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Blon in ear monitors impressions thread

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  1. Tonymac136
    Only by tip rolling. I use MH755 tips with no spacers which gives me a shallow insertion. Probably the seal isn't 100% but it is the only way I have got the bass how I like it (actually it is ever so slightly light in the bass now but the mid bass inconsistencies are gone)
    Slater, mbwilson111 and RevPizzaguy like this.
  2. chinmie
    The best tips to reduce and even out the midbass (that i tried after tip rolling almost all of my eartips :sweat_smile: ) is the Spiral dot++ , even that the midbass is still a bit over a little. I imagine the air vent can still be explored to mod it more, but i lack the technical prowess to experiment it myself.
    baskingshark likes this.
  3. baskingshark

    From this thread, @Otto Motor is working with some folks to tune a version 2 BLON, that has longer nozzles (better fit) and reduced midbass. Great work from him. So maybe that may suit the rest who have issues with the mid bass. Stay tuned (no pun intended).

    The BLON cardinal has just reached my post office, I'm gonna collect it in a few hours time and leave some quick impressions, not sure if the Cardinal will have any difference in the mid bass to the BL-03.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  4. Hisma
    awesome! Eager to hear your quick impressions.
  5. RikudouGoku
    Please compare the physical size of the cardinal to the T800.
    baskingshark likes this.
  6. RikudouGoku
    @baskingshark any estimate on when your review/impressions will be up?
  7. baskingshark
    I won't be reaching the post office till about 5 hours time, and will still need time after that to get home to do some serious A/B with the BL-03 and tip roll a bit. I'll try to let u know about the BLON Cardinal's size and sound ASAP. Definitely before the 11/11 sale ends. It ends in around 24 hours from now right?
  8. RikudouGoku
  9. RikudouGoku
    @baskingshark the physical size is the most important thing I need to know since if it's the same as the T800 then no matter how good it sounds I can't use it.
    SoundChoice likes this.
  10. baskingshark
    I got hold of my Cardinal about an hour ago. These are my amateur impressions:

    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.20.jpeg

    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.22.jpeg

    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.21.jpeg
    Where did our favourite puncline "Oppoty and Driams" go?? For some reason, they still love to burn music! Accessories are much more generous than the BL-03, but it still comes with the lame sackcloth carrying bag.

    The fit of the Cardinal is way better than the BL-03, due to the longer nozzle/shell. I had no problems with the stock cable and stock tips.
    Unfortunately, u are out of luck @RikudouGoku, the shell shape is just very slightly smaller than the Audiosense T800. I don't find either IEM uncomfortable actually, but of course we have different build and ear anatomies. Here's a comparison of sizes and nozzle lengths between the BL-03, Cardinal and T800:
    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.24.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.23 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-11-12 at 18.53.23.jpeg
    The Cardinal and T800 have a similar semi custom look with the protruding tip at the concha area of the ear.
    It has no nozzle cover like the T800, so I would recommend some mesh cover to prevent wax and other debris from entering the shell. It's a few bucks on AE on many stores, something like this:

    Initial impressions of the Cardinal after doing A/B for 45 min, using Khadas tone board -> Fiio A3 amp and smartphone (low end DAC):
    - Do bear in mind I'm using stock tips/stock cable with the Cardinal, compared to Spinfit CP 100/NiceHCK 8 core copper cables with the BL-03, as I can't get a good fit with the stock tips/cables on the BL-03. Even for those that don't believe in cables making a difference to sound, there's definitely a difference with eartips. The Spinfit CP100s are bassier than the stock BL-03 eartips to me, so this may affect the sound signature when doing A/B comparisons.
    - No burn in done yet, these impressions are OOTB. (I do believe in DDs changing in sound with burn in, but the changes are subtle and not night and day kind of difference).
    - Better fit and isolation in the Cardinal, due to the bigger shell covering the ear and the better tip fit. Isolation is still not as good as multi BA sets. There's a huge vent at the nozzle area of the Cardinal, so I think most vented IEMs will have penalties in the isolation department in general. I'll do some tests in the subway over the next week.
    - I agree 100% with @Hisma 's opinions and comparisons of the BL-03 vs Cardinal, they probably have the same driver and same tuning.
    - Subbass extends lower and of slightly greater quantity in the Cardinal.
    - Midbass thump/hump lesser in the Cardinal (this might be due to the spinfit CP100 being used on the BL-03, as it makes the sound bassier). The midbass distorts less in the Cardinal on higher volumes.
    - Mids and treble similar between BL-03 and Cardinal.
    - Instrument separation/details/clarity/imaging is slightly superior on the Cardinal. If I can give a ballpark figure, subjectively the Cardinal has about 10 - 20% more details and instrument separation. This is because of 3 reasons - soundstage is slightly wider on the Cardinal, isolation is better on the Cardinal and lastly, the elevated midbass in the BL-03 relative to the Cardinal also obscures some details in the mids.
    - Cardinal is as power hungry as the BL-03 despite specs on paper. It can be driven by a smartphone but amping definitely makes the Cardinal scale better, it tightens the bass and increases dynamics and details.
    - Timbre and tonality very similar between Cardinal and BL-03, they both portray acoustic instruments very well and organically, the best in my collection of 20 or so CHIFI.
    - Similarly to the BL-03, the Cardinal doesn't fair well at complex instrumentation/multiple riffs going on simultaneously, compared to multi BA/hybrids. There is smearing in the bass with complex bass lines like the BL-03. Hence, my opinion is that both sets will do better in acoustical instrument predominant genres and in slower genres with lesser instruments.

