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Blon in ear monitors impressions thread

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  1. Hisma
    yeah this is another thing worth mentioning. The cardinal's use MMCX, and I tend to own quite a few MMCX cables vs the .78(?)mm used on the BL-03. Also worth mentioning that while the cable on the cardinal is definitely nicer than the stock BL-03 cable, it doesn't scream high-end or anything. In fact it's only a 4-core cable. But they still sound fine to my ears, and I do have the ability to easily play around w/ different cables in my MMCX collection. Cardinal stock tips also fit very well and didn't sound bad at all, whereas the BL-03 stock tips are garbage. One could very well rock the stock package that comes with the cardinals and enjoy a great sound and fit. But you still have the opportunity to get slightly more via tip rolling, and perhaps cable swapping as well. The same can't be said of the BL-03, where tip rolling is mandatory, and cable swapping is highly advised.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    backdrifter and yorosello like this.
  2. DynamicEars
    I think based on @Hisma impressions, i will pass the cardinal/bluejay since they are sounded similar to Bl03 and yeah @Slater was right, i made the BL03 as hanging down iem for easy put on easy put off iem with great sounding.

    Anyway thanks @Hisma for your nice fast impressions. Great job on your take.
    1clearhead, Slater and Hisma like this.
  3. piji
    Yeah as someone coming new into IEMs, the Cardinal is the full package, so to speak, for a pretty similar price to BL-03 + cable + tips. As @Slater said, wearing straight down is super convenient for talking to people but for my use case I'm torn between that convenience and what you mention regarding isolation, as like you I'm going to be wearing them in public (trains are especially noisy).

    So basically at this point just trying to weigh up the convenience and familiarity of wearing straight down versus better isolation and what looks like way better stock accessories. :thinking:
  4. TimeSnow
    I love wearing IEMs over the ear and have a lot of MMCX cables, and as I'll be getting both at basically the same time (and gifting the pair I don't keep to my girlfriend) it was an easy choice for me.

    Fingers x'd.
  5. piji
    Now there's an idea!
    TimeSnow likes this.
  6. mark88888
    Why is it impossible with the Cardinal/Bluejay to wear then straight down? Are they too big and they'll just pop out?
  7. piji
    I assumed the shape would make them uncomfortable to wear that way. I've no experience with this style of IEM, though.
  8. baskingshark
    Is the Cardinal power hungry like the BL-03? As in does it scale better and tighter with amping?

    Do note that wearing IEMs cable down may increase microphonics, but it might be more convenient to remove for sure.

    Generally bass is the first frequency to be lost in noisy environments like subways/buses, so I find that the IEMs I have/had with a boosted midbass like the Westone 3 and KZ ZS10 Pro did well for transit purposes. Since @Hisma vouched for the Cardinal's isolation (compared to BL-03), I actually have high hopes for the Cardinal to be a good transit IEM in view of its boosted midbass tuning (which was the similar tuning in the BL-03, though the latter has below average isolation).
    yorosello, Hisma and piji like this.
  9. Slater
    The Cardinal is not designed for it, due to the shape of the shell and location of the plug. It only works when worn 'up'. Some earphones only work when worn 'down', and some earphones work both ways.

    A car is only designed to drive on a road, not drive in the water. Likewise, boats are only designed to go in water, not drive on the road. They do make cars, however, that were specifically designed to drive on a road and float in the water, but they are purposely designed for that.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Mouseman and mark88888 like this.
  10. Hisma
    knew i was forgetting something. Long day and I was going to do further testing with an amp later, but went ahead and did it now. Yes same characteristics of the BL-03. My V-30 can drive them but not to their full potential. Scales well with power. Balanced out with an E1DA #9038S it's bliss (please excuse the awful cable management - I just got the 9038 and a small male-to-male USB-C is on the way)

