BQEYZ K2 and KC2

Recently, a lot of new in-ears have shown up on Ali in the $30-50 range. It can be tough to figure out how to spend your money so instead of choosing wisely, I recently just purchased one of each of several of the offerings. I recently covered the group of Zs6 clones that were purchased during this spree.   Today I am introducing two more I bought outright. No need for a disclaimer here as I received no discounts or incentives of any kind on these.

BQEYZ was new to me at the time I purchased these. The company claims a 20 year history of building iems so either they have done so under other names or they simply haven’t been available in my area as this is the first time I can remember seeing the name in print.   BQEYZ currently has 4 models listed and I chose the middle two (The K2 and KC2) partially due to budget and partially as they seemed to overlap so completely that I was intrigued why one would make two models nearly exactly alike.

The K2 and Kc2 both are metal-shelled Quad driver hybrids with 2 dynamic and two Balanced armature drivers. In speaking with a representative on Facebook, they confirmed that all four drivers are the same in both shells and the only differences is in tuning. This still leaves a fair number of possible tricks as adjusting the crossover points, adding dampers, and changing venting can all result in dramatic changes in signature.

 

Packaging:

Both models came boxed in a small black cardboard box with the brand label on the top and very little other information other than it contains an earphone. Lifting the top of the box reveals the earpieces and 3 sets of tips (1 installed) and two in the tray. Under the tray is the cable, manual, and warrantee information. That’s it, no case, no shirt clip, no extras. Very simple but, at the $35-$45 price point, not wholly unexpected.

 

Build:

The K2 and Kc2 both are aluminum shelled quad driver hybrids with two dynamic drivers and two balanced armatures. In speaking with a representative on Facebook, they confirmed that all four drivers are the same in both shells and the only differences is in tuning. This still leaves a fair number of possible tricks as adjusting the crossover points, adding dampers, and changing venting can all result in dramatic changes in signature.

The earpieces are well polished with no sharp edges anywhere on them and the seams are well mated and sealed. The level of fit and polish is above others in this class by a considerable margin and could easily compete with in-ears several times their price. Both models are available in silver or black and the anodizing on both my black models was uniform and very dark. Having not scratched either, I can’t comment on the depth of anodization. The two models can be distinguished by the swirl on the faceplate as the K2 has a single swirl while the KC2 has two. Otherwise, the shells are the same. Both are clearly marked L or R on the side of the shell above the connector and both have vents to the inside of the shell. This does require a bit of adjustment when positioning in the ear so as not to block the vents.

 

Tips are standard medium bore rubber style of the T400 sizing so finding other sizes or styles of tips should be easy enough. I tried the K2 with Comply foams but found I preferred the Auvio wide bore silicone tips a bit better as the foams pulled some life out of the treble.

The cable is braided and again appears to be of higher quality than typical of the price point. The cable includes pre-formed earhooks without a memory wire and did easily form to the ear with the application of a little heat for a few seconds. For me, this is much preferred to memory wire. Any bi-pin .78mm style cable will work as a replacement if for some reason you wish to.  The splitter is metal with the BQEYZ branding and proper strain reliefs on both sides. The jack also has a nice strain relief and is the 90 degree L jack I prefer as opposed to the straight 3.5mm jack. A clear plastic chin slider is provided but neither of my samples had a mic (by choice) so I cannot comment on placement of the slider in comparison to a mic.  The cable is also labeled L or R on the side of the bi-pin connectors on one side thus indexing the cable to prevent reversal and phase issues. Overall, many budget manufacturers would do well to imitate the cable provided with the BQEYZ earphones. It may well be worth the $35 asking price without the earpieces.

 

Fit:

The earpieces themselves are on the large side (less so than Kz Zs10 but bigger than ZsA for comparison sake), but fit better than initially expected due to the rounded corners. I had no issues with movement or microphonics as the earhook does a good job of isolating the earpiece from cable movements. I did find that the nozzles do not have a lip and allow tips to be slid slightly forward as for me insertion depth with the tip seated to full depth was a bit shallow and it was easy to lose seal. Moving the tip forward about 1.5mm made for a better seal, but the tips tend to slide down and need to be adjusted before re-inserting the earpiece with each use. (I have the same issue with the ZsA so not a unique problem).

 

Sound:

Here is where you would expect I would have to split the review and talk about the two models separately. Truth is, I don’t have to as both voicings are very similar, and where they do differ, it is more a matter of degree than outright difference. Both can be described as balanced, mildly warm, lean, and very smooth.

 

Bass:

The best term to describe the bass on both models is controlled. Both models have good low end extension with roll-off being evident below 40Hz and mild elevation of the sub-bass above the roll-off. Mid bass is slightly elevated on the K2 and nearly ruler flat on the kc2 making the K2 sound warmer by comparison. While some of the charts I have seen would indicate a very prominent sub-bass, I hear only a mild elevation and wish the chart had posted units on its vertical axis as I think it is misleading.   Those who like the Tin Audio T2, will also appreciate the bass of the K2/KC2. Those who find the T2 as overly thin will likely tape the vents on the K2/KC2 as well.   Overall, the bass is very tight and well rendered making this one of the most technically correct models available at or slightly above its price point.

 

Mids:

Mids on both models are exceptionally good for the class and both have slightly forward upper mids which helps again contribute to an overall warm signature. The lower mids are not scooped, but with the slight mid-bass hump of the K2 they seem slightly recessed. The KC2 seems less so as the mid bass isn’t quite as pronounced. Detail is quite good on both models and vocals have good timbre.

 

Treble:

Again, both models seem very similar in that both have a forward lower treble, a recessed mid-treble, and a bit of extra energy at the extreme end that brings back some sparkle and air to the presentation. I cant tell a difference in the two models by listening and while some graphs suggest one or the other should have a resonance spike at around 9kHz, if it does, it most certainly does not stand in contrast to the other model.   The choice of lowering the true treble when compared to the lower and upper end is interesting in that it makes for good air and sparkle with very little fatigue and no sibilance. Again, very smooth.

 

Soundstage:

Soundstage is wider than it is deep but retains good size in all dimensions and has better height than most in its class. This in turn contributes to good instrument separation and imaging. Movement within the stage space is well rendered.

 

Thoughts:

The K2 and Kc2 are arguably two of the best in-ears available for less than $50 where technical ability is concerned. Both portray a neutral (Kc2) or near neutral (K2) signature with good detail and dynamics without getting harsh or fatiguing.   For those that listen at low levels, both of the K2 and KC2 will be a good choice. For those that crank the volume to “rock out” you may want to look elsewhere as both are probably too laid back to really fit that mould.   When you add construction which is very good and a cable that is far better than most at its price point, you have an easy recommendation. What few qualms I have are small like the lack of a lip on the nozzles, and the lack of a shirt clip and carrying case. Hardly show stoppers, but little details that could make a very good product even better. I have not been particularly enthralled with a lot of the recent clones due to their over aggressive signatures and harsh treble (TRN80, QT3) so the BQEYZ models are a pleasant departure from that all too familiar deep V tuning so common amongst in-ears in this class. Well done BQEYZ and I look forward to trying the K3 and K4 models when they become avail

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