IFI XCan- ICAN, UCAN, WE ALLCAN!

Written by ngoshawk

*Head pie editor note: Any formatting problems was caused by me.




Pros – Portable.
Affordable.
Excellent power.
Eminently tune-able.
Good sound overall.



Cons – Some connectivity issues.
Interesting shape.
Fingerprint monger.


iFi xCAN- iCAN, uCAN, we allCAN!

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I will admit this. It was almost by sheer dumb luck that I found out about the xCAN. Perusing the Head-Fi site after some time away (classes/family obligations, you know…) I found the advert on page one. I was interested because I had heard the rumblings of such a critter for some time. And I own the iFi xDSD as well, which is a regular in my rotation. I like the xDSD quite a bit, as I do the iFi Micro iDSD Black Label. The latter is part of a stack combination, which includes the xDAC2 and iTubes2 as my go to home set up. The xDSD is eminently portable and as such travels with me often.

One aspect of which there is a bit of negative rumble surrounding the xDSD is that it lacks the true power to drive those harder-to-drive headphones to their full potential. As I do not own one of those legendary harder to drive headphones, iCANNOT honestly say yes or no to this. What iCAN say to this (see how iDID that?…) it that no matter what IEM/headphone I used with the xDSD, it just worked. I had plenty of volume (only part of the listening story); and it produced a full rich sound worthy of being included with more expensive DAC/AMPS. As I stated, it is still in my rotation when I need a portable amp.

So, after reading the thread (which at the time was still developing) I heartily threw my hat into the ring. I contacted Lawrance, and he provided me the current xCAN, which resides in the pictures within. Service was fast (as always with iFi), the item came well protected and two short days later, I did the unboxing pictures. A benefit of having such an animal in house was that I could throw it into the chain while doing other reviews and get more impressions than I might otherwise. A nice benefit, and the use of which can be garnered across some of the current “hot” IEM’s. So, it is a win-win.

I thank Lawrance and iFi for the chance to review the xCAN. All they ask is that I am open, honest and address them with any issues I might have, first. The last part is from my standpoint, as I do not want to erroneously post a problem, which may be the result of my utter clobbishness. Witnessed by my misinterpretation of the back functions of Presence/Bass (read the thread for the clarification).
So, what exactly do we have and what do we get with the xCAN? Read on McDuff to find out…

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Specs:
Inputs
Wireless: ESS Sabre 44.1/48k 16-Bit (AAC, aptX, aptX LL and SBC)
Wired: 3.5mm (TRS or TRRS S-Balanced*) and 2.5mm (TRRS)
*ONLY found in iFi components such as nDSD BL. Do NOT feed using normal TRRS Balanced output sources.
No USB audio input
Max Output
S-Balanced:
> 3.8V / 45 mW (@ 300 Ohm)
> 3.5V / 380 mW (@ 32 Ohm)
> 3.1V / 600 mW (@ 16 Ohm
Balanced:
> 7.6V / 90 mW (@ 600 Ohm)
> 7.2V / 800 mW (@ 64 Ohm)
> 5.7V / 1,000 mW (@ 32 Ohm)

THD & N
S-Balanced: < 0.005% (@ 100 mW/1.26V 16 Ohm)
Balanced: < 0.006% (@ 360 mW/2.4V 16 Ohm)
SNR
S-Balanced: > 121dBA (@ 3.8V)
Balanced: >120dBA (@ 7.6V)

Recommended HP Impedance
16~600 Ohm
Max. Input
S-Balanced: 3V RMS
Balanced: 6V RMS
Gain
-95dB to +18dB adjustable in 114 1dB steps (using volume control)
Frequency Response
< 2Hz – > 200kHz (-3dB)
Playback Time
> 8 hours (charging via USB port)
Dimensions
95 (l) x67 (w) x19 (h) mm
Weight
127g (0.28 Ibs)
Warranty period
12 months

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Gear used/compared:
Campfire Atlas
Unique Melody Mentor V3
Simgot EN 700 Pro
BGVP DMG
Macbook Pro/iFi xCAN
Shanling M5
Shanling M3s
Questyle QP2R

Songs used:
Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:
Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
Coldplay-A Message
Coldplay-White Shadows
Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
twenty one pilots-Trees
twenty one pilots-Car Radio
twenty one pilots-Heathens
Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
The new twenty one pilots album, Trench-get it, listen to it, repeat step 2.

