Blue Ever Blue 328R Ear Buds Review



Introduction:
The Blue Ever Blue 328R was featured on Massdrop recently for only $9.99. Being an earbud fan, I quickly stuck them in my cart and ordered it. They arrived about a week ago and I've been listening to them since. The BeB 328R features the licensed HDSS technology which I don't fully understand. What I do understand is that it supposedly reduces heat and pressure build up in the enclosure allowing for reduced distortion in the music coming out.

Build:
Its very lightweight and made fully of plastic. The photo I showed is modified from the original ear bud. What changed? I removed the cable and put on my own cable. The stock cable absolutely sucks. Its one of the worst cables I've ever used - flimsy and easily tangled. I opted to solder on a braided cable I had available. Removing the housing wasn't as simple as other ear buds. The driver and the housing are connected by a rubber silicone gasket that surrounds the outer edge of the ear bud, and it's glued into place. So you have to remove this piece and then the driver falls out really easily. It's not attached by clips or anything, so putting it back together required some cyanoacrylate glue (i.e. superglue).

Comfort:
These are very comfortable for me. They are similarly sized to the VE Monk Lite and Yincrow X6 - probably right smack in the middle of fit between the two, which is perfect in fit for me. I wore them for hours yesterday without any discomfort. Since they are extremely light, they didn't bother me at all.

Sound:
Overall sound quality is pretty good, especially for $10. While the advertising states "sweet bass", I don't find it bass-heavy like mainstream popular sound signatures provide. It's actually quite neutral and balanced. There's a tinge of warmth but it's subtle. I am using these with the stock foams but I haven't had a chance to try donuts with them yet. I don't think I have to. I've heard people complain that these are muddy but I have yet to hear that issue.
They are pretty detailed and have some good extension on both ends, but does roll off slightly in the upper treble. I do notice that these ear buds can be a little "shouty" if turned up. This typically is due to some peakiness in the region near 1Khz. I haven't played too much with eq but I imagine this would help this. It's not overly distracting though. I found it very distracting in my (much more) expensive UM ME.1 IEMs.
When songs get a bit busy, they do seem a little messy and compressed, but overall the stage is intimate but imaging is pretty good for this price.
As far as EQ goes, I'm using these without EQ and I am enjoying it mostly. Again, reducing 1Khz may help if you listen to it loudly.

Comparisons:
Other buds in this price range that I have at my disposal are: Yincrow X6, VE Monk +, VE Monk Lite 120, VE Monk Lite 60, Senfer PT15
Yincrow X6 are more v-shaped. They have more bass impact and a lot more FUN sounding. The 328R is more neutral and balanced.
VE Monk+ are more mid-focused. Better for vocal heavy pop music. Sounds more congested than 328R. I prefer the 328R for my tastes.
VE Monk Lite have similar balance but after switching back and forth between these and the 120Ohms, I found the 328R much more resolving and energetic. The Monk Lite sound very veiled and unnatural after listening to these.
Senfer PT15 are a very bright ear bud and lacking bass. It definitely shows. The PT15 is slightly more detailed but very thin sounding compared to these, and all others in this review.

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