PROS: (EST12) Premium, clean, detailed, resolving and highly enjoyable with accurate tonality and timbre. Good balance between the 3 bands. 3 highly effective tuning switches for versatility. Build quality and comfortable fit. Multiple options in ear tips. (EST8) Smooth and warm with crisp top. Build quality. Ample accessories. Multiple options in ear tips.
CONS: (EST12) It would’ve been great if BGVP included a more premium Litz UP-OCC cable. Premium pricing though still substantially cheaper than other 12 driver/hybrid flagships in the market. (EST8) Addition of color by switches is not as well done as EST12. Upper mids can feel slightly lacking in presence. Big shells could be troublesome for people with extra-small ears, though fit me well.
I would like to thank BGVP for sending me the EST12 and EST8 to test and review. I am not affiliated with the company or any of its sellers and write this review with an unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.
Official BGVP Factory Store (AliExpress) – BGVP EST12 & EST8
I am a professional musician, producer and audio engineer with experience in the performing, recording and pro-audio industry. I test products on a technical and musical level and try to write reviews as simple as possible from a music fan’s perspective.
I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop, metal, and occasionally popular EDM songs.
- Drivers: 4 ESTs + 8 BA “Knowles & Sonion”
- Switches: 3 Tuning Switches (9 style options)
- Sensitivity: >110dB SPL/MW
- Impedance: 30Ω
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 40kHz
- Distortion Rate: > 0.5 % (1kHz)
- Channel Difference: <1dB
- Related Power: 10mW
- Drivers: 2 EST + 6 BA “Knowles & Sonion”
- Switches: 3 Tuning Switches (9 style options)
- Sensitivity: ≥109dB SPL/ MW
- Impedance:28 Ω
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-40kHz
- Distortion Rate: ≤0. 5% (1 KHZ)
- Channel Difference: ≤1 dB
- Rated Power: 9mW
BGVP is a company based out of Dongguan, China. They manufacture and sell a wide range of products like in-ear monitors, earbuds, cables, cases, etc. They came into prominence with successful products like DMG and DM6.
Now, they’ve launched an even wider range of products including EST hybrids ES12 (4EST+8BA) and ES8 (2EST+6BA), V12 (12 BA), DM7 (6BA), VG4 (4BA) and DH3 (2BA + 1DD).
Today we have something very cool for you. We’ll be checking out their EST hybrids, the flagship EST12 and its younger sibling EST8.
Included in the box.
- 8 -core Furukawa OCC + silver-plated mixed braided cable
- Black silicone ear tips – SML
- Grey silicone ear tips – SML
- Blue silicone ear tips – SML
- Foam ear tips – 1 pair
- Cleaning tool
- Carry case
- Manual and warranty card
According to the company’s description, all the shells are developed using German Envision TEC 3D-printing equipment and use PMMA acrylic fiber (resin) made of medical grade materials.
To my surprise, BGVP sent me customized shells (different from default stock shells) and I dig them quite a lot. The craftsmanship, attention to detail and quality are all very high, one of the finest I’ve tested recently. The shell curves are ultra-smooth and are designed to snugly fit the shape of the concha. The faceplate and shell integration is so smooth that you can’t differentiate them being 2 parts that are glued together.
My EST12 has a translucent black shell with a brushed metal style charcoal grey faceplate. They also have a metal nozzle which was probably used to fine tune the sound. EST8 on the other hand has the classic red and blue combination with a retro funky twist. It has resin nozzles and the shells are bigger than EST12.
- Sockets – BGVP decided to go with 2-pin sockets for EST12, contrary to their go-to favorite MMCX sockets. The 2-pin sockets are surface mounted instead of recessed. They are very smooth yet nice and tight, grabbing onto the connector pins well. BGVP chose good quality ergonomic sockets which makes swapping cables a breeze. EST8 on the other hand uses MMCX. Those sockets too are of very good quality. You hear a nice reassuring loud click when you plug the cable in. They are nice and tight and yet easier than other MMCX sockets with unplugging cables. I swapped cables a lot of times and in my tests the MMCX showed no signs of wear and tear.
- Cable – Both EST12 and EST8 come with BGVP’s 8-core cable Furukawa OCC + silver-plated mixed braided cable. It’s a looker and feels ultra-soft and flexible but sadly this is the same cable that comes with DM7 and VG4, which are way cheaper than either EST12 or EST8. I would’ve loved it if BGVP would’ve provide a nice UP-OCC Litz cable in the package instead.
EST8 vs EST12 cables.
Fit and Comfort.
Both EST12 and EST8 have semi-custom shaped shells. EST8’s shells are substantially bigger than EST12’s, even though the driver count is less. I asked BGVP about the same to fulfill my curiosity and they got back to me saying that EST8 uses different drivers and are arranged differently which makes EST8’s totally volume bigger.
Moving on to fit, in short, EST12 has the best fit out of my semi-custom shaped IEM collection. They have a metal nozzle which helps most ear tips fit well. They are very comfortable for long periods and isolate outside noise very well too.
EST8 is as comfortable and isolates outside noise pretty well too but the shells being bigger feel slightly more weighted and protrude outside my ear more than EST12’s. That’s not a con by any means, just an observation but people with small ears may have a problem fitting the big shells in.