Shozy & Neo BG Review: Clean

Introduction

The BG is a model brought to you by the collaboration of Shozy and Neo and surprisingly isn’t their only 5BA model in their lineup, the other being the Pentacle.

I also have no idea who or what “Neo” is.

Product page: http://www.shozy-hk.com/bg-5ba-iem

MSRP: $280

Driver configuration: 5BA

This unit was kindly sent to me by Shozy in exchange for a full review.

Frequency Response Analysis

This will be a new section for my reviews as I understand not everyone has learnt how to interpret the graphs that I create.

First, the lower frequency regions. A relatively early rise from 1kHz down theoretically means an enhanced lower midrange and midbass response, which would subjectively result in added note weight and thickness. This coupled with the lack of downward extension shown in the mild roll-off below 100Hz may be an indication of a more midbassy response.

BGDFcomp
Diffuse Field compensated

The “pinna gain” region of 2kHz to roughly 6kHz seems to be adequately boosted per my own standards, though the shape of the response does not correspond very well with diffuse field (H&M, Harman etc.) in either shape or magnitude. The dip at 4.5kHz is also not ideal per this metric.

Usual disclaimers apply on how I think Diffuse Field sounds too intense.

The dip also results in a contrast between 5k and the 6-9k range, so while the treble regions may be in line with the 2-3k regions, a suppression in SPL in the region just before the boost may result in increased perception of treble.

A rapid decrease in SPL after the resonance point (8kHz) may be an indication that the BG does not have a lot of treble extension. Though it may not be so as it is only -5 to -10dB in the >10Khz region relative to 1kHz.

The subjective

Signature

The BG’s tonal balance skews towards brightness though can be considered as “neutral” for simplicity. It is relatively neutral throughout and is characterized by a mid-treble peak.

The Bad

The standard caveats of “BA timbre” always show up with such systems, and the BG is no exception. Most try to hide the plasticky hollowness of BA drivers with a lower mid emphasis, which helps to smooth out the texture and just make them easier to listen to.

With the BG and its neutral-bright tuning, you get all that rough texturing and highly defined notes, but at the cost of the timbre naturalness. Its rapid quick decay shines a spotlight on low level detail but perhaps also to its detriment. Detail that should have been subtle or stay in the background gets pushed into the foreground unnecessarily at times and instrument positioning sometimes do not follow the mastering’s intended order, instead putting everything on the same plane of priority. That said, this is a common trope that such neutrally tuned BA IEMs exhibit so it’s not like the BG is out of the ordinary in this regard.

What exactly is stopping the BG from being universally loved would potentially be its treble response. It does get sharp, and depending on your insertion depth it can be smack-dab in the middle of the sibilance range.

The Good

In a way, you can also construe what I’ve said about the BG’s weakness as its strengths, depending on your perspective. The BG has highly defined notes in combination with its technical-focused signature, which makes it a very clean sounding IEM.

It’s not an outstanding performer in terms of tonality, but it’s close enough to what I can consider as “serviceable”. Apart from slightly-too-heady vocals and a partial lack of note weight in instruments in general (despite its lower midrange emphasis per my FR analysis), the BG doesn’t sound wrong and is at least within the realm of “artistic license” in its portrayal of a reference & neutral kind of sound.

Conclusion

The BG is a well-tuned, detail-oriented BA IEM with the usual weaknesses of BAs. For the price, it performs adequately.

Consider one if you put treble sparkle and definition high on your own priority list.

Grade:

New month, new Patrons! Thanks to all who have supported and/or continue to support my endeavours.

And of course, my shoutouts to my very special big-money boys:

“McMadface”
Denis
Nicholas
Justin
“caravan”
Alexander

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