MSRP: est. $159
The VC1000 also sounds airier than the more intimate A161P. In general, its presentation is similar to other TWFK-based sets. It lacks a bit of soundstage width next to the Rock-It Sounds R-50 but sounds plenty spacious and well-rounded overall.
The RE-400 is a dynamic-driver monitor with a neutral-to-warm sound signature. Compared to the VC1000, its sound is warmer and fuller and its balance is more mid-centric. The VC1000 carries very similar overall bass punch but sounds a bit thinner in the midrange. It is also brighter, with significantly more treble energy than the RE-400. The HiFiMan set is smoother, but also a bit dull-sounding in comparison. In a way, the VC1000 sounds more balanced and complete due to the added treble intensity, but is also less forgiving and on some tracks less natural overall. The presentations of the two earphones are equally capable, with the VC1000 having a very slightly wider soundstage. The optimal choice between the more forgiving and mid-focused RE-400 and the brighter, more crisp-sounding VC1000 will definitely depend on the listener.
Philips Fidelio S1 ($99)
Another balanced-sounding dynamic-driver earphone, the S1 reminds me in many ways of VSonic’s pricier dynamic-driver sets. Compared to the VC1000, it boasts more bass, especially deep bass, and has a warmer overall tone. While less powerful, the low end of the VC1000 is tighter and a bit clearer and its midrange is more prominent in comparison. As the HiFiMan RE-400 sounds more mid-centric compared to the VC1000, so the VC1000 sounds more mid-centric next to the Fidelio S1. Interestingly, while the VC1000 boasts similar, or even slightly greater, treble energy, it actually does a better job of keeping its treble smooth. The Fidelio S1 appears a little harsher and more peaky in comparison and tends to be even less forgiving than the VC1000, which itself is not exactly smoothed-over.
Etymotic Research ER4S ($299)
Long-renowned for its accuracy, the ER4S remains the fidelity standard for many listeners. The performance of the more reasonably-priced VC1000 falls in the same ballpark, offering up a slightly less neutral – but still well-balanced – sound. The VC1000 has fuller bass, boasting a bit more impact, while the ER4S sounds thinner. The Etys have more forward upper mids and as a result appear to be a little clearer. The upper and midrange and treble sound a little more accurate and refined with the Etys, while the VC1000 is a bit more splashy and sibilance-prone. Overall, the two earphones really aren’t very far apart – those concerned with bass will be happier with the VC1000 but otherwise it’ll come down to preference – and budget.
Value (9.5/10) – Yet another competitive monitor from VSonic, the VC1000 uses the familiar TWFK formula, taking advantage of the drivers’ small size and capacity for accurate sound. Unlike the similarly-priced Rock-It Sounds R-50, which required some minor modification, I was impressed with the sound of the VC1000 right out of the box. It has more going for it than just the sound, too – the slim form factor is very comfortable and the construction is good as well. The earphones utilize a simplified design that gets away from some of the quirks of VSonic’s GR01 and VC02 models. All in all, the VC1000 is a lower-priced – but not less capable – alternative to the GR01 and a very solid earphone for those who tend to prefer a flatter sound signature.
Pros: Small, lightweight, and comfortable; balanced and articulate sound
Cons: Lacks cable cinch; subpar carrying pouch