VSonic GR06 Review

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Reviewed Apr 2012

Details: VSonic’s mid-range dynamic monitor
MSRP: est. $64
Current Price: $64 from lendmeurears.com; $63 from ebay.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 24Ω | Sens: 108 dB | Freq: 10-20k Hz | Cable: 4.3′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 3.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges, bi-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) – Single-flange (3 sizes), hybrid-style (7 sizes), foam-stuffed hybrid (3 sizes), and bi-flange silicone tips, foam tips, over-the-ear cable guides and padded spring-clasp carrying pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – Designed for over-the-ear wear, the GR06 features adjustable-angle metal nozzles coupled and ergonomically-shaped housings. The cable is sturdy and smooth but can be somewhat resistant to staying behind one’s ears without the included guides
Isolation (3.5/5) – Despite the ergonomic form factor the GR06 isolates rather well with the right tips
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Cable noise is very low as the GR06 can only be worn in the over-the-ear configuration
Comfort (4.5/5) – The GR06 works very well for prolonged listening – the angle of the nozzle is adjustable in every direction by ~40º due to a unique swivel mechanism and the sleek, lightweight housings are even smaller than those of the GR07

Sound (8.1/10) – While the higher-end GR07 model presents itself as a dynamic-driver take on a professional monitor, the GR06 offers a more consumer-friendly signature while showcasing just how far the sound quality of IEMs in the sub-$100 range has come in the past couple of years.

The bass of the GR06 is impactful and well-rounded. Compared to the GR07, the GR06 has less bass depth and more emphasis on the mid-bass region, resulting in a fuller, softer note presentation and warmer tone. In fact, the GR06 is more reminiscent of the Yamaha EPH-100 through the bass and midrange, albeit not as clear, hard-hitting, or resolving. It is not as tight or quick as the GR07 but competes extremely well in its price range, making solid mid-level sets such as the Spider Realvoice and MEElec CC51 sound boomy and bloated. The pricier HiSound Crystal, on the other hand, is a touch cleaner and quicker at the expense of slightly dryer sound.

The midrange of the GR06 is smooth, warm, and forward. The mids sound clean and have decent detail but are limited by the same slightly soft note presentation as the bass. As a result, the GR06 doesn’t sound quite as crisp, clean, and transparent as the GR07 or – to a lesser extent – the HiFiMan RE-ZERO or HiSound Crystal, but competes very well with pretty much everything else in its price bracket. The MEElec CC51 and Soundmagic E10 both sound mid-recessed in comparison while the Spider Realvoice and Brainwavz M2 lack detail and resolution. The pricier Sennheiser IE6 also sounds less refined than the GR06, with an edgier note presentation but no gain in clarity or detail.

At the top, the GR06 is clean and detailed but comes across a bit less aggressive than the GR07, which sounds hotter and has more sparkle. While the GR06 is generally smoother, it’s still not quite as smooth as a Sunrise Xcape IE or HiFiMan RE-ZERO. Like the GR07, the lower-end model has a slight tendency to point out sibilance and good – but not class-leading – extension. There are competing sets that sound a little crisper and more resolving – the RE-ZERO and HiSound Crystal, for example – but none of them get far ahead of the cheaper and smoother-sounding GR06.

The presentation of the GR06 is perhaps its most impressive aspect – soundstage size is above average and retains good instrument separation. The GR06 really makes similarly-priced sets such as the Brainwavz M2, MEElec A151, and even HiSound Crystal sound small and intimate. The presentation is more on-par with the far more expensive Sennheiser IE6 and IE7. Some nitpicks – there is decent air to the presentation but the more forward-sounding GR06 doesn’t have the sheer expanse of the GR07. Like the GR07, it also doesn’t have the best soundstage depth or the most 3-dimensional sonic image and the dynamics could be better. For the price, however, none of these should elicit any complaints.

