For this review, I mostly used the FiiO M15, a player that won my best DAP award in 2020. For good measure, I also paired the DM8 with the EarMen Sparrow and Eagle, connected to my iPhone through ddHifi’s latest Lightning to USB-C adapter. Sources? Qobuz and Spotify.
Sound-wise, BGVP almost never deceived me, and that’s still true to this day.
The DM8 was quite different than what I expected. Excellent tonal balance, crisps, and inoffensive highs blending nicely with an upper-mids slightly, but delicately strengthened. It’s not a pretentious IEM, trying to push details just for details, and the brand took a very different path compared to the DM7, which was, simply, a DM6+. The DM8 really feels like a more polished, graceful in-ear, dropping music bombs when you expect the least.
Bass was shyer than I expected, even compared to the previous model and far away from Fearless S8f, which displayed bottom-less lows. It goes down as well, but you don’t get that powerful kick that can simulate the chest-hitting sensation. Fortunately, it’s always on-point and the Sonion’s driver was tuned to match the mids. You get fast decay, no saturation at any given volume and the DM8 manages to distillate all the nuances, piece by piece.
Dynamic range is astounding, but that was to be expected. Only a handful of modern multi-BA IEMs failed on this aspect and even entry-level models like the FiiO FH3 or the D are able to push music to higher levels now. Likewise, the soundstage is wide and combined to premium layering, gives a wondrous sensation with the right source.
Speaking of source, if the iPad gave good results, it’s still an in-ear that will require a DAC/Amp or DAP to be fully enjoyable. I liked the ddHifi TC35b, especially when plugged through my computer but I’d go for something a bit beefier like an Eagle or a Sparrow. Highs will be more acute, mids smoother and, overall, it’s just a better experience through and through.
Last but not least, as far as you can, stay in Balanced, it really makes a difference with the BGVP DM8.
Highs : perfectly tuned. If the super-tweeter looked like snake-oil for me, I have to admit that BGVP completely nailed the upper-range. The DM8 delivers rich trebles, exquisite extension, and a tremendous level of details, even with a basic source like my iPad. Fed through the FiiO M15, results are simply marvelous.
Mediums: spacious and airy. Never harsh, never boring, the BGVP DM8 gives astounding results here. It sounds natural, ASDR is great and if you can plug a good source like the Shanling M6 Pro or FiiO M11 Pro, you will be fully immersed in your music.
Lows: perfectly balanced. I was kind of surprised by the bass: sharp, deep but shy at the same time. With 8 drivers, I expected flamboyant lows, with earth-shattering rumbles, but that was never the case here. It’s quality over quantity and, over time, I indulged myself in the music.
Sensitivity / Hiss
Impedance is low, sensitivity is high so once you add those specs, you end up with a mildly sensitive IEM. It can be powered from a smartphone but shine once paired with a good DAC.
There is some hiss with badly grounded sources, but that’s more than bearable. Once you’ve launched your music, all of that annoying buzz will immediately disappear. Hurray!
BGVP DM8 + FiiO M15: a killer team. Obviously, pairing a TOTL DAP with a High-Chi-Fi will lead to great results. Wonderful sense of space, pin-point layering, and sharp sound every time. A superb combination for anyone who likes “portable” duo, even more, if you go full-balanced
BGVP DM8 + EarMen Sparrow: pocket-sized dream. Like Lieven, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about EarMen USB DAC. If you want to get that sweet wow effect but don’t want to break the bank, this is my top choice at the moment: beefy bass, good vocals, and clean highs on the go, with a real 2.5mm TRRS port.
BGVP DM8 + ddHifi TC35i: simple bundle. I really like the TC35i: it perfectly replaced the infamous dongle, with more robustness and better sound quality on the go. It’s nowhere as good as the Sparrow or the M15, but it’s SO much simpler to use and gives the DM8 that extra boost to really enjoy my music.
Who’s going to the pit with the BGVP DM8? A few models actually :
– Shanling ME700: like the DM8, the ME700 doesn’t put lows on the front stage. Also, if both models get 4.4mm/3.5mm/2.5mm adapters, I have to give the ME700 the crown in terms of build quality, as Shanling’s adapters really outshine the competition. On the other hand, I’m more in line with the DM8 sound signature, as they go as high as the ME700, but feel a tad more accurate. It’s a slight difference, but it’s still there.
– BGVP DM7: my previous go-to IEM from BGVP. It’s cheap, versatile and the bass are outstanding. But, if the new DM8 feels like a drawback on the lower end of the spectrum, it beats the DM7, hands down, on every other aspect. Sounds is richer, cleaner and I feel like the DM8 gives a proper high-end experience, where the DM7 will be better for a first-time audiophile.
– Fearless Audio S8F: if you miss the good old Ultimate Ears Super Fi 5 Bass, maybe should you look at the Fearless catalog. It’s a galaxy apart compared to the DM8, but both offer their own sauce. If you like hard-hitting-dumb-and-bass electro, get the S8F, period. If you’re more into Jazz, vocals or simply don’t want/need an extra subwoofer, get the DM8
The BGVP DM8 follows the same success-track as its predecessors. It’s comfortable, affordable, and sounds incredibly good in most genres. I personally feel like the brand could have pushed the lows a bit more, or at least the low-mids, but on every other aspect, it’s excellent. I’d been very keen to try the wooden version, as I’m sure this version warms the sound and gives the DM8 a slightly more “fun” signature, but that’s just me nit-picking.
The bundle is very nice and compared to the DM7 or DM6, you’ll enjoy the thicker shell, even more since BGVP continues to provide a very nice lot of accessories with its DM8. Long story short: a brilliant IEM, both visually and sonically, able to compete with (much) more expensive IEM. Kudos BGVP.