DISCLAIMER: Vision Ears loaned me these universal demos in return for my honest opinion. I will send the units back following the review. I am not personally affiliated with the company in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. The review is as follows.
Vision Ears is a CIEM manufacturer based in Cologne, Germany. Headed by Amin Karimpour and Marcel Schoenen – formerly of Compact Monitors – the duo have quickly made a name for themselves; establishing one of the most reputable in-ear brands working in the industry today. Consumers and professionals alike have lauded both Vision Ears’s knack for exceptional sonic performance and their expertise in cosmetic design. Although they’ve risen to prominence with their two flagships – the VE6 and the VE8 – today, we’ll be looking at the models that precede them in VE’s impressively diverse line-up: The VE2, VE3, VE4 and VE5. In this round-up, I’ll be reviewing each model individually with comparisons against the rest of the line, as well as recommended target audiences.
So, with all that out of the way, welcome to the Vision Ears Extravaganza!
Build and Accessories
The universals I received from Vision Ears came in a black metal box with a magnetic locking mechanism. Included within the box were the IEMs themselves and a slew of accessories, including a cleaning tool, extra sets of tips and desiccant; all cleverly hidden behind a flap within the case. This exact same package (plus IEM cleaning spray; sans tips) comes with all of their custom monitors and it is – undoubtedly – the most secure, well-built and well-finished case I’ve ever received from an in-ear manufacturer. The fact that it comes with a full suite of accessories as well as the option to entirely customise the visuals on the case is purely icing on top.
The four IEMs inside were hand-built and hand-finished with similarly stellar quality. Although their acrylic shells are resin-filled – and thus aren’t the most transparent shells I’ve ever seen – it adds to the shell’s structural integrity as well as the overall heft. Each pair comes with a unique set of faceplates; showcasing the plethora of cosmetic options VE makes available to their customers. From two shades of carbon fibre, to gorgeous mirror foil, to exotic woods, the possibilities are literally endless. The stock cables also come with a Velcro-donned cable tie pre-attached; making tidying up an absolute breeze.
Although the universals initially came with SpinFit tips, I immediately switched them out to Final Audio’s E-Type tips. Vision Ears builds their universals to resemble a CIEM as much as possible, and – with the smallest FA tip available – I was able to achieve an essentially-custom fit with every single demo. Compared to my initial listening sessions with the SpinFit tips, the IEMs all received an instant boost in coherence, stage stability and midrange presence. Resolution also increased dramatically due to a much blacker background. This can probably be attributed to the elimination of resonances caused by the SpinFit tips. If you have VE dealers in your area and you’re interested in demoing their products, I’d highly recommend getting the Final Audio tips to get the closest possible representation of the custom unit.