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VSonic GR07

VSonic GR07 Review

VSonic GR07
Reviewed May 2011

Details: VSonic’s flagship dynamic-driver monitor
MSRP: $179
Current Price: $158 from
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 50Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 7-30k Hz | Cable: 4.3’ L-plug
Nozzle Size3.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single- and bi-flanges, Sony Hybrid
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) – Single-flange (3 sizes), Hybrid-style (10 sizes), and bi-flange silicone tips, foam tips, over-the-ear cable guides, and soft carrying pouch Single-flange (3 sizes) and bi-flange (2 sizes) silicone tips, foam tips, over-the-ear cable guides, and hard clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – Rectangular in shape and designed for over-the-ear wear, the GR07 features adjustable-angle metal nozzles and beefy gray cabling. The cord can be somewhat resistant to staying behind one’s ears without the included ear guides. The strain reliefs on the housings aren’t as flexible as I would like and the cables aren’t particularly tangle-resistant but otherwise the build is well thought-out.
Isolation (3.5/5) – Like most dynamic-driver in-ears, the GR07 is vented but the fairly long nozzles help keep isolation reasonably high
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Cable noise is very low as the GR07 can only be worn in the over-the-ear configuration. Although the conventional cable clip is missing from the accessory pack, the cable cinch and ear guides can be used to fix the cord in place
Comfort (4.5/5) – Though the GR07 uses fairly large 11mm drivers, the lightweight, form-fitted, over-the-ear style housings actually work very well for prolonged listening with their slim profile and rounded edges. The angle of the nozzle is also adjustable in every direction

Sound (9.1/10) – Despite the rapid growth of the IEM market in the past couple of years, competition in certain niches is still fairly low among higher-end earphones. One such niche is the dynamic-driver professional monitor – a market segment VSonic clearly had in mind when designing the GR07. The earphone utilizes an 11mm bio-cellulose transducer and delivers more than enough sonic bang to compete with similarly-priced offerings from Western brands.

Overall balance is definitely a strong suit of the GR07. Presence is excellent across the range and the earphones remain refined and detailed at the limits – something I’ve always particularly liked about Sennheiser’s IE-series models. The low end of the GR07 is deep and punchy. For a dynamic-driver earphone, the GR07 is rather quick, which does show through in bass control and accuracy. At the same time, the bass is well-weighted and carries realistic attack and decay, striking a fine line between the slightly thicker bass notes produced by the Sennheiser IE6 and IE7 and the leaner bass presentation of armature-based monitors such as the Fischer DBA-02 and Westone 2. The only other higher-end dynamic that could be used for monitoring – the HiFiMan RE252 – doesn’t fare nearly as well either when it comes to bass extension, body, or overall presence.

The midrange is balanced properly with the low end and maintains the same impressive levels of clarity and detail. Unlike the similarly-priced Sennheiser IE7, the GR07 is not at all forward in the midrange. It is also nowhere near as warm and thick as the Sennheisers, instead offering a leaner (and arguably more realistic) note presentation. Tonally, the mids of the GR07 are quite neutral, leaning only slightly towards warmth and having no coloration compared to the majority of higher-end dynamics. Texture levels are very good but, as is the case with almost all dynamics, the detailing is not very aggressive compared to higher-end BA-based monitors from Fischer, Etymotic, Audio-Technica, and the like. This makes the GR07 seem smoother and gives it certain finesse in getting the complete sonic picture across without inducing listening fatigue. At the same time, it makes the volume easier to turn up inadvertently when listening to the GR07 – something I caught myself doing on several occasions.

The GR07’s treble is probably the only real problem with its sound signature. The GR07 has excellent treble presence and remains noticeably brighter than Sennheiser’s IE7 but has a slight tendency towards sibilance. Sibilance can be somewhat striking out of the box but becomes nearly a non-issue at low-to-moderate listening volumes after the initial adjustment period. Like the low end, the highs of the GR07 are fairly well-extended and always remain crisp and detailed. Of course the GR07 can’t quite match the sparkle of an ATH-CK10, but then it isn’t meant to. As a neutral and accurate monitor, it performs exceedingly well.

