Blon Mini - The Best Blon!?
Updated: Jul 16, 2021
IEM come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The Blon Mini is no exception.
Looking at the Blon Mini there are so many memes that come to mind but I won't go there. Lots of questions about the Blon Mini but the biggest one of all, is the Mini the best Blon?
Impedance: 16ohms (at 1 kHz)
Frequency response: 20–20kHz
Drivers Config: 6mm Dynamic Driver
Disclaimer: I purchased the Blon Mini with my own funds. I have not been paid, pressured or otherwise influenced to spin this review one way or the other. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Blon Mini comes in a similar but smaller box of all other Blon IEM. The box is white, lacks the clear top of it's more expensive siblings, has a drawing of the Mini on the front and specs on the back. I actually like this presentation as it gets to the point and keeps the surprise hidden. Slide off the outer sleeve and inside you will find the IEM, an accessories box that contains the cable, 4 sets of silicone tips, carry pouch and paperwork. Overall, I find that the package is presented nicely and meets the average for the price.
So there is a lot to discuss about the build and design of the Blon Mini and it doesn't just involve the IEM. I would like to point your attention first to the cable. Blon actually provided a quality cable for the first time with an IEM. Blon, I am proud of you, good job,
The stock cable is the first one included with a Blon IEM that I don't want to toss in the trash and forget about forever.
In fact, I would like to use this cable with other IEM. Wow, I never envisioned myself saying that about a cable from Blon. The cable is a 2 pin design with well controlled ear hooks. The rubber body of the cable is soft and pliable, not stiff and it doesn't tangle. I love the look of the cable and better yet, I love the feel of it. Very similar to the Moondrop SSR cable.
Now onto what everyone else talks about, the shell design. I have in for review, the gun metal version, and I love the coloring. The shell design is unique and I can't think of any other IEM I have ever tried of this shape. The shell is shaped like a bent tube, some say like a macaroni noodle, either way it is small. It fits in my ear perfectly and I have no issues wearing it for hours on end. The Blon Mini is one of the most comfortable IEM I have ever used. And you can use the Mini while sleeping or napping, if you so choose.
Abundant but not excessive. The Blon Mini has a lot of bass to offer but it never seems to be too much. The sub bass has good extension and there is a good amount of mid bass as well, sadly the upper bass is lacking. There is good rumble in the sub bass when it is called upon in the mix. The mid bass has a decent amount of impact, carrying most of the load, to keep the music engaging. The Mini isn't mini when it comes to the bass quantity but it is mini when it comes to details and resolution. The Blon Mini is adequate with detail retrieval but isn't going to wow you in that regard. But where it really suffers is the resolution of the details. Too often the Mini will smear and smudge the bass notes, especially in the mid bass. There are too many moments of one-note as the lack of separation is noticeable on busier tracks. Also, the upper bass is thinned out and lacks emphasis. But when the Mini gets the bass right it is a fun listen. I can overlook a lot of the shortcomings because of the price and the enjoyment that the Mini offers.
Mids: The Blon Mini mids have a lot of good and not so good going on. Starting in the lower mids you will notice a lack of body and emphasis and this causes instruments and male vocals to sound thin and dull. Recession is the game that the mids like to play, Tone and timbre is really good for the mids though. So vocals and instruments in the middle and upper regions of the mids have nice weight, tone and timbre but they are behind everything else. It doesn't sound bad so to say but it does make it sound uneven. Big and loud sounding instruments are front and center and everything else is behind. The mids of the Blon Mini are not cohesive and balanced. When listening to a piano playing, the lower octaves and upper octaves sound louder then the middle octaves. The details of the mids again won't wow you with the quantity and the resolution won't either. Neither the details or the resolution are bad but they just aren't that good. But, just like the bass, I can overlook those shortcomings because of the pleasing tone and timbre.
Treble: The Blon Mini treble is pleasing. There is again a lot to like about the treble of the Mini but there are also a few dislikes. The overall presentation of the Mini is pleasurable and non-fatiguing. The earlier roll-off in the upper treble helps to keep harshness to a minimum but it does take away a bit of airiness. Again the tone and timbre is pleasing in the treble. But as has been mentioned with both the bass and mids, the detail retrieval is adequate and the resolution is okay. There is nothing to hate about the treble but there isn't really anything to love about it either, it is just pleasing.
