Vision Ears VE8

SHOOTINGTECHIE

100+ Head-Fier
VISION EARS VE8 (UNIVERSAL)- A TOTL THAT CAPTURES THE SOUL.
Pros: 1) Wide soundstage
2) Great separation
3) Natural, organic timbre
4) Great mid-bass and sub-bass
5) Great treble extension
6) Great natural decay
7) Great transparency
8) Great resolution
9) Great details which musically presented.
10) Great vocals and midrange.
Cons: 1) Lacks layering and stage depth
2) Lacks that treble sparkle
VISION EARS is a small yet well known, owner driven company in the heart of cologne/Germany. They are well known in the audiophile community and other sound enthusiast communities and have been making a lot of configurations of iems (mostly customs) for the past decade. The best thing is, these are the best guys I have talked to ever; they are always helpful and do answer my queries as soon as they can. Their VE Premium line which includes the EVE 20 and ELYSIUM and now the PHOENIX and the EXT and their VE custom line consisting of VE2 - 8 (now having Universal options too) have created a great deal of name and fame for their wonderful Sound Signature and looks. But today I am going to review one of the universal line-ups of their VE customs- VE 8 Universal Design which is an excellent and well received TOTL model of VE. But does it hold up its place on the top, Let’s find out!!!

DISCLAIMER-Today I am getting to review the VE 8 Universal Design with a majestic faceplate (pics will make it look awesome😁)- the warm and emotional tuned iem of VE line-up. This has been provided to me by Vision Ears in exchange for my honest opinion for which I am grateful to both Vision Ears @Vision Ears, Amin Karimpour and @suman134 for including me in this tour. You can clink on VE8 to know more.

TECHNICAL DATA-

  • Three-way-system with eight drivers
  • Drivers: 2 x Bass – 2 x Mid – 4 x High
  • Sensitivity: 120dB SPL at 1 mW
  • Impedance: 22 Ohms (at 1 kHz)
  • The ambience system opens the In-Ear a bit to the outside and diminishes the feeling of isolation.
  • Extra sound-canal connects ear-canal and outer world.
  • 3 differently strong dampers define the strength of the opening.
PRICE-
2150.00 €/ 2350.00 €
😅

UNBOXING EXPERIENCE-

Now given the price of this iem and the atrocious Indian customs (which we still had to pay) this was sent in a small packet, inside which was a beautiful metal case written VE on top and a 'M' sized Symbio tips.

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On opening the metal case with beautifully printed VE on top, there were two pink iems with coloured bubbles on the faceplate. It looks beautiful. The light reflects over the silver writing on the iem and just makes it more wonderful overall to look at.

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The cable is as always, a 4core cable with soft housing and 3.5mm termination.


BUILD & FIT-

1) IEMS-
This is a custom face plate edition and so obviously eye catching to say the least. The faceplate has blue and red bubbles on semi-transparent bottom which is very less seen. It looks quite good and man, it blows most of the iems I have seen in looks. But as the other VE lineups I have seen, this is similarly built with a strong sense of carefulness and serial number written on the concha side of the iems. They are made up of Resin it feels like.

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2) FIT- The fit is a bit big and tight for me and sealed completely but there was very little sense of vacuum. Though it did become uncomfortable after 1 hours and had to be readjusted as the wing part could have been made a little smaller to enhance the feel more. Well I guess now why do they have customs!!! 🤣

3) WEIGHT- Nonexistent as per my ears 😋

4) NOZZLE- Its 0.9cm long from the body and has a diameter of 0.6cm. No machine marks this time and it was pretty great looking.

5) CABLE- The cable is 4 strand, black soft plastic-coated ending on a 3.5mm connector. The cable is soft, non-microphonic and really vanishes with the iem (has the weight of hair haha 🤣). The connectors are 2pin and have a small red circle and a small blue circle on either of them to indicate right side and left sides connectors
respectively (same as the entire VE lineup, except the upcoming Phoenix or the EXT finally new cables with 2.5mm balanced 😍). It’s a 2pin cable since the iem is 2pin (not changing anything from previous since its all the same on entire VE lineup haha 😁).

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POWAH REQUIRED-

It’s really easy to drive even phones are sufficient to drive it easily. But this will require some power to show its dynamic range but the change is around 5-10% mostly YMMV 😁

NOTE- This IEM is used with
  • N6ii and T01 module & R01(mostly R01 since it adds more naturalism to the iem and also better stage) for portable on chair listening experience for the most part of the review.
  • On desktop- N6ii LO and A30s (Burson V5i D) and XDUOO MT602 Sylvania tubes (beautiful pairing but then low gain on N6ii and also volume at 08 but I would stay since it becomes a beautiful Cough Syrup!!!😁) has been used.
  • Sometimes LG G8x as phone source.
  • Tips used were FINAL AUDIO E ‘M’ sized tips and Symbio tips both were great.
NOW COMING ON TO THE SOUND OF THE VE-8 CUSTOM FACEPLATE- (This is subjective and your opinions may vary)

SUB BASS-


WHY SO SERIOUS – HANS ZIMMER AND JAMES NEWTON HOWARD & BLENDER- YELLO (Haha!!) – The subbass in the first track, everyone knows (uhm BATMAN- The DARK KNIGHT
😁) and it shows how hard and deep the drivers will go!!! While in the second song (great funny lyrics), subbass presence is from around 56 sec, felt more on the right side and goes on for a lot longer!! Now I chose this track to check how much do they emphasize it and how does it do with vocals and other instruments. For instruments you could try from 2.09 mins.

The sub-bass is something to love here. For an all-BA set, this comes so close to an DD iem, that you will be surprised. Its something like when the DD and BA had a baby 🤣. The sub-bass has great amount of rumble, with lots of texture. Dynamics are not lost at all, which becomes evident from the “WHY SO SERIOUS TRACK” (it picks up on the volume slowly) and with the natural decay, you will be wanting more of that sub-bass, it’s addicting!!! The tonality is on the natural to slightly warm side which makes it great for a long listening session (would advise not to do it). There is no mixing of bass and subbass and neither overpower each other, it’s so much coherent tuning wew!!! Warning- the rumble will spread around you and get you hooked, good luck escaping!!🤣

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BASS-

PULL ME UNDER – DREAM THEATER – Now the above track has a lot of traditional percussion instruments which wasn’t fair to one of the modern most used percussive instruments – the drums!!! So, I added this track which shows the toms and snare drums used in a very detailed manner and we’ll separated, so it’s easier to judge them!!
😁

WOODFALL TEMPLE–REMIX – THEOPHANY -Now this has a lot of things going but the most notable thing is the number of percussive instruments this song has!!! Experience it once to know the different kind of drums and piano and the multiple small notes – just everything going with so much coherence that it’s a pure heavenly feeling!!! (Don’t worry I am still alive!!! 🤣)

Given that I am confused between a DD and BA driver now (in bass) after trying out this iem, I would still say this has one of the best DD like BA bass ever. It has a slightly warm tonality present with almost natural decay. The timbre is real and gives off a wandering note into the sonic headroom (aka fancy way of saying the head stage😋), which will impress you and make you follow it. The toms in the first song with the snare and hi-hats, feel real and will impress the listener a lot. The beats are all separated at the body, the beginning and even at the edges. The midbass punch of the hits are also present without undermining other stuff going around, hence presenting a wholly energetic yet well coherent music that enchants the listener. The second song depicts some difficult combination of music and sounds with lots of different percussive instruments ranging from African djembe and conga with large drums in the background, but with this iem, there is not a single hint of mix of sounds but everyone has their own position but remaining coherent. The texture of the big drums does come around among everything too which is just wonderful😁. In summary- a wonderful presentation.

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MIDS-

MALE VOCALS (This time it’s male first)-BEYOND THE SEA- BOBBY DARIN AND AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH- IL DIVO, MARVIN GAYE- Both of the songs have different vocalists (silly me obviously from the names LOL), but what I mean is their pitch. The first vocalist has lean and more balanced voice while in second song, there’s 4 different vocalists, all having different pitch and different highs they can go. The first song is vocals with wide distribution of instruments and the second song having vocals all different going sometimes together with also the instruments like placed near a lot to make it more energetic and drums going just behind them which makes it easier for me to distinguish mid bass bleed.


Male vocals are depicted as the vocalist dictate, if they change the pitch, the iems just changes but still keeps slightly thicker tonality overall. The notes change and voice change is handled exceptionally well. They feel like they have the freedom to open up and they extend nicely throughout everywhere. If there are more than 2 vocalists like in the second song, it still maintains the difference in their voices and lets them shine separately. The thickness in their words do come up and gives a beautiful impression. In short this is something which is just close to perfection.

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FEMALE VOCALS- UNINVITED(Album version)- ALANIS MORISETTE- The female vocalist just impresses with their change in her pitch and gasps to add more feel to the song. There is also great charge in pace too with sudden addition to many instruments makes it a good challenge for an iem. With the slight musical queues and big drum hits in the back with the slow piano strokes makes the beginning a truly different difference. Wait for the entire thing to open up from 1.45min and you will be interested with the violin and other instruments just popping in, wonderful 🤩

Female vocalists sound real. They don’t have that way too enhanced feel when they extend their voices. Every breath comes through beautifully and the ‘sss’ have very minimal presence leading to no sibilance at all. The way the vocalists takes on the breath before going in makes it much more emotional and musical plus, the way this handles the microdetails in the vocals (like few lip hits, small breaths) so musically, it’s beautiful. The words have great body to them, not missing a single register and then the extension wow 😁. Further more the change in the pace and loudness of the vocals are also beautifully presented. With some chorus music going on, with the main vocalist singing in the middle (THE TIDE IS HIGH- BLONDIE – EXAMPLE OF SONG), the difference is so easy to find plus you will the slight thicker voice so easily too. It’s also so well separated from the instruments that, it feels that have a space of their own surrounded by the music. In simple terms – one of the most lushest yet balanced presentation I have heard.

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INSTRUMENTS IN MIDS- WONDER WOMAN’S WRATH- RUPERT GREGSON-WILLIAMS, HANS ZIMMER, - A just beautiful mixture of drums, violins and bass, electric guitars. Wait for the ends part of the song, where you can peacefully listen to the piano and violin. In this song, in between the big drum hits, the smaller hits are also present. Plus, check for the guitar placement it’s at the back.

