Blon BL05

General Information

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Model BL-05

0.78mm 2 Pin
3.5mm L-shaped gold-plated plug

Impedance
32ohms

Sensitivity
108dB

Driver
2nd Generation 10mm CNT Diaphragm

Frequency range
20-20KHz

Cable length
1.2m


The Continuation of a Legend.
Following the global sensation of the Blon BL03, Blon returns with the next iteration of the ultimate audiophile dynamic driver in-ear monitor. After a year of R&D work, the Blon audio engineering team took their previous experience and the numerous customer feedback to design a new single dynamic driver earphone that takes the genre to all new heights.

2nd Generation 10mm CNT Diaphragm.
The BL05 takes from the foundation of its predecessor’s tuning and elevates it to the next level by utilizing the latest in dynamic driver diaphragm technology and design. Blon has redesigned the Carbon Nanotube (CNT) diaphragm with a new carbon network framework that increases the rigidity and speed of the membrane. This second generation CNT driver doesn’t utilize moving parts as do other traditional drivers, but rather uses thermoacoustics to create soundwaves generated by incoming currents through the carbon nanotube
The Journey Continues
The new design is a much faster diaphragm response that is unparalleled among dynamic drivers, with an incredibly low distortion. A noticeably enhanced transient and detail retrieval ensues, along with a more powerful, tigheter, and faster decaying lows. The carbon nanotube further champions over traditional dynamic drivers as its ripples form more cohesive acoustic energy than those produced by a moving membrane. It’s THD response is a clear indicator of this feat, as it is even lower than those of balanced armature drivers. Engineered with an almost entirely linear impedance response, the BL05 puts out a sound that no audiophile can miss out on
Tuned to Perfection.
Compared to its predecessor, the BL05’s tuning features a greater and faster sub-bass kick that coherently transitions into cleaner mid-frequency section. The mids feature an almost-neutral response with just enough warmth to give body and richness to instruments and vocals while maintaining clarity and natural tonality. The trebles were tuned to to be smooth with just enough bite to sharpen the sound without being harsh. With the potential of the new CNT driver design, we mastered its tuning to make full advantage of its capabilities. Turning away from typical “V-shape” tunings, we have achieved a natural presentation of music that is the perfect in-between from neutral studio monitors and bass/treble tunings. It can only be described as a true-audiophile tuning that is enjoyable and pleasant, without the tonal irregularities of typical tuning styles.
Carved Acoustic Chamber.
Blon has spent just as much time in designing the interior acoustic chamber as they did in tunin the new CNT driver. The BL05 interior chamber was carved out to feature an acoustic canal that accurately mirrors the sonic properties that the natural ear picks up in an orchestral hall. By meticulously hand-placing the driver at the precise position in each earphone, the fruit of our efforts can be fully perceived, with an incredibly wide soundstage that reverberates with the natural overtones from the diaphragm. The housing itself is produced in a gunmetal stainless steel housing that is durable and safe for the skin
BLON_BL05_4.jpg
1_copy_1024x1024.jpg
BLON-BL-05-BL05-BL-03-BL03-10mm-2nd-Generation-Carbon-Nanotube-CNT-Diaphragm-In-Ear.jpg_q50.jpg
6_04d01ae8-c432-4889-9f93-91797015bb6b_1024x1024.jpg

Latest reviews

B9Scrambler

Headphoneus Supremus
Blon BL-05: It's Alright
Pros: Detail and clarity - Solid materials - Affordable
Cons: Fit isn't amazing - Can be harsh in the upper mids and lower treble - Low end texturing could be improved
**It has been made known the Blon has one of the nastiest contributors in the industry tuning one of their upcoming models. As a result, I can't recommend this or any product of theirs moving forward, regardless of how amazing they are.**

Greetings!

Today we're checking out the Blon BL-05, a follow up to the well-loved BL-03.

Blon has been around for a while now with a number of different earphones and headphones under their belt, though they didn't become a household name in the Chinese hifi community until the hype train that was the BL-03. The BL-03 was renowned for it's natural timbre, a rarity at such a low price, along with terrible fit out of the box that pretty much necessitated buying a new cable and tips immediately, according to fans, as well as some pretty amusing text written on the packaging. It was an affordable, character-filled product. Why wouldn't Blon take advantage of this and quickly follow it up with a new model?

So how is the BL-05? It's fine. Let's check it out in greater detail, shall we?

