HiFiGo may be a new name to many customers in North America, but it is working hard to become a contender for high-quality audio solutions from brands across the globe. The BGVP NS9 In-Ear Monitors (IEM) are HIFiGo’s budget conscience IEM offering and comes packed to the ear tip with sound for those looking to break into the IEM game. Be it a musician or audio enthusiast, the NS9’s hope to bring quality audio to your listening experience. After 50+ hours of testing, it’s time to see how well the BGVPs perform. So grab that coffee, kick back and check out our review of BGVP NS9 In-Ear Monitors.
- Drivers: 2DD + 7BA (Sonion + Knowles)
- Sensitivity: 107 dB SPL/MW
- Impedance: 25?
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz-40kHz
- Distortion Rate: <0.5%
- Channel Difference: <1dB
- Rated Power: 13mW
- Cable Length: 1.2m
It’s All In The Detail
The BGVP NS9’s are built from the ground up for comfort. The driver capsule design is based on a huge collection of ear print data from a wide range of ear types. All of this data is combined to create a mould designed to fit perfectly in your ear. The cool, aviation-grade aluminum casing rests comfortably in my ear with a fairly low profile meaning that the outer side of the capsule doesn’t protrude much past the outer earlobe.
On the space grey version I received for review there is a nice matte finish to the paint making the whole capsule look sleek and professional. For those looking for something with a bit more flair, HiFiGo does offer these same IEM’s in starry blue and black gold.
The included braided cable is tightly wound meaning that it reduces the chances of cable tangling if you were to haphazardly toss them in your bag or pocket. Thankfully even that shouldn’t be an issue as the NS9s come with a compact carrying case as well as a variety of different sized and functioned ear tips (more on the latter, later). The case is a rigid formed soft shell and works well at keeping the IEMs protected from the wear and tear of surviving your backpack or purse.
More Than Meets The Eye
What makes the BGVPs even more interesting is just how customizable they are. Along with the earpieces, cable and case, you’ll also find a series of different silicone ear tips as well as an additional two sets of tip nozzles. These nozzles were an interesting new feature that I’d not seen with a set of earbuds before.
Essentially how it all works is that the earpieces out of the box offer a balanced sound profile used for general, everyday listening. This would be the most commonly used setting for the average user. However for those looking for a little more customization, the NS9s offer two additional nozzles that clip right onto the end of each earpiece. A silver set offers a more focused high end while a red set accents the lower frequencies. Based on my testing the difference comes from how sound waves are pushed through the capsules; the former having much more open pass-throughs while the latter has a much more condensed pass through the system.
I will admit that there is some difference in how you hear the frequencies but I didn’t find it to be that much more beneficial with either nozzle attached to the headphones. There may be some settings where one or the other will come in handy but, practically, unless you are specifically looking for more low or high-end, the standard profile still seems best to me.
The BGVPs also come with an interesting array of ear tips with specific designs in mind. In theory, a set of vocal-focused and bass-focused (in three different sizes) tips are designed to further manipulate the sound experience to your preference. In practice though, I found very little difference in the overall audio experience. It was still nice to have some options. Regardless, having that many ear tips at the ready does offer some nice options for visual customization. Taking it a step further, the IEMs also come with a set of memory ear tips designed to form mould to your ear canal over time.
From a build perspective, the GBVP IEMs feel sturdy and of high design quality. Everything from the braided cable to the capsules is rugged but sleek and comfortable to wear. From a design perspective, I’m a fan of the low profile, matte finish of these IEMs. It’s professional, functional and durable; for someone that does not go easy on technology I appreciate these features a lot.
But How Do They Sound?
If you navigate to the HiFiGo BGVP product site, a theme you’ll quickly see is one of attention to detail. Every aspect of the BGVPs is built to give you the most punch for power out of the IEMs while still maintaining quality across the frequency bands. The 9 driver system is designed to offer a balanced, high-fidelity audio experience while minimizing cross-frequency distortion.
This is accomplished through the use of a four-way electronic cross-over combined with a series of high-end drivers (a mix of armature and dynamic drivers are used). The electronic crossover system uses eight precision capacitors to separate and balance frequencies. Essentially, these tiny capacitors work in tandem to fine tune the frequencies produced by the drivers to separate and balance them as audio is pushed out. This results in increased clarity and audio detailing.
