What a wonderful and delightful fact that humanity learned how to catch a sound wave, got the opportunity to lash out favorite music on the fly, carefully cage it and bring it home, then return to it again and again: enjoy your favorite tunes, listen to the overflow of wonderful singers voices who lives hundreds of miles away from us, and to those who is no longer living at all.
No less beautiful is the opportunity to tame the light, that with the help of magnifying lenses and mirrors pictures our joys and experiences, grasped in the photos the golden moments of life, which we can now admire endlessly.
Blessed is he who has experienced the happiness of seeing the smiles on the faces of the children and hearing their laughter, being with them in this unforgettable time of their perception of the world. That can be appreciated for their parents.
And over time, you begin to understand and appreciate the state when pain, physical or psychological, finally recedes, and from that you also experience joy and even euphoria.
Catch beautiful moments, appreciate happy moments!
Such a lengthy introduction is an attempt to convey my sublime and philosophical mood, for which I must thank the company I love, my beloved, Vision Ears. Despite all the difficulties and obstacles, I got their new, updated model of custom In-Ears.
Vision Ears VE 4.2, built on 4 BA drivers. Without exaggeration, for me it became a real celebration day, and, well, an excuse to quote a Russian writer Gogol here: “But you finally honored us with your visit. Oh, right, they brought pleasure ... May Day ... name day of the heart ... ".
I will say right away that my painful expectations have paid off many times over, and the CIEM turned out to be just chic, glitter, and beauty. But let me tell you everything in detail in order.
Text by Alexey Kashirskey aka Hans Barbarossa
Technicalities: Three-way-System with four drivers
2 x Bass – 1 x Mid – 1 x High
Sensitivity: 120dB SPL at 1 mW
Impedance: 16 Ohm (at 1 kHz )
“Vision Ears” is a well-known and established German company from Cologne, for many years it has been engaged in the production of high-quality custom in-ear monitors, as well as hearing protection.
Well, for me personally, Vision Ears has almost a cult status and indisputable authority, and their CIEMs occupy a special place in my hierarchy of portable sound. Therefore, I rejoice in the release of each of their new models as a child, and the German engineers tirelessly justify my reverent attitude towards them, striking time and again with their developments.
And recently, Vision Ears presented several CIEM innovations: the ELYSIUM hybrid (1 BA + 1 DD + 2 electrostatic tweeters) and the going for change VE3/VE4 - VE3.2 (3BA) and VE4.2 (4BA) models. Release VE4.2 I waited with particular impatience. I think that before you finish reading the review, you will already understand the reason for my recent impatience and the current glee.
Our personal “VisionEars”
You can order an individual model of custom IEM from the manufacturer's website at www.vision-ears.de, choose the model you are interested in, the design and place an order.
And, if we talking about CIEM design here, there is plenty of room to play with your imagination. Shell is available in a variety of colors and shades: transparent, matt, with interspersed sequins etc. The design of the faceplate can be chosen for any taste: for different types of wood, carbon, mirror, shiny, with the ability to apply to it your own drawing, yes, whatever you want!
I chose a design with a transparent shell and a mirrored faceplate: the left - purple mirror, the right - blue. The silver logo VE was placed on the right CIEM, the name of the model VE4 was on the left (at that time there was no possibility of applying 4.2, now it seems to me that this issue has been resolved).
Now back to ordering process. Mind you, there is a significant nuance, when referring to the centre of hearing for the impressions/imprints. Unlike most manufacturers who recommend using a bite block, keeping the mouth open, “Vision ears”, on the contrary, are asking to keep the mouth slightly closed while making the impressions/imprints, so that the jaw is relaxed.
The Next step is as always: you send the impressions/imprints, pay for the order and wait for the arrival of your own exclusive CIEM.
Appearance kit and ergonomics
VE4.2 are delivered in a smart case. I was lucky to become the owner of its limited version, which looks like a gold bar. The standard version of the "chest" is also good: black plastic with a stylish metal latch. On the top cover there is the name and logo of the brand, the proud inscription "High Class Custom In-Ears" and the name of the owner of this miracle.
Inside, you’ll find the VE4.2 CIEM with a cute silver braided cable (for 2 straight jack, 3.5mm jack), two dry-caps, same stickers, adapter 6.3 / 3.5mm and stickers-papers-warranties.
As in the case of my VE8, the acrylic shell of the VE 4.2 is perfect. This is a first-class performance, where every bend, every turn and bulge perfectly follow the shape of my ear and ear canal - surgical precision! There is not the slightest flaw, not a single air bubble in this immaculate design, which in its perfection is like a work of art.