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Unboxing:

Coming in the familiar long rectangular white iFi box one has come to expect, there was an immediate familiarity to the xCAN. It is even the same size as the xDSD, so that makes printing and shipping easy. Included are the xCAN, a black velour carrying pouch, a micro-USB cable for charging, two (2) cables with which to hook up (one 3.5mm single-end, one 2.5mm balanced), plus the ubiquitous iFi “cheat sheet.” I have come to appreciate the sturdier paper upon which the instructions are printed as you will often look at the sheet when needing help. A business card completes the repertoire, fulfilling a simple usable box, which could have been pared down a bit more due to the size of the xCAN.
With plenty of information on the outside of the box, you are not lacking in iFi information.
Fit/Finish/Functions:

The xCAN carries on the iFi tradition of a chrome finish with a black “tail-end.” I am glad there is that black back side, so one can grab on to it, when cleaning. I get the appeal of the chrome finish, but I would prefer another color option. I stated as much in my xDSD review and do so again here…give at least one more color option.
With rounded humps, the xCAN does take on the effect of row crops in an organic garden. Tasteful and different. The xCAN also stacks quite nicely with the xDSD. One main “button” dominates the front; the power/source lighted button. Hold for two seconds, and the critter turns on. Hold longer (3-4 seconds) and you can change how the xCAN sources info (from BT or wired source). The familiar push button toggles you through the XBass+ or 3d+ functions.
On the back there are jacks for 3.5mm SE in, 2.5mm BAL in, and USB-C charging cord. There is also XBass II, which can add “presence” to the lower-mid region as a correction much the way the XBass+ switch does to the lower-bass. You can add more bass to the lower-mids, more presence, or to both bass + presence. A nice feature for those who want a quick EQ solution.

The xCAN is put together well and shows the care and commitment iFi shows in their portable equipment. Typical iFi ingenuity. Typical iFi quality. Typical iFi functionality.

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More Good Stuff:

It has been said that the xDSD is the better DAC from iFi at this level, and the xCAN would be the better amp at this level. I would agree. The xCAN has a load of power to burn through all but the hardest critters. I did have trouble driving the Dekoni Blue planar headphones (highly-modded Fostex T50RP mk3), but none of my other headphones/IEM’s suffered the same fate. All that meant was that I had to rely upon my iFi Black Label for the Blue…oh darn…

Hooking easily to the Shanling M3s either through BT or wired, the xCAN brought that needed juice to the M3s, which may have been missing. Power is nice, but uncontrolled power is ridiculous. You need not worry. The xCAN added to the wonderful tonality of the M3s nicely. With the added bass of XBass+ through the EN 700 Pro, you get a very nice rumble. Almost shaking in sound, twenty one pilots Levitate works through the drum/bass reverb sound well, making you feel that added bass. Through the CA Atlas, the sensation is even higher. Much higher. Staying with the affordable trip though, you have a very fine functioning system that is portable and all for less than $600. Many here spend that alone on a DAP or IEM, so immediately you have good value. Plus, as mentioned the xCAN scales well, so you can keep it after upgrading IEM’s or headphones.

Providing a bit more depth of sound than the M3s solo, you get a nice 3D presentation, especially when you have the 3D+ toggled on. Well, of course you would! But, that depth of sound is there with the 3D+ toggled off. There is an almost cross-frequency sound, much like imaging would be with both XBass+ and 3D+ turned off. Add both in (my preference), and you get that extra lower floor, while providing an unencumbered view of the stars.



















