qdc Anole VX

General Information

qdc's new flagship 10 balanced armature driver IEM.

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MrLocoLuciano

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: very high analytical capacity
flawless musicality
accuracy of the rendition
excellent BA bass
Cons: overall smooth sound signature
can sound not so fun
BA bass


The Anole VX were graciously lent to me for more than 3 weeks by @watts whom I thank here warmly.


Introduction

QDC is a Chinese company that has been in the in-ear headphone market for a few years now. They have made themselves known in the audiophile world with their former 8 balanced armature flagships which they have declined under various names (Gemini, 8SH, 8SL and 8SS).
The model we are interested in today is their latest flagship launched at the end of 2018, the Anole VX. Composed of 10 Balanced Armatures (BA), they have 3 switches allowing, according to your moods, a boost of bass and/or midrange and/or treble. The ergonomics are excellent, even for small ears. The basic design is very nice and the cable provides excellent quality.
The Anole VX are not available in France, and must be bought abroad. They are available at 2100$.
https://www.moon-audio.com/qdc-anole-vx.html

For the following return, the VX were in the standard position because I find it's the one that works best. There is something magic that I can't find with one of the switchs activated.
During the loan, I could listen to the VX on a WM1Z K mod Premium 3.02 firmware and a LPG Gold. I could compare them to Itsfit Fusion, InEar Prophile 8 bass boost on (BBA) and Jomo Trinity SS.



Sound

The sound signature of the Anole VX (default) is particularly balanced, coming very close to the reference in this area, namely the InEar Prophile 8 (PP8 BBA).
Here are the Crinacle raw measurements for comparison with the PP8 BBA.


What strikes at first glance is the softness of the restitution and the respect of the original work, this last point being shared with the PP8 BBA. But we go further on all the technical criteria, but also subjective ones, such as musicality for example.

Together with the Erlkönig (position 2) and Elysium, the basses are the best BA basses heard to date. The impact is excellent, both fast and authoritative, linked to a characteristic BA attack. The decay and sustain seem a bit longer than usual with the BA, making the bass delicate and smooth. But they are not sluggish because the extinctions are fast. The whole gives a very well defined and textured register. Subs (20 to 60Hz) are there but without excess. Basses (60 to 250Hz) decrease quite quickly, allowing the mids to reveal themselves.
In comparison, the PP8 BBA basses are faster, with notably the Subs having less impact, probably because the Basses are a bit more present.
Fusion or Trinity basses are deeper in the Subs, but just as fast on impact. They seem however a little more natural on decay (Driver Dynamic inside).


Transparency and warmth characterize mids. We are in the presence of an in-ear rather on the slightly matt side of the force, although a little less matt than on PP8 BBA however. Low-Mids (250 to 500Hz) are robust, Mediums (500 to 2000Hz) are well linear with a good balance between presence and clarity. The relatively smooth High-Midrange (2000 to 4000Hz) brings just the right amount of sweetness and sensuality to both men and women voices. The timbres are denser than on PP8 BBA and very refined. The register is finally rendered in a rather soft way, no doubt linked to a relatively calm dynamic.
On the Fusion, the mids are more open, more vaporous and less thick.
With the Jomo, they are less warm and round, more detailed and much more lively and dynamic.

Trebles are to my ears very pleasant because they are both defined and soft. No bad surprises to expect for the sensitive ones, despite the bump between 6 and 8kHz. This one brings a nice opening that allows to grasp with ease the details contained in the tracks, and the hole at 5.5kHz doesn't make itself felt when listening.
The PP8 BBA trebles are sharper and brighter, but also less dense and full.
With both the Fusion and the Trinity, the trebles seem more extended, but a little less prominent in the mix.

The spatialization is very good. The scene is presented as an arc of a circle with a certain distance between the music and the listener's position. The soundstage is wide without more, but quite deep and high which is appreciable. The location of the instruments is done without any problem.
The PP8 BBA offers something wider but much shallower, therefore less credible for those who go to concerts regularly.
With the Istfit, you are closer to the music. However, the stage is wider and deeper, so it's more airy.
The Trinity offers a slightly less wide but deeper stage that puts us a little further away from the music. It also seems to have a little more height amplitude.

The magic square is excellent because of its homogeneity. I have the feeling that the definition is not at the level of the Erlkönig's but not far, that the resolution is almost equivalent to that of Trinity, and that transparency is perhaps the best today. The separation seems to me to be slightly below that, but it is also linked to the dense and thick nature of the restitution.



