BLON BL-Mini

General Information

BLON BL-Mini​

HiFi Dynamic Driver Earphone - Blon has swept the global audio market with its affordable yet incredible sounding headphones and in-ear monitors in the recent years. Prioritizing sound quality and budget-friendly prices, Blon aims to make high-fidelity audio accessible to all. At Blon, we will never stop surprising you with the limitless opportunities the world of HiFi audio has to offer.

The Encore​

The Blon Mini was crafted in reminiscence of the incredibly popular BL-03, but designed with a more ergonomic fit. Utilizing an all new 6mm dynamic driver, the Mini offers a similar Hi-Fi tuning, but with a greater emphasis on sub-bass impact and speed. Tuned with precision, the perfect mid and treble frequency playback was achieved to match the natural perceived hearing of the human ear. Both seasoned audiophiles and ordinary music lovers can now enjoy the powerful sub-bass yet articulate and detailed sparkles that the Mini has to offer. A huge leap from similarly priced earphones and in-ear monitors, the Blon Mini will take your music to the next level of high-fidelity audio resolution.

Comfort and Durability​

The Blon Mini is crafted from solid zinc alloy to achieve a lightweight yet extremely durable construction. Designed with daily use in mind, the Mini is ready to bring you HiFi music wherever you go. Additionally, taking community inputs from the BL-03 predecessor, the housing of the Mini was completely redesigned to be more comfortable and have a more secure fit. The curvature and shape of the Mini was calculated using AI Learning based on an ear shape database to match the contour of the human ear. Through this redesigned housing, the Mini offers a deeper fit inside the ear, providing greater fit and security, as well as sound isolation matching that of professional custom-fit in-ear monitors. Through this innovation, the Blon Mini is now perfect for both on the go casual music listening, as well as stage performance monitoring.

Cable Options​

The Blon Mini comes standard with a new plated-copper cable that was chosen to enhance audio resolution, as well as a tangle-free handling. The cable is available either with or without a dedicated microphone.


1.Product name:BLON BL-mini

2.Brand: BLON

3.Model: BL-mini

4.Impedance: 16Ω

5.Sensitivity: 20Hz-20000Hz

6.Interface: 3.5mm

7.Cable length:1.2m silver cable

8.Color: Gun/Silver

9.Whether with mic: Optional

10.Driver:6mm dynamic driver


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Latest reviews

ywheng89

New Head-Fier
Blon BL-Mini - Weird looking but functional
Pros: Comfortable
Better and controlled bass quality and quantity
Price performance ratio
Good separation
Cons: Fit might be a problem which has plagued the previous BLONS, i am fine with it
None to nit pick at this price point
Blon BL-Mini - Weird looking but functional

Curious about this new offering from BLON, I decided to make the plunge to try this little bean looking IEM.

Out of the box the impression is very positive,everything just sounds right, but I have decided to let it run for a few hours and listen to it again to see if there will be any audible changes in terms of the sound.

I’m not someone who judges by just looking at the graph and decides that it’s not good without listening to it first. After all, you can’t hear by just looking at the graph without actually listening to the device itself.

We’re here to enjoy music after all but not gear testing or measuring.

*I purchased this item off my own fund without any sponsorship nor getting this as a review unit. I made the plunge so that you guys can decide whether this is for you or not.


Product Specification

Impedance
16ohms (at 1 kHz)

Frequency responses
20–20kHz

Sensitivity
115dB/mW

Drivers Config
6mm Dynamic Driver

Cable
in 1.2m

Plug
3.5mm single-ended

Connectors
2-pin 0.78mm

Housing Material
Zinc Alloy Forming




Packaging and Design

It comes with the usual standard Blon style packaging. Clean white box with standard

silicone eartips and a Blon cloth carrying pouch to store your earphone. Nothing to brag about. Pretty standard. What is different this time is that the bundled cable is of higher quality than 01 and 03. The material and outlook is similar to Moondrop SSP’s stock cable.

The build quality of this definitely doesn’t feel cheap. It has got the premium-ish metal kind of feeling as they are using this material called Zinc Alloy according to BLON.


Comfort and Fit

Wearing it for several hours straight, the fit is pretty good even with the stock cable. I had trouble getting the right fit from 01 and 03 with the stock cable and had to resort to after-market cable in order for them to sit in my ears without jiggling around and having a good seal. Comfort and fit definitely got a major overhaul from BLON. I can even get a good seal with the stock eartip.