     
















             Running the MBP/xCAN combo through Pine Player and the CA Atlas provides the kind of full, rich sound that               one expects from floor standing speakers properly placed within your listening room. This is just a fabulously                  deep rumble emanating from the trio. Jumpsuit through the Atlas is pretty darn fine on its own. Through in                     the  xCAN for that added presence and bass push, and no one should complain. At all. I write this as Winter                   Storm Bruce shows its full wrath on our little hamlet in the heartland. This trio right here would be sufficient                 for guiding you through Bruce. Powerful enough to separate the wind and snow, and with enough rumble to                   fight back against the bass. If that is too much bass, turn it off. Plenty of floor shaking going on in my ears.

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A true benefit of an addition to your system answers the question, “Can that additional critter add to or enhance what I have on hand?” Simply running the BT through the MBP answers that question. Switching quickly to the BGVP DMG (review coming), the sensation while decreased, yields the same result. Nice booming bass and holographic quality sound. With the ability to quickly tailor the sound (faster than changing EQ settings), the xCAN holds its place in my system. With a better amp section than the xDSD, the added power is appreciated. In typical iFi fashion, they produced an excellent critter first in the xDSD.

Then followed it by incorporating more power, with slightly newer technology in the xCAN. Much like my current iFi stack, which contains the iTubes2, iDAC2, and aforementioned Black Label, iFi is producing products, which dovetail together nicely. You really do not need both the xDSD and xCAN, but it is nice to see that they work and play well together if needed. And yes, I use my iFi stack all together the majority of the time. Throw the xDSD into the mix utilizing BT, and you have an excellent combination of better DAC and better AMP than the MBP can provide. With the added benefit of being able to control volume on all three, as well as XBass+ and 3D+ on both iFi units, and you can almost imagine yourself as a personal DJ. Your ears do approve.
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Battery life has been improved a bit on the xCAN as well. My first go around, I achieved about 8 hours of solid listening. After that continuous test, I was able to consistently get about 5-7 hours, which I attributed to all of the switching done between BT/wired/IEM/headphone/etc. Not bad indeed.

The not-so-good-stuff:
Nothing of note really, except for some who are “concerned” with the chrome finish attracting fingerprints. It will happen. It will happen often. You will give up. You will ignore the prints and focus upon the sound. You need to let go of that “concern” for the fingerprints of the world, for they want you to listen. Throw on Morph from Trench, plug in your favorite IEM, turn the volume up, sit back and watch the blizzard go by, err time. Sorry, we are in the midst of Bruce as stated. Beautiful, and powerful all the same. Kind of like the xCAN. iFi seems to do this on a regular basis.
OK, another small niggle…there is some short-term connectivity problem when switching between wired/BT. I had that with the xDSD, and still have it. Many times, you can simply switch between the two platforms. Sometimes it will not recognize the BT pairing. So, forget the xCAN on your source, and reconnect. This seems to be only on a few select source devices, so I would not worry too much, or consider it a deal breaker (NO WAY!!!).

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Le Grande Finale:
So…what are we left with? Pretty much a steal if you must boil it down to one word. More versatile than my iBasso PB3 (another balanced in/balanced out amp), and with more features. I have not really talked about the balanced in/out feature as many will not use the critter that way. But if you insist…It worked. Balanced in/out worked the way one would expect. Shove a balanced source-out sound into the balanced-in of the xCAN and you can comfortably play your balanced headphones in the bal-out port on the front of the xCAN. No muss, no problem. You can even simply hook up your balanced headphones to the front, and the magic involved inside will automatically convert the sound to balanced. What voodoo is this??!! Holy smokes!

Good stuff, indeed. So, short of the chrome (meh) and sometimes-connectivity issues, there really is not much to warrant criticism here. Someone mentioned in another review that the xCAN will default to XBass+ on when you turn it back on. That simply is not the case for the one I have. I will not debate whether that person left the XBass+ on or not, obviously if they reported it, then it did happen. The XBass+/3D+ should default to the last setting if it is a short-term turning off (I just tried it). I have noticed that after being off for a day or so, the xCAN will revert to neutral (both off), so YMMV. Either way, another minor niggle in the world of chrome-goodness.

