EarSonics Velvet V2




Fidue Sirius ($899)
Fidue’s flagship consists of a 1+4 hybrid, with a dynamic driver for the bass. While it has a slight midbass emphasis, the bass is more neutral than the Velvet’s. The Velvet has more bass quantity, producing a more powerful impact. The Sirius’ midrange is warmer, and more forward. Vocals have more intimacy, and are more natural in tone and size. Both share a brighter than neutral upper midrange. The Velvet’s midrange however has more clarity, with better articulation of individual notes. In addition, the Velvet’s brighter lower treble gives it a more energetic presentation.

While both create a wide stage that is not overly deep, the Velvet’s stage is airer, while the Sirius stage is warmer. In addition, the Velvet has slightly better imaging. Taken together, the two are more different than similar, with the Sirius having a warmer, midcentric signature, and the Velvet a brighter, fun-based tuning.

Campfire Audio Dorado ($999)
The Velvet and Dorado can both easily be categorized as a ‘fun’ tuning: a very wide stage, engaging V-shaped signature, but most of all: powerful bass. The Dorado’s dynamic powered bass has more weight than the Velvet, even in its ‘warm’ setting. There’s noticeably more mid- and upper bass, giving the bass a rounder, more impressive feel. In addition the tone of the bass is warmer, while it has a more natural decay. However, due to its size the bass is more prominent in the presentation. The Velvet’s bass is punchier, but also quicker.

The Dorado’s midrange is slightly warmer, with a relatively more forward vocal presentation compared to the more laidback Velvet. The midrange sounds a bit smoother, compared to the clearer sounding Velvet. The Velvet’s midrange however sounds cleaner, with more space between individual instruments. This is partially due to the Velvet’s lower treble peak, which contributes to the airy sound. Dorado’s treble is smoother and thicker, but offers less pinpoint precision.


Concluding thoughts

A while back I posted this article on the difference between the ‘music lovers’ and ‘audiophile’ tuning philosophies; one is designed to sound exciting, the other for its accuracy and trueness to the tone. The Velvet might well be the poster boy for the former: with its wide stage, powerful bass, and high-energy sound, the Velvet was simply designed to sound awesome. The Velvet won’t necessarily be the most refined iem, but there’s a youthful playfulness to the sound. There’s no doubt the powerful sub-bass will get your foot tapping or head nodding, while the presentation as a whole is clear and detailed. The bass might too much for a purist, and the treble less suitable for sensitive listeners. But we all have our guilty pleasures, be it a pop hit or some catchy club mix – and there’s nothing like the Velvet to make them shine.


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About Author

Nic is currently in pursuit of a PhD degree in social neuropsychology, while trying not to get too distracted by this hobby. In pursuit of theoretical knowledge by day, and audiophile excellence at night. Luckily for him, both activities are not mutually exclusive which helps to lighten the workload. Always on the go, Nic's enthusiasm for hi-fi is focused on all chains of the portable system: iems, cables and daps.


  1. flinkenick , is possible to compare the phonak audeo pfe 232 to the velvet if you have had a chance to listen to both, considering to get the velvet but am not sure if it worth a upgrade, I listen to mostly hippop

    • Hi buddy I haven’t heard the Phonak. But Velvet always was a personal favorite for genres like hip hop, pop and EDM; really punchy sub-bass and energetic treble that works especially well with synthetic melodies. Plus, the wide stage will make it feel like a real upgrade I think; at least, it did for me when I first got it years back.

        • For some reason ES iems like the Velvet and S-EM9 tend to benefit more from cables than usual, in my experience. The stage becomes cleaner and more precise, the resolution higher.

          What are the strengths you’re looking for from the Velvet for a higher end model?

              • Hi Zac, two nice affordable cables are the HanSound Audio Zen, and EA Ares II indeed. The Zen is lightly warm and smooth, the Ares II has a warm midrange but a crisper upper midrange. Both are $150.