IMG_0473.JPGIMG_0474.JPGIMG_0482.JPG

What I Hear I had the chance to listen to the cult classic BL-03 a while back and while I thought it was okay and could see why it was liked, it wasn't my jam. I found it's signature pretty much bog standard for a product in that price range; warm with bloaty mid-bass, recessed mids, not a lot of detail, etc. Sell it as a sub-50 USD Skullcandy or Beats branded earphone and it wouldn't feel out of place. Sooooo, when I heard about their follow up coming out, the BL-05, you could forgive me for passing it over without so much as a second glance. So why am I reviewing it now? Well, the reviews and comments from buyers seemed like it would be in my wheelhouse; sub-bass focus, somewhat lean mids, good detail. After using it quite a bit over the last few months, I'm glad I ended up reviewing it.

Starting with the low end, the BL-05 is mostly positive. This sounds like a very light, quick driver. While extension is good and a reasonably polite boost over neutral refreshing after the bloated mess that was the BL-03, it doesn't move a lot of air or provide much in the way of visceral feedback on notes that should really be slamming. It reminds of a lot of the Whizzer A15 Pro in that regard, since like the BL-05 it is speedy, decently well-textured, and overall quite articulate, but lacking warm which takes away from the emotional presence of the presentation.

Leaning into the midrange the BL-03 bring to the table plenty of detail and clarity. This comes at the expense of weight and tonality unfortunately. While I usually like a thin midrange, which the BL-05 has, many don't so the presentation here will likely miss the mark. While timbre and tonality is generally alright, everything sounds slightly bright and occasionally harsh thanks to an upper mid push, particularly on mid-boosted tracks like the recent singles from Aesop Rock's recent projects. They should look towards the Moondrop SSR for how to tune a upper mid push.

The BL-05's upper ranges are fairly linear in the presence region with a sharp upper treble spike rearing it's head. It gives the presentation plenty of air along with decent shimmer and sparkle, but it comes at the expense of listening comfort and fatigue. As a low volume listener, this sort of tuning is fine since I can still enjoy all the finer details of a track without feeling like I'm missing out of risking damaging to my hearing. Higher volume listeners should probably avoid the BL-05, as should treble sensitive users.

The BL-05 has a pretty average sound stage. Sounds get tossed off pretty far from the head, but there doesn't seem to be a ton of depth leading to somewhat mediocre layering qualities. Instrument separation is decent, but given the somewhat broad, flat sound on offer, toss something complicated the BL-05's way, like the closing moment of King Crimson's “Starless and Bible Black”, and congestion sets in. Imaging is also fine, but lacks the precision I expect from a product at this price range. Kinda meh here...

Overall I actually like the BL-05 a lot more than you'd think from reading the above comments. That said, the general brightness, somewhat weightless low end, and slightly off timbre make these somewhat tailored to a niche crowd and not the masses that loved the BL-03.

Compared To A Peer (volumes matched with Dayton iMM-6)

KZ ZS10 Pro (45.00 USD): The ZS10 Pro is clearly the bassier of the two with a stronger sub- and mid-bass presence. This gives it a warmer, darker, and in my opinion more natural and well-rounded presentation than the BL-05. The BL-05 is quicker and better controlled though, with the ZS10 Pro sounding looser and less precise. What KZ's offering loses in speed and control, it makes up for in texture and punch. The midrange of the ZS10 Pro provides a better experience to my ears. Vocals are nowhere near as lean and yet, detail and clarity are nearly on par. They're also more linear without the upper mid spike. Treble is also a more linear experience, particularly in the upper treble which isn't as aggressive out of KZ. The BL-05's upper ranges are a bit tighter and smoother, but give up a hint of detail to it's armature equipped counterpart. Sound stage clearly goes to the KZ. While not quite as wide, it is deeper with a more well-rounded feel. Instrument separation is similar with vastly improved layering. Imaging is more precise too.

Overall I feel the ZS10 Pro is the more accomplished, well-rounded product. That said, the differences in bass quantity should have these appealing to different crowds. If you want a bumping low end, the ZS10 Pro will satisfy infinitely more than the BL-05.

TinHiFi T2 Plus (59.99 USD): The T2 Plus goes for a similar sort of neutral-bright type of sound as the BL-05, but one ups the Blon in nearly every way. Treble doesn't have quite as good of extension, but it is much more balanced and less aggressive while matching or exceeding the BL-05 in detail and clarity. The midrange is a little bit thicker and warmer on the T2 Plus giving it a more natural sound, even if timbre is still a hint brighter than is ideal. The T2 Plus' low end adds in the warmth and density lacking from the BL-05 and provides a punchier, more visceral experience with additional texture. The tin's sound stage is also more impressive than the BL-05. Wider, deeper, better imaging, improved layering and separation.

