Showing 1 of 7 conversations about:
View Full Discussion As aforementioned, I was one of the first people in China to buy these and I've been listening to them extensively for the past months. You can find my impressions below.
Tl;dr first: True flagship sound with a price tag to match. The BGVP V12's default tuning is a reference sound that competes with the very best and imo, (since we're on Drop), edges out the Noble K10U. The tuning switches, while not as well executed as QDC's Anole series, tastefully add a layer of musicality. At a grand, it doesn't fit the "high value" rep that BGVP established with the DM6 and DMG but if you're one of those guys that's considering spending $1K on an IEM; and pure audio performance is your only concern, these are an absolutely worthy recommendation.
Packaging and accessories:
Build quality and fit:
- - Let's just get the bad out of the way first; There is no packaging. (Yes, you read that right.) The V12 is old school Chinese DIY to a fault, and it literally comes in the the metal carrying case. Initially, I was told that the box was still WIP and will be sent out later but months have passed and I've yet to receive this box nor have I seen anyone that more recently bought it get it with packaging. This is acceptable practice within the Chi-fi community for DIYers but not so hot when you're trying to charge $1K to Western customers. (I'll change this if someone can verify that there is packaging for this release)
- - Additional accessories are fairly standard: 6 pairs of silicone tips, 1 pair of foam and a cleaning tool.
- - The cable (Not the one in my pic) on the other hand, is very good quality. It's an 8 wire cable with an internal crossbraid between 6N copper and silver foil. It's very soft and handles perfectly. Unfortunately, you only get 1 in 3.5mm termination.
- - Build quality is the standard fare German Egger resin for premium IEMs. There are no rough edges or bubbles anywhere and the faceplate quality is very good.
- - What's impressive is how small and light the V12 is; You can see it beside my hulking JH Laylas below. These are smaller than many 8BA IEMs I've used (ie. VE8, Moondrop A8) The resulting fit and isolation is phenomenal and I reckon almost anyone should be able to comfortably wear them.
- - The default tuning of the V12 is pretty close to flat, reference sound. (FR graph below) Think PP8 or Noble K10. Bass has great body and resolution, favoring organic sound over speed. It's not as fast as the PP8's bass but still packs a competent punch. Subbass is present but you're not going to feel the rumble and it's a bit dry imo. Mids are beautifully rendered with just the right amount of body. The V12 manages to retain excellent vocal clarity without bringing the mids more forward; A tuning technique which many brands have resorted to. Treble extension is excellent with phenomenal air and resolution. This is as good as flat-tuning treble is going to get with BA drivers.
- - Separation and clarity across the board is top-notch. I've listened to both the original K10U and the Kaiser Encore, and the V12 sounds just a tad more resolving than both to my ears. There are maybe a handful of IEMs I can confidently say are stronger technically than the V12 and almost all of them cost much more.
- - Soundstage feels very spacious. If I wasn't already spoiled by the A18t, these would probably be my go to for classical. Listening to 2 renditions of Mozart's Requiem in D minor for example (Bohm vs Mehta), you can clearly identify the difference in concert hall size and the positioning of each section.
(Only going to do 3 so this doesn't drag on but I've listened to/owned a fair amount of IEMs over the years, so feel free to ask for select comparisons.)
- - Mid-high boost (1 -on 2-off): I call this the guilty pleasure mode. It pushes the mids and treble forward so you can really hear the details in vocals and strings. The tuning of this mode is a little bit like the Campfire Andromeda and it really showcases the V12's technical strengths. A pleasure to listen to but can be a bit intense and fatiguing over time.
- - Bass boost (1-off 2-on): This mode elevates the sub-bass to mid-bass and recesses the mids and highs a bit. Honestly, this mode doesn't do it for me. The V12's most notable increase is in the sub-bass, but the way it recesses the mids and treble creates a sound that feels incoherent. It's like listening to cold, reference mids and highs while you have this warmth in the lows. The details are still there, I just don't find the overall signature enjoyable. In contrast, the QDC Anole series have a much better bass switch that gives it that extra punch and rumble to create a consistently warmer tone.
- - Full boost (1-on 2-on): Over time, this has become my most frequently used mode and I pretty much use this for everything except classical. Turning both switches on gives the V12 a slight V-shape tuning; Essentially reducing the heat on the mid-high boost, while retaining the additional sub-bass rumble of the bass boost. The resulting sound is the most musical of the 4 tunings and imo, most people will either stick to the default or gravitate towards this.
- - Noble K10: I already referred to the K10 quite a bit but the K10 has a similar neutral tuning as the default V12. The V12 is just a tad stronger on all technical levels. That's impressive considering how old the K10 is but if you like its clean neutral sound, the V12 is just going to give you a bit more micro-detail and a bigger soundstage. Plus tuning options, of course.
- - QDC Anole VX: Someone asked me if these were the "VX Killers." There's an argument for it if you factor in the price but I wouldn't quite go there yet. The VX is still very strong and QDC's tuning-switch system is the most complete of any in the industry. VX retains the QDC house sound which is more mid/vocal focused. On the default settings, the VX shares similar bass qualities at the V12 with more forward mids and softer highs. I can't AB them anymore since I sold my VX but from memory, both are about equally strong on the technical side. The VX's switch tuning system is just better though and each mode sounds intently tuned rather than just elevating certain frequencies. You decide if that's worth the price premium.
- - JH Audio Layla: The Layla is tuned completely differently than the V12. There's an incredible amount of air and sub-bass presence in the Layla that exceeds many hybrid IEMs which use dynamic drivers for lows; coupled with one of fullest mid bodies I've ever heard. If you like that kind of sound, the V12 is not going to compete. Soundstage also feels sightly taller on the Layla. Where the V12 excels above the Layla is in treble extension and resolution as well as overall separation.
- - The lack of packaging and premium accessories will undoubtedly be a deal breaker for some. Definitely factor this is as $1000 is no small investment and this might not be the easiest sell should you decide to part with it in the future. I'm still bummed as to why they couldn't at least modify the DM7 packaging considering that stuff dirt cheap here but it is what is it.
- - The V12 is a part of an overall movement of Chi-fi brands not named UM/QDC into the high-end market. If you're out here looking for the next DM6 or Tinhifi P1, this definitely isn't it. However, if you're comparing them to top Western brand flagships from the likes of JH, Empire, Noble or 64, the V12's are still pretty cheap.
- - The biggest problem with obscure Chinese brands like BGVP is that there's so much garbage on Taobao that just stick as many drivers in a unit as possible with minimal tuning effort. This gives Chi-fi products a international reputation of "good-value or scam." While I don't think the reputation BGVP gained from the DMG and DM6 are enough for them to push a $1k product worldwide yet, the V12 is legit and it brings it to the TOTL IEMs both in sound and build.