Just like I did with my other custom monitor reviews, I will be going over the next few things:
- Build quality & Comfort
- Price & Accessories
- Customer Service
- Driveability & Sources
1. Build Quality & Comfort
Just like Rhines, VE uses the short and open “nozzles”/Ear canals. By doing that you create a sound chamber which some say has a positive effect on treble. At the same time it is easier for them to make and easier for us to clean. I quite like how both my Stage 5 and VE5 with these hollow canals feel in my ears.
When I first saw the finished lacquered VE5 they were so shiny and looked perfect. After a closer inspection the build quality seems pretty darn good even though not everyone agrees with me on this. For me it does: straight seal on the faceplate, no bubbles, perfect fit. The left canal do is a bit sharper but when inserted correctly (with a twist) that isn’t noticeable. Because of the special faceplate used it looks a bit thicker but that’s no big deal. The normal (not recessed) sockets are very well finished and the VE5 uses the standard 2-Pin connectors which make using after market cables easy. The monitors aren’t the lightest but that’s because of the faceplate and the fact VE fills them up with acryl once they’re finished. That of course is visible as well.
On the inside all looks pretty good and symmetric (for some people that’s important), the connection of the sound tubes to the driver could have been a bit cleaner just like the faceplate closing (glue) but you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t look at it and in the end it doesn’t impact the produced sound. Overall I really like the way they look and are finished, it’s clear VE has a lot of experience building acryl monitors.
I’ve been going to the same audiologist for the last 8 impressions or so and every single monitor that came back fits perfectly. Same goes for the VE5, perfect fit, no comfort issues and it’s in no way possible to break the seal while eating or making weird faces. That, in combination with the short canal style, make it a very comfortable monitor.
Like each and every ciem company, VE offers a lot of options. Basically you can send in any special request you have and the guys will look at it. They only use real materials: real wood (see pic) and real carbon. I have to say I am a big fan of the very typical grey carbon VE is famous for and I secretly hoped them to do my VE5 just like that. They made a variation of it for Nathan’s VE6 XC and that also looked gorgeous.
I never ask for anything in specific for my monitors and I usually let the supplier choose whatever they want to show off. When I told Amin in Cologne during the visit I liked the typical carbon look he said: “Oh no, we wanted to do that first but then we changed our minds”. I could see he was worried but when I said my two favorite colors are grey and blue he started smiling again. Turns out they made my monitors with mirror plates in blue, something new for Vision Ears. I have seen it before with Rhines if I remember well.
I absolutely love the way they look and sparkle, great job! They do seem to draw a lot of attention on the street as people keep looking at my monitors. People here aren’t used to seeing others use ciems, and the shiny blue really draws to their attention. Even after a few weeks they’re still so shiny (regular maintenance) and they still look so stunning. Another really great custom design they did was this one:
I of course asked them what the weirdest request was they had ever gotten (for Cosmic Ears it was a dead real spider in the face plate) and they couldn’t really remember anything specific design wise but they did however have one client who wanted a different tuning/model for his left and right ear…
Next to the faceplate, the monitors themselves feature the VE logo and my first name in white. The box the VE5 come in was also personalized with our logo and my name
The VE5 comes with a very light quad cable. I had the choice between grey and black. I actually was quite pleased with this cable: it is very light, comfortable and it feels good. Sound wise it was a more than ok cable but at home I did first switch it to the PlusSound Appolonian+ cable for IEMs which gave it more body in the bass and mids. As this isn’t really the sound the VE5 is going for, it just didn’t feel right.
At about the same time I got a box from Suyang/Effect Audio with a new cable for me to try out. He didn’t tell me what cable it was and on their website there was no info either, just some eye catchers and teasers on their Facebook page. I hooked up the bling looking cable (see pics)to the VE5 and I immediately loved what I heard. Crystal clear sound, very detailed in a light presentation with the right amount of body. Everything is so effortlessly delivered. I decided to keep using that cable. Only a few weeks later I found out this was the new top of the line cable –called Mars -: a silver gold plated cable… That’s why it looked so bling. Price tag: $999USD. Auch.
I’m not saying you should buy a $999 cable for the VE5 but if you do want to use an aftermarket cable I would advise going to a more silver cable as they will really highlight the VE5’s strong points.
A lot more reviewing on page 4, after the click