  2. Hi all!
    I bought Astell-Kern AK300 for EarSonics Velvet V2 and the sound is amazing(superb synergy)!
    I tested AK70,AK100 II,Fiio X5(3rd gen),Pioneer XDP-100R,..but AK300 is best for Velvet.
    Cowon Plenue D is very good (worse stereocrosstalk)for its price too.

  3. Hello Flinkenick,

    I have received my S-EM6 V2 and… I TOTALLY LOVE THEM !

    Sound is accurate and balanced, vocal are superb, all is here when needed (bass, trebble, etc) with no exageration.
    It is really “neutrality and fineness” as Earsonics said.

    As I didn’t have any “reference” iem before, I was afraid that it would be too flat or chirurgical but it is nothing like that.
    In fact it is really as music should be presented, no need to exagerate stuff: hello Velvet 🙂
    So I don’t know if I am in the category audiophile (vs musician) but .

    Also, like I want to take the road of TOTL iem (but not for now, I really want to enjoy my new toy) would you say that EM10 would be a better upgrade than S-EM9 ?
    My feeling is that I would enjoy EM10 better (I hope for an S-EM10 in a near future!) : I discussed with Aerosphere from quantumears.com
    (he has done reviews of S-EM9 and S-EM6 V2) here is what he told me:

    “I found my perfect balance with Ortofon + Superbax combination, I use it with BiFrost 2 DAC + Gustard H10 Amp.
    I can easily say that this combo beats my S-EM9 – Hugo 1 rig in terms of resolution, detail, separation and stage related sections (width/depth, layering etc)
    Ah sorry, missed the vocal part. I prefer S-EM6v2 with a good cable.”

    • Ah, that’s really awesome glad to hear it worked out. EarSonics has an iem for every listener these days, just need to find the right one. I’m getting a better image of the S-EM6v2 now, glad to hear it’s not sterile. For your music EM10 would indeed be better, but ask me again when you’re serious so I can check. Unfortunately I can say with some degree of certainty there will be no universal, EarSonics really designs them differently. Personally, I was hoping for a custom S-EM9 but that also never happened 😉

    • Hi i’m julio from peru ; can you tell me what kind of cable is better with s-em6v2?the cable in stok of the s-em6v2 is bad? And you consideret that sem6v2 is better than sem9? Thank you for your answer my friend

  4. Hello flinkenick and all

    I’m hesitating between Velvet V2 and S-EM6 V2, I’m listening mainly rock and pop: which one do you recommend ?
    Don’t know if Velvet V2 would be good for rock compared to S-EM6 V2

    By the way do you plan a review of the S-EM6 V2 ?

    Thanks for all your great reviews !

    • Hi there, Velvet V2 is a favorite for pop, it kinda depends on what kind of rock you listen to. If it’s a more energetic type like punk rock or metal with higher pitched guitars, the Velvet will equally shine. Unfortunately I haven’t heard the S-EM6v2, I just know it’s tuned to be very neutral, almost reference-like if I’m not mistaken. So that will probably also work nicely for pop and perhaps rock, but you would need to check other sources.. Also no plans for review unfortunately.

      • How fast you are to answer! Thanks!

        The rock I listen is Springsteen, Dire traits, Stereophonics, …

        Would you say the Velvet apply well for these ?

        • No problem 🙂 Well Velvet’s strengths don’t necessarily lie in its midrange. For bands like these I might prefer a warmer, more bodied midrange. Velvet has quite a V-shape, so it sounds more fun and exciting, and very detailed. So S-EM6v2 might be a better option, but I can’t say for sure..

          • Hello again

            I finally go with the Velvet, I think it should be more my taste than EM6, I should receive it this week.

            Actually my DAP is an iPhone 6s Plus, which from what I have read have a good/very good DAC.
            Do you think the Velvet would greatly benefit from an external DAC/AMP such as OPPO HA2 or Chord Mojo (but this one is expensive…) ?
            Previously I had the Dunu 2000J and I cannot tell any difference between my iPhone and my old Hifman HM601 !


