1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

Vintage Series VS-2 by Clear Tune Monitors

Rating:
4/5,

Recent Reviews

  1. ostewart
    All about clarity
    Written by ostewart
    Published Nov 25, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Clarity, midrange, fit and comfort
    Cons - Highs are a little bright with certain tips
    Firstly I would like to thank Clear Tune for sending me this sample, these received well over 50hrs of burn-in and no differences were noted.

    *disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.

    Gear Used:
    iBasso DX200 Amp1 > VS-2
    Audio Opus #2 > VS-2

    DSC_9170.jpg

    Tech Specs:
    Input Sensitivity: 110dB-SPL @ 1mw
    Freq Response: 20 Hz to 15.5 kHz
    Speaker: Dual Balanced Armature
    Impedance : 20 ohm @ 1 kHz
    Noise Isolation: -26dB
    Input Connector: 1/8 (3.5mm)
    MSRP: $399.99
    https://cleartunemonitors.com/VintageSeries/VS-2.php

    Packaging, Build quality and Accessories:
    The VS-2 come in a nice little box that looks like a vintage guitar amp, there is a plastic window on the front allowing you to see the IEM’s and some on the sides to show you the tip selection. Also on the sides is info about the IEM’s. I really like the box, it looks great and everything is held tightly in place inside by a foam insert.

    DSC_9145.jpg

    The IEM’s are very well built, the main housing is tough plastic and the faceplate uses real metal chrome. The cable uses the standard 2-pin connector, which personally I find to be far superior to MMCX connectors. The IEM’s are very well finished with no faults or blemishes, the cable included is fairly standard but does not use mouldable memory wire, it has the increasingly more common pre-moulded soft rubber which again personally I prefer over regular memory wire. The y-split is metal and the jack has excellent strain relief, and it is a 4-core cable instead of the more common 3-core. Overall they are very well built and I can see them lasting a long time with some care.

    Accessory wise you get quite a few bits, first off pre-attached are some bi-flange tips, but also included are S, M and L tips in regular silicone and foam. You also get a slightly larger than usual carry case, with foam that has cut-outs for both monitors, cable and wax cleaning tool/jack adaptor. As you may have guessed, you do get the jack adaptor and cleaning tool too, so all in all everything you need is included.

    DSC_9166.jpg

    Comfort and Isolation:

    The VS-2 are very light, and very ergonomic which means that they are extremely comfortable once you have found the right tips. The included foam tips are a little denser than Comply, which in turn does not affect the sound as much as Comply tips do. I found myself using foam tips for a secure fit and also better sound from the VS-2. Once in I could wear them for hours with no issues.

    Isolation is excellent due to the fully sealed housing and good insertion depth, I had no issues using them for regular day to day use, and they would be excellent for commuting.

    DSC_9147.jpg

    Sound:

    The VS-2 sound a little too bright for my tastes with the silicone tips, so this review is based on using the included foam tips. Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end:

    Lows: The VS-2 has a more reserved approach to bass response, favouring accuracy over quantity. The lows have good presence and punch, but are not the most prominent part of the sound, taking a bit of a backseat. The lows do roll-off a little early, lacking that final bit of sub-bass, but then again these are not aimed at those looking for heavy bass. They still handle EDM well but the speed and control are highlights here. There is lots of detail to be retrieved from the lows however, and they never even touch the midrange.

    Mids: The mids are the highlight of these IEM's, offering up a heavily detailed and clean reproduction of the midrange. Vocals are free from any added warmth from the bass, and have plenty of air around them. Both male and female vocals sound equally good, guitars are well separated and everything just cuts through with incredible accuracy. The midrange is intimate offering a real insight into the emotion of the music you are listening to, and I am really impressed with the amount of detail being delivered through these. These are very resolving.

    Highs: The treble certainly doesn't take a back seat, offering up excellent presence without fatigue though. The spatial cues from the treble are very accurate; the whole soundstage is very accurate, allowing you to pinpoint the cymbals and other instruments. The highs extend well, only rolling off at the very extreme like the lows. Again like the midrange, the highs are very well separated and airy, and also resolving, allowing plenty of detail to shine through. There is no splashiness or metallic tinge to the highs, they are just very accurate and not peaky or annoying.

    Instrument separation is excellent; it is so easy to pick out separate instruments in the mix. The soundstage is wider and deeper than most IEM's, but the midrange always stays up front. I really like their presentation with intimate mids and everything coming in from a nice black background.

