VE Odyssey - Discussions and Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by RedJohn456, Aug 19, 2018.
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  1. RedJohn456
    VE Odyssey
    The start of a Journey

    Venture Electronics is best known for the VE Monk, a 5 dollar earbud that astounded audiophiles the world over. Moreover, they have a star studded line up of Earbuds, In ear monitors and headphone accessories, spanning from entry level to all the way to top of the line.

    The VE Odyssey marks their first foray into the portable source market and it has officially been released today.
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    You can buy one from their official website HERE


    In the same way that the Monk took the headphone world by storm, the Odyssey has the same potential to be a game changer. Most importantly, it will be compatibe with a wide variety of android devices, iPhones/ipads with CCK adapter and laptops with the adapter.
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    Lets get something clear first - the VE Odyssey will cost only $10 USD.

    In addition to the wallet friendly price, it boasts enough juice to power all the high ohm earbuds in the VE line up and quite a few hard to drive over ear cans. It will run more juice running out of a laptop versus a phone, but you shouldn't have much trouble using it with most headphones in your collection. Might want to be careful with sensitive BA iems however.

    It is designed to work with USB-C connectors and work with laptop devices thanks to the included adapter.

    Wild LEE, CEO of Venture Electronics, has mentioned over at facebook that the Odyssey will be their "base" for tuning earbuds and headphones, going forward. For the full post https://www.veclan.com/engappliance_sel_one?eng_ApplianceVo.eac_id=32

    To say that I am looking forward to getting my hands on this device would be a major understatement - the Monk changed my entire outlook on this hobby and I can't wait to hear the VE Odyssey in action. large.gif
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  2. RedJohn456
    Venture Electronics Odyssey
    ~Initial Impressions~
    Apologies for the delayed impressions! I wanted to make sure that I had the opportunity to properly sit down and do it justice because boy does it deliver! Oops, spoilers lol.

    I have been using the Odyssey since receiving more than a month and a half ago and I have had the chance to run it with all my gear on hand.

    I would like to note that I haven't had access to my full collection of audio gears (out of town) and I have limited gears on hand. I think that this presented the perfect opportunity to test the VE Odyssey as I was able to give it my full attention when it came to listening to my headphones. I primarily used it with my laptop with the help of the included adapter.

    My experience
    Just like magic! Talk about plug and play, my mac recognized it right away and it worked in a similar manner with samsung phones. Odyssey is very easy to operate and I can see that VE had K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) in mind when designing this thing. Sometimes less is more and this is one of those situations. So right away I was impressed and off to the races.

    First up - Monk Plus. Oh boy, my body was not ready for the ear sex I was about to experience.

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    To call it a match made in heaven would be an understatement. VE CEO Lee was not kidding when he said that the Odyssey will be the baseline when tuning monks. I have heard the monk out of some seriously good gear but the way the Monk Plus was singing out of the odyssey was just something else - Synergy.

    It was especially pleasing to the ear and the monk plus sounded so natural and balanced that it had me digging out my music collection on spotify and portable hard drive, just so I can experience it through this pair.

    I haven't really reviewed a DAC before and I find it difficult to talk about how it sounds. I will start off with how it powers my gears.

    WHAT THE HELL HOW MUCH POWER DOES THIS THING HAVE??
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    When running from my macbook pro, the Odyssey has enough power to run my HD650. Not even joking. It made my VE Zen LL and VE ZOE just sound like SEX. So full and musical, while also detailed.

    Going back to my HD650 - it not only provides volume but provides decent performance. While it doesn't run as well as my E17K/RA plus combo (<3 my fav combo at the moment), it is respectable and convincing.

    The Odyssey sounds noticeably better than the headphone out on my phone and is more pleasing to my ears than the headphone port on my macbook pro. After listening to the Odyssey with my favourite headphones, I found it to sound slightly warm with great detail presentation. I never felt anything was lacking when trying out my gears. I found it to sound especially well with the Monk plus and Zen Omega Edition. These two combinations have me listening to my spotify playlists late into the night. I am genuinely enjoying the listening experiencing and not worrying about the technical side of things like how detailed is the sound, dynamics etc.

    This device excites me in the same way when I first heard the monk - I knew right then and there that the Monk will change a lot of things. I have the same feeling about what the Odyssey is going for - it will change how things are done and at a price point that is within the average listener's reach. The Odyssey + Monk Plus combo will whet most people's appetite and serve as a dangerous gateway drug into the world of audiophilia.

    #SorryNotSorry
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  3. twister6 Contributor
    reserved for my impressions :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  4. peter123
    I'm really looking forward to this as well.

