Review: Astrotec Vesna – A Simple Solution

The Vesna are the latest entry-level IEMs from Astrotec
The Vesna are the latest entry-level IEMs from Astrotec
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Powered by 2nd generation liquid crystal polymer (LCP) dynamic drivers, the Vesna and Vesna EVO are Astrotec’s latest budget audiophile releases.

Thank you to Ryan from Astrotec for providing the Vesna for review purposes.

With the Phoenix and Volans in the IEM lineup, Astrotec has covered the mid-fi and hi-fi range of the audiophile market. With the recent booming of the budget market, Astrotec decided to make their debut with a pair of ultra-affordable releases – the Vesna and Vesna EVO.

The Vesna EVO are the “upgraded” version of Vesna – they come with detachable cable design but cost near 1.5x the price of the standard version.
If you are looking for a pair of entry-level IEMs with a mature tuning, the Vesna are definitely a pair of IEMs that you do not want to miss.
Bottom Line

Astrotec's Vesna IEM are a suitable budget option for those looking for a pair of reliable and affordable IEMs. The bullet-shaped shells and straight cable are comfortable and hassle-free. Furthermore, the included USB-C to 3.5mm dongle adds considerable value for Android users.

What We Like
  • Easygoing warm sound signature
  • High quality cable
  • Precise bass with sufficient rumble
  • Great isolation with deep insertion
  • Includes USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle
What We Don't Like
  • No dongle inclusion for iOS users
  • Cable microphonics when wearing in straight down position

Other companies have followed a similar design when releasing lower cost models. Campfire Audio released their entry level model, the Comet, and although costing close to 10 times the cost of the Vesna, they have a similar bullet style shape. This design caters to those who are looking for a simple plug and play solution.

Company Introduction

Founded in 2002 by several members with long experience in the audio industry, Astrotec believes in the concept of “continuous exploration”. The brand name “Astrotec” is made up of Astro (Astronomy) and Tec (Technology), which carries the meaning of embodied technical exploration and pursuit. Astrotec utilizes cutting-edge technologies in producing their products, to deliver better listening experiences to consumers.

Technical Specifications

Packaging

The Vesna are packaged in a simple but classy cardboard box. The package includes a frequency response graph, as well as technical specifications. Included are three pairs of silicone ear tips and a carrying case.

In addition to these standard accessories, the Vesna come with an unusual USB-C to 3.5mm dongle. If you have an Android phone and are an enthusiast on a budget, this dongle is a welcome and unexpected inclusion.

Unfortunately, iPhone users don’t get anything special.

In the box

  • Vesna IEMs
  • 3 x silicone generic stock ear tips (S, M, and L)
  • 1 x USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle
  • 1 x carrying case
Astrotec is generous enough to include an USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, in addition to common accessories like ear tips and case.
Astrotec is generous enough to include an USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, in addition to common accessories like ear tips and case.

Cable

Vesna features a fixed cable, similar to many budget IEMs. It is made of oxygen-free copper (OFC) and is covered with a transparent polyurethane (PU) sheath. It is common for fixed cables on small shells such as these to exhibit considerable microphonics. Unfortunately, this is the case here as well.

The copper wires are visible through the transparent PU sheath.
The copper wires are visible through the transparent PU sheath.

As the cable does not have pre-formed guides, it can be worn over-ear, which reduces the level of cable noise significantly.

The 3.5mm TRS unbalanced plug exhibits the same simplistic design of the Vesna.
The 3.5mm TRS unbalanced plug exhibits the same simplistic design of the Vesna.

Design

As mentioned above, the Vesna feature a simple bullet-style design. The shells are constructed from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy. Each shell has a small L and R mark on top to indicate left and right, respectively. The rear surface of the shells exhibits a metallic sky blue coloration that adds some vibrancy to the overall appearance.

Despite being fairly long, the nozzles have a solid lip, making rolling the ear tips easy. Near the base of the nozzle, there is a very small air vent. Bullet shape IEMs are generally very comfortable and provide effective isolation, and the Vesna are no exception.

As compared to other bullet style IEMs like Final Audio E series, Vesna have relatively longer nozzles providing deeper insertion.
As compared to other bullet style IEMs like Final Audio E series, Vesna have relatively longer nozzles providing deeper insertion.

Internals

The Vesna use a 6mm dynamic driver with a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) diaphragm. LCP diaphragms have good flexibility to handle different kinds of music notes, delivering speedy attacks and clean decays.