Sound

Low
-Not overly emphasized like it was in the 03. Good quality and quantity, but definitely not for basshead. This time around the sub-bass is definitely more controlled and tight. It will not give you the deep rumble that the basshead is looking for but it is sufficient and provides a perceptible sense of “boom boom”. It is also quite punchy rendering Metallica’s Master of Puppet in a very enjoyable manner.

Mid
-Nothing much to brag about the mid. Male and female vocals sounded natural. Timbre sounded fairly natural. However there’s one thing that I dislike about the rendition of the vocal. It feels a bit distant, not the in your face kind of rendition. However, I guess this is quite subjective as some might prefer this kind of rendition over the other.

High
-Not sibilant and fatiguing. I did not feel any perceptible peak from 7khz claimed by some youtube reviewer. Comfortable to listen for long hours. I know its shouty if my ears get fatigue listening to Unravel - TK, an anime opening song(Tokyo Ghoul). I did not feel fatigue at all listening to this track using BLON Mini. It is a lil warm at least to my ears when comparing this with Moondrop’s SSP

Separation and Imaging
-Instruments separation is above average as i can clearly pinpoint the percussion coming from left and right and also the synth riff that blend right in with the electric guitar’s strumming in A Cruel Angel’s Thesis - Yoko Takahashi (Evangelion’s Soundtrack). Quite a busy track i would say but it rendered it without any issue. Sense of imaging is average i would say, you do not get that Final Audio E series’s imaging, but it does give sufficient perception on the width and height.


Driveability

Rated at 16ohms and sensitivity level of 115db/mw, this thing is very very easy to drive even straight out from your mobile phone. However to achieve better audio quality and dynamic range, it is better to plug this into a dedicated DAP or better still a DAC/AMP combo.

Comparison

The closest competition within this price range that i have with me is the Moondrop SSP.
Both are pretty comfortable to wear to long hours. The difference in terms of sound quality is that SSP’s low punch harder and gives more rumble in a good and controlled manner of course. Soundstage is also wider on the SSP and SSP is also brighter. Both are tuned differently for different kinds of audience. It all boils down to what kind of sound signature are you looking for. Analytical or laid back listening session? Both are good in my opinion in their price category.


Source

This time I have decided not to list the tracks as I believe there is no “test” track to actually test your earphone/headphone. I have shifted my perspective in a sense that if you really enjoy your music, you should be able to tell the differences on how each and every earphones or headphones you listened render them.

Windows 10 -> Stoner Acoustics UD130 -> Tidal (MQA/HiFi)

Ipod Classic(5th Gen) Rockboxed

SONY NW-A55 running on MrWalkman’s firmware(A50z)


Conclusion

Based on my own rating from 1 to 10, I would rate this at a 8 based on the sound that it produced and the price that it is asking for. It is definitely not a neutral IEM but more like a fun kind of IEM where you want to just plug in and start enjoying right away, but of course with better gears you will be able to squeeze out a lil bit more from this little macaroni. I will recommend this someone who wants to enjoy music without breaking a hole in their pocket and also seasoned audiophile who intend to replace their daily driver.

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
BLON MINI Review – Holy Macaroni!!!
Pros: Excellent fit and good built. Unique housing that works!
Good isolation.
Above average technicalities.
2 pin connector – better lifespan than MMCX in general.
Easy to drive.
Cons: Overly boomy/nebulous bass with midbass bleed.
7 kHz area can be hot with some sibilance.
Timbral accuracy issues.
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DISCLAIMER


I would like to thank Ann from KeepHIFI for providing this review unit.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The BLON MINI is a V shaped budget set with above average technicalities, but has some slight issues in timbre and tonality. It thankfully fixes the fit issues of previous BLON iterations. The BLON MINI looks weird, but actually has a very good fit and isolation to boot.


SPECIFICATIONS
  • Driver configuration: 6 mm Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20000Hz
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Sensitivity: 115 dB
  • Cable: 2 pin
  • Tested at $29.99 USD

ACCESSORIES

Other than the IEM, the BLON MINI packaging comes with:
  • Silver plated cable- on the thin side, but very usable OOTB sonic wise. No microphonics.
  • Silicone ear tips of various sizes.
  • Sackcloth pouch – similar to previous BLON iterations!
Accessories wise, nothing groundbreaking and pretty similar to the usual BLON iterations of the past. Everything is rather usable OOTB, so no need to mess with getting aftermarket tips and cables, which can add to costs (looking at you BLON BL-03).

I know some others would prefer aftermarket cables and eartips. But for the purposes of this review, the stock cable and tips were used, so as not to change the sound signature with aftermarket gear.

