New version of the original VE Zen earbud Type : Open dynamic earbud Frequency Range : 15 Hz –...

Venture Electronics (VE) Zen V2

Average User Rating:
4.85714/5,
  • New version of the original VE Zen earbud

    Type : Open dynamic earbud

    Frequency Range : 15 Hz – 23.5 Khz

    Impedance : 320 ohm

    Sensitivity : 106dB (1mW)

    Plug : 3.5mm gold plated, straight jack

    Cable : 1.2m

    Weight : Approx 14g

    IEM Shell : Polycarbonate / hard plastic

Recent User Reviews

  1. SOULSIK
    5.0/5,
    "Zen 2.0 & Black Review - You call these earbuds?"
    Pros - sounds like headphones. great natural sound and soundstage.
    Cons - they are in a shell of earbuds still
    Video review



    INTRODUCTION

    Because I am a neuroscience major, facts are important to me, so let me start by stating a fact. “earbuds are inferior to headphones in sound quality.” This is what reviewers out there that I respect (and that is only a small minority) believe and have tested. Now I will have so many shouting “snake oil” when I say stuff like the zen 2.0 and black is like headphones. On the other hand, I will have fanboys crush me with dislikes on video reviews of well known brands and it doesn’t take a negative review but just questioning the purpose or practicality of it. But I stand by my reviews. I will not bull **** what I hear. I do what I do because I love music and what it has done for me, I will never lie about music. So when I say “these are amazing, these sound like headphones,” instead of being skeptical and crush me with dislikes because I praised an earbud, try them out and then talk. Because I was just as skeptical as you were going into this.

    DISCLAIMER

    The zen 2.0 black was purchased by me for a discounted price and zen 2.0 normal was sent to me free of charge for comparison/review. My reviews will stay unbiased. After all, if someone sent you poop to review, will you be happy to give it a good review because it was for free or discounted price?

    ABOUT VENTURE ELECTRONICS

    This company does something that no other company has ever done and that is to admit that perfection may not be feasible. This is true in many cases but not many companies come out and say it. This company is honest from the root. They also carry the same mindset as us AUDIO-MANIACS “We will never stop striving for perfection.” They do 3 things to strive for perfection:

    1. They want to break the notion of EXPENSIVE = BETTER SOUND. They strive to make great sounding products for best value possible
    2. Creating products that are inexpensive but does not sacrifice build or sound quality
    3. Creating positive and honest relationship with their costumers and fans by creating products that they themselves would be proud to use
    With that being said, VE’s presence in the HI-end audio does not fall behind. VE is the first to introduce hi-end earbuds, which is priced for 358usd with premium cardas cable and the first in the world to introduce true balanced portable amp with full spec desktop connector. which is the ra2.0b.

    Does this sound like a great company to you? I am normally not impressed with company descriptions but I was inspired by how they kept it so REAL, HONEST, and most importantly shared their PLANS & how they will achieve it with us.

    This is the company description that I wrote way back when I first bought their monk plus to review it and until this day, I stand by it.

    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

    zen 2.0 & Black

    Style Earbuds

    Communication Wired

    Connectors AUX

    Vocalism Principle Dynamic

    Plug Type L Bending

    Sensitivity 108dB(1mW)

    Frequency Response Range 16-23000Hz

    Line Length 1.2m

    Resistance 320Ω

    Time on market 2015



    WHERE DO I BUY IT?

    You can buy it directly from their website: https://www.veclan.com

    TALKING WITH THE OWNER & COSTUMER SERVICE

    I deal with a lot of companies but venture electronics have been the most pleasant experience for me. I purchase a lot of things from them and it is also true that they send me a lot of the stuff for review and I am open about it, there is no secrets. But I also have not seen a single complaint about their products and costumer service. Venture electronics is on their way to create their brand name and is very cautious, yet take pride in their work. They also do not send review units like crazy, I had to prove myself as a good reviewer. But as pleasant as Wild Lee is as an individual, he is a no bull **** type of person and so am I. My reviews are all honest and if he ever creates ****, I will tell him he did. Because that is what I believe “respecting” is. Like I said in my Bio, company’s Have a choice to fix it or **** it.

    BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ZENS

    Zen 2.0 Black was first introduced along with runabout 2.0 amps for the perfect matching sound signature they were going for. Zen 2.0 normal was introduced later on to reduce the cost for those who wanted to try out the Zen 2.0. I will be reviewing their top of the line runabout amp, the RA2B soon and not to spoil anything but the zen 2.0 black sound far superior paired up with their own choice of amps than other amps like the Schiit Jotunheim.

    BUILD QUALITY

    The build quality of both the zen 2.0 and the black is an earbud shell with different cables than the original monk plus or the asura 2.0. The zen 2.0 comes in a descent red cable that gives a signature look to the zen 2.0. It’s bigger brother comes in premium cardas cables with neutrik terminations.

    The zen 2.0 black’s cardas cables have a springy nature to them but I found them to be premium to the touch and less problematic than what is claimed by the owner himself.

    Also If you are ever worried about breaking your earbuds, because they are earbud build quality, I never broke anything from venture electronics but I believe they have a life time warranty when you buy certain things from them. You are able to reach Wild Lee (owner of venture electronics) on my discord or on facebook. If you are still worried about costumer service, see below.

    PRACTIALLY

    THE FIT: They fit as well as the monk plus fits. I do not recommend putting foams on these as it muddies the sound a bit. If you are used to foams, then this may make the fit on the zen looser, but they also have other hook style or donut size one that does not cover the hole where the sound is coming out.

    SOUND ISOLATION: These are earbuds and they do not have sound isolation as part of the deal but they did seal well in my ears, enough to make them not leak too much sound. However, sound leaking into your earbuds will not be preventable

    PAIRING: These are 320 ohms and that is 20 ohms more than the HD650s, which is a headphone. You need an amp to drive them properly. You can drive these with phones or digital audio players quite well but will not sound right…. at all. It will sound lean or muddied.

    SUGGESTED USE: Use them at home if you can, or use a portable amp.

    SOUND QUALITY

    LOWS – Surprisingly I am not able to make a claim that earbuds are not good for bass here. These have bass and to even a bigger surprise, they have tighter bass than most headphone or IEMS. But of course, these do not compare to headphones with actual big bass or even that of the HD650s. They have a bass response closer to a non bassy headphone. Also extended more than I expected. Overall, the sound signature of the zens offer more or less of a warmer sound due to the excellent presence around these frequencies. In summary, Quality bass but lacks in quantity compared to full sized headphones or IEMs. Also another thing to note it that the zen 2.0 black has a cleaner sound overall and thus “seems” like there is more bass impact and control. Drums sound more realistic and natural on the black as well, but I can’t confirm this as I play electrical drum in my basement.

    MIDS – Now I cannot confirm that the drums sound realistic but I have a guitar and saxophone that I can just play a bit to confirm, and I did just that. Zen 2.0 Black sounds like the real instruments rather than notes. More balanced and cleaner than the zen 2.0 normal but both have excellent presentation in this region. Enough to please the most demanding acoustic addicts. The vocals are perfect and wet sounding, a little closer to that of the HD800s vocals. Although HD800s is nothing like the zens, the vocal presentation was more similar to the HD800s than the HD650s. This means more shouty vocal presence for the lack of better words. In conclusion, both female and male vocals sound excellent and most present with echoes/lip smacks.

