Disclaimer : The Vision Ears VE5 was delivered free of charge for this specific review, I only had to pay for the impressions and shipping them there. Then I just had to drive to Germany to pick it up.
Vision Ears (VE) is a successor company of Compact Monitors and as a result they have years of experience with making custom Inear Monitors for musicians and audiophiles all over the world. While ciems are their main focus they do also make custom ear protection and something called The Jack. The company is run by two very nice guys named Amin and Marcel. Marcel is in charge of development and “tuning” while Amin handles the business side more.
I first met them at last year’s Canjam in Essen. They didn’t have a stand there but Suyang from Effect audio informed me they would be there with the AK240 + VE6 + combo. At that time Nathan was already in touch with them and that resulted in HFN reviewing their sublime VE6 X Control in October.
A few months ago VE announced a new 5 driver model and I got in touch with Amin to see if they were interested in us reviewing it. Luckily they accepted our request and here we are. Cologne seems to be the place to be for ciems in Germany as Rhines Custom Monitors is also located there at only 7km from VE. As Köln is only a 2 hour drive from the HFN headquarters I suggested to pick it up myself and check out the facilities at the same time (see “The Visit”).
When I asked both of them which VE model was their favorite, Marcel didn’t hesitate one bit and told me the VE6 – his baby – is his number one. Amin on the other hand prefers the VE5 driver and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking at today.
The new Vision Ears VE5 is an acryl 5-driver monitor with a 4-way system using 2 bores. With 21Ohm and 122dB SPL the VE5 is a pretty sensitive and easily driven monitor. The BA configuration is as follows: 1 x Highs, 1 x high-mids, 2 x mids, 1 x lows. That’s a strong focus on the mids and that of course has an impact on how it sounds, but more on that in a bit.
German precision and quality doesn’t come cheap and the VE5’s prices start from €1399.
Germany, that also means no speed limit on several parts of the highway. We got there fast.
The VE office is located in one of the big streets leading straight in to the city, almost in the heart of Cologne. When you enter the office you immediately notice the relaxed atmosphere and the impressive demo station
While demoing you can check out flyers of all the different models, the available colors, face plates and customization options, all in a really cool setting.
The offices are basically divided in to 4 parts: Reception and demo area, administrative office, the main lab and the second lab. You should see the number of ear impressions VE receives on a daily basis, it’s clear they need a good administrative follow up. It was also funny to see how different all the impressions looked with all their different colors and materials used.
Amin was so kind to show us around and I’m afraid I took up way more of his time as he reserved but it was so very interesting. It’s not that often you get to take a look behind the product, if you know what I mean.
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