            • Hope you enjoy it! I haven’t listened to iphone 6 extensively, but my impression is that it is a pretty good source. The Velvet doesn’t need a better source per se, but you can always expect some incremental increase in sound when you upgrade some part of the chain. I would say if you get the Velvet and are happy with it, just enjoy the music. If you want to take another step in sound quality, you can consider getting an amp/dac or separate dap. But that really depends on how serious you want to take this stuff, and what your budget is like. Mojo specifically will sound warmer and smoother, and give more body to the sound perhaps.

              • Hi again!

                So here we are, I received the Velvet and… I didn’t like!

                With the Earsocics biflange the sound was way too thin and distant, with Compy tips it was far better.

                In fact It is was a sort of love / hate listening: when only instruments are on the scene, it really shines, but when vocal appears… brrr! to harsh, digital, distant, etc

                Compared to my Dunu 2000J, the Dunu sound is way fuller and vocals have more body (Comply tips, otherwise Dunu is really harsh)

                In fact I didn’t think that vocals were so important for me! we learn every day!

                I’m going to return the Velvet but now I don’t know, I need some advise!
                Should I stick with the Dunu (it seems that you have them) or finally should I go for the S-EM6 V2 given my musical preference?

                Again thanks for your experience!

                • Hi yeah, I understand man, the midrange and vocals specifically aren’t the Velvet’s specialty. Its V-shape lends itself for different genres. Before you return them try some electronic music for kicks like trance or progressive. Like try this for size 🙂

                  Dunu DN-2000j is also a brighter tuning. For the genres you suggested I would personally go in a completely different direction altogether, a warmer, more midcentric tuning. One of the most extreme examples is the original S-EM6, it had incredibly full-bodied vocals, really a ‘lush’ sound. If you still prefer a detailed sound, the new S-EM6v2 might indeed be an option, as I hear it has a more neutral, analytical tuning. If you can buy and return like the Velvet, might as well try it right. If you do so, let me know how it is 😉

                  • I have placed an order for the S-EM6 V2…

                    Having read your S-EM6 review on headfonics (and listened to Dunu 2000J and Velvet) I feel S-EM6 would be what I’m searching for (I hope!)

                    I listened to your proposed track, and for this stuff the Velvet shines

                    I keep you informed…

                    • Ok but keep in mind the v2 is very different than the v1.. The original was very warm, emotional, and thick sounding. They retuned it to something completely different. But it’s nice you can try and send it back, let me know what you think of it!

                    • Please, can you tell me more about the differences between velvet V1 and V2? I really enjoyed your review and want to buy a earsonics velvet soon, but I’m in doubt about which version i should buy.

                    • Thanks buddy, is the Velvet V1 still for sale? Honestly it has been quite a while since I heard the V1. I would describe the V2 as maybe a slight variation of the same, but the differences weren’t large to me from memory. Maybe the V2 has slightly more balance, and the V1 is even more treble-oriented. But I’m only guessing here. If this is the type of sound you’re looking for, I think both would do. If you have to choose, I would just get V2, unless you can get V1 for a much better price.

                    • I asked this because, in recent months, i found some used V1’s for $ 350 to $ 400, while v2 costs $ 700. Anyway, i’m grateful and happy to know that the difference between the two versions of velvet is small to me and inversely proportional to the additional value charged by the V2 new sealed. I had 1 SM3 V1 that broke after 2 years and 1 SM3 V2 that unfortunately was stolen last year. So, i saved money for months and now i decided to buy one of the best earphones from the earsonics because i really enjoyed the warm sound with great midrange from my old SM3. By the way, can you compare briefly the velvet with the Westone UM 50 Pro or Shure SE535? I also listened these two headphones and i think the sound of UM50 Pro much more engaging and realistic than SE535 sound. In addition, i didn’t like the sound signature of SE535 for many musical styles because i think it has the treble a little retracted and obscure despite the emphasis on the midrange. Thanks for the quick and helpful answer and sorry for my bad english.