    HIGHS – While listening to 2-pac’s Skandalous, a classic combination of sub bass, bass and cymbals, I was surprised at how well the zen and the black both presented the highs in detail. However the highs are a bit further away and may seem rolled off like the HD650s.

    SOUNDSTAGE/IMAGING/SEPARATION:

    • Soundstage similar in both zens
    • Imaging is better on the zen 2.0 Black
    • Separation is better on the zen 2.0 Black


    FINAL THOUGHTS

    I wrote this review after my video review came out. At first, I was hard pressed to this earbud the first award. In fact, I wanted to wait until something more incredible came to give out an award. We did not wanted to award every headphone out there and create the notion that we praise everything as #1. But I will go with my heart on this one. The Zen 2.0 black will be awarded the best earbud until a better earbud replaces its place.
  2. noobandroid
    4.0/5,
    "A little unexpected"
    Pros - Great mids and highs
    Cons - Need a good amp to bring the bass kick out

    Introduction

    The Zen V2 came unexpectedly to my doorstep, and since I had 0 experience with any earbuds, I decided to give it a run, and see if it can do any good, and boy was I in for a surprise!
     

    Sound

    My package came in a trimmed down straight off packaging, so I'll skip that and talk sound.
     

    Treble / High notes

    The high notes are crispy and clear, much like some of the better made IEMs out there, high hats and strums can be heard clearly in the background but not overwhelming. It doesn't over kill and irritate the sensation for long term listening. Clean cut and sweet, something unexpected out of an earbud.
     

    Mids / Vocals

    The mids are really good, in sight that these are earbuds, things can't get any better than this. VE has hit a high note on performances of the vocals and differentiation between female vocals and male vocals. They coherent nicely but distinguishable very clearly. Background support singer and main singer has different layering. Echo doesnt travel far though, so i find it more suitable for studio vocal albums.
     

    Bass 

    I find that having bass on earbuds is already special enough, but then I do have to nitpick here, and say the bass doesn't have volume to it. It's thin and hits like a ball hitting the floor, short and ends fast. If the music has bass drag, like beyonce song Drunk in Love, you will be disappointed. Don't expect an earbud to do good in here, cause, well, earbuds (i guess).
     

    Soundstage

    The soundstage and positioning in the earbud is surprising. It can cleanly cut left to right on a high pace, but can also do a slight slant to each position, like slight left mid to right slight mid. Soundstage echo is decent, but can't be said to be wide. At least it applies the effect the music maker intended, but can't scale it.
     

    Setup

    Below is my setup for reference
    [@AuneAudio] S6 Desktop DAC + AMP to ifi iUSB to PC (XMOS driver applied)
    20170318_0005071.jpg
     

    Conclusion

    Overall, I am surprised of the earbud and hence, I will say that this is one hell of an earbud. Despite the little details like lesser bass, I will recommend people this earbud, cause why the hell not get an epic earbud to impress.
  3. Hypespazm
    5.0/5,
    "This is an HD600 in your pocket! Competitive Gaming at its finest!!"
    Pros - These are incredibly versatile Earbuds! Sound stage! sound quality! and to be honest . Incredible comfort!
    Cons - NONE!
    First here are the specs of these bad boys! and yes you will need an amp to see these shine! 
    SPECS
    1. Driver: 15.4mm Single Dynamic 
    2. Rated Impedance: 320 Ω @ 1kHz
    3. Frequency Range: 15 ~ 23500 Hz (-10dB)
    4. Sensitivity: 106 dB @ 1mW
    5. Cable: 1.2m TPE-sheathed OFC
    6. Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated L-plug 
    7. MSRP: $148
     
    Now first off I am no audio freak but I love good quality audio! I am also a gamer so what these did for me was beyond my expectations! 
     
    I had the opportunity to use these with a large variety of Audio interfaces, DACS, and amps. 
    in those I have
     
    Hardware I used to test.:
    LG V20( which did an amazing job at powering these!), Aune S6, Violectric V200, Nuforce HA200, Dragon Fly 1.5.Onkyo TX-SR606. 
     
    Can That I used to compare:
     
    HD558, HD600, Philips SHP9500, Vmoda M100's, B&O H3, AKG Q701, DT990 pro. MONK PLUS!
     
    The VE ZEN!
    DSC_0358.jpg
     
    I have the Balanced version! I have to say these are outstanding.
     
    Sound Quality
     
    First off let me say that the sound signature that can best describe these are the HD600's. The Zen are just incredibly Balanced. I loved these. 
     
    These have a warm sound. These are also very articulate. For being ear buds, they have an amazing soundstage. 
    I have heard an amazing amount details in my music. All of my music is loss less  format. Even sounded amazing while playing my LP's.
    If you have never heard HD600's. These are very neutral Very warm.. and punch WAY beyond their asking price. To me this is the perfect balanced headphone. Needless to say these are worth every penny.
     
    INCREDIBLY AMAZING FOR GAMING!. These and the monks are probably my favorites for gaming.. These more than the monks due to them being balanced..
     
    The Zen Balance allowes me to hear footsteps from very very far away. My main game was CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege.
     
     
     
    To Summarize thoughts I will say this.. These shined the most on my V200 amp but that is my most expensive amp.. The AUNE S6 Did these incredible Justice!. My LG v20 Surprisingly powered these incredibly with no problem. The Dragon Fly 1.5 had some issue's powering these and the sound staged did not go well with the Dragon Fly.
     
    None the less these are flawless and I cannot wait to see what these guys at https://www.veclan.com/ have to offer!.. 
     
    If you guys have any tests or any questions about these please dont hesitate to ask me.
     
    CAUTION THESE HEADPHONES ARE EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE. If you are a true Audiophile. There is no reason to not have these. I must emphasize that these are just incredible. I purchased 2 just incase something happens.
  4. Aornic
    5.0/5,
    "Sound quality that transcends the traditional constraints of earbuds"
    Pros - Tight and controlled bass, lush and incredible midrange, comfortable treble, vast soundstage, sound more akin to a full-sized headphone than an earbud
    Cons - 320 Ohms so it requires amping, wait time as it ships from China, cannot be covered due to drastic sound changes, no neck adjustment, sound leakage
    [​IMG]
     
    Background
     
    When was the last time you used a pair of earbuds? Perhaps you use your Apple Earpods at work to remain inconspicuous, or maybe you are one of the many who have purchased the VE Monk out of curiosity and adhere to that. I have reviewed the latter before and added my declaration of its stellar sound quality for a low price to the many, many impressions that have made their way online in the past year or so. I consider the Monks to be a great marketing tool along with being a great product, it generates interests in the capabilities of Venture Electronics and their engineering.
     
    Why did we all leave earbuds? I remember my own reasoning. I had equated the mediocre sound quality of earbuds with my Sony Walkman from the 1990s, when I had used cheap Sony and Panasonic ones. They emitted sound, and my younger self was happy with that. I abandoned earbuds for good when I bought my first Sennheiser PX-100 and Sennheiser CX95 and never looked back.
     
