BGVP ArtMagic VG4 IEMs – Multi Levels Of Fun
I figured it was a mighty time to post a review on those fairly detailed IEMS, so here we go with BGVP! They make some of the most desired Chifi IEMs, and today’s model is priced at just 230 USD! While most of their earlier models were sold in very limited runs, so most folks would want them but be unable to get a pair, this is not the case anymore, and VG4 will be running against the likes of FiiO FH5s, Thie Audio Legacy 4, and MAS Audio Science X5i IEMs.
BGVP is a pretty old and well-known company now, but they started pretty small, with very limited runs of their IEMs. At certain points, they were so budget constrained, that my understanding is they were selling at a loss, given that their products are made by hand. I tested some other IEMs from them in the past, especially in Audiophile Meet-ups in Romania, and I was really pleasantly surprised. I am excited to review their VG4, but while I am working closely with the producer for today’s review, I actually would recommend ordering from a shop, as it should provide a better overall experience, and the warranty issues will be solved quicker and with less hassle.
It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with BGVP, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank BGVP for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in BGVP VG4 IEMs find their next music companion.
You can purchase your BGVP VG4 IEMs from here: https://amzn.to/3ckT4ta
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
I like the white package VG4 comes in, and it reminds me a bit of older FiiO IEMs. There’s a bit of info on the package itself, like the fact that there are 3 tuning switches on the BGVP VG4, it has 4 BA drivers, and a very low impedance of just 12 OHMs. Paired with a high sensitivity, we’re sure to drive those out of the cheapest and most modest of DAPs or smartphones.
There’s a nice envelope with the documents, a selection of 4 types of tips, Black (normal), Vocal, Bass and Foamies. Besides the 11 pair of tips, we also get a nice carry case, along with a cleaner tool that we can use for configuring the sound of the BGVP VG4.
In all honesty, the overall build quality of the VG4 is outstanding. This is probs the best built IEM I’ve seen in the sub 300 USD price range, and it also comes with the thickest, most flexible, best looking cable too. I’m just so amazed by the quality they managed to put on the VG4 and its cable.
The IEMs I have are transparent, so you can clearly see the inner workings. They do look a tiny bit like a hearing aid kit, but at the same time the engineer in me is crying in happiness while analysing them. The cable is detachable and made on the MMCX Standard, so you won’t have to search too much for extra cables, compared to IEMs that use a less common standard.
The switches on the BGVP VG4 are exactly the same as the ones found on other IEMs that come with this system, even early FiiO variants, like FA9. This does not mean that they do the same thing, just that the physical switches are the same. They’re very recessed, hard to click, harder to misclick, well protected. Even though VG4 comes with 11 pairs of tips, I replaced them with Spinfits for most of the review, as I’m somewhat sensitive to most silicone tips.
The IEM shells are one piece, including the bore, and they have no protective grille, so you’re best if cleaning the IEMs every once in a while, as Wax can build up and clog the sonic tubes. Also, the tips may slide off the IEMs as there is no lip to the bore. As VG4 is a full Ba design, there is very little ventilation, but they don’t create any void in my ears, and there surely is no flex (none can be with a BA only design).
The comfort is heavenly, the IEMs are really ergonomic, and despite its thickness, the cable is really ergonomic too. The ear hook part can be a bit tighter than on other IEMS, but the IEM shells are light, and I can barely feel VG4 while wearing them. Passive noise isolation is about 20 and up to 30 dB, depending on the frequency. If quiet music is playing, you won’t hear most noise, even loud mechanical keyboards.
VG4 is extremely easy to drive, very sensitive to hiss, and they are even more revealing to hiss than I imagined. They are close to Xelento, Atlas and other very sensitive IEMs when it comes to hiss. You can’t hear any hiss or noise while music is playing with most sources. I did most of my tests using a high-end DAP like Lotoo Paw 6000, but VG4 Art Magic can be driven by FiiO BTR5, Earstudio HUD100 MKII, and Hiby R2 just fine.
Most of my sonic impressions have been taken with Lotoo PAW 6000, FiiO M11 PRO, iBasso DX300, Soundaware A1X PRO, Hiby R2, and HIFIMAN R2R2000. Art Magic VG4 sounds really good with most sources, and even my Xiaomi Poco F2 PRO can drive them just fine, so you don’t have to worry much about the source. They scale a bit with better sources, but it is negligible, especially considering the price point. I’ve been using either Azla Xelastec tips or Spinfit tips, although the default tips are good too. The sound is best when all switches are turned to the positions with the numbers, and the switches are electronic. This means that there are no moving parts inside the IEMs, so nothing that can really break. The differences when using the switches are in the range of a few decibels, so they’re more of a tine tuning thing for VG4.