Tips and Cables

I got the best fit using Spiral Dot and/or Whirlwind tips that respect the outlet diameter of the nozzle.
I had the opportunity to test an Effect Audio Lionheart with which the sound stage is enlarged. The bass and low-midrange are also a bit more emphasized. Finally, I find that the presentation loses some elegance in favour of a greater dynamism.
Returning to the stock cable, the reproduction seems more natural and a little less dense. The stage is deeper and a little more airy.


Final Thoughts

Listening to the Anole VX shows that the very high analytical capacity, which is based on excellent technical foundations, is counterbalanced by flawless musicality. And all this is put to the service of the recording, the good ones sound good, the bad ones a little less... Proof, if any, of the accuracy of the rendition.


Magic Square :
"Resolution is the ability to individualize a voice or instrument"
"Separation is the ability to feel space between the various sound sources"
"Definition is the ability to perceive as much information as possible"
"Transparency is the ability to transcribe the nuances and subtleties of music"


My topic on Tellement Nomade here : http://www.tellementnomade.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=671123#p671123
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antdroid

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: amazing resolution and detail retreival
solid balanced sound
really good BA Bass response
custom-like fit
Cons: very slightly hollow upper mids/lower treble
not as natural decay as a dynamic
large shell



Chapter 1: The Story Begins…

The story begins with happy antdroid listening to an enjoyable set of Campfire Audio Solaris in-ears but struggling with getting a good fit in the right ear. This was discussed in heavy detail in a previous review of the Solaris, so I’ll leave the details aside. After additional frustrations as I had now purchased a set of these to own, and battled on a daily basis on whether my ears would let me use them or not – it could have been due to sinuses/allergies, the weather, the time of day, the coffee I was drinking, or the mood I was in. Sometimes they fit effortlessly, and other times, I had to take them out due to throbbing ear pain. I started to give up…

And then the story continues on as my online audio buddy McMadFace, who I share a vast commonality of audio gear (headphones, IEMs, amps, dacs and portable players), and common music preferences, decides to go to CanJam SoCal. I was hoping to meet him up at this event, but due to some house work at home that needed to be done, I had to stay behind. So he gave me some reports through Discord, an internet chat service – like a modern IRC. The first thing that came from him was a photo of a blue box and a message that was basically, I listened to these for 10 minutes and I had to buy them. Wow. That must have left quite an impression!

This little toy was the Anole VX, a 10-BA (per side) flagship in-ear from Chinese audio company qdc. This in-ear features 4 bass BAs, 2 mid Bas and 4 treble BAs along with a 3-way crossover and 3 tuning dipswitches that can control bass, mids and treble – effectively adding a boost to each region. You can do combinations of each one as you like as well.

Chapter 2: Conflicts & Resolutions



So back to the story, you see, McMadFace also owned the Campfire Solaris and Astell & Kern SR15 pairing that I was running as a daily driver setup, and we also share very similar over-ears and music as mentioned before. So, if this thing caught his eye, I knew there was a chance I would like it, and it could solve my Solaris problems.

Problem was, the qdc Anole VX is not cheap. NOT CHEAP at all. It’s a $2350 IEM for the universal fit, and $250 more for a custom version. Problem #2 was that it’s not easy to find. It’s only available through two stores in the USA, and only 1 at the time I was looking just a month and half ago – Musicteck and more recently added, Moon Audio. Getting a demo of it was challenging, as Musicteck didn’t respond to my emails about it. So, my only option was to blind buy, find someone locally and then convince them to let me demo it, or wait for a smoking good deal used and buy it on blind luck, or of course, just ignore it.

But the itch was needing to be scratched, and by chance, JeffreyRock and I exchanged some random reddit comments on a completely different thread about the VX and he put me in touch with ValarMorgouda on Reddit, who was local to me and owned the VX. The next day, I was meeting up this VX owner at a park in the area and demoing the Anole VX.

Within 1 minute of listening to the VX, I knew I had to buy it. It was exactly what I was looking for – both sonically, fit, and comfort. Details for days. Bass that was present, rumbling sub-bass, and layers upon layers of bass resolution and attack, warm mids and extended treble that provided clarity and air that did not ever sound harsh. Yea, this was 1 minute of listening. I knew it. I listened for another 15 minutes or so just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

At the same time, he tried some of my other IEMs I had with me, and we both confirmed that the VX was the best of the bunch, and I shook his hand, went home and immediately placed an order, and then texted him the good news!