    The Monks changed that earlier this year, in a big way. The soundstage, the quality of the mids and the clarity sold to me the potential of earbuds again. I eyed the Zen, priced at $148 on AliExpress in its basic form, and wondered what could be achieved. As the meme from the film Inception went, I had to go deeper.
     
    2016-06-2017.39.16-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.40.14-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.44.02-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.40.28-min.jpg
     
     
    Specifications
     
    Plug Type: L Bending
    Communication: Wired
    Connectors: 3.5mm
    Resistance: 320Ω
    Frequency Response Range: 8-25000Hz
    Line Length: 1.2m
    Sensitivity: 120±5dB
     
     
    Build & Features
     
    The Zen is comprised of the same exact shell in use by the Asura 2.0 and the Monk Plus. It is made of a transparent plastic casing with the drivers clearly visible underneath. The main visible attribute separating the three earbuds is that the Zen has a transparent cable with the red wiring showing underneath – whereas the other two have the standard black rubber wire. I appreciate that the cable is as sturdy as that of the original monk, thick (double) in length and not abrasive to the touch. I find that it does not tangle easily, which is always a big plus with smaller earphones and earbuds.
     
    Beyond that, I would describe the design as “no thrills.” I have neutral feelings towards the earbuds themselves when it comes to aesthetics, simply because it is not advertising any sense of design and because it is not dictating audience perception due to its looks. To the untrained eye, these look like sturdy but cheap earbuds and that is that. Make no mistake, the Zen’s casing and appearance is not for the followers of headphone porn, but rather simply just a shell for the wonders lying inside. These wonders and characteristics cannot be merely gazed upon, but have to be heard to be believed.
     
    13567209_10207929478449550_8047858891355712230_n.jpg 13578829_10207929455208969_1714522709_n.jpg 13521862_10207929478409549_7405321124639207048_n.jpg 13565978_10207929506170243_193907975_n.jpg
     
    The VE Zen 2.0 Black Edition however is a slightly different affair. It consists of the same earbud shell and casing design but with a vastly different (braided) cable and, depending on your choice, termination. According to the listing on AliExpress, the default model of the Black Edition terminated in a 3.5mm straight plug from Oyaide. Other options are 2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm balanced, XLR Neutrik and a 3.5mm in an L-shape. The cable itself is a Cardas Golden Selection AWG 26.5 and any of these configurations will cost $358. Based on appearance alone, the Black Edition has a significantly more premium look to my basic Zen. Beyond appearance, I cannot comment because I have not had the chance to hear one.
     
    I have heard of some experiencing slight fit and comfort issues with the size of the casings that Venture Electronics use. I personally do not face many problems, but I do admit that they benefit from the addition of foam for in-ear traction. However, this is not quite feasible for the VE Zen for reasons I will mention later on in this review. Essentially, if you do not get an optimal fit then you will not obtain the optimal sound – the full potential of the Zen. I am confident that this will fit most people however.
     
     
    Sound
     
    It can be safely said that most of us here share the goal of obtaining a quality of audio that satisfies our needs. The spectrum for this is vast, with those happily discovering and using the likes of the Audio-Technica M-50X to those searching far and wide for their favourite amplifier for a Sennheiser HD800. It continues into the land of electrostatics and DAC/AMP systems as large as video-cassette players stacked on top of one another. Our experience, as well as my own, may have caused us to disregard some products – if not downright scoff at others. I admitted earlier that I was biased against earbuds until I heard the VE Monk, but now I have another conundrum. It is hard for me to view the VE Zen 2.0 as an earbud.
     
    This will doubtlessly sound ridiculous. If it looks like an earbud, feels like an earbud, has the same length cable as a standard earbud, can be used as a lasso to capture cockroaches like a standard earbud and can be stepped on by your clumsy feet if you aren’t careful (destroying them forever with a sickening crunching sound) then of course they are an earbud right? Well, yes and no. Yes it has all the physical characteristics of an earbud, but it does not sound like one – at least to me.
     
    Another strange claim, an earbud that does not sound like an earbud. I will seek to explain this by simply saying that this sounds like a full-sized pair of open headphones. I had no notion that sound like this could be achieved in the confines of an inexpensive plastic earbud shell, and I was shocked on first listen. There is a body to the sound that does not sound unnatural or forced in any sense. It effortlessly reproduces music as a full-sized can would, but without the band around your head.
     
    The bass of the Zen is very controlled and disciplined, but present enough to add a good punch and warmth to music. It does not extend incredibly low, but does delve deep enough to be satisfying for most genres of music. Instruments like 1980s synth bass sound just as they should on the Zen, as well as kick drums in rock music. The warmth of the bass and lower mids also lends to the lifelike recreation of acoustic guitar recordings, one of my favourite aspects to listen for when I listen to a new headphone/earphone/earbud. EDM and electropop music will not shine on the Zen however, it does not provide the sub-bass required to make those genres sound whole. For literally anything else, you can turn to this comfortably.
     
    It should be noted the Zen is less flexible than the other earbuds by Venture Electronics. Where I could modify my Monk Plus with two foams as well as a ring, any material placed on the Zen will drastically alter the sound – often to the point of stuffiness. The Zen, with its body and warmth, is tuned specifically for naked use. I found that even the usage of the earhooks impacted the optimal fit a bit, although that could be just for my ear shape. Bottom line is, if you want to experience the Zen with all of its strengths, don’t cover it up with even the thinnest of foam.
     
    The mids are the highlight. They are what you will reach over to pick these up for. They are also the aspect that is most like a full sized set of cans, and ones which from my memory sound like the Sennheiser HD600. They are warm and sweet. They have a lot in common with the mids of the original Monk, although not as forwarded and far more articulate and detailed. It would be strange to just simply say that vocals shine on the Zen, but they do. It would also be odd to say that instruments, particularly guitars, shine on the Zen – but they do and in abundance. Make no mistake, the original Monk, Monk Plus and Asura 2.0 all have impeccable midrange representation, but they all pale in comparison to the sheer juicy steak that is the Zen 2.0. To hear such a natural, clear and full-bodied sound from an earbud is an incredible achievement in audio engineering and design.
     
    The treble is never sibilant but does well with intricate cymbal patterns. There is some air, although not as much as the Asura 2.0 with its brighter sound signature. I find it to be a satisfactory level of detail, extension and comfort – quite similar to the treble of the Meze 99 Classics in terms of how it doesn’t fail to impress nor does it cross the line.
     
    The soundstage is vast and the imaging is spot on, although slightly less immediate than the Monk Plus. I’m chalking this down to the warmer nature of the Zen. Listening to binaural recordings on the Zen sounds lifelike and satisfactory. The soundstage is similar to the other earbuds in VE’s range, which I am guessing has to do with the shell design. Live recordings sound truly live and panning instruments in recordings go from 0 to 100 effortlessly and clearly.
     
    Overall, this is what you are paying for. The sound has to be heard to be believed. This is problematic because of the ordering process, through AliExpress and Venture Electronics own website, and its long ship time. If you get the chance to demo these (at a meet or through an acquaintance), absolutely do so. I invited a friend over to try them out, a long time user of the original Monk and now the Monk Plus, and he absolutely confirmed the jump in quality from the $5 wonder to the $148 juggernaut.
     
