BQEYZ is a fairly unheard of Chinese Manufacturer (to me atleast) and I was sent these review units of the K2 and KC2 from Hifinage, for an honest unbiased opinion about them so this is not a marketing review by any means. Anything Good, Bad or Ugly as stated by me is my personal perspective and could differ from your mileage or take on them.
To keep the understanding of this review fairly understandable, let me start off with the similarities between the 2 products (which are plentiful in this case), and then elaborate the differences between the 2 separately with a direct comparison between these and the TRN V80 & the Tin Audio T2.
Both the K2 and KC2 come in the same physical boxes / packaging, differentiated with just an added sticker to them to let u know what’s inside. Accessories are identical too and they have the same number of extra silicone tips + a detachable 2-Pin cable which is of really good quality!
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On a personal note, I would love to see more manufacturers embrace the 2-pin connector design as compared to the flimsy and cumbersome design of the MMCX type connectors, especially in the budget segment where these connectors are of cheap quality causing plentiful of issues overtime.
(Example: Tin Audio T2 and the Fiio FH1). That said, I would also like to see BQEYZ step up their game with the retail packaging a bit as it seems too barebones with not much inside really. On the flip side, what is there works, and is of really good quality!
I was pleasantly surprised by the fit of both these iems, especially coming from my previous experiences with the fit of many multi-driver iems such as the Fiio FH1 and the plethora of KZ iems. The K2 and KC2 are perhaps the most comfortable multi-driver iems I have used in the sub 100$ space and by a long shot.
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The cables are designed to go over your ears, they have a good solid feel and aren’t intrusive or cumbersome to put on either. Full marks in the comfort department.
This is the department where things start to change a lot between the K2 and KC2. Although both these iems have the same driver configuration which is 2 BA + 2 DD, both the iems are tuned differently to cater to different audiences with different tastes in music.
K2 is definitely tuned keeping people in mind who listen to a lot of pop, hip-hop, dance, R&B, etc. as these have a more prominent bottom end (too much at times), with a laid back mid-range and rolled off highs. More than the sub-bass, K2 has a strong prominence of the mid bass notes. Mids are aren’t too recessed to make you feel that they are lacking in any way, but their laid back and their warm nature results in a smooth mid-range performance (too smooth for the purists) but a very euphonic presentation nevertheless.
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I can go as far as to say that bass-heads will be satisfied with these iems for the most part as there is sufficient rumble in the bottom end, although what it lacks is texture. The highs on the K2 are slightly rolled off to compliment the entire signature and the genres these iems target. Soundstage is sufficiently wide although about average for this price range.
Listening to high pitched hard-rock screamers of SLASH such as “The call of the Wild” from the Album “Living the Dream”, the K2 shows intent with coherency, albeit too much taming of the wild here as it subdues the potent dose of craziness that this very song tries to deliver. All in all, the K2 does extremely well to justify its price and still stand out in the sea of multi-driver iems out there for the sub 50$ price range.
This is where the KC2 shows its pedigree and tuning capabilities to play on the already existing strengths of the K2. To start with, these have a much wider soundstage to them thanks to the more balanced tuning with better upper mids and sparkle up-top in the higher frequencies. Mid-bass prominence is much more subtle and the mids seems to be placed ever so slightly forward in comparison to that of the K2.
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What’s really positive to note is that the mids have a slight hint of a texture to them thanks to the forward nature of the upper mids on these which at times can make the mids sound slightly too digital and metallic on certain tracks, but is really pleasant to listen to for the most part. Bass is well textured as well and you can make out the layers in the bass notes listening to something like “Vertigo” from “Color The Afterglow” by “Blugazer”. The KC2 has the right amount of bass quantity to match the quality too.
To give you a perspective of the midrange performance, listening to the popular Bollywood title track of “Kal Ho Na Ho”, this is one track which easily showcases if the mids are overly recessed, neutral or forward and it’s easy to conclude here that there is no hint of recess in the mids and the voice of “Sonu Nigam” comes off as rich and smooth, evenly balanced with the instruments and keeps up with the timing of the song without slowing it down in any way inspite of the laid back signature of the KC2. Something to take note off is that the instrument separation is really good with good timbre and coherency.
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Treble performance is potent and has sufficient sparkle and scalability without the slightest presence of sibilance anywhere. That said, the treble extension isn’t as detailed as something like the Tin Audio T2, but it fits surprisingly well with the entire presentation and I see why most mainstream casual listeners would pick this over the T2 due to the KC2’s pairability with most genres of music out there. For its price, this is an easy recommendation. Special mention is how good the KC2 are to look at! That design is unique and the all metal housing screams premium!
K2 & KC2 vs Tin Audio T2 vs TRN V80:
To start with, I have tried all the listed iems with the same tracks for A/B’ing purposes so there is no bias to any particular iem here.
What stands out in this match-up is that none of the iems do anything really bad to be completely negated from a direct comparison and I see why the sub 50$ price range has such a mix-bag of hype train running the potential sales chart due to the sheer number of competitors in this price bracket.
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K2 & KC2 vs the TRN V80:
It’s really surprising to see how much the TRN V80 is hyped for what it really it really has to offer. This seems to be like the perfect example of tuning gone too far as it seems to be overdone. Treble extension even though detailed on the V80 is easily the most sibilant of the lot and using foam tips doesn’t help its case either with times where the V80 loses its balance and goes screeching for shelter.
Same is the case with the bass where it turns out to be too potent and boomy at times just like the Fiio FH1 I tested earlier, although the mids aren’t affected on the V80 as much it did to the FH1. Mid performance is surprisingly decent on the V80 inspite of it being slightly recessed per the FR curves, never was there a feeling of a recess for the most part.
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That said, the KC2 easily outshines the V80 for coherency, soundstage and that feeling of being more natural and subtle when required. K2 is best preferred more so for a different set of genres and comes off over more warm and smoother and more potent bass with lesser details up-top.
The pick here among the 3 iems would be in the order of KC2 << V80 << K2.
K2 & KC2 vs Tin Audio T2:
This was more like comparing Apples to Oranges really. K2 and KC2 take the route of being ear-pleasing and euphonic by being more relaxed & musical overall, warm and laid back, with a wider soundstage and a bigger bass impact with subdued highs. Both K2 and KC2 would cater more number of genres out there easily and keep most mainstream casual listeners very happy.
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The T2 on the other hand is a whole different beast which takes the route of being more natural, closer to reality and full of textures and details in comparison. What the T2 lacks in comparison is a touch or warmth, which makes them less acceptable to listen to a few genres specifically dance, hip-hop, eDM’s, trance, etc. which may keep lots of bass heavy music listeners at bay.
That said, the T2 has the best mids of any iem in the 50$ that I have come across by a mile, and the treble is also more detailed than both the K2 and KC2, albeit at the lack of a little extra dose of warmth.
The highs on the T2 could also come off as harsh in comparison to the iems here due to its subtle peaks in the upper registries, but never sibilant either. Bass is one department where most people will either buy the T2 or completely ignore it altogether as the bass is very subtle, but has very good quality and body to it for whatever is there.
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What the T2 lacks is outright bass quantity which can be boosted easily with the bass mod, but doesn’t help by much as the lack of warmth makes the bass sound dry and too intrusive, not to forget that the mids become ever so slightly more congested due to the lack of airiness. Purists will still pick the T2 over the KC2 and K2, but that said, most other people will be better served with the KC2 and K2.
The pick here among the 3 iems would be in the order of T2 << KC2 << K2.