The iFi xCAN is a very, very good portable amp, which ticks many of the boxes people want. It is portable, small, powerful, adaptable, ability to use both SE and BAL, and sounds good. It works, it sounds good (not quite the DAC standard as the xDSD but it isn’t supposed to…) and can be hooked to pretty much anything you have in a matter of moments. There isn’t a whole lot to dislike. You should give this fine critter a long listen if you happen to be in the market for a portable SE/BAL amp.

Special thanks to Lawrance and iFi for the continued faith, this is a good unit, which deserves the attention it is getting currently. Put on Bandito from Trenches and enjoy the sound. It will be worth it.

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Hey guys I thought I would share some feedback from the Beijing Show. I have spend a couple of hours and had the opportunity to try a lot of new stuff, mostly out of my Lotoo Paw Gold 2017.

Unique Melody: their new 3D printed Titanium stuff looks nice. The Mirage, which includes their new open BA technology, sounds super smooth, if that is what out like. The Maven is more of a classic but high performance BA. I prefer it over the Mason V3.

Campfire : I gave the Solaris another go, and these deserve the hype. They are one of the best alrounders I have heard at any price if you like a fun well balanced sound with excellent technicalities. The things that keeps me from buying a pair is that I find them large and not too pretty...despite that they remain comfortable and are super well built.

Dita had the Project 71 on demo. The attached cable, which will be sold separately is awesome. Flexible, not tangly, pretty, and with switchable jacks. The cable is called project Oslo. The Project 71 IEMs are small, comfortable, and have one of best build and finish I have seen on an IEM. In terms of sound, they approach perfection...if you like warm and intimate sound. I would have bought them in a second with a touch more air or less warmth.

JVC : I did a second round of trials on the JVC stuff. The FW10000 is very nice but something is missing for me...not dynamic enough...certainly good for smooth jazz. The FD01 is definitely too bright even though it performs very well.

FAudio : Their single dynamic, the Major is certainly one of the best tuned dynamics out there, but at the 1.5k or so price, it fails to impress me. I also tried two prototypes, X and Y. The X is a nice sounding 9 BA. The Y is maybe the best thing I listened to at the whole show. It is a BA-dynamic-electrostat tweeter, like the Trinity of the Khan, and it sounds lovely. Engaging, with awesome yet controlled bass, full mids, great imaging. I can't wait for it to get out.

Jomo: I tried the Trinity to compare to Faudio project Y. I had to use the Lotoo Paw Touch in balanced mode because they had only a 4.4 at that moment, but I put my music on it. It sounds nice but didn't bluff me. I clearly liked the Y prototype from Faudio significantly more.

Acoustune : I tried the 1670SS. The build is nice but the finish is not as high end as I expected from pictures. It sounds nice and clear, a good dynamic, but nothing to write home about either. Also, I think it would be uncomfortable for me in the long run.

My winners, in this order : Faudio Y prototype, Solaris and Dita 71 (if you like warm tuning).



























BGVP-DMG-changeable for you and your taste.

Written by ngoshawk


Pros – Wonderful look.
Very good fit.
Reasonably priced.
Solid sound.
Rich luscious bass.
Very nice cable.

Cons – Too bassy for some.
Filters might not do enough for some.
Cable can be a bit flimsy.

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BGVP-DMG-changeable for you and your taste.
A quick couple of years ago, changeable filters in an IEM were not that prevalent. Or relevant for that matter. Then the Lendmeurears FLC8 & S came along changing what some never thought needed to be changed. Filters for fine tuning and personalization. I took the bait, purchased a second-hand set of the FLC8S, ordered another cable off of eBay, and have not looked back since. Originally used as my go-to sport IEM (don’t ask…), the FLC8S is now the standard by which I judge other models with interchangeable filters. I used it in the Advanced Sound Group GT3 review and will use both here for comparative purposes. Not really a fair fight, knowing the price difference, but this will be a good way to discern how far filtration systems have come in the last “couple of years.”
I want to thank Lillian for providing the DMG for review purposes. It is my understanding that Linsoul only want an honest review and can ask for the unit back at any time. I again, would not have it any other way.