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BUILD/COMFORT

The BLON MINI’s shell is super unconventional to say the least, so let’s discuss about this big elephant in the room. The BLON MINI is affectionately called the BLON macaroni in some audio forums. Some would even call the shell shape weird and dare I say, obscene, but to my surprise, the BLON MINI’s fit is actually very ergonomic and comfortable, so don’t judge a macaroni by its housing book by its cover. The BLON MINI is light and I’ve had not had any discomfort despite using it for a few hours at a time. It definitely has a better fit than the BLON BL-01 and BLON BL-03 for me. I think of the BLON siblings I have, only the BLON Cardinal (which features a shell that is similar to the BGVP DM6 and looks like a semi custom resin type shell) has better fit.

Thus far, the reputation for BLON IEM housings/fit in audio forums isn’t the best, there’s even memes about the fit, just see the number of complaints and hoops that people have to go through, just to secure a good fit with the legendary BLON BL-03. I’m glad to report here, that despite (or perhaps in spite of the weird housing shape), BLON has finally gotten a good fitting IEM without needing to mess around with aftermarket tips, so whatever R&D they are doing for fitting purposes and ergonomics has hit a home run.

I didn’t find any driver flex for myself for the BLON MINI (but YMMV, as this is somewhat dependent on ear anatomy and types of ear tips used).

I liked that the BLON MINI uses 2 pin connectors, as I’m not a fan of MMCX connectors in general, as they tend to have shorter longevity especially if cables are swapped too much.


ISOLATION

The BLON MINI has good isolation, and is indeed, one of the better isolating single DD sets. This came as a pleasant surprise, and coupled with its easy drivability (see next section), this set can be easily used outdoors or on the train.


DRIVABILITY

I tested the BLON MINI with a Khadas Tone Board -> Topping L30 amp, Sony NW A-55 DAP (DMP-A50 FEv2 Classic Mr Walkman Mod), smartphone, Shanling Q1 DAP, Tempotec Sonata HD Pro, ESS ES9280C PRO DAC/AMP, and a Khadas Tone Board -> Fiio A3 Amp.

The BLON MINI is easy to drive, it can run off almost any weak source. It scales just slightly better with amping. Amping can increase dynamics, soundstage and perhaps microdetails, and also tightens the bass a tinge, but no biggie if you just have a non LGV smartphone as a source, as the returns for amping is not really that big.



SOUND & TECHNICALITIES

The BLON MINI has a classical CHIFI V shaped tuning.

For the bass department, the BLON MINI is just a level shy of true basshead quantities. The bass is definitely north of neutral with a great punch in the midbass. Subbass is more pronounced in quantity and decay than the midbass, this set can extend very well in subbass extension, and should please most bassheads. Bass quality wise, unfortunately due to the copious amounts of bass, there is midbass bleed, and the bass isn’t the most textured. The subbass rumble also decays quite slowly and can leave a hanging tail in subbass heavy tracks, this may impinge upon the mids and treble in some tracks. Of course subbass perception is to an extent dependent on eartips used, and how well the IEM seals, so YMMV as usual.

Lower mids on the BLON MINI are recessed, but this area contains some warmth from the aforementioned midbass bleed. Upper mids are smooth and not shouty, but I find the upper mids lack a bit of heft, so this isn’t a set for vocal or mid lovers, and is probably a consequence of the V shaped tuning. Nevertheless, the mids are rather transparent.

Treble is not the most extended, the lower treble/upper mids area is smooth, though there’s instances of sibilance, with some splashiness and harshness at the 7ish kHz region on some tracks.

Overall, technicalities in the BLON MINI are above average for a budget single DD, soundstage is good in width, though it is about average in depth and height. Music could at times sound a bit congested on the BLON MINI during very fast tracks or when there were complex instrumentation ongoing. Clarity and imaging are above average, while instrument separation and details are around average at this price range.

Timbral accuracy wise, vocals and acoustic instruments have a bit of an artificial sheen to them, but this perhaps may depend on the usual music genres you listen to. Don’t get me wrong, the timbre on the BLON MINI isn’t as artificial as the garden variety multi BA types in budget CHIFI, but when A/B comparisons are done against some other single DD sets, then the timbre issues do rear its head. This is an area of disappointment for me, as I appreciate that single DD types (in general) give better timbral accuracy than multi BA types, and so far of the other BLON drivers I’ve tried, all of them score high marks in timbre usually.


