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VSonic R02 Silver Review

VSonic R02 Silver
Reviewed May 2013

Details: Latest version of VSonic’s popular R02 model
MSRP: est $49
Current Price: $49 from ebay.com / $49 from lendmeurears.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 24Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 8-28k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: stock bi-flanges; MEElec “balanced” bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (2.5/5) - Bi-flange silicone tips (3 pairs in 2 sizes), shirt clip, and soft carrying pouch
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The R02 Silver is similar to VSonic’s other -02 models in appearance but actually has a smaller nozzle diameter and all-plastic housings. The earphones are still very robust, however, and the cable is strong and flexible
Isolation (3.5/5) – 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

Sound (8/10) – The R02 Silver is the latest iteration of VSonic’s long-running R02 model. The last one I tested – the GR02 Bass Edition – had a rather v-shaped sound to it, complete with strong bass and prominent, occasionally sibilant treble. The R02 Silver pursues the opposite signature – smooth and almost mid-centric in nature. It reminds me of a Brainwavz M1 with punchier bass and all-around better clarity.

The most prominent feature of the R02 Silver is the midrange – it is far more forward than with the GR02 bass edition and a little more so than with the pricier GR06. The bass quantity, on the other hand, is diminished compared to the GR02 Bass Edition, appearing less impactful but also less prone to bleeding up into the midrange. Bass punch is similar to the pricier GR06, though the latter is a touch quicker. The mids sound clear and open – a little thicker and less nuanced than with the VSonic VC02 and many of the pricier armature-based earphones, but nonetheless very clean and natural.

The top end is smooth, but not recessed. There is less treble brilliance than with VSonic’s other dynamic-driver earphones, but also no sibilance. This is especially noticeable next it the Bass Edition of the GR02, which tends to be hotter and more harsh in the treble. The presentation of the R02 Silver is fitting, with a large, out-of-the-head sound. The imaging is not the most precise but still on-par with the better earphones in its price range.

Value (10/10) – The aging VSonic R02 continues to impress with its latest tuning, eschewing the v-shaped signature of the GR02 Bass Edition for a more mid-centric sound with surprisingly good clarity and bass quality. The only downside here is the limited tip selection compared to the GR02 bass edition, but even having to pick up a few extra tips fails to diminish the value of what VSonic has here.

Pros: Well-built, great sound for the money
Cons: Lacks in tip selection compared to GR02 Bass Edition

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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