Chapter 3: New Beginnings




As luck would have it, Musicteck ran out of the open-box version I ordered, and gave me a brand new one at the discounted pricing. And they came quickly. A couple days later the box arrived….

The VX comes in a very large but well-designed box. It screams premium, and it should, for the price tag. It’s not the same as Sony’s IER-Z1R box, but it’s on par with the Campfire Audio unboxing. The box comes with a variety of tips and a nice blue jewelry box case – the same one McMadface snapped a photo of back then to show off his new toy. The included cable is quite reminiscent of the one that came with the Moondrop Kanas Pro In-Ear that I also own, except with the qdc c-pin style connectors.

What surprised me was when I took them out and compared them to the Solaris, I found that they were actually very similar in size. Both are much bigger than most IEMs, and are also on-par with the Z1R in size. That said, they weigh very lightly compared to the other two, and the shell design is reminiscent of a CIEM in nature. With that in mind, I found the smallest tips I could find, and put them on and inserted these in as deep as I could and the fit is CIEM-like. The VX blocks out everything and fit is perfect, and I can wear them for hours at a time. Coming from the bulky, heavy, and oddly shaped Solaris, this is a pleasure to wear.

Chapter 4: Audio Escapades




I mentioned it before, but I’ll reiterate it again – The VX has a balanced tuning with a slightly warmer low end than neutral, and a gentle elevated treble region that I don’t find bright or harsh. It follows closely to my target preference curve, and falls in-line somewhere in-between the popular Harman target curve and the Diffuse Field reference curves in the lower end of the response curve, and has a tamer upper-midrange and treble than the two targets.




The VX features an all-BA setup, which seems to be going out of style for flagship IEMs in favor of hybrid setup combinations dynamics and balanced armatures, and in some cases, electret drivers. BAs are well known for the detail, resolution, and speed. Some people don’t like how they respond to sub-bass, bass and feel they are missing natural decay, slam, impact, and rumble. The qdc VX is tuned to actually bring out a lot of these qualities and I’m happy to report that there is good subbass performance on these, with impact and slam when needed. Rumbling subbass is present on the songs that call for it, and the speed and attack of the bass is right up my alley.

The qdc Anole VX has 3 dip switches which can change the sound profile giving it 8 total combinations of sound preferences. For my review, I am only using the stock sound signature. For the most part, I found only the mid-switch on to sound well, and sometimes I'd like it if I was planning on listening to female-only vocals, since that boost helps that upper-midrange portion a little bit.




I prefer headphones such as planar magnetics over-ears, Focal’s house sound, and more recently the ZMF Verite. All of these exhibit highly detailed and layered bass with fast attack and transient speeds. The VX exhibits all of this with ease. I never sensed any bass bleed, and found bass attacks to be taut, quick, yet present. I don’t think someone who wants mega basshead slam will be totally disappointed, but it’s not quite up there in that category. The Sony IER-Z1R and Campfire Solaris are a little more bass slam and natural decay than the VX does, for instance.

One artist who I bring up from time to time is the Cocteau Twins. Usually, I am using Liz Fraser’s voice as a test for harshness and sibilance, but in this case, their great song, “Cherry-Coloured Funk” off of Heaven or Las Vegas, has some deep bass that really excels on the VX. The bass guitar really carries the song and is full of power, energy and you can hear it set the tone of the song through and through.

Now that Tool is back in business, I can’t go past the low-end section of this review without bringing up a band that is totally driven by their drums and bass and other low end noises. The new “Fear Inoculum” track from Tool has plenty of this, and the VX handles all the noises with ease. Depth and layering and the wideness all come into play here. The speed of the BA bass drivers also help make Danny Carey’s drumming on every track I listen to come in with full force and clarity, which doesn’t ever feel congested as a busy band like Tool can easily become.

“The Pot” is one of my favorite tracks from Tool, and the introduction of the song has voices coming in different directions and depth, while the bass guitar is forward and laying down the track. Drum hits in circles around you at varying distance and this is all captured well by the VX – much better than any IEM I’ve heard. Solaris is also good at this type of holographic representation of music, but I found it to be a bit too warm and can become congested in it’s elevated bass.

The mid-range is well balanced through the lower portions with a nice rich sound that is smooth and clean. Like I said previously, the bass doesn’t bleed at all, and so vocals are clean and with energy and feel thick and full-bodied. There is a slight drop in the upper mid-range, similar to how the Solaris behaves, and this trades some female hollowness with increase in depth and soundstage. Like Solaris, I didn’t feel this impacted the sound at all for me, although some may not like it as much.

