DISCLAIMER: Vision Ears provided me with the VE6XC in return for my honest opinion. I am not personally affiliated with the company in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. I’d like to thank Vision Ears for their kindness and support. The review is as follows.
Vision Ears is an in-ear manufacturer based in Cologne, Germany. Like many of their compatriots in the automobile industry, they’ve garnered massive acclaim from enthusiasts and press worldwide by virtue of performance, build and customer service; offering some of the best-sounding and best-looking in-ear monitors today. Although most currently associate Vision Ears with their ultra-premium Erlkönig – a thirteen-driver, four-signature monster – we’ll be looking today at what can be considered an Erlkönig Jr.: The venerable VE6XC with six drivers and two switchable signatures. Nearly five years after its initial launch in 2014, can Vision Ears’ former top-of-the-line truly stand the test of time?
Vision Ears VE6XC
Driver count: Six balanced-armature drivers
Impedance: 20Ω @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 122dB @ 1mW
Key feature(s) (if any): Two switchable signatures via the XControl switch system
Available form factor(s): Custom acrylic in-ear monitor
Build and Accessories
The Vision Ears unboxing experience is truly in a league of its own. Encasing the company’s all-black metal box is purple crepe paper with a signed, handwritten note from company founder Amin Karimpour; welcoming you to the VE family. I think it’s a gorgeous personal touch, showcasing an attention to detail that extends far beyond the in-ears alone. And, the sheer number of them I’ve seen shared on social media goes to show how a little bit of charm can go a long way.
Once the wrapping paper is removed, the gift inside is revealed: Vision Ears’ signature tank of a vault with a gorgeous matte finish and a classy metallic latch. For this review, I decided to take advantage of the case’s customisability and engraved my icon and signature where the company logo usually sits. This typically comes at a €32 premium. I think they’ve done a marvellous job realising the design I sent them. In fact, the case as a whole is immaculately finished with smooth geometries, zero loose joints and seamless integration between the metal and non-metal components. Even if it comes across closer resembling a jewellery case than a no-nonsense storage unit, I don’t see the fault in a touch of flair.
Moving on to accessories, Vision Ears do not cease to impress. All of their monitors come with a full suite of extras: A user’s guide, a microfibre cloth, a carrying pouch, cleaning spray, two pieces of desiccant, a 1/4″ adapter, a cleaning tool and – to top it all off – a shiny VE sticker. The vault even has magnet-sealed compartments to store them all. Amongst the plethora of in-ears in my collection, this is certainly the most well-stocked accessories package I’ve yet encountered.
Then, we get to the monitors themselves. Exuding German chic in spades, the VE6XC is one of the most well-built in-ears in my arsenal to date. The shells are acrylic-filled, so they aren’t the clearest I’ve encountered transparency-wise. But regardless, they display outstanding consistency in thickness, smoothness and sheen. Obviously, that translates to fit too. The VE6XC sits somewhat uniquely in the ear, locking onto the anti-tragus and the top of the concha; rather than the bowl. But once inserted, the in-ears easily balance security and comfort – neither a rough edge nor a hot spot in sight.
Cosmetically, the monitors are nothing short of gorgeous. Out of the 32 shell colours and 68 faceplate options available for you to choose, I opted for Smokey Grey shells, Champagne Purple faceplates and silver metallic logos. With the myriad of designs Vision Ears are capable of, it wasn’t easy. But, their excellent web designer does allow you to experiment with endless combinations until you find the one for you. Although the top dog here is still JHAudio’s fully three-dimensional interface, Vision Ears still rank high in the two-dimensional domain; along with Empire Ears, Custom Art and 64Audio.
XControl is what Vision Ears call their analog switch system installed onto the VE6XC’s faceplates. It allows the user to choose between two signatures: X1 and X2. The X1 setting is more bass-emphasised. Its low-end is punchier and warmer, and its stage is more saturated as well. The X2 is the more neutral and balanced setting. It’s ideal for listeners who prefer a more laid-back, refined and open listening experience, as well as professional work. The switches themselves are of high quality. And, Vision Ears have done an excellent job ensuring there aren’t any traces of glue on or around them. Though, it’s worth noting that the company’s signature mirror faceplates are incompatible with the XControl system.