It seems the new Chinese Hifi wave is moving out of the IEM and into the world of full-size audiophile headphones. The Blon B20 aims to do precisely that. With it planar magnetic drivers and a low RRP.
These aren’t meant to compete with the highest end of the market which can now cost multiple thousands of dollars, but they have been chosen (I’m sure from some OEM manufacturer) with the view that they can compete on a price to performance basis with other established brands like Hifiman and Mr. Speakers.
In this review, I am going to take them at their own merit despite the similarities to the Sendy Aria and Takstar HF580.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging for the Blon B20 headphones is adequate, but its nothing fancy and my guess is that was a choice made to help them come in at under 500 dollars. Its a relatively large box with subtle clean branding and the headphones are well packaged for transit by being set in some dense foam.
Accessories are non-existent as you don’t get a carry case. We don’t take points away in this case because the Blon is designed to be used as a home Hifi headphone and not as a set of portable cans. In this case, there is no need for Blon to include a case, and owners will be much better off purchasing a headphone stand on which to store them.
Build Quality and Styling
The B20 is an excellent looking set of headphones when you get them in hand. This is something that might not come across in photos as I often find is the case with wooden headphones. It is a mix of metal and wood. The contrast between light and dark provides a nice aesthetic. Secondary to the wooden earcups the most noticeable part of the design is the large baffle grill through which the drives breath. Its a subtle touch in the pattern but it looks a bit more modern than other models from Hifiman.
The headband is a broad arch metal band with an elastic supported headband running underneath. While this kind of design does add some weight to the headphones, I have always found it to be very comfortable.
In this headphone, the band is also very generously padded, and thus you can get away with some seriously long listening sessions.
The earpads are extremely generously padded and very comfortable. They are leather or very good protein leather and are perforated to reduce build-up of excess heat. Combining these pads and the open back design of the headphone means that you get good air circulation around your head.
The earcups swivel on two axes, so this will help the earcups conform to the shape of your head with ease. The headband adjustment is smooth and not stepped. Resistance was a bit stiff at first, but’ it’s loosened up through use and is now easy to adjust while remaining firm enough to resist unwanted retraction and extension.
The cable is detachable and dual-sided. It is not set up for use in balanced mode out the box as the Blon B20 only comes with a regular cable setup.
Build quality feels excellent. Yes, they lack the outright finish of the higher end planar headphones on the market but at the same time the cost far less. For their price, they are more than a match for similarly priced Sennheisers and Hifimans.
Comfort and Isolation
Comfort, as I alluded to above, is good. The earpads are generously spacious, and they breathe well. I like that that they headphones are easily adjustable and that they have a dual-sided cable because I cannot stand single entry models anymore. If I were nitpicking it would be that they are on the bulky side of things, but that is kind of a given with Hifi headphones nowadays, so they don’t lose any marks. Just not that they aren’t the sleekest of models that I have tried and something to consider if you are likely to wear them and move around the house a lot.
Isolation isn’t even worth discussing due to the nature of the design. These are open-back headphones and as such offer minimal isolation from the ingress of external sound.
These are a very engaging set of headphones. Its nothing like the flat and dull neutral tuning of a reference headphone that I had come to expect. No throughout the process of this review, the Blon B20 continued to impress with its natural and engaging presentation. It reminded me a lot of when I used to modify Fostex T50p headphones this is very much the type of tuning I was aiming for. A little bit of warmth in the mids, clear highs and a robust yet controlled punch on the low end.
These are both fun and intimate to listen to. Rock, Jazz, Classic, EDM. I kept throwing genres at them, and they seem to work well in a very musical way.
The highs – The highs have a good extension and above-average clarity. They have some excellent control in the top end, and despite running hot, they don’t fall to sibilance. This complements the lusher sounding midrange and thicker low end, which gives a very open sound to the high end while also extending the soundstage far past what it would have with a more laid back top end.
The midrange – not reference accurate. They are on the warm side of neutral and give an excellent performance to male and female vocals. Tracks that are heavily vocal present sound intimate and almost lush. There are lots of details that add refinement. The instrumentation did not benefit as much as the vocals and while good and having nice timbre they didn’t have that unreal clarity as I have on my Sennheiser HD660s. I felt like stings, in particular, would benefit from being a bit more forward in the upper mid-range.
The Lows – The B20 aren’t basshead headphones, and they aren’t flat sounding monitor headphones. They sit in that sweet spot I like where you get a pleasant tight and punchy low-end response without being swamped by overly reverberant low notes. The mid-bass is fast and punchy. It’s very articulate as well, and lovers of stringed jazz and the double bass will find these a joy to listen. It also never feels cluttered or strained even on complicated tracks. The bass is fast and open sounding, so it isn’t impactful on the midrange at all. The two frequencies are very well blended to provide a seamless transition.
Conclusion Blon B20 Review
The Blon B20 will not be you next reference headphone, but they do make a very good case to be your next headphone. They are comfortable, very well made, and they have a lovely tuning to them that makes them a joy to listen to for “pleasure listening.” Yes, these are one of these cases of a Chinese OEM getting picked up by various brands, but when that happens, we must take them for the sum of their parts. The way they perform for the price I have very little bad to say about the Blon B20 headphones and a whole lot of good. Might not be the most advanced looking but at the end of the day its the sound that counts and these sound awesome.
It is highly recommended.
The Blon B20 are now available to buy on Amazon and Linsoul.com