The unit has had a minimum of 150hrs burn in, while my queue cleared. This is done to provide the reader with what a pair might sound like six months down the road, which could be different than brand new. It may not, but that is the way I do it, so tough.
Linsoul ($139usd):

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Specs:
· DMG IEMs features four balanced-armature drivers and two dynamic drivers and a 4-way passive crossover
· 10 dB @ 1mW sensitivity
· 15Hz – 45kHz frequency response
· impedance of 18 ohms @ 1kHz
· Detachable 5N OCC SILVER PLATED MIXED 1.2 m (3.9′) cable, with MMCX connectors
· 4 proprietary BA drivers composed of the 31736 dual BA for ultra-high frequencies, the 10006 for mid and high frequencies matched in 4-way passive crossover with a dual-dynamic driver
· Channel Difference: </= 1dB
· Distortion: </= 1%
· Rated Power: 10mW

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Gear used/compared:
All prices in USD, unless noted otherwise
FLC8S ($239ish)
Advanced Sound Group GT3 ($199)
Advanced Sound Group GT3 Super Bass ($199)
Kinera iDun (same price range, $139)
Thebit Opus #2
Macbook Pro/iFi xCAN
Shanling M5
Shanling M3s
Aune M1s


Songs used:
Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:
Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
Coldplay-A Message
Coldplay-White Shadows
Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
twenty one pilots-Trees
twenty one pilots-Car Radio
twenty one pilots-Heathens
Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
The new twenty one pilots album, Trench

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Unboxing:
Coming in a tastefully smaller box, the presentation is one of simplicity. I like it. Included are ear tips of various sizes, as well as

Fit-N-Finish:
The DMG is an easy IEM to wear, even when you need to tip roll. Falling back to my standard choice of Comply’s, the isolation was quite good, with good fit. I have no problem listening to the DMG for extended periods of time. Made of aluminum, the 6-driver unit fits well in the ear. The MMCX cable ties itself well to over-ear use, and a long bent protective sleeve, holds the critter in place. A very pleasant experience in the fit department. Plus, with three sets of silicon tips included, you can tailor the sound to your pleasure. I will say that the black and gray filters opened the sound over the foam, but the sound became claustrophobic to me. And I left one of the gray tips in my ear upon removal. I stopped using the silicon’s as a result.

With a brushed blue finish, the look is not as garish as I had imagined. In fact, I rather enjoy the blue hue, which is an understated “bright.” With a plain silver cable, the understated look continues. I prefer understated. Very nice so far. A change from. Many of recent review is a 90-degree bend on the jack, which is a departure from the straight jacks of late. With a lower profile as a result, one need not worry about having that extra length grab on to anything. No, instead the 90-degree bend might. But not really. Made of two halves, there is an organic bean shape to the DMG, which looks very respectable. No protruding edges, or extra nib on the inside to promote “fit,” when actually those perturbances are an annoyance on anything less than custom. Thank you BGVP!

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Is thee worthy of thyne hype?
Well, hype is the way the audio world seems to work now. Following suit from such lovable as Cabbage Patch dolls and Tickle Me Elmo is not the path I would choose when promoting a new audio “toy,” but to each their own. That said, in good conscience, BGVP did nothing of the sort. And to be honest most audio companies do not. For if they do and the product is not the best, then said company fades into the quagmire of old companies. Thankfully, BGVP let the sound speak for their product.

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I respect companies more when they simply promote the product, and then let others decide. Much can be said for starting humbly while letting reviewers and especially owners derive thoughts and verbiage of quality. Another company, which does provide some good quality IEM’s approaches another way, almost opposite of BGVP. And I wish they would not, for their sound is very decent and worth a look based upon its own merit. Another time, another story…
The DM6 seems to be the one, which garners all of the hype from BGVP, but a comparison to that will have to wait as I have that enroute. So, the DMG will stand upon its own merit, and that is the way it should.

