A 320 ohm Hi-Fi earbud intended to be driven by desktop amp or powerful full sized portable rig.
| 15 ~ 23500 Hz (-10dB)|
| 320 Ω @ 1kHz|
| 106 dB @ 1mW|
| Gold Plated 3.5 mm (1/8”) 90 degree angled|
|1.2m (47") TPE sheaved OFC|
Maximum Input Current
[size=inherit]Build[/size]The built, as with all the VE earbuds I’ve tried is much the same. Being as standard earbud as it gets. If it wasn’t for the colour and cable differences you would not be able to tell them apart. These earbuds are like Ninjas in disguise. They look like a normal everyday earbud until you actually listen to them.
The cable on the Zen 1.0 is a clear silver cable which is a tiny bit stiffer than what I’d like, and it’s got a straight connector, but it’s got great strain relief and one of the best neck synchs that I’ve ever used. The cable of the 2.0 is red coloured clear silver cable which is now a 90 degree angled jack and is much more supple now.
Both are very light and feel strong enough to last through daily abuse.
ComfortI have very small ears and these, like the VE Monks, sit in my ear surprisingly very securely. On the odd occasion I do need to readjust them when turning my head, but for the most part they are very good. Weight plays a big role here.
AccessoriesYou get a hard ball shaped clamshell carry case witch is strong enough to protect it’s contents. You also get some full sizes and donut earbud foams. You also get shirt clip if you need one. Nothing too special. You’re really not paying for fancy accessories or an unboxing experience.
DriveabilityWhilst you can get them loud enough from a mobile phone, I would not suggest it; the sound is dull and just sound wrong. I did most of my listening from my Audio-gd NFB15.32 and the Ve RunAbout for portable use. I did try it with the FiiO X1, FiiO E17, xDuoo X2 and xDuoo X3, but all seemed to struggle to power these beasts.
SoundThe sound of the two products is so different that they may as well be 2 separate products. I will describe both of them with a few words off the top of my head just to paint a picture of how different they really are:
Zen 1.0: Cold, flat, analytical, refined, open and dynamic.
Zen 2.0: Natural, organic, warm, open, detailed and dynamic.
As I have mentioned previously, the 1.0 is a flatter and more analytical approach, which to me is rather boring. I would have been very impressed with the 1.0 if I didn’t hear the Monk before it. It still is a great sounding earbud when compare to the previous experience I’ve had with other earbuds.
It’s not the fastest treble you’ll hear but it’s very good for an earbud. It’s quite detailed and extends very well. Though I do feel there is a bit of a dip somewhere in there that makes it slightly blunted and too quick on decay.
The emphasis here has been shifted somewhat which brings back that shimmer that was missing in the 1.0. But the speed has decreased a bit which puts a bit of a veil on the detail. In return you get a more airier presentation.
The timber of the vocals and acoustic instruments is very good and sounds pretty accurate. There isn’t a particular tilt or colouration that sways it in either direction. The are though a little recessed and lack some detail.
The Vocals are warmer and more textured and slightly more forward. It’s a little less detailed than the 1.0 but more present and feel more alive with a bit more reverberation.
The bass on the 1.0 kind of reminds me of balanced armature bass. It’s fast and detailed but lacks authority and thump. Nonetheless it’s great for an earbud and it reaches quite low.
It has an amazingly addictive bass note that’s textured and detailed. It’s authoritative and has substantial kick. It’s not bass head quantity but it’s nearly perfect to me.
Soundstage and ImagingBoth have quite similar soundstage and imaging performance. It’s really wide and deep and you get a very immersive out-of-head experience. The Zen 2.0 is better as it is slightly deeper and more accurate. The extra warmth makes the air feel more natural and realistic.
Click on the photo to see in larger resolution
| 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 – silver side-by-side pair, PVC coating|
| Weight|| Approx 14g with dual foam pads in place|
| IEM Shell|| Polycarbonate / hard plastic|
Rear (bass) port
Y-split (mine is missing cinch - which is normally present)
3.5mm straight jack
X3ii with Fiio Q1 and E11K (not shown)
X3ii with E17K (front)
Zens with L5 Pro and Fiio X7