    Amping
     
    320 ohms. That is the impedance of the VE Zen. This is another thing I would have never thought necessary or possible a year ago, the idea of needing an amplifier for earbuds. The Zen is quite hungry and can benefit from some clean amping. Plugged directly into my phone yielded nothing satisfactory in both quality and volume. Plugged into my friend’s Ibasso DX90 proved to be a far better fit, with some amping taking place to bring out the power of the Zen. An actual amp is absolutely necessary however, and I tried all three of mine with it.
     
    2016-04-0917.33.19-Copy.jpg
     
    Schiit Magni 2
     
    Added volume and drive to the sound, as it should, but felt like it was a touch too harsh in nature. The snare in songs had a thudding sound to it for some reason.
     
    20160505_165557.jpg
     
    Cavalli Liquid Carbon
     
    Great sound quality, but a sense of colour that cannot be shaken due to the amp’s own warm sound signature. Also lessened the shimmering detail in the mids and treble a slight amount compared to the third option.
     
    20160611_140036-min.jpg 20160611_140140-min.jpg 20160611_140307-min.jpg 20160611_140430-min.jpg
     
     
    VE RunAbout Plus
     
    It makes sense the VE’s own amplifier, in a portable size, is far beyond being adept at powering their highest-end earbud. It is a happy medium between the sweetness and warmth of the Liquid Carbon and the neutrality and bite of the Magni 2. On top of that, its small form factor and battery-powered option makes it a great addition to portable setups. The thought of the Zen in public might seem counterproductive due to its very open and sound-leaking nature, but it is still an enticing thought – made possible by the RunAbout Plus.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    Once again, my eyes have been opened by a product sold by Venture Electronics. First I had learned to love earbuds again, but now I have been purely amazed. Whatever small disadvantages that the Zen has do not hold a candle to the level of sound quality achieved through such a small and easily-overlooked physical design. I could recommend this to anyone, as long as they have an amp, and look forward to what the company concocts next.
     
    As for the overall design itself, the KISS Principle comes to mind: “Keep it simple, stupid.” It is with that mindset that the Zen shines.
     
     
    20160611_140548-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.47.51-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.46.32-min.jpg 2016-06-2017.46.45-min.jpg
     
    Thanks for stopping by. You can follow me at:
     
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    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jesuschristonxtc
     
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    Song Impressions
     
    Equipment used: Foobar200 WASAPI Event > Schiit Wyrd > Schiit Gungnir USB Ver. 2 > Venture Electronics RunAbout Plus.
    All tracks in lossless FLAC in at least 16/44.1
     
     
    Aerosmith – Dream On (2012 Remaster)
     
    Great benefit of the soundstage from the get-go, with the guitar tracks separated clearly with the string section squarely in the middle. Vocals have a lot of weight to them. Drums have impact and bass is clear and present.
     
    a-ha – Take On Me
     
    Besides how great the 80s synths and vocals sound, I always listen for the subtle acoustic guitar playing in the background. It has come out well with the ZMF Omni and the Meze 99 Classic, and now with the Zen too.
     
    Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan
     
    Soundstage and imaging galore with the percussion parts comfortably panning from channel to channel while the clarity of the vocals, guitar (on the right channel) and bassline continue on.
     
    Prince – Controversy
     
    A song that showcases punchy sound signatures in audio gear as it marches along at a steady pace. The clarity is such that the guitar on the right channel and the “oomph” vocal sample that repeats is clear and lifelike.
     
    Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
     
    A natural warm sound representation of a delicate and subdued track, instrumental wise. The clean guitar layers perfectly on top of the acoustic guitar as Isaak croons on. I fully appreciate how the slight “this world is gonna break your heart” female backing vocal line is clearer than most gear I have tested.
     
    Clint Mansell – Lux Aeterna
     
    There is more of a low-end to the string section than on the Monk Plus, giving it the body I described in my review. The overall presentation of the song sounds more cinematic in nature.
     
    Coldplay – Clocks
     
    Vocals and guitars are audible on top of the repeating piano riff, with every little sound flourish represented accurately. Martin’s harmonization is natural and clear too.
     
    Eminem – Without Me
     
    While the instruments and vocals sound great, I can’t help but feel like something is missing with the bassline and drums, lacking the rap-loving impact that headphones like the TH-X00 have. That is not a fair comparison however, and the soundstage really aids as the layering of the rap tracks can be clearly heard.
     
    Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
     
    Warmth and body infuse this track, with the cymbal hit on the right side moving just slightly more toward the right than most headphones I have. Vocals are extremely clear, bass is clear and with body and the acoustic guitar is lifelike. Vocal harmonies gel effortlessly.
     
    Metallica – The Unforgiven
     
    The incredible production on this track shines with the likes of the VE Zen. Every guitar note is just so clear, with the low end control of the Zen aiding the chugging guitars greatly too. All while the drums thunder on and James Hetfield’s vocal growls on.
     
    Lana Del Ray – Summertime Sadness
     
    First impression was how incredible the string section sounded. This is a cinematic track in both instrumental and vocal performance, and the Zen does incredibly well with it. The vast soundstage also aids the wall-of-sound production.
     
    Led Zeppelin – The Battle of Evermore
     
    The intro creeps up in a lifelike manner, as if someone was slowly turning up the volume of a live setting. The layered guitars and mandolins are represented greatly by the Zen, as is Robert Plant’s vocal work.
     
    Marcin Przybyłowicz – The Fields of Ard Skellig
     
    The Celtic vocals blossom over a mandolin and delicate instrumental, making this peaceful piece shine on the Zen. Nothing feels lacking, with the soundstage separating all instruments properly.
     
    Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
     
    Complex vocal harmonies? No problem for the Zen at all. Everything sounds balanced and pleasing, particularly the famous middle section – panning expertly with the vast soundstage.
     
    Ramin Djawadi – Light of the Seven
     
    This haunting track is well served by the Zen, with the piano and string section ringing clearly. The choir vocals that come in as the song builds up is clear, transitioning into the cinematic sound that the Zen handles so well.
    SpiderNhan, rggz and ezekiel77 like this.
  5. ZOMBIEWINEGUM
    4.5/5,
    "Great earbud that gives a full size headphone sound"
    Pros - Sound quality, mids, comfort, cable
    Cons - bass, not tuned for foams, build
    I will use the review I posted on reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/4o1i03/the_surprisingly_fantastic_venture_electronics_zen/
     
    First things first: Why earbuds? I like earbuds because they are so practical and easy to use, Pop 'em in your ear and you're good to go. No headphone hair, no fussing about with a seal (for the most part) and once they're in I can't even feel them. After getting the monk I was really curious about the Zen so when I saw it for a great price on head-fi I took the dive. I got the Zen 2.0, Asura 1.0, all the accessories and then some for £65. A pretty fantastic deal.

    Accessories: These come with loads of foams and stuff to try and alter the sound/fit to your liking. Included is also some earhoox-type things and a great carry case (which can be found here.) Unfortunately, these sound best with not foams or other fittings, so it's kind of a waste I guess.