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I tried all three filters upon arrival. The gold and silver filters, while good did not provide me the bass I wanted, so I stuck with the blue for the remainder of the test. I was quite happy with that choice as well. And of course, it matched the blue of the IEM.
Listening to Morph from the Trenches album through the Black Label gives the DMG that added bass. You there is a bit of artificiality, but the sound, which emanates from the IEM is quite good. Not boomy bass like the Simgot EN700 Pro (which I also like as well), but more tamed, with a deep reach as well. Just nice. Treble comes across as lifted. By that I mean it is there, almost offering a pedestal look and feel. Elevated might be a better descriptor. Clean for the most part, the treble does not inhibit the overall quality.

Lost in thought, the DMG happily comes along for the ride. Still hooked to the Black Label, the sound is inviting and full. Rich and detailed. Slightly warm, with a bit of mixing, the separation falls slightly behind others in this range. But as I stated above, I am using the “bass” filters. When using the more detail-focused filters, that goes away.

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There is a more laidback mid sound than some of my more recent offerings. A nice change from the almost “in your face” presentation of those mids. Some might call this a boring mid, but I would call it a “mature” mid. Solid sound and foundational support give the mids that cool-jive sound, which I appreciate. They are neither grating, nor forward of vocal. With a slight move towards the back of the presentation, the mids let you know they are there, just not shouty-there.

As some have mentioned, the treble is solid. Not overly bright, sparkly or sibilant; the treble is again very pleasant. They do not reach the height of say an old Dunu Titan1, or MEE audio Pinnacle 1, but rather play nicely with the other frequencies. Don’t get me wrong, the details are clearly present with good air, but again they do not shout at you. Some have likened the overall character as a mild-U shape and I would concur based upon what I hear through the blue filter.
With the added bass of the blue filter, I would state that the shape is akin to a “U” with more on the left.

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Soundstage/Isolation:
There is good width to the soundstage, with a slightly out of head experience. On Neil Young’s No Wonder, you get the sense of width like he speaks of the prairie. Good height provides a rich hall-like sound. Add in good depth and you have one of the better soundstages of late. A nice exception to some of late. Wide, but only as expansive as your imagination will make it. Isolation is very good with either Comply or silicon’s. Plus, with no microphonics, you can listen without the added drama.

Separation/Instrumentation/Layering:
That depth of sound provides the listener with good separation. Neil’s voice is front and center. His guitar is slightly below the center line, just like he would hold it. Drums behind dead-center, and support cast on both sides. From that good separation, you get good layering from which you can make out where each instrument is, as mentioned.
I like how the guitar can seem delicate and well placed, as can the piano on Far From Home. Then the horns come in, bringing you back to the scene. This is a very good sound presentation.

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Comparisons:

BGVP DMG ($139) vs Simgot EN700 Pro ($139):
A current favorite on the scene, the DMG falls a bit behind the DM6 in the hype department and I think it is unwarranted. With changeable filters, the DMG brings affordability to the current fad (phase?) of IEM’s, which can use different filters. Personally, I cannot tell much difference here, but that is for obvious reasons. Younger, more acute ears may certainly hear a difference. As for the sound? The Simgot has better clarity and detail retrieval, to me. The DMG has a warmer sound, which can be changed by the filters (I used the bass filter), which can tailor to a more high-frequency sound if warranted, so that may be a wash. The DMG provides a richer sound as a result of that warm nature. If you prefer EDM, Hip Hop, Dance and that more bass, then the Simgot wins. If you favor rock, blues, mellow sounds and want a rich, warmer, full sound the DMG may be your flavor. Both represent well here, but you pick your flavor based upon your listening habits.

BGVP DMG ($139) vs Kinera iDun ($139):
The Kinera iDun is a favorite of mine as this price point. Packing a gorgeous wood finish, and supple cable, the sound had better match that look. Fortunately, it does. A bit more centered of sound, and with detail retrieval on par the iDun is quite a find at this price. The iDun holds its own against the BGVP in the bass department, with better depth and reach, but less controlled. I can tell the bass on the iDun is less controlled, but that adds to its character to me. Making for an almost luscious sound, it has an intoxicating sound, which is hard to beat here. If there had to be a description associated with each, it would be this: The DMG is the one you would not be worried about when you need to be rough and tumble. It can handle the abuse. The iDun is the one with which you would settle in for a winters evening of listening to your favorites, while the weather boils away outside. We are moving in to winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so there is that. I would call this a wash.