    By the way, even though these supposedly were released before the BL-03, do you think it's possible these have been revamped or re-released since the success of the BL-03? The writing on my IEMs have no mention of "cardinal" like is shown in the pictures. Stock photo of the cardinal has a stamp that says "BLON cardinal DSH0119L". Mine is stamped with "BLON audition DGS0179R". Now I don't know the significance of the "DGSxx" vs "DSHxxx", but "audition" vs "cardinal" should raise an eyebrow. I am 95% certain these are genuine - they sound way too good to be knock-offs. It's something to be aware of. Going off the label, I don't have a cardinal, I have an audition. Strange indeed. Also worth noting there was 0 paperwork in the box. So all I have to go off of is what's stamped on the IEM itself.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  11. TimeSnow
    Just got my shipping confirmation from AE... Exciting
  12. mark88888
    2D3A0738-8B43-436B-8774-FB67E2324AFE.jpeg Nice! Received my BLON 03. I stripped off the plastic ear guides, and put on those tips... the size is medium core, medium tip. They fit well and are very comfortable.

    Question. For wearing them straight down, do I have the allignment of the pins right? In the photo, you see the left wire on the left side, attached to the "R" earbud... and the right wire is on the right side, attached the the "L" earbud. So the allignment is such that the wires are angled back while wearing them, not forwards. Should the angle of the wires actually be heading forwards, or does it not matter which way you insert the earbuds into the pins? (its the stock cable that comes with the BLON 03)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  13. mbwilson111
    For wearing down I used a cable with no angle... just a straight connector.

    You have attached them to the correct ear pieces. As for the angle I think it would depend on which way is more comfortable.. .as long as they are the same. Can you do a phase check to make sure it is ok? The first thing I do with any earphone is check the phase... well.. and that both earpieces work:)
  14. Hisma
    okay a little more time with these and i do have more criticism to add (sorry to drown out the hype, but I need to pump the brakes before I get called out when other people start receiving their units).
    When I first posted I only A/Bed for a few minutes, I really shouldn't have been so quick to give an impression without doing more demo'ing. Difference in sound signature are definitely emerging.
    It became more apparent when I started playing more instrumental music. So I have to preface by saying I can't get near the level of isolation on the BL-03 as I can get with the cardinals, so I think that really has something to do with what I'm hearing. But with instrumental music I notice way more sub-bass using the cardinals vs the BL-03. Now in many cases more bass is a good thing, but when you compare it to the BL-03 and go back and forth, the detail that I hear in an electric guitar playing proggy riffs is more enjoyable than the overpowering bass I hear with the cardinals. Still, it's crazy how when I switch between the cardinals and the BL-03, the BL-03 sounds flat in comparison. But the natural instrumental presentation that the BL-03 is renown for cannot be denied, and is not as present on the cardinals.

    The album I demoed for the instrumental test is from a band called "soften the glare". Again in flac. There's some serious guitar/bass work that is extremely clean yet detailed, and very well recorded, so it's a great test of a genre that BL-03s excels at (jazzy/proggy music). For me I think BL-03 was a better sound than the cardinals for this type of music.

    Later I played some hiphop/funk from N.E.R.D., the old album "Ride or Die". It sounds amazing on both the cardinals and the BL-03. Vocal presentation is pretty much on par, but as I mentioned in my original review the BL-03 is more forward. But because of the cardinal's more prominent bass, I did enjoy them with hip hop more-so than the BL-03.

    Couple other things... the BL-03 seem to be more forgiving to poorly recorded material. Not sure if it's the boosted bass but sometimes I heard what sounded like clipping/distortion at times. Again this was mainly with poor recordings. I look at the empty stem and wonder if it needs a grill or a filter.

    I'm going to stop now. One thing I will still say is the cardinals absolutely do sound good. But I will walk back my statement that the tuning is identical to the BL-03. It's not. So I'll let someone more experienced than myself give their impressions as I only seem to be muddying the waters at this point.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  15. mbwilson111
    Don't worry. These waters are always muddy.
    jibberish, Toastybob and Hisma like this.
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