ROUNDABOUT- YES- One of the most separated songs. Multiple things will just come and go in this song. Wait for the pace change in this song with small instrument hits in the song. It gets quite busy as the song proceeds further and further.


What is a tea without tea leaves 🤣 so are the mids in a song. It’s not the whole part of the song but it’s what makes it exciting and let me tell you this iem didn’t squander that at all. This iem has a beautiful warm tonality with lots of great character. The instruments have very good separation with excellent micro details giving them a revealing presentation, but this presentation comes to be musical, so not a hint of tiredness even after 2 hours of music. The transient cues are also musical but have great resolution too. The decay is natural with organic timbre (both my amp and R01 and BTR5 and my phone LG G8x) that made it just have so much analogue feeling that I enjoyed it a lot 🤩(sometimes a little change is needed). The notes have great body with edge definition and beautifully emphasized beginnings that made them crystal clear even in instrument heavy tracks. The lower mids and upper mids have equal presence and both sound powerful wonderful. The dynamics are also great but the notes height, if could have been done a little more would have been more better. The air around the instruments like guitars felt slightly less than the competition but more of it in the treble section 😁
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TREBLE-

STAMPEDE- ALEXANDER JEAN- the change in the types of violin and added guitars and the odd percussive instrument is epic to listen overall. Wait for change in the pace of the music and added vocals makes it a wonderful listen plus the vocals and the violin’s extenion is well recorded and gets wonderful.

STAR WARS AND THE REVENGE OF THE SITH- JOHN WILLIAMS- Do I need to say more of this, it’s one of the best music tracks there. A beautiful amalgam of sax ,trumpets, drums and violin with slight hints of slightly ‘ting’ causing instrument
🤣 Watch for the change of musical instruments pace and addition of bass / thicker trumpets which gives another feel at all from 1.40min. Another change coming in for use with much bigger drums and small transient sounds from 3.20min 😁Further changes are also coming but I won’t spoil it, have fun 😊

Let’s just say it’s not lacking at all. It has a great tonality with natural timbre. The wind instruments have good amount of air in them but still a little less that the competition. The presentation is smooth with adequate energy but slightly less sparkle. The decay is natural overall, especially with the trumpets and sax giving them great extension into the head-room but not enough sparkle to make you feel that high energy in those notes (aka smooth for me). Best thing this helps to enjoy the music over long time🤩. The cymbals might slightly be too much in certain recordings but that’s very rare. The violin and other strings like electronic guitars sound lovely involving you with their timbre and presence into the head-room. Tambourines, bells and other metallic instruments don’t have that BA timbre rather slightly smoother presentation maintaining the tonality though. The notes dynamics are strong but this will need an improvement. The notes are well separated with very great definition to each part of them. The inter-instrumental separation is also wonderful, but the layering could have been improved. The positioning of the instruments is immaculate giving a strong sense of imaging and the projection of the notes of the instruments, makes it to have a grandeur yet smooth presentation. Notes height could have benefited from having a great height, still the note height differences between different instruments was well perceived so it’s given a plus in my book. The resolution was also very high but not at the cost of decreasing musicality which is very high plus in my book. Overall, a very smooth, energetic and organic performance.

HEADSTAGE AND IMAGING-

It has a wide head stage (not the widest but wide enough) with good amount of depth (-y axis). The stage depth is also great but the layering of the instruments could have been done better. The height is also slightly less than what I expected 😅. The positioning of the instruments is very good and combining it with great stage, gives it great imaging. It maintains the musicality still and the projection of notes helps it for that too. The space around the instruments is also pretty great but slightly more air would have had that planar like presentation.
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RESOLUTION AND SEPARATION-

The resolution is this iem is on whole other level. It’s pretty much too much revealing, but not at the cost of musicality which is very good way to keep me hooked to this iem. Every transient has a body even whispers feel like people talking haha 🤣 (watch “Grudge” THE MOVIE– you will know 😂). Separation is pretty great. The inter notes separation is pretty great but each party well differentiated. The inter inter-instrumental separation though is pretty good too, not a hint of entanglement. But slightly more air would have been better.

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COMPARISONS-

With RHAPSODIO INFINITY MK2-


Ohh damn!!! I never wished to compare the either of two!!! But they are so different in what sound signature they are providing, it’s really easy to contrast but in this price range you won’t go wrong with either. The Rhapsodio MK2 is more of an analytical signature iem with great treble sparkle and details with great in stage depth and honestly slightly thinner notes. On the other hand, the VE8 is a very natural iem with musicality as its main focus, it provides way thicker notes and a great energetic in mids but smoother treble yet a musical experience. It lacks the stage depth and stage height of Rhapsodio but adds up with beautiful bass something that reminded me of a DD driver for sure. The notes of different instruments height, is much better in Rhapsodio but the natural timbre makes it up in VE 8. The decay is natural on rhapsodio while a little slower in VE8. I can go on forever but with either of them, it would be a great pick.

WITH EARSONICS GRACE-

TBH, this had me confused as to what would I prefer since I wanted to keep one of them, so I went on to extensively compare both of them. Now I won’t bore you guys with the extensive writing of them, but I will put up a short one for you all to read and then enjoy the CHRISTMAS😁. The VE8- beautiful and lush midrange and DD equivalent BA bass, natural timbre, great details, thicker notes, good transparency and a smooth treble while the GRACE (stock cable is shittier than even VE so yeah I used my XINHS Black GOLD – Graphene plated copper & Gold plated copper hybrid cable / the MEST MK2 stock cable / much better option the Rhapsodio stock cable) – neutral with stock cable/ Energetic with others, the bass has more texture and feel but not that DD feeling of VE8, layering and soundstage is much better, Treble extension and energy is much better, great details, Separation is much better, similar but slightly faster timbre and decay, notes slightly thinner than VE8. Now given the two, I would have kept both, but Grace provided that musical feel (with change of cables of course and I did try some with VE8 😁namely SAKESHI, Stock cable of MEST MK2 and also ARES II and yes the XINHS BLACK GOLD) with added staging and layering which was something that bewildered me and kept me coming for it more than VE8, plus I think the small shells helped with the fit so Grace was more comfortable. So, in very little words- Grace is technically superior but VE8 has that musicality aspect to it and Grace has great layering, in stage depth and better separation and VE8 has better bass energy and sub-bass but Grace, also changes with cable, so I kept the Grace and hence, friendzoned VE8 🤣.
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SUMMARY-

This is a wonderful organic iem and guess what!!! You get DD Bass on BA configuration of an iem. The details are top notch, the transparency is great and guess what you get a beautiful timbre. It just needs some good layering and staging and its gonna be something great!!! It provides a great musical experience that just makes you wanna hear it forever. Just the price keeps me at ground 🤣. But if you have that much to spend, you won’t be disappointed at all.

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Ace Bee

Headphoneus Supremus
Vision Ears VE8: Music is in Focus
Pros: Extremely refined sound
A smooth yet detailed presentation
Slight warm touch in tonality
Tall and well defined notes with full bodied presentation
Exceptional details reproduction without sharpness
Powerful bass punch
Highly engaging and musical mids
Airy and smooth yet crisp treble
Wide and tall soundstage
Outstanding imaging
Cons: Subbass is not as physical or natural as DD due to fast decay
Mid forward intimate presentation may not suit everybody
Introduction:
Vision Ear’s VE8 needs no introduction honestly. It has been a stalwart in its price segment for quite a while, earning praise from many. I was obviously curious to experience its highly reputed performance, and did not miss the chance of reviewing it when it came by.

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Specifications:
Technic: Three-way-system with eight balanced armature drivers
Drivers: 2 x Bass – 2 x Mid – 4 x High
Sensitivity: 120dB SPL at 1 mW
Impedance: 22 Ohms ( at 1 kHz )

Disclaimer: All impressions recorded below are completely mine, no incentives were provided to me in exchange for positive review.

In the box:
Since this is a review unit - the package was bairbone. A solid chunk of aluminium carved into a cylindrical carrying case with threaded cap and soft inside - honestly, it is quite heavy. The black 3.5 mm stock cable does not exactly instill confidence, so did not bother to use it. 1 pair of CP100 L tips was attached to the iems.

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Build and Fit:
The purple resin filled shell felt solid and well-constructed. The shell is not very big, not very small, but a tad bit too wide, so the fit was a bit uncomfortable for me. It was pushing against my pinna.
The semi transparent shell made it possible to have a peek at the BA drivers crammed inside clearly. It could be easily noticed that there is not much free space inside the shell - which I like.
However, the faceplate certainly had some fairly noticeable bling - cannot say I am a fan of this. I would have preferred something a bit more understated and classy, but YMMV.

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Source:
Paired with Shanling M3X via Empire Ears Alpha IV cable

Sound:
VE8 boasts a rich sound laced with refineness throughout the spectrum. The presentation is smooth and detailed. Tonality is slightly on the warm side that makes the listener comfortable. If I were to express in one line - VE8’s sound can be defined as a Mid forward presentation with punchy Bass as the foundation and smooth yet vivid treble as the finishing.

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Low:
Thick and powerful punches with enough speed to stay out of the mids’ way - this is how VE8 reproduces the lower frequencies. VE8 has a pretty nice midbass slam - the notes have sufficient punch and body to them. Never once I felt wanting for more while listening to kickdrums. Kickdrums sound very full-bodied and natural. The midbass notes are thick and textured and are reproduced extremely well. Cello notes sound outstandingly weighty and full bodied.
However, subbass rumble is compromised a bit because of the fast decay - there is not enough reverberations to reproduce that physicality. Deepest registers of subbass are reproduced clearly, however, the DD physicality cannot be attained - that pressure is missing.

Massive Attack - Teardrop’s subbass rumbles has the textures, density, and is produced with enough power - almost sounds like a well tuned DD.

However, in The Dark Knight OST - Why So Serious, the subbass rumbles lack the pressure that a well tuned DD creates, even.

And the bass drums in Battlestar Galactica Season 2 OST - Prelude To War lack the physicality and the power in the reverbs - sound a bit weak.

