A Vision of Audio Excellence | Vision Ears VE10 Review

A Vision of Audio Excellence | Vision Ears VE10 Review

With their last few releases, Vision Ears has been dialing in a clear identity in their flagship IEM tuning. VE10 aims to take elements of recent releases like the AuraEXT and Phonix LE and bring them together in IEMs that blend accuracy, technical performance, and musicality for a compelling sonic experience. Does it succeed?

Build and Design

Vision Ears continues to stand out with their IEM designs. VE10 has an anodized aluminum shell with the same sort of futuristic aesthetic as Vision Ears EXT. Inside you get 10 drivers: one dynamic driver and nine balanced armatures. The included cable is a silver plated 6NOCC copper with a custom litz structure. It has a great look and feel to it, providing the sort of quality construction you should expect at the $2999 price point. The cable is 4 feet long and terminated with a 4.4mm balanced connection. I should also note that the 2-pin connector is firmer than other Vision Ears IEMs that I've used, and less likely to come loose accidentally.

Vision Ears VE10 Review

While Vision Ears has been very consistent in terms of their visual and material design, IEMs like Phonix and EXT have had issues when it comes to comfort and fit. VE10 offers big improvements there, providing an easier fit that’s more comfortable than most of the brand’s flagship offerings. The nozzle is still a little bit larger than the average IEM, but not nearly as large or difficult to get a good fit as the aforementioned Phonix or EXT. With the fit and comfort improvements, you should have an easier time getting the best sound possible out of VE10.


VE10 is an amazing all-arounder, offering a balanced tuning that delivers textured, physical bass; rich, detailed midrange; and treble with clear, natural extension. Combine all that with a three-dimensional soundstage and excellent imaging and it’s hard to pick out a single standout characteristic – or to find anything to complain about with VE10.

Vision Ears VE10 Review

The bass might be the first thing you notice about VE10: with a combination of deep extension with a hard hitting midbass. Along with that is strong detail in bass instruments that lets you feel the texture of the kick drum skin as the impact slams you in the face.

If the bass is the first thing you notice, what you’ll find next is that the midrange doesn’t suffer at all from the power and dynamics of the bass. There’s just a hint of warmth in the low mids with an incredibly clear presentation of detail in vocals and instruments. Vocals are crisp and clear, leaning just slightly forward in the mix.

Don’t worry - the treble isn’t left out either. The top-end remains nonfatiguing while providing nice air, extension, and resolution. You get the breath in the vocals, the soaring highs of violins, and a touch of grit and edge in electric guitars, all without feeling harsh or sharp.

VE10’s soundstage is moderately wide and well rounded, providing space for horizontal, vertical, and front-to-back imaging. Instruments are presented with a  weight that lends to a realistic, holographic stereo image. Like the rest of the presentation, VE10’s imaging feels natural and grounded, rather than spectacularly vivid or exaggerated.

Vision Ears VE10 Review

On the guitar driven instrumental, “Delicate Day” by Mark Lettieri, VE10 offers incredible clarity on the guitar lines, capturing the nuance of the playing and the details in the subtle effects added to Lettieri’s clean guitar tone. In the rhythm section, the physical impact from the bass drum combines with a roundness and texture in the bass guitar for a full-bodied bedrock of a sonic foundation. The crisp cymbal hits help define the edges of the soundstage, with the cymbal and percussion accents hitting in the spaces around the band and providing a sense of a wider space surrounding a cohesive central unit.

Pearl Jam is also right at home with VE10. There’s a great blend of separation and cohesion in the stereo panned guitars – each offering a unique raw, gritty tone – and there’s almost enough clarity in the vocals to make out what Eddie Veder is saying. Almost. One of the reasons that Pearl Jam’s Ten is such a landmark album is the way they captured the energy of passion of the band in the studio, and VE10 transmits the energy of a bunch of young rockstars on the cusp of a musical revolution 30 years into the future and into your ears.

VE10 captures the emotion in the incredibly intimate vocal that starts “Blue Lips” by Regina Spektor, and brings out the little details in the warm, textured synthesizer that supports the vocal line. As the band builds, accompanied by orchestral accents, the piano cuts through the mix, but retains a delicate touch. The textures of the song are constantly shifting, and VE10 captures each element – amplified, overdriven, synthesized, or acoustic – with emotion and accuracy.

Vision Ears VE10

The deep bass and snappy snare drum form the foundation of the somewhat sparse instrumentation on “Enemy” by Imagine Dragons. VE10 delivers deep rumble and a hard hit on the kick drum, quickly immersing the listener in the song. The vocals stand out with a clean separation between them and the heavy electronic backdrop. The individual elements have a great sense of attack and decay, where VE10 delivers the fast ramp up and extended tail of the highly processed synthesizers. 

Comparison: 64 Audio Volur ($2499), FiR Audio Radon 6 ($3299)

It seems that “balanced sound signature, good detail, and hard hitting bass” is a pretty popular tuning style, with a few IEMs that meet that description having come out in the last year. Two of the more notable ones are the FiR Audio Radon 6 and 64 Audio Volur. How does VE10 stack up with these very highly regarded headphones?

In terms of the build design, and general package, VE10 has the edge, with the most striking design of the three along with the most bespoke package. Rn6 is a close second, but doesn’t quite capture the more luxurious Vision Ears experience. Rn6 does have the best cable of the three, with VE10 being a close second.

Vision Ears VE10 Review

In terms of sound, all three have similar elements, but each also has some unique characteristics. Volur offers the most powerful subbass, while Rn6 has the most overall physicality. VE10 is in between, with a bit more midbass than Volur, but not as much raw slam as Rn6. In the midrange, VE10 really excels with a good combination of body and clarity, while Rn6 loses out on some clarity, and Volur doesn’t have the same sort of weight and thickness. Rn6 and VE10 have similarly balanced nonfatiguing treble with strong fundamentals, while Volur adds some extra top end energy which provides an exciting, vivid top end, but adds some potential for harshness or fatigue.

Volur captures the largest soundstage of the three, but also feels more diffuse, lacking the immediacy and weight in the image that Rn6 and VE10 have. VE10 offers possibly the best balance here between the size of the soundstage, the level of separation between musical elements, and the feeling of body and weight to instruments and voices.

Between the three, it largely comes down to your exact priorities. Radon 6 offers a unique experience with a natural, lifelike presentation bolstered by the power of FiR Audio’s Kinetic Bass system. Volur’s deep bass and expansive soundstage deliver a flagship-like sonic experience with 64 Audio’s signature technical prowess. And VE10 gets a little bit of both, with a balance of low-end power, strong imaging, and a lifelike listening experience.

Vision Ears VE10 Review

The Bottom Line

After Vision Ears’ string of excellent limited edition models, including the Phonix LE and Aura collaboration with Astell&Kern, VE10 brings their streak back into standard production with an impeccably balanced sound and strong technical performance. Despite being priced at $1200 less than the flagship Phonix, VE10 looks and sounds like an absolute top of the line IEM.