument to shine, when its not too crowded music it can sound marvellous, as well, string quartet, solo cello or violin, folk and some singersongwriter can really offer grand musical moment, never in a particularly textured or detailed way tough. Mid range is softened in attack and this is perhaps why instrument tend to mix with eachother, I do not suggest the BL-03 for symphony or jazz big band.

TREBLE is quite spiky and coloured, wich have the benifit to give some air at the top and extra sparkle with highs. But it stole timbre accuracy and texture, as well as other details in lower treble region from 8khz to 12khz. This dip darken the sound a little and do not help for proper resolution. I prefer more linear and balanced treble response. In other hand, it give extra sparkle and decay to high range instrument like harp or classical guitar, wich sound very lively to my ears.

SUB BASS : 8/10
MID BASS : 7/10
MID RANGE : 8/10
TREBLE : 7.5/10
SOUNDSTAGE : 9/10
IMAGING : 7.5/10
TIMBRE : 7.5/10
ATTACK-DECAY : 7/10

COMPARAISONS :

VS AUDIOSENSE T180 (40$) :
P1040247.JPG


With its single balanced armature the T180 cannot offer a sound as spacious and airy than the BLON but its detailed imaging, even if a little congested, compensate its intimate soundstage.

BASS dig notably deeper with the BL-03, offering some rumble the T180 crualy lack, but its slower too, and show how capable is the T180 in term of fast mid bass, as well, we got some well textured sub bass line that is as well tigher but way drier and thin than muscular BL-03. In term of mid bass, its the BL-03 that crualy lack some punch and resolution.

MID RANGE is where the T180 show its bravado, its very balanced, with rich transparent slightly bright timbre, it can deal with impressively complex track and do not have unwanted peak like the more coloured BL-03 that give at it got for vocal forgetting to cover the rest with attack and grip that T180 hae in plentiness. Level of clarity, resolution and details is superior with T180. Here, the BL-03 is more about body and weight, wich give naturalness instead of hyper realism a la T180.

TREBLE is more balanced and linear with T180, but a little rougher too, wich can make percussion a little splashy. BL-03 have less micro details but more sparkling highs.

All in all, we have 2 very different iem here, T180 being a neutralish Mid centric and analytical iem while the warm, bassy BL-03 is more airy and natural with notably bigger soundstage.




VS KZ ZS10PRO (35$):


P1040248.JPG

With its single dynamic driver, the BL-03 can’t compte in term of detailed imaging against the ZS10 but strangely offer a wider, taller and airier soundstage making ZS10PRO sound foward and intimate with richer layering.

BL-03 have a more U shape approach to lower end and ZS10PRO is the V kind with a fast foward punchy bass, more textured but less weighty and bodied sub bass. BL-03 warm gently lower mid range in a positive way that give extra body, warthm and naturalness to vocal wich make the mid range sound fuller but less detailed and accurate than brighter ZS10PRO.

The PRO sure dig more details and offer a more revealing mid range, its vivid and energic compared to more relaxed and transparent BL-03 that have an organic way of presenting multiple insturment. I tend to prefer the warm, thick and polished BLON vocal until lot of instrumentation go on and make it sound messy. Yes, multi BA’s of ZS10PRO sure help to offer a more agile sound.

TREBLE is more emphased in lower and mid treble with the PRO, while the BL-03 have extra presence in upper highs that permit a longer decay and more sparkle but this stole some details in lower highs wich affect overall instrument textures and make some like violin or piano sound to softened. Yep, the BL-03 are warm until they end, but offer impressive clarity nonetheless.

All in all, ZS10PRO is a more balanced sounding iem, with brighter more detailed timbre, less sub bass and a great amount of extra details compared to more U shape warm, airy and natural sounding BL-03.



CONCLUSION :

P1040160.JPG

In an overcrowded Chi-Fi market where the use of balanced armature became extremely popular, creating a single dynamic drivers can question budget audiophile in term of sound limitation in term of dynamic and details. To some extend, the BL-03 show dynamic drivers can outclass badly tuned multi balanced armature, especially in term of bass, soundstage and naturalness. Still, I feel the BL-03 need more tuning work to be considered as a great single dynamic drivers earphones, because it lack proper balanced sound to reach audio nirvana that sometime he brush.

The BL-03 is very good for its price, the immense soundstage by himself worth the buy, but it got some of the same flaws we find with Hybrid or multi balanced chinese iem it try to outclass, like unbalanced mids and highs. Anyway, I applause BLON company to go back to single dynamic drivers and hope their next model will push even farther the tuning possibilites it have.

