Vsonic Ares Review
Unique Design & Full Bodied Sound
Vsonic is a Chinese earphone manufacturer that was established in 1980 in Shenzhen China. Vsonic is a well known Chi-Fi brand and has released some very popular models like the GR06, GR07 and the VSD3 and more. The Vsonic Ares is their latest model with a single dynamic driver.
Official Webpage: http://www.vsonic.com/
The Vsonic Ares was provided to me by Lend Me UR ears as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Vsonic or Lend Me UR ears beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
The MSRP price for the Vsonic Ares is 190,00 USD and is available under the following link.
Package and Accessories:
The Vsonic Ares came in a black cardbox, which sports the model name Ares but in Greek lanugae form that is Άρης. This box is containg the following items;
- 1 pcs x Vsonic Ares In-Ear Monitor
- 3 pairs x Silicon tips
- 1 pair x Foam tips
- 1 pcs x Carry Case
The Vsonic Ares comes with a stylish soft carry case, which has stitches on the surface and a soft light brown fabric inner coating.
They are 3 pairs of white silicone tips in small/medium/large sizes and 1 pair of foam ear tips.
Design and Build Quality:
The Vsonic Ares In-Ear Monitor has a very unique CNC crafted aluminum alloy shell with an oval shape that reminds me to sci-fi space ship. The shell of the Ares has small horizontal channels that are according to Vsonic; crafted with 3 kinds of Five-Axis carving processes.
The housing is very well made and is available in Space Silver and Classical Black.
The sound nozzle is relative small compared to the size of the housing. On the top of the nozlle is a spring that is holding the filter of the nozzle, which I am familiar from older models like the Vsonic GR06 and GR07 BE.
The cable of the Vsonic is not is fixed to the housing and is protected by a small black plastic strain relief that sports also the Left and Right Markings.
The hand-woven cable wire protected with a Kevlar coating and is wrapped with TPU isolation.
The cable has an angled headphone jack with a plastic housing, which has a diamond shaped design.
The overall build quality of the housing and the cable is on a pretty high level.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
The semi custom housing of the LEAR LUF Kaleido has a medium size, which is not big or too small. This IEM is very ergonomic and comfortable to wear and fits perfectly on my ears. I didn’t have any issues, even after listening periods of 4-5 hours (with breaks for every 30 min). The noise isolation was above average after some intensive test in environments like metro, bus or train.
- Driver : 1 mm CCAW carbon nanotube drive
- Impedance : 50Ω±15%(at 1000Hz)
- Sensitivity : 108±3dB /mW
- Frequency Range : 10Hz-28000Hz
- Input Power : 10mW
- Efficiency : 50mW
- Plug size : 3.5mm dual-channel plug
- Cable : 1.30M TPU cable
The Vsonic Ares has an impedance of 50 Ohm that seems to be a litlle bit high for an IEM, but the Ares can be driven to very loud volumes even with relative weak sources like phones, tablets, etc. But the Ares sounds with more refinement if you hook it to a portable amplifier or DAP with good amplification.
In Ear Monitor : Vsonic Ares, Fiio F9 Pro, AAW Nebula One
DAP/DAC/AMP : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Fiio M7, xDuoo XD10 Poke, iPad Air2
Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
- Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Adam Taylor – Colour to the Moon (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
This review is written after a burn-in of approx 80 hours. I have used the stock silicone tips, which came pre-installed on the Vsonic Ares.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
The Vsonic Ares is a pretty warm and thick sounding In-Ear Monitor with strong bass impact and a soft treble reproduction.
The bass of the Vsonic Ares has warm and slightly thick bass tonality, with a soft and musical presentation.
The Ares has a good and well pronounced sub-bass depth, which doesn’t reaches to the lowest register, but should good enough for the majority of users.
The Ares has a strong bass presentation, which has a slightly hard character, but without any negative side effects like a mid-bass hump.
Percussions Instruments sounding strong, warm and with a slightly thick tonality. The overall bass presentation is controlled and has an average speed. The bass extension of the Vsonic Ares is on a pretty good level with genres like Edm, Pop and Trance and is especially successful with instruments that have a thick tonality and need strong extension.
Instruments in metal music like cross and snare drums have an average speed and a very strong impact, without any noticeable mixing.
The Vsonic Ares has a warm musical and slightly recessed midrange, with a soft character and sibilance free presentation that makes the Ares ideal for long listening periods.
The Ares is pretty successful regarding to vocals. Male vocals sounding deep and thick, while female voices have a soft, musical and mildly veiled presentation. The male vocal performance of the Ares is in general more successful than those of female vocals, due to the emphasis at the lower midrange, which makes it to a pleasure to hear strong male voices like Dave Gahan, Michael Jackson and Leonard Cohen.
