Hot on the heels of my coverage of the OURART Ti7, today we are looking at another product from the minds over at SIDY Studios and/or SIMGOT, according to the manual. That product is the BGVP SGZ-DN1. Since that title is, well, ridiculous, I’m just going to call it the DN1 from here on out.
The DN1 is yet another budget-minded hybrid earphone. This one features a custom single balanced armature (BA) driver and a single 9mm, titanium-coated dynamic driver (DD). This 1+1 setup has become exceedingly common as of late, so does the DN1 bring anything new to the table to warrant drawing your attention? Let’s find out.
The DN1 was sent over by Penon Audio free of charge for the purposes of review. The opinions and thoughts within are my own and do not represent Penon Audio, BGVP, or any other entity. There is no financial incentive for writing this review.
At the time of this review The DN1 could be purchased here on Penon Audio for 29.00 USD; https://penonaudio.com/SGZ-DN1%20?search=dn1
My Gear and I:
I’m a 30 year old professional working for what is currently the largest luxury hotel chain on the planet. I have a background in Psychology which probably explains my somewhat dry writing style. My entry into the world of portable audio was due primarily to a lack of space for a full-sized stereo system during my university years, and truly began with the venerable JVC HA-FXT90. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI’s multi-earphone review thread, reviews from other established writers, and thus being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own.
Fast forward a couple years and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to write about products for wonderful companies like HiFiMan, RHA, Accutone, ADVANCED, NarMoo, Mixcder, Brainwavz, Meze, and many more. I don’t do it for money or free stuff, but because this is my hobby and I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to a product that makes them happy, I’ll consider that a job well done and payment enough.
Gear used for testing was a Shanling M1, Walnut V2s, HiFi E.T. MA8, and my TEAC HA-501 headphone amp. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even mid-range response, and reduced mid-bass. Lately I’ve been enjoying more mellow and relaxed products with a bass tilt. Two of my favorite in-ears, the Echobox Finder X1[i] with grey filters installed and the Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced are good examples of my preferred signatures.
Packaging and Accessories:
The DN1 is off to a positive start with a nice package. The exterior sleeve is adorned with a black on black motif using glossy, pill-shaped icons that give it a snake-skin like feel and appearance. It’s neat, though not particularly attractive in my opinion. BGVP and the slogan “The Best Experience” are printed in a contrasting silver on the front and sides. The rear contains a large sticker with the DN1’s specifications, oddly putting down only ‘Single BA Driver’ for the Driver Diameter spec. I think they forgot the 9mm dynamic, something I would want highlighted given it’s use of a titanium-coated diaphragm.
Sliding off the sheath you are welcomed by the DN1’s earpieces attached to the mic-less cable, nestled in cut foam resting above a compact cardboard box holding the accessories. It’s a pretty decent accessory kit too;
– two cables; one with a mic (OFC), one without (5n silver-plated)
– generic shirt clip
– one pair of foam eartips
– medium bore silicone tips in s/m/l
– one pair of wide bore tips, medium sized (pre-installed)
About the only thing missing is a carrying case or soft bag. I can understand the omission in this case given the inclusion of the second cable, both of which are of high quality. And since they’re MMCX, you can use them with other earphones if you’ve got them. Underneath the foam inlay is a basic manual and a QC check card.
Overall it’s a pretty decent unboxing experience.
Build, Comfort, and Isolation:
I find the build quality of the DN1 to be somewhat hit and miss. Let’s start with the earpieces which fall under the ‘miss’ category. They are all plastic and feel it. Looking through the three vent holes on the inside of the earpiece you can see just how thin the plastic used really is. Add to that gold flakes mixed in with the plastic and a poorly printed logo and there is an air of cheapness to them that is absent on most budget gear I have had the opportunity to use recently. The firm plastic means they don’t feel fragile, but it’s not a confidence inspiring material either. It’s a little disappointing to be honest, especially given the bullet-proof build of the other BGVP models I’ve tried (ready yourself); Ti7, YPS04, and the BKYT MRY6. BGVP’s naming schemes make me shake my head.
Thankfully the two included cables fall into the ‘hit’ category as they are both excellent. The pre-installed, silver-plated mic-free cable with the clear sheath is ever so slightly sticky, certainly not to the extent of KZ’s cables, is memory resistant, and is quite flexible. The y-split and chin sliders are nice hunks of plastic and metal and feel quite durable. While the slender 90 degree angled jack in nicely relieved against tugs and pull, the rest of cable is not. That’s about the only improvement I could ask for at this price. The second cable, a mobile option quite similar to that found on the pricier LZ A2S is much the same, though with a straight jack and no chin slider. The inline mic and control module is the same as that on the Ti7, so it’s sturdy and works just fine for phone calls.
