Pros: Nice Form factor, detachable cables, precise bass response, affordable price, balanced sound without been boring
Cons: Somewhat unnatural sound
This is a work in progress, everytime I listen to them with a different source, there's always something new emerging and changing the overall perspective someway.
Sources used: Macbook Pro, iphone 4s, Fiio e10, Schiit Magni, Ipod Classic
This is a personal Unit: Bought at LMUE during pre-sale (excellent customer service btw)
Burn-in time: I don’t believe in huge differences, but in order to avoid a debate, I’ve been using it extensively before posting this.
Some songs I used: (320kbps and some of them are lossless)
Pistol Shrimp - Heart (RoboCLIP Remix)
Disclosure - Help Me Lose My Mind (feat. London Grammar)
Saux - Fortunate (feat. Timantti)
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
Our Mother - Lion OS X
The Maneken - Обратный Билет
Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
Joe Satriani - Always Me Always you.
Presidente - Live Sushi
Sarah Jarosz - Annabelle Lee
Hayajan - Fish Majal
Beirut - Nantes
Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
There’s a few things I would like to write first.
Shure came democratizing detachable cables for budget friendly IEMs and I'm happy to see other manufacturers following the tendency.
I broke many cables in the past, most of them on my daily commute. I remember the time I broke my lovely Fischer Audio I bought in Russia: I was so mad that I couldn’t just replace the cable and keep using them... Some people claim it makes no sense doing it when a cable cost almost the same as the headphones, but from a manufacturing standpoint, the most common source of problems are cables. So instead of replacing units they can just send you a new cable or blaming you for negligence leaving up to you to buy a new IEM or buy a replacement cable. In any case, it's a good thing considering planned obsolescence and all wasted resources: A conscious movement and should be praised. I highly admire Vsonic to take a step further in the industry.
About the VSD3S
The Vsonic come inside a small but nice package, the earpieces look sturdy especially the nozzles, form factor is astonishing, the cable is similar to the Vsonic GR06 , it takes some time to get used to I have to admit but it's good. I can't comment about durability right now but I haven't seen anything better within this price bracket. Time will tell but again, it does look pretty nice and better than the competition. I advice you all to get a hard case for your IEMs.
I noticed one of the connectors wasn't rotating when I was "installing" the ear hooks: it wasn't properly inserted and the sound kept coming without issues. I'm really surprised regarding the vsonic connectors against the Shure mmcx. The shures even completely inserted and cleaned gave me some troubles. I hope Vsonic keep pushing these connectors and to be able to find more cable options in the future. Some people reported having some shorts but it's early to declare failure. When you compare the mmcx with the Vsonic connectors you can clearly see how they tried fixing the issue extending the male connector to give a more stable fit and the internal pin is also longer, a bit thinner unfortunately. My pair is short free (knock on wood)
Comfort is a very personal thing. The Shure se215 were far from ideal for my ear canal despite the fact that I love the over/behind the ear fit, the Westone are extremely comfortable but not entirely perfect and I don’t feel comfortable taking an expensive IEM out all the time with me (call me paranoid). The VSD3S on the other hand are perfect for my ears. At least the first and subsequent impressions exceeded my expectations. Because I know how picky I am with tips (I have a bag full of them for that matter) I was so surprised to put them on and immediately get a wonderful seal and feel.
I'm not a strong supporter of burn-in but these ones improved a bit with time (I still claim it's more a psychological thing) but still.
The overall impression is good, the bass response is somewhat similar to the W4R, powerful without been annoying or distracting. I think that’s the best area of the vsd3s. Regarding the mids I don’t hear anything wrong (maybe balanced should be a good way to put it) mids are not overpowering anything and they are not trying to been the center of the stage.
The clawhammer in Saraz Jarosz - Annabelle Lee, raised my concerns about the tonality and put the vsd3s treble under the lights. Artificial is a bold and unfair statement for this IEM, however this is not a completely natural sounding headphone, at least not the upper treble region. Some people might disagree but the sibilance some head-fiers reported is IMO the unnatural treble response.
Update: I'm using the vsd3s with medium Sony hybrid tips I got with my xba3. They're a bit shorter than the stock ones and the vsd3s now rest a bit farther from the eardrum (I can only assume the not so deep insertion allow high frequencies to run smoothly inside my ear canal and the results are really pleasant: Treble tamed and good isolation without been disturbingly uncomfortable.
The sound started to grow on me because of the perfect fit and I think I can live with such a minor issue.
To put an analogy is a like a teenager dressed like a grown-up man: Clothes don't look bad on him but there's something awkward about the whole combination without been scandalous. It is a bad thing? Not at all, it's just not fair.
If you ask me: I would definitely recommend the Vsonic without a doubt. There's still room for improvement but I think Vsonic made an excellent job creating a good looking and decent sounding IEM for a good price.