The presentation of the GR07 is again very competent on every level. The soundstage is wide and spacious. It is slightly oblong in shape, losing out in depth and height to competitors such as the IE7, and tends to position things a bit farther away compared to more intimate-sounding dynamics such as the Radius TWF21. Instrumental separation is still excellent and the GR07 is anything but congested-sounding. It provides a very cohesive sound without becoming overly analytical despite impressive separation and layering. The sound of the VSonics is also very effortless – almost as much so as that of the HiFiMan RE262. Lastly, a note on usability – although the GR07 is fairly transparent to source, its high impedance makes it a consistent performer and its signature isn’t particularly susceptible to poor synergy, making it a great first step into higher-end in-ear territory for those with limited hands-on IEM experience.

THL Recommended Badge 2014Value (9.5/10) – Designed for use as a stage monitor, VSonic’s new flagship is a very strong performer on several levels. Utilizing bio-cellulose drivers, the VSonic GR07 does have the right sound signature to become one of the few studio-friendly dynamic-driver earphones. Its biggest selling point is the excellent balance across the spectrum, offering controlled but well-weighted bass, clear and articulate mids, and accurate treble. As is the case with some of the pricier in-ears from Ortofon, Westone, HiFiMan, and even 1964EARS, one of the GR07’s greatest strengths is its lack of real weaknesses, both in sound quality and overall usability. Putting aside the eternal debate on the virtues of balanced armature vs. dynamic transducers, it is quite easy to see that the GR07 is worth the asking price, and maybe more.

Pros: Well-built and well-designed; great balance and presence across the spectrum
Cons: Tends to be slightly sibilant, especially when coming from a smoother earphone





Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.


66 Responses

  1. i’m interested in the yammies due to your review …problem with the sony 7550 is, from what i’ve read, that they’re not the most portable or ergonomic on the ears (wind noise, so so isolation)

    so i’m selling my vsonic gr07 and sony xb90es….would ideally love the same revealing details and bass iem of the vsonic but less on the sibilance/sizzling trebel..and a bit more punchy (not boomy) bass.
    something more neutralish, touch warm.
    would yammies do it?
    (note: i was to purchase the flc 8s you’d noted in earlier emails as a good step up… but our cdn dollar sucks right now: almost 40% less than US ..sheesh)

    so yamaha eph100…or the newer psb mu4u? or other?
    i could go up to US$200-300 (i’d buy used to blunt the dollar diff)…and the flc are too new so none on market right now.

    what also of the trinity delta series (that is an interesting ‘fund me’ company…coming out with newer trinity II model with even more filters…then their more signature (i think) phantom series.

  2. thanks for your reply….am also eyeing some yamahas eph100…they still do look interesting as an alternative signature from the 7550….do you still rank them as highly as you did earlier, given they’re an older model with no updates?

  3. That’s about what I’d expect from the XB90EX – appreciate the impressions! The 7550 will be something of a balance between the two (closer to VSonics overall, but not bright).

    Unfortunately it’s unlikely I’ll get to review any new JH Audio sets – they don’t do review units (at least not for us) and I don’t have the time to go out and track down a set.

  4. forgot to add: hope you’ll review the soon to be released jh liquid metal series….am particuarly interested in the Rosie, with tuneable bass port…one sr headfier (jude?) though it offered great bang for the buck, when he was talking about it on hifi, and i think he said it might resemble the jh13 in sound signature.

  5. well i got in the sony ‘extra bass’ xb90ex the other day…compared them against the vsonic gr07 classics…what a contrast (luckily the tips of the sonys fit the vsonics just fine).

    vsonics can be a bit too bright at times…not as much low end slam as the sonys
    but they’re so much more revealing and detailed.
    and with a good seal the bass is pretty darned good, too
    (doesn’t have that bottom low end of the sonys, but still has plenty)

    the sony’s sound more veiled, in contrast…they’re fun, too, but not as balanced as the vsonics (guess they’re not meant to be, either, given their title)….just wish they were punchier in the bass and had more treble in the balance.

    i have the sony 7550 coming over the next few weeks…will be interesting to see how those fare (i have the 7520 cans which i enjoy)

  6. Adjustable sound is not a novel idea by any means. There were adjustable earphones when I first started using IEMs around 2008 – 2009 and there will likely be a few six years from now as well. There will be new ones this year and the next – like the Echobox Finder X1 for example.