For more reviews, please give a look at my No BS Reviews BLOG
harry501501
harry501501
Most balanced review I've read on the BLON yet, free from the mega hype of some other reviewers. Good read, thanks
carliber1
carliber1
Just wondered how does the BL-03 compares to the ZhiYin Z5000 V.1, I suspect it is an interesting comparison if it were possible.
Pros: Warm, detailed sound with exceptional bass performance
good all-rounder
Cons: fitting problems
Average processing
Intro
So far I only had the opportunity to review the S1 from BLON, which I liked very much due to its three-dimensionality and richness of detail, even if it sounds a bit too bright.
Now I hold the BL-03 in my hands, which in contrast to the S1 (1*DD & 1*BA) has a single dynamic driver in the housing, which I also prefer, because especially in the price category many hybrids are not well tuned and so the potential of the multi drivers is lost. With a single dynamic driver you know what you're getting and the tuning seems easier.

On the net you often read a comparison of the BL-03 with the NICEHCK EP10. Externally and from the technical point of view this may be true, but there are some differences in sound, so a comparison of the two makes less sense for me, because they are also slightly different in price (18 € -> 35 €). Basically, the BL-03 adds a scoop in all areas!

Handling
The BLON BL-03 has a metal housing, which makes it slightly heavier than the average IEM. It also has a 2-pin connector, which makes the cable interchangeable. It can be worn both over the ear and straight down if you swap the two sides. With the included cable, however, you can only wear it above the ear, as the earhooks are already provided. Otherwise we get a cloth bag for storage and 3 different sizes of silicone tips. Not earth-shattering on assessors, but of course sufficient.

The surface of the BL-03 is mirror polished (similar to the EP10) and looks good. The nozzles have a notch which makes the tips hold well and they are long enough to get deep enough into the ear canal. However, you'll have to experiment a bit with the tips to get a proper fit that strongly affects the sound and isolation of the BL-03.

If you have achieved a perfect fit, the insulation is very good and also the wearing comfort is pleasant.

Sound
The BL-03 has a good bass lift, which makes it very fun. The bass doesn't cover the complete signature, but knows how to make its mark on bass-hungry tracks, but it doesn't cheat on less bass-intensive music with unnecessary output.
It has a good texture and also scores in detail reproduction. It could be a bit faster and a bit harder in the response, but all in all it is very well tuned and knows how to please bass lovers, especially in the sub range.

The bass slightly pushes into the mid-range, which makes them appear fuller and warmer especially in the lower range, but doesn't overshadow them. It gives male voices a full body, as well as strings or guitars. This gives them a quite natural appearance and not as bright and sharp as worse BA drivers. Female voices move more into the foreground than their male counterparts due to the raised upper midrange, but generally voices are pleasantly positioned in the room with a slight push forward, which I personally prefer. The separation is quite decent, but with more complex music, the BL-03 can get a bit muddled which leads to overlay. In general it is suitable for every kind of genre, which makes it a very good all-rounder.

The highs are very relaxed and reproduce details well. They do not show excessive hardness and are not too brightly tuned. This makes them very pleasant even for longer periods of time. However, I sometimes have the impression that I feel a little tickling and cymbals can sound a bit clattering in some cases. I like the tuning of the highs in relation to the midrange and bass very much, as they manage to counteract the warmth adequately and give the BL-03 a certain airiness. Also, the frequency response feels quite homogeneous, without strong breakdowns in the transitions, which is often noticed with many cheaper multi driver IEMs. I would describe the sound as harmonic, musical and natural, with sympathetic bass emphasis and good three-dimensionality.

Outro
With the BL-03, BLON has produced a worthy representative in the field of dynamic drivers who knows how to convince in his price class and can appeal to a broad mass with his all-round capabilities

ALIEXPRESS
___________________________________________________________
More reviews: https://david-hahn.wixsite.com/chi-fiear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHIFIEAR/
  • Like
Reactions: Viajero and saugerl
Pros: balanced tuning, great imaging, good instrument separation, great build quality
Cons: horrendous driver flex, shallow insert depth, unique 2-pin connector limits upgrade cable options
DSC03683.jpg

The Blon BL-03 is an in-ear monitor using a single 10mm carbon nanotube dynamic driver per side. The BL-03 has a list price of about $40 at the time of this review. I purchased the BL-03 from the MissAudio Store on AliExpress and received a $10 discount on my order in exchange for a fair and objective review.