                    • Unfortunately I have tried neither the UMpro50, SE535, or SM3. But I do know the SM3’s reputation, and I think it’s very important to understand that if you are looking for something similar, the Velvet won’t be it – the Velvet is more like an exact opposite. It’s decisively V-shaped with powerful bass and lifted treble, so it has a brighter tuning which results in a dynamic, energetic, and detailed sound; but not a warm, natural sound. So if you’re looking for a warmer tuning, my guess is the ES2 would be the way to go, or the SM64 if they still sell it (beautiful sound).

                    • Thank again for help me and tried explain some differences between velvet and SM64! Actually, i’d want to buy both, but i do not have the money for that, so i’ll read about those earphones for a while. Also, I’ll be able to test an EPH-100SL yamaha next month and maybe it will also help me a bit to choose my future earsonics in-ear. However, although i really like a lot the sound of SM3 and SM64, i will probably choose a used velvet V1 if I find it at a good price because it appears to be a better earphone overall.

      • Hi my friend ;can you tell me what is the best in ear that you have heard? Please i need your help ;i considerate this in ears top what is the best for you : andromeda oriolus mk2 ; jh audio(roxane2;layla or lola) ear sonic s-eme6v2 or s-em9 and noble kaiser katana ; i hear all of kind of music specialy pop rock…etc;my kind of sound is a big sound touch; vocals(near) melodies transparents and clear;perfec imagen like a supeer velvet v2 o sem9 tank you so much for your answears and your time

  5. Hi!
    I finally bought Velvet from Germany!
    Its sound is amazing, according to my imagination and expectation.
    By the way…you have a mistake in your review.Inside Earsonics Velvet isn´t TWFK driver.
    In any case..thanks a lot for review and recommendation.
    Sorry for my english 🙂

    • Hi René, thanks for your comment and correction. I remember reading it somewhere, but maybe the information was wrong. I will check it out and correct it.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Velvet!

    • Hi Ian, due to the prominence of Velvet’s treble as well as its treble extension, the Velvet has a great deal of clarity and resolution. It can easily keep up with most (even more expensive) monitors when it comes to detail retrieval, including Andromeda. I haven’t heard JH13.

      • Nice , looks like what I’m looking for , fun musical with good detail retrivial which match higher end IEMs’ treble . Waiting for demo units to arrive here . Thanks nick !

    • Hi Nicolas,

      To be honest my knowledge is not very extensive or up to date in this section. Velvet V2 might drop in price in a bit, the older one used to sell for $600. Something like Sony XBA-Z5 might be good too. There’s prob a ton of good iems out there, but I don’t really know what’s hot at the moment around that price range.

  6. Hi flinkenick!
    I´d like to upgrade my old Sennheiser IE80…
    What is difference between IE80 and Velvet? (soundstage,sub-bas etc.)
    Thanks. René

    • Hi Rene, to be honest I only heard the IE80 for about 5 minutes over 4 years ago, so as you might imagine I wouldn’t feel comfortable making an apt comparison. However, I think it’s safe to say the Velvet’s stage is considerably larger, and I would imagine it to have more raw sub-bass impact – these are two things the Velvet excels in.

  7. Hi there, thank you for your review! I’m excited to see the V2 released. I’ve had the Velvet in the back of my head for some time now, but it was hard finding a pair.

    I currently have 1More duals and Sony XBA-A3. The 1More’s are great for low volume listening as the bass doesn’t disappear as much, but at high volumes the highs become too “splashy” and unnatural sounding. The A3’s bass can be great with EQ (ok without, would expect more from a 16mm dynamic), and the highs are really special I think – much more forgiving and natural especially at higher levels.

    How do you think I’d feel about the Velvet V2 given that? I’m looking for bass that I can “feel” and I love sub-bass. I’ve found 1 Chinese IEM (not sure if I can mention it here, but it looks similar to a SE846 and has a dynamic driver plus some BA’s) that fits my needs quite well but had some fit issues so I had to return them. The sub-bass on them was insane.