BGVP DMG ($139) vs FLC8S ($239ish):
A pioneer in the changeable filter IEM, the FLC has no less than 36 combinations from which you can choose, there is pretty much all you would need…pretty much. I was lucky enough to find a barely used “pre-owned” 8S on eBay and immediately jumped on it. Adding a second cable to the system still brought the price well below the then higher retail price. Since then the price has dropped as the new 8N and 8D have come out. Addressing the Achilles of the 8S, its lack of true bass depth; the new versions correct this. Well, that said I really like the 8S still, and the bass presentation with the correct filters. Tailoring it to the best bass quantity you can with the existing filters, the 8S was my go-to workout IEM for about 6 months. Never a quiver of problem occurred. I thoroughly enjoyed its clarity of detail and sound and accepted the lack of deep bass. I did so, because the 8S is so good in the other departments: sound stage, layering, separation and detail retrieval. A true stalwart of technology from Forrest Wei, the FLC8S deserves its place among the first true filter-changeable IEM’s. With the best bass (even if some think it isn’t the best) of the tested lot, the FLC8S is a true gem and should be sought out as. An addition to your gear set. The “pretty much” part of which I speak is the hot mids. There seems to be not much of a way to tame then down to my liking. Not sibilant in Neil’s voice mind you, but it really does sound like he is in your ear.

BGVP DMG ($139) vs Advanced Sound Group GT3 ($199):
The Advanced Sound Group GT3 is a very competent IEM. Carrying on the latest trend of changeable filters, the GT3 comes with a reference, treble and bass filter. After trying all three, I stick with the bass filter. As my review stated, clarity and detail retrieval are very good. Good without being sibilant. There is what I might call “near sibilance,” but that never arrives. This is a very competent near-neutral sound, which I like very much. That may seem out of character, since I prefer more bass. But, that clarity of sound draws me in and I appreciate the sound. There is definitely more bass on the DMG, and it has a warmer signature as a result. I also think clarity falls behind the GT3 as a result, too. That isn’t bad mind you, since they are a price category apart. Both are good and approach sound differently. The GT3 fits extremely well as either an earbud or IEM, so it does have that going for it. The DMG has that toasty-warm sound, which can draw one in. I call it a wash.

BGVP DMG ($139) vs Advanced Sound Group GT3 Super Bass ($199):
Very similar to the GT3, the GT3 SB comes is stealthy black, which looks really good. Adding an “enhanced” bass tuning with slightly different filter tuning as well, the SB does reach down further than the GT3 above. But I believe it also has a lack of clarity as a result. Much of this can be brought back, by switching filters, but using the bass filter of each gives the SB that deeper reach. Don’t get me wrong, I really like both versions. For clarity, the GT3 is hard to beat. For bass, the GT3 SB is the one to have. Compared to the DMG, the two compete very well with the DMG providing more detail. But the GT3 SB has to me a more intoxicating sound. On the warmish side, this IEM is meant to be used at higher volumes than the DMG. Something to be said for that. Details? Go with the DMG. Bass(y) response? Go with the SB, but only slightly.

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Finale:
Listening to Neil Young’s When God Made Me brings this to a close. A ballad about tolerance and living together in all times, this kind of defines the better points of the DMG. Good solid bass (a bit bloated on some songs) along with a nice sound stage highlight a package, which is fairly versatile. That said, this is an IEM that is just as home rocking out or for those evenings where Vivaldi might be your choice. The DMG is just as much at home doing either. Good fit, wonderfully supple cable with a fairly unique look, changeable filters (for those of you with better ears), and an affordable price. This is a fine addition to the sub-$150 IEM market and well worth a look.

I want to thank Lillian from Linsoul Sound for the continued support. You can purchase the BGVP DMG at the links above. Give it a listen, it may just fit your taste. Cheers!

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