What I'm getting at is the BL-05 is fairly average and the TinHiFi T2 Plus exceptional. Comparing one of the best in this price range with something decidedly average really brings out the BL-05's weaknesses.

IMG_0476.JPGIMG_0477.JPGIMG_0479.JPG

In The Ear The BL-05's shells take clear visual inspiration from AKG with their N-Series of earphones, like the N30 and N5005. The two-part metal shells are well put together and should be plenty durable in the long run. Seams between the component parts could be tighter, but it's nothing concerning. A touch I quite like is the gold coloured face plate insert containing the Blon name and channel indicators. It adds some flair to what is otherwise a pretty unassuming design.

Comfort and fit is a bit of a mixed bag. The low profile design sits nicely in the ear and I didn't experience any comfort issues due to hot spots or sharp edges. The stubby nozzle was a problem though. The length forced either extra long tips, or wide tips a size up to get and maintain a good seal. While the nozzle is a fairly average 5mm in width, the lip is very thin so I found my standard tips barely hanging on. Tips designed for a smaller nozzle seemed to fit best.

The cable feels like a mix of KZ and TRN products. The thin black, braided sheath is pure TRN in terms of thickness and feel. It's plenty flexible but had a habit of stiffening in cool weather, and tangles above the y-split quite easily thanks to the aggressively shaped preformed ear guides. The hardware (y-split and 90 degree angled jack) is old school KZ, matching what appeared on many of their products prior to the release of the ZST. That's a good thing because both the jack and y-split (all of it) is very well relieved which should provide plenty of protection from bends and tugs. Overall a good cable, though the tangling gets annoying, quickly, so make sure you store them carefully to avoid having to deal with this.

The BL-05 does a reasonably average job isolating you from the outside world. It's not up to snuff with the low profile shells from KZ, but matches what you get from something like the TinHiFi T2 Plus. Sounds are dulled but still audible with the stock silicone tips, with 3rd party foam tips being mandatory if you're planning to use these on a bus or something equally noisy.

IMG_0467.JPGIMG_0468.JPGIMG_0471.JPG

In The Box The BL-05 arrives in the same sort of elongated box I first saw from TFZ, with the earpieces set within a plastic insert and accessory box tucked below, all protected by a clear plastic lid. Printed on the lid are the statements that really set the Blon brand apart from the competition;

Belief
Letmusicburn
Oppoty
Nevergiveup
Annotation
Music and Driams


Nonsensical and hilarious, and surprising that it carried over from the BL-03's packaging. That said, if they had it corrected Blon fans would have been devastated. Outside of that chuckle, you get with this purchasing experience the following items;
  • BL-05 earphones
  • 0.78mm 2-pin cable
  • Canvas carrying bag
  • Small bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Wide bore single flange tips (s/l)
  • Manual
Overall a simple but entertaining unboxing experience. I wish they included a set of the wide bore tips in medium, because that's a pretty standard thing to do, although the large ones fit me just fine and provided a fantastic seal.

Final Thoughts The BL-05 is a perfectly fine earphone. Not best in class, but not worst either. I think it is decidedly mid-pack, a thinking which seems to be in line with the general consensus of the community. No one really talks about it anymore, and Blon quickly released the updated BL-05S which has brought the tuning more in line with the BL-03. Their tuners have done a good job bringing the new model to the forefront while burying memory of the standard BL-05.

Given all that, I'm not really sure what to say. The BL-05 could be thought of as a rushed attempt to capitalize on the success of the BL-03 but ended up a missed opportunity thanks to a tune that didn't appeal to fans of the previous model. Pretending as if the BL-03 never was, the BL-05 is a fine earphone in its own right, just not a leader in its class. Check it out if you like a somewhat bright, lean sounding earphone with good detail and clarity. If you prefer something less unique, stick with the Skullcandy equivalent BL-03.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

Disclaimer

A big thanks to Nappoler with HiFiGo for sending over a smaple of the BL-05 for the purposes of review, and my apologies for the delay in releasing this review. 2020 has been a bit of a crapshoot. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective opinions based on time spent using the BL-05. At the time of writing the BL-05 was on sale for 40.00 USD, down from 59.99 USD. At this price, I'm a little more lenient of any flaws and can recommend it at a solid daily driver, pending you like a brighter sounding earphone: https://hifigo.com/products/blon-bl-05-bl05

