First off, I’d like to thank the folks at VSONIC for providing the VSD1 review sample for the price of shipping.
The VSD1 is the latest in a rather long line of budget in ear monitors including the VC02, GR99, GR02 and others that promises high quality sound for around $50 or so. While I haven’t had the opportunity to hear any of VSONIC’s other budget offerings, I was quite impressed with the GR07 Bass Edition I purchased and reviewed some time ago. When the opportunity to review the VSD1 presented itself, I was happy to do so. So, does the VSD1 live up to the lofty expectations surrounding it? Read on to find out.
Accessories: The VSD1 includes two pairs of silicone eartips, a pair of silicone ear guides, a shirt clip, a soft drawstring pouch and four pairs of foam eartips in various colors.
Design and Build Quality: With plastic black housings and a silvery cable, the VSD1 certainly doesn’t stand out, visually but seems to be pretty solid. The movable nozzle seen on the GR07 Bass Edition is also present here, which is a nice touch. It’s not as pretty as other VSONIC IEMs I’ve seen but since I always value function over form, the VSD1 is a very nicely built IEM for the price.
Oh, and Comic Sans for the model name on the housings? Really? Comic Sans? Now this isn’t something I’m taking points off for (if I gave out points) but…it’s Comic Sans.
Comfort: The VSD1’s design might make you think it’s designed for over the ear use but it’s a fairly standard straight down design that feels fairly comfortable and fits my outer ear very well.
Isolation: The VSD1 isolates about as well as one can expect from a vented dynamic driver IEM, which is to say average.
Microphonics: Microphonics are good for the most part.
Burn in: The VSD1 was given 50+ hours of burn in and no significant changes were noticed during that time.
The VSD1 features a beefy low end with excellent extension all the way down, giving me flashbacks to the GR07 BE. Though the VSD1 can’t match its elder sibling’s linearity, presenting a mild midbass hump, its ability to produce deep, rumbly sub-bass is very impressive.
The midrange is rather thin but pleasant, with a noticeably dry character, similar to the GR07 BE but not quite as detailed or transparent. It is impressively clear, especially for something that sells so cheaply. Mids are presented in a slightly forward manner and somewhat aggressively detailed, reminiscent of the now discontinued MEElectronics CC51 but doesn’t have the tendency of that earphone to sound a bit strained in some instances. No, the VSD1 handles complex passages with ease but lacks a bit of finesse as it transitions into the treble.
Like the GR07 BE, the VDS1 has a tendency to be mildly sibilant in the upper midrange and lower treble. High end extension and sparkle is impressive though, retaining that slightly dry character but without too much grain. Treble has a slight tendency to be a bit on the harsh side but not excessively so.
The presentation on the whole is a tonally neutral one, possibly leaning a tad cold due to the perceived dryness of the mids and treble but with that big bass to keep things interesting. The soundstage is decently wide and deep with good imaging and positioning.
This is an earphone that really comes alive with EDM and Hip-Hop music, with both of those genres playing to the strengths of the VSD1.
At $50 or so (on sale for $42.51 at the moment) from Lendmeurears, the VDS1 is an incredible deal. With a nicely balanced sound signature with big and controlled bass and sparkly treble, the VSD1 stands head to head with previous budget titans I’ve reviewed like the RE0 and others I haven’t (yet) like the Sony MH1C. While I personally prefer the slightly dry sound of the VSD1 to the occasionally “boring” and analytical RE0, I personally prefer the MH1C slightly better. Of course, this is all a personal preference and honestly, in terms of pure detail, I can’t say either of them is much better or worse than another.
It seems like yesterday the RE0 was being lauded for unbeatable sound quality for under $100 and now, the VSD1 is delivering RE0 level quality for far less than even the (now discontinued) RE0. Personally, I think VSONIC has a winner here in the VSD1.