Pros: Price, mids, highs, insane amount of tips, accessories, wire, durability, no microphonics
Cons: Bass, nozzle design, worldwide availability
Packaging & Accessories: 10/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 10/10
Audio Quality: 9/10
My final Rating: 10/10
Purchase Date: November 2013
Purchase Price: £112
First of all I would say a huge thank you to Zarni from the GateShop located in the USA for sending me out the VSonic GR07 MK2 Pro. I’ve always wanted to get my hands on the VSonic range, due to their incredible praise they received in the recent years. The GR07 MK2 Pro, being regarded by many as one of the best earphones, not only in its price category but as a neutral sounding earphone with a little punch. I can’t comment on the other VSonic line, nor can I compare the MK2’s to its younger brothers as I’ve never owned them.
As you’ll be able to see above, its ratings I’ve given it are quite high and I whole heartedly feel that it’s the right thing to do – I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending these earphones nor hesitate in buying myself a pair. However, you’ll be able to see from the cons that worldwide availability is something of a concern, which is a shame.
With that said I have a few links that I was able to find of the MK2’s – luckily if you live in the USA, you won’t have any problems sourcing the GR07 MK2’s.
–AmazonUSA $180 / £112
–MP4 Nation $180 / £112
–eBay posted from Hong Kong £115
As you can see above, the worldwide availability is scarce and finding these located in the UK and/or EU is actually near impossible. This means that people who lie in the UK/EU like myself would have to import them. Importing is always dangerous when it comes to custom/import taxes and even the time frame required to receive them could be extremely long. However, if you are in the USA or in Asia, you shouldn’t have any problems getting them in.
Packaging, accessories, box content, overall first impressions (look wise)
I was extremely impressed with the packaging, simply because it was straight to the point and not overly complicated. It also was a well presented case, with a few of the tips laid out next to the earphones.
The accessories are simply outstanding. Possibly one of the best set of accessories provided with a set of earphones, alongside with the Monster earphone range, which boast a large number of quality accessories.
In the package you’ll find:
-A remarkable 14 sets of silicone pairs of ear tips
-A pair of semi-foam tips
-A very premium feeling pouch
-A warranty/user manual card
The sets of tips are extremely good as fit is one of the most important things when it comes to earphones. Without the right fit, you’re bound to either suffer from isolation, comfort and even sound problems. Thus it was really pleasing to see VSonic’s attention to tips here. The large array of tips will allow you to select the right one for you. There are a few tips that also have foam inside the tips – this is to provide a more rigid tip and usually a slightly better seal for longer periods of listening.
The semi-foam tips are a little disappointing as they are a little hard – not like the Comply Foam tips that some might be used to. Thus they are there to provide an option for some listeners, but I personally found them a little useless – as they were a little too hard to be truly foam tips and too malleable to be silicone tips.
Moving on from the tips, you have the over-the-ear hooks – which are used to take a little strain off your ears when listening to the GR07 MK2’s – with that said, I have never used them, nor really seen the need of them. However, I know some will appreciate them being included in the package. They are indeed a nice addition to the accessories.
Finally you have the pouch provided – which in my opinion sits up there with one of the best pouches I’ve ever received in an earphone package. I think the only others I can think of that contend with this type of pouch are the ones provided by Monster and Fischer Audio. Other than that, I think VSonic have an extremely nice pouch. It is quite rigid, meaning it won’t easily break; it has a nice look to it and gives a professional feel to it and is also finished in a nice leather-esk material which gives it a premium feel.
Overall, the accessories are one of the best set of accessories I’ve ever received in a package. If there was a criticism that I had to draw from them, would be the lack of an aeroplane adapter, a cleaning tool and a wider range of foam tips. With that said, I can’t fault VSonic here, they’ve out-done themselves to say the least – absolutely excellent set of accessories at any price range.