    I've got a couple of the Hidizs Sonata and love the convenience this kind of devices offer so my hope is high for the Odyssey :)
     
  5. gazzington
    Ordered and can’t wait to test it
     
  6. thamasha69
    Got one ordered as well. Cannot wait to give this a go. Need something more compact than the UD125 and HifiMeDIY 9018. And I never really jived with battery powered DAC/amps, not wanting to deal with potential battery degradation over time (charging) on such a boutique-ish device.
     
  7. HeadlessChicken
    Really curious to read reviews on this device! Unfortunately I cannot test it myself as I use a Huawei phone which Lee identified as problematic... :triportsad: nevertheless I hope the VE odyssey will unleash the full potential of VE earbuds in as many devices as possible :beerchug:
     
  8. csglinux
    Ok, I was excited about this for about 5 minutes and then I stopped to think about how insane this situation is...

    1) Phones are STILL continuing to get larger. Yet at the same time...
    2) Companies like Apple claim there's simply no longer any room for a 3.5 mm socket.
    3) Even companies like Google follow Apple's path of blatantly self-serving lies.
    4) We all fall for this BS.
    5) We all end up having to live with dongles.

    Here's a thought... If it's that cheap to make a quality-sounding DAC/amp in a device this tiny, why not build it into the phone?

    My phone (LG V30) already has a really good quality DAC and high-powered amp built in. Oh, and a 3.5 mm socket. What am I overlooking here? Why are you folks so excited and awestruck at the prospect of having to carry dongles everywhere you go?
     
  9. Podster
    Well nature gave me that one dongle that I pretty much always have to have with me, considering it's size what would this new little thing hamper? For what it may deliver the size of it may be well worth it and I mean come on $10 bones:smirk:

    THX for posting this up Tamal:beerchug: Looking forward to impressions:thumbsup:
     
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  10. twister6 Contributor
    Well, others with phones without 3.5mm jack are out of luck :frowning2: Or those who have phones with less powerful output might benefit from this. Plus, here you are taking a DAC out of a noisy densely populated PWB where you have other interferences. And, this little dongle also works as USB DAC with your laptop (and usb-c to usb adaptor) :wink:

    Another plus, something I have been chatting with Lee about, you don't have to limit yourselt to just 3.5mm output :wink: Just imagine, your premium IEMs with a fancy balanced cable and... you have to add an adaptor to your 3.5mm phone jack. So, that could be another benefit, if/when it's utilized :D

    Also, don't forget, maybe not for your phone, but for your tablet, while watching movies, to improve your sound output quality. It's only $10.
     
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  11. csglinux
    My gripe is not with VE, but with phone, tablet & laptop manufacturers who've decided it's in the best interests of us consumers to remove the 3.5 mm socket. Consider... If it's possible to do all the necessary R&D, production, development, marketing and distribution and still make a profit from a $10 dongle, there are zero excuses for not including the 3.5 mm socket, DAC and amp in the laptop, phablet, tablet or phone to begin with. Yep, I know this *might* sound better than your existing phone's DAC/amp, in which case I get it. I might even pull the trigger myself, just to see (though I'd be surprised if it sounded better than my LG V30's output, which comes close to the Hugo2 SQ, but with an even blacker background - and zero RFI/EMI).

    People should be outraged about OEMs dropping the 3.5 mm socket and they should be voting with their wallets. Instead, even headfiers seem to be mostly in one of two camps:

    1) Meh.

    or

    2) OMG, I'm so excited about that new phone! I can't wait to not be able to plug in my 3.5 mm wired headphones anymore!!!

    @Podster's analogy is a good one. Imagine if your parents had decided that, given all the other things we need to carry around in our pants these days, there was no room left for the dongle nature gave us and had it removed for us. Sure, you could get a prosthetic dongle, but you'd have to remember to take it everywhere, you might lose it, it won't work in all circumstances, and after your brain learns something not approved by the prosthetic dongle manufacturer, it will stop working altogether.

    @twister6 - I'd be interested to hear your take on this whole balanced cable thing. I have (2.5 mm) balanced cables for most of my headphones, but increasingly they just feel like an unnecessary dongle. I don't have any balanced sources that sound (or measure) better than the single-ended source from my Hugo 2. If OEMs can make SE 3.5 mm outputs with H2 specs, why do we need balanced cables? :wink:
     
  12. twister6 Contributor
    I just hope and pray samsung never gets rid of headphone plug, cause I like my galaxy phones. Your LG30 is a powerhouse, not sure if this dongle gonna improve anything, but then i'm only speculating.

