BQEYZ TOPAZ IEM REVIEW: Unique Hybrid With a Smooth Sound Presentation
Every day the under 100$ price segment is getting tougher and tougher with new releases. Back in the day, I remember Moondrop Aria grabbing the position of top performer for several months, but then the segment got crowded with different sets such as FiiO FD3, DUNU Titan S, etc. The segment is actually quite popular as most new audiophiles start with this price segment only. They actually want to experience how audiophile-grade products sound before they could decide to play in the big leagues or maybe just stick themselves in this particular segment to explore different tastes. Most Brands also understand this and they regularly update this segment with new and updated products. BQEYZ, the brand mainly known for Spring, Summer, and Autumn(well they actually named their products on different seasons), has released a new hybrid set in this highly competitive segment, the BQEYZ Topaz. With a dynamic and a piezoelectric on each side, the Topaz brings a different take on hybrid configurations in the market. Actually, the brand has good experience in implementing piezo drivers in IEMs(Spring and Summer series had them). Let’s check out what the latest BQEYZ Topaz has to offer in this highly competitive price segment of under 100$.
A short disclaimer:-
I was provided with the review sample of BQEYZ Topaz by Miss Elle Zhou from the brand. The unit doesn’t have to go back unless asked for, rest assured all the thoughts and impressions in this blog are completely my own based on my own experience with the set over the past few days.
The unit has been burned in for about 100 hours before critical listening for this review. I would like to thank Ms. Elle Zhou for the sample, you can check out more details on their product page here.
Unboxing the BQEYZ Topaz:-
Won’t bore you guys a lot with the unboxing details. The pair comes in a simple cardboard box with a colorful top cover. It looks simple and elegant. Inside we have the IEMs sitting in a foam cutout with ear tips right underneath it. There’s also a silver zipper carry case in a round shape. The stock cable is inside this carry case. We also have a warranty card and a user guide in the package.
>Stock cable with 3.5mm termination.
>Six pairs of silicone ear tips.
Design and Build Quality:-
Topaz has got resin shells with metallic face covers and a golden-colored metallic ear nozzle. Face covers have a mellow purple-colored finish with BQEYZ printed on the right side and Topaz printed on the left side. The shells have a total of four vents, one at the face cover and three on the internal side of their cavity. Shells are lightweight and provide a comfortable fit. I would say the pair looks quite elegant and fits perfectly.
Fit & Isolation:-
As I mentioned just above, the Fit with the TOPAZ is super comfy. No issues as such. But isolation is pretty average. None of the stock tips were able to give me good isolation, so I explored my collection of ear tips and found the set to give the best isolation with Moondrop Spring Tips. Still, the isolation is average.
Sources I have Given To The TOPAZ:-
I have used the BQEYZ Topaz with a variety of sources ranging from a smartphone to portable DAC/AMP and portable digital audio players. I find the pair not to be very demanding but it surely shines with a decent source. Phones might drive the set adequately, but to explore its full potential, I recommend using it with a dedicated portable DAC/AMP or a portable Music Player. Sources I have given the set would include Redmi Note 10 Pro smartphone, Questyle M15 portable DAC/AMP, and Shanling M7 DAP.
Having heard the likes of Aria, Titan S, I was fully prepared to take on the latest Topaz from BQEYZ. Previously I have also heard other products from BQEYZ like the Autumn(which I actually liked), Summer(which was also good), and Spring 1(good but a little peaky), I was kind of expecting a Summer or Spring-like sound from the Topaz over here. I would say, the Topaz lives up to that expectation but with a slight change. You no longer have that tingy treble from Piezo that Spring 1 and Summer series had. It’s much more controlled now and I would say the Topaz sounds smooth, and inoffensive throughout the frequency band. BQEYZ has adjusted the tuning of the Topaz for a smooth U-shaped profile with a warm tonality. The pair has got a good punch in the lower end, it sounds meatier and lusher than Aria for sure. Midrange holds good clarity and is a little recessed in the lower mids region. Upper mids take a step ahead and bring the vocals a little forward giving an impression of a W-shape in some vocal-centric tracks(But it is U-shaped). Treble region, as I mentioned earlier, has got a smooth and inoffensive presentation. I won’t say it extends as much as the Spring series but it surely isn’t as brittle as the Spring series. Stage-wise I would say the presentation is good enough for the price. Topaz has got good width and depth. Layering and separation of instruments could be a little better(Aria does a little better job here I would say).
