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VSONIC GR07 Bass Editon

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #65 in In-Ear

Posted

Pros: Excellent Bass Quality and Quantity, Well Balanced Sound Signature, Great Selection of Accessories

Cons: Occasionally Prone to Mild Sibilance, Bass Rumble Might Be Fatiguing for Some

GR07 Bass 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

VSONIC is a well-known name in audiophile circles, with rave reviews coming from their GR07 monitors, which have recently seen an upgraded Mark II version and, the version I’ll be covering today, the Bass Edition. As a natural basshead, I was intrigued when I saw the GR07 Bass Edition earphones on sale a couple months ago and my curiosity got the better of me and I purchased a pair. Prior to these, I’ve never heard a VSONIC product but I’d heard virtually nothing but good things about them pretty much everywhere I went. So…yeah, I didn’t make the jump blindly.

 

So, what do I think of the VSONIC GR07 Bass Edition in ear monitors? Read on to find out.

 

Accessories

The GR07 Bass Edition comes with a number of accessories, including a wealth of tips in various sizes and types. There are seven pairs of standard Sony hybrid style tips, three pairs of foam stuffed Sony hybrid style tips, three pairs of silicone tips, a pair of biflange tips and one pair of Shure olive-esque gray foam tips. I can scarcely imagine someone being unable to find a comfortable and proper fit with this massive selection of tips. And to top it all off, VSONIC includes a carrying bag and a pair of rubber earhooks.

 

I wish VSONIC had included a standard zippered clamshell case but really, I’m just nitpicking. The accessory pack included with these is rivaled only by my Monster Miles Davis Tributes.

Design and Build Quality

These employ a non-standard brand of dynamic driver, namely bio-cellulose drivers that have been seen in other headphones and earphones such as the Creative Aurvana Live! and, perhaps most famously, the Sony R10, a classic and coveted audiophile headphone.

 

So what does this mean in terms of design? Well, very little, at least to the end user as many won’t know and likely fewer will care. The sound quality is what makes or breaks an IEM (at least in my book) and though I certainly praise unique ideas, I care more about how those innovations pay off in how an IEM sounds. But, of course, we’ll get to that.

 

Moving on, the GR07 Bass Edition is composed of nondescript black plastic housings and a red and silver candy cane style cable, jumping back and forth between standing out and not. The housings themselves feel sturdy and durable and are unique due to the fact that the nozzle itself is adjustable. I’ve never seen that before on an earphone and this makes them adaptable to a range of different ear shapes. While one might worry about the fragility of such a design, I’ve not encountered any problems and on the whole, the Bass Edition seems well built and durable.

Comfort and Isolation

The fit is a bit tricky, at least for me, but manageable. Once they’re seated, they’re fairly comfortable and isolate a bit more than a standard vented dynamic driver IEM. Microphonics are mostly non-existent with the over the ear fit and soft cables.

 

GR07 Bass 9

Sound Quality

Burn in: These have been burned in for over 300 hours prior to review. Now I’m a bit skeptical of burn in on the whole as I’ve only heard a couple of headphones and in ear monitors in which burn in resulted in an actual change. The GR07 BE is one of them. In the early going, it was rather unpleasantly sibilant and needed a few dB worth of equalizing to bring them to non-fatiguing levels. Now, I don’t need any equalization at the same volume levels and with the same tracks. So, allow these to burn in for a while before you judge them.

 

This was a difficult review to write, as describing the way these sound is much more difficult than I expected it to be when I sat down to type this review. On one hand, these are among my favorite IEMs with a pleasing, amazingly detailed but mostly smooth, thin but a touch warm sound signature with just enough low end emphasis to tilt things towards the euphonic, rather than pure linearity. The result is an earphone that’s more tuned for sonic enjoyment than monitoring and an IEM I imagine will please just about anyone who listens to them.

 

Though these are the “Bass Edition”, they don’t offer up huge amounts of bass, instead opting to go the “emphasized but controlled” route. Rumble and texture is top notch, giving these a low end that surprises in its ability to present sub bass on the same level as midbass. There’s no distracting midbass hump here and the low end is quite linear in its emphasis, with an almost balanced armature like tightness but pleasantly dynamic reverb and speed without ever getting muddy or congested.