Specifications
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Driver: 10mm carbon nanotube dynamic
Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, FiiO M3 Pro, FiiO BTR3K, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark's Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Tobacco – screw*d Up Friends
Last edited:

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Ergonomics, fit and comfort.
- Construction.
- Clarity of sound.
- Ability to detail.
- Quality/price ratio.
Cons: Cable.
- Simple packaging and accessories.
-Bass too neutral.
- The amount of energy of the mid-highs can generate fatigue.
- Low three-dimensional scene.
Introduction

BLON is a brand based in Dongguan City, China. Founded in 2014, they have several headphones under their control (such as the B8 or B20), it was with the BL-03 that they have jumped to worldwide fame. The BLON BL-03, have been perhaps the most famous headphones of the last months. It was necessary to take the opportunity and bring out a new version, which would improve the deficiencies of the BL-03. The truth is that the BL-05 has only been on the market for a few months and today, we are already talking about a BL-05 MKII version.

In this review, we will try to clarify how this new version is and why the MKII are being prepared.

BLON BL-05 01_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 02_resize.jpg

Specifications

  • Type of Drivers: Dynamic 10mm, Carbon nanotube 2nd generation.
  • Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Jack connector: 3.5mm gold-plated, L-shaped.
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2-pin 0.78mm
BLON BL-05 03_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 04_resize.jpg

Packaging

The BL-05 comes in a white, elongated box, measuring 208x77x41mm. The front cover is made of transparent plastic, and the capsules can be seen embedded in a rigid mould, at the top. Underneath there is a box with the brand logo, in gold letters, where the accessories are located. Returning to the plastic lid, on it, there are some words written in English (with dubious spelling), with holographic ink.

On the back, these words are repeated, as a philosophy or slogan of the brand. You can also read the company's address, as well as the minimum specifications.

After emptying the box, the complete contents are:

  • 2 capsules BL-05
  • A 4-stranded twisted cable.
  • 3 pairs of grey silicone tips, classic shape, sizes SxMxL.
  • 2 pairs of grey silicone tips, narrower and sharper shape, sizes MxL.
  • 1 cloth bag, to protect the IEMS.

Both the packaging and the contents are practically the same as for the BL-03. The bag protects little and the cable is of very fair quality. This time, more tips are coming and at least one set has the normal shape. The BLON BL-05 comes with the minimum necessary.

In addition to the packaging, you can buy, in the same link of purchase, fully compatible cables of better quality than the originals. These are 4-core **** cables, made of 32 strands of copper, silver-plated, with transparent or dark gold coating. Both cables fit perfectly to both BLON models, improving comfort and handling.

BLON BL-05 05_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 06_resize.jpg

Construction and Design

Probably the most successful change from the BL-03 is the design. Its predecessor, perhaps, didn't have the right shape for everyone and that penalized its adaptation and later sound. BLON has improved in this respect and has done well. They have chosen to build capsules with a classic design, oval spiral, with a completely metallic and rounded body. The pieces are a bit stubby and their weight is noticeable. The external side has a part, in the shape of a magnifying glass, in gold, where you can read "BLON", inside, where the lens of the magnifying glass is located, you can read the letter that identifies the channel, as well as part of the brand logo. This internal part has the same color as the rest of the capsule. This whole face in the shape of a magnifying glass, are two separate pieces, which protrude from the body of the capsule.

At the end of the spiral, there are two 0.78 pin cable connectors. The shape is customized and equal to the BL-03, but, due to its popularity, it is not difficult to find cables that are compatible. Both connectors are embedded in a rectangular piece of translucent plastic.

The capsules are made up of two pieces, external face and internal face. The division can be clearly seen, without any failure in their union. The nozzles are located at the inner and narrowest edge of the oval, forming a fairly open angle to the base of the capsules. Its length, in the shortest part, is approximately 5mm. These nozzles have a narrower slot, 4.6mm, while the wider part, base and outer ring, measures 5.6mm. The filter that protects the orifice is also metallic, with a fairly dense grid. Near the base of the nozzles, on the inner side of the capsules, there is a hole.

The cable is made up of 4 black strands, lined with rubbery plastic. The plug is 3.5mm, gold-plated. The connector is L-shaped and the sheath is oval, completely in plastic. On its external face, it can be read BLON. The cable forms a knotted braid. The dividing piece is Y-shaped, completely in plastic. The two-pin connectors are completely inside a slightly angled black plastic sleeve. The letter of the channel is indicated on the outside near the edge. The cable that arrives at this sleeve is protected by a semi-rigid, transparent plastic cover that gives it the shape over the ear. The problem is that this shape is very closed and can be very annoying.