I typically run any piece of audio gear through a gantlet of audio tests designed to push the drivers across the frequency spectrum. While testing I focus on a few major things:
The Low, Mid and high range clarity, punch and fullness, as well as overall quality, detail and fidelity of the sound profile.
While testing it’s important to understand that audio gear is not like a pair of socks, it’s never one size fits all or even some. The audio gear always serves a specific audio purpose and these tests help reveal the best use of the tested gear. In the case of the BGVP’s I ran all tests while using the stock profile nozzles so as to produce the most balanced audio results. So with that in mind let’s dive in.
The Low End
The BGVP IEMs have two dynamic low-end drivers designed to give some extra punch to your audio experience. In the case of my testing, I found the low-end frequencies (roughly 16-250 Hz) to be incredibly clear, punchy and the right warm for those low-end beats. I have a few favorite songs I like to run headphone tests through. For those low-end sounds, I typically listen to Hans Zimmer’s The Dark Knight Medley. In this case, all of the low ends were clean, crisp and well defined.
A series of frequency tests consistently produced clean, consistent low end without distortion. Drum solos and bass sounds felt well rounded and distinct in the midst of larger band or orchestra numbers. I was thoroughly impressed with the low-end sound produced.
What this means practically is that if you love songs with lots of low-end these will sound great. If you’re a performer the plays drums or bass then these drivers are great for your main IEM’s on stage. They produce the kinds of sound and clarity that drummers and bass players typically desire while performing.
Much like the low-end tests I tried to push the mid-range frequencies (roughly 250Hz - 4kHz) to their limit. The NS9’s come equipped with three Armature drivers to help produce the wide frequency band of the mid-range. Interestingly, of the three frequency zones, I found the mids to be a little weak when compared to the others. It lacked the fullness of the dynamic drivers (for those interested check out this article on driver types) for the low end and lacked the punch of the high end.
It wasn’t terrible by any stretch but did lack the clarity and definition of some vocal performances in the tests. What this means practically is that songs still sound great and vocalists will still be clear and but might lack a bit of the distinction in the overall mix. If you are a vocal performer using these as your main IEM however, you’ll need to do some EQ work to bring out that clarity in some voices. They won’t most likely be the best IEM option without some additional EQ’ing on your board.
Interestingly, the Armature drivers for the high end did quite well. The challenge when testing was separating those high-end frequencies (roughly 4kHz - plus) from the mid-range as the two types work together to generate a complete sound. Due to the aforementioned issues with the mids I, at first, struggled to distinguish if it was the entire upper end that was lacking or just the mids. However, after additional testing, it seems that the highs actually work to compensate for the lacking mid-range, helping create a fuller sound. When separated out the high-end Armature drivers performed quite well once again having a clean, bright sound. They do help make up for what is lacking in the mid-range to produce a quality sound.
Overall Sound Profile
After all the testing was completed I have to say that the overall sound profile of the BGVP NS9 is solid, clear and well balanced. These IEMs excel at producing a clean, detailed sound, especially on the low end. Music sounds exceptionally detailed with individual instruments easy to identify while still maintaining acoustic balance.
Vocals sound clear but are not quite as well defined as instruments (specifically bass and drums). They are still well presented and pretty well balanced with the rest of the profile. Those mid-range drivers lack a bit of punch and clarity to really put the BGVPs on the next level.
The BGVP NS9 IEMs from HiFiGo is a fairly solid, budget-conscious IEM. With excellent low-end drivers, a comfortable and rugged design and some fun customization options, they are a great overall package for those picking up their first set of IEMs. If you love listening to music with a lot of low end or are a performer who mixes in a lot of drums or bass these are an incredible option at an affordable price. The mid-range drives, however, lack a bit when compared to the low and high end which holds the NS9s back from being the perfect IEM for everyone. Priced at $204.90 at the time of writing, the BGVP NS9 IEMs, available now from HiFiGo, are a solid contender for entry-level IEM’s for a certain audio listener demographic.
The product described in this article was provided by HifiGo for evaluation purposes.