    TLDR: I agree 100% with @Hisma 's opinions and comparisons of the BL-03 vs Cardinal, they probably have the same driver and same tuning. The fit and isolation is better, and maybe the Cardinal has more subbass with decreased midbass (which may suit those folks who are dissatisfied with the midbass hump of the BL-03). The Cardinal's midbass is still elevated relative to other IEMs, though how much of the bass variation between the Cardinal and BL-03 could be explained by the different ear tips and isolation? There's about 10 - 20% better details/instrument/separation/clarity in the Cardinal compared to the BL-03, so this is really a case of a marginal upgrade.

    I bought my set @ $64 USD, so does it justify the almost 2x cost compared to the BL-03 since they are similarly tuned?
    Well, I think for existing owners of the BL-03, it is worthwhile getting the Cardinal/Bluejay if u want a better fit, better isolation and soundstage (and if u have tried many different tips and still can't get a good fit). And maybe some folks might wanna see if the midbass hump is less than the BL-03. I'm a basshead so I'm up for moooooore bass any day, so I'm quite happy with more subbass in the Cardinal, so take my bass opinion with a pinch of salt if u are bass averse. There's marginal upgrades in the technicalities as discussed above, so it may not be cost effective for those who already have a good fit with aftermarket tips/cables with the BL-03.

    For folks who haven't gotten the BL-03 and are wondering what is the BL-03 hypetrain about and don't wanna waste time eartip rolling or finding aftermarket cables, the Cardinal comes in a ready made package that is good to go OOTB. IMHO, if u are gonna spend 20 bucks on an aftermarket cable and around 5 - 10 bucks on a more expensive eartip like spinfits or JVC spiral dots for the BL-03, the costs are almost thereabouts between the 2 sets. YMMV.

    Will test more and burn in and give a more detailed review over the next few days!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  11. mark88888
    Thanks for the review! They sound good...
    Question: I'm wondering if the Bluejay/Cardinal can easily be worn straight down (not over the ear) like the BLON 03, or due to their shape it would be more awkward or impossible to do this. Looking at the (great) pics, it looks like it would be more awkward, but I don't know.
  12. baskingshark
    I just tried wearing the Cardinal cable down and it's a no go as the shell is quite huge and it won't be ergonomic in the upside down position (as there is a protrusion at the concha area of the shell that will push on the ear and compromise fit).

    For sure wearing cable down can be done on the BL-03 as it is smaller and doesn't have the protrusion at the concha.
    Toastybob and mark88888 like this.
  13. Johnny2R
    For anyone with larger ear canals, like me, these tips might prove a worthwhile option for the BLON BL-03: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32862758552.html. Mine have just turned up and the (very!) large ones give me a great seal and sound good. Because of their shape, they don't need to go so deep as others I have, which works well for the short-nozzled BLONs. They're also wider bore than the MH755 tips I was using. I'll do a side-by-side comparison later.

    Dirt cheap at the moment, so worth a shot, I would say.

    [LATER: Hmm, definitely losing some bass against MH755 tips, although seem very clear as maybe a compensation. Preferring MH755 tips at the moment, though]
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    zachmal and SoundChoice like this.
  14. Hisma
    great review @baskingshark. I know it's just a super quick impression, but you were able to get very similar impressions to me - more sub-bass than the BL-03 (almost to the point of being too much imo), wider sound-stage which improves detail retrieval, but same timbre as the BL-03. And of course the ergonomic fit. After a few days with it I enjoy it to the point where I tend to want to reach for the cardinal over my T-800s, which really says something. And oh boy, do they tighten up nicely with a good dac/amp. E1DA 9038S + cardinals are :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:. I honestly don't need my BL-03s anymore, as I personally see the cardinal's as too similar yet different enough in the right ways. Though I also think these views may not be across the board, especially to those that already find the subbass in the BL-03 "too much".
  15. RikudouGoku
    @baskingshark The protruding part of the cardinal does look kinda shorter than the T800 and so is the nozzle, can you confirm that? Awesome Impressions otherwise.
    baskingshark likes this.
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