Located in the German city of Cologne,Vision Ears is a company dedicated to Custom In-Ears development, also the Compact Monitors successor, who was basically known for its successful line known as «Stage Series».
With a strong focus on innovation they have not stayed in the past, quality and passion for music is very present on all the models, something that the whole team knows how to transmit to the customer.
Going for a Custom model is quite important decision and sometimes not a easy one, especially if this is a top-end model like the VE6 Xcontrol. With 1,899 euros (including 19% german VAT) of official price is also one of the most expensive models on the market, just for this reason the demanded quality level is even higher, something wich chanllenges the entire company.
Attention and customer care by Vision Ears team, both Johannes as Amin and Marcel, was nothing less than perfect. When someone has a full knowledge about the Custom world is able to transmit a nice calm feeling and exclusivity so important for the customer of this kind of high-end product.
Built and Customization
Thousands are the options for customizing these CIEM, enough to ensure that our model is unique and like no other one. Faceplate with different colors and materials like wood or the including carbon fiber on my particular case, the customization level is such that also passes through the case and the cable itself.
You have a small example of what these guys are capable to do in the official gallery section and also on Instagram and Facebook, where almost everyday there’s a photo of their latest creation just before leaving Germany direct for customer:
That favourite number or phrase wich you like or which somehow has marked you can be taken now in your own Custom pair, at the end of the day in small details like your own name on each of the pieces, red to mark the right and blue for left side, puts the difference with respect to other companies that mostly are not able to reach these levels of customization.
What about my customization options?
Starting with the case this has my website logo and also my name. Regarding my VE6 Xcontrol design I have chosen the carbon fibre silver faceplates finish, transparent body, and blue printed 4 number on the left side as a custom option, yes it is my lucky number. As you can also see from the photos my name is both on the inside of the two pieces, as well as the logo on the cable Y-sppliter, which is very good quality and extremely flexible.
Not only the level of customization is remarkable, rather the perfect execution of all these details, find some defect or bubble in the VE6 Xcontrol body is almost an impossible mission, finish is just immaculate in every way. I must admit, I’m in love with the look too.
Inside the box we find everything we need to take care of the VE6 Xcontrol, that includes a textile type bag, cleaning utensil, specific cleaning liquid, 6.3mm adapter, besides several Vision Ears tickers.
Regarding the fit this may be the trickiest part and every customer who receives a pair of CIEM fears about this, however the Vision Ears guys have done just perfect at first time, it is hard to think of a better balance between external isolation and comfort, once I put the VE6 into my ears and play music even at very low volume, I’m not able to hear anyone talking about two feet from me. The sound tube also seems a little strange, unlike other brands there’s a hollow tube and only the two divisions can be appreciate at the end of this canal, each including a small filter which protects the inside from dirt or ear wax. Vision Ears claimed that they found the open construction of the canal has positive effects for the sound as well as for the cleaning; small holes at the tip end can be filled by dirt faster.
What is special about the VE6 Xcontrol?
Vision Ears offers two VE6 variants, X1 and X2 versions obviously both with 6 BA drivers but with two different sound signatures thanks to the different setting of the crossover circuit. The XControl version is designed for anyone who wants the two models in one, switching between the two variants in real time, change to up position and you get X2, and down you have the X1 setting, easy.
Making both position sounding exactly like X1 and X2 versions respectively was a major challenge for the guys of Vision Ears team, the fundamental idea is to change the crossover circuit (frequency distribution through the different drivers) according to the option we choose either up position (X2) or X1 down. Playing with the different settings is easy and fun, also the differences are very clear. It’s just like having two CIEM in one.
To ensure the durability and quality of VE6 Xcontrol the company has choosen an switch click from a quality supply company who made tough fatigue test. Extreme humidity and temperature conditions were passed successfully therefore they are perfectly suitable for the professional audio world too.
That special feeling with the unboxing process, also continues into the first VE6 Xcontrol listen. Despite the apparent «fight» to see who is able to have more drivers, Vision Ears goes right with 6 drivers putting this model to compete with the best in class, thanks to a very advanced crossover circuit. This clearly states that it is not so important «how many» but «how well implemented».
With 122 db at 1mW the VE6 Xcontrol are extremely sensitive, this has its positive side being very easy to drive with almost any kind of source, and against which is quite susceptible to capture all hiss / noise floor from our DAPs or headphone amps . Taking care of the source is a must in order to have as quite background as possible and also a high class sound. With my Violectric V100 desktop headphone amplifier and the expensive Lotoo PAW Gold DAP I had the best performance level with a background noise that while not all black was hardly perceptible. But no worries, connect the VE6 to a good but affordable DAP like the FiiO X1 and you’re getting a wonderful performance with well mastered tracks.