 

In terms of bass quantity, it has just the right amount to appeal to the casual listener and the audiophile alike. Those expecting bass on the level of the Future Sonics Atrios or Monster Miles Davis Tributes should look elsewhere but if more analytical ‘phones like the RE0 or Phonak PFE didn’t have enough bass for you, these should fit the bill.

 

GR07 Bass 3

 

The GR07 BE mids are, typical of monitors, a bit thin but detailed and refined. They’re just a bit warm but linear and impressively clear. Their emphasis on clarity gives them a slightly dry character, shying away from the liquid smoothness of the RE-262 or PFE but still remain quite entertaining on the whole. Due to their clarity and excellent detail retrieval, these are also quite transparent and revealing of flaws. With high quality tunes, this is a non-issue, but if your tunes are subpar, these will bring their deficiencies to light, though not as much as the Rock-it Sounds R-50.

 

Though the GR07 BE is prone to occasional sibilance, I wouldn’t call them sibilant. No, they’re just accurate to a fault. They place a bit of emphasis right at the sibilance point (between 6.5 and 10 KHz) which brings out sibilance in tracks that are either poorly mastered or just feature excessive sibilance. This is a holdover from its monitor origins but doesn’t mean they’re a bad choice for causal listening in the slightest.

 

Aside from the slightly bothersome lower treble peak, the treble presentation is extended, linear and airy. The treble carries a good deal of sparkle without becoming too hot or fatiguing. The presentation is quite nice and spacious, with a good-sized soundstage and a great sense of space that helps establish an accurate sonic image within the listener’s head. It’s not the most expansive IEM I’ve heard (that honor belongs to the Triple.Fi 10 or the RE-262) but it is one of the more coherent I’ve heard.

 

The sound signature on offer by the GR07 BE is one that forgoes pure accuracy for the sake of enjoyment. It still retains some of the monitor-like qualities that made the original GR07 such a hit within the audiophile community but the added bass presence makes these quite the enjoyable set of earphones with a highly accurate and engaging sound signature that can run with the best I’ve heard in terms of both pure detail retrieval and enjoyment and work exceptionally well with every genre I listened to during my testing.

 

GR07 Bass 8

 

Conclusion

The VSONIC GR07 Bass Edition is available from a number of online retailers, including Amazon, eBay and Lend Me Ur Ears (the site I purchased mine from) for about $180. For that price, I think they’re a great pair of in ear monitors that offer fantastic sound quality that’s among the best I’ve heard. It’s easily on the level of the Rock-It Sounds R-50 in terms of technical ability but these offer a much different sound, one that’s a touch warm and bassy without sacrificing detail and resolution. They come with a wealth of accessories as well, which is a nice touch. Clearly, VSONIC knows what it’s doing in designing a very high quality IEM that balances consumer appeal with audiophile level detail and refinement.

 

This review was re-posted from my site Musical Musings

Posted

Pros: Bass quality and quantity. Relatively well balanced with slight emphasis on the low end. Quite detailed and natural sounding. Highly adjustable fit.

Cons: Sibilance! It can get annoying. Reports of one side cutting out after a few months of usage.

The VSonic GR07 Bass Editions are quite possibly the best value in the world of universal IEMs, from my somewhat limited experience. With that being said, let me explain why I absolutely adore these little candy-cane cabled beauties.

 

 

First off, let's take a look at the design and comfort. VSonic made an interesting choice here with the square housing and moveable nozzles. These nozzles allow you to rotate them into a favorable position in your ear canal so that the driver housing can sit squarely in external area of the ear leading up to the ear canal (interior pinna area). This feature does increase comfort and allows you to position the IEMs to fit well in your ear without moving around or falling out, and also allows the tip to reach as deeply as possible into the ear canal for the best isolation. While I have read of QC problems with nozzles not staying in place, I have never had the issue. If anything, they can be difficult to readjust. After using them for roughly 1.5 years, I've never had an issue. The square housing is also comfortable for the most part, even in my tiny ears. Although I wouldn't recommend sleeping in them, it's not a big deal to lay your head down momentarily with them on. When it comes to comfort, they're not perfect, but they're pretty close, in my opinion. I've never tried anything significantly more comfortable except for the Bose IE1s, but these are definitely usable for multiple hours at a time with no issues.

