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VSonic GR02 Bass Edition Review

VSonic GR02 Bass Edition
Reviewed June 2012

Details: Bass-oriented VSonic earphone based on the aging R02ProII
MSRP: est $36
Current Price: $31 from ebay.com; $37 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 24Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 12-25k Hz | Cable: 4.3′ 45º-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: stock bi-flanges; MEElec “balanced” bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) - Single-flange (3 sizes), hybrid-style (7 sizes), foam-stuffed hybrid (3 sizes), and bi-flange silicone tips, shirt clip, and padded spring-clasp carrying pouch
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The GR02 Bass Edition utilizes the same plastic-and-metal housings as the old R02ProII model and a number of other earphones. The construction is very good – the shells feel well put-together and the strain reliefs are strong and flexible. The cabling is similar to that of the R02ProII – thicker than that of the GR99, strong, and tangle-resistant
Isolation (3/5) – Good, especially with the included thick bi-flange tips
Microphonics (4/5) – Low when worn cable-down; very low with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (4/5) – The familiar housings are small and fit well. Long strain reliefs may pose an issue for some with over-the-ear wear but a cable cinch is present to help out. Tip selection is very generous

Sound (7.6/10) – Despite its ominous moniker, the GR02 Bass Edition doesn’t add a whole lot of low-end grunt to the sound of the older R02ProII model, which, admittedly, was hardly bass-shy to begin with. The low of the GR02 is punchy, but not inaccurate and the earphone is not quite a bass monster. There is a similar amount of deep bass compared to the cheaper GR99 but the mid-bass is dominant source of power with the GR02. Despite this, the Bass Edition also gains a bit of detail, control, and dynamics and can be more impactful than the GR99 when pressed.

The GR02 is also bassier than the higher-end GR06 and its low end can overshadow the midrange on occasion compared to the more mid-forward GR06, the more subbass-focused GR99, and more balanced-sounding sets such as the Monoprice 8320. The note presentation of the GR02 is thinner compared to the GR06 and the midrange clarity is a bit better. The mids are less liquid and intimate compared to the GR06 but warmer, cleaner, and a touch more forward compared to the GR99.

The top end of the GR02 bears some resemblance to the GR06 and GR07 models, with good presence and extension but a slight predisposition towards pointing out sibilance on tracks. For the price there are very few sets that do treble this well without sacrificing brightness as the lower-end GR99 does. Similarly, soundstaging prowess lags a little behind the higher-end models but is more than acceptable for the price. The soundstage is average in size and lacks the separation and layering of the GR06 but still provides a well-rounded sonic image for a satisfying experience.

Value (10/10) – VSonic’s new lineup continues to impress with this re-tuned take on the aging R02ProII model. An impressive performer with a focus on mid-bass punch, the VSonic GR02 Bass Edition provides unexpected bang for not very much buck and – from the durable, time-tested housings to the tangle-resistant cable and 28-piece tipset – doesn’t feel one bit outdated.

Pros: Very well-built, great sound for the money, generous tip set
Cons: N/A

About ljokerl

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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