Overall first impressions:
My first impressions were extremely positive, the set of tips alone talk for themselves as to what to expect from the product. VSonic didn’t cheap out here and thought about everything that an audiophile would need in order to appreciate their GR07 MK2’s.
The build quality of the earphones is extremely good. The wire that comes with the GR07 MK2’s is what stands out from the build quality, as it is well protected, doesn’t get tangled easily and more so looks extremely cool. This is because the wire that’s contained within the GR07 MK2’s is a silver cable. Silver cable is usually known to give one of the best conductivity for sound. It is also seen by a few people to improve the sound. In my opinion, basing this on my UE TF10 review, I can safely say, a silver cable does bring out the most of an earphone. Of course, this usually comes as an expense it is really positive to see VSonic taking a positive attitude in this respect and providing you a silver cable as standard.
The cable itself, sound quality put aside (as I know some might question its actual audible difference with a copper cable), is really well made. It is terminated by a gold plated 3.5mm right angled jack which has a sufficient strain relief. In fact the strain relief by the earphone is also well protected and I have no worries about its build quality. The cable management also slides very easily and stays in place were desired. The cable itself is also of a good length – 1.3m to be precise.
The earphone itself is built well – my only complaint would be the let and right indicator not being distict enough. In the dark – it will be quite hard to tell which is which. Of course, after a while it will become natural as to which earphone goes in which ear – but still a point worth noting. I should state that VSonic did add a little dot on the left side earphone, so that it is easier to distinguish.
Here’s a thing that’s quite intriguing about the GR07 MK2’s – the nozzle swivels. Yes, the nozzle really does swivel – this is extremely good, again to get a good fit, but in my opinion the build quality is a little let down here – that’s where it gets 9/10 rather than the full 10/10. The reasoning behind this is because over time I can tell that the nozzle might become loose – which will result in a lot of problems. The review unit I received, in fact has this problem. One side is a little loose, whilst the other is extremely hard (how it should be in my opinion) to swivel. Thus, I really do admire VSonic’s attention to detail for fit and comfort, however just due to wear and tear, which is out of the company’s control, I can see problem occurring. I had slight fit issues with the “looser” side as the nozzle wouldn’t be identical to the other side, which was a little more rigid.
With that said, the build quality is excellent and I really appreciate what VSonic have done with their earphone – apart from that slight issue of the nozzle, the GR07 MK2 ticks all the boxes. The icing on the cake would have been a removable cable, but I think that’s a little too much to ask for a set of £112 earphones. I’m sure if VSonic made another model, like Westone do, it would be appreciated by the audio community. I wouldn’t mind paying an extra £20-30 for example for removable cables. Prolongs the life of earphones and allows users to buy custom cables if they so desire.
I should also mention there are no microphonics, due to the earphones being used over-the-ear. Even if they weren’t built as over-the-ear earphones, I think its great cable would have next to no microphonics anyway.
Now the overall look, comfort and isolation
The looks of the GR07 MK2’s is very elegant. It is discrete and doesn’t seek attention. The silver cable makes these earphones really gorgeous. Under nice lighting, the silver cable shines through, literally and makes the earphones gleam. It’s a beautiful set of earphones in my humble opinion. I can’t really fault its looks, I personally think it appeals to everyone be it audiophile, your average teenager or the business executive.
It’s isolation is very good, although not perfect it does a great job. The earphone’s shape helps to block out some passive noises – and the tips do the rest of the work. I definitely class it up there with some of the best passive noise cancelling earphones I’ve heard, as with the right tip, it really does a great job – but with that said, can’t compete with the likes of bigger universal fitting earphones, like the SE535, ASG-1’s or the Westone 2’s to name a few.
Finally the comfort:
The earphones are extremely comfortable, due to their light cable and nice nozzle swivel design, you can find the right type of fit and comfort for your needs. The included over-the-ear strain relief also helps for longer durations. Thus overall you get a comfortable feel due to its lightweight design, adjustable nozzle and more so due to the large array of tips provided.
