You mention the words “stage series” to any custom monitor fan and they will immediately nod their head in approval. It is a phrase commonly associated with the now defunct German brand label Compact Monitors who had built up a highly reputable series of CIEM’s entitled ‘The Stage Series”. This series garnished some huge praise from initially the professional musicians who lapped them up and then slowly moving to the audiophile market over the latter years as an equally hungry beast. Compact Monitors had been around for 10-12 years prior to the split and was co-owned by Marcel Schoenen, who went onto form Vision Ears. I actually also managed to spend some time speaking to Marcel as we went along this process during 2014 and he was very clear on how Visions Ears was conceived:
Our vision was and still is to build high class custom In-Ears in terms of fitting, sound and visual design. Some companies are trying to build good quality for a certain price range, but for us quality is the highest duty. We are heading out to be the brand with one of the highest quality In-Ears in the world and being the most innovative. The custom In-Ears we have now, are very well developed and now that we released our new flagship VE6 Xcontrol, we gave a hint of how much innovative power we have.
Vision Ears recently decided to adopt their own “VE” brand over the “Stage Series” brand and as Marcel stated to me, the whole range was developed really like some sort of road map.
Our custom models are very unique in sound. They are all very different in their sound-character, but they also have something in common (fit together very well). When I developed them, the most important thing I wanted to achieve was to create a product line that contains different models that all have their own characteristic and make sense in the overall product line.
Now the VE1-4 range is largely the same product as the older Stage Series 1-4 done during the time both companies where under the same house but in the last year or so Vision Ears have indeed launched new products onto the market that can be considered 100% VE. The one we have for review now is indeed the Vision Ears VE6X which is one of the priciest CIEM’s in the market coming in at €1899 if you happen to live in the EU and less 19% VAT if you order outside of the EU.
The VE6 Xcontrol is Vision Ear’s first 6 BA driver Custom Monitor with a 4-way crossover since the branding change and sits at the very top of the product line as their flagship CIEM in the VE series. There are a few unique features to the VE6 series one of which for the VE6 Xcontrol is the proprietary manually operated switch control system that allows you to choose between two sound signatures. The first is the X1, which is a slightly bass tuned signature, and the second, is a reference level or more balanced sound signature called the X2. You can order the X1 and X2 versions as two totally different CIEM units at a slightly lower price with the additional €90 VE ambiance filter system that you cannot get with the VE6 Xcontrol. For my money the better value is having both housed in one shell with the Xcontrol switch allowing you to flick from one to another without ever changing what is in your ear.
Click here for VE customization process…