Today we look at the Earsonics Velvet V2 HR Edition In-Ear Monitor. It is selling for 699 EUR.
Disclaimer: Earsonics sent us the Velvet V2 HR In Ear Monitors for the purpose of this review. I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experience with the product are naturally my own.
Earsonics Velvet v2 HR Edition
Earsonics is a boutique audio equipment company located in Castries, France. They specialize in custom in-ears and hearing protection equipment.. Earsonics is a well known company around the world and they have been in the industry for quite a long time. I first encountered Earsonics when I purchased an SM3 in 2013. It had a really unique tonality that put Earsonics on my radar. I’ve been hooked ever since. I have plenty of experience with all of their universal lineup, excluding the Grace. The S-EM9 is still one of my favourite IEMs of all time.
What is so special about Earsonics in my opinion is their “house sound”. They have a signature, a unique tuning that is widely loved by their customers. This signature can be described as rich, textured, spacious and warm. Today’s IEM, Earsonics Velvet V2 features these characteristics as well, plus, a twist. Seriously. You can change Velvet’s signature by twisting the potentiometer on each of the shells.
My story goes back to 2014 with the Velvet. At the time, it had a different shell and color, but it was one of the very rare earphones with user-changeable tuning. Earsonics company was not a very advertised brand in my country, and I would not have known about them without the success of the SM3. I cannot imagine such a timeline because Earsonics products played a big role in my audiophile adventure. The reason I used the first edition Velvet for a really long time was that I was able to optimize its synergy with different sources by changing the signature. The A&K 120 loved the Velvet in “Balanced mode”, whereas Cowon Plenue P1 synergized with the “Tight” mode, because it had a warmer, darker tonality. I prefer Earsonics’ potentiometer solution better than switches. Potentiometer lets you do much finer tuning whereas switches offer a limited adjustment range. Without further ado, let’s get to the review!
Specifications & Technical Data
- Sensitivity: 119 dB
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz-20 kHz
- DCR: 31,5 to 41,5 ohms (depends on the potentiometer position)
- Driver: 3 BA driver, 3-way tunable HQ crossover.
- HR 4C Cable: 4-Core Silver & 300D Oxygen-Free Kevlar
- MSRP: 699 EUR
The Earsonics Velvet V2 features 3 driver balanced armatures and a 3-way HQ tunable crossover setup with ES’ special waveguide design.
The “HR” in the name means that it comes with a brand new upgraded cable from Earsonics, rather than the old Plastics1. New cable alloy is silver and features a 4 core, twisted structure. V2 in the name means that this is the upgraded version of the original Velvet and there are some important changes that we are going to discuss in the upcoming chapters. Read on, folks!
Packaging & Accessories
Earsonics recently updated their packaging and accessories with the V2 edition. They now come with a more elegant, slide-to-open drawer style box.
The whole unboxing process feels premium and the earphones look like jewelry through the circular transparent windows as soon as you remove the top cover. The accessories are very nice and abundant, too. Earsonics’ signature tips are of course present: the double flanges. They have a really interesting form as my friend who can only use small size tips can use them for prolonged periods without any problem and me, a M-L guy can also use them for hours and hours without any comfort issues!
The full list of what I received with Velvet V2 HR Edition is written below:
- 2 Pairs of Foam Tips
- 4 Pairs of Silicon Tips
- 1 Cleaning Tool & Cleaning Wipes
- 1 Tuning Adjustment Tool
- ES Carrying Case
- Product Information & QC Card
- 3.5mm to 6.3mm Adapter
- 4C Hi-Res -HR- Cable
Build Quality & Comfort
The Velvet V2 consists of a two-piece translucent shell that looks quite gorgeous. Immediately upon picking it up, you see two gigantic balanced armature drivers and one smaller one, all firing straight into the waveguide.
I should also mention that the IEMs are hand-assembled & hand-matched by the Earsonics crew. I personally like translucent gear very much, seeing what is underneath the shell satisfies my inner engineer. After noticing the drivers, you’ll most likely notice the wide, black crossover PCB under the outer shell. The V1 had a different crossover and the color of it was green. The V2 has an upgraded PCB that comes in black and a better, more durable potentiometer. It turns quite smoothly and it is very easy to fine-tune the SQ to your liking. The shell seems durable and when you add wide PCB and huge drivers into the equation, I can say that Earsonics did their best as for the form & factor.
The shell is really compact. The angled nozzle and flat inner side provides excellent comfort for my ears. Earsonics’ signature tips, the double flanges go deep and offer a snug fit. They offer the best sound for my ears, however, anatomy is a tricky business so you do your own experiment and see for yourself. I am not a big foam fan and I prefer the double flanges to anything else. If you have trouble using the double flanges, my best advice would be either the eq5/7 Ortofon tips or RHA dual density tips. Upon further inspection, the 2-Pin sockets are 0.78mm & very stiff so be careful while changing cables although sockets seem quite durable.
Moving on to the cable, almost all Earsonics earphones are highly affected by the upgrade cables in my opinion. I used the Velvet v1 and SM-9 over a year where I got to try many different cables. I also did a number of experiments with the ES-3 and SM6v2. They all had one thing in common: they all loved upgrade cables. Especially the SM6v2 was my benchmark for testing cables, that little guy had a special thing for cables! I recommended all my friends to upgrade their cables from Plastics1 to something better, such as the PW Audio or Effect Audio.
I was very happy when Earsonics launched the HR editions. Every earphone of their lineup was boosted by better cables! HR cables consist of 2 variations. HI-RES 4C Unbalanced and HI-RES 8C Balanced. The Velvet V2 HR & all the other HR edition earphones feature the 4C Unbalanced cable whereas the top of the line Earsonics Grace comes with both of them. The HR 4C is a silver, 4 core cable with quite a flexible, durable insulation. The HR 8C features a copper & silver, hybrid 8-core structure with the same flexible insulation. It also comes with a 2.5mm balanced plug. Both of the cables come with anodized, gold plated connectors.
As for the effects of the new cable on the sound quality, I’ll talk about it in the next section, on the next Page.