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Qingyin QY-30

  • New 2016 QingYin 30 In ear Earphones HIFI Balanced Armature With Dynamic Earbuds Headset

Recent Reviews

  1. vapman
    Hybrid IEM is fun & detailed at the same time, but weak bass and not for those very treble sensitive
    Written by vapman
    Published Jul 20, 2016
    Pros - Detailed & fun at the same time, very immersive when deep/strong bass is not in the recording
    Cons - Sucks when there is bass in the recording, can potentially have razor sharp treble
    I decided to give these a shot after having read about the older Qingyin hybrid model, the QY-20. It was described as a cold but detailed sound with decent bass extension and the tendency to change sound signatures fairly heavily depending on the source, and it's not too common to see a DIY offering these days that's only a single DD and a single BA - very basic design for a hybrid.
    Well actually, I was buying myself the Musicmaker TK13/TO12 (same thing, both names) again when the store owner talked me into trying the QY-30 as well, so I did, cause why not?
    Well, there are a few reasons why not to get the Qingyin, probably more than the reasons I can think of that you -should- get a Qingyin, unless the Qingyin's sound signature is the sound you've been after, in which case this is probably an awesome set for you. And while some of the things that make the Qingyin unique I did not know beforehand, some surprises were more welcome than others.
    First, upon unboxing the QY-30, I noticed (of course) the very large box with fancy silver printing. I have become spoiled by earbud/IEM packaging since I started buying DIY IEMs from Asia, as lower price points often get you much fancier packaging than usual. The QY-30 was no exception: a really beautiful box that opens up to reveal specs, history & information of the QY-30 (all in Chinese), a cutaway diagram of how the drivers are positioned, and of course the IEMs waiting for you on the other side.
    The first thing you will notice, probably, is that the QY-30's are CRAZY heavy. I can't imagine a single DD and a single BA per IEM weigh that much, so I blame the all-metal housings for the weight. However, it's never caused me discomfort while listening. The L/R markings are a little hard to see, but People who have used Sony IEMs in the past will notice the 3 included tips are exactly like the IEM tips Sony offers. They mimic the "Small Long", "Medium Long" and "Large Long" sizes, usually sizes offered with IEMs at purchase, but not nearly as easy to find by themselves... anyway...
    The nozzles are also huge. It even took a little work to get Spiral Dots on, and those are known to be super easy to put on large nozzle IEMs. It took me a couple minutes to get the stock tips on and then basically left them on forever since then.
    Surely you want to know about the sound by now, right?
    Let's take a quick look at my listening gear: for the review I will be using it directly from my XDuoo X3 DAP, or my ODAC -> Bengkel Macro bMac 3CH MK2 amp combo. The X3 runs stock firmware, so no EQ on the X3, but huge EQ on my computer with the ODAC:
    <EQ screenshot>
    One thing to keep in mind about these IEMs I have found is that they are VERY sensitive to output impedance. The normal output on my bMac or my vintage stereo receiver is almost piercingly sharp even with EQ, so I was prepared for the worst when using my XDuoo X3, but was surprised to find, even though the X3's EQ was flat (no EQ settings at all) the treble wasn't too harsh at all. It was actually a pretty nice sound overall. When I am using it with the ODAC/bMac now, I use the 75 ohm output - if I didn't own one I would have gotten or made a 75 ohm adapter - as is expected from balanced armatures, the impedance has a large affect on the sound. So you'll notice when using these with a 75 ohm output that the bass is more or less unchanged (as it's the dynamic driver doing almost all of the bass work) yet the high frequencies are significantly recessed and there is a significantly warmer sound overall.
    To emphasize that: if you like your treble hot & very present, you'll love these. If you don't, you're going to want a higher impedance adapter for these to keep them from being razor blades of upper mid and treble detail (sounds like FiiO sound signature fans would love these?)