The sound of the Art Magic VG4 can be described as fairly neutral and flat in terms of colorations. My early impressions were that they sounded more colored, but the more I listen, the flatter and more accurate they sound. The sound has excellent separation and extremely quick speed, along with fairly good substance. The dynamics are perfect considering the all-BA design and price point, while the stage is ok. Detail is much better than most IEMs do at this price point. The sound gets a bit more V-Shaped at loud volumes.
The bass is focused, pretty linear and very quick. It works great for fast paced music, but it is not the biggest or most imposing of bass out there, so won’t be perfect for all EDM and Bass-Heavy music. The bass has really good layering, and bears that typical all-BA sound, where it is quick, but a bit faster than natural, and won’t be satisfying to those who listen to a lot of jazz and would prefer having a bit more substance and thickness with their music.
The midrange is really clean, colorful, vivid, and very detailed. The midrange does not have any coloration and is quite linear, which makes the sound good for mastering and mixing too. The insane detail levels are great, and there is a bit too much texture at times, especially if you’re used to smoother sounding IEMs, but the sound is never grainy or fatiguing. Female voices are sweet, presented with good energy. HimeHina and Mori Calliope both sound natural and exciting on the VG4. Guitars are really sweetly presented, but the sound has mostly an uplifting and happy presentation, not exactly ideal for sadder songs. This means that there is less upper midrange and lower treble uplift than most “emotional” IEMs have, which does not emphasize pianos and violins.
The treble is fairly linear too, and extends nicely up to about 11 kHz. There’s a good sense of space, and excellent separation in general. The treble presentation is on the thinner side, not harsh and not metallic. The sound compliments pop, anime, video game soundtracks, classical music the most.
I selected the FH5s, Thieaudio Legacy 4, MAS Audio X5i as the main competitors for the VG4. Honestly, there are so many IEMs in this price range, that unless you know exactly what you’re looking for and have a few days to read, you probably are best not worrying too much. Most shops don’t carry most of the chifi wealth, so you’re not very likely to be able to audition everything in this pierce range.
BGVP ArtMagic VG4 vs MAS X5i IEMs (230 USD vs 300 USD) – MAS X5i is not customisable and is larger in size. It also has a much bassier sound, which is thicker, heavier and with far more impact. By comparison, VG4 is a bit more comfortable, has a more ergonomic shell, but cannot be worn straight-down. The sound of the VG4 is far lighter, more snappy, quicker and much sweeter in the midrange, brighter. X5i has a darker sound, and would work far better for rap, EDM and bass-heavy music, where VG4’s nature makes it better for music where there is bass, but it is not the central element of the song.
BGVP ArtMagic VG4 vs FiiO FH5s (230 USD vs 280 USD) – FH5s is just a few USD more than VG4, and most of the time, if you got enough money for VG4, you surely could increase your budget and go for FH5s, which is why I chose to compare the two. In terms of package and accessories, FH5s wins easily, as it comes with a modular cable, and an even better carrying case. In terms of the overall sound, FH5s is actually more colored, mid forward, but also thicker, more heavy. VG4 is lighter, more snappy, and more natural. I would recommend VG4 for mastering and mixing, but I would have second thoughts about recommending FH5s the same way, given its default signature. FH5s is better for bass heavy music, but the slightly emphasized treble makes it easier to recommend VG4 to those who are sensitive to hot treble too.
BGVP ArtMagic VG4 vs Thie Audio Legacy 4 (230 USD vs 200 USD) – Legacy 4 is really natural, and softer in sound compared to VG4. They do share some similarities, like the more natural bass, but to define the differences, VG4 is more detailed, cleaner and quicker in sound than Legacy 4. VG4 is also more linear in the bass, where Legacy 4 has a bit more lows. I prefer listening to female voices and anime music with VG4, as it presents those sweeter, but if I’m going for rock and metal, I actually go a bit more for Legacy 4, which simply has more bass and makes those more satisfying, also presenting male voices a bit darker which works well for rock and metal. As a quick note, I’m amazed that neither company didn’t skip on the number 4 in the naming.
Value and Conclusion
BGVP VG4 has excellent value, and they have one of the highest price / performance ratios I’ve heard and seen, especially considering the overall build quality, sonic quality, and solid package. I think that the company lacks the proper marketing and support to be taken more seriously, but they have been improving lately, and being sold by shops like Linsoul surely helps.
We’re looking at an IEM that for 230 USD comes with a carrying case, and 11 pairs of tips. They also sport one of the best cables I’ve seen so far, and you can easily configure the sound if you want to experiment a bit with their sound. I think that once you find your perfect spot with VG4, you won’t be experimenting too much. It can take a bit to find it, but once you do, you’re set for fun.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a really enjoyable IEM with a detailed, clean and fairly quick sound, excellent build quality, and outstanding comfort, then the BGVP ArtMagic VG4 should be perfect for you!
You can purchase your BGVP VG4 IEMs from here: https://amzn.to/3ckT4ta
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Full Playlist used for this review
We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature. I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!
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