VSonic GR99 Review

7

VSonic GR99
Reviewed June 2012

Details: Entry-level model from VSonic
MSRP: est $28
Current Price: $28 from ebay.com$28 from lendmeurears.com 
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 24Ω | Sens: 103 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3/5) – Single-flange UE-style (medium) and hybrid-style (7 sizes) silicone tips, shirt clip, and soft drawstring carrying pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – The GR99 is constructed very well, with solid-feeling housings featuring metal nozzles, filters, and rear grilles. Strain reliefs are strong and flexible and the cable is sturdy despite being thinner than the cords on other VSonic IEMs. Attention to detail is good – colored rings around the rear grilles act as L/R designations and a small bump is present ton the right strain relief for identification in the dark. No cable cinch is present
Isolation (3/5) – Good for a vented dynamic-driver IEM
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Tolerable when worn cable-down; very low with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (4/5) – The straight-barrel housings are larger than average but smooth and comfortable in the ear. Tip selection is less generous compared to higher-end VSonics but still greater than expected for the price

Sound (7.3/10) – The entry-level model in VSonic’s growing lineup, the GR99 was tuned to retain the hallmark clarity and natural sound of the higher-end models while emphasizing deep bass for a consumer-friendly ‘wow’ factor. The low end of the GR99 is not the tightest or most controlled, giving up some definition and detail to the higher-end models, but it has great depth and power. Mid-bass punch is strong as well – the GR99 easily matches the Soundmagic E10 in impact and calling it ‘bassy’ is not a stretch.

There is a bit of bass bleed and the overall tone is on the warm side. The mids are clear and positioned well – not as recessed as one might expect with the amount of bass the GR99 can crank out. Detail and clarity do lag slightly behind the pricier GR02 and the id America Spark, as well as the far more balanced-sounding Monoprice 8320, but considering the price and sound signature the GR99 is difficult to fault on either count.

At the top the GR99 is smooth and pleasant. It is the darkest-sounding of all of the VSonic IEMs I’ve heard but treble presence is still sufficient. The occasional predisposition of the GR07, GR06, and even GR02 towards slightly hot treble and accentuating the sibilance is all but absent with the GR99. It is also less bright than the Soundmagic E10, which follows a more v-shaped response. The presentation, too, is pleasant all around – the soundstage is average or slightly above average in size – the Soundmagic E10 and E30, for example, are more spacious. However, the GR99, while not as dynamic as the GR02, has decent enough instrument separation and conveys both depth and width for a fairly well-rounded sonic image.

Value (10/10) – The GR99 is yet another heavyweight offering from VSonic, this time in the bargain sub-$30 category. Its emphasis on sub-bass and smooth treble differentiate it from the higher-end VSonic models while making it well-suited for the consumer market. Good build quality and overall usability, as well as a generous selection of tips, make the GR99 even more difficult to beat as a total package.

Pros: Well-built, impressively functional, great sound for the money
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.

7 Comments

  1. Adarsh on

    Also, how do the GR99 compare with the DUNU Trident?

    • ljokerl on

      Trident is a little warmer and bassier, and not as dark. GR99 is a little more v-shaped and has cleaner, less boomy bass but also rolls off quicker in the treble.

      • Adarsh on

        I just love the way you clarify these sound signatures. Thanks mate.

  2. tej on

    Hi. I’m trying to choose between the vsonic gr99, gr02 bass edition, vsd1/vsd1s and the soundmagic e10. I’m looking to get a sound signature where there is good bass and sub bass with nice decay and impact, without recessed mids(sweet midrange is prefered). I hate sibilance and would be fine with a smooth treble ( less sparkle). Please recommend me one of the above sets which best suits my requirements. Thanks a lot.

    • ljokerl on

      So here’s the deal – of the sub-$50 VSonics, the GR99 is the only one that can be considered smooth in the treble. That pretty much narrows it down to the E10 and GR99. I tend to favor the E10 overall for its spacious and overall better-balanced sound, but the GR99 has deeper bass and less treble energy, so it sounds like that’s the right choice for you.

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