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Mids:
VE8 has its main strength in its forward and clear mids. Smooth yet detailed, the notes are recreated with a finesse unparalleled. Nothing flashy, just extremely refined notes. Due to the full bodied presentation the air might seem to lack a bit, but it never bothered me as I got submerged into the music in its totality.
The string instruments have an organic naturalness with each pluck, yet a hint of crispness lingers. Percussion instruments sound effortless.
Male vocals are so romantic and emotional my eyes instantly closed with satisfaction the moment Leonard Cohen started singing Hallelujah. Even the harshest of male vocals sound emotional and musical on VE8 - quite a feat!
Female vocals soar high with no lack of energy. The romantic and natural traits continue in the case of Female vocals as well. Slight hint of warmth enhances the musicality without affecting the energy. Absolutely no harshness or sharpness could be detected, whereas all the details are preserved carefully - the combination enhances the listening pleasure even more. Yao Si Ting was so brilliant and yet so musical in her rendition of Scarborough Fair!

The snare drums in Battlestar Galactica Season 2 OST - Prelude To War do not stand out overly, but still sound very clean and has its own space in the mix.

The bass guitar and the electric guitar play in perfect conjunction without the least bit of struggle in Hotel California, Bass guitar sounding full and textured, electric guitar sounding musical and energetic.

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High:
High frequencies are vivid without being cold and uncomfortably bright. Cymbals, hi-hats sound crisp and decays naturally. There is no shortage of sparkles and air, and yet there is no added sharpness to grab attention. Treble instruments can be clearly identified in the mix without standing out uncomfortably. This is something incredible. The crisp yet grain free sound, natural decay, and reproduction of the very minute details without the slightest discomfort is amazing. RHCP - Dani California showcases this very clearly. The extension is very good and upper treble shimmers are very evident and adds to the airiness of the sound.

In Metallica - The four horsemen, the cymbals never get fatiguing and yet are reproduced with the correct amount of energy and extension.

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Can you see the inscriptions on the BA driver?

Technicalities:
TBH, presentation is a bit intimate, but it does not impede the engagement and enjoyment factor. Musicality is preserved well and reproduced even better. Outstanding width and very good height. Comparatively a bit less depth due to the forwardness of sound, but still above average depth. However, the imaging is outstanding and very carefully done to construct a three dimensional experience. The expansive stage really surprised me (Steven Wilson - Pariah). Also, in spite of so many BAs, not a hint of incoherence can be detected - which was highly impressive.
Plenty of space is there between different notes and each has its own defined position in the field created by VE8. Even the most minute details are reproduced naturally - but well, given the price tag of $2420, that is the minimum expectation for sure.

Conclusion:
VE8 has its primary focus set on making the listener enjoy the music. It brought me to the smack middle of the performance with the music flowing all around me. There was no distance, I was not in the middle or in the back row of the performance, not even in the front row - I was right among the performers! The experience is surreal to say the least, and it made my mind go blank and just bask in the music right away.
The secondary focus, of course, is to reproduce the details as effortlessly as possible and as accurately as possible - which VE8 pulls off in a splendid manner to justify its TOTL price tag. There is no compromise between the musicality and details - both come hand in hand to give you the best of the music.
That said - will I go for one as my TOTL iem? No. The reason being, firstly, the dearth of physicality in the subbass section would forever bug my mind - I guess I am just a DD guy when it comes to the Lows. Secondly, the law of diminishing return is pretty strong here, and the leap in performance is certainly not justified by the leap in price. I would rather buy 2-3 lower priced iems with varying sound signatures to suit my changing moods rather than investing the whole amount into one. I am not like Brock from Pokemon, I do not want to be a one iem man - I thrive in varieties!

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Ace Bee
Ace Bee
I'm sorry, but I have yet to hear a iem with similar mids and highs of VE8
HansBarbarossa
HansBarbarossa
Thanks for the review. VE8 is GREAT CIEM/IEM. Perhaps these are some of the best CIEMs in the world. Love it
S
Spie1904
I too have it as a CIEM and for an all BA set I’ve been so happy with it! A great all rounder! :)

JQuB3

New Head-Fier
Vision Ears VE8 - TOTL Silent Disco
Pros: Exceptional tonal balance.
Fun sound signature with engaging details.
A plethora of aesthetic customization options.
Cons: Stock cable looks and feels flimsy.
No balanced termination.
Hefty Price tag.
Disclaimer: I received the VE8 as part of a review tour organized in my country. I’d like to thank Amin Karimpour for organizing the tour. The views expressed in this write-up are based on my own experience with the pair over a week of evaluation. I am not paid by anyone to write anything positive or negative about the pair.

Let me start off by saying that if you’re looking for a tonally neutral, well-balanced reference-grade IEM, then VE8 is not the IEM you should be looking at. The VE7 would be a better choice in that case. However, if you’d like to have an IEM that hits you like a shot of Jägermeister, the VE8 will win you over with its warmth, darkness and overall fun sound signature.

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The VE8 has an 8 Balanced Armature (BA) driver configuration with 2 BAs for the lows, 2 for the mids and 4 for the highs. Vision Ears has approached this IEM quite differently in terms of tuning. Here’s a flagship IEM that encourages you to immersive yourself in a warm and musical experience that is as fun as it is detail-oriented. The unit I received was extremely gorgeous with a colourful faceplate with dashes of blue and pink on a predominantly purple base. There are various options to choose from, so don’t sweat it if you’re not a fan of this colour palette. In fact, the level of customization that Vision Ears provides is tremendous. One can handpick pretty much every aesthetic detail of the IEM, including the colour of the cable.

The unit I received was unboxed and came with minimal accessories. Thus, I’m not going to be able to talk much about the unboxing experience. The IEM, however, did come in a shiny metallic storage case with a rather basic 2-pin 3.5mm SE cable and a pair of Spinfit CP100 ear tips. The cable is good in terms of sonic ability, which is something one would expect from an IEM in this price range. However, the cable doesn’t look very durable, thus, I am not very confident about its longevity. Given the price tag of the VE8, I for one expected a better cable or a spare cable with balanced termination at the very least.



Sound:

The VE8 has a V-shaped signature with an excellent presence in the lower end of the aural frequency spectrum. Bass is deep with seemingly no end to it and exceptional clarity and detail. Listening to “Adagio for Strings - Tiesto” on the VE8 was a revelation for me. I haven’t heard this level of detail on this track in a long time. Most IEMs tend to muddle the layers in this track especially after 04:20 where the distorted lead synth dominates the other layers.

Adagio for Strings – Tiesto:
Moonshine (Exor Mix, Pt. 1):

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Although the mids are recessed, they don’t sound lean or dull. Notes felt just about right in terms of weight and fullness. Layering and Separation are exceptionally good. Even in a busy track like “Moonshine (Exor Mix, Pt. 1) - Project Medusa”, I could clearly distinguish between different layers. This track was a delight on the VE8 because of how gracefully it handled the high-pitched female vocal that plays in the background.

The highs are well detailed and are just about right in terms of quantity, therefore resulting in an exceptional tonal balance. The VE8 is very easy to drive and it sounded excellent off the Sony NW-ZX507, both wired and wireless (Bluetooth via FiiO UTWS-3). I couldn’t notice much of a difference when an amp (Headamp Pico) was added in between the NW-ZX507 and VE8, perhaps because these are a highly efficient set of BA drivers.

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Conclusion:

The tonality of the VE8 along with the wide soundstage, deep hitting bass, and non-fatiguing signature makes it an excellent IEM for EDM, especially for Trance. The quality of the stock cable and hefty price tag being my only concerns, for an otherwise exceptional IEM.
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abheybir

100+ Head-Fier
Vision Ears VE8 : The Fun Flagship
Pros: 1. Fun, Musical slight V-shaped warm sound signature
2. Organic and melodious mids with very rich musical timber
3. Very well-tuned highs
4. Amazing soundstage width/height and transitional capabilities
5. Warm and good quality sub-bass and mid-bass presentation
6. Light weight and very comfortable with very good Build Quality
7. Coherent and very nicely tuned warm
8. Extended nozzle and very well designed for comfortable fit
Cons: 1. Stock wire does not compliment the premium form factor aesthetically
2. Soundstage depth felt bit compromised
Introduction:
Vision Ears is a German company based in the city of Luxemburgerstrasse in Cologne's central south. Vision Ears is a highly respectable name among music experts and professional circles all around the world. They took the audiophile community by storm with the launch of their first IEM VE6X back in 2014. All the IEMs in their portfolio are carefully crafted musical powerhouses giving an unparalleled listening experience.

Since 2020, VE series of Vision Ears is available in both custom and Universal versions. Customizing one's IEM is a different game all together. One gets to choose the color of shell, faceplate , Logo color, Wire, almost everything for their IEM. You can curate every aspect of the IEM, making it your precious little possession with your signature taste. For those who do not wish to go through the process of customizing their IEM , Universal VE lineup is the option to go.

The universal version of VE8 has a stunning look. It has a transparent sapphire blue shell, boastfully displaying all the inner contents : BA drivers , wires, acoustic design. The bright pink and blue faceplate has a flashy look with a touch of purple and black creating the illusion of a celestial universe trapped within a tiny space over which the logo of VE8 stands out beautifully in silver color. The combination of blue shell and alluring of faceplate awards the earpiece with an elegant appearance. It's a designing masterpiece which mesmerizes you as soon as you lay your eyes on them and so lightweight and comfortable that even for long duration no hot spots develop in the ears. The nozzle is not designed for deep insertion, and as per my personal preference I really loved the form factor and the overall design of the IEM.

VE8 contains 8 BA drivers in each earpiece with 3-way-system. The driver configuration is:
2 x Bass, 2 x Mids , 4 x Highs

The tangle free 2-pin stock cable is sleek , tender look and has a 3.5mm single-ended termination.

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Disclaimer:
I have received as part of review circle sent from the brand itself in exchange of honest reviews. All impressions of sound are subjective to my own listening and my sources and is based on my experience with IEMs of similar hardware configurations and price range.

Sources:
For this review the unit has been paired to A&K SE100 (ES9038 Pro) and Shanling M6 (AK4495EQ) without any other amplification.

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Highs:
The treble is the most amazing and engaging part of VE8, It is not something that is overly extended neither it is shy at any point of time. The emphasis on treble region is towards more on quality than the quantity. The resolution is top notch and all the details just hover around above the rest of frequency spectrum giving one the pleasure of all the details and instruments by not becoming harsh of peaky. In my personal preference I would say that VE8 has managed to hit the "perfect" spot in terms of treble response. Listening to "Guns N' Roses - November Rain" was different and wonderful experience where all the instruments like electric guitars, flutes, violins, upper notes of piano, cymbals and high hats hits with great precision and managed to retain a smooth, warm and intimating transaction with nice crisp resolution and full of so much air.

