Disclaimer: Begin Audio kindly sent the DMS to ohm, straight, for the purposes of this review. I paid nothing for it. It goes for around 159$ USD. Inside are packed six balanced armature drivers in several bundles, and a single dual diaphragm dynamic driver. That’s seven drivers. Insanity! You can find out all about the DMS here.
UPDATE: My video review of the DMS is now live. Linked below.
To me, the DM7 defined what BGVP (BigVip) can do. But the DMS, both cheaper and cooler looking than its brothers, is my current BigVip favourite. I like its lines, its slim cable, its slim plug, its awesome metalwork, and more. I like it so much that I’m questioning hitherto support for a few key Chi-Fi earphones out there.
Headfonics: BGVP DM7 Review
Headfonics: BGVP DM6 Review
ohmage to the BGVP DM7
ohmage to the Yinyoo D2B4
ohmage to the Hidizs MS1 and MS4
ohmage to the JVC HA-FW10000
ohmage to the Campfire Audio Atlas
ohmage to the Campfire Audio Comet
ohmage: HiFiman RE2000
Haptics and build: ohmage and porridge
Yes, the DMS’s slimline cable is microphonic. Yes, it tangles. But heck, it has an actual real neck cinch and it even looks okay. Its plug is just as low-profile, and cooler still, it is branded. Overall, it is sturdy, strong, and made to weather the horrors of intimate use proximate to sweat and face oil. Strategically placed, you could probably garrotte a flock of home-heading ducks with it.
Face-on, the DMS’s metallic body is sexy. Its finely perforated grill sits under open BGVP-branding and its sound tube grill and flange are sharp and beautifully machined. Really, at its hundreds, the level and quality of detail-work shown in the DMS gives Ultrasone’s Sapphire a run for its thousands. Unlike Ultrasone, however, BigVip don’t appear to be able to design outside of the same-old custom-cum-universal (CCU) shell. It is a lazy and tired look. And, it works from a branding perspective, but only when the manufacturer primarily designs custom-fit earphones. Typically, the fit of CCU designs is so generic that you might as well be wearing someone else’s ear impressions.
Long rant short, the DMS doesn’t sit firm in my ears. It is comfy enough, but a press anywhere basically rises one part, or other, out of the ear. What I said in the DM7 review applies equally here: Too many custom-cum-universals forgo proper ergonomic design for what amounts to cheap faxing of a favoured staff’s ear impressions.
Accessories: ohmage and porridge
Read my DM7 review. The DMS is basically the same, but with four fewer ear pieces. It packs in the same foam and the dual-fulcrum greys, which are the only ones I personally dare try in my sensitive ears for longer than a few minutes.
Kitsch: ohmage and porridge
Overall, the DMS is tastefully designed. Its packaging is simple and aesthetically pleasing. Nothing about the earphone or its accessories is cheap or gaudy. It’s the right amount of everything. If only BigVip could ditch the tired CCU design, end users would really have something unique to celebrate in hi-end Chi-Fi.
What BigVip did with the DMS faceplate and cable are heavenly. Everything else is so-so.
To date, the DMS is my favourite-sounding BigVip earphone. Alas, it is so damn sensitive that it approaches Hidizs MS4 territory, surpassing the DM6 and cleaving close to the DM7. With the number of hissy DAPs on the market in current year, no earphone should be this sensitive.
Where the DM6 dulls the highs and upper mids, the DMS merely lowers sound pressure in the same bands. Stereo detail and space feel are super wide in the mids. In the highs they come together. That stage is much wider than it is tall, and it steps forward along the Z-axis only as far as a single toddler trot. This makes it one of the least deep-sounding earphones I’ve reviewed in a while.
Still, it’s not the wall of sound you might expect, with small nuances in the Y and Z axes that make for a gentle, if marginally 3D-detailed stage. Most of that detail throws to the sides, with anchors located traditionally: below the jaw and just between the ears. Texture detail in the stereo scape is good, and straddles the distance between the DM6 and DM7.
It is responsive to pretty low signals, and is basically even Stephen from 70Hz on up into the lower mids. It’s enough to slightly rumble the opening seconds to Marcus Schulz’s Mainstage, and able to retrieve definition and texture from most genres. As such it is higher in pressure in comparison to the DM7. Lows also have a bit better stereo detail than they do in the DM6.
Midrange stereo detail and sense of space are superior to the DM6. I believe that this, more than the DMS’s higher sound pressure in the mids, separates the two. Where the DMS shows an engaging, deep, and nuanced midrange, the DM6 is dull, if not lethargic in direct comparison.
The DMS’s coherent translation from mids to highs keeps listener expectations in line. That is, while the upper frequencies trail off, they do so with no unexpected peaks or troughs. The denouement is natural, expected, and demonstrative of a deeper knowledge of mature listening habits.
All frequencies react speedily in build and decay. The DMS keeps up with the hardest and fastest hitting of trance without going boom boom BLOOM. Fading cymbal edges shimmer and then go silent. Bass is bloom-free. Unfortunately, the fast-ish low pass filter also cuts out some of the environmental feel that the DM6 sometimes injected into music, and which the DM7 nailed. For this reason alone, I prefer the DM7 for trance. For most other genres, I feel that the DMS is one of the best-sounding maturely-tuned earphones out there in the price range.
With the sole proviso that DMS hisses like the Dickens, I’m sold. It’s a great-sounding earphone which I prefer even to the DM7, and by a large margin. What I dislike: its CCU backside, is something which may be a minority opinion. I strongly stand behind the assertion that it is lazy design. It it behooves new universal entries in both within and without Chi-Fi to abandon.