Once again, I’ve managed to misplace my headphones. Gone are the Shure SE215s that have been stuck in my ears for the last 2 years. They’ve been faithful and they’ve been warm and brilliant and bassy. For the $95 I spent, I haven’t had anything better. Ok well, I think the $99 pair of Grado SR80s probably have the best budget sound I’ve ever heard but they’re not isolating, ultra portable and lightweight.

So I’m in the market again and it’s back into the dreaded place that is Head-Fi.org. You don’t wanna hang out there for too long and then end up dreaming of throwing down big money on shit, particularly hi-fi shit. I’ve already got enough money wasting hobbies with knives and photography and eating so I can’t have another.

Still, the forums are a great way to get info and they’ve always got a handy compilation of recommendations to suit every budget and taste. A quick perusal finds the rather handy guide to the recommended list of headphones and I quickly zoom in on the VSonic GR-07. Mine are actually the Mark II, an “upgraded” version I bought off Singapore retailer, Lendmeurears.

The thing that makes me stop is just the design really. They’re little squares rather than the ultra bio-morphic style that is oft associated with in ear monitors. I hate those that are modeled after your earholes and shit. I want stuff that looks like futuristic jewellery dammit.

What convinced me was this video review on Youtube that told me 2 key details that changed my mind about buying something Chinese designed and produced.

#1. The diaphragms are made of bio-cellulose. This stuff is harvested from bacteria and layered together to produce the sound. Whilst VSonic aren’t the pioneers (that’s Sony) for using this technology, I just think it’s kinda cool and semi-scary in that sci-fi horror film way.

#2. The nozzles can pivot to adjust your ears. In terms of fit, I can say that these are the best I’ve tried thus far.

What does it sound like?

  1. Balanced. I can’t really describe it any other way than it’s got everything and will suit any type of music adequately.
  2. Crispy clarity. It’s not cold and referencey but it’s superbly detailed and clear.
  3. Average isolation.
  4. Warm but unexciting.

All in, I think that these are superior to the IEMs I’ve used before and it’s great value for money I think but at the moment, I do feel it lacks that special something. When I first listened to them, I thought, “oh wait, this is really clear but it’s not overly precise and it’s nice, I guess…”. It didn’t give me that sense of wow you get sometimes when you try something new. Maybe my expectations are getting higher but I’m really not keen at all to delve into post $300 IEMs. I don’t even use em that much nowadays and I listen to MP3s anyway. They’d just be wasted.

Still, I’m actually liking that this is a really good quality product across the board in terms of product design, functionality, performance, fit and finish and even the packaging ain’t that horrible. VSonic’s GR07s didn’t exactly set my heart racing but they certainly changed my perception of Made in China.