    I’m not one for denying diminishing returns, 10% may even be generous when it comes to the difference between a good $900 earphone with an $1800 one. Ultimately it depends on your priorities – I don’t use my headphones as much, so after using a bunch of $1000 sets I’ve actually gone back to my trusty old HD600 as my primary over-ear. It does everything I want and does it well, and I don’t worry about scratching the finish.

    For IEMs I do tend to gravitate towards top-top-tier ones simply because I have them available, but I could totally live with a high-end universal that I actually like (e.g. a VSonic VC1000) if my situation were different and I didn’t have a dozen high-end customs sitting around.

  7. do you forsee any more adjustable iems like rha , shure and flc coming out this yr, with the swappable filters to customize the sound?

    also it’s amazing the number of $1k+ iems out there now …and are so competitive and popular….yet i truly wonder if spending $1500-2000 really warrants that much much …for instance, one chap from headfi had noted to me that if he were do do it all again he wouldn’t buy his JL layla or roxanne (the $1800 ones) but instead would be happy with 90% of the sound he’d get from the shure 846 and some quality DAP, ie AK Jr…..your thoughts?

  8. Yeah, seal is very important with these. The more balanced an earphone, the more quickly its balance is upset with a poor seal. There is a GR07 Bass Edition for those who want a bit more bass from these, but I personally don’t think the difference is significant and certainly wouldn’t recommend “upgrading” from one GR07 version to another.

    The JH13 is about as good a GR07 upgrade as I’ve heard. In the middle price ranges, I’ve been recommending the FLC Technology FLC8 earphones with good results/feedback:

  9. just got the vsonic gr07 classic…at first it was ‘meh, what is the fuss all about’…read: the seal was not i’ve been experimenting for the last few hrs, going back and forth between these and the sony xba h1….now it’s a different opinion: wow, lots of details…just amazing for the cash…really feels so detailed.
    I do wish there was a bit more base and a tad warmer, however.

    will do some research into those jh13…have heard the shure 846 are pretty stellar too.

  10. You could be right – the one thing I’ve learned in my years doing this is that no matter how much you think you know, the engineering and biology are complex enough that you never stop learning, or being surprised. For instance I’m testing the RHA T20 right now, which is a dynamic-driver earphone with a relatively low sensitivity (per manufacturer specs and output volume). However, when faced with a high-noise source it acts like a very sensitive earphone and amplifies the noise quite a bit. Weird.

  11. I agree. In most cases it does indeed make no improvement when I connect Fiio E07k (on 6dB gain) to my other gear ( if not making them sound worse!) but this special case with gr07 classic color, actually was something. maybe it’s all in my head… and as you said it isn’t an easy task comparing them technically.
    but thanks a lot for taking time to read and answer anyways. best of luck!

  12. This is difficult for me to test in-depth because the high gain setting on my amp is a little too powerful for the GR07 and most other IEMs… it ends up being hard to maintain L/R channel balance at my listening volume. It’s also difficult to properly A:B low gain vs high gain for sound quality in general, because our brain tends to perceive higher volume as sounding “better”, all other things equal.

    That said, I’ve seen claims of amps sounding both better and worse on high gain vs low gain here and there, and I don’t really understand why that would be the case. With a properly designed amp that has a negligibly low output impedance changing the gain should not affect sound quality, especially when using an earphone or headphone with linear impedance. All it should do is change the dB level of every part of the signal an equal amount.

    In theory we should be using the lowest gain that provides sufficient listening volume because the amplification also applies to noise and distortion and we don’t want those things any louder than they have to be. You also want to give as much range as possible to your volume control for greater usability and also to reduce channel balance issues if you have an analog volume control.