    Build: Kind of disappointing really, but I'm also not sure where it could be improved. Shells are plastic, cable very strong and good looking although a bit grippy (but never seems to tangle) and personally I can't stand 45 degree jacks so there's that. The shells being plastic keep the weight down and comfort up and the cable is of a high quality, they just feel insubstantial for the asking price is the problem.

     
    0pua8ox.jpg KLHZhvq.jpg wRsHehX.jpg
     
     
    Sound: this is the most important part and where these earbuds really live up to their hype. The general sound signature is on the bassy/warm/thick side, giving them a forgiving, natural presentation that is very easy to listen to for long periods of time. 

    Mids are my favourite part of the Zen's sound. Vocals are incredibly lifelike, no thinness or forward upper mids like the MSR7s and not recessed like the Fidelio L1. Really can't fault them at all.

    Bass is where things perhaps fall apart a little. Bass doesn't extend low enough for any real rumble, it's all mid bass. This isn't noticeable in most music but if you are a fan of electronic then you'll definitely be missing out on a good portion of low end. On the up side mid bass is fantastically tight and raised in level giving them a slightly more fun sound. What I find most impressive is that I am not using any foams with these, so there is no seal. How the driver manages this kind of bass with zero seal is beyond me and very impressive. This does make me think however, wouldn't it be better to tune the driver to be used with foams, so you can have the bass extension and comfort? Btw if you use foams with these bass is too overbearing and not very good sounding to my ear.

    Treble: Probably the worst part of these earphones. Has sever ringing what can be very bothersome. Definite room for improvement here.Highs are a little muddy but free of sibilance and harshness completely. They don't sound quite as smooth as the highs on my MSR7s nor as detailed, however. 

    Soundstage/imaging is what you'd expect for a full sized open headphone. Soundstage is large and out of you head, which combined with the precise imaging makes these great gaming earbuds.

    All in all these are fantastic buds. A little overpriced, but given the lack of other competent earbuds it is likely worth the extra cash. 

    golov17 likes this.
  6. Zelda
    5.0/5,
    "One of the Best earbuds ever"
    Pros - Excellent Sound
    Cons - 320 Ohm is no joke; Cable can be annoying; Generic design

     
    Full review of the Asura 2, Zen 2 & Duke here:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/809154/review-venture-electronics-ve-asura-2-0-zen-2-0-duke-a-new-path-to-high-end-sound
     
    Sound:
     
     
    The Zen 2 with its very high impedance of 320ohm, but only half of that number in price, is competing directly with any truly top-tier earphone out there, with a slight yet pleasant analytical tilt on it.


    The low end of the Zen 2 is very accurate and controlled and yet large in dimensions. As what a typical high-end dynamic driver earphone should be, the bass is detailed and very clean, very well textured and not missing in body or fullness. Notes are presented in very solid way and good depth immense and hardly rolled-off for being 'just en earbud' and there is no sign of bass bloat. Not being easy to drive, speed is a little dependant on the source power, but feels rather natural when well matched. On a strong amplifier as the HDB or AMP-S overall speed is great without losing in bass control yet achieving more body and a more realistic note, neither thick or bloated nor overly quick and thin; pretty much perfect in terms of balance.
    Unlike most earbuds, the Zen 2 has plenty impact and bass quantity, especially with foam pads, without getting overwhelming and with a presentation that is very easy to like.
    While the 'no foam' setup might be considered as a more 'Reference sound’, the addition of foam pads (either donut or regular) shows an increased impact and a warmer, more consumer-friendly sound. For some more critical listeners this addition could also reduce the fantastic transparency of this little earbud and give up some of the texture for a smoother and weightier sound, but won't affect much the overall treble extension. Either way, the Zen 2 is not exactly to be called 'flat' in response, rather it should be referred as a 'full' sounding earphone on every response, and that's where its main strength lies. For the 'purist' listeners the no-foam setup (maybe with the included fins installed for more secure fit) should be the best option for the Zen 2, but as an all-arounder and a bit more friendly or less compromising sound, the donut pad would be the right option.

    The midrange of the Zen 2 is excellently well balanced, rather neutral, well weighted on the lower frequencies and with a slight gain towards the top region. This flagship wins in terms of dynamics and fullness with a high resemblance to full size cans when wisely amped. Bass bleed is nonexistent and the added smoothness is very impressive. The Zen 2 is slightly smoother and more lush than the Asura 2, but even though much closer to the Asura 2 in terms of brightness than to the Asura 1 which is the warmer, more musical and easy going among the three. Clarity is top notch, as well as resolution, and even the smallest bit of micro detail is not missing, but not very aggressive as a more analytical set can be, which allows the earphone to remain extremely refined and liquid. As for tonality, the mids are a touch on the warm side with a slight extra aggressiveness, which can get a tad shouty if poorly/wrongly matched, synergy-wise. Expectedly, that realism and articulation will depend mostly on the source.


    In the upper registers, the Zen 2 has a bit of emphasis towards the upper midrange and lower treble but manages to keep its top end in control better than the Asura 2 or the Hifiman Compact (Yuin like) do. Not a hot treble, but definitely energetic; a well done and refined treble that doesn't give up in crispness or resolution, plenty of sparkle and very good in sense of air and separation. Never being harsh or sibilant, although over long listening sessions, the Zen 2 can be a little more fatiguing than an old Yuin PK1 for its extra fuller energy. Actually there's a bit less upper treble tilt compared to the SoundMagic HP200 which could be reported as tiresome for some listeners. Interestingly, despite being a tad smoother the top end extension is higher than the Asura 2 and (even more than the PK1). It'd be hard to call the Zen 2 a 'revealing' earphone as it first needs to be well powered to reach its fullest strength, but definitely should fall under the 'transparent' category.

    The presentation of the Zen 2 is lively and energetic and manages to show a very musical and rich (though not laid-back) sound. Soundstage is quite the widest among all earbuds, sounding nothing like an earbud but as a large headphone in terms of dimensions, which is very spacious, airy, and open. The Zen 2 timbre may not be the most natural, and while still much better than both the Asura and Hifiman Compact, I could still prefer the PK1 in just that single regard. Paired with a warmer source like the HDB, it gets slightly more laid-back letting a fuller/thicker midrange, while with a Cayin C5D it gets much brighter and energetic. For instance, the Amp-S is very well suited for the Zen 2, as in spite of its analytical and highly detailed character, it can show the best of the Zen side without giving up to a specific frequency.
    All-in-all it is a signature that is equally balanced, full and well-rounded, very realistic and capable of showing a three-dimensional and immersive presentation with one of the largest soundstage hidden inside of a small earbud shell.
  7. bolmeteus
    5.0/5,
    "Looks can be deceiving, in a good way. In a very good way."
    Pros - Sound quality, build, value, soundstage, design
    Cons - L/R markings hard to see, Foams distort the sound too much, Experimenting with different positions needed to get the best fit
    Venture Electronics Zen 2.0 Review
    ZENApril122016.jpg
     
     
     
    Introduction & test notes
     
    I am just a simple music loving person. I don't consider myself to have golden ears or whatsoever but do like my music detailed as possible under a jobless student's budget. My music preference is varied, but I do not fancy modern pop.

    I am not a bar & graphs person, try to keep my reviews as simple as possible.