The upper midrange of the Ares sounds fairly controlled without any noticeable sibilance or harshness. Instruments like the violins for example sounding slightly bright in their tonality and have good control without to sound ear pricing.
The midrange performance of the Vsonic Ares is pretty good, with the exception of a little bit missing of transparency and airiness.
The Vsonic Ares shows a fast drop/roll-off after a peak around the 8 kHz range, that explains the relative short treble extension.
The sharpness, intensity and quantity of the treble are on an average level, with a soft and bold tonality. The brightness level of the treble range is not very much. The Ares has speed issues when it try to catch instruments like cymbals in fast passages which can be found in genres like metal music. But the cymbal performs in genres like jazz or rock sounds piece by piece and clear, which means that the Vsonic Ares is more successful in genres like jazz and rock, than metal music.
The soundstage of the Vsonic Ares is expansive enough to allow a good separation and space for instruments, without to cause any remarkable mixing or overlapping.
The soundstage is slightly deeper than its wideness and the background is relative silent and noise free.
Vsonic Ares versus Fiio F9 Pro:
Both the Vsonic Ares and the Fiio F9 Pro have warmer than neutral sound signature, while the Ares is the warmer IEM of this two.
The sub-bass of the Ares have slightly more depth and additional rumble compared to the F9Pro, which has slightly less depth but the upper hand for control. The midbass of the Vsonic Ares have more quantity and impact than those of the Fiio F9 Pro, which sounds more linear and tighter in this regarding. This midbass character makes the Ares also more successful with genres like Edm, Trance, Rnb etc. while the F9Pro is the more balanced IEM.
The midrange of the Vsonic Ares sounds warmer and thicker than those of the Fiio F9 Pro, which is slightly more neutral in this regarding. The F9 Pro sounds slightly more transparent and clean in this area. Both IEM’s are successful with male vocals, while the Ares is bore suitable for male and the F9 Pro the better choice for female vocals.
The detail level of both IEM’s is pretty equal, while the F9 Pro has slightly better extension and sounds more spacious / airy compared to the Ares.
The upper midrange of the F9 Pro is a little bit more pronounced than those of the Ares, while the Ares sounds more controlled in this frequency region.
The treble range of the Fiio F9 Pro sounds slightly thinner, brighter and crisp compared to the Vsonic Ares, which has a thicker and fuller treble presentation that is adding a nice sense of musicality to the sound. The treble extension of the F9 Pro is a bit better than those of the Ares, which shows otherwise an above average performance. The Vsonic Ares is more suitable for long listening periods due to its smoother nature.
The soundstage performance of this two IEM shows some differences, the Vsonic Ares has more depth, while the Fiio F9 Pro has the upper with its wider stage. The separation of instruments is slightly better with the F9 Pro due to the extra air between instruments.
Vsonic Ares versus AAW Nebula One:
Both In-Ear Monitors have a bass presentation with a warm tonality and soft presentation, while the Vsonic Ares is superior to the AAW Nebula One in terms of sub-bass quantity and depth.
When it comes to mid-bass performance, the Nebula One has more quantity and impact than those of the Ares, but the Nebula One has some mid-bass hump that the Ares not has.
The Ares is also better in terms of bass speed and detail than the Nebula One, which is otherwise pretty good in this area.
Both In-Ear Monitors have a relative warm sounding midrange, while the Nebula One has a more V shaped sound signature which makes the midrange a bit recessed.
Both the AAW Nebula One and the Vsonic Ares performing better with male vocals than female voices, while the Ares has more clearness and space. The Nebula One sounds warmer and veiled in this area.
Those IEM’s showing their best with instruments that have a thick tonality. The overall midrange performance and detail level of the Vsonic Ares is superior to those of the AAW Nebula one that is missing some clearness and sparkle.
The AAW Nebula One and Vsonic Ares have a nicly controlled and relaxing treble presentation. The treble range of the Nebula One is more pronounced and has also the slightly better extension. Both IEM’s have no noticeable sibilance and harshness.
Both In-Ear Monitors have an average soundstage performance, where the Nebula One has the wider soundstage, while the Vsonic Ares shows slightly more depth. The Vsonic Ares has shows the better performance in terms of instruments separation and definition, especially in complex passages whit high instrument density.
The Vsonic Ares is very unique looking In-Ear Monitor with a great bass performance and full bodied presentation that offers also a fatigue free listening. My only complaint, which is a bit subjective (a matter of preference) could come to the cable that is not detachable, but otherwise well made.
Pros and Cons:
- + Unique Design
- + Good build quality
- + Great bass performance
- + Warm and smooth presentation
- + Ideal for long listening periods
- – Cable in not detachable
- – Soundstage could be wider
- – A bit more refinement in the midrange