 

 

There's another minor point of contention to be addressed in regards to the stylistic elements of the headphones - the candy cane cables. It's a nice red drape over the silver cables which makes them resemble candy canes as a way to distinguish the IEMs from the regular silver cabled GR07s. Some may see it as overly showy or just odd, but I love it. They make the cables unique and aren't so noticeable that they distract others, although I have gotten compliments on them.

 

 

Next is cable quality and microphonics. I'll start this by saying that the cable, in fact, does not normally affect audio quality - all it does is carry an electrical signal. However, the quality of the cable can become an issue when the manufacturer uses high impedance CCA (copper clad aluminum) cables that save on cost, but lower the power transfer and interfere with the overall headphone impedance, as seen in the stock cable for the Philips Fidelio X1. Luckily, this is absolutely no issue here. The pure silver cables are some of the most electrically conductive possible to make and behave very well in terms of pliability and storage. They are extremely easy to bend and have no issue folding. In addition, they have stayed in like new condition over their lifespan so far, despite being thrown around in a backpack for multiple months. No rips, tears, or gashes. They also transmit absolutely no microphonics, which is a major plus. No hisses, crackles, or pops are audible when moving the cable or twisting the jack while plugged in.

 

Build quality is also quite good. Although there are some minor manufacturer defects, such as impefect crimping of the wire insulation near the headphone jack, it is very minor and has had no effect on the reliability or sound quality that I can find.

 

Included in the box are the IEMs, a black pleather carrying bag, and about a million tips to try. These include your stock silicone tips, Sony hybrid knockoffs, a couple of flanged tips, and a set of memory foam tips. In terms of sizing, anyone will be able to find something they like and that fits well. I find most of the tips to be of a lower quality than aftermarket tips such as Sony or Comply, but they definitely get the job done. For increased isolation, get a set of Comply T-400s for them. They'll block an additional 25% or more sound out from my personal experience, and don't have a serious effect on audio quality. Sony hybrids are also popular for getting the best sound quality possible.

 

 

Now we're on to the meat of the review: sound quality. I'll break this up into parts, but I'll start by stating that my main goal in reviewing sound is to identify how natural it sounds. For what I care, the headphones could have a perfectly flat response curve, but if the sound is artificial and off, they are not going to sound good to me. This has mostly to do with reproducing the natural timbre and detail of a recording so that it feels as though the band/singer you're listening to is performing right there in front of you. In addition, I will say that these headphones overall do posses a relatively natural timbre and skill in reproducing details, although they are not perfect.

 

Lows: Now we're talking! The bass on these IEMs is just excellent. It's not overemphasized, as the name may let on, but right on. If you want a truly neutral sound, then these are not it, but for just about anyone else who enjoys their low frequencies, it's just about perfect. The bass itself is very tight and detailed - no one note, low quality subwoofer-like sound. Bass is felt and heard. Think of it like having a 10" sealed JBL subwoofer in your ears. There's not too much bass, it's not booming or muddy, but it's there, and actually sounds like what it's supposed to. Bass instruments do tend to stand out, which is appreciable on songs with strong bass lines (RHCP has a few that fit this quite well). Drums are excellent as well. I wouldn't categorize these as basshead IEMs, but they're definitely on the bassier, warmer side.

 

Mids: In my opinion, the mids are quite natural. Voices seem close to a live presentation, but do not have the detail or texture that other full size cans or ultra high end IEMs have. However, I have no real issue with them except for the sibilance. Yes, it's present, and yes, it can get annoying. The issue seems to have exacerbated over time rather than calming down. It's not present all the time, but certain songs can bring it out, especially on pronounced S sounds. Other than that, the mids are quite neutral in volume and still preserve a low grain, acceptably detailed presentation.

 

Highs: To be honest, highs are not really my interest most of the time. I usually consider these last when listening to just about any pair of headphones or IEMs, but they are definitely still important. On these IEMs, the highs are definitely quite present with a bit of sparkle. Although the sound signature is somewhat dark, there is just enough to preserve detail of sounds like cymbals crashing or even faint snares. Electronic sounds excellent on these due to the nicely detailed highs and strong bass, but not jarring as some overly treble heavy IEMs or headphones can sound. Sustain is not very long, but it's just enough to pick out each instrument in this section of the spectrum without difficulty. Again, a natural sound overall.