    Anyway, I can’t really confirm or deny this claim and if high gain sounds better with your amp and the GR07, that’s awesome. I’ve never found gain to change anything other than volume on my OPPO amp or HiFiMan DAP with dynamic-driver earphones/headphones, but I also can’t conduct a very scientific test due to the aforementioned volume-matching issues.

  13. Hi |Joker|,
    When I listened to it for myself I found your review of GR07 series was so accurate (I had both bass and classic col.). After reading the gr07 to flc 8 comparison part of it’s review review, I just had to ask…
    Have you tried gr07s connected to an amp with high gain setting? if not, I really urge to try it someday… cause I found them improved. and want to know your impression on it.
    headfonia’s MIKE says: ” I can see why some people prefer high gain. Often the sound is more forward on high gain and bass punch tend to be punchier”. this too I found to be true…
    I think a more forward mid and more powerfull bass will do wonders for GR07… after all , these have almost linear Impedance and the added gain didn’t make them sound unnatural at all IMHO.

  14. Very glad to hear you’re enjoying the GR07!

    Yes, there are a few earphones that offer very well-rounded soundstages. Under $100 the B3 is definitely the one that comes to mind, but there’s a few others. Certain customs, for course, but also a few mid-range earphones such as the TDK BA200, Yamaha EPH-100, and VSonic VC1000.

    I also think the DBA-02 was no slouch in this regard by any means :).

  15. Hi Joker! First of all a really really really big thank you for recommending the GR-07 Classic for me when a few weeks ago I asked about a replacement to my old DBA-02 mk ii. Loving it every bit so far, and I am really grateful for this website and what you have build all these years. I realised the GR-07 might benefit slightly from amping, not a lot but it certainly toned down a little on the sibilance, according to my ears.

    Also after searching through many webpages in this website, I have been wondering for long what earphones would you recommend emphasizing on soundstage? The overall everything, width and depth in all. It doesn’t need to have a price range, but from what I’ve read the Havi B3 Pro seems like a good pair in terms of soundstage? Would love to hear more about your opinion. Thanks once again!

  16. Not so much treble quantity, but the mids are affected by the bass:

    “Both provide that quintessential VSonic signature but the GR07 boasts a clearer, more neutral sound with tighter bass. Bass quantity lags behind the VSD3S, but the GR07 Classic has less midbass and simply more refined lows overall. The midrange of the VSD3S is a little muddier and more muffled, whereas the GR07 sounds more natural.”

    Same story with the VSD1S – not much of a difference in treble except that with the less recessed, more natural mids of the VSD3S you’re more likely to keep them at a lower volume and experience less harshness.

    Also, I wouldn’t sacrifice having a warranty for $20 and some hours on the drivers. If you wouldn’t be getting a warranty anyway then used is fine.

  17. also if you could please compare the vsonic sibilance vs VSD1S as well, if which I previously owned, if they’re at all different. I’m not exactly looking for less treble than vsd1s or gr07 (based on the description I read), it’s just it would help if the peakiness would already be toned down.

  18. Hi, just a few questions comparing GR07 vs VSD3/S. Outside the bass region, do you find the VSD3 on par with the SQ of GR07? Do they differ in treble quantity?

    Also, do you think it would be wise to buy a used VSonic set, since it has already been burned in and should supposedly have a more relaxed treble and toned down (Sorry burn in benefits a vsonic iem that way)? TIA!

  19. Hey |joker|,

    What do you recommend in terms of CIEM with the closest sound signature to the GR07? I’m tempted to step into that world, but enjoy the GR07 to such extent that I find I lose myself in the music with it, whereas with the DN1000 I just notice the base more.


  20. Thanks, I’m very glad to hear that!

    Good call on picking up those two – they actually compliment each other very well – one more neutral and accurate, the other more on the fun and impactful side, but not so different to each make the other sound “off” when switching between them.