As a conclusion, the shape and design of the capsules is very accurate, of good quality. I can only criticize the weight, which, on the other hand, does not affect the fit, since it is hardly noticeable once they are fitted.

The cable is much more questionable, being easily surpassed, above all, in comfort, handling and final quality, spending a few euros/$ more.

BLON BL-05 07_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 08_resize.jpg

Adjustment and Ergonomics

As a result of the new design, the ergonomics have been improved. Today, the BL-05 is very comfortable, even when its weight is perceptible in the hands. However, in the ears, this feature is not so appreciated, because its adjustment is simple and fast. The oval and spiral outer shape ensures an excellent fit for the cable. The inner part, also oval and very rounded, ensures a very pleasant contact with the ear. Its size is not small, but personally I have found no difficulty in fitting it. It does not protrude too much, nor does it rub against the outer parts of the ear. The angle of the nozzle is well thought out and the silicone tips fit properly into the ear canal. The only problem is that they are somewhat short, providing a superficial fit. Despite this, the socket is quite good and durable. No readjustment is necessary and the sound is not position-dependent. Due to their good fit, they move little, can be used for everyday use and also for gentle exercise. As a result, the insulation is remarkable.

BLON BL-05 09_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 10_resize.jpg

Sound

Profile


The profile is a smooth V, focusing on the central region and clarity, rather than the bass or treble.

BLON BL-05 11_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 12_resize.jpg

Bass

The lower zone is moderate and their approach is to lean towards sub-bass, but this is not really the case. The lower range is relatively linear, but tends to fall as frequencies increase. Bass lovers would be disappointed, and not even turning up the volume would satisfy them, because the rest of the frequencies will prevent them from enjoying this area. The depth is simply good and the sub-bass sound is not remarkably natural, nor does it have a totally realistic texture or completely natural timbre. On the other hand, the speed is good, the decay is more than adequate and the bass is agile. Their approach is correct and they have remarkable control, but they sound a little dry and unexciting, not very wide, nor are they able to fill the scene. Overall, the low end wants to have a neutral tendency, although the result is somewhat higher, but without being able to recreate it with real power, complexity, richness or amount of planes.

BLON BL-05 13_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 14_resize.jpg

Mids

In my personal opinion, the BL-05 has been tuned to get a very clear sound in the middle zone. The clarity of this area is reflected in the voices, as they sound very liberated, clean and enhanced. The problem is that the thinning of the lower mid-range limits their body and their sound is colder than vital. There is no trace of warmth, the texture is too smooth and they sound more analytical than organic. The result is an area that, without sounding unnatural, is too clean to be exciting. On the other hand, there is its energy level, in its mid-high part, whose value is elevated, at the point that, sometimes, it can be a bit harsh, due to too much presence, if the sources/tips/genders are not properly chosen. Although, not everything is bad in this combination, since, on the other side of the coin, the amount of detail is quite good, but without sounding very precise, nor possessing a great resolution. As I say, the best asset of the middle zone is its clarity, which can air out the most confusing passages, without being technically very good. The instruments sound quite explicit, with more or less thinness, depending on their tone, but they enjoy very good lateral separation, a quite defined execution and a somewhat brilliant timbre.

In the end, the overall quality of the area is limited by the lesser homogeneity between the lower and the middle and upper parts of the midrange.

BLON BL-05 15_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 16_resize.jpg

Treble

The upper zone is expressed in that classic way, which begins resolutely, but continues smoothly. The beginnings, on this occasion, are more perceptible, as they draw energy from the upper mid-range, but do not become insistently penetrating, as they are controlled at that appropriate, almost critical, point. In this way, the BL-05 stand out in presence, this time, more for quality, than for quantity. The result gives the sound that characteristic clarity and that vivid, bright tone that defines it. The details are conveniently expressed, without insisting too much on the micro detail, but more on space and separation. Nevertheless, the highs contribute to the sound being perceived as thin and more analytical than warm; something that must be taken into account for those ears sensitive to this region. It is also true that the whole ensemble can contribute to the insistent sound, from the final zone of the mids, to the first half of the highs, producing a greater sensation of fatigue, as time goes by. That said, the timbre, although fine, is not unnatural or really forced, just cold and energetic. The high notes have good definition and resolution, but without revealing the slightest details. In general, the expression of the high notes is quite descriptive, but persistent.

