EarSonics Velvet V2

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I would like to thank Max from EarSonics for providing me with a review sample in exchange for my honest opinion.

Introduction

Everyone can probably name a number of key items in their audiophile journey that really sparked the flame. When I first started seriously looking into this hobby, I drifted around for a while a bit, not knowing what I was really looking for. But when I stumbled on the Velvet, it hit me – this was exactly what I was looking for. A wide stage, powerful bass, and an energetic presentation. Perfect for all the genres I listened to, or at least the ones that mattered the most. After having lurked around Head-Fi for a couple of months, I submitted my very first posts on the Velvet thread. A short while later I wrote my very first review (or at least attempt at one), of the Velvet.

After my audiophile journey progressed to more high-end monitors, the Velvet started getting less playtime. So every once in a while I would put it up for sale, but kept taking it down again. Not for sentimental reasons, although I will say I considered framing it on the wall instead of selling it; but because I felt it could still compete with many of the higher priced iems I was listening to. But as is always the case with this hobby, there’s always more to buy than our wallet will allow us. So at some point it had to let it go in favor for some newly desired object, especially since EarSonics’ flagship S-EM9 shared some similarities. But with tears in my eyes, nevertheless.

There were some times where I seriously contemplated buying it back again. I had the frame sorted out and everything. However, EarSonics recently launched an updated version of the Velvet, and as you can imagine I was more than eager to try. Back to where I started.

EarSonics Velvet
-Drivers:                    3 BA drivers
-Design:                     3-way crossover, 3 sound bores
-Impedance:             31.5 to 41.5 (depending on the dial)
-Sensitivity:               119 dB
-Frequency range:   10 Hz – 20 KHz

PRICE:                          €699 / $699

Build and Design

The Velvet’s interior consists of large BA drivers for the bass and midrange, and a smaller driver for the treble. On the outer part of the body is the little gray dial to tweak its signature, containing two dots to determine its position. With the former V1, the dial tended to be a bit stuck upon first use, which could result in unwanted damage when too much force was used with the metal screwdriver. I had my original black Velvet reshelled to the crystal shell, but even fully aware of the possible danger, it was hard to keep the dial free of scratches upon first use. Luckily, EarSonics has now made the dial more pliable right out of the box, so the dial readily turns now. On the inner part of the shell body the three shiny BA drivers are nicely visible. The clear shell further has the advantage of visually disappearing in your ear, or at least not drawing so much attention. The black Velvet I initially had two years back looked a lot larger despite its identical size.

As the shells are not very large, I don’t see anybody having difficulties with the form. It’s a fairly compact square shape that tends to fit easily, without protruding too much out of the ear. The Velvet has an oblique nozzle that allows a deep insertion. The nozzle itself has a slightly smaller bore size than the common standard, so popular tips as Spin Fits or Spiral Dots will be too large. However, this is easily remedied by making an ‘adapter’; sacrificing one of the tips you won’t use by cutting of its stem to use for other tips.

Accessories

For as long as I can remember, EarSonics iems have come with the special EarSonics gray biflange tips. Not just any tip, because they play an important role in the EarSonics’ sonic signature. If they fit properly they provide a very tight seal, and accordingly, a warmer, enhanced bass response, which could be described as a ‘musical’ characteristic within the signature. EarSonics traditionally mainly provided a couple of pairs of these biflanges, along with a small and large pair of mushroom-sized tips. If the gray biflanges didn’t fit, the alternatives weren’t much to work with, and as the nozzle was an alternative size finding aftermarket tips was not easy. The peculiarities with the tip selection were always somewhat of a recurring theme on the dedicated threads.

However, EarSonics has remedied this by increasing their tip selection. They now offer a medium and large size of a conventional silicone tips along with two pairs of foamies. I was always a fan of the original biflanges, but I’m sure the improved tip selection will make a lot of people happy. The matte black box further includes the very classy-looking black carrying case that has always been my favorite for practical use. It’s just the right size, and looks very nice (although the Campfire cases are also a nice example). The accessory package is completed by a cleaning tool and 6.3 mm adapter. Finally, the Velvet comes with the same twisted OFC 3-wire cable with 2-pin connectors as the other EarSonics models. The cable is thin yet durable and flexible in use, while reducing microphonics to a minumum.