  21. I’m just sticking to your value recommendations. These GR07’s might be the bargain of the century. I just got them and I’m already impressed. I can’t wait to get some hours on them. The sibilance is not nearly as pronounced as I expected, (I think the complys help) they’re comfortable, pretty well built and I love the adjustable nozzles. The sound is impressive but I’ve only listened to them for a few hours so I’ll hold off on that department.

    What I can say, without reservation, is that for 99 bucks you’d be hard pressed to find anything better.

    So far I’ve bought the DN-1000 and now these, based on your Red Badge recommendations and batting a thousand.


  22. Many sets have less sibilance than the GR07, but they usually differ in other ways as well. Closest thing to the GR07 signature in a similar price range and with less tendency towards sibilance is probably the Philips Fidelio S2. It’s not a 100% match for the GR07 sound (tuning is a bit more midrange-focused) and the form factor is very different, but with prices falling below $100 now it’s quite close to the GR07 in value now.

  23. Howdy Joker,

    I appreciate all the work you have done here. It both helps and hurts, mostly my pocketbook. So my Gr07 recently broke, and I am looking to replace them. My only complaint with them was the high end sibilance, as my music taste wanders pretty wide. It ventures into classical and opera all the way into rock and singer song writer. Any recommendations on something that would handle he higher end a little better? Thanks in advance.

  24. What is the difference between the vsonic vsd1s and the GR07. Do they sound similar because I heard the vsd1s retains about 80% of the GR07

  25. The GR01 bass quantity is very similar to the ER4; the RE-600 has a little more body to its bass but it’s still very much in the same ballpark and has less treble energy than you’re used to with your Etys. The DN-2000 can be a bit harsh, but better than the GR07 in that respect and isn’t as bassy as the A83 (which will likely be too bassy and not clear enough coming from an ER4). The UE900 is another good option. Overall, UE900 and DN-2000 are probably your best bet, but in both cases you’re gaining bass quantity (over the ER4) while giving up something else here and there.

    Among the customs you’re considering the CA Music One has the closest signature to what you’re after but it has its own minor downsides vs the ER4 as well.

  26. Impressive site and writing, it really helps me to understand how to articulate what I am hearing and looking for.

    I loved the ER4S for years, then switched to ER4P. Now I need even more bass and body, while maintaining clarity and transparency, and the occasional shimmery quality. I can spend up to $400. The Shure 215 did not move me at all. The GR07 is VERY CLOSE, but it tires me, and I don’t like the sizzle from cymbals and tambourines, etc. So in my case, what do you think of the VSonic GR01, HIFIMan RE-600, or DUNU-2000, Fidue-83, UE-900?

    Also I am not ready to go custom, but if / when I am, which would be closest to what I am seeking: the Alclair Reference, Custom Art music one, Clear-tune 200? Thanks!!!

  27. The GR07 is a little tough to upgrade from in clarity and neutrality because it does a pretty darn good job on both counts already. Unless you want to spend $400+ on custom monitors of course.

    Your reasonably-priced options will all be flatter-sounding BA earphones. For example:

    VSonic VC1000:
    Etymotic ER4:
    ACS T15:

    At the high end you have a few other possibilities, for instance:

    Olasonic Nami:
    LEAR LUF-4F:

    But at that point you might as well consider going custom with something like the Custom Art Pro 330v2 ($500-600).

  28. Hi Joker, I’m really impressed with the GR07 because of its versatility and clarity for a relatively low price. If I were to upgrade from this, meaning even more clarity but maintaining the neutrality, what would you recommend? I mainly listen to rock. Thanks in advance, do keep up your amazing inventory of reviews.

  29. (I had BEs)

    I’m hoping the Rockets are of comparable, if not better quality for these genres. They seem to be all the rage over at head-fi.

  30. Hi Joker,

    How do these compare to the Aurisonics Rockets for instrumental (orchestral, “epic” movie scores) and electronic (and chillstep/trance)? Not sure if Rockets are good for these, but I loved my GR07s.

  31. The BA200 will be a lot closer to the RE-400 in sound. The GR07 is tuned a little differently. It’s still rather balanced-sounding on the whole, but pushes the bass and treble forward compared to the RE-400. So yes, it will consistently have more punch than the RE-400 (and the BA200 as well).