Within each CIEM, four BA receivers/drivers: 2 x Bass – 1 x Mid – 1 x High. And at the tip, in a small depression, there are two sound pipe, to which acoustic tubes are connected, and through which sound waves pour directly to the eardrum.
The cable is four-stranded, made by weaving braids, extraordinarily light, soft and elastic. On the cable is a strap-sticker to twist it. TRS 3.5mm straight connector with gold, 2pin connectors, and this means, that you can easily choose another cable with the same connectors to the CIEM, if necessary.
In my collection there are many “cool”, expensive audiophile cables that give the sound of earphones a variety of pleasant shades, and I couldn't help but try them with VE 4.2. Not one of them in this bundle did not disappoint me, quite the contrary, but in the end I returned again to the complete cable for several reasons:
1) it is extremely light and comfortable
2) looks nice
3) does not have any extraneous effect on the sound
The last point is the most important for me. The manufacturer configured its monitors with this cable, let it remain.
It is possible to praise highly these CIEM for their excellent appearance for a long time, and they it are worthy, but I cannot wait to pass to the main magic – to a sound.
Listening to audio DAC 1866OCU V.2, Lotoo paw Gold, iBasso DX220, iFI micro iDSD Black Lable and QLS QA-361.
With all sources, the VE4.2 played perfectly and even better.
The sound of VE 4.2 is extraordinary harmonious, rich, filled with living bodily substance, with excellent working out of macro and micronuances.
An exact massive impact in the sub bass area, harmonious, thick collected bass, even, singing and detailed middle, and also graceful, amazingly net high-frequency range.
The musical canvas emerges whole, massively and contrastingly, with accurate and naturalistic transfer of timbres. Sound images are served in a monumental, bodily, juicy manner with an excellent working off of the depth of space. It is a harmonized and timbre rich audio panorama, where every detail is transmitted extremely soft and lively.
All musical material is transferred authentically, in details and very musically. The perfect consistency of the drivers and the complete absence of phase distortion are striking.
Low frequencies are neatly forced, as a result of which the headphones produce a massive and organic picture with a striking study of timbres and a contrasting transfer of the depth of space. Blow is thick, tight and biting, reaching deep down. The bass is tight and well textured.
The maximum harmonious work of low frequencies with the rest of the ranges is simply unbridled delight and the persistent desire not to remove VE 4.2 from the ears and revel in your favorite tunes again and again without interruptions for sleep and work. The resulting good mass Lows does not even try to go beyond what is permitted. It fascinates with reverberations and darkens the background, making the overall sound thick, filling the mid-frequency and high-frequency registers with a lively, bodily, weighty substance. Due to this, vocals, strings, trumpets and pianos, acquire an unusually naturalistic, rich in sound timbres manner. And at the output we have a percussive combination of melody and a beautiful rhythmic basis.
The musical ocean, which these CIEM are poured into the listener's head, is full and has no undesirable impurities, and in its thick layers there is a powerful, well-articulated bass, which darkens the entire volume of this sound reservoir.
And after listening to the song Yello "Limbo" in VE 4.2, I remembered a joke that will help you in part to understand the depth of my experiences from this mind-blowing sound:
Moscow underground, rush hour, a man is shouts in despair:
- Help! My son accidently choked with a penny! Help, anyone, he is dying!
A portly, self-confident woman squeezes through the crowd, without hesitation a second, grabs the boy by the groin and squeezes his palm with all his might! The poor child makes a heart-rending cry, with which the ill-fated coin flies out of the throat.
After countless thanks to the savior, the father asks her respectfully:
- You are probably a doctor in an ambulance working?
- No, I work in the tax office.
Laugh laughter, but VE 4.2 did the same to me. With their stunning blows in the aforementioned song, they hooked me up to the most helpless place, and then squeezed out of all forces. From the experienced audiophile catharsis, for some time I felt like a foolish little boy, who again takes the first steps in a portable sound. But at the same time, unlike the innocent boy, I did not experience any discomfort, only aesthetic pleasure and pure adrenaline!
But back to a more substantive analysis of the habits and characteristics of the perpetrator of my happy shocks.
The middle frequencies are timbre rich, melodic, smooth, thorough and natural. Here, any sound has its own weight, volume and texture. This is a dense, detailed and very musical style, with an amazing drawing of contrast and all the details of the composition: each note played is clearly in place in space, and the instruments and voices sound pleasant and elegant. Remarkably transmitted emotional component of the composition. Chic!