Mids:
Just like treble, the mid-range are again more focused on resolution and presentation. The instruments come up with very minute of details. The vocals sounds fuller and lively. Each note has full body and proper weight in them and is very crisp. The resolution is fantastic and the overall result is a very organic sound with amazing timber. Lower mids are full bodied and little elevated having bit of forward presentation that gives a very nice performance boost to male vocals whereas the upper mids are having bit relaxed presentation and this makes the female vocals bit sensual. Listening to "Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton or Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem" both male and female vocals sounded angelic with each instrument and chorus dancing over the vocals sounding clean and crisp.

Lows:
The bass just like the highs and mids is nicely done using the BA setup only. The major focus is towards the mid-bass, having a good attack but that does not mean that the sub-bass is shy. The sub bass is really very much splendid and very nice definition for an all BA IEM. The sub bass rumble is very much present without any struggle and creates a very enjoyable and groovy atmosphere around it. The sub bass has a linear transition to the mid bass and the harmonics are extremely good. Overall bass stays on the natural side without any boost in the overall spectrum and the warmish tonality make it shine even more. It was fun to listen to Pop, R&B and Hip Hop signatures on this one with great resonance in the sound.

Technicalities:
The Soundstage of VE8 is just splendid, wide and high. The depth has not been given much focus to bring out the instruments and vocals bit closer so as to create an intimate tonality. The width is larger as compared depth; height feels bit enhanced as of the air in the upper-mids and treble region. The imaging is superb with sharp precision. Listening to classical orchestra one can feel the separation and space between each and every instrument giving a grandeur around you. The layering and micro detailing is also astonishing on it and compliments the overall harmonics.

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Final Verdict:
In a nutshell VE8 is very wonderful, warm sounding IEM with a fun and musical touch making it a very enjoyable. The highs and lows are very well defined. The mid-range is organic and transparent with amazing timber and sound lively and natural. The detailing and resolution is top notch. So if one is looking for a fun warmish signature IEM then VE8 is totally an END GAME Flagship IEM.

High Level Comparison VE7 and VE8:
VE7 is a flat and neutral sounding IEM so one tends to enjoy all layers of music and is very versatile for orchestral and instrumental type of music whereas on the other hand VE8 has warm, musical tonality that lets you enjoy music as a whole piece which gives a very intimate feel and is ideal for Pop, R&B, Hip Hop and EDM signatures. One can say that VE7 is meant to be used as studio monitor whereas VE8 is a fun IEM.

VE7 vs VE8.jpg
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Zerstorer_GOhren
Zerstorer_GOhren
Nice review of this unit, mate.
abheybir
B
Buckeyedentite
Man I want to try this one! Have you heard the softears rsv? Curious how they compare.

hitchhiker

New Head-Fier
Wholeheartedly embracing one's guilty pleasure
Pros: Fun signature with mild V shaped sig
Good mids, good for male and female vocals
Wide stage
Made for pop, r&b/hip hop, and movies (action, adventure)
Cons: Slight bass bleed into mids
Not the most detailed
Not ideal with fast instruments, especially classical, rock
PRICEEEE
Thanks to Amin Karimpour for organising the VE8 tour.

Disclaimer : The VE8 is part of the Vision Ears review tour. The opinions expressed are solely mine. There are no exchange of gifts or cash in lieu of the reviews.

Since Vision Ears is well known, I will cut right to the chase.

When I approached the iem, I was expecting a detail monster, with a very analytical sound. I expected a top of the line iem to be near reference tuning.

And then I put the VE8 in the ear.

And it hurt a bit (A little about it later).

I started off listening to my standard list of reference tracks, bubbles, lady labyrith, vivaldi etc, I found that the tuning was not reference at all. I was ready to give up on the iem. And then I switched to pop. Specifically, the King of Pop. And behold, VE8 came out in all its glory. This is an iem that will have purists say "All I wanna say is that they dont really care about us!". The VE8 is a definite Thriller. With Pop, this is Dangerous.

And then I recalibrated my brains to look at what Vision Ears have done with the VE8. They have taken the route of going full on Pop. R&B and Hip Hop sound so much fun on these. Oh and then I used it to watch a re-run of Thor:Ragnarok! An the VE8 delivered in spades.

Having been through this roller coaster of experience, I think it will be pointless to go through the standard reference approach. I understand why other reviews have been short about the iem.

Sound
These are mildy V shaped. There is definite bass presence, and you can make out the BA timbre on these. However, they are present in excellent quantity. There is a resonance of the bassy sound in the background, makling them very fun when listening to pop, hip hop and R&B genre very much. This exact quality provides the rumble of Thor or the rage of Hulk come through to the fore. Thanos sounds so much more menacing now.

I listened to vocal tracks and they dont dissapoint either. The male and female vocals are well presented, and are very nicely enjoyable. MJ grooves and grooves on, on these.

On the treble front is where there is a little bit of a nitpick. Considering the overall SQ tuning of the iem, the treble is quite nice. However, on some tracks there is a hint of sibilance. On fast tracks especially with a lot of instruments, the VE8 is defeated on the faster sections. The instruments become a little blurry, separation takes a backseat.

The soundstage is wide, with excellent imaging. However, the trademark issue that I encountered in other VE iems (EVE20 and VE6XC) is continued here, with respect to stage depth. While the depth is better than either EVE20 or VE6XC, it is still shallow. I have some theories about this, based on the full acrylic shell based construction, but will ignore it for now.

On movies, explosions, background scores, vehicles, gunfire etc are excellently represented. I will recommend users to try this with movies. This adds so much to the fun factor.

Fit
This is one area that VE8 does fall short for me. The stock tips shipped were the Spin Fits. Those tips cause a vaccum to build up on insert and gets painful. I quickly switched over to Final audio tips and things were significantly helped.
The iem is clearly not ideal for small ears. They caused physical pain when used for more than 30 mins for me. (I have small ears). It might fit larger ears better. Please try the fit before splurging on the iem.

Cable and build
The cable initially looked frail. However,it proved to be quite strong. It reminded me very much of the old Westone 3 cables. No microphonics or tangling with the stock cable. The 2 pin arrangement allows for plenty of experimentation with aftermarket cables (as expected).

The iem itself is very light, with a full acrylic build. It looks beautiful with multiple color options available.

Verdict
Fun iem, that lets you indulge in your guilty pleasures and have you dancing along! If only it was not as expensive!

Attachments

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KuroKitsu

Headphoneus Supremus
VE(W)8!
Preamble:
Credit is due to @Barra for gauging Canadian interest and setting up a Canadian tour for the VE8 and Elysium. Without stuff like this, stuff like VE ends up being a fairytale. Slightly more tangible than the Toronto Maple Leafs winning a Stanley Cup. I wasn't comfortable with having so much personal info in the wild, but good friend @Colors lived close enough signed up and made some time for me to try the stuff. Getting that VE cherry popped was definitely a bucket list item.

So anyhow, remember my waxing poetic about the u12t and it being a nigh impossible to attain? VE stuff is the European equivalent of that. Mainly sticking to customs only until recently and no demo tours with the universals in the great white north made the possibility of that being a nil. Until now. Not much else to say besides VE being highly regarded and a wait and see to "Will KuroKitsu pour dog's blood on the VE8 and Elysium like the Sultan?"

Design + Testing and other things:
Looking at the shell, I really wished the VE8 was made in universal. VE has done a really good job with the demo. Purple sparkly faceplates, relatively small and light for 8 BAs. Nozzle is a bit on the chonky side, but goes straight in and is snug. No fit issues at all (at that moment a sunbeam came through the clouds and a unicorn came down). My only concern was the warmth I kept hearing about, I lean towards a slightly warmer than neutral signature with plenty of technicalities. These impressions will be slightly different since I did some listening with both 4.4 and 3.5 jacks on my 1A (Volume at 55 on low gain) with the HFS Silver and the Stock copper respectively. This will tie into the warmth people talk about and I'll do similarities and differences between the 2 cables

Bass:
Similarities: Good sub bass extension, the mid bass slam and impact seems to be dialed back a little bit to let the sub bass come through. An interesting choice rather than boosting the sub bass to showcase it. No bleed at all, which makes me a happy boy. Bass is on the neutral side rather than bass boosted, it hits the top 5 list for BA bass for me, but having joined the D(D)ark side, I don't really feel qualified in judging BA bass as much since it feels lacking in some minor way.

Differences: The mid bass has slightly more body plus the slam and impact is bumped up a little bit making it close to my cup of tea when using the copper. The warmth does make the mid bass slightly more enjoyable than the load back feeling with the silver.

Mids:
Similarities: Slightly forward, the lower mids are fuller and have more body in comparion to the upper mids, which could use some more body. Upper mids are by no mean recessed but a more laid back presentation than I'm use to. Man the DMagic has really spoiled me in that area......

Differences: Mids are interesting with the copper. The lower mids get a tad bit more fuller and body in comparion to the silver. The upper mids get a much better boost in this situation. They end up sitting between the laid back of the silver and the boosted upper mids say of the DMagic.It appears that copper balances out the mids in a way closer to my preferences.

Treble:
Similarities: No sibilance at all, in fact it's rather smooth and extensions is good. There's really not much to say, it's treble done well but ends up being boring.

Differences: None really, the treble doesn't change between the 2 and is quite consistent.

For such a hyped iem (and one I was looking forward to demoing). impressions seem rather short you say? I have bit more to say about the VE8 as a whole in 3...2....1

Conclusion:
So...the timbre.....is amazing, beyond the Viento, I don't I've heard anything that good. If I was judging on that criteria alone, the price tag would be justified, but alas there's more beyond that. The signature is north of neutral with some warmth concentrated in the mid bass to lower mid range, for me this solidly lands itself to being particularly suited for Rock over other genres in a JH kind of way. But unlike JH, it can handle female vocals without making them feel like nonexistent after images of a ghost. Soundstage is a good size and wider than the average, but the Andromeda beats it slightly. Cables seem to be an important part of the signature, with copper bringing out the best in the tuning. Had to check the driver distribution given the shell size of the sound, kudos to VE for making an 8 driver BA sound more than it has any business sounding (Athena ran crying out of the room at that) I don't think I've heard another 8 BA setup that comes close/ Given the prices that reshell universals have gone for, I'd much rather go for the MW10 since it's much closer to my preferences in the bass and treble and there's no fear of the reshell messing with the intended signature.I generally prefer all rounder iems for specialists, so at MRSP this is too much of a specialist for rock that I would pass. A the same time it performs technicallity proficient for a neutral warm signature (much better than Viento in terms of the warmth as well over all that I would seriously consider buying a reshelled despite my misgivings about them at the market price.

Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
Pros: extremely cohesive sound signature
- high level of technical chops
- refined midrange presentation
Cons: bass is decidedly BA
- treble rolls off
- hints of sibilance
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Introduction
Another week, another pair of high-profile, flagship IEMs for me to tear apart – my bad, review. Vision Ears is an IEM company based out of Germany, and as I understand it, they have something of a cult-following in the EU. I received two of their IEMs, the Elysium and VE8, as part of a Head-Fi tour doing rounds in the US where they tend to fly under the radar. I’ve heard good things about their stuff from the circles I hang out in, so you can imagine how excited I was to try these out!

This is where I plug my disclaimer that compared to some of the other reviews I’ve seen, this one is probably going to end up being more bare-bones. At the end of the day what matters most to me is, well, the sound. There’s a plethora IEMs that are all bark – price, presentation, and hype – and no bite. Read: They sound like crap. And as I’ll discuss in this review, luckily the VE8 has the bark and the bite. Frankly, it’s refreshing to see a company that clearly knows what they’re doing.

I received the VE8 as a part of a demo tour organized by Barra of Head-Fi. I am grateful for the opportunity, and as always what follows are my honest thoughts.

The Tangibles
The VE8 arrived in nothing more than its case, so I don’t have any of the accompanying accessories. Perhaps this is for the best anyways, as presentation can color one’s assessment. Some quick comments:
  • I believe there are two cases available when you purchase from Vision Ears. I wouldn’t go for the leather one, it feels cheap and malleable. Grab the solid metal case, the thing’s indestructible – it’d probably stand up to being rolled over by a car. When you have this much money sunk in your IEM, they deserve nothing less than the best protection.
  • Great build quality on the VE8 itself. The faceplates are stunning, and you can see all the little drivers inside! It’s just really cool to see. I did notice that one of the cable pins was a bit loose, but it’s a demo unit, so I can’t comment further on that.
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Sound Analysis
I had no trouble whatsoever driving the VE8, and as with most full-BA setups, it’s crazy efficient. All critical listening was done off of an iBasso DX160 using the stock cable and silicon tips. Please see here for my full testing methodology, test tracks, and more information.

The VE8’s tonality leans towards neutral with a slight bass boost. At this price point, excellence is the standard and the VE8 nails most of the things I’m looking for tonality-wise. To this effect, I think it makes more sense to focus on what it’s not instead of what it is, so let me outline some concessions:
  • Bass is, well, characteristically BA. In typical fashion, it hits fast and decays fast. There’s a slight hollowness to the mid-bass and the sub-bass is missing some rumble. This lends itself to a lack of authority. It’s certainly decent, but far from being a dynamic driver substitute.
  • Treble rolls off at the top. This is what makes the VE8 so fatigue-free and gives it that “smoothed” characteristic. A lack of treble extension generally carries over to technical performance; however, I don’t think it’s a big concern with the VE8. Overall, it’s a sacrifice I don’t particularly mind.
What does bother me is the midrange presentation. It’s pushed forward, robust, and plays well with most vocalists. And yet there is a not-so-subtle spike in the upper registers that presents itself with a harshness to some consonants. A prime example is on Taeyeon’s “Feel So Fine”. At various instances, her voice has a slight screechiness as she drags out some notes. Wow, does it grate on my ears. According to some friends I asked, there’s a tiny peak at 6kHz that’s probably responsible for this. And tragically, it mars what would be one of the best midranges I’ve heard.

Now preferences are preferences, but despite the minor niggles I’ve cited, I struggle to see someone finding fault with the overall tonal balance. It is nothing short of exemplary. With the exception of a few songs, the VE8 played well with anything and everything I threw at it – it’s an excellent all-arounder. In general, just the way it images and shapes presentation is stellar; it feels like you’ve been given a front-row seat to the action.

To this effect, I can’t help but feel that tonality is VE8’s standout. It’s no slouch technically, but does leave something to be desired. Let’s briefly compare it to the 64audio U12t, my personal benchmark for technical performance. VE8’s midrange resolution is extremely crisp, trading punches with the U12t’s which has a very slight haze to it. Other than that, though, it doesn’t quite match the U12t when it comes to the general intangibles: That is to say layering capability, micro-dynamic detail, and overall speed.

There’s also evidence of BA artifacts in the timbre; Vision Ears seems to have tried to mitigate this with a warm coloration. It’s a weird, weird amalgamation that I picked up on immediately. Something about it rings artificial, dissimilar to the coloration with a DD that I actually happen to enjoy. It fades after some listening time for me; nonetheless, A/Bing with other IEMs makes it quite obvious. All this to say that there are clear divides even between some of the best: VE8 is no doubt a strong technical contender, but it’s fighting a losing battle against some of the other, established giants.

Select Comparison

How does VE8 compare to Elysium, Vision Ear’s exorbitant flagship? Well, if you ask me, it’s actually the better IEM. In terms of technicalities alone, it has a clear edge on the Elysium. It’s got quicker transient speed and, frankly, makes the Elysium sound fuzzy in the midrange. That being said, they differ slightly in their tonality and presentation. Elysium has a mild V-shaped sound signature with a livelier treble and more dynamic bass. There’s also some more haze to the timbre which lends itself to a more “musical” listen overall. I can certainly see that appealing to some listeners. But in the most objective sense, VE8 is the superior IEM. Once you stack on that ~$500 upcharge for the Elysium, it’s not even a question of which one I would go for personally.

The Verdict
Am I being uncharacteristically harsh on the VE8? You bet I am. It’s clocking in at the more expensive end of the flagship spectrum. This is a price at which I can’t help but feel there are comparable – even better – options for less. And when there’s this much money on the line, you’d better know damn well what you want. Don’t buy the VE8 expecting visceral bass, treble extension for days, or a crazy clean timbre. It has none of those things.

But if you enjoy a more neutral tonality with some warmth and life, this very well could be the IEM for you. And make no mistake that the VE8’s one of the better, safer flagship IEMs. It really plays well with most anything, and I found myself racking hour after hour on it. To this end, consider the VE8 a recommendation from this reviewer if you can foot the accompanying $2700 bill.
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lafeuill
lafeuill
The unis exhibit a treble spike compared to customs. Friends' testimonies and Crinacle's measurements corroborate this : https://crinacle.com/graphs/iems/vision-ears-ve8/

I've been enjoying my customs since 2017, no harshness in that area or anywhere else. Just glorious treble, even if not the most extended. ^^

Another note : one of the most adequate cables for the VE8 is the Dunu Hulk. It 'fixes' the lower register with better slam and sub extension, enhances the mids naturalness and keeps the treble super clean. Not the lightest, but it's so good I deal with it easily.

ezekiel77

Reviewer at Headphonesty
Pros: Personalized packaging
- Practical and complete accessory set
- Stellar build quality
- Top-tier isolation
- Probably the best tuning I’ve heard
- Excellent resolution and transparency
- Warm yet clean bass
- Endgame-level mids, tone and timbre
- Smooth, extended yet playful treble
- Large soundstage
- Natural imaging and separation
- It’s just emotion taking me over
Cons: Expensive
- Supplied cable could be better
- Tighter fit than other CIEM brands I’ve tried
- Sub-bass extension and bass speed
- Not the deepest soundstage
A modern classic, Vision Ears’ VE8 has it all. German craftsmanship, a complete accessory set, an instantly likable sound signature, along with impressive technical ability to match. This is a no expense spared, flagship-grade earphone with few equals, if any.

Germany. I haven’t been there, but mention the country and the first few things I think of are engineering pedigree, Oktoberfest, and dudes named Jürgen. Willfully domesticated and stuck in an office job, I only have stereotypes to go by. My narrow worldview is hopefully enhanced by trying out in-ear monitors (IEMs) from around the world, capturing the essence of a regional tuning, and hearing what makes them tick.

Swatting aside the other obvious German brand, today I bring you a boutique company from Cologne specializing in handcrafted, custom IEMs. Founded in 2013, Vision Ears is headed by Marcel Schoenen and Amin Karimpour, combining years of musicianship and technical nous to a small, focused company. Their vision (heh) is to produce world-class IEMs with the perfect style and sound.

Among the freewheeling, high-spending elite of portable audio, the IEM I’m reviewing today needs no introduction. I’m talking about the VE8, the former flagship that carries the reputation of being a top-of-the-line (TOTL) that can do it all. Eschewing the belief that TOTL IEMs should be as neutral and detailed as possible, VE8 instead goes for the aching, bleeding heart.



VE8-01.jpg

Leaf it to VE8 to deliver a knockout sound signature.



This is the behemoth that was created with phenomenal musicality, lifelike realism, and total immersion to the music in mind. A statement that music should be enjoyed and not analyzed. The VE8 consists of 8 (obviously) balanced armatures (BAs) in a 2-bass, 2-mids and 4-high configuration and a 3-way crossover system, but don’t mistake this for a treble-oriented IEM, for the VE8 is much more than that.

The VE8 retails for the base price of €2350 (~$2600) and is available only in custom form via their official site. While definitely pricier than their peers in relation to driver count, Vision Ears are well-known for their exacting, exhausting standards when it comes to engineering, build quality, and of course the tuning. How very German, I guess?

I would like to thank Johannes from Vision Ears for the discount offered in exchange for this review, and the fluid back-and-forth communication.

This review was originally featured in Headphonesty.



VE8-02.jpg

The china reminds us of the fragility of life, so seize the moment and spend that cash.



Equipment Used:

DAP
  1. Sony NW-WM1A “K” Modded, FW 2.0
IEMs
  1. Vision Ears VE8
  2. 64 Audio tia Fourté
  3. Spiral Ear 5-Way Ultimate
Albums Listened
  1. Adele – 25
  2. Amber Rubarth – Sessions from the 17th Ward
  3. Bee Gees – The Very Best of the Bee Gees
  4. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
  5. Denean – The Weaving
  6. Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
  7. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  8. George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen
  9. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  10. The xx – I See You
  11. Tool – Fear Inoculum


VE8-03.jpg

Not since courtship have I received something so personalized.