Just like with all diaphragms, in order to produce sound, the LCP diaphragm vibrates, causing air to move, which results in sound waves. The properties and material of the diaphragm is essential to produce high quality audio reproduction.
With the inclusion of dongle in the packaging, the Vesna provide everything Android users' needs for their everyday carry (EDC).
With the inclusion of dongle in the packaging, the Vesna provide everything Android users’ needs for their everyday carry (EDC).

Vesna Sound

The Vesna is rated at 30 ohms impedance and 102dB sensitivity, requiring more power than a typical pair of IEMs. Even so, they are not too demanding and can be used with a smartphone or with the dongle provided. Nevertheless, they are improved if paired with a more powerful source.

The Vesna’s sound signature can be classified as warmly neutral. They are comfortable to listen to with a smooth flow of music, massaging your eardrums. After long working hours in the fast paced semiconductor industry, I find them suitable for my night listening before ending my day.

Soundstage dimensions are average and the shape is rounded. Even though it is not as wide as most, the transition is seamless from the front to the sides. The nimbleness and speed of the driver contribute to effective instrument separation, thus improving overall resolution. The Vesna are adept at placing instruments in a reasonable fashion and imaging is reasonable.

The small Vesna sit well in my large ears, exerting no pressure that could cause irritation.
The small Vesna sit well in my large ears, exerting no pressure that could cause irritation.

Bass

Vesna’s bass is slightly elevated, and it is just slightly above neutral in terms of intensity. The progression from the sub-bass to the mid-bass is reasonably linear, resulting in an overall powerful and confident sound. Fullness in the bass is well-achieved by combining slightly rounded note edges and natural decay while preserving a tranquil feel.

There is no difficulty keeping up with the pace of low-frequency instruments, such as kick drums and bass guitars with the 6mm micro-driver. In addition, the moderate level of bass does not bleed into or obscure the midrange.

The aviation-grade aluminium alloy shells of Vesna give them a premium look - you'll never expect this pair of IEMs cost less than USD$20.
The aviation-grade aluminium alloy shells of Vesna give them a premium look – you’ll never expect this pair of IEMs cost less than USD$20.

Midrange

The midrange possesses a natural, organic sound that is resolving yet indulgent. Neither graininess nor harshness can be noticed in the upper midrange. Although the profile is not overly detailed, the instrument separation is good and the quality of the LCP driver is evident.

Despite being full-bodied, the lower mid-section is not colored. In addition, the vocals possess an organic, natural quality due to their size and density. The vocals aren’t overly forthright, but they sound cozy and reassuring. The 5 kHz dip in Vesna produces a warming effect on instruments and voices, as well as enhance midrange.

The FR curve is printed on the back of the box to provide a preliminary introduction to Vesna's sound profile.
The FR curve is printed on the back of the box to provide a preliminary introduction to Vesna’s sound profile.

Treble

Clarity and definition are provided by emphasizing the lower treble. In order to ensure a non-fatiguing listening experience, the upper treble is rolled-off. Consequently, it is not a very precise treble, but it is clear and without sibilance or sharpness.

It is possible to retrieve significant detail, but there is a lack of air and sparkle as a result of the warm treble tone. In spite of this, Vesna’s high frequencies maintain a relatively accurate timbre thanks to the laid-back nature in the upper treble.

The easygoing sound signature and tamed treble make Vesna a great choice for those who are not comfortable with piercing and harsh treble.
The easygoing sound signature and tamed treble make Vesna a great choice for those who are not comfortable with piercing and harsh treble.

Where to Buy

Conclusion

Astrotec’s Vesna IEM are a suitable budget option for those looking for a pair of reliable and affordable IEMs. The bullet-shaped shells and straight cable are comfortable and hassle-free. Furthermore, the included USB-C to 3.5mm dongle adds considerable value for Android users.

Despite the strong competition in this market, the Vesna offer a lot of solid features for a very low price and are worth considering.

If you are looking for a pair of entry-level IEMs with a mature tuning, the Vesna are definitely a pair of IEMs that you do not want to miss.
If you are looking for a pair of entry-level IEMs with a mature tuning, the Vesna are definitely a pair of IEMs that you do not want to miss.

3 comments

  1. Great writing.. Yet i only have one question? Which one is better, the e1000 or astrotec vesna? Better in terms of technicality (soundstage, imaging, detail/separation). I dont have any sound preference (either warm or bright or neutral is okay for me) but i need a good earphone to replace my msr7se as my daily driver for gaming and commuting. Thank you for your response

  2. It is believed that these headphones sound very bad with a regular smartphone. Tell me, is that right? Do they need a powerful player?

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