Vision Ears Phönix Review

Vision Ears Phonix



The products chosen for comparison here are the Odin and Legend Evo from Empire Ears, the limited edition Noir from 64 Audio and I manage to source an Erlkönig and EXT from Vision Ears as well.

All comparisons were done with the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch as main source. I think it’s a perfect source for this, with its neutral sound. I have only been using the supplied silicone tips from each package.

vs Empire Ears Odin

My personal Odin is a custom made set, so there is the form-factor difference here. I know, many people say you can’t compare custom to universal, but I tend to disagree. Moving on.

The Odin is a triple hybrid design, that uses two dynamic drivers for lows, five balanced armatures for mids and lower treble as well as a set of four electet/e-stats for super highs.

In a tuning perspective the Odin has a more upper mid focused sound. The difference between the lows is very clear. The Odin has noticeably more texture and resolution, as well as deeper extension in the bass segment than the Phönix. In terms of sheer bass quality the Odin is one of the best I know and it’s very difficult to compete with here.

The mids on the Phönix are fuller and richer compared to the Odin’s, which are lighter and faster. But anyone looking for body, soul and musicality will definitely prefer the Phönix over the Odin. The Odin’s vocals are more in front and appear bigger, but they come with less substance and structure than the Phönix’.

Both of these monitors have very good balance in their overall signature, but the Odin has a clearer sound that places upper mids more prominently in the arrangement. The Phönix on the other hand has a slightly fuller and warmer, more natural sound than the Odin.

In a technical perspective both of them are incredible. They create massive stages with impressive imaging and resolution. The level of detail these two bring out is unprecedented and can only be matched by the best of the best.

Personally I find the treble of the Phönix more pleasant and easier to listen to than Odin’s. The Odin is lighter, sharper cut and more in your face than the Phönix’. Phönix is softer, more linear extended and overall just more natural to me.

Vision Ears Phönix

vs Empire Ears Legend Evo

The Legend Evo is Empire’s latest creation that uses a different triple hybrid design than the Odin. It also uses dual dynamic drivers for lows, five balanced armatures for mids and treble, but supported by a single bone conduction driver.

The difference between the Legend Evo and the Phönix is very clear. The Evo is noticeably bassier and more exciting than the Phönix, thus making it a good complement actually. The Legend Evo again has better defined bass with more texture and resolution that goes deeper into sub-bass. The Phönix places bass more in line with the rest of the signature, while the Legend Evo gives it clear spot-light.

The EE has very good resolution, layering and imaging just like the Phönix, but to me the Phönix manages to capture details just a bit better. It portrays what’s happening on a slightly darker background and with more ease. The Phönix creates an especially wider stage and in comparison the Evo even sounds a bit muffled or clouded.

The Phönix to me sounds more effortless than the Evo. It just creates music as it goes. It has a nicer musical touch in its signature, while the Evo asks for your attention and excitement. The Evo is the perfect companion for the music the Phönix lacks in – Hip Hop and Electronica. These genres the Evo just nails, while the Phönix masters all the others.

Brass-wind instruments sound fuller and softer on the Phönix, while they have a tendency to become brittle in direct comparison on the Evo. The Phönix has wider treble extension that puts more air into the general sound than the Evo.

To me these two have been made for the opposite audience. The Evo is a bass-head’s delight, while the Phönix is perfect for anyone who wants to simply enjoy music. They both have their specific reason for being.

vs 64 Audio Noir

64 Audio’s Noir is a special edition of their Tia Fourté. It’s an unconventional hybrid design that uses a dynamic driver for lows and three balanced armatures for mids and highs. What makes it unconventional is the use of specifically designed chambers their drivers are placed in. The Noir doesn’t use any tube whatsoever.

The whole presentation of the Noir and the Phönix is very different. The Noir sounds grander, bigger and more holographic. The bass is stronger and heavier on the Noir as well. The 64 monitor also goes noticeably deeper and places bass more forward than the Phönix.

The Phönix on the other hand has a more balanced signature overall, while the Noir has more focus on the bass section. The Noir however isn’t necessarily a bassy monitor to me. But it pushes more volume than the Phönix for sure. The Phönix’ bass to me sounds better controlled though, than the Noir’s.

Mids sound fuller, richer and slightly warmer on the Phönix, where vocals can be more intimate compared to the very open sounding Noir. The Phönix has an overall more organic sound than the Noir, which can come across as lighter in the mids to me.

The treble of the Noir is something very special in my opinion, and definitely a reason why I love 64 Audio products. Both IEMs extend very well into the upper registers, but the Noir does so even more effortless than the Phönix. However, the Phönix has a richer and softer sounding top end than the Noir. The Noir can come across as sharp and piercing at times, but the Phönix definitely won’t.