Packaging and Accessories

Remember that burst of joy when you ordered takeout and received more food than you ordered? VE8’s “packed with love” packaging and accessory set dang near melted my heart, going above and beyond what other companies do. You get a personalized, handwritten greeting right on the wrapping itself, welcoming you to the VE family. Ahh… feelings.

The highlight of the accessory set is the black aluminum case, with your name emblazoned on top. It is large enough to carry your precious IEMs and a spare cable or two. It’s mighty sturdy too, conferring excellent protection should you drop it off a tall building (pretty please don’t). But that’s just the start! Completing the accessory set is a loaded list of stuff you never knew you needed.

  • Cloth pouch
  • Plastics One cable
  • Cable strap
  • Cleaning spray
  • Wax cleaning tool
  • Cleaning cloth (they really care about hygiene)
  • 6.3mm adapter
  • Drying capsules x2
  • Stickers x2
In an industry where top CIEMs are often just kitted with a case, cable and wax cleaning tool, Vision Ears shows what it can do to elevate the humdrum unboxing experience. Heck, it set a new untouchable standard. Think of the best Christmas you ever had, and Vision Ears just bettered it lol.



VE8-04.jpg

Everything including the kitchen sink, even pepper spray.



Design and Build Quality

You’re on your own, sort of, in terms of design. One of Vision Ears’ goals is to provide an uncompromised, king-sized, customized experience for your very own IEMs, and that includes designing the VE8 from the ground up. The biggest weapon in your arsenal is the configurator tool, which allows you to choose shell colors, faceplates and logos while they are rendered in real-time.

If you have hidden artistic tendencies (or you bugged someone artsy to help), now is the time to flourish. The configurator is home to designs conventional to cutting-edge, juvenile to avant-garde. You could, of course, click at random until something sticks, who am I to judge? I think I spent more hours on the design than this review lol.

Protip: If you’re in need of some pointers, the transparent purple shells, purple-themed faceplates, and mirrored faceplates are extremely well-received among Vision Ears customers. Like Prince, they’ll make a purple-believer out of you.

I paid a lot of smackeroos for this, so my VE8 had to be grandiose and flamboyant. It has transparent purple shells on both sides (duh), champagne sparkle faceplate with gold logo on the right, and purple sparkle faceplate with silver logo on the left. If passersby had a look at my VE8 and thought “gosh they must be expensive,” I have done my job.

The build quality is splendid. The transparent shells permit a careful look at their meticulously assembled driver units (some with VE8 engraving), gold and blue internal wiring, crossover units and dampened tubing. Moreover, the integration of the faceplate onto the shell is smooth, and there are no bubbles seen internally. Obviously, a lot of attention to detail was given to making these tiny jewels.



VE8-05.jpg

He takes the driver’s seat and won’t settle for anything less.



Fit, Comfort and Isolation

Every good custom IEM company should have a robust refit policy, where if your CIEMs do not fit ideally the first time, they should do the necessary adjustments for free, until you, the always-right customer, are satisfied. A better, smarter company would give you the perfect fit in its first attempt, circumventing all potential logistical nightmares.

Vision Ears, to me, are one of the latter, smarter companies. My VE8 fit perfectly the first try, gliding effortlessly into my eager and thirsty ear canals which were begging for a good old-fashioned plugging. If I may, compared to other companies I’ve tried like Empire Ears and Custom Art, the VE8 provides a tighter, more secure fit, thanks to its slightly thicker canal and deeper nozzle.

This skintight, watertight fit means that absolute comfort, although eventual, takes time to attain. After a week of wearing them, my ears finally registered the fit as snug and cozy. The biggest benefit the optimum seal provides is in the top-tier isolation. Putting them on, I could barely hear anything above the music and my heartbeat. It’s almost like the outside world ceased to exist, great news for people-haters like me.



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In case metaphors are too much, here’s a literal cup of hot cocoa to describe VE8’s sound.



Sound Quality

Aesthetics and packaging are but smoke and mirrors obfuscating the most vital aspect of the VE8, that is the sound quality. Hopefully, when I’m done, the price tag will be justified… or not. €2350 (~$2600) is a lot of money, after all, and can even get you a used car. But! Can a used car properly convey the rich emotions and subtleties like the VE8 can? We shall see.



Overall Sound Signature

Imagine hot cocoa right after coming back from blistering cold weather, or how you felt when Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman finally reunited at the end of the Shawshank Redemption. You feel all kinds of gooey, tingly warmth inside, the very best kind, that assures you the world is a beautiful place worth fighting for.

Vision Ears’ VE8 hopes to embody that spirit in IEM form. To capture hope, elation, and promise within the confines of 8 drivers in an acrylic shell. It carries an accomplished neutral-warm signature, perhaps the very best I’ve heard. There is a slight emphasis in the midbass and lower mids regions that lends warmth and body throughout the signature.

But that’s not the only trick in the bag. The warmth is balanced out by a cheerful and sparkly treble, injecting some excitement and buoyancy into the brew. But through it all, the MVP of the signature is simply the mids, a euphoric, timbre-accurate middle section that shines a lingering spotlight onto instruments and voices. The very foundation of the signature.

Many IEMs have a neutral-warm signature, so how different could VE8 be? The masterstroke lies in its technical ability and utterly marvelous coherency. The former renders details with startling finesse, so you hear everything going on; while the latter grants stunning realism to every performance and plants you in the center of the stage, with nothing between you and the music. You not only listen to music, but feel it come alive with a soul of its own.

Critical listening was done after 100 hours of burn-in with music in normal volume. The vibrations generated by the BA drivers also marginally softened the acrylic, making the earpieces easier to fit post-burn-in. I hope you can tell when I’m kidding. The main review rig was Sony’s NW-WM1A Walkman modded by Project K with the stock Plastics One cable.



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Partying like it’s 1999 yet?



Bass

The bass is an expert in the art of deception. Powered only by 2BAs, you’d expect tight, frank hits, a quick decay, and an usher to pull your attention towards the wonderful mids instead. But no. VE8’s bass is like picking a dance partner with a skillset way above yours, who swings and sashays with graceful authority. It surprises you, but instead of fighting it, you let her take the lead.

VE8’s bass marries the best of what a dynamic driver (DD) and a BA bass can do. Full-on, natural and rounded attacks paired with quick, tidy decays. The notes bloom beautifully with velvety texture but dissipate just before crowding the soundscape, with an effortlessness that belies its top-tier resolution. Even with all this going on, you don’t miss a beat with the stellar bass layering.

Sub-bass extension is quite good, with a rumble that goes for the esophagus at times. A bass you can taste. The midbass though, is undeniably the focus here. It sounds dynamic and powerful, but cleverly shows a bit of restraint to attain a lovely timbre, rather than pounding away with head-numbing hits. It’s still as fun as hip-hopping with a hippopotamus, just not as messy.

Make no mistake, like the irresistible curtain-closer in old-timey musicals, this is a bass that pulls you in and invites you to get jiggy with it. While not the speediest nor tightest, it has equal amounts of detail, authority, and fun. You can simply have your cake, eat it and order another. Just make sure to offer some to your dance partner.



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Create a lasting memory, declare your love from the rooftop today.



Mids

I’m showing my age, but the VE8 mids reminded me of a pivotal scene from long-ago Best Picture winner American Beauty (starring Kevin Spacey when he was a wanted actor rather than just, well, wanted). A young man films a plastic bag floating in the air for 15 full minutes, and declares it the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it”.

The VE8 acts like a lens that unwaveringly peers and zooms into the beauty of your music. It uncovers the minute details and delicate nuances of every sound uttered or played, and glorifies it, like watching a flower blooming in slow motion from a shiny new television. Like the plastic bag, even the depressingly mundane and ordinary sounds majestic and important through the VE8.

VE8 captures your heart with the most breathtaking, true-to-life mids rendition, where instrument timbre and vocal expression are second to none. Lower mids are pleasantly elevated to lend gravitas to male vocals, while a tilt at the upper mids lends air to soaring, sensuous female voices. And in the middle? On lord, just soul. Starry, misty-eyed soul found in every key struck, bow drawn, and string strummed.

Notes are lush and rounded, but intricately detailed and layered. Emotions are laid bare, coaxing some captivating, awe-inspiring performances. Best of all, VE8 weaves its mids magic effortlessly and nonchalantly. Rather than bring attention to itself, it immerses you completely into wave after wave of lovingly-crafted notes, melodies, songs, concertos. The music that matters to you most, cry out to be heard with the VE8 treatment.

If I could use a word to describe VE8’s mids, it’d be perfect. Was that a tear in my eye? Probably.



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Gold makes this earpiece more narcissistic than the other.



Treble

The bass and mids already serve up a delightful appetizer and full-course dinner, so what could possibly top that? Why, dinner and a show of course! I remember nights of merry-making in Shanghai, where we indulged in spicy hotpot before being whisked away to a waiting bus to make it in time for the acrobatic show.

Most IEMs would tune the bass and mids nicely and call it a day, but not VE8. The show’s not over yet when you’re onboard the VE8 train, and the treble has some serious chops to display. The key to VE8’s signature is in the treble extension. While not the most extended I’ve heard, the VE8 showcases a rise in the lower treble, and more vitally in the middle treble, to impart precious air and spaciousness to the signature.

It’s a rarity to have a warm, lush signature balanced out by resolution, deft separation and ample treble air, but like a seasoned acrobat, VE8 has done it. Notes weave in and out comfortably with sufficient space in between while possessing a subtle crispness and bite, not obvious but very welcome, like detecting coriander in your noodle soup (unless you really hate coriander).

The treble tuning is sublime, balancing between reaching lofty heights with a playful sparkle while remaining smooth and congruent with the rest of the signature. Cymbals, high hats and percussion play with admirable timbral accuracy, and a sweet, innocuous tint. Like the rest of the signature, it doesn’t show off, but once you realize how little it does wrong, you’re left gobsmacked.



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Who’s afraid of spiders?



Soundstage and Imaging

What do you need when you have 16 million colors at your disposal? A large canvas to paint on. Likewise, with all the luscious, full-bodied notes from top to bottom, you need a pretty big soundstage to contain them so everything doesn’t dissolve into a fine mess. And thankfully, VE8 delivers in spades here.