COMPARISONS

Here are some comparisons with some well regarded $20 – 30 USD single DD types. As hybrids/multi BA have their own strengths and weaknesses compared to single DD types, they were left out of the comparisons.


BLON BL-03 ($25 USD)

The legendary BLON BL-03 is a harmanish set with a midbass bump, boasting superb tonality and timbre at the sub $30 USD region. Compared to the BLON MINI, the BLON BL-03 is less V shaped and has a thicker note weight.

In terms of timbre and soundstage and technicalities, the BLON BL-03 is better, but the BLON MINI beats the BLON BL-03 in fit and isolation. The BLON BL-03 is also more difficult to drive.

Having said that, the BLON BL-03 may be closer to $40 – 50 USD if aftermarket tips/cables are factored in to secure a better fit for the BLON BL-03’s atrocious fit with the stock accessories, whereas the BLON MINI is ready to go OOTB, no need to mess around with aftermarket gear for it.


Tanchjim Tanya ($22 USD)

The Tanchjim Tanya is a new release, featuring a harmanish tuning. The Tanchjim Tanya is worn bullet shape (cable down) and its non detachable cable has some slight microphonics. This non detachable housing may be a deal breaker for some, so YMMV.

The Tanchjim Tanya is much more difficult to drive, though the Tanya has better timbre, better technicalities and layering and imaging. The Tanya has better accessories, though it has weaker isolation. The Tanchjim Tanya is more noticeably laid back in tuning, whereas the BLON MINI is more dynamic.


KBEAR KS1 ($20 USD)

The KBEAR KS1 is another V shaped set, and like the BLON MINI, it has boosted bass that bleeds. The lower mids are recessed in both sets, so they ain’t an ideal set for mid/vocal lovers, though the KBEAR KS1 has a slightly more forward upper mids region than the BLON MINI. Accessories are similar, technicalities are close, though the KBEAR KS1 has poorer isolation. Timbre is a tinge better on the KBEAR KS1.



CONCLUSIONS

The BLON MINI is a V shaped budget set with above average technicalities, but has some slight issues in timbre and tonality. It thankfully fixes the fit issues of previous BLON iterations. The BLON MINI looks weird, but actually has a very good fit and isolation to boot.

The BLON MINI is by itself a decent set, with good price to performance ratio. But the issue here, is that there is very heavy competition at this price bracket. CHIFI gear is being released on a weekly basis, a new hypetrain is hyped in forums almost daily, or maybe that hypetrain is already in transit to your house, even as I am typing this! So, the BLON MINI still needs that special something to stand out from the cut throat competition, some pizzaz that for example the BLON BL-03 had (in having superb tonality and timbre). Perhaps this special thing that the BLON MINI has, is the extremely unconventional design, and this design does work very well, I’m pleased to say, as it aces fit and isolation and comfort. I do commend BLON for finally fixing the fit issues of their previous sets (looking at you, BLON BL-01 and BLON BL-03!), and I do look forward to their next release, which hopefully aces timbre, tonality, technicalities and fit (is this too demanding to ask for hahaha?).

Wretched Stare

Head-Fier
The little BLON that could
Pros: A great smooth signature, unique looks and all day comfort with the right tips.
Cons: Shape may not be for some , sparse accessories but decent cable, tips are meh.
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The Mini comes in a BLON box only much thinner and while the tips and pouch are the same the Mini has a new silver plated braided cable that is the best thing ever offered so far from them. Construction is typical BLON metal goodness with a TRN connection and single Dynamic driver this time in a macaroni shape that just fits so well, these are the most comfortable BLON yet in my onion.

Sound:
Bass:
Has a fair amount of control with plenty of boom, Mid-Bass has a fast tight punch where as Sub-Bass digs down deep but rolls off fast. Mid-Bass does bleed into the lower Mids giving it a pleasant warmth without muddiness accept on highly boosted recordings.

Mids:
The Midrange is neutral/ Balanced with forward vocals and upper mids show a little brightness with female vocals none the less the Mids are clear and tonality in very good rich with details for something in this price range.

Treble:
Is well behaved and has a decent amount of details. Although there is a fast roll-off here it manages to get in enough sparkle to the highs without any harshness up here.

Soundstage:
Soundstage is good. The BL mini not as open as the BL03 but it still is above the average in wideness, imaging is very good too. Most should find its just right.

Conclusion:
The BL Mini is a budged performer from BLON in a series of pretty decent offerings it holds it own, offering a great listening experience with comfort and a cool looking design. I don't think its enough to knock the BL03 off its pedestal but for some they might find it better in many ways.

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