High frequencies sound comfortable, clean, clear and precise. They are commensurate with the mids and the lows, have good articulation, are elegant and not without gloss, but there is no excessive brightness. In VE 4.2, this problematic range for many earphones is exceptionally correct and it is unfeigned. Whether it is a restless shot on a hi-hat or a play of a bell, everything is transmitted extremely clearly and precisely. As elsewhere in these headphones, harmony reigns at high frequencies: there is enough quantity and quality, and the ease and extreme musicality go hand in hand..
During my close acquaintance with VE 4.2, the new album Aldous Harding "Designer" came to the rescue. Of course, I immediately listened to it in these headphones and got a rare pleasure. I will try, at least in part, to convey in words how one of the songs sounds, passed through headphones that seem to be specially made for such charming music.
The acoustic guitar is delicate, but at the same time it carefully creates a measured rhythm, on which the entire composition is strung. The muffled jingle of nylon strings brings a slight melancholy, which, however, evaporates along with the development of the melody.
Thoughtful bass strolls slowly along the frets. It conscientiously rams unnecessary voids and is not going to over-focus its attention on themself, but it does not miss the opportunity to weave a couple of curls into the common canvas. Its impressiveness this composure, if you listen, feigned, and the graceful fractional drawing which it puts over guitar chords to dashed lines combs the song
The drummer laconically, if not to tell phlegmatically,, supports the rest of the musicians, lazily noting the change of beats on the drum set. Its hi-hat intertwines with the clanking tambourine.
But here comes Aldous itself. Her velvety voice penetrates into every nook and cranny of the composition, breathing in her energy. As though in the warm summer evening the invigorating breeze dropped into already dozed off city park, and suddenly kroner of all trees started and arranged brisk dance under an approving rumble of foliage. VE 4.2 phenomenally transfer all tembralny width of a voice and each his smallest intonation. From such abundance of the transferred details and nuances intercepts breath.
And the violin which a half of a song hid behind the scenes suddenly came to a proscenium and began to be the soloist. Incredibly, it directly before me! Its sounding so live and tangible that else slightly and I will see as a bow takes slightly creaking notesas from strings, and from the instrument itself rosin silver dust flies.…
Well, the whole composition leaves behind unimaginably fragrant loop, like the gentle smell of an exquisite perfume that envelops the soul. I think I really feel this aroma: noble, captivating, multi-layered and luxurious, like the sound of VE 4.2 itself.
In order for the story about VE 4.2 to be complete, I must say a few words about the virtual scene.
The sound stage of VE 4.2 is quite voluminous, more than average, and is proportionately lined up both in width and in depth, but the drawing of the depth of space is especially effective.
I think I’m not mistaken if I say that any musical genre VE 4.2 cope without problems. They masterfully play as instrumental music, jazz, electronics, rock, and brutal genres.
As for the frequencies (In the dry)
Lows - timbre rich, with a powerful clap, but without busting, a bold relief and a well articulated, rich and harmonious bass.
Mids - detailed, clean, smooth, filled with life, with a rich transfer of textures. The middle is detailed, lively and harmonious, served smoothly, organically.
Highs - clear, precise and utterly natural. They lack as a class any artifacts, not even a hint of scattering and distortion.
The sound of VE 4.2 just breathes life! In these CIEM there is not the slightest artificiality or emasculation. VE 4.2 show an amazing depth, with a dark, thick velvet background, on which the mid-frequency register looks even more advantageous, which is like a diamond, shimmers with a set of faces, and pure high frequencies, like rhinestone.
Vision Ears in a very real sense tamed the harmony, added amazing musicality to it and placed the resulting fragrant and appetizing result in one bottle, or rather, in this CIEM.
VE 4.2 cause in me only admiration. These are chic CIEM with their own charm and signature. And let this model not overshadow my favorite VE8, but the Vision Ears developers didn’t strive for this, since the task was different, but no less ambitious. As a result, they constructed a different, completely unique sound, which I personally am ready to place in the same niche where the flagship model stands.
Having on board a professional sound setting, excellent design and a rich set of VE 4.2 while more accessible than the older models of Vision Ears and most of the competitors. Of course, when it comes to the major league, affordable does not mean budget. Order model VE 4.2 on the official website of vision-ears.de for 1290 €. Yes, the amount is rather big, but the luxurious sound on the current audio market costs exactly that, whether we like it or not. Well, if you have the opportunity to seriously spend money and get a dream CIEM, I highly recommend VE4.2 for purchase. Listen, enjoy and experience audiophile's catharsis!
Sound, kit, design, convenience, build quality and materials.
No (if you leave the price behind the brackets).