In this article we review the Vision Ears EXT universal IEM, which is selling for €2.650 Euro.
Disclaimer: Vision Ears sent us the Vison Ears EXT free of charge in exchange for the review. The unit is a universal version and it doesn’t need to be returned.
The German Vision Ears is very well-known company in the professional and audiophile world. They have built many great monitors and have won several awards with them. We have reviewed many Vision Ears monitors here on Headfonia, and you can find out all of the Vision Ears reviews here. We also did an interview with the VE owners a while ago, so check out this article if you want to know more about the people behind Vision Ears.
Perfect sound is our passion – highest quality our demand.
In today’s article we’re looking at their other new high end universal IEM, the EXT. Let’s get started.
First of all it is important to share that the EXT, which stands for Elysium Extended, is an evolution of the original award winning Elysium. So if you haven’t already, we really advise to read up on the Elysium first before continuing with this review.
The EXT is only available in a universal for now as far as I know. The original Elysium we reviewed had a custom shell.
Like the Elysium, the EXT is a top level hybrid universal IEM. The EXT sells for €2.650 Euro and it features a dual dynamic driver and quad electrostatic drivers, with a breathing face plate for the dynamic drivers. The original Elysium’s configuration was different and it featured 1 balanced armature driver for bass, 1 dynamic driver for the mids and a double electrostat driver for the highs. So that’s quite the change from the original IEM.
“Listening to the EXT will bring you closer to the true spirit of your sound”
The reason for this change, according to Vision ears is the following: The four electrostatic drivers create a wide open landscape of lush details that never feel exaggerated. In combination with a 9.2mm dynamic driver, with loads of power in the very low end and a 6mm driver for the mids, we were able to uncover the uncompromising beauty and greatness of your music.
The original Elysium has been highly praised all over the world, so why would Vision Ears want to make an extended version of it. VE explains:
“Based on the idea of the ELYSIUM to create an electrifying detailed but also warm and embracing sound, we wanted to explore what is possible. We wanted more. More lows that make you feel the rumble. More mids that vividly embrace you. And more highs to bring an airy and elated experience. The feeling of an electrostatic headphone is unparalleled and hard to achieve with a small earphone. The EXT will prove it wrong. An easy lightness surrounds this creation, airy, silk-like notes gather around your head, musical areas you never recognized will unfold before your closed eyes, a truly electrifying experience.”
The EXT now also features a 2nd generation HALC (High Precision Leveling Chamber) which is tuning the dynamic mid driver to the highest accuracy. And on top of that, the EST drivers are also of the newest generation and they – according to VE – allow to increase and extend the output to a whole new level. More on this later in the next chapter.
Uncompromised High Fidelity
You can find out all about the Elysium Extended (EXT from now on) on Vision Ear’s dedicated web page here: https://vision-ears.de/premiumline_en/ext.
EXT Driver Details
In the Elysium review we already covered the HALC and EST tech, but let’s quickly go over it again for the EXT as there have been some upgrades as previously mentioned.
This is Vision Ears’ High Precision Leveling Chamber for the midrange driver and for the EXT they additionally use an STC (Side Tuning Chamber) to allow the midrange to be more precisely tuned for the vocal range. This in reality results in a higher level of realism in the midrange.
EST (Electrostatic Drivers)
A lot of popular brands are now using EST drivers in their IEMS and over the last few years this type of drivers have quickly become very popular both in entry level as well as in high end IEMs. I do have to admit that I quite like the typical EST sound myself. Due to a voltage transformer inside the earphones shell, electrostatic tweeters don´t need any external power source but only a high quality and powerful amplifier inside your DAP.
For the EXT, Vision Ears is using the newest generation of EST drivers from Sonion. This latest generation has a higher output spl and Vision Ears by using a dual set, was able to increase and extend the output to a whole new level.
For the dual dynamic drivers inside the EXT, Vision Ears has chosen a 9.2mm driver for the lows and a 6mm driver for the mids. Both of the dynamic drivers are equipped with what VE calls LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber Surround). This technique of making the surround – according to VE – allows the driver to perform with a very low THD (Total Hormonic Distortion). The Al-Mg Alloy diaphragm of these drivers are light but stiff, which makes the performance surprisingly fast, very deep and precise. A Super Strong Rare Earth N52 Neodymium Magnet, allows the driver to perform better in more demanding situations, with less distortion at any operating level. In addition, Vision Ears has added a double N52 Neodymium Magnet to the 6mm driver, to decrease the THD even more and to increase the SPL without increasing the size of the driver.
– 1 x 9.2mm Dynamic Driver
– 1 x 6 mm Dynamic Driver
– 4 x Electrostatic Tweeter
– Impedance: 10Ω @ 1KHz
– Sensitivity 1mW: 108.5 dB SPL @ 1KHz (100mV)
Box & Design
Next to their build quality and excellent sound, Vision Ears also stands for luxury. This again absolutely shows in the way they present the EXT and how the universal IEM looks.
The EXT arrives in double box, but it’s only the internal box which really matters (see pictures). Once again we get top quality materials and a luxurious presentation with a lot of extras. Sure it’s a more expensive and high end monitor but you really feel like you’re getting worth your money. In the end, it’s just a box though and it will go to storage while we use the EXT with its aluminum carrying case.
The IEM itself for me looks really pretty and you can clearly see the fine detail in the pictures. The EXT is very small in size and it looks and feels like a high end unit. You can just notice in all the small details that the EXT is a top quality monitor in all possible ways. Of course not everyone likes the same type of design, but I haven’t really seen anyone complain about the EXT’s looks. VE’s idea was to create a technical but elegant shell with the aesthetics of an open back headphone. The purple CNC machined face plate draws a lot of attention with something that VE calls the “X-Design”. The deep purple color anodization actually is a special VE custom color, showing off the VE brand color.
If you look closely you will also see a vacuum sparkling metalized mesh underneath the X-Design. This special aluminium acoustic mesh is actually giving the dynamic drivers the air to breathe and unfold their power, while protecting the internal components from outer influences. So it’s not only about looking good, it also is part of the engineering.
With the original Elysium, the shell was clear and you could easily spot HALC and the different types of drivers. With the EXT, the inner shell is a solid black acryl in a custom shape but VE on the outside near the nozzle has integrated a transparent area which allows you to have a discreet peek at the green HALC and the four electrostatic drivers.
All-in-all a very lovely ad eye-catching design, as we’re used to from Vision Ears.
The article continues on the Second Page. Simply click here.
Page 1: Vision Ears, Elysium, EXT, Drivers, specs, Box & Design
Page 2: Cable, Price & Accessories, Build quality, Comfort, Isolation, Sound Intro/VE
Page 3: Sound General, Classics, Tips, Comparisons, Conclusion