Updated tuning 2.0!
PROS: Good build quality, comfortable fit, musical, balanced, easy to like sound signature, good details and soundstage for price, good value for money.
CONS: Nothing much for the price. Nitpicking – Slightly longer nozzle length would’ve made it perfect for the standard silicone medium tips I generally go for. Needs a bit of tip rolling for best fit and sound signature.
I would like to thank BGVP for sending me the ArtMagic DH3 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.
I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop, metal, and sometimes popular EDM songs doing the rounds on the charts.
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 initially came into prominence with successful products like DMG and DM6. Since then they’ve launched a wide range of products with us having reviewed their EST hybrids EST12 and EST8, ArtMagic V12, DM7 and ArtMagic VG4 here on the website.
Today I’ll be checking out their 1DD+2BA based DH3. It is priced between $140-155 on BGVP’s Official Store (AliExpress).
This review has been a long time coming but due to my busy work schedule, Coronavirus chaos and lockdowns, I could not get this out sooner. But here’s an interesting backstory.
BGVP sent VG4 and DH3 around later part of last year along with some of their IEMs which I have reviewed here on the website. When I ran VG4 and DH3 through its paces, their sound signatures sounded alright for the most part but had one major flaw. Both of them had a substantial 8kHz peak (In DH3’s case, 6 dBs or so more than the highest point of upper mids peak) which brought out sibilance and also added sharp attack to some instruments. I let BGVP know what I felt when they asked and told them that majority do not appreciate massive prominent peaks in the sibilance region as it makes vocals sibilant and adds shrillness, unnatural attack and sizzle to instruments. They took my suggestions seriously and asked me to give them some pointers. I gave them a couple of tips to improve certain aspects of tuning but reducing the 8kHz peak down by a couple of dBs was the priority in order to balance it nicely with upper mids, while not changing the rest of the treble character much.
After a month and a half, they told me that the updated versions of VG4 and DH3 were ready and that they were able to implement some of the changes I suggested within the confinements of the original driver setup. A few weeks later, I received a package with minty fresh VG4 and DH3 samples. Since then, I’ve been using them regularly in my tests with other IEMs as well as my daily rotation of IEMs that I use for listening to music and am happy to report that they were able to tune out the problematic peak in the sibilance region as well as refine the overall sound signature for the better. More on this in the sound analysis section.
Here’s a snapshot of the peak correction.
Disclaimer #2 – This review is of the updated DH3 tuning and might not add up to reviews other people have done previously. Also, all the pointers and advice I gave to BGVP were absolutely FREE of charge. BGVP re-tuned this all by themselves with some inputs from me. I had no idea how these were going to turn out until I got them back. I also purposefully tried hard not to let any of this influence my review in any way. But still, take this review with a pinch of salt. Haha.
- Drivers – 1DD + 2BA
- Frequency response – 13-40 kHz
- Impedance – 15Ω
- Sensitivity – 105dB
- 2 Tuning Switches – 1 for treble & 2 for bass
- Channel balance – ≤1dB
- Distortion rate – ≤0.5%
- Rate power – 5mW
Included in the box.
- BGVP DH3
- Silicone ear tips – Black wide bore (SML), White ‘Bass’ (SML) & Blue ‘Vocal’ (SML)
- Foam ear tips – 1 pair
- Cleaning tool
- Warranty and QC card
Since I specifically asked BGVP to send me IEMs without the branded packaging, here are some pictures of the box and accessories provided by BGVP.
Photo courtesy – BGVP
Shells – 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. The shells have very smooth semi-custom contours and are very well finished. Faceplate is well integrated with the bottom shell. I got all black stock shells which have a vent for the dynamic driver right below the MMCX sockets. The updated MMCX sockets now feel tighter and sturdier. I rolled a lot of cables and even after a couple of months of usage, the sockets are still as tight as when I first got them. It has 2 tuning switches nicely integrated into the shells. The nozzles don’t have a lip but hold onto most tips especially foam tips surprisingly tightly. I ripped 2 foam ear tips just trying to get them off while tip rolling. *facepalm*
Quick tip – Here’s something I learnt while disinfecting the shells because of Covid-19 precautions and paranoia. In case your nozzle/shells don’t have a lip and get greasy from ear oils or sweat and you experience silicone ear tips sliding/coming off, just rub a tiny drop of hand sanitiser on your fingers and then rub it carefully on the shells. This will clean all the grease right off and the nozzle will be back to holding the ear tips tightly. Make sure you rub a ‘very little’ amount on the shells, just to clean the surface and don’t let any of it get into the sound bores. You can wash your ear tips with soap.
Case – I love the stock case! It is surprisingly spacious for its size as it can fit the IEM with cable as well as all the ear tips and cleaning tool inside it.
Cable – DH3 comes with BGVP’s OC1 6N 8-core single crystal copper cable. It has a tighter braid and isn’t as supple as the Furukawa cable that comes with VG4 and DM7 but it is pretty good for a stock cable at this price. I like this cable more than the stock cable that come with DM6, TSMR-3 Pro and Moondrop KXXS. It has pre-formed ear guides that go around your ear. It has the right thickness (neither too fat nor too thin) and has good quality jack and connectors which plug onto the shells with a nice reassuring click sound.
Fit and Comfort.
DH3 has semi-custom shaped shells which are smaller in size than DM6, VG4 and DM7. So, everyone with smaller ears will be happy with these shells. I have medium sized ears and they fit me very comfortably and snugly but I have to use large size silicone ear tips instead of the regular medium sized ones since the nozzle is slightly shorter than other IEMs from BGVP like VG4, V12 and EST12. I like them best with foam ear tips but the nozzle fits a multitude of ear tips and the sound definitely benefits from good tip rolling and snug fit. With the shells being very light and foam ear tips very comfortable, I can wear these for hours and hours without any discomfort. Isolation is pretty good for a vented IEM. Of course, it isn’t as good as its older sibling VG4 because that is an all BA IEM and doesn’t have any vents but the difference is minute. Nevertheless, you can use these in crowded spaces and you won’t hear any outside noise once you have music playing at decent levels.