    That said, while the GR07’s midrange clarity is as good as that of the RE-400, it doesn’t have the emphasis that the HiFiMan set places on its mids. When I’m asked for earphones that retain the “magical” mids of the RE-400, I usually take it to mean that the mids should be as much the focus of the sound as they are with the RE-400, and the GR07 is not usually on my list of suggestions.

  32. Hi ljokerl, thanks for your work on the site. It’s heaven for IEM newbies here.
    I was really impressed with your review on the Hifiman Re -400 and went to try it at my local headphones store. The mids was amazing and on some tracks it produced some really punchy bass. I mostly listen to J- pop and electronic so it’s really a balance mix with female vocal, drums and electronic background. The Re -400 did it job well on the first aspect but I feel it could use a little help with the other two. Can you advise me between the Re – 400’s upgrade as you said in an earlier post – the TDK BA200 or should I go for a different signature the Vsonic Gr07 ? Will the Gr07 still retains the clarity, transparent and great mids of the Re 400 ? Or would the TDK BA200 offers more bass ?

  33. You have an RE-400 and just tried the GR07 – if I were you I’d trust your own ears on how they compare.

    I did compare the GR07 at length to the Custom Art Music One and StageDiver 2 in those individual reviews. Not going to re-write those comparisons here.

    Indeed, the GR07 is very popular and highly recommended for its value-for-money, especially now that you can pick it up at $99. It’s included in my Buyer’s Guide as I do consider it one of the best all-rounders in its price bracket:

    As for whether you need an amp for the RE-400 or GR07, I personally don’t think so, but then I don’t have an iPad Air so I’m not sure how good the hardware is. All of the iPhones I’ve tried since the iPhone 4 have been very capable, though, so in those cases an amp wouldn’t be a good investment.

  34. Hi joker, my brother just came over today with his Gr07 and I really like it. How does the sound fare vs the Hifiman Re 400 and some pricier stuff like the Custom Art One or Inear Stagediver sd -2 ? I have read head fi saying that the Gr07 is really popular because it can fare well vs much pricier sets. Also would I need to amp or get a new DAP ? My Hifiman re 400 sounds good out of my ipad air but will it benefit from amping ? Thanks man. You are the god

  35. It’s been officially discontinued so it’s not likely I’ll go back for it. I guess the UE200 is the only US model I missed besides the UE700 out of the entire lineup :p

  36. I haven’t tried the X1 but from what I’ve read it seems to not be as neutral as an RE-400. The SE215 doesn’t have the greatest clarity or resolution compared to higher-end headphones but the GR07 BE should do nicely. If you want to spend more, the DN-1000 is even more “fun” than the GR07 without sacrificing clarity.

  37. Hi Joker,

    I am currently deciding on getting a decent pair of earphones for public use. At home I currently use Philips Fidelio X1 Headphones with the Schiit Modi + Magni combo and love how it sounds. I would say that I prefer a warm to neutral sound – something that’s nicely detailed but also fun. I am looking into the VSonic GR07 Bass Edition, Shure SE215, and the HiFiMan RE-400. Which do you think I should go for?


  38. I only just got the classic – there are no differences in design or anything like that. The sound so far is maybe not identical, but quite similar to my original GR07 mkI.

  39. Hi joker, what a review!
    what’s the difference between gr07 and gr07 classic colour edition? Have you review the classic colour edition?

  40. Balanced with pretty impactful bass – that’s the GR07 for you. I personally don’t think the GR07 is inferior to the R-50 despite its greater bass. That said, there are other alternatives that are closer to the R-50 sound – the VSonic VC1000 and Brainwavz B2, for example – if you were settled on that sound signature already.

  41. Great and very helpful review, ljokerl! However, it’s done nothing but confuse me with regard to my next IEM. Was totally going to go for the Rock-It R-50, but after hearing of issues with its build quality, this one seems like a good alternative. What do you think? I want a balanced, neutral IEM, but a bit of bass won’t be amiss.


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