With both positions X1 and X2 available was a rather difficult decision to choose with which one start, here is the brief sound description taked from the Vision Ears website about both sound signatures:
X1: Full and required low-end, incredibly detailed highs and mids present.
X2: Clear and seperated sound with low-end sets, finely tuned detailed mids and highs.
And nothing is further from the real performance of this VE6 Xcontrol, what I hear directly matches with the company description. Encouraged by my preferences to the warm side of the sound, I decided first to try the X1 position. A deep clean bass with a great level of impact, voices that reach the «analog» side well projected with a fantastic and very natural execution, I just love the timbre of this Custom. Clear and well extended highs but without any kind of harshness, just on the smooth side. After trying both this is definitely the more crispy, impressive and with more “wow” factor position between the two, from a first listen.
For the Shure midrange lovers with VE6 Xcontrol no naturalness apex is lost in fact they put on the table an impressed level of resolution and detail that is unreachable even for SE846 flagship, wich were already good enough at this point, however VE6 Xcontrol go one step further with a much more immersive experience in our music and all the little details.
Dynamics are spectacular in both positions, especially if we consider that these are not a full size big driver can, if not the harmonious combination of 6 BA type drivers sounding in a simultaneously way. Being the general appreciation of the much bigger dynamics on the X1 position, with a powerful sound and more weight. For quality rather than quantity could be even a seriously enough level for the basshead outhere perhaps not for the most extreme.
I am not one of them particularly and I prefer a good quality on lower frequencies, keeping a good tonal balance, detail and transparency that allows me to enjoy the good recordings. One of the best things about the Xcontrol is that in both positions we have different sound signatures, offering a level of performance comparable to a high level desktop equipment. Yes, the portable audio is reaching such levels that can make me»forget» my main equipment. Having the sound of VE6 almost anytime and anywhere makes them one of the most gratifying experience I’ve had in the audio world, «hear to believe».
The X2 position (setting the switch up) is the most neutral of the two. It is a more delicate, transparent and clear sound, which loses some weight for a greater overall appreciation of detail, and a transition between the mid-bass and mids worthy of admiration. Everything is reproduced with an accuracy level somewhat higher, voices are now a bit thinner and not sounding so «in your face». It could be the perfect position for monitoring, but also for those who prefer a sound a little less «stressed» and purer, hearing on a easier way all the instruments and all the little details that have been recorded.
As for soundstage with te X2 the sense of air is now increased , having now more amplitude and height, against the greater depth and threedimensionality sound offered by VE6 Xcontrol placed in the X1. Overall I think the last one (X1) is easier to like from a first listen, because of this spectacular and good quantity bass performance. Even with all of this I perfectly can understand that you find the X2 position best suited for your preferences, perhaps more accurate in terms of tonal balance looking this from the neutrality and fidelity point of view. In fact it is the position that I choose for classical music.
I have not found nothing to criticize to VE6 Xcontrol, if something inside the portable audio world can represent in a better way the «perfect sound» is definitely this model, wide soundstage, timbre, punch, precision, dynamics, naturalness, tonal balance, frequency extension … I have everything, and yes with a price point perhaps not suitable for all kind of budgets.
Having almost another different CIEM with just one click is one of the most enjoyable part of the VE6 Xcontrol, just a click to change position and you have the suitable sound signature depending of the musical genre that you are listening.
Sure the VE6 Xcontrol is an expensive CIEM, but after this nice time with them I end up believing that you pay for what you got.
If you feel more identified with one of the two profiles and you are willing to live «forever» with one of them, probably the best decision regarding the budget is going to the X1 or X2 and save the 400 euros difference between the normal versions and the Xcontrol one.
On the other hand if the extra cost does not mean a trouble for you and the idea of having two separate sound signatures in the same Custom accessible anytime it seduces you too, then the VE6 Xcontrol is a very expensive but incredibly good CIEM. If the 1,899 euros price tag bring you at least half of that number in hapiness moments, why not?
Since my VE6 Xcontrol came I rarely use my universal IEMs. This is one of the best models outhere, for sure.
Special thanks to all the Vision Ears team, Amin, Johannes, Marcel and all the people who make this Customs possible .