We all want great sounding headphones that don’t empty our budgets. At only $26.99, the Blon BL-03s promise big sound with powerful bass, but do they deliver? Join us as we find out in our full review.
Current Price: $26.99 (Linsoul Audio)
Product Name: BL-03 In-ear Earphone
Driver unit: 10mm Carbon Diaphragm Dynamic Drive
Earphone sensitivity: 102dB/mW
Frequency response range: 20-20KHz
Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated L Type
Cable length: 1.2m±3cm
Earphone Interface: 0.78mm 2pin
You could be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Blon before. I admit to being new to the brand before Linsoul asked me if I’d be interested in taking a look at their new BL-03 earbuds. After doing a little research and finding out that the earbuds actually had quite a good reputation in the budget headphone world, I agreed. At $26.99, they could go either way —- but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a good deal, so had to check them out.
As you can probably tell from the box, Blon isn’t an American brand. I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out what “oppoty” meant. Opportunity? Either way, that’s a creative way to come up with a brand name. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my audio journey, it’s that Chinese headphones can often be a great value. When they’re good, they can often blow away the American competition at the same price. Often, not always.
So, let’s get to the Blons. Apart from the funny way they came up with their name, these headphones make a decent first impression. For less than thirty dollars, I’d expect the headphones themselves and maybe a spare set of tips. Instead, you get a selection of small, medium, and large tips, and a canvas carrying bag. The buds themselves are made of metal, which is very surprising at this price point, and feature a 2-pin detachable cable. Apart from the spare tips, these are features you’ll almost never find on sub-$30 IEMs from a U.S. brand.
The cable is okay. It’s braided, but is a dull black and rather stiff and tangle-prone. Where it connects to the earbuds has a worrying wiggle thanks to the extruded pins. I didn’t have any issue throughout my couple weeks of testing, but I wouldn’t carry these around in your pocket with anything that might torque the connection.
Thankfully, the earbuds are much better. They have a unique, teardrop-like shape that lets them sit nearly flush with your ear. Inside that mirror finished shell is a single dynamic driver with frequency response range of 20-20,000kHz. The driver is fairly large at 10mm, which allows it to provide a very full low-end.
Which brings us to how they sound. Achieving a proper seal is important and transforms these headphones from thin and frankly mediocre to actually sounding quite good. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find that seal using any of the included tips. I wasn’t even able to find it with any of my other silicone tips I’ve used with IEMs for the past six months. The only way I could actually get a proper fit was to swap out to foam tips, which were half the cost of the earbuds themselves. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve never had this happen and since I know the other tips fit me, I have to conclude that it’s the shape of the earbuds that made it so hard.
Once you do, however, the BL-03s actually sound quite good. They have a fullness and punch thanks to a heightened bass and sub-bass rumble. I listened to Killswitch Engage’s new album, Atonement, and loved how thumpy the kick drums were. The mids also let the crunch of the guitars shine through. For metal, the BL-03s were great, but I also enjoyed more laid back tracks like I The Mighty’s Slow Dancing Forever. The upper-mids and highs are relaxed. There’s not a lot of sparkle here, so some of the high end details fade away, but it helps the headphones to stay non-fatiguing.
This tuning also makes them a decent fit for gaming. Many of the most important details live in mids for action games, like your footsteps or team callouts, and even with the relaxed upper-end, I never felt like I was missing out. That said, the soundstage is pretty tight, even with Windows Sonic, so spatial awareness definitely takes a hit.
For the cost, the Blon BL-03s are a good value. Their sound definitely punches above its class, which is what matters most, but they may not be the best fit for gaming if you’re looking for a great sense of space. For music, I definitely enjoyed them. The poor fit is a big issue, though, and the wiggly connection to the cable is also concerning. By the time you’re done replacing both, you’ll have spent nearly the cost of the headphone in upgrades.
Still, $26.99 — and it’s worth remembering that the actual earbuds feel worth substantially more than that, so at the end of the day, it may be a case of give a little, get a lot, especially if you enjoy a bass rich tuning for music and games.The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.