    This is my first five star review and my second review coming from Venture Electronics products. I was given an opportunity to review the Zen 2.0 by Lee. This review is my honest opinions on the Zen and I gain nothing from it. I am in no way affiliated with Venture Electronics.

     
    Always remember that your experiences might be different because this is a very subjective matter and depends on numerous factors, eg. ear anatomy.

     
    Gears used:

    I have used Fiio’s portable DAC/AMP Q1 for this review. It was set on High gain, with hardware bassboost disabled. Aimp v4 was the player of choice on both PC & Android, EQ was disabled.
    Laptop>Fiio Q1> Zen 2.0
    Android device>Usb OTG> Fiio Q1> Zen 2.0
    Ipod touch 4th gen> lod> Q1> Zen 2.0
    ZENApril122016-14.jpg     
     
    About Product:
    This is the second iteration of VE’s flagship earbud lineup. The Zen comes in a few variants; Standard edition( the one I am reviewing 148$), Balanced edition with terminations of your choice (178$) and the decked out Black edition equipped with  Cardas AWG 26.5 cable and Oyaide straight 3.5mm connector (358$).*
     
    ZENApril122016-6.jpg
    *Prices at the time of review
     
     
     
    Product Specifications(From their website www.veclan.com)
    1. Plug Type:L Bending
    2. Impedance:320ohm
    3. Connectors:3.5mm
    4. Frequency Response Range:8-25000 Hz
    5. Package:Yes
    6. Line Length:1.2m
    7. Sensitivity:120±5dB



     
    Now let’s dive into the good stuff

     
    Build:
    The housings are made of dark-grey transparent plastic with vents on the sides.
    ZENApril122016-8.jpg ZENApril122016-7.jpg
     
     
    The internals can be seen through the housing and this gives the earbuds an unique look. Cables continue the transparent trend of the shells, see-through rubber coat showcases the braided red cables on the standard edition.
    ZENApril122016-10.jpg ZENApril122016-9.jpg
     
     
     
    Cable itself is well made with very low microphonics
     
    ZENApril122016-11.jpg
     
     
    There are no chin sliders , the Y-split being a rectangular black rubber block.
          ZENApril122016-4.jpg
     
     
     
    The connector plug is the same ones found in the VE Duke IEM, which is very reliable with proper strain relief.
     
    ZENApril122016-12.jpg
    The connector here is a L-bend 3.5mm gold plated jack.
    ZENApril122016-5.jpg
    My biggest gripe will be the L/R markings which is very hard to see/feel when you’re hurrying.
     
    Overall the build feels very sturdy and you can make it last a long long time if you’re just a little careful.

    ZENApril122016-3.jpg
    Comfort:
    I last used earbuds in 2012, it was a cheap creative bud with rubber rings, it was okay. But the Zen is all plastic, with no rubber/soft materials on the sides. Due to my ear anatomy, I felt discomfort wearing the buds for more than 30 minutes at stretch. You can use the supplied foam/ear hooks for better comfort out of the box, but it alters the sonic signature(more on that later).  But after a months use my ears have adjusted to the chronic irritation and I feel very comfortable wearing them. Zen’s are lightweight and you will barely notice them in your ears.
     
    Isolation:
    You can compare the Zen with open back headphones. So, they leak out sound and sound/noise from the outside gets in. This might be a blessing and a curse depending on your situation. This brings me to write a small segment on daily usage scenarios which I think should help the readers.
     
    Everyday usage:
    Commute: I used the Ipod>Q1 combo for portable use when travelling.  Even though it noise gets in, you can cancel out most of it by listening at higher volumes. People speaking beside you will become less prominent, but you will be able to hear the horns/sirens of vehicles. That means you can use the zens on a busy street knowing that you won't get hit by that car which was honking from miles away. The music mixing in with the ambient noises will give your life that “background music” you always saw in movies. But the person sitting next to you will clearly hear your music tastes and will silently judge you.
     
    Movies & Gaming: Excellent soundstage and separation means you can hear all those details in your movies in perfect L/R channels. You will be able to easily distinguish footsteps from nearby enemies amongst the chaos of your average FPS games, but don’t blame VE when you get kicked out of a server for knowing exactly where your enemies were hiding behind a wall (Yes, this happened).  
     
    General Impressions: I handed it to a friend, he was awestruck with the sound it offered. After a 10 minute listening session all he could say was “ This sure doesn't look like a TOTL earbud, but man that SQ!
    I gave it to my father and he was really impressed with the ZEN. After hearing the price he said with a smile that the cost is justifiable for something of this size producing such sound.

    ZENApril122016-13.jpg
     
    Sound:
    THE SOUND DEPENDS A LOT ON THE FIT. IF YOU THINK THEY DO NOT SOUND AS THEY SHOULD, FIDDLE WITH THE FIT, ROTATE, NUDGE THE BUDS UNTIL YOU GET THE SOUND. YOU WILL NOTICE IT VERY WELL.
    I found the 5’oclock psotion cable down to provide the best sound for my ears, YMMV. I was disappointed the first few hours with the sound, then I started adjusting the body and it sounded wonderful.
    It will not be over exaggeration to say that the ZEN’s sound like full sized open back cans. The amount of clarity and details it provides is truly amazing for something of this size.  The ZEN 2.0 is an example of brilliant engineering  effort. You can find reviewers claiming these to be on the levels of HD650s , I will not go that far as I have not heard it myself, but I hardly use HD598SE after listening to the Zens. It is on par or exceeds the 598s in many scenarios which is both amazing and scary.  I will be describing the sound in 5 segments.
    Without FOAMS/ Other accessories:
    Highs: Gone are the harsh treble of the older zen. Highs have sufficient sparkle and detail to them without being harsh. You can hear the cymbals fading into lower frequencies after a hit.
    Mids: Marvelous. Warm and balanced sounding mids bring string instruments to life. Vocals seem more intimate. On Adele’s Remedy, her voice seemed to creep up on me right from behind and surpsied me every time she let out those high pitched verses.
    Lows: For me this is the peak attraction point of the buds. Unbelievable will be the right word to explain the quantity of bass coming out from these puny earbuds. Detailed, tight and overall resolution of the mid bass seem to make the 148$ price tag seem more than worth it. Sub bass does roll off but it doesn’t do so in a manner that disappoints.
    Soundstage & Separation: Spacious soundstage, again similar to full sized headphones. Separation is excellent in well recorded files. Mushy recordings sounded mushy, binaural recordings placed every single instrument and vocals where they should be.
    Vocals: Male & Female vocals are well balanced. Sibilance was minimal.
     
    FOAMS :
    Full Thick FOAMS/ Doughnut FOAMS: It make the bass more prominent but leaves negative effects on everything else. Mids sound recessed with. The little extra seal and comfort is not worth the sacrifices in the resolution. Zen’s were meant to use bare.
    Thin FOAMS: Soundstage took a hit, making it a bit more cramped, but retained most of the characteristics when used bare. If it is necessary the thin foam coats can be used.

     
    Power requirements:
    Driving 320ohms is certainly not an easy task for your cellphones. You CAN use the ZENs with mobile devices but the output will simply be underwhelming. Plug it into your favourite DAC/Amp/DAP combo and hear the eargasms happen. Amping is necessary for it to perform it’s best. So, those who already have a good setup will certainly enjoy the buds a lot. It scales great with better sources and power.
     
