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  1. audioblog18
    BLON BL03 Review – Plus Ultra!
    Written by audioblog18
    Published Sep 16, 2019 at 5:47 AM
    5.0/5,
    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

    [​IMG]


    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

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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

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    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

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    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

    [​IMG]
    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

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    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.
  2. FastAndClean
    Carbon nano pipe KO
    Written by FastAndClean
    Published Sep 10, 2019
    5.0/5,
    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 to them. 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 track 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
      hqssui, chellity, Fenhry and 12 others like this.
    1. ShakyJake
      Are comparing the Blon to the Kanas or the Kanas Pro? Both are mentioned above
      ShakyJake, Sep 12, 2019 at 7:44 AM
    2. 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)
      FastAndClean, Sep 12, 2019 at 7:46 AM
  3. AudioNoob
    Blon BL-03 – Invests in bass control, Some veiling
    Written by AudioNoob
    Published Sep 6, 2019
    4.0/5,
    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, Wooeasy sent this one in 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.

    images

    1. BlonO3-Pic07.jpg
    2. BlonO3-Pic08.jpg
    3. BlonO3-Pic09.jpg
    4. BlonO3-Pic01.jpg
    5. BlonO3-Pic02.jpg
    6. BlonO3-Pic03.jpg
    7. BlonO3-Pic04.jpg
    8. BlonO3-Pic05.jpg
    9. BlonO3-Pic06.jpg
      petan970 and baskingshark like this.
  4. NymPHONOmaniac
    Lush sound with Gigantic Soundstage
    Written by NymPHONOmaniac
    Published Sep 5, 2019
    4.0/5,
    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: 8/10
    CONSTRUCTION: 9/10
    DESIGN: 8/10
    ACCESSORIES: 7.5/10
    VALUE: 8/10


    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 :

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    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.
      Fenhry and saugerl like this.
  5. DallaPo
    BLON BL-03 | 1*DD | Rating: 8.2
    Written by DallaPo
    Published Aug 29, 2019
    4.0/5,
    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/
      saugerl likes this.
  6. darmanastartes
    Politely Bass-y
    Written by darmanastartes
    Published Aug 23, 2019
    4.5/5,
    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:

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    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]

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    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:

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