BLON BL-MAX Review
Pros: + Bass cannon
+ Good sub-bass extension
+ Mids and treble don’t get masked
+ Mids stay clear
+ Easy going and fatigue free
+ Large scale presentation
+ Wide soundstage
+ Good quality cable
+ Budget friendly
Cons: – Bass is lacking in clarity and separation
– Bass is slow
– One note bass presentation
– Lacking in technicalities
– Treble not the most extended and refined
– The 2-pin cable plug is a unique design
– Bulky and heavy
– Not the most comfortable fit
The Blon BL-MAX was kindly provided free of charge from HiFiGo for reviewing purposes.
It is selling for €32,76 and you can buy it from this – not affiliate – link HiFiGo.
The BLON BL-MAX is the latest dual dynamic driver iem from the house of BLON.
The pair features a powerful combination of a 10mm carbon diaphragm dynamic driver and a 6mm lightweight micro dynamic driver with a precise electronic crossover to ensure a high-quality output with low distortion and high clarity.
It has an impedance of 32Ω with a sensitivity of 115dB making it phone friendly and easy to drive.
Build quality and fit
The shells are made with Zinc-Alloy material and they are available in silver, blue and grey.
They have a nice, shiny appearance but they appear to be prone to scratching and discoloration but at this price point I wouldn’t care too much.
The shells have an oval shape and they are quite bulky and heavyweight, weighing about 14gr each.
Thankfully the nozzle is extended and they come with longer than the usual ear tips so I was able to get a proper fit with a tight seal that helped with noise attenuation.
Generally speaking, they are not the most comfortable iems and some people will certainly find it hard to get a proper fit.
But if you manage to fit them, then after a while you forget about them and the weight isn’t much of an issue thanks to the ear hook like cable that helps a lot with stability and weight distribution.
Cable quality and accessories
Speaking of the cable, it is detachable and of high quality, it doesn’t get tangled and it has low microphonic noise.
The only issue is that the 2-pin connectors are a specific design that is not compatible with the usual standard, so finding some aftermarket cables would be an issue.
Of course at this price point I wouldn’t bother with cable rolling and the included cable is really good, no need to change it unless you want to go balanced.
There are two cable options, the one with a microphone and the other without.
Except for the cable the buyer gets four pairs of silicone ear tips and a simple carrying pouch.
The iem was burned for 100 hours prior to listening tests that were mostly done with USB DAC/amps of the same tier, like the Hidizs S3 Pro, ddHiFi TC35B Pro and iBasso DC05.
The Blon BL-MAX is easy to drive and can get pretty loud from mobile phones and low output dongles but I would certainly suggest something a bit more powerful to help it employ it’s grand scale.
The sound of the Blon BL-MAX is as the name would suggest, really maxed out.
Big, bold and open with a generous amount of bass boost that can easily reach deep enough and give the listener some pretty good rumbling with very satisfying results.
Unfortunately this emphasis is carried all the way up to the lower mids, so although the lows sound quite controlled, tight and certainly very dynamic they are lacking in clarity and separation.
The Blon BL-MAX isn’t able to provide the quality of layering that is needed for music with a more complicated and complex bass line.
Certain parts of the lower registers appear masked and overlaid, bass is one note sounding and not agile enough to keep up when things get busy and fast.
Nonetheless with certain kinds of music like the Spitfire the experience is immaculate and you are going to feel like sitting next to the subwoofers.
The good news is that the bass isn’t overpowering nor too dominant so the rest of the frequencies and especially the delicate mid band, don’t get clouded and they can sound clear enough and well separated.
This is a hell of an achievement for such a bassy iem and while listening to Billie Eilish I was getting some great amount of hard hitting bass while at the same time I was able to enjoy her clear vocals and a well defined treble.
The BL-MAX isn’t the classic V-shaped recipe and mids aren’t too recessed, instead they are left with some free space to shine without losing in presence.
The same goes for the treble which is not amplified to compensate for the extra bass but it still has some good amounts of energy and agility.
It is not very sparkling, not too extended nor the most refined and clear sounding but detail retrieval is not missing.
The Blon BL-MAX plays it on the safe side with a smooth presentation that can sound muted and slightly dark but in exchange the listener gets a fatigue free and easy listening experience.
It is very forgiving with poorly mastered material and a suitable partner for strident recordings.
For example I liked it quite a lot while listening to Shadow Play which even in the mastered edition can sound a bit harsh.
The greater strength of the BL-MAX is the grand scale of the presentation aided by the surprisingly holographic soundstage, something quite rare at this price point.
At the end
The Blon BL-MAX is a grand sounding iem with an easy listening character and can offer a huge bass experience without sacrificing much in overall clarity.
It reminds me a lot of the Drop+ JVC HA-FWX 1 and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a budget friendly alternative.
Copyright – Laskis Petros 2021