    Conclusion
    The zen’s gave me  flashes of images of the overall environment of the tracks I adore. Kings of leon’s Tonight gave me that Late night drive on a desert highway feel.  While Future Island’s Fall from grace flashed an ambience of gloom and melancholy. This it truly something special, VE  might have made the masterpiece of Earbuds (Until they work their magic again).
    I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to overhaul their listening-game or just want to be surprised. A new era of earbuds has begun.
    ZENApril122016-2.jpg
  8. Hisoundfi
    5.0/5,
    "Upping the ante. The Venture Electronics VE Zen 2.0 audiophile earbud"
    Pros - Incredibly dynamic & warm sound for an earbud, Fantastic timbre & resolution, Improved design and performance based on customer feedback, Free Monk!
    Cons - Sound quality is dependent on fit and accessories, Earbuds aren't as widely accepted as other kinds of earphones, Needs amplification for best results
    20160131_083755.jpg
    At the time of the review, the VE Zen 2.0 was was on sale on their Aliexpress web store. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Venture-Electronic-VE-Zen-high-impedance-320-ohms-earbud/1924356_32302987270.html
     
    Introduction
    I would like to take this time to tell you a little bit about Venture Electronics.
     
    VE was a start up company by a couple guys over in China. From what I’ve gathered the two main players behind all of this are Lee, and and someone who goes by the name of “KK.”
     
    I started covering VE products by getting a review sample of the original Zen 1.0. If you haven’t read my review on them here is a link:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/venture-electronics-ve-zen/reviews/13680
     
    Reviewing the VE Zen 1.0 changed my view on earbuds, well, it changed my perspective of Venture Electronics and what they can do with their earbuds in particular.
     
    Now days when I come across any earbuds and have a chance to try them, I will. What I have realized by doing this is that while other earbuds can perform reasonably well, I still have yet to hear any that can combine the dynamics, detail and balance that VE can accomplish with their models. This goes for the Monk, The Zen 1.0, and now the Zen 2.0. In fact, I would go as far as saying I have yet to hear an earbud outside of the Zen lineup that sounds better than the five dollar Monk.
     
    I really enjoyed the Zen 1.0, and still use it to this day. When I heard Lee was making an upgraded version of them, I knew I had to review them. There’s no way I was going to miss out on an upgraded Zen!
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Zen 2.0 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Venture Electronics. I would like to take this time to personally thank Lee for the opportunity. Lee, I love the marketing approach and no BS approach you take with customers. The audiophile community is a better place because of it!
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    The Zen arrived in a tough cloth covered clamshell case. There is no formal packaging that came with the sample I received.
     
    Specifications and Accessories
     
    Specifications
    Type

    Open dynamic earbud

    Driver

    Dynamic, 15.4mm

    Frequency Range

    15 Hz – 23.5 Khz

    Impedance

    320 ohm

    Sensitivity

    108dB (1mW)

    Plug

    3.5mm gold plated, straight jack

    Cable

    1.2m, TPE outer coat, 256 x 0.04 4n ofc copper

    Weight

    Approx 14g

    IEM Shell

    Polycarbonate / hard plastic



     
    Accessories
    1x pair of red foam discs
    1x pair of red foam doughnuts
    1x pair of silicone “earhoox” like silicone fins
    1x shirt clip
    1x zipper clamshell case
     
    20160131_083209.jpg
    VE offers pretty much everything you would need to make your Zen 2.0 fit. The new “earhoox”-like fins is a welcomed upgrade from the Zen 1.0.
     
    Housings
    20160131_083509.jpg
    One of the negatives I stated about the original Zen 1.0 was the somewhat generic looking white housings. VE stepped things up, offering a translucent smoke tinted plastic housing. Their website 52ve.cn is printed on shell. I really like the way they improved on the design and went with translucent material, as it shows the craftsmanship and quality of components used in the Zen 2.0. Although I doubt the plastic housings would be able to withstand getting stepped on, they are a very sturdy build that will withstand the test of time if handled with a reasonable amount of care.
     
    20160131_083422.jpg
    NOTE: Venture Electronics has a new domain name, VECLAN.COM
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    20160131_084020.jpg
    I love the Zen 2.0 cable. It is a clear rubber jacketed cable with a shiny red sheathing inside the jacketing that covers the multiple core copper cable. For a portable earphone I find it to be the perfect thickness and durability. Inspecting it under a light, I can see imperfections in the consistency of the red sheathing, which adds to the visual effect in my opinion. To my eyes it almost has the appearance of what an external vein flowing musical blood into user’s ear. It is actually two separate cables attached to one another, separating the signals from the jack all the way up to each channel.
     
    20160131_083827.jpg
    The Y-split is a small rubber block that determines where the cables split to go to each housing. The Jack is a ninety degree design with a gold plated 3.5mm jack and plastic/rubber jacketing. A black rubber strain relief comes from the jacketing and seems durable.
     
    NOTE: There is other cable options than the one I have. There is a black braided cable version that is much pricier, and a balanced edition that uses the same red cable. In terms of what termination you need for your balanced setup, you can request it by messaging Lee from the questions feature on Aliexpress.
     
    Functionality
    There are three options in terms of cable options, none of which have a microphone and remote option. However, I’m sure if you contacted Lee about this he might be able to possibly help you out. As is, I don’t see any reason for a microphone and remote for two reasons. #1 The Zen 2.0 sounds better with an amplified source, and #2 The purpose of the Zen is to give the user the maximum audio experience. Most phones will not have the power to maximize the Zen 2.0 sound and would just get in the way of maximizing the 2.0 capabilities.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    For an earbud they are pretty standard. They fit like any other earbud, and come with foam discs, doughnuts, earhooks and a shirt clip to suit whatever fitment you are trying to achieve. They manage microphonics very well, much better than average. Isolation isn’t great, just like any other earbud.
     
    NOTE: The Zen 2.0 sound changes quite a bit depending on how you use them and what type of foam or accessory you use. I will go over this more in the sound review.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justice for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    20160131_083649.jpg
    The Zen 2.0 seems slightly less power dependent than the original 1.0, but still needs something more powerful than the average smartphone to sound its best. They sound great with any portable amplifier or DAP on high gain. They were sublime in combination with my VE Runabout amplifier in high gain. Because of their power demands they will also work well with most desktop DACs and amplifiers. Zen 2.0 upscales well with higher bitrate files. Feed them DSD and FLAC files through your best amplified source and let the lifeblood of the Zen 2.0 sound satisfy your soul.
     
    First things first, the anatomy of your ear combined with what type of accessories and fit you get with the Zen will determine your sound impressions. I will start the sound review with a brief explanation of my impressions with each accessory. Please remember I am going to do a brief description based on what sounds I got with my ears. Your mileage may vary. The only way to know is to try each accessory.  
     
    “Earhoox”-like silicone fins- This was the most secure fit of all of the accessories, but also the worst sounding to my ears. I feel the Zen 2.0 needs either free air or foam to prevent bass resonance. The 2.0 sounded like a good earphone overshadowed by a resonant bass response with the fins.
     
