Tiny stable wood shells that house 8 BAs!
PROS: Attractive stable wood shells, comfortable and snug fitting semi-custom shells, warm, musical and fun sound signature with good mid-bass punch, fuller sounding lower-midrange, forward and natural sounding upper-midrange presentation, natural and resolving treble, excellent variety in stock ear tips, VFM overall package.
CONS: Finishing of the wood shells can be improved upon, heavy stock cable. Sound wise – Not for people looking for a reference IEM or sparkly and bright signatures, more mid-bass than sub-bass rumble, slightly soft bass attack, a bit more upper-treble presence and air would’ve been the icing on the cake.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review in exchange for my honest opinion.
BGVP is 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 and I’ve reviewed quite a lot of them here including the EST12 and EST8, ArtMagic V12, DM7, ArtMagic VG4, BGVP ArtMagic DH3 and their most recent tri-brid, NE5.
Website – BGVP DM8 (Official AliExpress store)
Most reading this review would say I’m a little too late to the party. Well, the story of BGVP’s journey of getting the DM8 to me is full of misery but also funny. It started with cancellation of shipping routes and couriers between our countries owing to Covid lockdowns. When BGVP found a shipping route opening, the package got lost in transit. Then when DHL finally started service between our countries, the shipping guy accidentally shipped the DM8 sample to the wrong person. Then came another lockdown with restricted shipping options. When I finally received the DM8 7-8 months after the launch, I was quite swamped with a big review lineup by then and wondered if me doing a full review was worth it for everyone or if I should just keep using the DM8 in comparisons with similar products and future competition. But then as I started using the DM8 more and more regularly, I felt that it presented really good value with its competitive pricing but also noticed that it hadn’t gotten as much attention because of its launch during the peak of worldwide lockdowns and reduced interest and expenditure of audiophiles during that time in general. So, here’s my take on the DM8 for our regular readers, for people who might’ve missed its launch and are unaware of its existence or whoever cares to know what I think of it.
- 8 Balanced Armature drivers (2 Knowles Super Tweeters | 2 Knowles for Treble | 1 Sonion & 1 Knowles for Midrange | 2 Sonion for Bass)
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-40kHz
- Impedance: 27Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
- Distortion Rate: <0.5%
- Channel Difference: <1dB
- Cable – 8 Core High purity OFC silver plated cable
Included in the box.
- BGVP DM8
- MMCX cable with 2.5mm jack
- 2 adapters – 2.5mm to 3.5mm & 2.5mm to 4.4mm adapter
- Silicone ear tips (1 Pink bore, SML Vocal, SML Balanced, SML Bass & SML Black wide bore)
- Memory Foam ear tips – 1 pair
- Metal carry case
- Cleaning tool
- Warranty card
BGVP offers DM8 in 2 options – Stable wood and Full Resin. The one I have here is completely made of stable wood; faceplate as well as the shell. I’ve previously come across such stable wood shell IEMs from high-end manufacturers Noble Audio and JH Audio but the thing is that most of Noble’s Prestige series of IEMs are above $2000 and JH Audio’s wood shells come as a custom options with a substantial premium as well. Sure, Noble and JH’s overall construction and finishing are spectacular and in a different high end league but DM8’s shells are quite impressive for their sub-$500 pricing since one hardly comes across such stable wood shells under $1000, let alone under $500. The wood shells are carved by 5 axis CNC machines and are dyed to highlight the wood grain, figuring and colours. It is then lacquered with clear coats and polished for high shine. DM8 has MMCX sockets, BGVP logo on the faceplate, a vent on top and 4 sound bores. The shells overall are quite small in size considering they house 8 balanced armatures!
I do have 2 gripes with the shell finishing. First, the grooves for MMCX sockets are cut a smidgen larger than the MMCX sockets themselves and you can see a tiny gap in between them which is filled with glue and lacquer. Second, even though I know drilling 4 sound bores in the wood at the nozzle in such a small surface area is extremely difficult, I think the finishing at the sound bores could’ve been better. But anyway, for its $400 pricing, it’s definitely not bad at all!
Cable – DM8 comes stock with an 8 Core 6N OFC silver plated cable with balanced 2.5mm termination and 4.4mm and 3.5mm adapters The jack, MMCX connectors and y-split are all made of metal. It’s a nice premium cable but the cable’s overall weight is a bit on the heavier side, which isn’t a perfect match for the relatively lighter shells. I dig the cable that comes with DM7 and VG4 for the light weight more but otherwise, I much appreciate BGVP including a balanced cable and adapters for versatility.
Case – DM8 comes with a hockey puck metal case. It locks tightly and should be fairly good at protecting the IEM and cable.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation.
DM8 universals have a semi-custom shell shape and are an extremely snug and comfortable fit for my ears. You can further tweak the snugness and fit to your preferences using the different stock ear tips. Even though it has a vent on top, noise isolation is particularly impressive.