Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[REVIEW] VSONIC GR01, GR02 Bass Edition, GR06 and GR99 – V for VALUE

First, I’ll like thank both VSONIC and lendmeurears.com for the samples. With the success of GR07 since early 2011, VSONIC has had quite an ambition plan to develop a series of IEM that will continue to offer top value for the money. With GR06 being launched late last year, now it has been joined by the company latest flagship, the dual balanced armature based GR01, as well as the more budget oriented GR02 Bass Edition and GR99. Though being debuted as the flagship, GR01 won’t be replacing the well received GR07. Instead they will be sold side by side and both will be considered as the company’s flagship. Likewise, the GR02 Bass Edition won’t be replacing the normal GR02 (which is the renamed R02 Pro II), but will be offered side by side as well.


Price wise, GR01 can be found online for US$185, GR06 is around $65, GR02 Bass Edition is around US$35 and GR99 is around $25.

SPEC
GR01-01.jpg
GR01
Driver: Knowles dual balanced armature receiver
Rated Impedance: 32Ω @ 500kHz, 50Ω @ 1kHz
Sensitivtiy: 108dB (@ 500 Hz)
Frequency Response: 5Hz- 20kHz
Distortion: <2% @ 94dB
Channel Balance: <2dB @ 500Hz
Rated Power: 10mW
Maximum Input Power: 50mW
Plug:3.5mm 24K gold plated stereo plug
Cable: 1.30m TPU cable, 4 X20 silver and copper mixed wires

GR02B-01.jpg
GR02 Bass Edition
Driver: 11mm Multilayer diaphragms CCAW dynamic
Impedance: 24ohm +/- 10%
Sensitivity: ≥105dB (@ 500Hz)
Frequency Response: 10Hz- 20kHz
Channel Balance: ≤3dB @ 500Hz
Distortion: ≤1% @ 105dB
Rated Power: 10mW
Maximum Input Power: 30mW
Plug: 3.5mm 24K gold plated stereo plug
Cable: 1.30m TPU cable, 4 X20 silver plated wires +/-3%

GR06-01.jpg
GR06
Driver: 11mm CCAW dynamic
Impedance: 24ohm +/- 10%
Sensitivity: ≥108dB (@ 500Hz)
Frequency Response: 10Hz- 20kHz
Channel Balance: ≤2dB @ 500Hz
Distortion: ≤1% @ 105dB
Rated Power: 10mW
Maximum Input Power: 50mW
Plug: 3.5mm 24K gold plated stereo plug
Cable: 1.30m TPU cable, copper wires

GR99-01.jpg
GR99
Driver: 10.5mm CCAW dynamic
Rated Impedance: 24Ω +/- 15%
Sensitivity: ≥103dB (@ 500Hz)
Frequency Response: 20Hz—20kHz
Distortion: ≤2% @ 94dB
Channel Imbalance: ≤3dB (@ 500Hz)
Rated Input: 10mW
Maximum Input Power: 30mW
Plug: 3.5mm 24K gold plated stereo plug
Cable: 1.25M PET cable, 4X14 core 6N OFHC Copper wire

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
All VSONIC models now come with the new white+transparent packaging – smaller than what VSONIC used to have and more practical. The key now is to show off the IEM upfront, and it works out quite well. However, the packaging doesn’t not just looking prettier – it also has a lot more accessories than the old packaging. While VSONIC has never cut back on accessories on their older packaging, the newer packaging just stuff full of them. They all have a storage pouch (soft pouch for GR99 and pleather for the rest), ear guide for GR06 and shirt clip for the rest, and a massive amount of eartips (8 pairs for GR99 and 14 pairs for the rest). Most of these eartips are good quality Hybrid style eartips. There are also a few foam filled Hybrid for GR01 as well.

GR01-02.jpg
GR01

GR02B-02.jpg
GR02 Bass Edition

Needless to say the overall build quality of all 4 IEM models is still really high, but not the highest. While the rest comes with similar cable we have seen on GR07 (though different in what wires are used within), GR99 comes with a more regular looking cable that is still pretty good in quality. GR99 also has aluminum housing that seems to be largely vented on the back. But it is hard to say for sure since it actually doesn’t leak (in or out) a lot of sound, as opposite to what you would expect from such a large vent. GR06 is much closer looking to GR04 / R04 and GR07 with its over-the-ear design, squared housing and moveable nozzle. The only downside of GR06 is that it doesn’t have a chin glider. Fortunately VSONIC does include a pair of ear guide in the package so it is not a total lost.

GR02 Bass Edition on the other hand looks just as good as my old R02 Pro II (known as the regular GR02 now) with a slightly different color. Last but not least, the new flagship GR01 looks just as good the other models. It has a slightly long’ish body, almost as long an Etymotic ER4. The nozzle has a removable ‘cap’ that functions similar to that found on Apple’s dual driver IEM, with the one metal mesh and a paper filter inside. I don’t recommend removing the cap without good reason since you can easy lose those filters and it will be hard to find replacement. Also, make sure you have tightened those cap as tightly as you can.

GR06-02.jpg
GR06

GR99-02.jpg
GR99

Comfort wise, they are all quite good. But as I have mentioned above, GR01 can stick out from the ear a bit due to its length. This means it is not quite suitable for over-the-ear. The good news is that it is very light so it won’t get into the way much. Isolation wise, all models are above average. Good for day-to-day use, but not nearly the most isolated. On the downsides, GR99 and GR01 can be slightly more microphonics at time, but using the included shirt clip should take care of the problem.

Overall I am impressed by VSONIC again. They have made good products in the past, but they have pushed for even higher standard with the new release. This is especially obvious when we look at GR99, which is packed like a $100 IEM when it has sub$30 price tag. I hope we don’t get spoiled after this, or should we expect from other manufacturers as well?

Sound Quality
All IEM have been burnt-in for over 50 hours before the review. No significant change was detected. Though all VSONIC models are named in number, they are not actually an indication of sound quality. We will start from the highest number to the lowest.

GR99-03.jpg

GR99 is the latest low end of the VSONIC line-up. The original lowest end, the R02 Pro II, has been reformulated and became the new GR02 series (*which has a total of three different models, including the Bass edition) and a small price bump from around $25 to around $30~$35. The original price spot is now occupied by GR99. I have recommended the old R02 Pro II with a Sonic Diamond because of its good price/value ratio and a warm, bassy and smooth sound that is very easy-going. In comparison, the new GR99 is almost just as good – less warm and tighter in bass, more balance in overall presentation and better extended in treble. In short, it has a good portion of everything but not excessive in any. It still has the VSONIC’s warm and sweet house-sound, just less colored while still maintains a smooth and easy-going nature. Soundstage is quite decent, neither particular wide nor feel the lack of. Less fun sounding than R02 Pro II while technically more accurate, the great strength of GR99 is perhaps its lack of real weakness. For under $30 and a performance that ties R02 Pro II and DUNU Trident, you can hardly ask for more.

GR06-05.jpg
Swingable nozzle

GR06-06.jpg
GR06, next to R04 (right) and GR07 (left)

With a very warm and mid centric sound, GR06’s strength is in presenting texture and an upfront vocal. In a way, it shares a large portion of its sound signature with GR04, but much more upfront in the vocal and thus makes it less versatile when it comes to genre compatibility. Though a strong mid centric sound, the bass is by no mean weak in anyway. It still hits deep and impactful, but just not in the center of the whole presentation. Mid is where GR06 shines, with a lot sweetness and texture. Treble actually extends slightly further than GR04, but also feels slightly more busy as well. While it is crisp, it is not as clear as it can be as it can be slightly grainy at time. Soundstage is, as expected, sub-par when compared to other warm sounding IEM of the same caliber, like MEElec A151 and Creative In-Ear2. But in exchange, GR06 offers more texture and detail to the mid.

GR02B-03.jpg

GR02 Bass Edition has a somewhat misleading name that would trick a person to think that it is the old GR02 with more bass. While it is true that the Bass Edition does have more bass than the regular GR02, the improvement in bass is in offering more body and texture. The overall depth and impact are rather similar between the two. Abundant in bass? Yes, but not bass monster just yet. The biggest improvement comes in a more upfront mid and a well extended treble, giving it the same GR99’s sound signature that is warm and fairly equal in all frequencies. The improvements from GR99 to GR02 Bass Edition are better dynamic, richer tone and overall better detail. Nothing night and day, but still noticeable in direct comparison. This makes it almost as good sounding as GR04 even though it lacks a single big wow factor. Soundstage is decent as well, just nothing special to write home about. Like GR99, the versatility of the sound and lack of any particular weakness are GR02 Bass Edition’s greatest strength. However, if you consider that you are getting a better sound than both R02 Pro II and GR99 for $10 more – probably not the smartest pricing strategy for VSONIC but good news to the buyer.

GR01-04.jpg
GR01's removable 'cap'

GR01-05.jpg
GR01 next to UE700

GR01-06.jpg
GR01 next to GR07

GR01 is the new flagship for VSONIC, no doubt about it. Simply put, it is a dual driver that makes very little compromise in sound, and the best sounding Knowles TWFK based balanced armature IEM I have heard so far. When it comes to TWFK based dual driver IEM, they seem to be more popular with a bright, analytical and somewhat aggressive sound (i.e. Fischer Audio DBA-02, Brainwavz B2, and EXS X20). GR01 on the other hand is the rare breed of having warm and sweet sound, much like the UE700. With UE700, the top can be just a little too smooth. While it is still crisp, sparkle from upmost portion of the music is often missing and make the music less airy than it can be and even feels dull at time. With GR01, the treble extends just a hair better and doesn’t feel lacking too much air anymore. At the same time, it is very well behaved without any emphasis on brightness, aggressiveness or graininess. It has a very delicate balance that keeps the VSONIC house-sound intact while offering a great amount of detail. However, analytical listener who are used to B2/DBA-02 type of brightness probably won’t find it enough. Mid is clean and detail, slightly on the warm side but neither particularly upfront nor recessed. If anything, it has better texture and fullness than that of DBA-02 or B2, and even slightly ahead of UE700. Bass reaches down quite deep with decent quality but a little short on quantity. It comes slightly short in impact when compared to UE700 and needless to say, far less in amount and depth than that of GR07. Though the amount of bass isn’t much more than DBA-02/B2, it does have better texture and decay that gives it a more solid body. Soundstage is quite good. Not as wide as GR07 but has a better resolution and layer. Overall, the amounts of bass, mid and treble are in good balance and give GR01 a warm and slightly sweet sound signature that is tilting toward being neutral in presentation. It doesn’t quite have the kind of fun and dynamic sound that is found on lower end VSONIC. However, it is much refined – tight, detail, accurate, and very well controlled with a right mix of technicality and musicality, showing how careful tuning can push the limitation of the TWFK drivers. While GR01 does sound better than most TWFK based IEM, it doesn’t surpass GR07 by much – more polite and more balance technically, GR01 represent another highly tuned IEM from VSONIC that can sit face to face with GR07 without coming short. Where GR07 excels in texture, bass and soundstage, GR01 excels in detail, control and linearity in frequency response.

Verdict
It is rather hard to put value to these VSONIC without being seen as hype of some kind. After all, I’ll like to hand out 3 Sonic Diamond in a review of 4 models; but on the other hand, I don’t want people to think I am giving the highest recommendation away too easily. While I still see DUNU for having the best build quality among Chinese brands, VSONIC isn’t that far behind themselves. Sound quality wise, they have more than proven their ability. It is easier to justify the lower end models – they are just good for the money. But it is trickier for GR01 since it has higher MSRP than most TWFK based dual driver IEM (*around $210, though you can get it from $185 for now) and also more expensive compared to GR07. However, it also has sound quality that rivals dual and three drivers IEM from big brands like Westone or Shure, which usually go for $300+. At the end, I just have to give it to VSONIC for continuing to push for ever higher price/performance ratio in their products. Thus, my highest recommendations of Sonic Diamond go to GR99 [4.85 / 5] ,  GR02 Bass Edition [4.9 /5] and GR01 [4.85 /5] .

For numeric ranking, check out The List.

118 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about GR01 vs TDK BA200?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Haven't reviewed BA200 just yet. But as far as overall SQ goes, I'll put BA200 at the same level as GR01.

Anonymous said...

When you will review Astrotec AM-90?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Some time in May, most likely.

Anonymous said...

strange... I find the sound stage of gr06 to be above average same as joker; using the double flange stock tips btw.

Tai / ClieOS said...

Yes, bi-flanges do seem to improve soundstage on GR06. However, the reason not to use bi-flanges is simple - MY GR06 is from the first batch and it doesn't come with bi-flanges but only foam tips and single flange.

Anonymous said...

You should checkout the Rockit Sounds R-50 as it sounds just as good and has the same sound signature as the GR01 and cost $119.99 USD. Its my new favorite IEM and it still shocks me that an unknown small company like that can make such a good sounding IEM thats a dual BA for around $100.

Tai / ClieOS said...

I really don't think Rockit Sounds actually 'makes' the IEM themselves (most small companies don't). More likely they are just cutting their profit margin very low after sourcing it from an OEM. Not that there is anything wrong with that from a buyer's POV. I'll check them out when I have the chance.

Anonymous said...

In your list the MEElec A151 and GR06 have the same sq ranking. Do you think the differences in other aspects would justify having both?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Beside same SQ ranking, they are also both mid centric sounding. However, I do think there is enough difference between them to warrant a buy since one is dynamic while the other is balanced armature based. Just don't expect one to totally outperform the other.

Anonymous said...

hi tai!
nice reviews indeed.
having the 3 models that have a adjustable nozzle, does the nozzle gets loosen with the time?
i'm intersted in the Gr06 but i'm worried if that could happen

thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

I have heard from a person that one side of the nozzle gets loose on his VSONIC. However, they are all still very tight on mine, including the GR07 which I use regularly. Unless you adjust the nozzle a lot, I don't think it will a problem.

Anonymous said...

i'm kinda surprised. i was sure you'd be giving the GR06 a 5/5 value or at least a SD. is it because of the higher price they have now?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Everything is relative. If you look at the List, you will notice there are other IEM of the same SQ that are cheaper. Of course, those IEM have shortcoming of themselves. But on the other hand, GR06 isn't free of shortcoming of its own either. The lack of chin slider for an over-the-ear design, the overly warm and less versatile sound - these are all reason why GR06 doesn't get the Sonic Diamond.

Anonymous said...

how are these compared to the Shure SE215 ? i have read different thoughts about that

Anonymous said...

sorry i'm refering to the GR06

Tai / ClieOS said...

I find SE215 to be obviously better sounding then GR06. In fact, I'll say SE215 is a class better.

Also, I was told the current batch of GR06 already has the chin slider included. Good news as VSONIC does take feedback seriously, though it won't affect the ranking of the IEM.

dw1narso said...

Hi Tai,

what do you think about GR01 compared to DBA02 mk2? I had a chance to hear DBA02mk2 and compare it to TDK BA200. In my opinion, despite the little sin of DBA02 mk2 on the prominent upper mid/lower treble, it is at least in a class above TDK BA200. TDK BA200 is not bad, with especially good on the voice, but DBA02 has the magical out of ear/head that reflect to my experience with planar headphones. If GR01 is equalling TDK BA200, then I think DBA02 would still be my choice...

Tai / ClieOS said...

I haven't heard the DBA-02 MK2. As I have mentioned in the List, ranking is ultimately a flaw method of comparing headphone because it ignores all detail of why something is ranked higher over another. However, it is the only workable model we have and we will have to make do. One might prefer a certain attribute of a certain IEM and rank it over another, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you have heard them and prefer it differently than I would, I'll said do trust your ears. But never assume what you haven't heard as you might or might not rank it that way I do. The List, at best, is just a pointer. It is not a conclusion.

dw1narso said...

yes... very understandable... people value would be different with mine...

I hope you get the chance to listen to DBA02mk2. I haven't get the DBA02mk2 my self... the pricing around the area (ASEAN I means) is definitely turn me down. If you had a chance to travel to Singapore, there are some stores that welcome us to audition the phones, without any obligations. I really wish that the DBA02mk2 price on the store where I audition it in Singapore last time was not that high. I really want to give my appreciation and support for their excellent services by buying it from them. I don't mind of paying 10-15% premium in exchange for their services but, unfortunately the almost twice the price from the most web price really stopped me (as I understand it is the high distributor price does not allow them to sell it more affordable).

Tai / ClieOS said...

I will be in Singapore for a few days next week and might have a chance to listen to DBA-02 MK2 (hopefully). We'll see.

Anonymous said...

does the gr01 also lacks the chin slider like the gr06?

any idea of how to make one?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Yes, GR01 does have chin slider. Also, I was told VSONIC has already updated the current batch GR06 with chin slider, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore. However, due to the design of the earpiece, GR01 isn't that easy to wear over-the-ear, which means chin slider isn't really that important.

Anonymous said...

but, any ideas of how making one?

Tai / ClieOS said...

The easy way to make a chin slider is to use twist tie (the cable tie that often comes with electronic and help keep the cable tie together). Just wist a small lop around the cable and use it as chin slider.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai,

How do you compare SE215 to GR07? Will it be a good upgrade?

Or should i just wait for GR08? Hoping it will be out soon :)

Tai / ClieOS said...

GR07 is definitely worth the upgrade. I have no idea how GR08 will sound. Rumor said it will be a June/July release, which can't be confirmed at this point. It will also be at least $100+ more expensive than GR07. The safer bet at this point is still the GR07.

Tai / ClieOS said...

p/s: VSONIC just announced that GR99, which was only released to the market for a short few months, has been discontinued due to overly low price (apparently they are selling at cost, and the cost went up). GR04 will also be discontinued this month, followed by GR02 (both normal and bass edition) around the end of the year.

Scott said...

Hi Tai,

Since you have heard both the GR01 and GR07, which one would be the best to listen to Top 40 music? Which one has more defined bass?

Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

They are both good at different genre of music. But if you want a little more bass, then GR07 is the better choice.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai.

are those Vsonic prices at http://www.taobao-buying-agent.com for real? the GR99 for $20 or less, the GR04 around $30 ??

Tai / ClieOS said...

They should be real. GR99 and GR04 are currently on cleaning-stock sale. That website is just a buying agent for taobao (Chinese equivalent of eBay), not the actual seller themselves so do pay attention to which seller they are buying from and how much they are charging for shipping and service fee, etc..

luis said...

Hi Tai, what iem´s actually you recommended for metal music and hard rock ? I have a soundmagic e10 actually,but they are very uncomfortable for me ears,thanks.

Lina said...

will the Shure Olives fit the Gr06 and 07 ? and if so, are they a good match regading SQ?

Tai / ClieOS said...

@luis, I don't listen much to metal or hard rock, but I tend to think they will go well with a more balanced sound signature that isn't too recessed in the mid. For that a good budget choice will be Fischer Audio Consonance. Have you tried alternative eartips such as Sony Hybrid on your E10 yet? You might not need another IEM if you can get it to fit you right.

@Lina, no, Shure olive will not fit GR06 or GR07 as both of them have bigger nozzle.

luis said...

Tai , thanks for your quick response, I gonna try with this eartips sony hibrid first.
thanks.

Anonymous said...

Any plans to review the Rockit Sounds R-50? It's a dual BA Knowles TWFK for about $120. A few Head-Fi members (Techno Kid, for one) have already reviewed it with positive reviews. Would like to see your take on it. Thanks.

Tai / ClieOS said...

No plan to review R-50 at the moment. Unfortunately I can't afford all the gears I wish to review and I am already maxed out my limited budget. Remember this is as much a costly hobby for me as it is to others and this blog doesn't generate profit at all. Though I love what I do, it is still a money pit and I have to be careful not to sink too deep.

Anonymous said...

DBA02 vs Gr01, besides one being more agressive and the other smoother, are there really noticiable differences?
and i'm asking as someone who hasnt heard any and wants to get one XD

Tai / ClieOS said...

They are, in essence, two very different sounding IEM, and it won't take an expert to tell they are quite opposite to each other.

autoexec said...

Hi, just want to as if GR06 to GR07 would by a worthy upgrade. Are there really big improvements? My problem with GR06 is it's muddiness and lack of highs. Will GR07 never be muddy at anytime, I'm dying for an audition but unfortunately there's no unit I can test before buying. Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

GR06 is mid centric so it won't have a particular great clarity or treble detail. I won't say GR07 has the best clarity or treble detail, but it is a pretty big jump in overall SQ when compared to GR06. It has, as far my opinion goes, very little weakness.

autoexec said...

forgive me for asking here but can you suggest any IEM that would fit my needs? I want an IEM that has a powerful bass depth but not overwhelming mid-bass. Bass speed is also important to me as I listen mostly to metal with very fast bass drum notes so precision of the bass is really important though I don't want it to be boring that it's almost non-existent. I love mids too so I think TF10 is not gonna do me really good. Btw, I heard it once and kinda liked it though. But from what I've read many times, they say it has V-shape FR.. And of course treble detail is also important to me. I'm not too fond of fun sounding I'm maybe into the analytical side I guess. Can you suggest any IEMs that would gonna do me good? Thank you.

Tai / ClieOS said...

You want deep power bass, sweet mid and and treble detail of an analytical IEM - I really don't know an IEM that has them all.

hzant6681 said...

deep bass, sweet mid and and treble detail of an analytical IEM....wow a dreamy ultimate IEM :-) hahahaha.BUT is it possible Clieos? we have so many things around us which are technically near perfect.as u said earlier as we move up towards some great IEMs not much change happens in SQ.
This thought raises a question when u say technically strong what points do u refer to? again when u say SQ what sound qualities do you refer to? atleast in my case shud i go after something technically strong or ones with best SQ coz in studies i learnt quality in anything is very subjective in humans.I find myself pulled into a hobby/interest where the progress potential is like endless but like spending money into an abyss.

Tai / ClieOS said...

All you will get by putting deep bass, strong mid and bright treble together is a Frankenstein-headphone that probably going to sound bad. If there is such an easy thing as to make a perfect IEM by mixing everything into one, trust me that many companies would have done that long ago as that will be very easy to do. But sound quality is not about having all of everything, but having the right amount. To balance and to make the right compromise, that is what headphone tuning is all about. Advance in manufacturing technology and materials science makes this process easier and less compromised, but still the balance of all the elements is the essential key to a good sound. If you want everything, then most likely the one thing you'll never get is the SQ.

hzant6681 said...

"Frankenstein-headphone" hahahaha I think i get your point.So the quest will continue :-).probably we humans will reach a pinnacle where future IEMs (if they are called so) would send signals directly to Primary Auditory Cortex area of the brain with 100% accuracy & detail.And well tund earphones & headphones will be treasured like antiques & classy (just saw the movie Prometheus ;-))

Anonymous said...

would you reccomend the GR06 for music with vocals without missing the bass, treble and rest of the sound?
or any other options for $60-65?

Tai / ClieOS said...

If you use GR06 with bi-flange, it should sound more balanced. I never find GR06 'missing' any part of the frequency but then again, everyone has his/her opinion on what is missing and what is not.

autoexec said...

where do you get bi-flange tips for GR06? Btw the ones with the foam single flange makes the IEM very muddy IMO.

Tai / ClieOS said...

The latest batch of GR06 should come with bi-flanges. If yours are older batcg, you can get some really good quality bi-flange from MEElectronics. Alternatively, there are some cheaper option on eBay as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi just saw that you have the rock it R50. How does it compare to the dual armatures that you have?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Initial impression of the R-50 is excellent, certainly around the level of DBA-02 and probably better. Detailed review will have to wait as I have yet to put it through burn-in yet.

Anonymous said...

does the gr06 isolate as good as the gr07 and gr04?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Around the same ballpark.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
Now I suffer a choice what to choose from budgetary Vsonic... GR04 (50 ohm flagship Edition) or GR06? That you have advised me an optimum parity the price quality? Or having in property Hifiman Re-Zero and Sunrise Xscape Impressive edition I for myself will not make improvements with Vsonic?
In advance thank

Tai / ClieOS said...

I won't want to advise you on what IEM to get before knowing what kind of music you are going to listen and what kind of sound you prefer. Without knowing what you want, any advise is just blind recommendation.

jack said...

my friend said that GR02 bass edition have better sound quality and tonality than shure 215, is it true? and if thats true i wanna replace my 215 GR02 bass edition which got 1/3 215 price

Tai / ClieOS said...

You can certainly get both then let go of the one that sounds lesser for you. But as far as my opinion goes, GR02 Bass edition is great for the money, but it isn't SE215 level yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi, how is the quality of the eartips included with the budget Vsonics? I am looking for tips for my Fischer Eternas (can't get a good seal with either) and for a few more dollars could pick up the GR02, GR04, or GR06. Which of the three would be a good complement to the Eternas? I listen mostly to indie rock and acoustic music. Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

VSONICS usually packs its IEM with really good quality eartips, so that shouldn't be an issue at all.

I really won't call those three models as compliment to Eterna but they do offer a different sound. As far as which to get, well, the easy choice is to get the highest model you can afford, in this order up: GR02 Bass < GR04 < GR06.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick response. Is the GR04 flagship edition (now $53 on ebay) the same as the one you've reviewed? I was hoping it might sound better than the 3.7 s.q. you gave it on your chart, if not I would just go with the GR02 bass.

Tai / ClieOS said...

No, they are not the same. The one I reviewed is GR04 Classic. GR04 Flagship is said to be better but I have never heard it myself.

Anonymous said...

Very confusing, but thanks for the info.

Sandro said...

Do any of these (especially gr02 and gr06) resemble the sound signature of the Brainwavz M1?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Somewhat, I won't them having the exact sound as M1, but they are all warm smooth and a good mid. Though I ranked GR06 higher, in this case, I think GR02 Bass might be closer to M1.

Sandro said...

Then do you know any IEM that has the same sound signature of the M1 but with higher quality?
I mean among all the things you tried...maybe the m1 is unique!? :D

Tai / ClieOS said...

No two IEM sound totally alike. If they do, then it won't be much of an upgrade, right? The two we have talked before are all upgrade in the sense of them offering better SQ than M1.

However, if you do really like your M1, I'll suggest you hold back for the upcoming M5 for now. It should be quite a jump from M1.

Sandro said...

I didn't know about the M5, will you get one?

Tai / ClieOS said...

I already have a M5 with me, expect review to come next week.

Anonymous said...

What are the important differences between the Vsonic GR06 and the R04 that could win someone over to either side?

Tai / ClieOS said...

GR06 excels in vocal, but limits to vocal. While R04 is also pretty good with vocal,the overall balance is better and thus more versatile for non-vocal music as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you advice;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, from the posts above on August 12 I went ahead and purchased the GR02 bass edition. To my surprise they have more bass than my Eternas V1 (or at least it was labeled as V1). A little punchier as well. Not sure if I like them as much as the Eternas though.

On a different note, how do you find the Rockit sounds R-50? Is it as good as the GR01 in terms of SQ? How about the pfe 112?

Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

R50 is almost as good as GR01, or at least quite close in performance.

Anonymous said...

Hi, is it rational to buy GR01 if I already have the R50? Would the GR01 be an upgrade? Personally, which do you prefer and why?

How about durability - GR01 looks more durable?

Thanks and appreciate your reply. Your reviews are a nice read!

Tai / ClieOS said...

No, R50 and GR01 are close enough to each other that I think you don't need to buy both. Yes, GR01 looks to be more durable (not that R50 looks fragile). I prefer GR01 just a little more because it fit me better. The memory wire on R50 doesn't go quite as well with my glasses.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finding time to reply! I agree on the memory wire concern as I also wear glasses. I'm considering a reshelling of R50 - if given the opportunity, will you do the same? Is it worth it?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Reshell? It might end up costing more than just getting a cheaper custom though. Personally, I am still more of a universal IEM person

mynameisdany said...

Hello, I just bought VSonic GR02 Bass Edition. I wonder why i did not get that so many colorful eartips? I just got one (double flange) in the IEM itself and three additional eartips in three different size.

Is it newer version (that I bought) or there is different version than what you mentioned above?
Thank you

Tai / ClieOS said...

According to VSONIC, they lower the price of the all black version of GR02 since June and thus much less accessories are included.

Anonymous said...

Hello
I was looking for a mid based IEM.So I've eliminated the GR02 Bass Edition.But I'm confused after reading yor review.
Upfront and clear vocal is my priority.
I know GR06 is mid based but I'm thinking to buy GR99 or GR02 Bass Edition.Which one would you recommend between these two?
Thanks in advance

mynameisdany said...

Hello, can we put earhook with this GR02 Bass Edition?

Tai / ClieOS said...

You can, if you really wanted to. Might need a little modification to the earhook though, but it all depends on which kind of earhook we are talking about. My suggestion is just to wear the cable over the ear and use the chin slider to secure it in place.

Anonymous said...

Tai, which one do you prefer, the Vsonic GR06 or the Meelec A151 , both in sound alone , and as a whole pack

Tai / ClieOS said...

SQ wise, they are more or less equal but with difference strength. I tend to prefer A151 a little more since it has a more versatile presentation that will go better with more genre of music while GR06 is much more focus on vocal. As a whole package, I would say GR06 wins by a hair because it has really good accessories and equally good build quality as A151, if not just a little better.

Anonymous said...

Vsonic is pretty good but Rock-It-Sounds is also worth to check it out. Especially the R-10 (if compare apple to apple with Vsonic).

You can find it in Singapore at www.multi5enses.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai, thanks for great help for us, I need go for new update for a151, and I see brainwavz
B2, Fischer Audio DBA-02 or meelec a161 or GR01, for vocal music,jazz, thanks for your help

Tai / ClieOS said...

Never heard of A161, but between B2, DBA_02 and GR01, I'll choose GR01 for Jazz and vocal.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Tai,

I have a Brainwavz M2. Can you please compare the bass, mids and highs of GR06? Is the sound signature different enough to buy it? I'm looking for a different signature, something that is more detailed and analytical.

Hoping for your reply Tai, Thanks!

Tai / ClieOS said...

If you are looking for a big jump in SQ, I won't say GR06 is it. M2 is more about musicality and the overall fun of the presentation, while GR06 is also warm, but thicker and slower with better texture in mid to lower end. Technically, it is just a small upgrade over M2. But as a whole, I don't think you will find any big jump at all, especially since what you want are detail and analytical sound.

For what you are looking for on the same price range, I'll recommend the new beyerdynamic XP2 or XP3. Both are around US$50. XP2 is more detail focus with lesser bass, while XP3 offers both good detail and bass but with a slightly more recessed mid. They are all really good choice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Tai, the XP series reviews are quite tempting and they do really look good for their price. Unfortunately, I live in the Philippines. Summing up the price and the shipping fee might be overkill for IEMs that are considered a budget. The only Beyer product they sell here are the DTX ones.

Can you recommend another IEM that are analytical? Asian brands, if possible. I can stretch my budget if it is worth it.

Tai / ClieOS said...

Might worth a try if you drop an email to Jaben.net and see what the shipping is. I believe they are selling it for US$58 with shipping included on their online store.

Anyway, another immediate alternative for analytical sound is HifiMan RE0. Etymotic MC5 can be considered as well, though I don't think it is quite as good as my previous recommendation.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if it is better than RE0 then this might really be worth a try. I've just emailed them and now awaiting for their reply.

As always Tai, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai, my music listening taste are mainly jazz(vocal & instrument), country & western, acoustic folk, & light orchestra.
So in your opinion, between the Vsonic GR06 & GR04(flagship edition), which IEM is a more preferable choice for those music genre. Thanks.

Tai / ClieOS said...

Never listened to the Flagship edition of GR04 actually, so I can't say for sure which will be better.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, thanks for your quick reply.
I have AB comparision the GR02(bass) & GR06. My preference is on GR06, but too bad they don't have the GR04(flagship) for demo.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai, currently I am using GR04 classic and plan to upgrade. My favorite music type is new age piano, classical, jazz & japan/chinese song.

I am thinking about GR01, Ortofon EQ5 & RE272. So from your opinion, which one you recommend?? My player is iPhone4, Macbook Pro & nano7 ..

Tai / ClieOS said...

All three should do your music well enough. e-Q5 will give you the best lower end texture and impact. RE272 will give you the best detail, while GR01 will be the most versatile of the three and that will be what I'll recommend.

Sandro said...

Hi,
if the gr06 is considered mid-centric how would you define the gr02 BE? Balanced with a bass emphasis? By balanced I mean literally not with somehow recessed mids signature.

Tai / ClieOS said...

Sound signature of both have been described in the review. If you want to see how both are categorized, here they are:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/541204/

Sandro said...

Hi,
what confused me is that you describe the GR02 as "fairly equal in all frequencies" while guys at head-fi told me that mids are recessed though vocals could sound thin and dry.

I don't like U-V shaped sounds. I prefer balanced/neutral or mid-centric.

Would I like the GR02?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Describing sound is not an exact science. It is more of an art in relative terms. For example, one who listen to Etymotic for a long time might find GR02 having wide soundstage because Etymotic really has very flat sound stage. But for someone who has listened to TF10 for a long time, GR02 soundstage might seen only decent. It is still the same sound stage, only the POV are different.

Sandro said...

Yes I totally agree. I always say that what you hear really depends on what you are used to.
Anyway I know you haven't listened to the GR04 flagship but do you know if they're SUPPOSED to be better or the same as the R04 you reviewed?

Tai / ClieOS said...

I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tai,

Have you reviewed the GR04 Flagship edition ? well..I'm a bit confused b/w GR02 bass edition, GR04 Flagship edition, Soundmagic E10 & Brainwavz R1. I prefer good punchy bass (can't compromise on that) and overall good clarity in sound. I owe a Brainwavz M5 and somehow I don't like the sound signature of M5. Need your opinions here.

Tai / ClieOS said...

No, and there is no plan to review GR04 Flagship either. Unless you tell me exactly what about M5 you dislike, it is hard to recommend anything specific. But given you don't like M5, there is a chance E10 might not suit you as well. GR02 is a safe choice as it has a really easy going sound. R1 is only suitable if you are a basshead as it has a lot of bass, which could compromise other area of the sound.

Anonymous said...

Well.. my M5 produces fleshed-out & uncontrolled bass with bi-flanges & almost zero bass with other silicon tips. Can't identify which instrument the bass belongs to. Also the thinner note presentation and congested soundstage made me to switch over to another IEM. It feels like the sound is coming from a small tin can or something like that. I prefer IEM with a good soundstage, punchy and controlled bass with thumps (but not unnecessary bass) and overall decent clarity in sound. Are there any such IEM's in 0-70$ range which fits in all those criteria ?

Tai / ClieOS said...

Bass presence / missing is more likely an issue of fit rather than SQ. The description of 'tin can' indicates a possible phase issue (the internal wiring is wrong) - you might want to send it back for replacement. A $70 budget really doesn't give you a lot of choice. If you can push it to $99, HifiMan RE400 would be a good choice. Otherwise, I think Sony XBA-10 will fit your budget just right.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for your valuable feedback. I ordered GR02 BE from lendmeurears. They are on their way. Well just out of curiosity, want to know how Vsonic's VC02 sounds different from GR02 BE ? Are they an upgrade over Gr02 BE at almost the similar price?

Tai / ClieOS said...

VC02 has a leaner, cleaner, more neutral presentation. However, as a whole it isn't really an upgrade over GR02, more like a side-grade.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, Could vsonic produce a gr06 with silver cable?

Tai / ClieOS said...

GR06 has been discontinued, as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

Really! Do you know what is the reason? I was thinking of buying.

Ajey Pandey said...

The GR06 probably was discontinued because they just released the VC02...which I want. Badly.

Tai / ClieOS said...

I don't really know why they cancel it, but you can still find it on eBay.

Christopher F.B. said...

Hi Tai.what do you prefer Vsonic GR02(bass edition) or Vsonic(GR02 balance edition)for the sound quality?thank you

Tai / ClieOS said...

Never listened to the Balanced edition before, so I am not sure..

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