    Thank you for your time.

    PS: I listen to a lot of metal type music. Like… Northlane – Rot – Instrumental

    • Hi Cameron, If you want to feel your bass, you’re definitely looking in the right direction here. When it comes to treble, keep in mind that the Velvet has a V-shape so the treble is more forward and brighter in tone. I’ve heard that some of the Sony’s have a warm and natural treble response, I wouldn’t necessarily classify the Velvet as such. The treble is more prominent so it adds some energy and excitement, but it isn’t the most natural as a result – pros and cons to everything.

  8. Hello

    I hesitate a lot between the SM9 and the velvet V2. Is the SM9 really expensive really worth the difference?
    Possibly the Bayerdynamic XELENTO, I hope you will test it out soon.
    Thank you for your opinion

    • Hi Zariff, it’s always hard to tell when something is really worth the difference, especially since the S-EM9 is twice the price of the Velvet. But the S-EM9 is better in almost every way. For starters, it has more mid-bass emphasis, resulting in a more natural bass tone, and overall warmer tone. Furthermore, it has more forward, denser, and fuller vocals, which are kind of the weak point of the Velvet. It also has a more linear treble, and greater resolution. The S-EM9 is a ‘TOTL’ in this regard, competing with other flagships, where the Velvet is a tier below. However, I will say that for certain genres that I’ve mentioned as pop, EDM, hiphop, etc.; the difference becomes much smaller in terms of enjoyability, and you could easily go with the Velvet without making serious concessions.

      • Thank you for your answer
        I listen mostly to the Blues. I like powerful and dynamic bass. I thought a lot about EM32; But it may be a little more professional and less hot color Earsonics.
        Will you test the new XELENTO from Bayerdynamic? (Ex Astell & Kern AK T8iE can be improved). I really want to wait until March 15; An exemplary finish and its promise. A test of your part would be genial and welcome by the community 🙂
        What do you think?

        • Well if it’s about Blues, have you considered the S-EM6 from EarSonics? It’s a bit of an acquired taste since it’s pretty warm, bassy, and midforward – but for vocals and instrument-based music like Blues it would be my top pick.

          Thanks that’s very nice of you man 🙂 But for now, I have to hold off on new reviews because of the shootout starting soon. That’s going to keep me busy for the next couple of months, but who knows, maybe after.

  9. Great review! Velvet has to be one of my all time favorite iems, the tuning is spot on! I am currently eyeing the Campfire Vegas, could you quickly comment on the signature difference between the Velvets and Vegas?

    • Thanks Ryan. If we look at the coarse similarities, Vega and Velvet both share a significantly enhanced bass response and lifted treble. Both iems fall within the ‘basshead range’. But while the Velvet focuses primarily on sub-bass resulting in a quicky, punchy yet highly impactful bass, Vega adds a good scoop of mid- and upper- bass on top. This doesn’t only result in a larger bass, it creates an overall fuller sound with thicker notes and vocals. Velvet really has a predominantly ‘fun’ tuning that I would use for EDM, pop, or some energetic rock. Vega on the other hand sounds more heavy and serious, and I would use it for heavier, grungy, alternative kind of rock.

  10. Thanks Flinkenick for your review. 😀

    What about the cable? Does it still go with two pins’ connectors to the Velvets? Microphonics?

    Best regards.

    • Thank you Casper 🙂 The Velvet comes with the same twisted 3 wire OFC as the other ES iems, as well as iems like the Custom Art 8.2, Lime Ears Aether, Perfect Seal Deca, etc. It’s somewhat of an industry standard for 2-pin iems. It is very flexible with minimal microphonics, comfortable in use. I should update that in the review, thanks for pointing it out.

    • I don’t have the original Velvet anymore, and I haven’t heard it for quite a long time. So I can’t make a comparison unfortunately.

  11. “…consists of two large BA drivers for the bass and midrange, and a smaller TWFK driver for the treble…” Wouldnt’t that make it 4 BA IEM?

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