    Foam Discs- These gave a the 2.0 a warmer and bassier sound with an overall more intimate sounding signature.
     
    Naked (No accessories)- This is arguably the best way to wear the Zen 2.0, and from what I experiences the closest sounding to the original 1.0 with foams. It is the leanest and most detailed of all wearing styles, and gave me the best sense of soundstage and instrument placement.
     
    Foam Doughnuts (foam rings)- The rings were my favorite of all the options, offering a touch of warmth and bass from the discs, and also a little bit of the detailed and airy presence when worn naked. Because of this I will do my remaining sound review and comparisons based on this wearing style.
     
    Sound Signature
    The Zen 2.0 is a masterpiece. When I first heard VE was going to improve on the 1.0 model, I wasn’t sure how they were going to do it. Well they did and it is an all around better sounding earphone to my ears. Lee and KK listened to feedback from customers and reviewers. They made another phenomenal sounding earphone. I can enjoy the Zen as much as my favorite pairs of in-ear monitors and full size earphones.
     
    NOTE: Remember, my impressions from here on out are based on using the foam rings. You can achieve a more linear and airy sound wearing them without foams or fins.
     
    The Zen is warm tilted and bordering on me saying they’re somewhat bassy (which is weird for an earbud). Every frequency is very high resolution and has fabulous dynamics. Midbass and lower midrange tones play with incredible speed, texture and timbre. The upper midrange is relaxed and rolls into a crisp and non fatiguing top end. The PRAT from the original is still present with added warmth and dynamics. If the 1.0 is the Sennheiser HD600 of earbuds, the 2.0 is the HD650.
     
    Bass
    Bass tones are robust and responsive. Because they are earbuds there is a roll off starting at around 100Hz and seems to fall off the radar at about 35Hz. This doesn’t impact the overall feel of the earphones like anything is missing. The forward midbass of the Zen 2.0 is their biggest strength, providing a level of resolution and timbre that makes them world class.
     
    Midrange
    Zen 2.0 midrange is pretty warm, super responsive and in good balance with the sound signature. The lower midrange forwardness slowly rolls off into a relaxed upper midrange. Vocals finish with a relaxed feel while still seeming very natural. Lower to midrange notes are felt as well as heard. As with all frequencies, resolution is fabulous.
     
    Treble
    Treble is overall relaxed with a well placed spike, preventing them from seeming overly warm. The overall feel is like they have just the right amount of PRAT to say that they are both warm and natural at the same time. Sibilant sounds can be heard without any kind of harshness.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    Soundstage is really good thanks to their high resolution. Imaging is somewhat in the head, with a dynamic midbass and lower midrange coming from outside the head.
     
    Comparisons
    At the moment, Zen 2.0’s biggest competitor is its other earbuds. Because of this I will compare them to my two other VE earbuds, the Zen 1.0 and the Monk.
     
    VE Zen 1.0 (discontinued)
    The Zen 1.0 caught a lot of people off guard when they first stepped on to the scene, offering a level of dynamic sound and texture that wasn’t experienced from an earbud.
     
    The Zen 2.0 took any knocks that could be held against the original and addressed them. They took the Zen 1.0 and improved midbass and lower midrange resolution and gave it a slight forwardness that is more rich, cohesive and engaging. There’s an added timbre and punch that makes the Zen 2.0 the better earphone in my opinion. Both earphones have a similar treble presence.
     
    Build quality is a draw, but I give the Zen 2.0 a decisive advantage in the style department. Zen 2.0 also gets an advantage for accessories, offering a set of silicone fins for those looking for a more secure fit.


     
    VE Monk ($5 USD on Aliexpress)
    You might be thinking why I would be comparing a five dollar earbud to the Zen 2.0. Truth be told, there will be some people who might say they prefer the Monk sound over the 2.0. The Monk might be the greatest deal in earphones today.
     
    Comparing the sound of the two, the Monk is definitely the colder sounding earphone. Zen 2.0 is much warmer, smoother and less fatiguing earphone of the two. The Monk has a much crisper top end that is harsh in comparison to the Zen 2.0. Zen gets an edge with better dynamics and timbre. Monk gets an edge for being an easier to drive earphone that works better with cell phones. Listening to them both, I personally find the Zen 2.0 to be a more refined, fatigue free and enjoyable sound.
     
    Build quality is similar, but I give a slight edge to the Zen 2.0 for their ninety degree plug. Zen gets an edge for style, and also has a better accessories package.
     
    NOTE: If you aren’t sure which earphone to pick from because of the tremendous price to performance value of the Monk, let it be known that Lee will include the Monk for FREE with any Zen 2.0 purchase. Awesome!

     
    Conclusion
    If the Zen 2.0 was the only earphone I had, I wouldn’t be missing out on a whole lot. The Zen 2.0 has once again taken earbuds to a level I didn’t know was possible. Paired with a high quality and amplified source and fitting accessory, their dynamic and fatigue free sound takes my listening experience to the next level.
     
    If you want an earbud with top of the line style and sound, the Zen 2.0 should be on the top of your list.  
     
    20160131_083755.jpg
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    Brooko, BloodyPenguin, BB 808 and 8 others like this.
  9. mochill
    5.0/5,
    "REALISM 2.0. "
    Pros - SOUND QUAILTY, COMFORT , LOOKS
    Cons - NONE!!!!!!! :)
    I'll just put a simple review on the Venture electronics Zen 2.0 on the most important part which is the sound quailty.
    some pics:
    1.jpg
    2.jpg
    I only have about 50hrs of burn in one these beauties but what they are capable of already is beyond my mind  as they just draw you into the midrange(vocals) on everything that i have from american music to hindi to bangladeshi music. the whole sound signature is described as real to me and natural with wide dynamic range and a soundstage that is true to the recoring.
     
    BASS:
    full,controlled and never spilling into the midrange.
    MIDRANGE:
    the star of the show ,it is so full and liquid smooth with no peaks and it can easily bring tears to your eyes if that is with the music is intended for.
    TREBLE:
    smooth and extended not no peaks either.
    SOUNDSTAGE:
    3D, wide, deep ,tall. source and file dependent.
    EFFICIENCY:
    very efficient but also scale with more power and better source.
    TRANSPARENCY:
    very transparent and ethereal.
     
    SOURCE AND MUSIC USED FOR EVALUATION:
    LG V10
    Music; Diana Krall: WallFlower flac 24b\96khz
     
    THANKS YOU FOR YOUR TIME :)
    peter123 and DJScope like this.
  10. golov17
    5.0/5,
    "New flagship from VE"
    Pros - SQ, build
    Cons - Foamless for better sounding
    1.jpg 2.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 3.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    So, I took a lot of time with my Zen2.0, so that I can objectively evaluate them, despite my love for Zen1.0 LOL. The main thing is what Zen2.0 beats its predecessor, it is more natural tonal balance, which has the advantage that I can listen to them from any source, and he always gives the natural and organic and Voices for vocals and acoustic instruments. The disadvantage believe that they are configured to use foamless, that in my Russia in -20 ° C is not very practical, IMHO. If you do not take this into account, the real Eargasm provided to you. I recommend!

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