Overall the VE5 is a very clear sounding monitor that sounds spacious and open. It has got a really good speed and attack while keeping everything tight and under control. It’s a fairly neutral and transparent but musical tuned monitor with great dynamics and good precision. Sound stage is pretty wide but it’s more extended on the high end then it is in the lower region. Bass is less present than the upper mid and highs but it’s not inexistent at all. Bass actually is very well defined. It’s tight and fast sounding while always being punchy. Bass depth, detail and layering actually is pretty good, the only thing is the bass in the VE5 doesn’t have the biggest body. Don’t get me wrong though, bass does have body and is always there when it needs to be, you just have to look at the bass as “quality over quantity”. I’m not afraid to admit I like my bass but I just as much like the bass in the VE5 because of its quality. It’s clear the VE5 isn’t a monitor for the bass heads amongst us, it’s a more normal or dare I say neutral bass.
The lower mids are kind of like the bass in a way. They certainly are spacious clear and have a very good detail level. There’s nothing to complain about (again). They just don’t have the excellence of the upper highs and mids and they’re perfectly in line with the bass section. And that’s when it really starts to get good. The clarity, detail and resolution of the upper mids are just really good. They sound spacious and detailed while maintaining their musicality. The dynamics and their resolution are among the very best. The treble has very good detail/resolution, precision and extension without ever going overboard and becoming harsh. I really like my treble and I really like the VE5 treble. That probably means treble for some will have too much focus, but to me the extension and precision just is spot on.
As a result the VE5 excels with vocally strong music and several types of dance where you don’t need the biggest bass body (quality over quantity). The last few months I have been listening to a lot of music like Björk’s newest Vulnicura, Lana del Rey’s Ultraviolence, Robert Francis, Alisson Krauss, Melody Gardot and Anna Ternheim’s and Leonard Cohen’s full discography. I especially like the vocals on the VE5 and if you’re a big fan of this kind of music the VE5 will make you a very happy listener. At the same time the VE5 is strong enough to also make music like Stromae, Lykke Li and Lorde very enjoyable, but the big bass lovers might not find the bass body sufficient. One type of music I didn’t really like the VE5 with is faster rock music (and metal) where guitars and lower mids should have more presence upfront. If you’re listening to the Foo Fighters, Billy Talent, Marilyn Manson or Nirvana the VE5 doesn’t always perform at its best. That doesn’t means it “sucks” by far though, it does mean it’s just focusing on the voices and higher tones more and you’ll miss part of the “experience”. Slower kind of rock like the Vaccines or Arctic Monkeys on the other hand is very enjoyable on the VE5.
You can always use an amplifier or source that will in a way boost the bass and lower midrange. I’m not saying this is the ideal way as it basically means the VE5’s tuning is not what you’re looking for but it can offer you a solution. The VE6XC in that regard is a bit easier as it allows you to have different sound signatures.
I will keep this section rather short for the simple reason that I (surprise surprise) will be doing a 5 driver shootout in the very short future where I’ll be comparing four different five BA customs and it would make this review way too long. In the upcoming shootout I will compare the Rhines Stage 5, Cosmic Ears CE5P, Lime Ears Aether (to be delivered) and this VE5. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to compare all 5 driver models on the market, these 5 driver customs are quite expensive and not all companies can participate in a shootout.
I do feel I have to compare it quickly to the VE6XC which I listened to during my visit. The VE6XC is a more all-round monitor and with the changeable sound signature it’s a lot easier to play all types of music. I however preferred the VE5 over the VE6 because what the VE5 is strong at, the VE6 just doesn’t do as well. You could say the VE5 is more for a specific type of listeners or a typical kind of music, while the VE6 is for all musical types and for everyone. I already have several monitors that are great all-rounders, like the Legend R and CE6B, and so I myself would go for the VE5 without doubt.
Feel free to ask for more comparisons in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them.
The Vision Ears VE5 is an excellent 5 driver monitor and I love it very much. Because of the exceptionally good (upper) mids and treble it is extremely good with vocally strong music. That also means it isn’t the best all-round monitor on the market but Vision Ears voiced the VE5 like this on purpose and they did an excellent job at that. For 1399€ you get one of the very best (upper) mid and treble focused monitors with seriously good vocals. It simply looks stunning and apart from the minor beauty flaws on the inside I wouldn’t change it one bit.
Again, I’d like to thank Amin and Marcel for showing me around and for giving us the opportunity to review the VE5. Keep up the great work and enjoy that Apple watch 😉
Picture Gallery below.