QOA Vesper

General Information

Introducion
This is a new product by QOA, a China-fi brand that hit the market few years back. This brand is affiliated to the brand, Kinera which seems to handle the more high-end products while QOA looks into beginner/intermediate player's market. In general, their earpiece is slightly smaller to cater to ladies which generally have slightly smaller ears. (The overall size is similar to KZ ZSN variant)

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Sources
Laptop 3.5mm
Realtek USB DAC connected to laptop
Topping E30+MX3 connected to laptop
Fiio M3 (DAC & Player mode)

Review done streaming off youtube, digitised vinyl & CD collection (24bits 96kHz - 32bits 192kHz).

Specifications
QoA Vesper with 1DD 10mm + 1BA Knowles Driver
Impedance: 16ohm
Sensitivity: 116db
Plug Type: 3.5mm
Cable Length: 1.2mm ( Detachable )
Cable Material: Silver plated copper mix with copper [4 core]
Frequency Response Range : 20Hz - 20kHz

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Accessories
  • 3 pairs of hard silicone tips (S,M,L) [Smaller bore, deeper]
  • 3 pairs of soft silicone tips (S,M,L) [Bigger bore, less deep]
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  • Leather case
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Initial hearing
Starting off with the bass, my first impression was that the bass in overall is pretty strong but very comfortable. (Note that I do love bass but I'm not a bass head) However, the mid bass seem to be a little lacking in punch and dynamics. The vocals is very clean for both male and female but it sounded a little thin and flat. This might be due to the male vocals coinciding the mid bass region and have a little lack of dynamic and energy. Unlike majority chifi product's tuning, the sibilance is very well controlled and is not harsh for female vocal highs. The highs and treble cut off very naturally. Simply put, the FR chart given by QOA fairly summarised the hearing experience, generally very well balanced with slightly stronger bass.

Hearing after minor burning-in
I spent the last 3 days listening to music with this earpiece for about 2-3hr/day. What I found is that the earpiece which was pretty dry have turn a little wetter and more comfortable. The bass in general became stronger and much more punchier. There is little to no change observed in female vocal region, on the other hand, the male vocals became more lively with the improving mid bass. The highs also seem to have been extended by a little and rolled off less steeply, but in overall the highs dies off naturally without the some-what irritating double peaks.

Sound stage & Separation
Sound stage is pretty wide and the separation is rather fantastic in my opinion. But the flat response does not do it justice by reflecting it's true potential for both measure. This is largely due to some instruments with overlapping frequencies making it a little harder to separate, listening to music with instruments of more distinct frequencies separation is good! Sound stage on the other hand is wide revealing some minor details.

Comfort and Isolation

Extremely comfortable in my opinion, sometimes I forgot I was wearing an earpiece The rounded resin case fit nicely on the ears coupled with fins and snug fitting allows very good isolation.

Verdict

Bass: 8.5/10
Mids: 8/10
Highs: 8/10
EQ response: 9/10
Comfort: 9/10
Isolation: 9/10
Sound stage: 8.5/10
Separation: 8/10

Overall: 8.5/10

Again, my review scoring is with respect to per dollar value. Other than the slightly elevated bass, the response is pretty flat and very analytical. Leaning towards being warm and dry, this bring forth a touch of experience similar to listening through a tube amp. I tested a few genre, [chinese pop, edm, classical etc.] and they sound pretty nice to me.

Personally, I would prefer a little more bass, high and treble while maintaning the flat tuning. Right a the beginning, I was a little upset as it seem to have no "characteristics", like an outcasted boy sitting quietly at the back corner of the class. This is why I only gave a 8ish score for both bass and highs、 The mids was given an 8 simply because it is thin and a little too analytical, sometimes it almost sounded like talking with gusto more than singing.

As a result, I would gladly recommend it to people who would like an earpiece which is more analyical that can perform pretty well in various genre. However, to those who are bass headed or prefer the V&U -shaped tuning, this is not a earpiece to your taste. But of course, if you are a "Lego" player, you can mix around with other accessories here and there and EQ to acheive your desired signature.

Priced @69USD I think it is certainly worth it, in my honest opinion, this thing easily beat the branded $120 range earpieces off the shelves. This thing might even fight the 150-180 contestants if it continue to evolve (DD is awakened to it's full potential)

Mods I did
Like I said in the verdict section, I feel that the mids and vocals is a little too thin for my taste, so I replaced it with a (1) Jcally 8 Strands 5N oxygen-free copper cable. Perfectly brings out some liveliness to fit my taste. I also replaced the standard tips with the (2) foam ones which squeezed out the juicy bass that I like!

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