Value (10/10) – The VSonic GR06 does to the sub-$100 market what last year’s release of the GR07 did to top-tier earphones, embarrassing quite a few of its competitors by combining a comfortable over-the-ear form factor, great build quality, and excellent sound at an unreasonably low price point. While some nitpicks that do make their way into its evaluation, most of them are normally reserved for upper-tier products, itself a compliment to the GR06. This is yet another VSonic product punching well above its weight.

Pros: Well-built and well-designed; warm, spacious, slightly mid-forward sound
Cons: N/A


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About Author

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.

15 Comments

  1. hmmax on

    Hey @ljokerl!

    First I want to say thanks for your help in the big world of IE!
    Because of your recommendations I bought the GR06 some years ago. I’m actually quite happy with this phones. I especially like the warm and bass driven sound. The fitting is just awesome for my ears.

    Now I’m searching for something new!
    I want to stay with this warm and round sound but it should get some more brilliance in the high frequencies. Maybe even a little more crisply bass.
    Do you have a recommendation for me? I thought about the GR07 BE but it’s almost impossible to get them in Germany.

    Looking forward to your feedback.
    Thanks!
    hmmax

    • ljokerl on

      Not too similar to the GR06, but one earphone that I really like for warm, enhanced-bass sound in the GR07 BE price range is the RHA MA750. It’s got more of a rich and smooth sound, with less forward mids than the GR06, but I like its balance and the fact that despite being smooth, it has a pretty good amount of upper midrange/lower treble presence, so it doesn’t sound “dark”.

      If you’d rather go the opposite route from the GR06 and get something more aggressive and sparkly, the JVC FXT90 is going to be one of the best values if you can get it in Germany (many of them here in the US are Japan imports, which is fine).

  2. Ayush agarwal on

    Hey I have been using GR06 for quite a while and loving them.i would just like to know if I wish to upgrade over them which IEM wuld best be on same lines having prefably more bass more clarity and u know overall noticeable improvement. 🙂

    budget is <200$(difference in SQ should be prominantely noticable)

    Thanks a lot

    • ljokerl on

      For me this would be a pretty simple choice – GR07 Bass Edition if you want to stay pretty close to the sound of the GR06 but with better bass and clarity, or Dunu DN-1000 for a more v-shaped sound signature that still has very good bass and good clarity.

  3. Sinthia on

    How do they compare to Soundmagic E10 and Xiaomi Piston 2 in terms of sound details and clarity?

    • ljokerl on

      None of them really have a strong advantage but I guess with those requirements I would go for the E10 over the others. The Piston2 would have the best resolution, but it has too much mid-bass which reduces clarity. The GR06 has a small bass bump and forward, slightly congested-sounding mids, so it also doesn’t have an advantage in clarity/detail over the E10.

      • Sinthia on

        Oh. Thanks for the reply. So I guess I should go for Sound Magic E10. But What about VSonic VSD1S? Does Sound Magic E10 stand a chance against it? Between these two which one will you recommend? By the way I don’t want any harshness in vocals and I usually listen to all types of music and specially I prefer Pop, Punk rock and Hard rock.

        • ljokerl on

          The VSD1S is noticeably clearer and more resolving than the E10. But, the E10 is more smooth.

          • Sinthia on

            Which one will you recommend based on my music preference?

          • ljokerl on

            Well, if you don’t want any harshness, the VSD1 is out. The Piston2 would be a good option and is the best value, but it’s pretty bassy. The E10 is the most versatile. It’s not particularly amazing at anything but it also doesn’t have any glaring flaws.

  4. hector on

    How do the vsonic vsd3 compare to the gr07. Comfort, durability,sound?

    • ljokerl on

      This is a review of the GR06 model. I don’t have one for the VSD3 yet.

  5. emmarbee on

    @OnePotato – I bought it based on joker’s comment. I thoroughly enjoyed it for an year until I listened to the UE 600. Compared to it, the GR06s sounded a bit muffled and a bit less detailed. Though the mids were still delicious. IMHO, bass is kinda neutral in the beginning but grows day by day.

  6. OnePotato on

    Would you still recommend them? I heard they have pretty wonky sound

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