The sound quality of the GR07 MK2’s is phenomenally good. It’s tones are angled towards a neutral tone – thus some might find it slightly boring sounding at times, but it’s capabilities is what I access. The bass is definitely its weak spot and its soundstage and mids is by far its most impressive trait.
The lows are not very well extended, they feel a little tamed and toned down. This depends a lot on preference, but due to the nature of them being dynamic drivers, I feel VSonic made the right move to not compromise on mids and instead compromise for bass quantity. The quality of the bass is very lean and precise, but bassheads will be left wanting for more. With that said, the earphones are capable, unlike a lot of earphones that fall in the same rating scale as the GR07 MK2’s. Thus using an amp, such as the DigiZoid ZO2 brings these earphones to life in the bass department. It can extend and it can produce some seriously loud quantities of bass when called upon, but again, only with an external amp. It’s good to see it capable and I admire VSonic having an earphone capable of producing low end tones if requested. With that in mind, I don’t feel it extends as low as some of the best bass-orientated earphones I’ve heard, but definitely does a good job.
Its mids and highs are extremely accurate, although having a slight dip in the mids and being ever so slightly rolled off in the high frequencies. This is where I was able to distinguish the difference between its dynamic driver and the two balance armature drivers sitting in my PFE232’s. However, one must bear in mind the price point these come in at. They aren’t price at £400 as the PFE232’s are, but instead at £112. For £112, I can’t think of man earphones that can challenge the GR07 MK2’s – the FA DBA-02 MKII’s are a good contender in the mid department, but due to the somewhat sensitive nature of the FA’s, I feel the GR07 MK2’s would suit a lot more people.
To summarise this:
-The mids are slightly dipped making them a little warm sounding at times, however on a whole the GR07 MK2’s have a quite neutral sound
-The highs are slightly rolled off which makes them somewhat smooth sounding and not aggressive or feel as if they have any sort of peaks, unlike the FA DBA-02 MKII’s or the Sony EX700’s.
The soundstage really impressed me. I was extremely surprised by it, due to its relatively small factor design, in comparison to some of the best soundstage earphones I’ve heard. Granted it doesn’t have as much depth and width as something like the Sennheiser IE8’s or the ASG-1’s but its soundstage is more natural. It isn’t over compensating for anything, nor doe sit go over board like the IE8’s and make you feel as if you’re listening to your music 10m away. The decay and percussion I feel is absolutely perfect – in some respect better than my favourite set of universals, the PFE232’s. This comes down to taste in the end, but looking at the earphones at an objective level, I think there’s little to be criticised, at any price range. The fact that it is a relatively cheap set of earphones in comparison to some of the other earphones mentioned, only justifies my point in how good its soundstage really is.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusions and final thoughts
What can I say, VSonic have extremely impressed me. There’s VERY little to fault the GR07 MK2’s and a LOT to love about them. I definitely feel that if a basshead wanted to get them, they would greatly benefit from an amp with bass boost functionalities, but with that said I don’t think they’ll be left disappointed. One feeling I did get with the GR07 MK2’s was this sense of boredom I had when listening to my music, like when I heard and reviewed the Denon C400’s. This is because they are centred in a more neutral sound, rather than a more V-shaped signature. Would I personally be happy with my purchase, despite wanting something a bit more fun sounding – yes beyond happy with it, simply because the amount of sound quality you get out of them and even the overall package is just insanely good for its price tag of £112. Would it be my go-to earphone if I wanted to start dancing to some dance music – probably not as I would want something with a little more bass-in-your-face sound. The GR07 MK2’s in all honesty are an amazing set of earphones, one that I will actively recommend to anyone, as fore their price range there’s very little that gives it true competition as an all-rounder.
A little like how I actively recommend the FA Consonance or the Sony EX510’s for the sub £50 category, the GR07 MK2’s are my new sub £200 recommendation as excellent all-rounders that provide an amazing bang for buck with an impressively gorgeous package.
Hope you enjoyed my review!