 

Soundstage: Above average for IEMs. Obviously incomparable to most open back full size cans, but L-R movement is easy to track, although 3D placement is nothing special at all. Don't try to use these for serious gaming, for example.

 

Amplification: Although the impedance is relatively high for IEMs (40 ohm), the sensitivity is high at 105 dB. This means you only need 10 mW to reach 115 dB, which is easily attainable with most portable systems. It definitely improves with a higher power, low output impedance source, but it's not necessary. You'll still be getting the majority of the potential out of these from your iPhone/Android/laptop, but to squeeze that last 15% or so out, proper amplification is key. I use a JDS Labs C5 connected to an iPod Classic via LOD for mobile listening, and it really gets the job done.

 

Overall: I love these IEMs. They are excellent and sound way above their price bracket. After testing various Shures (SE535, SE846, x11, x7) and other assorted IEMs, I can confidently say these are more than worth the money. In my opinion, they easily outclassed the SE535s without any difficulty due to the unnatural and overblown sound of the Shures. They can't go toe to toe with the $1,000 SE846s, but they're dang close for the money. If you were having any doubts about these IEMs, I'd definitely say to give them a try if you're into bass-heavy genres, such as electronic, rap/hip hop, dubstep, or trap. They also perform masterfully with pop, alternative, most rock, and dance music. They're not really the best for strongly vocal-based music or classical, but will hold their own if used for these genres on occasion. Perfect as all-rounders.

 

Here's an album of what they look like after a year and a half of use. Hope you found this review useful!

Posted

Pros: Sound stage, treble and bass extension, incredible detail, sq:price ratio

Cons: Require a lot of burn in, stock foams are useless

These iems are incredibly detailed and clear at both ends of the spectrum. Although this is the bass edition of the GR07, the bass is not too heavy as to cloud the mids and highs. It is quick and controlled, but never fails to let its presence be known. Mids are clear and slightly dry; nothing special. Highs are spacious and airy, which contributes to a very well presented sound stage. What makes these iems special is that they sound terrific at both ends of the spectrum and never seems to falter...that is after you burn them in. No question as to whether they need at least 300 hours of burn in, as they are annoyingly sibilant. Thankfully this completely disappears and you are left with bliss. I should also say that they bring out the faults in your music. That is, if your music is low quality they are going to sound like ****. Be warned that you'll hate that once loved 192 kb/s album that you could not find in flac...
They come with a lot of tips, including tips that look like the sony hybrid knockoffs. I found that foams bring out the best in these iems, however the stock foams are garbage. Comply tx 400s work as well as the trusted olives. 

Posted

Pros: Detail, accessories, bass, clarity, durability, cable

Cons: Soon to be discontinued...

I had the GR07s for a few months before I got the BEs secondhand. I loved the GR07 sound and if I had to nitpick and find one thing to improve upon it would be their slightly dry bass range. 

 

Well. Problem solved.

 

The BEs are are incredible IEM. They retain the all-too-raved-about sound of the Mk II but add a touch of mid-bass to make those modern hip hop, electronic, dance recordings even more fun.

 

It bears mentioning that the BE is by no means a basshead IEM. There is simply a small boost in the lower mid bass that adds a little in the low end. I couldn't ask for more. I'm very glad I found a pair before they are discontinued.

 

Thanks VSonic. Bio-cellulose does it again!

VSONIC GR07 Bass Editon
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Description:

Driver: 11mm High Dynamic CCAW Drive units Ÿ Diaphragms : Bio-cellulose diaphragms Ÿ Rated impedance: 40Ω±15%(Rated impedance) Ÿ Sensitivity: ≥105dB(at 500 Hz) Ÿ Frequency Response: 5Hz-22,000Hz Ÿ Distortion: <1% 105dB (20upa) Ÿ Channel imbalance: <2dB(at 5000Hz) Ÿ Rated Power: 10mW Ÿ Maximum input power:50mW Ÿ Plug: 3.5mm 8u'24K gold plated dual-channel plug Ÿ Cable :1.30M±3%TPU cable,maximum 82 cores silver and copper combo wire.

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