This review is also available on my blog: Bedrock Reviews

SOURCES:

I have used the Blon BL-03 with the following sources:

Windows 10 PC > JDS Labs The Element > Blon BL-03

Pixel 3 > Fiio BTR1K (Bluetooth Apt-X) > Blon BL-03

Windows 10 PC > Fiio BTR1K (USB-DAC) > Blon BL-03

Pixel 3 > Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle > Blon BL-03

I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:

DSC03472.jpg DSC03512.jpg DSC03523.jpg

The Blon BL-03 comes in a long rectangular white box with a clear plastic front panel, which displays the BL-03 earpieces in a plastic tray. Blon’s contact information is listed on the back in Chinese and English, and a sticker displaying technical specifications for the BL-03 in Chinese is attached to the bottom of the back panel. The BL-03 comes with a detachable .78mm 2-pin cable, three pairs of short-and-wide black silicone eartips (S, M, L), three pairs of conventional grey silicone eartips (S, M, L), and a Blon-branded drawstring bag.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:

DSC03719.jpg

The Blon BL-03 has a simple but unique teardrop-shaped housing with a highly polished surface coating. The BL-03’s housings are advertised as being made of kirsite, a type of zinc alloy. The “BL-03” and “L” are printed on the inner face of the left earpiece. “Blon” and “R” are printed on the inner face of the right earpiece. The nozzle has a substantial lip for securing eartips. Each housing has a single circular vent on the inner face of the housing. The BL-03 has horrendous driver flex.

DSC03794.jpg
The 2-pin connectors use a protruding design similar to but not compatible with the KZ “Para type-C” design. The simple braided 4-strand cable has an L-shaped 3.5mm jack. The black plastic 2-pin connectors have raised markings to indicate left and right. The cable has pre-formed ear-guides without memory wire. There is no chin-adjustment choker. The cable is not tangle-prone and has little in the way of microphonics. There is strain-relief above the 3.5mm jack and above and below the Y-split.

COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:

The Blon BL-03 is intended to be worn cable-up only. The BL-03 has an incredibly shallow fit, and I was only able to get a good seal using double- and triple-flange eartips. Comfort is good otherwise thanks to the rounded housings. There is negligible sound leakage but isolation is average.

SOUND:

The Blon BL-03 has a neutral-ish tuning with extended, mildly elevated bass.

The BL-03 has a polite yet insistent bass presentation. Sub-bass extension is excellent. There is robust sub-bass rumble. The mid-bass is impactful without being bloated, imparting warmth to the overall tonality of the IEM without creating congestion. The bass has great texture. Bass articulation is not the fastest I’ve heard out of a carbon nanotube driver but is still capable of keeping pace with fast, complex music.

The almost-but-not-quite neutral midrange skews slightly towards emphasizing presence. Female vocals are slightly more forward and intelligible compared to male vocals. The upper midrange is vibrant without being sibilant. The overall timbre is natural.

The treble is energetic without being harsh. There is a good amount of sparkle and air. Transients are quick but natural sounding. Detail retrieval and overall resolution are excellent. Instrument separation is above average. Soundstage is average. Imaging is very good.

MEASUREMENTS:

1_dxZeZOctXqhbgqc99jrt7g.jpeg

My measurements were conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from comparing my raw measurements with Crinacle’s published measurements. The measurements are presented with 1/24th smoothing. There is a resonant peak at 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:

The Blon BL-03 can be driven to comfortable listening volumes with a smartphone or dongle. I did not notice hiss with any of my sources.

COMPARISONS:

Blon BL-03 [$40] vs CCA-C10 [$25]

1_DBV4vL42XtUDdDR4hSq9Xw.jpeg

The CCA-C10 is an IEM with a single dynamic driver and four balanced armatures per side. It has a slightly more V-shaped frequency response than the BL-03, with a larger mid-bass hump and a more forward upper midrange. The two IEMs trade blows in terms of bass articulation and treble transient delivery. The C10 has more presence and immediate clarity but can be more sibilant. The BL-03 has better imaging and a larger soundstage. The C10 has a tendency to migrate out of the ear canal. The BL-03 has worse driver flex. The C10 does not come with a bag or carry case.

Blon BL-03 [$40] vs Tanchjim Oxygen [$270]

1_3nC5Jhq3jxyZ53KtheogMg.jpeg

I have included this comparison despite the price differential because the two IEMs both utilize a single carbon nanotube dynamic driver and have very similar tunings. I vaguely remember reading that they were tuned by the same person. The Tanchjim Oxygen has a cooler overall tonality. The Blon BL-03 has slightly better sub-bass extension than the Oxygen, but the Oxygen has faster, better-articulated bass. The Oxygen has a slightly more forward upper midrange. The Oxygen has better clarity and detail retrieval. The Oxygen has more air. The Oxygen has better imaging. The BL-03 is slightly easier to drive. The Oxygen does not have driver flex. The BL-03 is more comfortable. The Oxygen has more premium packaging and a more generous accessory selection.

CLOSING WORDS:

DSC03772.jpg
The Blon BL-03 is an excellent sounding IEM. I recommend them if you can tolerate longer eartips.
Top