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EST8

BGVP

Rating

Price

8.7

640 €

Review published:

09/2020

Driver

8

per Side

0

Dynamic

6

Balanced

Impedance

28 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

2

Sound

9

Bass

8

Mids

8.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

109 dB

8.5

Handling

9.5

Haptic

C

Value

+

Daily Life

Frequency

10 - 40000 Hz

Intro

The BGVP EST8 (6*BA & 2*EST) is the smaller brother of the EST12 and tries to hold its own despite the almost halved price. We get the basic features of the EST12 also with the EST8, especially the relaxed music presentation. The EST12 has the greater technical potential and also has the more balanced tuning, but for audiophile music enjoyment the EST8 is definitely suitable and also brings a fun component. Considering the equally priced MOONDROP S8, the price tag is a bit too steep, even compared to the alternatives. But if you can't get along without the EST driver in the high frequency range, you'll have to dig deeper into your pockets.

Handling

A 2-pin connector seems to be reserved only for BGVP's flagship models and so the EST8 comes with a MMCX connection as usual from BGVP.

The scope of delivery is nearly the same for all models in the ArtMagic series. Only the cable varies and also the included transport case. Otherwise there is a pair of foam tips, standard, vocal and bass silicone tips, as well as a cleaning tool. In this case the cable is taken from the EST12/V12, which is one of my favorites from BGVP.

The EST8 appears a bit clunkier than the EST12, due to its wider sound openings and the slightly larger body. The EST12 feels a bit more filigree despite its generous dimensions. Nevertheless, the ergonomics are as good as with all BGVP products, which has a positive effect on the wearing comfort, but also on the sealing. The passive isolation is excellent, also due to the closed construction.

The EST8 also uses a 3 dip-switch system, which allows the sound to be influenced according to personal preferences.

Sound

The EST8 is a "Smooth Operator"! So is the EST12, but it is much more versatile with its tuning switches. The EST8 is not so keen on experimenting and so it is more about finer details than big changes. The review refers to the setting 000, as I like this setting the most and it seems to be the most natural, just like with the EST12.

Although the EST8 has basically the same drivers, only in different numbers, the tuning is quite different. But where both meet on the same level is the bass, especially in terms of quality. I think the EST12 has a little more sub-bass but basically the two don't take each other too much, which also gives the more than half cheaper model a mature and organic bass, which can't be influenced by the tuning switch as much as the EST12. Basically the frequency response can only be adjusted from 100 Hz. I don't long for more bass in the basic setting, but would rather allow the midrange to have more level. I achieve this with the 3rd switch. There is hardly anything to complain about on the bass, if you ask me I would only wish for a bit more depth, a bit more clarity and a more solid kick. Apart from that I am very satisfied and grumble on a high level.

In the mids the EST12 and EST8 go their separate ways. The EST8 is more present in the 1-2 kHz region, the EST12 is 2.5-4 kHz instead. This makes it sound a bit fuller and a bit darker compared to the EST12, because the energy is missing in the upper mids and lower highs. The EST12 therefore sounds more "In Your Face", especially with vocals, but the EST8 is not shy in this area, just a bit more reserved, which integrates vocals more into the mix, without sounding nasal or unnatural due to the preferred frequencies around 1-2 kHz. Nevertheless, I still lack a bit of energy and liveliness. I get this with the 3rd switch, but then the EST8 is a border crosser and becomes uncomfortable in the long run. So I prefer to accept the compromise and give up more energy in the mids in favour of a better audibility.
On the one hand I find dip switches interesting, but on the other hand I curse them a bit. Somehow I stress myself a bit to have a choice instead of a well tuned IEM, which I take as it is. Dip-Switches are not equalizers and I can rarely influence an area in a targeted way, but I can iron out a subjective weakness, but usually open a new construction site.

Actually I would like to use configuration 001, but I not only boost the mids, but also the lower highs. To counteract this I could add the 2nd switch, which damps the high frequencies, with the actual intention to bring the bass into the foreground, but then I lose too much level in the 4 kHz region and so on and so forth. In the end, I always end up with the basic configuration and could therefore do without the customization options, as they do more to make things worse than to bring a noticeable added value (I'm only talking about my preferences here).
Long talk short. The trebles are already "perfect" in the basic configuration and a reduction would let them drift too much into the dark, an increase into a tolerance range that is not to be assumed by everyone.
They are extremely detailed, but the drivers are working a bit on the limit for my feeling in the basic tuning, because it becomes rather unpleasant with more volume than better. The EST12 had this problem as well and it seems to be a general problem of the EST drivers used.
Without any changes the treble can score with transparency and accuracy without pressing it in your face. But it lacks a little bit of liveliness.

The stage is not as expansive as the EST12, but still very spatial. It looks a bit more intimate, but just as strong in the 3D image. On the technical side you can expect fine separation as well as clean imaging.

More dip switch impressions:
100: Trebles are emphasized. Sibilants become a problem.

010: Mids and highs are attenuated. Bass comes to the fore, but the sound is colored and becomes dull.

001: Midboost that extends to the lower trebles. Actually a recommended setting, but the mids can be a bit demanding.

111: Here, one switch tries to iron out what the other is messing up. In itself the most lively, but also most demanding setting together with 100.

Outro

The EST8 fulfills my audiophile demands, as it presents me enough information without being obtrusive (000) or preferring one area too much. It sounds grounded and organic, but at the same time it lacks a bit of bite over the whole range. So we get a quite relaxed and slightly darker tuned IEM compared to the EST12, which finds a very good balance between intimacy, separation and imaging without artificially overdoing it. But if you are looking for something for professional use within BGVP, you should have a look at the V12, or EST12, which are technically maybe a bit more potent. However, these IEMs are twice as expensive and a bit more exhausting in the long run.

The EST8 doesn't pick me up completely, because I lack clarity and positive hardness and the midrange is sometimes a bit spongy, but I can work with it for hours, without any signs of fatigue (000), with a controlled bass and pleasant high frequency. Despite the somewhat darker tuning, the EST8 doesn't have to hide too much behind the EST12 technically and has the upper hand in the audibility.

Thanks to OARDIO for the review unit.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

Frequenzgang

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

SGZ-DN1

SGZ-DN1

ZERO

ZERO

DH3

DH3

DMS

DMS

DM6

DM6

VG4

VG4

DM7

DM7

DMG

DMG

EST12

EST12

EST8

EST8

V12

V12

...

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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