BGVP ArtMagic VG4 Review


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BGVP VG4 Featured Image

BGVP has made a name for themselves in the IEM market with the BGVP DM6 and DM7. They currently have a diverse lineup that covers everything from budget-friendly offerings to high-end IEMs. They are continuously innovating and proving that they are a company that deserves the attention they are getting.

The ArtMagic series is their high-end lineup designed to compete with more expensive brands. And today, we are going to take a look at the entry-level model of the ArtMagic series, the VG4. 

The BGVP ArtMagic VG4 features a quad driver setup with a semi-custom shell design that is similar to the BGVP DM7. Additionally, it features three dip switches, which gives it a total of nine unique tunings. Despite its promising specs and price point, the VG4 seems to have slipped by everyone’s radars.

There has been no hype surrounding this product, which is odd given the BGVP’s success. One might assume that the VG4 does not live up to BGVP’s standards. However, that is not the case. Join me as we delve deeper into what I consider to be a very strong competitor in the sub 300 USD price range. 

Disclaimer

The review unit featured in this article is provided by BGVP. We would like to thank them for their support and for making this review possible. However, this does not influence our review in any way. Everything written here is my honest opinion.  

Packaging and Accessories 

The BGVP ArtMagic VG4 is the first product that I have unboxed from BGVP. Given most Chi-Fi products’ subpar unboxing experience, I did not know what to expect here. 

The outer sleeve has a clean and minimalistic look. It gave off a professional vibe with its minimalistic design, which is not cluttered with text. It has enough information but keeps a fair amount of mystery to keep things exciting. It resembles Fiio’s approach in the FH5 and FH7

The inner box can be accessed by removing the outer sleeve. Once the box has been opened, the IEMs and accessories are neatly presented. Here is everything included in the packaging: 

BGVP VG4 Drivers 

Ear Tips

Silicone Ear Tips:

Wide Bore (Black) x 3 (Small, Medium, Large)

Bass (White)  x 3 (Small, Medium, Large)

Vocal (Blue) x 3 (Small, Medium, Large)

Foam Ear Tips x 1

The BGVP VG4 comes with three pairs of black wide bore tips (stock tips), “bass enhancing” ear tips, and “vocal enhancing” Ear Tips.” 

The silicone ear tips feel great. While aftermarket ear tips such as the Spinfit CP 360 still felt better, I did not have any problems with the stock tips in terms of comfort. I did not have the urge to swap them out, and I have chosen to stick with the stock wide bore tips for the duration of my testing period. 

 

Cleaning tool

The inclusion of a cleaning tool is a simple addition to the overall package. However, it is still nice to see it, considering that it usually only comes with CIEMs and higher-end IEMs. The metal tip of the cleaning tool is also used to actuate the tuning switches. 

I do wish there was a separate tool built specifically for actuating the switches, just like in the 1Custom Jr. But it works well, so I do not have any complaints here. 

Carrying Case 

The one accessory that did not impress me was the carrying case. I appreciate its inclusion, but I think BGVP could have done a better job. The basics are covered since it has plenty of space to carry the IEMs and extra accessories, such as extra tips and the cleaning tool. 

The problem here is that apart from BGVP’s logo, the case looks generic. It lacks the premium feel that should reflect the gorgeous looking IEMs inside. 

IEMs in the same price range, such as the QDC Neptune and Campfire Audio Comet, features more luxurious cases. The QDC Neptune’s case, in particular, has a magnetic design that further adds to the premium feel of the overall package. 

Of course, this could be negligible as it does not affect the IEM in any way, but I do feel like BGVP should put some more focus on this if they want to compete with the higher-end brands.  

BGVP also makes excellent third-party hard cases, so I know that they have what it takes to make a great carrying case. But overall, it is still a functional case, and I would not have any problems using this one as an alternative to my Pelican 1010 hard case.  

Cable

I like how the cable is presented in the packaging. It is hidden inside the carrying case, which prevents additional clutter inside the box. The quality of the cable plays a crucial role in any IEM, so we will talk more about it in the build quality section. 

Paperwork 

Warranty, QC card, manual and instruction papers

Most people might not care about the paperwork, but for me, it adds a layer of authenticity. This makes the packaging feel complete and comparable to the bigger brands. 

 

Overall Unboxing Experience 

Overall, the unboxing experience was excellent and made me even more excited to try the VG4. The unboxing experience is what separates the big brands from the smaller brands, so I am glad that BGVP did not skimp on the packaging. 

