Details: Enhanced-bass version of VSonic’s GR07 mkII
MSRP: est. $179
Current Price: $129 from amazon.com / $129 from ebay.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 40Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 5-22k Hz | Cable: 4.3’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges; MEElec A151 single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear
Accessories (4/5) – Single-flange (3 sizes), Hybrid-style (10 sizes), and bi-flange silicone tips, foam tips, over-the-ear cable guides, and soft carrying pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – The build of the new GR07s matches the original quite closely, with similar housings and other hardware. The housings are designed for over-the-ear wear and feature adjustable-angle metal nozzles. The cord is a little bit softer but otherwise very similar to the original GR07 cable
Isolation (3.5/5) – Reasonably good for a dynamic-driver earphone
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Cable noise is very low as the GR07 can only be worn in the over-the-ear configuration. Although there is no shirt clip in the accessory pack, the cable cinch and ear guides can be used to fix the cord in place better
Comfort (4.5/5) – The earphone uses fairly large 11mm drivers but the lightweight, over-the-ear style housings actually work very well for prolonged listening with their slim profile, rounded edges, and adjustable-angle nozzles
Sound (9.1/10) – It’s been more than two years since the release of VSonic’s original dynamic-driver flagship, and yet the aging GR07 is still a standard I hold all new dynamic-driver earphones against. I skipped over the second revision of the GR07 – the GR07 mkII – which is said to remain very true to the sound of the original with some minor tweaks here and there. The GR07 Bass Edition, however, turned out to be different enough to check out.
The Bass Edition is advertised as having – surprise, surprise – more bass than the vanilla GR07. Comparing the Bass Edition to my two-year-old mkI GR07 unit presents far more similarities than differences, but the BE definitely does put more weight on the low end. Bass depth is good but the most noticeable change comes from the increased presence in the mid-bass region, which gives the BE a somewhat fuller, more impactful bass presentation. It still won’t do for proper bassheads, but those who found the original GR07 lacking slightly in the bass department but pleasant otherwise will be thrilled.
The midrange of the BE is very similar to that of the original GR07 – what differences there are all stem from the more prominent bass, which upsets the bass-midrange balance slightly in favor of the low end and makes the midrange sound a touch more recessed. Aside from that, it’s still the good old GR07 – clear, detailed, and open-sounding. Compared to the less expensive GR06, the GR07 BE very obviously sounds clearer, more natural, and less congested despite the greater bass presence.
Moving up into the treble, the GR07 BE again offers the familiar combination of energy and resolution. It’s very similar to my old GR07 here except a touch less sibilant, which is said to be the case for the GR07 mkII as well. The treble is still not as smooth as, for example, that of the Philips Fidelio S1 and S2 earphones but it’s definitely tolerable. The presentation, likewise, is largely unchanged compared to the original GR07, boasting good width and average depth for a spacious sound that is more distant compared to many other dynamic-driver earphones. As expected, instrumental separation is still good and the GR07 BE still provides crisp and detailed sound without sounding “analytical”.
Value (9.5/10) – While it does not deviate from the feature set of the original GR07, the VSonic GR07 Bass Edition does deliver exactly what it promises – the clear, detailed sound of the popular GR07 with a bump in bass quantity. The bass boost is nothing drastic – bassheads will still find the GR07 BE lacking and fans of more balanced sound still won’t be offended by it. On balance, the more consumer-friendly signature is an asset precisely because the difference is mild enough to retain the strengths of the still-popular GR07. Those seeking a direct upgrade from the GR07 should look elsewhere but for everyone else the GR07 BE is among the most capable sets in its price range.
Pros: A slightly more consumer-friendly take on the familiar GR07 sound; same fit, design, and functionality
Cons: Mildly sibilant on some tracks