Soundstage/Imaging: The stage of the Blon Mini is average width with lackluster depth and layering. This is one area that the Mini doesn't impress much. I am somewhat satisfied with the stage but not impressed; it does what it needs to and nothing more. Width is average at best and doesn't give a good sense of dimension. Depth and layering are less then average and aren't very precise. The smaller stage size makes it hard to diagnose what is going on. There is a 3 blob effect or compartments to the imaging so you can't really determine precise placement of objects.
Detail/Resolution: This is one area that the Blon Mini surprised me and I am pleased. One thing that I have never thought a Blon IEM did well was detail resolution but I think the Mini is one of the best Blon in this regard. As for detail retrieval, the Blon Mini does lack a bit there, especially in the treble, but it is on average with all other Blon give or take.
Blon BL-03: Blon-BL03 has a wider stage and is more defined with depth and layering. The Bl-03 also has fuller and more cohesive mids that are more forward in the mix. But the Mini bests the BL-03 when it comes to a smoother upper mid and lower treble region and also with detail resolution, slightly. The BL-03 is better with detail retrieval and the Mini is better with resolution.
Jade Audio EA1: This isn't a close competition as the Jade Audio EA1 reigns supreme in all aspects. I would pick the Jade Audio EA1 each and every time over the Blon Mini.
Moondrop SSR: The Moondrop SSR is better with mids body, note weight, tone and timbre. The SSR has a wider, deeper and layered and accurate soundstage. Blon Mini has more bass impact. The Moondrop SSR is better at detail retrieval and resolution and instrument/vocal isolation and separation.
Tin Hifi T2 Plus: Another comparison that isn't close at all. The Tin Hifi T2 Plus is supreme in all regards except bass impact.
Kinera BD005 Pro: The Bd005 Pro has more of an airy presentation, fuller mids, less bass impact but better control, treble has a smidge more extension and boost, soundstage is similar in width but has better depth and layering.
Tin Hifi T2: The Tin Hifi T2 is a totally different sound signature as it is a musical, neutral reference versus the fun sounding Blon Mini. The T2 excels in detail retrieval and resolution, has better tone and timbre, wider stage that is more defined with depth and layering, and has a more cohesive, balanced sound.
Nextdrive Spectra X: This is a fun pairing but not a favorite as the Spectra X brings out the bass detail and impact, mids are blessed with good tone and timbre but can be too warm at times and the treble is smooth and unoffensive but the Mini lacks air and sounds a bit stuffy at times. The Mini's flaws of detail retrieval and resolution come out too often with the Spectra X as the warmth and thickness are overpowering. Kinda depends on the song and the mood.
xDuoo LInk: This is a better pairing, as the somewhat brighter Link adds a touch of air and doesn't add too much warmth to the mids. Still not a favorite pairing of mine. Just depends on the song and mood.
Sony NW-A105: This is a lovely pairing and I highly recommend. The bass has good extension, control and adequate tone and timbre. The mids have good tone and timbre and the treble is extended and have a nice touch of air.
Sony NW-WM1a: This is a fantastic pairing but so overpriced and laughable. But if you want a budget IEM to pair with your 1k DAP, here is an option.
Conclusion: So you are looking for a budget IEM, why not consider the Blon Mini? The Blon Mini is not the best Blon I have heard in some regards. The BL-03 is still the best Blon sibling I have heard when it comes to overall sound. But the Mini does so much right that it comes down to what you prioritize. Do you want more mids focus, go with the BL-03. Do you want more bass, go with the Mini. Do you want more treble, soundstage width, depth and layering, go with the BL-03. Do you desire more detail retrieval, go with the BL-03. Do you prefer better resolution, go with the Mini. But for me, I choose the Tin Hifi T2, Jade Audio EA1, Moondrop SSR, Tin Hifi T2 Plus and Kinera Bd005 Pro over any Blon.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
DBS Tech Talk research and review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms and Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer :2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: Believe - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - Passenger 57 main title - percussion, bass, seperation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - The Pine of the Appian Way - soundstage, imaging and seperation
Houston Person - You are my Sunshine - tone and timbre
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