The bountiful bass and luxuriant mids are kept distinct, thanks to a sufficiently wide and tall soundstage. It’s not very deep, but you want those fantastic vocals near you when you’re um, fantasizing know what I mean? Voices and instruments are closer to you, like you’re seated with the conductor at the front of the stage, just not waving a stick around.

More magic happens in the imaging, because the soundstage unfolds naturally and beautifully around you. Imaging cues are precise, while sound elements are well-separated by dollops of black space. Every instrument has their own playing area, but you can imagine them complementing each other onstage rather than being artificially kept apart.

The air bestowed by the mid and upper treble is in full glory here, while the enhanced stage height and width does wonders with layering. It’s not just large for large’s sake. Closing your eyes, you can picture yourself enveloped by the band or orchestra, not just listening from a distance. This is immersion level 9000, my friends.



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Didn’t we do a hot cocoa shot just now? Well, one good cup deserves another.



Comparisons

64 Audio tia Fourte

Let’s go slay a giant. One of the few IEMs whose reputation precedes them, 64 Audio’s tia Fourté lets its price tag do most of the talking. But thankfully, it’s no slouch in the sound department either, boasting an incredibly detailed and technically accomplished signature coupled with jaw-dropping soundstage capabilities. This is in no way a walk in the park for VE8.

If picked apart and scrutinized, the contest would be over soon. Fourté would gain quick victories in bottom-end extension, sub-bass presence, treble extension and transparency, overall detail levels, soundstage size, and imaging accuracy. But VE8 is a different beast, and worth more than the sum of its parts. Like frickin’ Devastator, baby.

Rather than a mess of robot parts, VE8’s sound spectrum combines into a single-minded, musical juggernaut, winning two key battles to tip the scales in its favor. The Fourté cannot compete with VE8’s mids and coherency, however confident and ostentatious. VE8’s beautiful and faithful mids tone is as good as the real thing, making Fourté sound artificial and strident.

What’s more, VE8’s treble, mids, and bass ebb and flow together like brothers in arms, resulting in a coherency that’s seemingly lifelike. Fourté’s excesses in the bass and treble department tend to contrast and contest each other, sounding warm and bright at the same time, and never really engaging the listener. Its uneven mids will turn off quite a few too.

Ultimately, Fourté is like a flashy sports car, impressing almost immediately before you realize the many compromises it makes in comfort, space, fuel economy, what have you. The VE8 might just be a luxury sedan, understated but significantly better in the long run. VE8’s tuning will be remembered through the ages while Fourté seems like a flash in the pan.



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Somewhere down the line I’m out of ideas and started to use bedsheets.



Spiral Ear 5-Way Ultimate

Legend vs legend. I’ve always wanted to say that. VE8 is such a consummate performer it unlocked a secret boss battle with one of the most decorated IEMs in recent memory, Spiral Ear’s former flagship SE5U that has ranked first in at least three TOTL shootouts. Both VE8 and SE5U are at the summit in their respective signatures (neutral-warm vs neutral), but let’s see how they compare.

VE8 is the early aggressor, pushing more midbass and treble, turning excitement levels up a notch. Notes are crisper and airier because of the mid-treble boost, aiding a clean black background and creating some impressive dynamics. VE8 is ideal for modern genres, with an electrifying, fist-pumping signature that sends pulses racing.

Unfazed by VE8’s aggression, SE5U huffs out a relaxed, smoother and more organic tone. Its mature tuning is a delicate interplay from bass to treble, forming its own brand of magical cohesion. It sounds more mellow and neutral than VE8 owing to its leaner midbass and treble, but its raised sub-bass imbues some warm air and a sense of grandness. Classical music is SE5U’s forte, giving a concert hall-like, epic presentation.

Technically, they are pretty much equal. SE5U delves deeper and heartier down below, but the treble rolls off early. VE8 is airier and more extended up top but tails off in the sub-bass regions. VE8 has a wider stage with cleaner imaging, while SE5U is deeper with better layering. Both have a knack for marrying a breathtaking tone with outstanding technical ability.

But where VE8 ultimately triumphs, and why I prefer it over the mighty SE5U, is in the mids. VE8’s astutely well-tuned mids have the power to rouse and soothe, please and provoke, charm and enrage. Its meaty, musical and engaging mids make SE5U’s pleasantness sound seemingly uninvolved, like the stiff upper lip unwilling to get their hands dirty. The VE8 dives into the raw, emotional core of the music, and emerges the better for it.



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Never hit a brick wall again, be a hit with your friends by owning the VE8!



Final Words

In school, my teacher used to say, “learn your idioms well, or look like an idiot.” VE8 emphatically warms the cockles of my heart with its tuning, even before I knew my heart had cockles that needed warming. Every nuance however subtle, and emotion however faint, is captured stunningly by it and given a soulful rendition to thaw even the vilest and coldest of cockles. Wahey.

We live in an era where top-tier IEMs are instructed to mine and extract detail like a pricey commodity. We exist in a time when sound signatures are peer-reviewed to come to a consensus on what pleases people most. VE8 willfully and gleefully ignores both, and does the Robert Frost thing, coming up with a unique tuning that excites, evokes, and essentially elevates your listening experience.

This is the real deal, ladies and gentlemen. VE8’s sound signature should be plotted, dissected, studied and emulated for eons to come. Like I told my pal the other day, they should teach this crap in tuning school, not the Harman curve. Whatever special sauce they put in the tuning should be reverse-engineered and mass-produced so people can understand what a big deal I think the VE8 truly is.

I put the VE8 on a pedestal, figuratively. I’d get a real one for it if I could. At home, it’s never kept in a drawer long, because I experience withdrawal symptoms if I don’t listen to it after some time. No other IEM moves, enthralls and captivates me like it can, and I implore you to try your darndest to listen to them. The VE8 might just be the ticket to the greatest listening experience you’ve ever had.
doushi
doushi
had to say your iem has very beautiful shell
gadgetgod
gadgetgod
Complementing your amazing write up are some amazing shots man!!

beholdclarity

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Layered, texture, revealing, smooth, relaxed, compatible, musical... it does it all
Cons: Veeeery expensive
I know Vision Ears may not be on the top of your list but I think it should.

Vision Ears is a company based in cologne, specialised on Custom Made In-Ears. They are partners to many high-level German celebrities and bands and have a solid reputation. They currently have three different types of flagships together with a large variety of different sub-TOTL-level IEMS for all tastes. I have tried four or six different tunings and can safely say their own descriptions are quite accurate.

I chose the VE8 because I was looking for an endgame IEM.

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Vision Ears has a large number of audiologist partners that you can visit and working in Frankfurt, I chose Pietschmann Akustik (highly recommended if you're nearby). They had the entire setup save the then only announced Elysium and the non-custom Erlkönig. I wasn't interested in them, anyway.

I tested away and it was glorious.

The Specs:

The VE8 feature an all Balanced Armature setup in the following 3-way configuration:

2x BA woofers for Bass
2x BA for the mids and
4x BA tweeters for the highs

Sensitivity:

120dB SPL at 1 mW

Impedance:

22 Ohms ( at 1 kHz )

Compatibility:

The VE8 are not very demanding in terms of power and are compatible with a variety of sources. The refreshingly normal impedance makes them a good match for a number of DAPs and AMPs and I have not yet noticed any hiss. Straight from the A&K SP1000Cu, they are dead silent.

The SP1000 is a lovely match for the VE8 in any case and I found an additional amplifier -such es the WA8- does not necessarily improve the sound other than giving it a bit more color.

Gear used:

I'm currently in a minimalistic mode so my gear will be limited to the SP1000Cu for the most part. Comparisons will be made to Legend X, Campfire Solaris and Andromeda.
In some images, the Forza Audioworks Claire Hybrid 8-core in flat braid is featured, because it looks cool.

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Presentation and Accessories:

The VE8 is accompanied by a lot of cool stuff. But I do think that the VE8, being the flagship at that time, could do with a better cable. The cable possesses great flexibility but feels a little flimsy. So does the 3.5mm plug, which is a little meh.

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Fit and Finish:

The finish of the product and its presentation are good and consistent in their line-ups. You get the same level of quality and accessory no matter the IEM you buy (with the exception of Elysium and Erlkönig).
Getting the IEMs in my ears is something I'm still adjusting to, but the isolation ist... incredible. I hear NOTHING of what's going on around me. The shells are painted perfectly and with the exception of a broken and stuck pin that had to be fixed due to the very tight 2-pin connectors, everything is immaculately done.

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Disclaimer:

I have paid the full price and was in no way endorsed to do this review. I am no professional and don't consider myself an experienced audiophile. The VE8 have been in my possession for a while now and my initial honey-moon phase is past.

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Note: the cable seen is not the stock cable, it's the Forza Audioworks Hybrid Claire (picture has color editing)

Sound:

Sound quality is a highly personal thing and your experience may vary dramatically. However, I will try my best to describe this pair of IEMs.


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Note: the cable seen is not the stock cable


Bass:

The bass of the VE8 may very well be the best bass I ever heard. I was having a difficult time judging the bass but now I can say with confidence, it goes both deeper and has more impact than Solaris and Andromeda.
The double BA woofer setup provides a bass that is just phenomenal. It goes deep... incredibly deep. Just shy of Legend X levels of depth!

There were times when I listened to the VE8 and heard layers of undertones that were previously hidden from me.
The quality of the bass is more on the springy, feathery side, rather than the dry growling that I was expecting from an all BA setup. The bass is juicy and humps with much authority while still being very pacy and superbly layered. Dark string instruments and low keys on the piano are portrayed organically with excellent body and weight.
Despite the power and authority, detail is not lost in the lows. It's all there, plain to hear. It wants your attention but doesn't take away from the rest of the frequency spectrum.

When called upon, the VE8 woofer setup produces a sense of depth that is just unmeasurable as if there was a supermassive object in your head emitting a pure sense of power capable of transporting you to the bottom of the ocean and into the music.

At no time, as opposed to the LX, was the bass overpowering other parts of the spectrum. Indeed, every layer of the bass is seperately available to the listener and integrates into the overall presentation smoothly. The bass does exactly what it should do but is definitely more emphasised than neutrality would dictate.

