We put the Vsonic GR07 earphone unit through its paces to discover whether it sounds as good as it looks.
Review by: “Omega” from The Little Audiophile
The Vsonic GR07 entry-level in-ear monitors (IEMs) are worn over the ear. Designed for audiophiles, they feature a bio-cellulose fiber diaphragm and adjustable nozzle. This particular review unit is yellow, but many other vibrant colors are available. The question is, does the device sound as good as it looks?
Let’s get on with the review and find out!
- »Robust bass
- »Smooth midrange
- »Easy to drive (no amping required)
- »Non-tangle cable
- »Adjustable nozzle angle fits many users
- »Very specific peak in the treble may sound grating to the listener
- »Included ear tips are a no go (except foam)
- »Cable durability (non-detachable)
The Vsonic GR07 comes in a black box made of a fantastic soft-touch material. The box is enclosed in a yellow outer cover that matches the color of the IEM within. The model name and brand are clearly displayed.
I personally am a fan of simpler, more eco-friendly boxes – à la campfire audio. Nevertheless, this box matches industry standards and delivers a very rewarding unboxing experience.
Removing the outer cover, you are greeted by a black inner box with a ribbon protruding from the bottom right-hand corner. Pulling the ribbon opens the magnetically latched box to reveal the IEMs snuggly tucked into their foam insert.
Inside the box, you’ll find
- detachable ear guides
- a set of silicone and foam tips
- a soft carrying pouch, and lastly
- the earphones themselves.
VSonic GR07 Build Quality
The GR07 is made of plastic, and when I laid my hands on it, it did feel kinda cheap compared to high-end custom IEMs with exotic metal housings. But then I realized this was a hundred dollar IEM, and the comparison wasn’t very fair. In fact, when compared to similarly priced products, the build quality is still quite underwhelming. For example, Knowledge Zenith (KZ in short) has the ZS6 which boast an aluminum housing that speaks quality. Whizzer series of earphones such as the A15 and A15 Pro uses steel for their housing. Steel, mind you! Even the venerable Shure SE215 feels more robust in its build quality and design.
I found the plastic housings to be slightly hollow sounding but well-sealed with no visible seam. A unique feature of the build is supposed to be the nozzle, which can be adjusted for a better fit. In practice, however, if you apply too much force when inserting the IEMs into your ears, the swivel moves and you end up with the nozzle facing the side of your ear canal and thus muffling the sound. I would appeal to Vsonic to make the joint a little stiffer to prevent accidents like this from happening. Overall isolation is pretty decent, but not on a par with sealed IEMs like the se215 or Westones.
The cable is fixed, and as there are no claims about the purity of materials, I would assume this is a standard copper cable and nothing fancy. It’s pretty tangle resistant though – I only had to untangle it once or twice. No issues with microphonics, even when I was running. The cable has adequate strain relief, but I’m not sure exactly how effective it is, because it’s quite stiff. However, what I really would have liked is the option to detach the cable for durability purposes, but I understand it’s cheaper to implement a reliable fixed cable system than an inconsistent detachable one. The detachable cable version costs an extra 50.
The 3.5 mm jack is also unnecessarily thick – it adds a lot of bulk to the whole IEM, but no value to the build quality.
Because the GR07 is very small, it fits well in the outer ear with minimal contact. However, I couldn’t get a good fit with the silicone ear tips that come with it. Instead, I used the Sony hybrid tips for the rest of the review. The adjustable nozzle did help me get my optimal fit, but friends who tried it said it kept slipping. I guess the secret would be to know the exact angle of your own ear, something I am familiar with from my custom IEM. The cable loops over the ear for a secure fit.
The GR07 was burnt in for around 50 hours and the source used for this review was my trusty G6+ with quad DAC. I listened to mostly indie, various genres of rock, some acoustic tracks, and various genres of electronic. The GR07 has a relatively neutral sound signature with a slight lift in the bass. Soundstage is what we’d call intimate, small, and compressed. Depending on the kind of music you like, this may be a hit or miss for you.
Soundstage and Technicality
Honestly, this is the weakest feature. Soundstage is very small due to its smoothness and its lack of extension. This makes it the most polarising point of the GR07. While some may argue that a smaller soundstage is better for acoustic/singer-songwriter music, fans of electronic, atmospheric rock, and others would feel that it is too small and sounds very stuffy. To each his or her own. The GR07 puts out a decent level of detail – nothing too outstanding for the price but beating out the SE215 and Westone offerings.
The bass is slightly lifted with the emphasis on the lower end, but not quite sub bass. The extension of the GR07 is slightly lacking, having a roll off in the sub-bass. The bass lift gives warmth to the vocals and brings out the rhythm. It doesn’t bleed into the mids and has a pretty fast response compared to other drivers of the same size; so the bass doesn’t sound one-noted even on faster, post-hardcore stuff.
This is my favorite part of the Vsonic GR07 and the reason why I listened to more acoustic music. The mids are forward but not too forward, just resting in that Goldilocks zone. They are also very smooth, with no weird peaks and no favoring of any particular gender. Instruments are placed slightly behind the vocals, giving the impression of a band with the singer in front. The only minor gripe is a very specific peak in the upper mids that introduces sibilance. It’s a very narrow peak and is a very hit-or-miss sort of thing – some songs sound decidedly more sibilant than others, especially those that are poorly recorded.
Compared to past iterations, the GR07 is smoother with less of a lift, or maybe it’s the perfect pairing of the Sony tips… I found the slight lift brightened up the sound, making it feel more natural and preventing it from sinking into darkness. The treble separation is OK, and complex songs like “Weight” by Hands Like Houses sound pretty good.
- Driver: 1 x Dynamic driver (each)
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Frequency Response: 10 – 28,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 108dB
- Connector: Non-detachable cable
The GR07 is a passably well-built IEM with a few caveats. Fit may be difficult to achieve with the tips provided, but it’s a good fit overall with no comfort issues.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this IEM to anyone who prefers a smooth sound and is seeking something that isn’t too expensive.
I would worry a little about the lifespan of the cable, but I’ve seen a number of similar cables that users have customized quite easily.