Build Quality 

Shells 

BGVP claims that the shells are made of medical-grade PMMA acrylic fiber (resin) and are made using German Technology EnvisionTEC 3D Printing. These may sound like fancy marketing material, but the results on the end product speak for itself. The VG4 is not only one of the best looking IEMs at this price point, but it is also one of the best built. 

The shells feel solid and feel more expensive than their price tag. The acrylic shell feels similar to the ones used in CIEMs. I did not feel any gaps or imperfections on the shell. I also could not find any weak spots or points of failure. Everything about the build quality just inspires confidence in the VG4’s long term use. 

My review unit came in clear, but there are tons of color options and premade designs for the body and faceplates. You can also contact BGVP to get a custom design or a custom fit (CIEM).

Personally, clear isn’t my ideal color since I like flashier colors. However, the clear design is well executed in the VG4. You can even see the drivers inside just line on CIEMs. BGVP did not hold back on the build quality to accommodate its price point. 

Cable 

My expectations are quite low when it comes to stock cables. Most of the stock cables, even on higher-end IEMs and headphones that I have tried were not that impressive. Most have a lackluster build quality and are just begging to be replaced. However, this was not the case for the VG4’s stock cable. 

Despite its thickness, the cable is easily manageable and tangle-free. It is soft and does not have memory. The ear hooks were also well executed and were stable on my ears. The texture of the cable initially felt sticky. However, this went away after a few days. 

I would have loved to see a lighter colored cable just to differentiate itself from the aesthetics of other Chi-Fi brands, but I can’t complain given its excellent feel and performance. 

Overall, the stock cable on the BGVP VG4 is excellent and is arguably comparable to entry-level third party upgrade cables. I have other cables, but I did not get the urge to use them with the VG4. The only time where I would want to replace the cable is if I choose to run the VG4 in balanced mode.  

BGVP also sells replacement cables and comes in various configurations. BGVP has managed to impress me with their stock cable, so I am expecting their upgrade cables to be even better. 

Dip Switches 

The dip switches are found at the back of the shells. They sit flush and cannot be accidentally activated. BGVP recommends only using the tip of the cleaning tool to avoid damage to the switches. 

The switches were initially stiff, and I was a bit afraid of forcing them. However, after a few tries, the switches became easier to actuate, and the whole process felt more natural. Activating the switches produces tactile feedback, which is a big help considering how small these switches are. 

It is impossible to gauge the long term performance of the switches, but so far, they don’t feel fragile, and I don’t see them breaking anytime soon. 

Fit and Comfort 

The BGVP VG4 employs a semi-custom design similar to the BGVP DM6 and DM7. The fit is snug and was stable in my ears. I did not need to readjust it once it was inside my ears. I can wear the VG4 using the stock tips for several hours without any discomfort. 

The VG4 is superb in terms of isolation. The semi-custom design allows for a near-perfect seal. And for those who are not satisfied with the stock tips’ feel or isolation, the nozzle is long enough to accommodate different third-party ear tips. 

Sound Quality 

Presentation

The BGVP VG4 has a well balanced and natural sound in its stock configuration. It does a good job of separating the different frequencies. While the bass has lots of presence, it does not overextend into the lower mids. The highs are well controlled and did not approach peaky territories. 

Detail retrieval, especially in the mids, is excellent. I was able to hear different vocal layers and reverb trails in albums such as Eyes (Milet) and Pentatonix Volume 2. The stock sound signature fits a wide range of genres and is already enough to impress me. However, the real fun starts when I started messing with the dip switches. The sound can be fine-tuned to further make it more suitable for specific genres.  

Dip Switches 

The dip switches are not properly labeled, and no documentation tells what the switches do. It would have been nice to know what the switches do. However, the changes are noticeable, and it only takes a few tries to find out how they influence the sound.

Switch 1 – Upper mids boost

Switch 2 – Lower mids Boost 

Switch 3 – Sub-bass Boost 

My Favorite Tuning (1 1 0)

I find that activating switches 1 and 2 produces my ideal sound signature. This is the configuration that I have used the most and will serve as the basis for the rest of the review. 

Lows 

When I first tried the VG4, the lows were one of the first things that caught my attention. It was not because it was sticking out or negatively affecting the sound signature, but it was because of how deep it could sound. BGVP claims that the BA driver in the VG4 is comparable to the performance of dynamic drivers. While there are dynamic drivers that could dig even deeper, I feel like the VG4 is pretty close. 