Page 2: Sound impressions
Page 3: Comparisons and concluding thoughts

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About Author

Nic is currently in pursuit of a PhD degree in social neuropsychology, while trying not to get too distracted by this hobby. In pursuit of theoretical knowledge by day, and audiophile excellence at night. Luckily for him, both activities are not mutually exclusive which helps to lighten the workload. Always on the go, Nic's enthusiasm for hi-fi is focused on all chains of the portable system: iems, cables and daps.

27 Comments

  1. René on

    Hi!
    I finally bought Velvet from Germany!
    Its sound is amazing, according to my imagination and expectation.
    By the way…you have a mistake in your review.Inside Earsonics Velvet isn´t TWFK driver.
    In any case..thanks a lot for review and recommendation.
    Sorry for my english 🙂
    René

    • flinkenick on

      Hi René, thanks for your comment and correction. I remember reading it somewhere, but maybe the information was wrong. I will check it out and correct it.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Velvet!

  2. ian on

    Can these keep up with the likes of the JH 13 and CA Andromeda in terms of details ?

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Ian, due to the prominence of Velvet’s treble as well as its treble extension, the Velvet has a great deal of clarity and resolution. It can easily keep up with most (even more expensive) monitors when it comes to detail retrieval, including Andromeda. I haven’t heard JH13.

      • Ian on

        Nice , looks like what I’m looking for , fun musical with good detail retrivial which match higher end IEMs’ treble . Waiting for demo units to arrive here . Thanks nick !

        • flinkenick on

          No problem Ian, you’re more than welcome.

  3. Nicolas on

    hi nick

    can you recommende me the best iem all rounder with a 600 usd budget.
    cheers.

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Nicolas,

      To be honest my knowledge is not very extensive or up to date in this section. Velvet V2 might drop in price in a bit, the older one used to sell for $600. Something like Sony XBA-Z5 might be good too. There’s prob a ton of good iems out there, but I don’t really know what’s hot at the moment around that price range.

      • Nicolas on

        mmmm
        thanks nick

        but i think the sonys are too bassheads for me :P, the valvet seems a good option.
        what about noble, campfire, ibasso, etc?

        • flinkenick on

          They might have great models, but like I said I’m not the best person to ask 🙂 I usually review more high-end iems, so I’m a bit out of touch with this segment. My apologies.

  4. René on

    Hi flinkenick!
    I´d like to upgrade my old Sennheiser IE80…
    What is difference between IE80 and Velvet? (soundstage,sub-bas etc.)
    Thanks. René

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Rene, to be honest I only heard the IE80 for about 5 minutes over 4 years ago, so as you might imagine I wouldn’t feel comfortable making an apt comparison. However, I think it’s safe to say the Velvet’s stage is considerably larger, and I would imagine it to have more raw sub-bass impact – these are two things the Velvet excels in.

  5. Cameron on

    Hi there, thank you for your review! I’m excited to see the V2 released. I’ve had the Velvet in the back of my head for some time now, but it was hard finding a pair.

    I currently have 1More duals and Sony XBA-A3. The 1More’s are great for low volume listening as the bass doesn’t disappear as much, but at high volumes the highs become too “splashy” and unnatural sounding. The A3’s bass can be great with EQ (ok without, would expect more from a 16mm dynamic), and the highs are really special I think – much more forgiving and natural especially at higher levels.

    How do you think I’d feel about the Velvet V2 given that? I’m looking for bass that I can “feel” and I love sub-bass. I’ve found 1 Chinese IEM (not sure if I can mention it here, but it looks similar to a SE846 and has a dynamic driver plus some BA’s) that fits my needs quite well but had some fit issues so I had to return them. The sub-bass on them was insane.

    Thank you for your time.

