Current testing methodology is v1.2
September 9, 2019
8.2 x 3 x 1.6 in
The BL-03 is a single dynamic driver IEM from the Chi-Fi company, BLON.
Characterized by their very pleasing tonality and warmth, these IEMs shook the entire budget audio scene back when IEMs were not as popular as they are now.
Considering the price point that they’re at, these IEMs remain a solid contender amongst the wide variety of offerings now available in the market.
From the perspective of a beginning audio enthusiast, forums and YouTube reviews are the common go-tos for solid recommendations. The problem with this is that the market is saturated with a lot of gear, which makes it hard to decide on your first buy just based on reviews.
But maybe after reading this, you’d end up getting the most unlikely recommendation of your life.
Budget-friendly and highly durable IEMs with impressive bass and clean mids.
The BLON BL-03 is, without a doubt, a solid pair of earphones for under $40.
These earphones have a pleasantly warm sound signature and astronomical build quality that’s good for listening to various genres of music, watching movies, and playing games.
They come in three color finishes: silver, gunmetal, and purple.
With a vast array of cable upgrades to complement these color options, these earphones can be a very stylish and reliable everyday carry that lets you take your audio experience to a whole other level.
- Driver: 10mm Carbon Diaphragm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20000kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 102db/mw
What’s in the Box?
- BLON BL-03 earphones
- 3.5mm jack cable
- 6x stock tips
Stuff I like
- Well-tuned V-shape sound
- Organic timbre and tonality
- Impeccable sub-bass rumble and mid-bass thump
- Dark treble region that has the perfect amount of sparkle
- Non-fatiguing playback
Stuff I like less
- Some tracks get crowded when the bass and drums are too busy
- Average resolution
The BLON BL-03 was my first pair of IEMs and having only used free Samsung buds, trying them out was a mystical first listen.
I plugged the set into a Samsung phone as the source and booted up Spotify.
The first thing I noticed, even as a total audio noob, was the weight of the notes. The first playback immediately made it apparent that the set had heavier notes than any pair of consumer earphones I’ve tried.
Basically, that was it, until I played ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots.
The second thing I noticed was the bass. These things could do bass with a very rich and deep rumble, which I found to be pretty impressive.
These things are built like tanks.
The BLON BL-03 is made from Kirksite, a material composed of zinc alloy, magnesium, copper, and small amounts of aluminum.
“Yeah, but what about it?”
Kirksite is used to make tooling materials and die-cast molds with its near-perfect casting accuracy. When it comes to strength, it’s known as a medium metal – being both strong and ductile.
This material is one of the most commonly used metals for nutcrackers, which is more than enough proof of how sturdy it is.
In my experience, I’ve slept with the BLON BL-03 on my ears, side-slept with them in my pockets, accidentally dropped them at fairly high heights and accidentally banged them on metal pipes as I was spinning them around – and still not a single scratch on them.
I’ve convinced myself that these are apocalypse-proof, with no doubt in my mind.
Apart from being durable, these IEMs look stunning. They have an iridescent finish with microscopic glitter which makes them look aesthetically-pleasing.
Fit and Comfort
As for the fit, the BLON BL-03 has some weird teardrop shapes that might make some people question whether they’re comfy or not.
To my surprise, they fit really snugly in my ears and feel comfortable to wear.
I reckon I had used them for 7 hours straight before they started feeling a little uncomfortable.
The fit will generally depend on the type of ear tips you’re using as well as the shape of your ears. I found the stock bullet tips to my liking because how they’re shaped naturally made it possible for them to sit deep inside my ears.
Now let’s get to the most important part.
This pair will surely set the bar high if you’ve never known what quality sound is supposed to sound like.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with all the audio lingo, the ears will never lie. These IEMs are pretty well-tuned across the frequency spectrum.
The transient response of these IEMs is fast. Cymbal strikes and snare hits come across as very robust and crisp.
The sound separation is very well done and is a real treat when you come across well-mixed tracks with a lot of layering.
The soundstage isn’t really that wide or tall and is still an in-your-head experience.
The resolution is average but I wouldn’t trade the BL-03’s warmth and great tonality with resolution on any day with this set.
In discerning an IEM’s bass, you’d need to consider two things: bass quantity and bass quality.
The bass quantity in the BL-03 is massive because of its authoritative presence in the frequency range.
The bass quality is excellent due to the grungy bass texture and the right amount of attack and decay.
The bass isn’t too speedy but it’s not slow either. It has just the exact amount for it to complement the overall tuning. It’s balanced as it should be.
For V-shaped IEMs, these don’t even give you the slightest clue that they are one.
Without looking at the frequency response graph, you wouldn’t even know that they’re V-shaped and that’s because the mids aren’t scooped out.
The mids continue a steady graph from the low midrange on 250Hz to the upper midrange smoothly, only bumping up in the 2, 4, and 5khz range. The 2kHz bump may be the reason why the vocal presence on the BL-03 is so good
The upper midrange is also known as the treble and it continues up to the 20kHz range.
Harmonics and percussion instruments live within this region. With the 4 to 5kHz bump in the BL-03’s graph, the treble has a good bite to it that surprises me until now.
It’s quite rare for IEMs to be very warm and darkly-tuned, and yet possess sparkly details.
It still has an extension past the 10khz region and dies down at roughly 14kHz, not extending any longer.
Due to this graph, the BL-03 has a good airy sound in its vocal playback and contributes to a lot of atmospheric delivery.
The tracks I used are varied and based on different genres, but I decided to pick a few out for your reference.
- Daddy! Daddy! Do! Kaguya-sama Love is War Opening 1 (Anime) – Truly a benchmark of anime music test tracks, this track showcases the BL-03’s note weight, organic timbre, and sound separation. The vocalist’s dynamics, as well as the mix’s layering, are dance-inducing.
- Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy (Rock) – This track has a section where two vocals sing two different verses at the same time and these vocals can be heard apart from each other. This highlights how, on some tracks, the BL-03 is just amazing with only a single dynamic driver handling all the frequencies.
- Wachito Rico by Boy Pablo (Alternative/Indie) – The dynamic range of the vocalist makes you enjoy this track, even more so because it has a lot of percussions and rhythm to it. The colored sound of the guitar and the bass riffs in this track works well with the BLON BL-03’s tonality. Overall, a very cohesive and enjoyable listen.
- Starboy by The Weeknd (Pop) – Vocals come in very clean and unmuddied by bass. The layering is very audible, even with the ever-present bass throughout the track. The bass on this track is big and I love it.
- Cry by Cigarettes After Sex (R&B/Soul) – The signature house sound of this track resounds beautifully with tasteful reverb. The song carries you into a very deep and emotional listen. The note weight and treble air is helping this track play as emotionally and effectively as possible.
The BLON BL-03 is a hidden gem amongst a sea of excellent IEM offerings.
At $38.99, you get the most cohesively tuned bass you’ll ever hear in any pair of IEMs, even compared to higher-priced models. You’ll also get a clean and lively midrange with treble sparkle and air, plus the durability of a siege helicopter.
Overall, these earphones are a reliable and fun set to enter into the audio hobby.
With all of the other products on the market, the BL-03 remains worthy to be listed as one of the best budget offerings on the market.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-09-27 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.