The bass is clean, tight, and well-controlled. It adds energy when needed, but it can keep it down during mellow tracks. If you want even sub-bass, you can activate switch 3. When switch 3 is activated, the sub-bass gives out more thump but still maintains its excellent clarity. It did not feel bloated and did not affect the midrange at all.

I did not need the extra thump as I prefer a more neutral bass response, so I did not activate switch 3 for most of my listening sessions. However, it is nice to know that it is there when I am listening to specific bass-heavy songs. Overall, I am very impressed with the bass performance of the VG4. It knows its boundaries and does not try to steal the show.  

Mids 

The mids are, in my opinion, the BGVP VG4’s strongest point. The mids on the stock tuning are clear and well detailed. Both vocals and instruments, such as guitars, are well detailed. And also, the upper mids are not peaky. 

I am a fan of guitar and vocal-based music (female vocals, in particular), which was already very satisfying in the stock tuning. However, activating switch 1 took things to another level. The mids took center stage and have created a distinct separation from the other frequencies. 

Activating switch 2 further enhances the lower mids and makes the overall sound fuller. With both switches activated, the VG4 manages to pull off a mid-forward signature, which is similar to my Sennheiser HD660s.  

This tuning works well with different genres, and I did not feel the need to switch back to the stock tuning even after scanning through my test tracks. Of course, if you want a more neutral sound signature, then you can always return to the stock signature. This is what’s great with the VG4; it gives you the option to make the VG4’s sound fit your listening preferences or song genres. 

Highs 

For me, the highs are the weakest point of the VG4. Don’t get me wrong. The highs are well executed on the VG4. They are detailed and well extended without being harsh. 

However, they are the only ones that do not fit into the theme of customization. It would have been nice to have the option to boost and add more sparkle to the high-end. However, I do understand that not everyone enjoys a treble focused signature. Maybe BGVP can incorporate that into a follow up to the VG4. But overall, the highs are sitting at a great level and work well with most genres.  

Imaging and Soundstage

The soundstage on the BGVP VG4 is competent with the other sub 300 USD IEMs. It has a good amount of width that gives songs proper spacing. It is not the widest sounding IEM that I have heard, but it does an excellent job of bringing tracks to life. 

The BGVP VG4 had good soundstage performance, with most songs that I have tried. However, there were some songs where I felt like the soundstage was not too convincing. One example is One Winged-Angel by Nobuo Uematsu.

The track is supposed to sound massive, but I did not get that sensation with the VG4. It still does a good job with the imaging on this track, and I can hear the micro details of each instrument, so it was still a good experience. Most IEMs that I have tried have not been able to recreate this track as well as my Sennheiser HD660s, which is not a fair comparison, so I would not consider this to be the VG4’s fault.

The imaging, on the other hand, is what surprised me. I can always tell where individual instruments are coming from, even with busy tracks where a lot is going on. The VG4 nicely delivers panning and micro details of instruments. 

I even decided to try playing FPS with the VG4. I don’t usually do this because most IEMs that I have tried in this price range can’t compete with the imaging the open-back headphones. However, with the VG4, I was always able to tell the position of my enemies accurately. 

 

The BGVP VG4 has that wow factor in its sound. When I first tried it, I was instantly hooked. It just works with every song that I throw at it. And when I thought I was already happy with the stock signature, activating the switches opened up even more sound signatures.

Every tuning works well with the VG4. There are no switch combinations that I found to break the sound signature. And I like the option to be able to quickly change the signature to accommodate my preferences or the song that I am listening to.  

I don’t normally say this for IEMs in the sub 300 USD price range. Apart from the QDC Neptune, sub 300 USD IEMs are not appealing to me.

Comparisons

Ultimate Ears UE900s 

The Ultimate Ears UE900s has been my go-to IEMs ever since I bought them in late 2019. They are widely known as the follow up to the highly acclaimed Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi 10. Despite being an older model, the UE900s is still competitive in the sub 300 USD price range. Both the VG4 and UE900s feature a quad driver design, so it is interesting how the newer VG4 fares.

The bass is the UE900’s weakest aspect. It sounds accurate and clean but lacks the punch that the VG4 offers. Mids are more highlighted on the VG4, especially when switches 1 and 2 are turned on. Highs on the VG4 also manage to bring out more detail. However, when it comes to soundstage, the UE900s still has the edge. The VG4 isn’t too far behind, though. 