    DSC_9168.jpg

    Comparison:
    Vs Noble Sage:

    Now this is the main 2 driver BA IEM I have to compare these to, and they are placed at quite different prices. The Noble has bigger bass but it is still well controlled, the VS-2 is leaner but more accurate. The Sage extends lower and higher on each end, and the overall sound is a bit fuller and more fun yet still very detailed. Both have sparkly highs, I find the Sage to be a bit more resolving and separated though. The VS-2 is more comfortable and can still bring out plenty of detail, but the soundstage is smaller and the extension is a bit more limited.
    To be honest, whilst the Sage are a step up in sound, I find myself reaching for the VS-2 more often due to the better fit and ease of use.

    DSC_9169.jpg

    Vs Accutone S2:

    This is a hybrid model price at $305 currently, and has quite a different approach to the sound. The S2 has very full and punchy lows, that come from the dynamic driver, so yes they sound more dynamic but also a little too full at times. The VS-2 is more accurate, the S2 is more fun and v-shaped overall. The S2 has a slightly muffled and recessed midrange, whereas the VS-2 is slightly mid centric with a focus on detail retrieval. The highs on both are well extended but the VS-2 has better control and tone, and ultimately is the better balanced IEM overall. However the S2 will appeal to those wanting a more fun, v-shaped signature IEM.

    Conclusion: The more I listened to these, the more they grew on me. They don't have overblown bass, but have speed and accuracy on their side. They are not a smooth and laid back sounding IEM, they offer up an exceptionally detailed and complete sound for the price and amount of drivers. I really like this tuning, and believe Clear Tune have done a superb job getting a lot out of these 2 drivers. If you like a slightly mid forward, highly detailed and accurate sound, these should be high on your list.

    Sound Perfection Rating: 8.5/10 (a little pricey, but the sound is very detailed for the price)

    DSC_9171.jpg
  2. audio123
    CTM VS-2 - Silky Smooth
    Written by audio123
    Published Oct 21, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Smooth sound, Packaging
    Cons - More extension
    Introduction

    Clear Tune Monitors (CTM) is an in-ear manufacturing company based in Orlando, Florida. They started out with custom in-ears and have proceeded to launch their own universal in-ears lineup, Clear Tune Monitors’ Vintage Series, consisting of VS-2, VS-3 and VS-4. The numerical value at the end of each model name represents the amount of drivers per side. In this review, I will be reviewing the Clear Tune Monitors’ Vintage Series VS-2 which is a dual driver, two way crossover universal iem. I would like to thank CTM for this review unit. You can purchase the VS-2 from https://cleartunemonitors.com/product_detail/159/VS-2/ . The iem is available in 4 colours – Pink, Red, Blue and Black. The VS-2 that I will be reviewing is black in colour.
    [​IMG]
    Specifications
    • Drivers: Dual Balanced Armature
    • Input Sensitivity: 110dB-SPL @ 1mw
    • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 15.5 kHz
    • Impedance: 20 ohm @ 1 kHz
    • Noise Isolation: -26dB
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The VS-2 comes in a rectangular box that has a vintage design to it. At the front of the box, you can see the iems through the transparent film and there are the model name and brand name at the bottom left and right respectively. It has a nice gold colour to it. At the top right, there is the series name. Moving on to the back of the box, you get the information on what the package consists. Inside the package, you get the iem, 2 pins 0.78mm detachable cable, soft carrying case, 1/4” to 1/8” adapter, cleaning tool, silicon and foam tips of size S,M,L and double flange silicon tips.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    IEM Build & Design

    The VS-2 has a black faceplate with the Vintage Series initials, VS on it. The VS initials are not directly printed but engraved. You can feel the shape of it. Around the logo is a silver stripe and the rest of the iem shell is black in colour. The inside of the shell has a unique shape for ergonomics purpose. Nozzle on the iem is straight with a metal nozzle for earwax prevention. The nozzle tip is silver in colour. It is light weight and I find it rather comfortable. Overall, the build is solid with a nice visual design.

    upload_2017-10-22_9-39-18.png
    upload_2017-10-22_9-39-29.png
    upload_2017-10-22_9-39-37.png
    upload_2017-10-22_9-39-43.png

    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is black in colour and is 4 core braided. On each of the 2 pin connectors, there is a blue and red dot on the back that represents left and right respectively. There is a memory wire section and the cable is being enclosed in a translucent heat-shrink tube. The memory wire section is quite flexible and soft. Next, the chin slider and y-splitter is matte black and rectangular in shape. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated straight with a matte black housing and strain relief.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The sub-bass of the VS-2 has a decent extension to it with an average rumble. The sub-bass presentation is nice in general. The mid-bass has a good amount of quantity and it helps to enhance the overall dynamics. I feel the bass decay is not very fast. The bass note being expressed is quite clean and the rendering of the texture is smooth. It is not the type of authoritative bass but instead, it operates on a slow and smooth approach. The bass has a rather good transition to the lower mids. Overall, I find the presentation of the bass conservative and gentle. This is good for songs with a slower pace.

