The Bagis’ upper midrange and treble regions were smooth but hooded. If you look at Urbanears’ published frequency curve you can see a roll-off beginning as early as 2kHz, and pronounced attenuation between 10 and 20 kHz where upper frequency response drops by more than 30 dB! Violins and flutes don’t have much, if any, air. The good news is that edgy mixes, especially those with peakiness problems between 2 and 4kHz, should sound a bit more listenable through the Bagis than through a more neutral earphone such as the Shure SE-215.
Imaging through the Bagis was nothing to write home about. Yes, the Bagis image better than a pair of Apple earbuds, but not by much. The overall soundstage was smaller than my reference in-ears, the Etymotic ER4Ps. Edge definition was also noticeably inferior to my ER4Ps, but it was on par with the Paradigm Shift E1s.
The Bagis ‘phones are reasonably dynamic sounding, thanks in part to their high sensitivity, especially if the music has some midbass energy. That’s clearly the Bagis’ dynamic “power zone.” Kick drums definitely kick, but the further you go up from the midbass, the more truncated dynamics become. On material such as the Jam’s All Mod Cons [Ume Imports], the cymbals and high-hats weren’t nearly as dynamic as with earphones that had a more extended upper range such as the Ultimate Ears UE-200s.
On Alex Harte’s “As Long As You Come Home” from 6 Spoons of Honey [CDBY] the acoustic guitars sound warm and rich but they lack some of their sparkle and bite on top. Also the handclaps that begin at the 00:55 mark and continue throughout the rest of the song were relegated to the back of the mix instead of leading from the front. Harte’s voice sounded very natural through the Bagis, but it wasn’t nearly as firmly defined in space as through a pair of HiFiMAN RE-272s.
Listening to Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke perform “Look On Me Ever” from Walter Porter: Madrigals and Ayres, 1632 [Musica Oscura/Columns Classics], I was captivated by the lucidity and euphony of the Bagis’ overall presentation. On midrange-centric music such as this it’s easy to focus on what the Bagis do well: namely, present a coherent and musical picture of the live performance. And while Emma Kirkby’s voice was slightly darker than usual, it was impossible not to be pulled in by her seductive tonality.
On classical music that commanded a larger performing force, such as Mahler’s 1st conducted by Ben Zander on Telarc, the Bagis did a convincing job of simulating the full orchestra’s dynamic punch, especially when driven by the kettle drums. Even though the upper frequencies were attenuated, which was especially noticeable on the bells and triangle, strings still had cutting power and presence.
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Ratings (relative to comparably-priced earphones