The Blon Mini: the best Blon until the Prometheus (A8)?
Hey everyone, welcome back to The Neighborhood. This is the Blon Mini. I haven’t been as big of a fan of the Blons of others have been in the past. So does the Blon Min follow that trend, or has Blon finally turned the corner? Let’s get InToit!
Let’s launch right into the build here. This IEM has been nicknamed “The Noodle” because, well, it looks like a macaroni noodle of sorts. But instead of pasta, this IEM is constructed of a strong metal shell, just like other Blons have been. The shell has some decent weight to it, but it doesn’t really feel heavy in the ear. It is definitely lighter than both the ’01 and ’03 were.
The fit is also much better than prior Blons. I think these are small enough to fit into almost anyone’s ears. But like other Blon IEMs in the past, the cable and tips that these come with didn’t do this IEM any justice, and didn’t help with the fit. The cable these come with is a flexible, plastic, sheathed straight cable that is reminiscent of the Moondrop S.S.R. cable, with one fatal exception, the ear hooks are much too aggressive, at least for me, and this lead to my left IEM being difficult to seat properly when the stock cable was in use. Luckily, I had a spare KBEAR 24 core, 4N copper and silver-plated copper cable that worked well with this set. I’ll place a link to this cable in the description below, as this set is somewhat cable dependent, and with the right tips in combination, I preferred the sonics of the Mini with this cable the best. Having, said that, this is a better cable than past Blons, so you may not feel the need to replace it as I did.
But, like I’ve already alluded too, I had to switch out the tips as well. The Mini comes with rounded silicones and bullet style silicone ear tips this time, but I did not like the sound or fit of either. Instead, SpinFit CP100 Ear Tips were again the best fit for these Blons. This was my tip of choice for the BL-03, and, again, its my tip of choice here for the Mini- resulting in both the best fit, and the best sound for this set. So, while, Blon seems to have made an attempt here to step up their accessory game with this set, their efforts didn’t really bear fruit for this reviewer.
Regarding the sound, I’m going to come out and say that, to my ears, these are the best Blons to date. Unlike prior iterations of the Blon, these pass the resolution and clarity test, at least for its price. The bass on these is also pretty well contained to the bass region of the frequency response here, and there is less noticeable bass bleed into other frequencies with this Blon in comparison to the others released prior to the Mini. The quality of the bass is also better. Its not the bass quality of say the S.S.R. in terms of its definition, but there are better dynamics here and it resolves decently fast even if there is some mild diffuseness to its presentation overall. While the low-end of previous iterations of Blons could be described as possessing varying degrees of sloppiness as a character trait, the Mini’s low-end could possibly be described as dense and somewhat lush, but I would not describe it as sloppy per say.
The mid-range is also clear and articulate, but there is notable early midrange reduction in presence compared to the rest of the mix. This was particularly notable in some music that relied on guitar riffs that are made up of sonics from this portion of the midrange. For example, main riffs on the song “Armageddon It” by Def Leppard appeared somewhat recessed in comparison to this track played on more mid-forward earphones. Vocals, however; never seemed to suffer, and both male and female vocals were mostly well-represented and stood out equally to my ears.
In terms of the treble, I would describe it as pleasant overall. It is neither too sharp, nor is it lacking in presence; as was the case in prior iterations of the Blons where there was significant roll off or the treble was all but missing. There is some mild roll off after 10k, resulting in limited air and rounded nature to the top-end of the treble, but pleasant in presentation nevertheless.
The soundstage here is smaller than the BL-03, but it is also more accurate and less stretched. Surprisingly, note thickness also appeared slightly fuller throughout the entirety of the frequency response in direct comparison to the ‘03, even though the bass is less bloated. General soundstage width, depth, and height, I’d describe as average. Separation isn’t a standout, but rather, average; but alas yet again, better than other Blons to date. I also had limited difficulty distinguishing between notes and instruments with the Mini, and felt that instrument distinctiveness like note separation; although not standout, was better than other Blons to date too. Imaging was notably, unnoteworthy and sufficient, with tracking from left to right being respectable, yet somewhat congested on occasion given its average staging. While peripheral detailing appeared better in the BL-03 at times, but the Mini’s peripherals were “good enough” overall, at least in the manner that I can say they were not notably deficient. Timbre is undeniably warm, somewhat lush, and with a mahogany or oaky feel to its sonics and sustain.
So, the Mini was a bit of a surprise to me, in the end. I haven’t really loved any of the of the Blons to date, at least not in the sense that I felt I could recommend them in the same manner that other reviewers have. And, while the Mini does not blow me away, it does not disappointment me either. It’s good for its price in terms of both build and sound, and I would sum it up as a solid performer overall. It offers a mild V-shaped presentation, which is well-extended enough both ends; with enough dynamics and mid-presence to be generally pleasing to the ear. Those in search of a warm tonality and full sound are likely to enjoy.
Having said all of this, keep an eye out for the up-and-coming Blon Prometheus or “A8.” I was lucky enough to be provided with two preproduction units. And, I was able to offer Blon my feedback on the performance of both of these sets and which was best. Out of the two, the black set was notably superior, while the silver set sounded like Blons of yesteryear- so I told them to go with the former rather than the latter. So, I guess, if you don’t like the tuning of the new A8 you can, at least partially blame me for it, but I think you’ll come to like it quite a lot. I won’t give too much away about its performance other than to say this will be the most resolving and best distributed Blon yet. There is a certain clarity and intensity to the presentation, which I think will surely catch the attention of audiophiles in search of an earphone under $100 dollars. It nestles comfortably in my ear without too much weightiness, and also, it looks space-aged and freaking cool! So, so keep an eye out for its upcoming release, and make sure like, subscribe, and share this channels content with your friends on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or intoitreviews.com. This also a Patreon for $1.50 a month that gets you access to early written reviews like this. And with that, I’m out, for now…
*Thanks to KeepHiFi for sending in the Blon Mini for Review!
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