Sound Analysis – EST12.

I want to start with EST12 first because honestly it has become one of my favorite IEMs from my collection. It is one of the cleanest, resolving and versatile IEMs I’ve heard in this segment, not just because of its sound signature but also because of the added advantage of the 3 switches that add substantial color, changing the signature tastefully (more than any other earphone with switches that I’ve tested).

Because of the versatility of the switches, I’d like to break off from the standard format of my reviews and explain the sound based on the switch combinations and their addition of color. I’ve arranged it in the order that makes most sense for an easy explanation as per my tests.

  • Stock (000) – Right out of the box, EST12 comes with all switches off. I like to call this ‘000’ switch combination as the CLEAN mode. It sounds exactly like that. It is as if you’re listening to the song in an extremely well treated pro-studio with neutral/reference style monitors. The resolution is so high that you can hear the boundaries of the reverbs used in the track clearly.

Bass – Kicks and bass guitar sound very classy and have high resolution, enabling you to clearly focus on their character. Imagine badass music playing in the background with the bassist and the drummer both dressed up in James Bond style suits. Lol! Jokes apart, bass is very tight and has good speed but it’s not your typical BA bass. It can bring in good punch and impact when the song demands it. Bass extends down low to the lowest and mid-bass based bass tones shine through very well. High bass is also well presented and you can hear the overtones and the fresh string sparkle in the bass guitar when the bass is playing prominently. Overall, bass sounds very refined and classy.

Mids – Lower mids are very neutral and in control. There is no bass bleed nor are the lower mids too emphasized, hence always sounding very CLEAN and avoiding muddiness and boxiness at all times. It lets all the parts in the lower mid spectrum like baritone vocals and overall body of the instruments likes snares, shine clearly. As for upper mids, EST12 luckily does not have the typical peaky Chi-fi 3kHz bump. Instead, the upper mids are very tastefully tuned where all instruments are portrayed with equal poise and refinement. Be it orchestral instruments, acoustic guitars or drums, all of them have their own individuality and have natural tonality and timbre.

I don’t want to use the words loosely but vocals do sound very organic and life-like. Not the boosted-sparkly kind but the kind you hear when a singer sings right in front of you in a concert with a nice delay and reverb. Just listen to Chris Cornell or Bryan Adams’ live unplugged songs with decent volume and you’ll know what I’m talking about. 😉

Treble – Again, treble is very very well done, doesn’t have any erratic peaks, sounds very refined and has high resolution following the clean character of the IEM to the T. It is very airy and open yet smooth and never harsh. If you like upping the volume to enjoy the song, treble or upper mids are not going to come in the way. Be it listening at lower or higher levels, the IEM always sounds very CLEAN, clear and comfortable. Treble also keeps the tonality of the instruments intact and adds a nice sheen to the top, keeping stringed instruments, cymbals and vocals sounding absolutely life-like.

  • Switch 2 (020) – If you feel you need to fill up the bass and mids to give instruments more body and intimacy, flip Switch 2 up! It also makes the sound warmer. It is so tasteful that I kept switching it on and off to see which mode I liked more in every song. Honestly, even though I’d ideally like to sway towards the 000 mode more, Switch 2 simply made some songs sound more fun with its bass and lower mids energy.
  • Switch (023) – Now if you feel that 020 made the IEM a little warm but you still need the bass and lower mids body, flip Switch 3 up! It adds more treble clarity and sheen to make up for Switch 2’s body, hence giving the IEM a completely new sound identity. I like to call this mode RICH and ENERGETIC.
  • Switch 3 (003) – Switch 3 switched on in isolation can make the sound a little trebly but could help in songs which are mixed a bit too warm. Also, results may vary according to one’s liking and preferences.
  • Switch 1 (100 or 123) – Switch 1 adds a small boost around 60-80Hz affecting the lower bass in a tasteful way. It rounds off the thump of the kick and bottom of the bass. It is relatively subtle but can be magical in some songs. It works well in both scenarios of 000 and 023.

bgvp_est12-2 IEM+Cable

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation.

EST12 has a nice big soundstage which is both wide and deep, dare I say very holographic. Imaging is spectacularly spot on, very precise! Separation and resolution is one of the best I’ve come across recently in this price segment.

I had a funny realisation when I was listening to Green Day’s Jesus of Suburbia with the EST12. Even though ‘American Idiot’ is one of my favourite albums, I had never really realised in full awareness that the drums in the ‘Dearly beloved’ section of Jesus of Suburbia were hard panned completely left, with voice in the centre and acoustic guitar hard panned on the right. I know that it is quite obvious now if you listen to it having read this paragraph, but honestly it grabbed my attention and the awareness of precise placement came with EST12’s wide soundstage, resolution and precise imaging. This shows how good EST12 is and how aware it makes you of all the instruments even when you’re completely lost in the song.

Page 3 – Sound analysis – EST8.
Page 4 – Comparisons and Conclusion.

7 thoughts on “BGVP EST12 and EST8

  1. the words about the Est12 give us the taste to hear it and buy it .. I’m a singer, and I’m currently working with Shure 215 and Shure 535 I would like to upgrade for some better things .. the A2t de Audio was first choice then I read the good words about some Chinese company cheaper and with the same quality, some suggest me the S8Pro .. the East12 and the very last Le Rolland ..

    My biggest fear with these IEMs is the fit, the comfort on stage .. and the insulation .. currently with shure I almost -37db while the other companies offer -26 db approx

    do you know the Rolland ..

    is the Est12 better than the Shure 846

    between the 4 ” Rolland – Est12 – S8Pro and Shure 846 ” which in your opinion would be best suited for my work

    sorry for my bad English
    Good continuity


    1. Hey! EST12 is a great option as an in-ear monitor for concerts. It has good resolution, instrument separation and a signature which is very comfortable to listen to for hours together. What is great is that if you feel universal shells won’t isolate as much, BGVP can make you custom shells with your ear impressions at no extra cost if you order from their BGVP Factory Official Store on AliExpress, whose link I’ve posted in the article above in the disclaimer. Mine are universal shells and I’ll be using them as my IEMs in my concerts too. For me universal shells isolate the noise decently well and you can make it better by using appropriate ear tips that block your ear canal perfectly.

      Fearless S8 series is a very good option too. Great value for money with very nice sound quality; surely better than A2e and Shure SE846 IMO. I have the S8F and IMO it’ll make for a good lively monitor. Also, Fearless can make customs shells too if you like. If budget is a constraint, I can personally recommend S8F (haven’t tried the S8Pro, so can’t speak for it). Fearless Roland is a darker sounding IEM with good resolution. If that is something you like, Roland might work well for you.

      You can also consider ItsFit Labs Fusion which sells for around $950. Good impactful bass, natural mids with sparkle and sizzle in treble. They have extensive experience of making custom shells too. You can get in touch with them via Facebook.

      So there you go, three different price points, $489, $950 and $1428. Let me know if you have any further questions. 🙂


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