Vision Ears VE2
- Driver count: Two balanced-armature drivers
- Impedance: 28Ω @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 122dB @ 1mW
- Key feature(s) (if any): N/A
- Available form factor(s): Custom acrylic IEM
- Price: €790
- Website: www.vision-ears.de
The VE2 opens the saga with an agreeable, modern sound; V-shaped, peppy and charmingly light-hearted. Although technical performance is meager at best – average in terms of soundstage, organisation and resolution – the VE2 offers excellent dynamic performance that’ll surely keep you emotionally engaged, if not intellectually interested. Bolstered by peaks in the mid-bass and the upper-treble, the VE2 sets a precedent in the IEMs to come; teasing Vision Ears’ knack for contrast and dynamic range that’ll prove evident in the reviews to follow. Also, the VE2’s signature is incredibly reminiscent of the VE4’s; fuelled by crisp, clear transients that follow rich bellowing bass notes. However, differences are evident between them, and they trade more blows than one might expect.
The VE2 has a punchy, accentuated bass. Equipped with the affects of a commercial low-end, there’s a strong emphasis on the mid-bass with little along the way of sub-or-upper-bass frequencies. As a result, the VE2 produces short jabs; swift in decay, yet solid upon impact. Bass tone is darker than natural, but synthetic bass lines, trap beats and 808 tracks will fare just fine. Average low-end extension prevents the bass from living up to its brethren in terms of clarity, layering or separation. But, due to the VE2’s bodied notes, resolution fares better than expected. Above-average speed also prevents the bass from introducing excessive warmth into the stage, resulting in a low-end that intrudes far less than its entry-level-positioning suggests. Overall, the VE2 has a strong bass that does not overstep its boundaries. Although it won’t suit the needs of the serious audiophile, general consumers and fans of pop, dance, or house music will find much to love in this immensely fun low-end.
The VE2 has a clean, articulate and fairly balanced midrange. Tilting towards the upper-mids, the VE2 places its emphasis on fundamental transients – the leading edge of notes – introducing a sense of crispness into its instrumental presentation. Lower-midrange overtones are minimal, in order to make way for increased dynamic range. As a result, vocals sound less substantial with a brighter overall tone. In return, instruments strike with force and cut with precision; similarly emphasising snare hits and vocal accents. Though, with that said, spatial resolution leaves much to be desired. Although clarity is high, the VE2 struggles to properly maintain neither a stable stage nor a black background. Transparency and resolution suffer, but the VE2’s strong articulation compensates competently. Balance is the clear strength in the VE2’s midrange. Despite a predominantly v-shaped signature, the VE2 manages a vocal range that’s neither too sharp nor too muted; offering clean, articulate instruments, so long as pin-point imaging and stage expansion aren’t too high on your list of priorities.
The VE2’s treble is surprisingly inoffensive. Due to the emphasis placed towards the upper-treble, top-end notes sparkle with remarkable air and impressive smoothness. A neutrally-tuned lower treble prevents excess in articulation – especially of background percussive embellishments – and maintains linearity with the rest of the signature; an impressive act of restraint on Vision Ears’ part. Extension is merely average – causing most of the VE2’s spatial quirks – but, transparency and airiness both impress due to decent speed. A lack of roundedness and note body prevent the VE2’s treble from assuming a fully natural tone, yet tasteful tuning has nonetheless prevented the VE2’s sparkly top-end from sounding overtly digital or unnatural. All of these elements fuse to form the VE2’s impressive treble. Excelling especially in crispness and air, the VE2 does enough to contrast against its powerful low-end, yet shies away from any amount of sharpness – no matter the genre, artist or mix.
Who Is It For?
The VE2 is for the budding audiophile looking for his/her first foray into custom IEMs. Driven by a dynamic and energetic signature, the VE2 will inject a healthy dose of playfulness into any track in your library. Especially tuned for mainstream genres – such as pop, rap and dance music – the VE2 hides most of its technical shortcomings in its ever-engaging bursts of energy; serving punch, after jab, after slam. It’s a signature that won’t necessarily benefit more technical tracks – like jazz or classical music – but sufficient midrange presence and impressive treble smoothness make the VE2 a capable chameleon, even if its flaws begin to glare in the latter genres. The VE2 is a strong entry-level IEM that showcases much of what VE has to offer in its pricier models. Boasting effortless dynamics, clean-cut instruments and a powerful low-end, the VE2 is the pilot episode to a wonderful, wonderful series to come.