Finally, the BL-05 has the necessary air to give its sound that characteristic sharpness, but not to provide a great scene.

BLON BL-05 17_resize.jpgBLON BL-05 18_resize.jpg

Soundstage, Separation

The BL-05's scene lacks depth and feels pretty flat. Height is not a feature of this model either. Thus, the image does not have much three-dimensionality, although the separation and clarity, gives it an interesting width. The stage is recreated frontally, with a good level of space, not too congested, but with few representative planes, which contributes to the sound being somewhat boring in this sense, since its drawing is quite smooth.

BLON BL-05 19_resize.jpg

Comparisons

BLON BL-03

It's pretty curious, but my two BL-03 and BL-05 units, they look quite similar. However, I prefer the BL-03. Its lower zone is somewhat more noticeable, has more depth and has more weight within the sound. The sub-bass is perceived a little bit more naturally, and therefore its timbre. The whole set makes the low zone have more planes, more extension and realism. On the contrary, the BL-05 has a more present central zone, especially from the middle onwards, which makes it have a higher energy that, at the end, is more tiring. In this zone, the BL-03 are more natural, more homogeneous and not so excited. As a result, its tone is not so cold, but remains in an imaginary line between warmth and neutrality, which gives it that sweet spot that has been so successful. The greater homogeneity and warmth, of the BL-03 in the middle zone, achieves a greater body and width in the lower zone of the central range, contributing to recreate the voices in a more complete, less thin and, above all, sweeter and more pleasant way. The same characteristic generates that the instrumentation has a greater weight and a more remarkable representation within the ensemble. To all this, the BL-05, feel more cold and incomplete, unfinished, almost omitted, in some aspects of this range, generating a feeling of lack of coherence, emotion and / or enjoyment.

The tone of the upper zone, in the BL-05, maintains that brighter and colder look, which characterizes the rest of the ranges. The clarity is greater and its sound is finer and more penetrating. The BL-03 is not defined by being completely smooth, but it sounds more pleasant, less persistent and explicit, with a little less energy in the high range. In the end, the BL-05 achieves a more analytical point, which gives it a greater amount of detail, at the cost of being more exhausting.

I find that the BL-05 has a little bit more separation, but the scene is deeper in the BL-03, generating a more realistic image, with more planes and some more height, which gives it more tridimensionality.

In the constructive section, both IEMS have a manufacture of equal quality, where the design is quite different. I'm lucky, that the BL-03 fit me quite well, but, I must admit that the BL-05 have been designed to be more ergonomic. They even seem to weigh a little less. In this sense, the new model, fits more easily and its adjustment is faster and more durable.

BLON BL-05 20_resize.jpg

Conclusion

There is a very common saying, "If something works, don't touch it," but this is not possible in the capitalist world, where change and novelty always reign as the promise of an ever-better product. In this case, BLON has taken advantage of the hype BL-03, to try to overcome it. I suppose that the brand has received a lot of opinions about it. One of the most unanimous was the design. And there, they got it right. The new design is very ergonomic and comfortable. In the sound tuning... the question is quite relative, so much so that there is currently a BL-05 MKII model running among the reviewers... I suppose the brand's initial idea has been to achieve a more neutral tuning than its predecessor, softening the low area and enhancing the high mid-range. However, in my opinion, it has not been the most appropriate move, because, precisely, have achieved an effect, almost opposite. They have gained in sharpness and clarity, but have worsened the timbre and coherence.

It is true that, lately, profiles are appearing, where the lower zone is softening a lot and the upper middle zone is being emphasized, but, if we continue in this way, it will be very possible that many western audiophiles will look for alternatives within this current. BLON has crossed this border and has lost, in my opinion, the sound that attracted so many people. But, this is just my humble opinion, possibly, many, will think otherwise.

BLON BL-05 21_resize.jpg

Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Burson Audio Playmate.
  • HiBy R3 Pro
  • xDuoo X3II
  • Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
  • JWD JWM-115

BLON BL-05 22_resize.jpg

Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 80
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 90
  • Accessories: 50
  • Bass: 71
  • Mids: 76
  • Treble: 77
  • Separation: 80
  • Soundstage: 70
  • Quality/Price: 85

BLON BL-05 23_resize.jpg

You can read the full review in Spanish here:

https://hiendportable.com/2020/07/14/blon-bl-05-review/
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: baskingshark

iceperry

New Head-Fier
Pros: Improved Build Quality and Aesthetics, Good Instrument Separation, Pretty good Imaging and Soundstage, Bass response fun without being overpowering
Cons: Can sound a little unnatural in the upper mids, thin vocals (especially female), Fit can be iffy and tip dependant
Intro

Disclaimer: I purchased the BLON BL-05 from Aliexpress and this review is written of my own accord.