    PS: I listen to a lot of metal type music. Like… Northlane – Rot – Instrumental

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Cameron, If you want to feel your bass, you’re definitely looking in the right direction here. When it comes to treble, keep in mind that the Velvet has a V-shape so the treble is more forward and brighter in tone. I’ve heard that some of the Sony’s have a warm and natural treble response, I wouldn’t necessarily classify the Velvet as such. The treble is more prominent so it adds some energy and excitement, but it isn’t the most natural as a result – pros and cons to everything.

  6. Zariff on

    Hello

    I hesitate a lot between the SM9 and the velvet V2. Is the SM9 really expensive really worth the difference?
    Possibly the Bayerdynamic XELENTO, I hope you will test it out soon.
    Thank you for your opinion

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Zariff, it’s always hard to tell when something is really worth the difference, especially since the S-EM9 is twice the price of the Velvet. But the S-EM9 is better in almost every way. For starters, it has more mid-bass emphasis, resulting in a more natural bass tone, and overall warmer tone. Furthermore, it has more forward, denser, and fuller vocals, which are kind of the weak point of the Velvet. It also has a more linear treble, and greater resolution. The S-EM9 is a ‘TOTL’ in this regard, competing with other flagships, where the Velvet is a tier below. However, I will say that for certain genres that I’ve mentioned as pop, EDM, hiphop, etc.; the difference becomes much smaller in terms of enjoyability, and you could easily go with the Velvet without making serious concessions.

      • Zariff on

        Thank you for your answer
        I listen mostly to the Blues. I like powerful and dynamic bass. I thought a lot about EM32; But it may be a little more professional and less hot color Earsonics.
        Will you test the new XELENTO from Bayerdynamic? (Ex Astell & Kern AK T8iE can be improved). I really want to wait until March 15; An exemplary finish and its promise. A test of your part would be genial and welcome by the community 🙂
        What do you think?
        cordially
        Zariff

        • flinkenick on

          Well if it’s about Blues, have you considered the S-EM6 from EarSonics? It’s a bit of an acquired taste since it’s pretty warm, bassy, and midforward – but for vocals and instrument-based music like Blues it would be my top pick.

          Thanks that’s very nice of you man 🙂 But for now, I have to hold off on new reviews because of the shootout starting soon. That’s going to keep me busy for the next couple of months, but who knows, maybe after.

  7. ryankid on

    Great review! Velvet has to be one of my all time favorite iems, the tuning is spot on! I am currently eyeing the Campfire Vegas, could you quickly comment on the signature difference between the Velvets and Vegas?

    • flinkenick on

      Thanks Ryan. If we look at the coarse similarities, Vega and Velvet both share a significantly enhanced bass response and lifted treble. Both iems fall within the ‘basshead range’. But while the Velvet focuses primarily on sub-bass resulting in a quicky, punchy yet highly impactful bass, Vega adds a good scoop of mid- and upper- bass on top. This doesn’t only result in a larger bass, it creates an overall fuller sound with thicker notes and vocals. Velvet really has a predominantly ‘fun’ tuning that I would use for EDM, pop, or some energetic rock. Vega on the other hand sounds more heavy and serious, and I would use it for heavier, grungy, alternative kind of rock.

  8. casper3127 on

    Thanks Flinkenick for your review. 😀

    What about the cable? Does it still go with two pins’ connectors to the Velvets? Microphonics?

    Best regards.

    • flinkenick on

      Thank you Casper 🙂 The Velvet comes with the same twisted 3 wire OFC as the other ES iems, as well as iems like the Custom Art 8.2, Lime Ears Aether, Perfect Seal Deca, etc. It’s somewhat of an industry standard for 2-pin iems. It is very flexible with minimal microphonics, comfortable in use. I should update that in the review, thanks for pointing it out.

  9. oldschool on

    I am quite surprised you don’t compare to the original version since you have it.. What is different in v2?

    • flinkenick on

      I don’t have the original Velvet anymore, and I haven’t heard it for quite a long time. So I can’t make a comparison unfortunately.

  10. akild on

    “…consists of two large BA drivers for the bass and midrange, and a smaller TWFK driver for the treble…” Wouldnt’t that make it 4 BA IEM?

    • flinkenick on

      Well two drivers = 1 for the bass + 1 for the midrange. I edited it a bit, hope it’s more clear now.

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