The market seems to have focussed on a lot of different price brackets the last two years. There are not a lot of new products in the 1000 – 2000 USD category. Most companies either try to make budget friendly gear or to shoot for the stars and invest their RnD in new flagship products. In my inventory there also aren’t many sub 1500$ CIEMs, but we will take a look at how the VE 3.2 compares to two other custom monitors.
Lime Ears – Model X (4BA – 999$)
The Model X is one of the latest introductions by the Polish Lime Ears. It features four balanced armatures and a bass switch to turn the boom on if desired.
The Lime CIEM puts more weight and body in the sound, while the Vision Ears edges it out on detail, resolution, sound stage and layering. In comparison the Model X is darker sounding, while the Vision Ears definitely is cleaner and clearer.
Bass on the Model X is fuller and throws a harder punch, the VE 3.2 has higher resolution down low and gives an airier sounding low end. Both models extend similarly deep, but to me the Lime goes a notch deeper.
The VE 3.2 has a more transparent and lighter midrange, that is filled with resolution and air, while the Model X seems more compressed and warmer. It presents the music with bigger body and more blood in its veins.
Treble-wise I feel the VE 3.2 extends further, it however also sounds dryer. The Vision Ears has more sparkle up top, with higher speed and energy. It brings more air into the scene while the Lime Ears does sound slightly muted in comparison.
Jomo Audio – Quatre (1DD/3BA – 1550$)
Like the Model X the Quatre presents a more emotional sound, something more romantic than the VE. The dynamic driver of Quatre really pushes some quality air and body. While the VE 3.2 might sound airier, the Jomo certainly is the more physical one of the two.
Quatre knows how to make an emotional sound with good body that goes throughout the entire frequency range. Body the VE 3.2 does not sport. The Vision Ears is more direct and honest if you will. It brings higher resolution, better texture and layering as well as a wider sound stage and higher performing imaging.
The Jomo on the other hand is richer and fuller, it sounds more pleasing than the Vision Ears. Both monitors present a good example of two different use scenarios in my opinion. While the Jomo seems to be perfect to kick back and enjoy your tunes, the Vision Ears precisely lets you know every little detail of your music. It lets you analyse it and lets you find its flaws and strengths.
When we’re looking at treble, the VE 3.2 sounds clearer and cleaner. It extends further and brings a crisper top end to the table. While the Jomo sounds softer and richer in that segment, it also does not push the same amount of air as the Vision Ears.
Vision Ears has held on to the original VE 3 for almost ten years, and after such a long period it has been time to update their triple driver. I have never heard the original, but with the VE 3.2, Vision Ears has created a really nice balanced sounding IEM.
The VE 3.2 is neutral, smooth and shows to be a potent contender in the technical fields. I have yet to hear another monitor in that price range that performs this well. The only down-sides of the analytical sound of the VE 3.2 is the lack of blood and body, which however can be solved with an aftermarket cable or a warmer source.
If you desire speed, resolution and a neutral to analytical sound, the VE 3.2 should be on your shopping list for a new CIEM.