I would say BQEYZ Topaz has a charming, relaxing sound tuning. It complements genres such as Pop, Vocal-Centric, and regional Bollywood with its solid lower end and clean midrange. It’s good for Rock music too with its smooth treble but could be better with a little more extension I would say. Transients could be faster though. Now, let’s move forward to discuss different frequencies.
Punchy, Lush, and hard, are some of the words that come into my mind after listening to the Topaz. The pair is tuned nicely with a kicking lower end. It feels like the mid-bass has got more emphasis over here that overshadows the sub-bass shelf a little. I won’t say it’s emphasized to the extent that it bleeds into the mid-range but I would say it surely overpowers the sub-bass response. Don’t get me wrong over here please, you will hear a decent rumble in the sub-bass region too, it just needs more presence IMO. Drum kicks have got more authority with the Topaz. Bass response is overall fun to listen to. It adds a sense of warmth and lushness throughout the frequency band. I would say Topaz has a better body in the lower end than the famous Aria, but Aria sounds faster to my ears.
Topaz presents a clean and lovely midrange. Lower-mids are a little recessed but the upper mids come forward nicely giving the set a smooth U-shaped profile. Vocals, both male and female have good authority and sound phenomenal. They have good clarity, sound a little warmer than neutral, and hold the listener with a charming presentation. Last night, while taking the notes for the review, I was listening to the track “Speak Softly Love” by Yao Si Ting, man Topaz was conveying the emotions so nicely. Just lovely I would say. In terms of vocals and the overall midrange, I find Topaz to have a better presentation than Aria.
BQEYZ has got good experience with Piezo drivers now. They have implemented them nicely in the Spring and Summer Series. But this is by far their smoothest implementation in the Treble region. The pair holds good energy but presents it in a smooth manner. I guess this has been done by cutting down on some of the extensions in this region. Topaz shows good clarity and maintains the tone for Electric guitars, Violins, and Pianos in the high notes. There’s a little sibilance too but that’s negligible in quantity and hardly comes to notice. I could enjoy the Topaz for longer hours without feeling any fatigue or tiredness.
Topaz has got good width and depth for the soundstage. Air and separation are decent, I don’t notice any congestion between the instruments. They sound nicely separated and can be identified separately, but I won’t say the pair is spacious or airy. For me, Aria would be airier but then it lacks the body hehe, you win some, you lose some :).
A Short Comparison: Moondrop Aria vs BQEYZ Topaz!!
I had the pleasure to own the Moondrop Aria a few months back so I would like to share my thoughts on between the Aria and the Topaz too. Both are priced identically under 100$, but they both differ greatly in their sound performance. (Please note that these impressions are based on my memories of Aria, I don’t have it in hand to compare them right now).
>Aria has a more neutral sound presentation, Topaz sounds warmer.
>Topaz shows a better body throughout the frequency range. Aria sounds a little lean and thin in comparison.
>Soundstage width used to be better on the Aria, Topaz definitely has better depths on the stage.
>Aria reaches deeper with its sub-bass, and Topaz shows more strength in its mid-bass.
>Vocals have a warm tone on Topaz, but they show better authority in the output.
Final Words For BQEYZ TOPAZ:-
TOPAZ has become an instant favorite of mine. It comes at a highly competitive price but it leaves a mark with its performance. Yeah, the pair has a few issues of its own like average isolation, and an emphasized mid-bass region, but when I put the TOPAZ into my ears, I just get a mesmerizing listening experience. IMO its plus points surely outperform the few cons that I have mentioned throughout the review. Simply enjoyed my time with the set :).
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