This is a review of the BLON BL-05, the successor of the much famed BLON BL-03s. The BL-03s now have their own cult following due to their stellar performance at a very low price point. Here we shall find out if the BL-05s hold their own ground as a successor and if BLON can move beyond simply being a one-hit wonder.

For more reviews, visit www.perrivanaudio.com

IMG_4074.jpg


Packaging and Accessories (Score: 4/10)

Tempted to give these extra points just for the OPPOTY of things to #LETMUSICBURN. At this point I’m sure BLON very well knows how iconic this packaging is and kept it. Then again, it has the same old ratchet accessories that really nobody wanted to see again. The same tacky cable, the same ratchet drawstring pouch, and the same unusable silicone tips.

IMG_4161.jpg


Build Quality and Fit (Score: 7.5/10)

It has the same 2-pin connector and replacing of the stock cable is not a must but doing so would improve comfort and aesthetics. BLON does sell replacement cables and I happen to have a sample of the upgrade cable you can order as a bundle.

Build quality and aesthetics of the earbuds themselves have really improved on the BL-05s. They now sport a 2-tone colour scheme. Mine is the gun-metal variant and the gold accents give off a more luxurious vibe befitting the increased price tag.

Fit is more universal than the BL-03s and should fit more ears this time which is a huge plus. For me, I still found myself struggling a little with the fit as I felt the nozzle was a little too short for my liking. Finding the right tips would help a lot in achieving a good seal. BLON should really stop shipping these tips with their releases.

Sound (Score: 7.0/10)

Sources used

  • Fiio μBTR
  • Shanling M3s
Albums and Tracks tested
  • This Girl by Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners
  • Hold the Line (Avicii feat, A R I Z O N A)
  • Slow Dance by AJ Mitchell and Ava Max
  • Footsteps in the Night – Deluxe Mix by Lost Frequencies
  • Queen – Sheer Heart Attack (2011 Remaster)
  • Grease Soundtrack
  • The Essentials by The Spinners (2003 Remaster)
  • The Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack 2007 Remaster
  • Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra - Suisogaku Sansen Sinfonia Nobilissima

Bass (Score: 8/10)

Right off the bat, the bass is the standout area of the BLON BL-05. The bass has good extension and punch. The timbre of the bass is also relatively good and enjoyable. I found it quite enjoyable. I really enjoyed listening to pop songs and EDM when paired with the Fiio μBTR. It makes for a convenient budget pairing that I take with me on my train commutes. The bass is also not overpowering or overwhelming. It’s been toned down a little from the BL-03 and that was nice as the bleed into the lower mids is now reduced. It’s not as punchy and emphasized as the BL-03s, but still emphasized. Listening to “Cupid/I’ve Loved You for a Long Time” by The Spinners, I really enjoyed the punchy bass line and the quantity wasn’t too overwhelming. I was also pleasantly surprised at the pretty decent definition in the bass region, something worthy of praise at this price point.

Mids (Score: 7.0/10)

The performance of the mids are very average and in these increasingly competitive times, average isn’t going to cut it. The overall sound signature of the BL-05 is a very common V shape and the mids are recessed. Male vocals do not have enough body as I would’ve liked, and this worsens going up to the female vocals. Vocals, especially female, sometimes sound a little congested and thin. However, they are not too forward or in your face thankfully, but tonality is not as enjoyable. The hit in tonality is likely due to the excessive boost in the 2-4k region.

Treble (Score: 7.5/10)

Treble extends well for something so budget. I like the airiness and the sense of space in the treble, surely contributing to a more “premium” feeling when listening to the BL-05. Things like crash cymbals and bells do sound pretty lively on the BL-05, but never too harsh. Micro details are slightly above average for a sub-$100 earphone and while there is a slightly greater emphasis in the treble, I didn’t find any sibilance through various genres.

Overall Sound Impressions and Comparison to BL-03 (Review Here)

This comparison is inevitable and as a successor, it is of course expected of the BL-05 to be better than the BL-03. Although I found the BL-05 a decent enough performer, it didn’t exactly impress either, nothing it has really warrants the increase in price.
I’ll begin with what the BL-05 has over the BL-03. The BL-05 has a slightly more universal shape and hence fit. I didn’t find the fit on the BL-05 very significantly better than the BL-03, but your mileage may vary. The BL-05 has a better soundstage and sounds more expansive than the BL-03. There is less bass bleed into the mids on the BL-05. The separation seems to be better on the BL-05 and overall, the BL-05 is tuned to be brighter than the BL-03.