Thankfully, the ergonomic shape of the earpieces and absurdly light weight mean they are a gem when it comes to comfort. Just pop them in your ears and you’re good to go. The shell is well designed so there is very little fiddling to get a good seal, pending you’ve installed the right tips. The nozzle is quite short so getting a proper seal can be a touch more finicky than with more simple, barrel-shaped earphones. Any weight the cable carries is slung securely around your ear (no memory wire!) so tugging isn’t an issue either.
Isolation I found to be well below average, down there with the KZ ZS5. The combination of thin plastics with ample ventilation and a shallow fit mean you’re not going to be blocking out much of incoming exterior noise. Foam tips help, but I feel they ruin the sound quality so that’s not a viable solution in my opinion.
Overall the DN1 is built well-enough with a couple great cables backing it up. Comfort is stellar, while isolation is well-below average. In daily use, it ends up being an easy earphone to live with.
– Sensitivity: 110dB / mW
– Frequency response range: 20-350000Hz
– Impedance: 12Ω
Tips: The pre-installed stock mediums were my preferred pick. They reduced the slightly overboosted mid-bass and increased treble energy a touch, balancing out the DN1’s sound. Small bore tips served to really bring out the bass which can be fun at times, but the DN1’s bass is already slightly on the boomy side so not ideal. Foam tips just made them muddy. Didn’t enjoy those at all.
Source/Amping: I liked them from whatever source I played them through. They seemed to scale a bit with my TEAC HA-501, but not enough to warrant recommending the best and most powerful source you can find. A smartphone or basic player is perfectly suitable.
Based on my experiences with BGVP’s YPS04 and BKYT MRY6, I was expecting the DN1 to be an absolute bass cannon. To my pleasant surprise my first listen was met with a fairly mellow, warm, and reasonably balanced hybrid, not entirely unlike the Huawei AM175 I hold a soft spot for.
Compared to similarly priced options like the KZ ZST and ZS5, the DN1’s treble response is much more downplayed and subtle. It falls behind those two in terms of detail retrieval and doesn’t display the same airiness to it’s presentation, but as a big plus in the DN1’s favor it’s treble is smoother and better controlled, free of the occasional splashiness the KZ models exhibit and a trait I have little tolerance for.
The DN1’s mid-range is well-placed with only minor and infrequent intrusion from the slightly overabundant mid-bass. Vocals are for the most part fairly clean and with good definition, though clarity could be improved upon as heard in the competing Kinera BD005 which shares a 1+1 hybrid configuration. Like the Kinera, the DN1 has a fairly realistic and natural sounding presentation that makes listening to good vocals a pleasure, even if they’re not as prominent as I would like in all instances.
The DN1’s low end is quite mid-bass focused with fairly early roll-off heading into sub-bass regions. They just don’t offer up the same deep rumble that other hybrids like the Audbos DB-02 or Kinera H3 can, or the punchy feel of the BD005. On the plus side, despite a slightly boomy presentation, the DN1’s low end is decently nimble and able to keep up with grungy, quick bass lines like those on The Prodigy’s ‘Take Me To the Hospital’. What it is is a fun sounding low end that works well with bassy tracks.
The DN1’s soundstage is not particularly impressive, though it avoids providing a purely in-your-head experience, able to toss sounds a decent distance if required. For the most part though, it makes for an intimate listen, more akin to the AM175 as opposed to the KZ hybrids. Imaging is accurate enough for the price range with good separation and laying, though it’s nothing to write home about and falls short of what KZ was able to accomplish with their hybrid offerings.
Despite not sounding overly enthralled with the sonic performance of the DN1, when in use it all comes together to make for a very pleasant sounding product. It doesn’t overwhelm you with detail, or thundering bass. It doesn’t portray a too-forward or shouty mid-range, and it’s treble isn’t aggressive and tiring. This would be a great earphone for someone that wants a hybrid without the exaggerated bass and treble that others seem to be dialing into their products with the purpose of advertising their hybrid designs (KZ, I’m looking at you). While undoubtedly there are improvements that could be made, the DN1 sounds a little smoother and more mature than it’s competition.
Admittedly I haven’t been a huge fan of BGVP up to this point. The YPS04 and the BKYT MRY6 are beautifully crafted works of art, but their generic bassy signatures are a big turn off for me. The Ti7 on the other hand showed me they can do ear buds well, from build to sound. The DN1? Well, it’s won me over a little more. Sure, the ear piece plastics feel cheap and isolation is poor at best, but BGVP was on the ball when it came to choosing quality cables, dialing in comfortable ergonomics, and tuning in a smooth, ear-pleasing sound that should have a wide appeal.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a decent product and at 29.00 USD, pretty affordable. They get a well-deserved 3.5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Some Test Tunes:
Aesop Rock – Skelethon (Album)
Elton John – Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
Infected Mushroom – Converting Vegetarians (Album)
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die (Album)
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
Tobacco – F****d Up Friends
Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet)