Pros: Fantastic balanced sound, low distortion, strong build quality, new low price
Cons: Slightly sibilant
Not An Introduction
This in-ear monitor does not need to be introduced, yet again, to headphone audio enthusiasts. The GR07 is one of the most popular high-performance IEMs on the market; at its original MSRP of about $180, it represented one of the best deals in headphone audio. It competed evenly with many IEMs that sold for much more money and suffered few compromises in order to achieve this performance, despite its inexpensive price tag. The GR07 have been released in several iterations since, the latest being the Classic model. Supposedly identical to the GR07 Mk II, the Classic offers the same great sound that VSonic is known for, complete with multiple color options and an even more attractive price tag, $100. I am here to confirm that the GR07 is still one of the best deals in headphone audio.
Tuned to sound similar to stage monitors, these sound a little more colored than reference-grade neutral, but no more than just a little. A very small mid-bass hump provides additional oomph in beat-centric tracks, such as pop or hip-hop. More problematic to some is its tendency to sound a little bit bright up top. Without using equalization, the GR07 can occasionally exhibit sibilance and a brighter sound than neutral. Due to slight variances between units, it is impossible to accurately describe the severity of this problem, but for those who are sensitive to sibilance: look elsewhere unless you are willing to use EQ to correct these problems. For reference, my particular pair sounds more even when EQ’d about -4 dB at 6 kHz and -3.2 dB at 10 kHz. Some pairs my need more or less than this and at slightly different frequencies in order to tame the treble.
Distortion throughout the entire audible range is not an issue. If any is present, it is low enough such that it is not audible at any point. All frequencies are presented in a clean manner. Many people have reported resonances in the treble which contribute to the brighter overall sound of the GR07. These cannot be entirely corrected by EQ, but when EQ’d properly, the IEMs should not be too bright to enjoy. Any ringing resulting from these resonances seems to be fairly short-lived.
The GR07 Classic is the same IEM, with respect to build quality, as the original and Mk II. That is, the earpieces are very solid, high grade plastic. The rotating nozzles on the earpieces are made of strong metal and are unlikely to break, except under very high stress. The cable is the same as the Mk II; it is soft and flexible and feels reasonably strong. The only problem that seems to have carried over to this generation of GR07 is the short strain relief extending from the earpiece. Since the IEM is worn over ear, the cable should not be bearing significant stress, so I do not believe this will be an issue, either.
Accessories are slightly downgraded from older VSonic offerings; no longer do buyers receive a billion tips with their IEM. That said, the ear tip package is still not completely disappointing. Included is one pair of foam ear tips, as well as a pair of bi-flanges and three or four pairs of different sized single-flange ear tips. Also included is a pair of cable guides to assist in over-ear wear and a small faux leather pouch to carry the IEMs in. I would have preferred a hard shelled case, but if the user is careful and mindful of the case’s limitations, this hopefully will not result in broken IEMs. IEMs at this price point have been improving their accessories packages recently, so this is slightly disappointing to me. However, the accessories presented here are at least adequate.
Overall, this IEM represents a truly fantastic value. It has become an even better deal than it used to be, sporting a new, low price tag, complete with the same GR07 sound that made it famous about three years ago. I would absolutely recommend this IEM to anyone looking for an inexpensive high-performance earphone.