    These aren't basshead IEMs and never will be. Bass extension and presence are not these IEM's specialies. The bass presence is decent for a non EQ'd IEM but I can't hear almost any bass improvement between this and the ODAC, so while it might have been able to take my aggressive sub bass EQ when I was using it with the ODAC, it was not able to push much more bass. Also, while bass presence isn't that bad at all, it kind of rolls off after the mid-bass: there is no sub-bass at all really. But you have to consider this is a 10mm dynamic driver with a single balanced armature in front of it, so considering how much midrange/treble force the IEM has it's not terrible on bass performance. I just wouldn't recommend this at all to anyone who cares about their sub bass.
    The QY-30 does have a fairly cold sound overall, this I probably would chalk up to the single BA in front of the dynamic driver, and it is nice to have a simple configuration like this in a world where Asian DIY IEM makers are seemingly in a rush to cram more drivers in every IEM. The sound isn't detailed or analytical enough for me to call this a detailing IEM, absolutely not in the same league as an Etymotic, but it's more detailed by far than you would consider a "fun" IEM to be. So maybe if you love the Etymotic sound but wish there was more bass/liveliness to it - but not too much of either! - this is probably a good pick for you.
    The cable is exactly like the Musicmaker IEMs/earbuds if you are familiar with those. I had two different Musicmaker products (tomahawk and TK13/TO12) both have the same cable as this. The cable is fine to me but some people are bothered by it's slight stiffness. The Y split in the cable has a metal tube to keep it in place with "QY-30" engraved on it. Looks great overall.
    Unfortunately I don't think these will be staying in my collection for good. First off, I'm a raving basshead, so total lack of sub-bass is simply unacceptable for me. That said I have had a lot of fun listening to these IEMs despite not being as detailed as Etys or as powerful on bass as my other IEMs and being a little bright with some sources. It occupies a space none of my other IEMs (or any IEM I have heard in a long time, really) have occupied. I am still enjoying listening to female vocal songs which don't have too much in the way of bass with my XDuoo. For recordings that don't rely on your ability to hear/feel the sub bass, it's a ton of fun to listen to. When listening to Kwon BoA - Listen To My Heart with my XDuoo X3, I was surprised at how close to the Etymotic it was able to get on detailing while still maintaining a very fun & enjoyable sound. The 10mm DD + single BA combination is not that bad at all, in the end.
    So why 3 stars? Well, no sub bass is a big detractor for me, and they can be razor blades of treble with some sources whereas they are more balanced and predictable with others. I would say if you don't know what your sources do for output impedance, maybe pick up or build yourself a 75 ohm adapter. And while it sounds awesome on bass light female vocal tracks, I found out after a few days of listening that it really is vocal music without too much bass that it's specialty. Listening to 80's industrial and 90's techno made it really clear that its lack of ability to push bass made songs which depend on it sound incredibly thin and incomplete. Because of this unpredictability, and its profound weakness with certain genres (hip hop is straight up awful with these, for reasons I'm sure you can imagine) I couldn't give it as high of a score as I would have liked to. Given that it's more or less restricted to bass light genres, it's a really great sound.
    If it was under $70 new I would probably have given it 4 stars and made sure to make it very clear it's good on certain genres and bad on others. However at $95 I really can not rec this unless you know already that bass isn't your thing, you're not a basshead, and you're probably happy using Etymotics for your music collection. If that sounds like you, then yeah grab a pair of these and try to get them for less than $95. If the listed asking price for these on Aliexpress changes to $60-70 I'd have an easier time rating these higher. Because of the price point and the amount of possible limitations you may experience, I would hold off on recommending everyone and anyone drop their hard earned money on these. I would not recommend buying these unless you already know what sound signature you're after or if my description of the sound signature is appealing to you. If it sounds vaguely appealing to you, chances are you'll enjoy these, but I don't know if you'll enjoy them enough to be happy having spend $95 on them. If people were buying these new without any idea of what they sounded like, they would be incredibly polarizing. Honestly I wish these were more like $50-60 and then I would have a much easier time recommending them.


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