    Mids

    The VS-2 has a nice midrange and I find it to be the highlight of this iem. The lower mids has a good amount of body and male vocals excel with the quantity. The body of the lower mids prevents hollowness to ensure that vocals is quite full sounding. The upper mids has a slight forwardness to it. It is not the most forward and this hinders the intimacy of female vocals. The midrange is generally smooth with a good emphasis in the lower mids department. The details retrieval is quite good as it is able to pick up micro details. Resolution is rather good but I feel upper mids should be more forward. Male vocals shine here especially.

    Highs

    The treble is being extended decently and I feel there can be more extension to improve the overall treble performance. There is no sibilance and harshness as the treble is smooth and controlled. The air at the top end has a decent amount of it and it helps to lighten the presentation. However, I feel there is a lack of sparkle. With sparkle, the treble can be made more engaging and exciting. There is clarity and definition. Overall, the treble is rather smooth and presents details.

    Soundstage

    The VS-2 has a good width and depth in its soundstage. There is width to improve the vocals and instruments positioning while the depth is not too close in. It is not congested and overall, it performs well for a dual driver iem.

    [​IMG]



    Comparisons

    CTM Vintage Series VS-2 vs Campfire Audio Nova

    The VS-2 has less sub-bass quantity and extension than the Nova. The Nova is more impactful in the way it presents its sub-bass. The decay on both is very similar. I find the rumble on the VS-2 to have slightly more speed. It demonstrates more technicality. The mid-bass on the Nova has more slam while on the VS-2, it is laidback. There is more punch in the Nova which results in a stronger dynamics. The bass nature on them is different. The lower mids on the Nova has more body than the VS-2 but it feels more dense. Although both are not hollow, I feel the Nova has a more weighted note and the lighter presentation of VS-2 is easier to listen. Male vocals on both are presented well. The upper mids on both are very similar. There is little forwardness in them. I feel the midrange is less congested in the VS-2. In the treble section, both has similar extension and details. There is no sibilance and harshness. The air on the Nova is slightly more. Moving on to the soundstage, the VS-2 has more width while the Nova has the better depth. Resolution on both is very similar but VS-2 has a slight edge as it has more definition. VS-2 takes on a cleaner approach than the Nova in presentation.

    CTM Vintage Series VS-2 vs InEar StageDiver 2

    The VS-2 has more sub-bass quantity and its extension is lesser than the SD2. The bass on the SD2 is more linear. Bass articulation on the SD2 is slightly better. The rumble on the VS-2 has less pace while SD2 is quicker in this aspect. The mid-bass quantity on the VS-2 is more and there is more slam to it. In the SD2, it is less engaging due to the reduced dynamics. The lower mids on the VS-2 has more body and comparing to the VS-2, SD2 takes on a dry approach to its lower mids section. I find the SD2 to have a more forward upper mids and there is an added definition and crisp. This causes the vocals performance to be more organic. In the treble department, the SD2 has more air and sparkle. The treble articulation on the SD2 is more precise and details are being expressed with more accuracy. Lastly, the SD2 has the better width and depth in soundstage. I feel SD2 allows better portraying of instruments and vocals positioning. It is more accurate. Resolution on the SD2 is slightly better. The VS-2 is more fun to listen to while SD2 has the edge for a more clinical sound.

    CTM Vintage Series VS-2 vs Noble Sage

    The VS-2 has less sub-bass quantity and extension than the Sage. The bass of the Sage is more visceral and impactful. There is more control in the bass. The bass texture is rendered with smoothness on both. The bass decay is significantly quicker on the Sage with agility. Each bass note on the Sage is presented with slightly more finesse. The mid-bass on the VS-2 is laid back while on the Sage, there is a tight mid-bass slam and this contributes to the overall dynamics. The lower mids on both have similar amount of body and male vocals are expressed well. The upper mids on the Sage is more forward which benefits female vocals reproduction. The midrange on the Sage has a sweeter feeling with crisp. Next, in terms of treble, the Sage has the edge in extension and it is able to render a greater amount of air and sparkle to inject excitement into the sound. The details retrieval on the Sage has a higher level. Lastly, for the soundstage, the Sage has a greater width magnitude while the depth on the VS-2 is more closed in. Positioning of vocals and instruments has better accuracy on the Sage. Resolution on the Sage is better.

