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