Review: Vision Ears VE 3.2 – Evenhanded

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Package:

Vision Ears delivers a full package of accessories and care products with your CIEMs. On top of your monitors you get a cleaning spray which should be sprayed on the supplied cleaning cloth, two silica dry-gel caps to keep your monitors dry, three Vision Ears stickers, a soft velvet IEM pouch, a cleaning tool, a 6.3 mm adapter and of course the selected cable. This cable is pretty nice too, I know a certain US based brand that sells it re-branded as their own for 149 USD. It’s a silver plated copper Litz cable.

Of course there is also a carrying case for your monitors. It’s made of aluminium and contains two individual compartments for your CIEMs and some accessories. The case itself looks super sturdy and I bet it can take a beating. I’m sure it is ideal for travelling musicians and anxious audiophiles alike.

The package couldn’t be better in my opinion. You get everything you need and even something extra.

There is also a pretty detailed instruction manual included. It includes sections for Cleaning, keeping your monitors dry and even how to change the cables. An important information is also how long you should use your monitors at what loudness. I’m always shocked to see and hear how loud people listen to their music. Hearing is one of the most important things to me, and harming that would make me personally go nuts. Just recently my hearing was a bit messed up because I had gotten pretty sick, thankfully that didn’t last too long, but it’s needless to say that I was not very excited about it.

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Build Quality:

Vision Ears uses 3D printing technology to manufacture each shell. My pair fits tightly but the comfort is still excellent. It’s slightly tighter fitting than most of my CIEMs, but I requested that when speaking to VE. The monitors are produced to high standards in my opinion. The 2-pin sockets are flushed and show no signs of residual glue anywhere.

The face plate closing is done very well too. The only thing that did raise my attention was some left over lacquer around the corners of the face plates. It’s nothing that would worry me though, it’s just an imperfect buffing I assume. It should not affect sound at all. The canals stop shortly before the second bend, which is the standard nowadays.

The sound bores are just slightly recessed. I have expected to see open tubes with a horn bore design, as I’ve seen other VE CIEMs that feature exactly that. I am absolutely fine with VE not going that route for my set though. One thing Vision Ears does, is to fill the shells with acrylic once they have placed the drivers inside. That reduces resonances from the drivers. Only a hand full of companies I know do that.

The beauty of custom IEMs to me lies in comfort and isolation, apart from the awesome feeling of getting impressions done and to insert cold acrylic in your ear. When you wear your monitors, you can expect isolation levels of around 26 to 27 decibels. Since sound also travels through materials, as my downstairs neighbour knows (our bedroom is above his rave-room), you will still hear some noises coming through them during quiet parts.

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Sound:

Before this review started, I had to make a decision between the VE 3.2 and the VE 4.2, Vision Ears recommended the VE 3.2 to me, as it has less bass presence and overall a more linear and neutral sound signature. Since I am not particularly a bass head, I enjoy quality bass to some extend, I decided to give the VE 3.2 a go. The Lotoo PAW Gold Touch has served as reference unit to describe the following sound.

It indeed has a nicely balanced and neutral signature, but it does slightly lean towards a brighter sound. What I’m really liking about the VE 3.2 is, that it doesn’t colour the sound or fatten up particular areas. It presents tones with accuracy and precision.

Bass has decent extension, it has good body but does not bring a lot of weight. Low ends are fast enough when needed, but they miss out on thunder and punch, this is especially for the ones out there who like some synthetic bass. The 3.2 puts a good amount of resolution in its low end, it holds its lows on a tighter leash and makes sure nothing bleeds into the midrange.

The transition from bass to mids is seamless and very coherent. Mids are again of lighter presentation, but with very good resolution and transparency. Vocals and instruments share good emotions and are certainly not too heavy or too dense. Female and male vocals appear with good air and the VE 3.2 can bring across emotions in their voices with accuracy. The midrange overall is precise and crisp. One thing I am missing though is richness, the VE 3.2 does not bring a lot of that, it rather focuses on an analytical sound that resembles studio monitors. Midrange overall seems finely balanced and neutral, if it weren’t for a slight dip in the upper midrange.

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Vision Ears VE 3.2

Treble on the VE 3.2 is on the dryer side. It is fast and energetic with good extension and detail. Sometimes it can sound a little too forward as it seems to be missing some low end action to counter-balance it. Personally, I love good treble and I can stand some good amounts of it, and the VE 3.2 for me does almost everything right. Again, I would wish for some richness in the lower regions. Sometimes upper highs can sound a little harsh, this is especially to look out for when using neutral to bright gear.

On the technical side, the VE 3.2 is great. It creates a good, slightly holographic sound stage with even dimensions. The resolution is very nice, layering is also done well in my opinion. Instruments are separated with care and placed finely in the constructed room.

What I am missing in the VE 3.2 is excitement. It does a wonderful job at reproducing the music as is, but it could use some additional body for my taste. The VE 3.2 is a monitor that can be unforgiving of poor recordings, so make sure to feed it decent files with good dynamic range. Some albums or songs that haven’t been mastered well, can sound like a blob of noise. On the other hand, if you give the VE 3.2 files that are well mastered, you’ll be granted with good quality audio.

It continues after the jump!

Review: Vision Ears VE 3.2 – Evenhanded
4.6 (91.8%) 139 vote[s]

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

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