    Conclusion

    The VS-2 is a great dual balanced armature iem that has a smooth bass and midrange that can allow one to immerse in a long session without feeling fatigue. The build quality is rather good and I feel the overall package has a vintage premium feel to it. Overall, the VS-2 smooth signature is a delight for those who love the midrange.

    [​IMG]

    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
      project86 likes this.
  3. MrOTL
    Rhythm and Classical!!
    Written by MrOTL
    Published Sep 18, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Strong durability,
    Extremely comfort fit,
    Focused on mid and treble’s harmonic,
    Suitable for monitoring strings and percussions’ tempo
    Cons - Unclear upper-treble imaging,
    Excessively sensitive with device stability
    [​IMG]


    Spec
    Driver: 2 Balanced Amature
    Frequency Response: 20Hz-15.5kHz
    Sensitivity: 110dB-SPL @1mW
    Impedance: 20Ω @1kHz
    Noise Isolation: -26dB




    [​IMG]

    Contents
    VS-2 with cable
    Slicon Earcaps S/M/L
    Double-flange silicon earcap
    Comply Memory-Foam eartip
    TRS convertor(stereo)
    Carrying Case
    Cleaning Tool




    [​IMG]

    VS-2 has only 3 colors combination of black, silver, and red that exactly reminds 1950s classic cars. Its exterior design is not only looking good and also expertly made for actual use. Especially, through enough groove space on the small housing-shells contacting earflaps, VS2 can easily block the external sound and be tightly placed into the ear-canals. With these advantages, it gives comfort fit with less-pain, even when the user moves roughly.



    [​IMG]

    VS2 has ciem 2pin connectors so that is able to be replaced with third -party custom cables. However, few of cables which have oversized 2pin male connectors are not compatible because plastic 2pin female socket is designed to insert into the inwards. Bundle cable is made with flexible materials and its 3.5mm stereo plug has thin size, so can listen to any devices comfortably. And its Y-split has a simple design to adjust fitting smoothly.







    [​IMG]

    Main Tested environment
    Apple iPhone SE
    Samsung Galaxy S8
    Sony NW-WM1A
    Cowon Plenue D
    Hifiman Megamini
    Chord Hugo
    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
    Zoom H4n sp


    VS-2’s harmonics of low-treble and extreme-highs are slightly dried and omitted, and upper treble is emphasized so that sounds like a mountain rising to the center of fundamental frequency. As these reasons, it has an unusual harmonic structure with a clear sense of tempo in strings or percussions. With music sources which have a narrow or unstable headroom, VS2’s imaging of treble gets unclear and easily reaches peak level, especially in woman vocals’ vowels, so that users can monitor the condition of music sources more in detail.

    Overall the soundstage of VS2 performs small range but is opened so that does not feel any restraint. Instruments and vocals belonging to treble and midrange are located at the center of soundstage, and the others present around the location. Because the intentionally the treble is emphasized, stringed instruments showed the issue of having a majority in the soundstage. But still has enough performance to tell the flow of the whole sound signature.

    As the middle-midrange to lower-midrange, the harmonics are expressed in more dried condition, so that the midrange is rolled off faster than the treble and shows more detailed response characteristics. Even though the sound signature is emphasized in the highs, the details of the vocals' scratching voices and the sounding instruments in the midrange are not masked and presents clearly. VS-2’s bass rolls off quickly at the center of the emphasized harmonic and its deep-bass is little bit boosted. So, it has enough fast response characteristic for listening to bass hitting in indoors and outdoors.



    [​IMG]

    'VS2' has high sensitivity and low impedance, so it can easily drive the volume and dynamic range, even if using with smartphones. However, devices with excessively strong output or week signal to noise ratio can easily be exposed to output noises. Recommend matching with a stable device that can secure headroom, especially in the treble.


    When matching with third-party cables, the sound change usually takes place at the upper-high frequency. Using with cables giving attenuation of treble harmonics or emphasizing low-bass make the treble tone more natural and smooth. Unfortunately, in balanced input environments of 2.5mm or 4.4mm, unstable phase structure occurred and midrange and bass are separated in an awkward way.






    Disclaimer

    Hello, I am a Head-fi product reviewer named 'Bigheadfiler' in South Korea. This review may not be perfect because it is English translation by me. I appreciate your understanding. Thank you.

    The 'VS-2' was offered by ‘Clear Tune Monitor’. The content of the review has been written without any restriction because the authors' freedom is respected.

    Photos and review by Bigheafiler


      senorx12562 and Castor Milano like this.

Comments

To view comments, simply sign up and become a member!