The treble region is extended and a little boosted, however for me, never harsh. These BAs blast out detail and resolution like no other, and so there is a lot of information coming at you at once. Luckily, unlike the Tin P1 for example, the wider, deeper, and taller soundstage helps move information around you and that keeps things from being too overwhelming and congested. In fact, I found the VX to handle pretty much every song with ease – songs like Daft Punk’s Contact, where the busy passages are full of kick drums, snares, hi hats, bass guitars, and heavily distorted guitars buzzing along in crazy, controlled harmony.

I’ve been using a variety of test tracks for sibilance lately – mostly in the dance music genres. Yes, the music is compressed a bit, and it’s boosted bass and treble pop music, but it is a good test of how headphones handle that type of music. For the VX, I threw it against one of my favorite fun artist, Chromeo, and they didn’t have the edgy treble artifacts that I would hear on IEMs that are overly bright. When throwing on a few sibilance tests like Alvvays “Dreams Tonite” and Norah Jones’ “Seven Years”, the VX powered through Molly Rankin and Norah Jones’s vocals with ease and did not exhibit any sibilance or harsh treble peaks.

I have seen some users say that there is a little fatiguing with the VX, however myself personally, I have not found this to be the case. Perhaps I’m just used to it at this point, but I can happily listen to the VX for hours at a time without any pain, both mentally, and physically. I find that a big plus in my books.

While I have mentioned mostly rock and pop music so far in my writings, I do want to make it a point that I do listen to quite a variety of music – from country to classical, jazz to post-rock, hip hop and EDM, and a variety of other stuff. The only genre where I think some may find a little lacking are the ones where you want extreme bass levels and a longer decay of bass notes. I found the VX to fit a nice balance of bass speed and attack with impact, but some may long for a little bit more – some thing a traditional dynamic driver can present.

Chapter 5: VX Battles



Campfire Solaris
The Campfire Solaris and the Anole VX share similar sound profiles, however they do differ in how it’s presented. The Solaris is a hybrid with a single DD and 3 BAs, while the VX is solely relying on 10 BA drivers. The Solaris bass isn’t necessarily more impactful or anything, but it is definitely more elevated and warmer. This gives the low end a thicker and rich sound, however it does occasionally get muddy when compared side-by-side with VX. The Solaris also has a little bit more natural decay and speed, where the VX is fast and quick.
The midrange and treble are quite similar between the two, and both feature a small drop off in the upper-midrange which give both the holographic soundstage. I found the Solaris just a tad more shouty and fatiguing though.
And finally, in terms of comfort and fit, the Solaris is a bit heavier and more comfortable due to this, despite being similar in general size. The shell design and build of the Solaris is quite stunning though!




Meze Rai Penta
The Rai Penta is the flagship from Meze and is quite a looker. It’s also got a metal shell that looks more premium than the VX. The Rai Penta has a warm Diffuse Field signature which means that it has slightly elevated bass, and forward mid-range. It has a smaller soundstage than the VX and doesn’t sound quite as balanced and noticeably less extended in subbass and treble. The Rai Penta actually does drop off in the upper treble region a bit early. I tend to call the Rai Penta a safer tuning.


CustomArt Fibae 7
The Fibae 7 and Rai Penta have similar tuning, though Fibae 7 may even be more forward sounding. It’s much more intimate than the VX but has really wonderful mids that accentuate the female vocals and guitar strings. Like the Rai Penta, it doesn’t have as filled-in of a mid-range tuning, nor does it come close to the resolution and detail of the VX. While I do like the Fibae 7 a lot, I prefer the balance of all-around sound of the VX more.




Campfire Andromeda
The Campfire Andromeda is the famous green IEM that is quite popular. Playing it with different sources can vastly change it’s sound signature so comparing it is going to vary. Using a low impedance output amp, the Andromeda is bassier than the VX and does not share the same type of close-to-natural response that the VX does in this region. The Andromeda also has wider sound stage, in-part due to the lack of a forward sounding mid-range. It has a treble spike that makes it sparkle, and what it is most famous for, whereas the VX doesn’t really exhibit this type of behavior.



Chapter 6: Aftermath




The VX quickly entered my life and I find it is here to stay for a long, long time. I’ve said this before and changed my mind, but I feel a little different this time. I think I found an IEM that really suits my preferences, musical interests, comfort, fit and build and that’s been something I’ve struggled with for a very long time.

The VX’s strongest suit is that it is incredibly resolving and is a detail monster. It pairs with a balanced sound signature that has enough bass presence to satisfy many genres, and a upper mid-range and treble that isn’t over-bearing and harsh, while still retaining a good sense of air and a wide and deep soundstage.

