EarSonics Velvet V2

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v4

Comparisons

Fidue Sirius ($899)
Fidue’s flagship consists of a 1+4 hybrid, with a dynamic driver for the bass. While it has a slight midbass emphasis, the bass is more neutral than the Velvet’s. The Velvet has more bass quantity, producing a more powerful impact. The Sirius’ midrange is warmer, and more forward. Vocals have more intimacy, and are more natural in tone and size. Both share a brighter than neutral upper midrange. The Velvet’s midrange however has more clarity, with better articulation of individual notes. In addition, the Velvet’s brighter lower treble gives it a more energetic presentation.

While both create a wide stage that is not overly deep, the Velvet’s stage is airer, while the Sirius stage is warmer. In addition, the Velvet has slightly better imaging. Taken together, the two are more different than similar, with the Sirius having a warmer, midcentric signature, and the Velvet a brighter, fun-based tuning.

Campfire Audio Dorado ($999)
The Velvet and Dorado can both easily be categorized as a ‘fun’ tuning: a very wide stage, engaging V-shaped signature, but most of all: powerful bass. The Dorado’s dynamic powered bass has more weight than the Velvet, even in its ‘warm’ setting. There’s noticeably more mid- and upper bass, giving the bass a rounder, more impressive feel. In addition the tone of the bass is warmer, while it has a more natural decay. However, due to its size the bass is more prominent in the presentation. The Velvet’s bass is punchier, but also quicker.

The Dorado’s midrange is slightly warmer, with a relatively more forward vocal presentation compared to the more laidback Velvet. The midrange sounds a bit smoother, compared to the clearer sounding Velvet. The Velvet’s midrange however sounds cleaner, with more space between individual instruments. This is partially due to the Velvet’s lower treble peak, which contributes to the airy sound. Dorado’s treble is smoother and thicker, but offers less pinpoint precision.

v2

Concluding thoughts

A while back I posted this article on the difference between the ‘music lovers’ and ‘audiophile’ tuning philosophies; one is designed to sound exciting, the other for its accuracy and trueness to the tone. The Velvet might well be the poster boy for the former: with its wide stage, powerful bass, and high-energy sound, the Velvet was simply designed to sound awesome. The Velvet won’t necessarily be the most refined iem, but there’s a youthful playfulness to the sound. There’s no doubt the powerful sub-bass will get your foot tapping or head nodding, while the presentation as a whole is clear and detailed. The bass might too much for a purist, and the treble less suitable for sensitive listeners. But we all have our guilty pleasures, be it a pop hit or some catchy club mix – and there’s nothing like the Velvet to make them shine.

 

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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.

12 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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