The bass is one of the qualities that marks the VE8 as fun rather than reference. But boy, do I love it!

Mids:

The mids are where most of the music takes place. I like to think of the bass as the foundation of the music, it should support the mids, give them power, warmth and provide a sonic fundament from which the mids emerge. I like to think of the bass as gravity and the mids as mass. It is the interaction between those two that determines the music for me. If gravity is too high, the mids are sucked into the black hole of the bass. If it is too low, the mids just fly away into the high frequencies and into thin nothingness.

For the VE8 the low frequencies lend the mids a lovely hint of warmth and body so they never appear dry or bright. I would describe them as neutral-warm. Notes are portrayed with a realistic sense of weight as they are held perfectly in position between the gravitational pull of the powerful bass and the ever present danger of just speeding away into the galaxy.

Vocals are pregnant with emotion, breathy but realistic. Intimate and never veiled. Again, there is just so much detail in every layer that the VE8 brings into the music. Vision Ears has made sure that the mids are the center of your attention.

Treble:

Treble extension is good. The quadruple tweeter setup might indicate a treble-head dream but that would be an error. The highs on the VE8 are not trying to get your attention. They are in fact lowered in volume just a tiny bit in respect to the mids and highs. What the 4 BA tweeters provide is not power but detail!

The treble is, in my opinion, perfectly done. It allows for notes to escape into sparky, thin air, playfully dancing on the top of the music. At no point in time is detail or sense of direction / location in space diminished by the polite treble. In fact, I found myself again noticing details in the highs that went under my radar before.

These sparkly, magical little details provide intricacy to a color profile that is otherwise more on the dark side than on the bright side. Treble-heads will lack air and sparkle and etchiness. I don't.
The VE8 offers treble politely. I find it incapable of being hot or piercing, yet at the same time it is ultimately revealing. This is reference level treble done in a fun way!

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Listening volume:

The lack of any sharp peaks in the frequency response and polite treble invites to listening at higher volumes without fatigue, which I like to do. Resolution and layering is present in all frequencies at very low volume settings as well, which invites to listening at low volumes with the full experience of detail and impact. Which I like to do, too.

Sense of direction and location in space:


Another thing the VE8 does remarkably well is the sense of both being in the music and the music being flowing freely around you. On tracks such as In the machine or with electronic music you actually get the feeling of being moved through the music. Notes and sound is coming at you from every angle immersing, encompassing. It is very easy to lose yourself in music and just let the track dictate what to focus on.
It is also easy to voluntarily chose one part of the spectrum to focus on and find detail hidden in layers that are not in plain sight. I have not experienced anything quite like it. I think this is in direct correlation to the incredible level of detail and structure in combination with speed, intricacy and a tremendous soundstage.

Soundstage:

Tremendous. The VE8 is wide. It is more deep than it is high but the sheer dynamic range from the lowest note to the highest is far more than what I have heard in the Solaris, which did a great job, and the Andromeda.

Flavour:

The general flavour or color of the VE8 can be described as neutral-warm, revealing and slightly leaning to the darker side as opposed to the bright, edgy reference type of IEMs.

Conclusion:

For me, the VE8 does hold up to its reputation. It does everything right and there is nothing I would change about it.
Does that sound biased or a bit too euphoric? Well, maybe. But it does feel like I finally found my end-game IEM.


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subguy812

Reviewer: Audio Rabbit Hole
Pros: Very engaging, fun, build quality, balanced
Cons: Only available in CIEM
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Vision Ears VE8

https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/visionears/products/vision-ears-ciem-ve8

http://vision-ears.de/product/ve-8

https://www.facebook.com/MusicTeckStore/

I want to extend a big thanks to Andrew at MusicTeck for providing me this demo of the Vision Ears VE8. All VE8 customizations can be made on the MusicTeck website. MusicTeck store can also be found online on Facebook. MusicTeck appears on the Vision Ears resellers map as the only reseller in the USA.


A Little Technical Stuff:

· DRIVERS: Three-way-system with eight drivers

· CONFIG: 2 x Bass – 2 x Mid – 4 x High

· SENSITIVITY: 120dB SPL at 1 mW

· IMPEDANCE: 22 Ohms (at 1 kHz)



Vision Ears VE8
-MRSP: Custom fit from $2589


German engineering once again proves its superiority. At $2589 for starters, no one could argue that the VE8 is not expensive, but based on the sound and build quality in this demo as well as the photos I have seen of their custom work I would say you would not be disappointed with your investment. If you go to the Vision Ears website and browse the photos of their CIEM final products it is difficult to deny the beauty and craftsmanship.

The VE8 has presents itself with great layering, depth and broad extension. The bass gets real and shows its depth, mids are rich and balanced and the treble extends with a fantastic energy but never gets harsh. This is a fun and engaging IEM one that deserves a deeper dive…Shall we?

Vison Ears has been at this CIEM game for quite some time. They have produced many iterations of the VE series ranging from the VE2-VE8. The notable exception to the lineup is the missing VE7, not as if they need a VE7, but they do skip right to 8. The VE6 can be purchased in an X1 and X2 configuration as well as the VE6X control. The latter has a switch that you can switch between the X1 and X2 configurations, similar to the Zeus XR. Vision Ears most recent and TOTL IEM is the VE8 and that is the one I am going to introduce you to in this review.

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The marketing hype from their website is below:

Harmony at its best

The new flagship of the VE Custom In-Ear series convinces with a perfect symbiosis:
Powerful sound with overwhelming precision and clarity

· Extremely tight and precise bass

· Crystal clear and smooth highs

· Brilliant harmonic mid-structure

All of that is blended in a superior open stereo image giving you outstanding precision and harmony.


This is one of the few times my thoughts align with the marketing hype.


On with the show:

The unit I was asked to review was a demo version of the VE8. Vision Ears only crafts custom IEM’s they don’t do universal. I would like to note that the demo I have is one of the most comfortable, isolating universals I have owned or listened to. They fit as if they were formed with my ear in mind. I wonder how much coaxing it would take for Vision Ears to produce a universal as well. Anyway, one can hope!

The demo arrived in a purple round container containing a couple pairs of SpinFit tips, the VE8 and a stock cable. The stock cable reminds me of the black 64 Audio cable, only in my opinion the VE8 is a little better built at the connectors. The cable, a 2-pin style, is lightweight, and has great ergonomics. It is a 4-strand twist and does not have a memory wire, yeah! It is very flexible and comfortable especially when engaged in physical activity and it is low noise when it rubs against your clothing. It is maybe not a cable of the same quality as say the Truth by Dita cable but the comfort and ergonomics sure are better than the stiff, rigid types of cables. The cable can be ordered in either black or transparent.


I want to say I kind of think the funky purple shell and faceplate of the VE8 is cool. It is an available option when designing your CIEM online. The VE online designer is incredibly top notch and MusicTeck also has a designer on their website for easy configuration, check it out.

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Obviously since they are a custom company you would need ear impressions to fulfill your order. Judging by the demo, VE’s attention to detail of the shells and face plates is top notch. I observed no bubbles or rough seams on the IEM’s, they really are a work of art. I feel that level of perfection should be expected for the price of admission of the VE8.

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The complete package you will receive with your VE8 purchase is listed below and shown in the photo:

- a personalized aluminum case (rectangular)

- the VE custom In Ear

- VE pouch

- cleaning spray

- cleaning pen

- dry caps

- jack adaptor

- user manual

- some merch /stickers

All is wrapped up in a nice satin-paper…woohoo!

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My sound impressions:


As I alluded to in my introduction I was enthralled and enamored with the VE8 at first listen. It was once I started to do some critical listening that I realized these were more than just a fun presentation. Yes, it has energy but it also is so very detailed. It surrounds you in a natural and lush presentation that is incredibly addictive. It is easily driven and could be driven to ear bleed levels with my Opus #2 or uncomfortable levels from my LG G6, very easy to drive with any source. In comparison, the LG G6 cannot effectively drive my Dream by Dita, with full volume it still sounds thin and doesn't do the DD justice.


The VE8 bass is detailed and has more than adequate speed. It is a tight bass, not loose or bloomy, and doesn’t bleed or interfere with the mids in any way. The bass goes very low and deep but it displays distinct layering and body as it unfolds its warmth and fullness. At first, I thought it was going to be a bit bass heavy but I was mistaken as it balances wonderfully. When using my Opus #2 as my main source the bass is perfect, from my LG G6 it is not quite as controlled. Male voices sound full and clear using any source I tested. This quantity of bass is the bass I wish the Zeus XRA could deliver.


I love the mids in the VE8 but there is something I can’t quite put my finger on with their signature or at least I couldn’t put my finger on at first. The separation is really incredible as is the soundstage. If I can find one area to criticize slightly it would be the stage. It sometimes seems to come at me from many directions. It is not incoherent but at times I felt it lost focus, maybe it is a bit more holographic than I am accustomed too. Once I had logged some time with the VE8 I really began to appreciate the soundstage and in fact there is much depth and width to support all of the details. There really are some fantastic harmonics happening in the mid-range.


The treble is really a strength in the VE8 that ties the entire package together and creates the synergy throughout the other frequencies. In my view the treble solidifies the entire package. The treble is fast, detailed and airy and extends quite well. There are no sharp peaks or recesses, it is a smooth listen. All in all an overall harmonious delivery. There is not any part of this IEM's presentation that is fatiguing and it can be enjoyed for long listening sessions.

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Closing thoughts:

I have always been a universal IEM guy, for more reasons than I care to bore you with. I would say that if there were any imperfections in the sound there are zero imperfections that a custom fit wouldn’t solve with the VE8. This would be one of the first IEM's I would consider having impressions made for, consider being the operative word. I would rather beg VE to release the universal version of the VE8, but that is only a preference of mine. You CIEM folks should not hesitate to make this your CIEM. From the website, it appears your design options are never ending, only your imagination and wallet may limit you. The summary of what I hear with the VE8 is overall a very detailed, engaging fun sound. Details across all ranges and an incredible separation in the instruments. There is a great weight to the notes but never a thickness that impedes the air around the notes. I adjusted to the soundstage and realized it is just revealed differently than my other IEM’s. Remember, different doesn’t signify bad, it only means different. This is overall one of the most enjoyable IEM experiences I have ever had, one of my favorite IEM's. Build your pair of the Vison Ears VE8 and enjoy the experience that is German engineering.

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