I feel like the only thing that could top this would be the same sound signature in a hybrid form. Yea, there is something out there that kind of fits this description – the Sony IER-Z1R – a dual dynamic and single BA flagship. I’ve only tried it out for about 15-20 minutes, and I was mostly concerned with how it would fit long-term, as it is also very large, heavy and has a somewhat unique design. While they had similar measurements, the sound was quite different due to the differences in driver usage as well. The Z1R’s bass was bigger but I also felt the treble was a bit sharper and bordered on being a little too hot – sort of a Sony trademark signature it seems.

I’d like to try it again with more playing time, and more tips at my disposal to test comfort and sonic changes, but in the meantime, I am quite happy with the VX overall. It’s my daily driver and makes me smile every day.

This review was originally posted on my blog: https://www.antdroid.net/2019/08/qdc-anole-vx-review.html

ustinj

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: incredibly balanced and musical sound, versatility, one of the best BA bass presentations, resolution, crystal clear imaging, presentation, it just sounds amazing..
Cons: 'expensive', shell design may not be for everyone
QDC is a Chinese professional IEM manufacturer that has been rising to the forefront of the industry with their past few flagship releases, receiving praise from several respected and experienced listeners. Today I’ll be checking out their current flagship earphone, the Anole VX (or VX-S, for the universal version we have here). The loaner unit was graciously lent by Andrew from Musicteck, and will be returned shortly after. The Anole VX can be had for $2299 from Musicteck, an authorized dealer for QDC in the US.


Presentation

The Anole VX comes in an oversized multi-layered package, providing the buyer with a very luxurious and over-the-top unboxing experience. A silver cardboard sleeve is cut strategically to reveal the QDC logo on the inner black box, complete with a leather pull-tab. This black box is secured shut by a magnetic fixture, swinging open down the middle (something to note is that it opens from the right, similar to books in China. It’s like the opposite of here in the US, where typically pages are flipped from left to right). Inside the box, you’ll find yourself the complete package:
  • QDC Anole VX IEMs
  • 8-core braid 3.5mm-2pin cable
  • 6 sets of tips (S/M/L, wide/narrow bore, dual flanges)
  • Leather hard case (blue)
  • Cleaning tool / Switch tool
  • Flight adapter
  • 6.35mm (1/4″) adapter
  • Documentation
All of this is packed very firmly, padded densely without any room for movement. The packaging makes it feel as if you are unboxing a very expensive earphone.

Build & Design

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The VX-S comes with a unique acrylic shell design, molded into the ‘universal custom’ type shell that has been all the rage lately. The shell itself is saturated with silver leaf foil flakes, creating an almost natural granite texture. The faceplate is chock full of matching silver strands, crossing over one another in an intricate web-like design. On top of that, there’s a polished silver VX symbol, and the minimalist QDC logo at the bottom. I could see this design being a bit divisive to people, being a bit flashy and overly intricate — but to each his own.

The metal nozzle is lipped to help tips stay secure. A mesh grille helps protect larger debris from entering the bores of the earphone. The VX also connects via a 2-pin interface similar to the Ultimate Ears lineup, in which the connector protrudes from the earphone and is recessed on the cable. I can’t say I see the purpose of this particular system, but it is what it is.

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The shell is on the slightly bigger side of things, but it fits comfortably in my smaller ears. Good ergonomics are responsible for that. The cable is also rather flexible, quiet, and comfortable to wear thanks to the quality material as well as angled 2-pin connectors.

There are three very small switches on the side of the housing that allows the listener to adjust the sound signature. They are mapped respectively to the low / mid / high frequencies, each toggling with a concrete click that can’t be mistaken. These switches are near impossible to flip with your fingers (they’re a bit recessed and too tiny), so the 2-in-1 cleaning tool’s alternate purpose is to flip the switches with ease.

SOUND

When it comes to pure sound quality, I’d have to say that the QDC Anole VX is nothing short of extraordinary. It is hands down the most well-rounded in-ear monitor I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in terms of detail and tuning versatility. With all switches set to default (off), I’d consider the sound to be very balanced ‘musical’ tuning with a boost in the low frequencies and upper midrange for clarity, extending well into treble. A pretty common target for earphones nowadays, shooting for a more modest approach to tuning — however, the VX does this without any of the typical unrefined qualities, while doubling down with top-tier resolution.