In terms of technical performance I think the Noir has the upper edge especially when it comes to sound-stage dimensions. It creates a wider, deeper and taller stage than the Phönix. All of which might be due to the use of 64 Audio’s tube-less design. Overall the Noir sounds more holographic than the Phönix.

Both of them have incredible imaging, but this is actually an area where I have to give props to the Phönix for having a darker background and giving musicians a better lit spot-light. It’s a part where the Noir also isn’t lacking at all, but the Phönix does it just that tad bit better.

vs Vision Ears Erlkönig

I mentioned it before in this review, the Phönix is the direct offspring of the Erlkönig. It is based on setting 2 of it and therefore I’ll be comparing them with this setting.

Starting with bass again, the Erlkönig to me seems even softer than the Phönix with a tad less resolution and texture. When listening to deep string instruments it becomes quite clear to my ears that the Phönix has an advantage over the Erlkönig. Both of them have an audible sub-bass roll-off.

In the mids they both are absolutely gorgeous. They are rich, detailed and emotional, but the Phönix does push more volume in the upper-mid and treble section compared to the Erlkönig. The Phönix gives me more glow and better extension in total up top. This makes the Erlkönig appear a tad softer and calmer to me, but gives the Phönix that special something that really makes it stand out.

In terms of detailing, resolution and imaging they both are impressive and it’s undeniable that the Phönix is based off the Erlkönig. They both are incredible in what they do, but the Phönix pushes a touch more air into the signature. Which gives instruments and musicians just a bit better contouring. The background of the Phönix is darker and more solid to me.

The new tweeters definitely make a noticeable difference in the sound between the two. On the Erlkönig higher pitched instruments like violins could sound a bit lost in the back, while the Phönix gives them more presence.

Vision Ears Phönix

vs Vision Ears EXT

The EXT is also one of Vision Ears’ latest products that was launched together with the Phönix back in late August. It is supposed to be an upgraded version of their highly popular Elysium. The EXT uses a dynamic driver for lows, one dynamic driver for mids and two dual electet/e-stat drivers for highs.

Right off the bat, the EXT delivers what the Phönix lacks – sub-bass. The EXT has a more powerful and authoritative low end with better texture, control and resolution. Bass on the EXT sounds more natural with better air and layering in total. It’s clear that there is a driver difference between the two. Phönix on the other hand puts bass a bit less forward than the EXT, which might be up your alley if you don’t like too forward bass. Although I don’t think it’s a very bass forward sounding monitor. It’s quality over quantity for the EXT.

The mids of these two do share similarities – of course. But there are enough differences as well to give you excellent options with either of them. The Phönix has a fuller and richer sound in it, that has more body overall, while the EXT has lighter sounding vocals, that appear more holographic and upfront to me. The Phönix balances out the upper mids a bit more to give them a less forward sound. Although I think the EXT does have a breathtakingly open mid-range, I do prefer the extra body and weight of the Phönix.

Treble of the Phönix to me sounds a bit less forward but softer than the EXT’s. But the EXT’s implementation of the electet/e-stat drivers is just perfect and certainly the best one I know. The Phönix to me has a more organic and natural top end, but the EXT is hard to pass on for sure. Phönix’ treble to me seems more precise in its presentation, while the EXT has that extra golden touch.

The Phönix gives me a more detailed view on the music than the EXT and it creates a wider and deeper stage, but the EXT to me appears grander in presentation. Where instruments sound bigger but lighter overall.

Final Verdict

We are coming close to the end of 2021 and Vision Ears decides to pull out a flagship product using just BA drivers. A design many people might call out-dated since we see manufacturers go triple or even quad hybrid. But make no mistake, even for it’s “simple” design the Phönix is one of the toughest contenders on the market.

My first thoughts when I listened to the Phönix on day one was, that it sounds like it was made to make music. It’s a damn near perfect execution of a natural sounding IEM. Personally, I haven’t heard any other monitor that made me want to keep listening on end like the Phönix. It’s such an addictive sound that simply makes me enjoy music to the extreme. The Phönix hits my personal preference so straight on the head I don’t know what else to say other than it’s pure excellence.

The elephant in the room clearly is the price. 3,500€/3,900$ is a lot of dough. If you can afford it and this hole in your wallet doesn’t hurt you, give the Phönix a serious consideration if you’re after a natural and pleasing sound. I personally can’t recommend it enough. To our recommended buy list it goes!



Page one for general information and Package
Page two for Build Quality and Sound

4.2/5 - (26 votes)

Been into music and sound since he was a little brat, but spent his profession in a more binary field making things do what they were supposed to do. Ultimately just another dude on the internet with an opinion, into which you shouldn't put too much thought.

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.