    I can only speak from my personal perspective. I know that my Galaxy S9 can't drive 320ohm ZOE to their full potential, so it will be interesting to hear the pair up using Odyssey. My aging T430s Thinkpad laptop has a noisy headphone output, so I would be curious if this dongle going to improve the sound (just like I hear with many other usb dacs I used). And, of course I'm curious how it compares to HO of the phone, as well as if I can use both 3.5mm and dongle at the same time to have 2 pairs of headphones connected. Also, since I use my S9 with wireless charger, I don't have to worry about usb-c port being "occupied"

    If/when balanced Odyssey is available, it obviously not going to have a true balanced output because it's a Single Ended DAC. It's more for a convenience when dealing with some other IEMs where I already have a balanced cable and I don't want to switch cables or use external adaptors. Regarding balance cable in general, as you know, it's not the cable but the source which makes a difference. Some manufacturers know how to utilize the design, others just add it as a gimmick to make their spec look better. Balanced should give you higher power, but if it's done right - there should be an improvement in performance as well. And some manufacturers can make SE output to sound better than balanced. If your current source has SE and you're happy with it, there is no need for balanced, unless if you want to future-proof your cable investment, just in case if you planning to use different source in the future. Another thing that helps to cut down on dongle bulk is to use pigtail adapters instead of short adapters that stick out of your dap and just extend your headphone plug. At least with a pigtail you are extending the cable, not the headphone plug.

    At the current moment, the inner geek in me is more excited about a new $10 gadget :D So, will check it out and share about it here once it arrives.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  13. Slater
    Apple does it for 1 simple reason. Money. Not to save money but to make money.

    It’s not to save space or to make the phone thinner, lighter, more waterproof, or for some bogus “barometer sensor”. Those are all just lame reasons they gave which are all lies. It’s literally a hunk of plastic they put in place of the 3.5mm jack.

    By deleting the 3.5mm port (which is universal and thus nobody owns the rights to), Apple forced companies to have to pay them licensing fees for use of the Lightning port (for Lightning-based pigtails/dongles, headphone cables, for IEMs, adapters, etc). That’s all new revenue that they would never have had if they hadn’t deleted the 3.5mm port.

    It’s an age old business trick - create a need and then fill it.

    And that doesn’t include the hundreds of millions in profits they made on AirPod sales, bought by people that would otherwise have simply used the 3.5mm port.

    Unfortunately, other phone companies come along and do a monkey see monkey do thing, and say wow if Apple did it then I guess we need to delete the port too so we look “progressive and cutting edge”.

    I’m not saying it’s good (I think it’s terrible). But Apple is so big that they just go ahead and do whatever the heck they want. Just like when they changed the pins around in the 30-pin cables for no reason; forcing every company in the world to make all new cables, adapters, and accesories (after signing new licensing agreements of course) and customers to buy all new everything as well. All because they moved a handful of wires from these pinout locations to those pinout locations. It was completely unnecessary, and strictly driven by corporate greed and profits.

    And if anyone is naive enough to believe's Apple's story on the deletion of the 3.5mm port (and it not being able to fit), here’s proof that there was more than enough room. This electronics hacker guy who lives in China successfully DID it (and via the real method; not the satirical clickbait 'drill bit' method):

     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  14. boblauer
    Slater spot on, since I work in a very similar industry companies adopt and delete peripheral support simply to cause a new generation of buying; all the BS about cutting edge, modernization etc is just that BS. I got a sample laptop using Intel Thunderbolt for almost every connection and while it's really nice and fast the average consumer who does not get stuff for free would end up dropping another $300 to $500 on redundant equipment to replace stuff that works just fine on top of the laptop price. The attach rate and margin on accessories in the computer business is a big deal. That's crazy and people should complain bitterly.
     
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  15. Podster
    THX for posting Slater, best hacker vid I've watched in sometime and I'd hire Scotty in a New York second based on his tenacity alone! It is also so true that Apple like many tech companies want to continue to gouge customers by trying their best to make as many proprietary parts to any machine they build. Apple is the King at this but many have done it the same way. Dell has gouged my University for years after our IT Department standardized with Dell business models and yet every year Dell would make batteries, chargers and docking stations proprietary to that years/cycle of Laptops instead of finding one good enough to use over and over or at least for a reasonable numbers of years. All about that greed and making it so you can gauge future profits on selling of replacement parts. Who knows, maybe one day we can have our own phones built to our preferred specs:thinking:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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