Ultimately, I found myself liking the VX-S best with its default setting, having all three switches down. In my opinion, this config is not only the safest (least offensive), but also what I found best for long term listening. Don’t get me wrong — the switches have had their moments for me, and they make pretty audible differences that some may prefer to leave on.

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Bass

No doubt sporting one of the better bass performances I’ve heard from a balanced-armature setup, the Anole VX has solid impact that doesn’t periodically have me wishing I were listening to a dynamic driver earphone. It remains controlled and tight. Subbass is extended well, and reaches as deep as I’d hope from a flagship earphone. Midbass is elevated several dB, but it’s isolated well and doesn’t muddle with any other frequencies, nor does it come off as boomy or overpowering (unless the bass switch is on; more on that later). In fact, bass might be a tad bit much in quantity for purists or those looking for a reference-tuned earphone. For those looking for a modestly boosted bass quantity with solid texturing and snappy decay, I’d keep the VX in mind.

Switch: With the bass switch flipped on, the midbass is considerably increased in quantity. It results in a blatantly boosted bass response, but also introduces noticeable boominess and bass bloat. It’s fun for a bit, but ultimately situational IMO — the beauty of it is that the VX provides you with options.

Midrange

Though midbass is elevated, there’s absolutely no issue with it interfering with the midrange. Upper midrange takes precedent over the lower midrange, emphasizing a crisp yet near-perfect natural tonality. However, it straddles the borderline of between being naturally distinct or too clear — but never crossing into the field of artificial. It doesn’t sound artificial. Resolution is just through the roof here, vocal texturing is incredibly present and detail is fantastic. A few listeners may find that the upper midrange emphasis is too much for them, reminiscent of what I felt with the InEar Prophile-8. Lower midrange has a decent amount of body and doesn’t sound thin, with a just slightly dipped center midrange that gives vocals sufficient room to breathe.

Switch: Upper midrange becomes a tad more forward and verges closer to shoutiness. The difference feels pretty slight here, to the point where I don’t think flipping the switch brings enough additional clarity for me to trade it off with the aforementioned cons. It’s not the fault of the switch, but rather that the original midrange is already forward enough.

Treble
VX has what I’d consider a well-rounded and very resolving treble, with no audible peaks or disjointness that is typical in this region. Lower treble into the middle treble has a slight bit of emphasis, complimenting the overall sound with a good amount of energy. There’s also a good sense of air and extension from the upper treble region. Decay is on the quicker side as well, so cymbals and hats can seem to disappear atypically fast — if anything, it does what it should by playing what’s in the recording with minimal colouring.

Switch: Though I appreciate the treble with its switch off for its resolution and decency, this switch really gives a different feel to the high frequencies. It highlights sparkle, giving a pleasant, shimmery treble that manages to edge even closer towards the boundary of being too much, but not breaking that limit (for me). Increased sparkle, air, extension, though also more fatiguing for long listening.

Where I stand…

So… what do I think? I’d like to compare the VX to other flagships I’ve heard, but I find it unreliable to draw detailed comparisons from distant memory. I’ve bought and sold a few, but can’t really afford to keep them around for direct comparison. For that reason, I’ll put it up against my current daily driver. Since many people have the Andromeda / S, it will paint a good picture of how good this thing is.

The Andromeda is a pretty respected IEM with a strong track record. Though I’ve tried quite a few earphones over the years, I’ve kept this one. Unfortunately, I feel it needs to be said. The QDC Anole VX is just without a doubt better in nearly allaspects of sound than the Andromeda S. Don’t get me wrong: I still really like the Andromeda. But I can’t think of a single field in which the Andromeda can get a foot over the VX (and of course, I am devastated … ignorance is bliss).

Of the mainstream 2018 flagship earphones I’ve tried, I’ve only genuinely considered upgrading my Andromeda to the 64Audio U12t. Here I sit listening now, ready to sell my Andromeda S off for good (wait… I actually just did). The Anole VX, in a way, has ruined the Andromeda for me (and possibly in the near future, I see the VX entering my life again).

Conclusion

It feels as if the engineers at QDC knew my limits, and emphasized things at the right places just short of being ‘too much’. It’s balanced so well and attentively that it almost feels like a custom-tuned earphone that fits my preferences perfectly.

Though The Anole VX is certainly quite an expensive product, it all depends where your values and priorities lie. If you’ve got the dough, and want the quality, the VX provides in fantastic top-tier resolution and a versatile, musical tuning without being overly coloured or artificial. Without a doubt, the Anole VX earns its title as a worthy flagship earphone.

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