In terms of comfort, the VG4 takes the cake. Its semi-custom design allows me to wear it longer. Overall, the VG4 offers a more complete and detailed sound compared to the UE900s. 

Pairing 

One thing that I appreciated with the BGVP VG4 is its ability to adapt to different sources. It had noticeable improvement when paired with higher-quality sources. However, it did not underperform or completely fall apart when paired with lower quality sources. 

Its ability to pair with a wide array of gear makes this a great IEM for newcomers who are just using their smartphones or more experienced using DAPs or DAC/Amps. 

iFi Nano BL (DAC/Amp)

The iFi Nano BL has been my primary DAC/Amp thanks to its excellent sound quality versatility. Its IE Match works well with most IEMs that I have tried.

Pairing the iFi Nano BL with the VG4 gave great results. The iFi Nano BL manages to extract the most detail out of the VG4. Frequencies had a clear separation and were overall enjoyable to listen to. If you pair the VG4 with even better portable sources such as the Chord Mojo and iFi Micro BL, you will get even better results. 

Astell & Kern AK70 Mk2 (Midrange DAP)

The AK70 Mk2 has been my go-to DAP thanks to its signature Astell & Kern coloration. It is already a recurring theme that pairing the VG4 with high-quality sources yields excellent results, and it is no different here. The AK70 Mk2 had the best detail retrieval out of all the portable sources during this test and performed closest to the iFi Nano BL. 

Sony NW A55 (Budget DAP)

Even when paired with an entry-level DAP, the VG4 still performs well. The warm sound signature of the Sony NW A55 complements the VG4, but the highs were not as well defined as the other two sources. It is still a great pairing, but it is a downgrade from the other two sources. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro + Ugreen USB C to 3.5mm (Generic Type-C to 3.5mm)

The VG4 still managed to impress me even when being paired with a low-quality setup (Ugreen USB Type-C to 3.5mm connected to Huawei Mate 20 Pro). Of course, the sound quality is not as good as the other three devices. Mids, in particular, is not as enjoyable as the other two. 

However, since the VG4 is not a source dependent IEM, most of its characteristics still shine through. If you do not own a DAP and are just using the stock USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter on your smartphone, you will still be able to enjoy the BGVP VG4. 

Verdict 

The lack of hype and coverage around the BGVP VG4 comes as a surprise, given its excellent performance. There is very little to criticize with the VG4’s various tunings. It fits most genres with its stock tuning and gives you further control depending on your listening preferences. 

And when you add the VG4’s outstanding build quality both on the shells and cable and the number of extra accessories that you get, you have a complete package with excellent value for less than 300 USD. The BGVP VG4 is an instant recommendation for anyone looking for a balanced sounding and tunable IEM in the sub 300 USD price range. 

The BGVP VG4 is only the tip of the iceberg. With how good this entry-level IEM is, I expect BVGVP’s flagship models to be even better. 

The BGVP ArtMagic VG4 can be purchased at BGVP’s AliExpress Store

More about BGVP

Budget Gears for Various Personalities (BGVP) is a relatively new company that was founded in 2015. The company is based on Dalang Town, Dongguan Province, in China. They primarily specialize in creating budget to high-end IEMs, but recently they have also ventured into the world of portable DAC/Amps, cables, and wireless audio-related products. 

Their most popular IEMs include the BGVP DM6, BGVP DM7, and BGVP DMG. These IEMs have been well received and are touted as giant killers. These IEMs are available in both universal and custom fittings. They are continuously evolving and updating their lineup with new models. 

Specifications 

Drivers :  4 balanced armatures (2 Sonion + 2 Knowles)

3 tuning switches

Impedance: 12 Ω

Sensitivity : 110 dB dB/mW

Frequency response: 12Hz-40kHz

Channel difference: ≤1dB

Distortion rate: ≤0.5% (1kHz)

Rated power: 6mW

Albums Used For Testing 

Babymetal – Live at the Forum 

Babymetal – Metal Galaxy

Milet – Eyes 

Mamamoo – Reality in Black 

Nobuo Uematsu – Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy 

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories 

Pentatonix – Pentatonix Volume 2 

Lindsey Stirling – Artemis 

Super Eurobeat Presents – Initial D D Selection

Moe Shop – Moe Moe 

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