The BL-03 does have a fair share of things it does better than the BL-05. To me the biggest thing which makes me prefer the BL-03 is that I find the overall tonality on the BL-03 is much more pleasing. The vocals have much more body on the BL-03.
Imaging is great for the price you are paying on both sets. Do not expect great detail from these earphones (and quite honestly, you probably wouldn’t be expecting it either in the $50 range)

IMG_4054-2.jpg


Conclusion

The pitfall of the BL-05 is how it’s sunk into normalcy. It struggles to differentiate itself from its sea of competitors. It has lost its unique “X-Factor” by going for a very common V-shape tuning. This is not to say the BL-05 is bad objectively, but simply put, not good enough. BLON has set the bar too high for themselves with the BL-03. I respect how they attempted a change in tuning to appeal to the people who weren’t a fan of the very bassy and dark tuning of the BL03s. However, the timbre which was the best trait of the BL-03 was lost in the process.

I kind of expected something along these lines for the BL-05s although I would be lying if I said I had no expectations for another miracle.

The BL-05 sells for significantly more and I think that contributes to its pitfall. I don’t think that for its performance, it should cost any more than the BL-03. I do understand that the BL-05 looks much more premium and well-made than the BL-03, but one would only expect significant improvement (in sound also) when paying significantly more for an earpiece.

In short, the BL-05 is quite a great earphone for its price, presenting decent value, and I enjoyed my time with it. It is well built and can take some abuse as daily beaters. It is a very fun listen, but so was the BL-03, which potentially promises more for less, and that’s the main stumbling block for the BL-05.

Comments

dharmasteve

Headphoneus Supremus
Having used the Blon 05 for some days now, and concentrated on the sound quality, I think that I have had enough brain burn in, and perhaps a little empirical burn in, to comment on this new IEM. The stock cable is fine and gives a slightly thickened sound, but the added tripowen 16 core that is in, as an extra, in many packages has a slightly more refined sound. Tips are crucial to the sound and the stock tips degrade the sound quite clearly. I use Spiral Dot Large tips and an ISN C16 cable to get the maximum I can out of the Blon 05.
OK to the main point....are these Blon 05's any good? After much concentrated listening the answer is simple...YES. Really good. The shape of the shell is so different that the fit is more natural and seals relatively easily. They feel stable and in no way feel like the may fall out. The differences in the chamber mainly effects soundstage which is quite different to the Blon 03. It's wide with good dimensionality and on some tracks holographic. The sound reminded me of an excellent sounding DAP I had, the iBasso DX 160 which also gave a somewhat holographic presentation from the DAP side. The pulled back bass still has depth when needed on the Blon 05 but in no way dominates tracks. With Ambitionz as a Ridah by Tupac and that type of track, also many of Bob Marley's tracks the Blon 03 has more direct impact and suits that style of music, but as my 05s burn in the bass is opening up and is more natural and less boomy, more defined without the famous Blon 03 bass bleed. Timbre, tone and rhythm are exceptional on this DD driven Blon 05. I have not put them down since their arrival and it's clear they have a more forward presentation than the Blon 03. They do give a new dimension to all vocal music which is a few paces closer....in a good way for me, as I acclimatise to it. Any genre such as folk, music with lead vocals, instruments that are more forward in the mix, much classical music, general pop music will all benefit from the Blon 05. Some genres like EDM may not.
The Blon 05 is different to the Blon 03, so a direct comparison may be a little futile. The new chamber shape changes the spatial accoustics and adds an unexpected to the listening experience. Those of you who did not like the emphasised bass of the 03 will like the 05, but I did like the bass on the Blon 03 so will in no way be binning them. The truth is that the Blon 05 is different in it'd own right and a lot of music does sound better compared to the 03....but not all music. It we be great to evaluate as more reviews and impressions come out. I think Blon have hit a winner again, because as will be seen, the new casing alters the spacial factors of soundstage and imaging and for some that will be meaningful. Whoever judges them on the bass and treble alone may miss the point of this clever and good sounding IEM. A pleasure to listen too. Please though remember...crap Tip, crap Sound.
 
Thank you very much for this return. I expect to receive the Blon 03 in a few days, I do not know if I would have the opportunity to compare them to the 05 but this return makes me want in any case.
 
Top