EarSonics is one company that needs no introduction and has been a major player in the audiophile world since the launching of the SM3 which many had adored and kept as part of their growing collection. The SM64 was next to be unveiled which also justified flagship status by not only improving on the sonic qualities of the SM3 but also delivering yet another incredibly capable IEM. It comes as no surprise then, that when EarSonics had announced a further IEM in the makings, the news received great reception and the audiophile community were eagerly anticipating its release. Enter the EarSonics Velvet, the first in their new Premium Signature line, and the first to offer sound tuning with 3 different sound settings.
Priced at 749EUR, the EarSonics Velvet is by no means an entry level IEM but has earned its price tag through years of research and development into building a triple BA driver IEM with HQ crossover technology and a dial to adjust for listening preferences. What is interesting about EarSonics is that it has a clear house brand and their product line-up all fit within a certain image as well as having a particular house sound. This shows that a lot a thought is put into each product and EarSonics have certainly developed a cohesive range of unique IEMs for their customers.
What you get
The EarSonics Velvet comes in a classy black box fitted with foam to rest the IEMs and accompanying accessories. Within the box, there is a card of thanks as well as instruction manuals on how to adjust the sound dial.
EarSonics have provided an adequate selection of tips including 1 pair of small bi-flanges, 3 pairs of medium bi-flange, 1 pair of large bi-flange and 1 pair of round disc flanges. They have also provided a 5mm to 6.3 mm adapter, a soft luxurious carrying case, cleaning tools and a flat-head screwdriver to adjust the sound dial. Whilst by no means excessive, the collection of accessories is comprehensive and may even be more than what is needed to satisfy the average audiophile’s needs.
The Velvet comes in a black plastic piano gloss housing which features the innovative sound dial with 3 raised dots to indicate the positioning of the 3 different sound settings. The listener is able to adjust this by turning the dial continuously via the screwdriver provided and following the instructions seen in the manual. This was initially a cumbersome process but is now much easier to perform following a bit of practice and sufficient lighting conditions. I was disappointed to see that the sound dial was easily susceptible to scratches from the screwdriver but of course this had no impairments on the form and function of the dial itself.
The first batch of the EarSonics Velvet was also suspect to quality issues with some listeners experiencing minor cracks on the plastic portion of the right earpiece. EarSonics have since attempted to fix this issue, however, with the release of their second batch improving both the quality and much needed durability of the IEMs.
Another aspect which has tremendously contributed to the durability of the Velvet is the cable and consequent strain reliefs. EarSonics have chosen to employ a tightly braided cable with strong connections to the Y-split and earpiece itself. The over ear cable comes complete with a shrink-wrapped plastic material which is easily adjustable and optimally comfortable for long listening sessions.
Fit & Isolation
EarSonics have pulled out all the stops to make the Velvet an ergonomic experience and to that extent, they have successfully made a fatigue-resistant product both in sonic and physical terms. The housings, although large, rest comfortably on the outer portion of the ear without causing any irritation or falling apart. In terms of isolation levels, I found that they were slightly above average but certainly did have room for improvement given that background noises could be heard from low volume levels.
Page 2: Sound Impressions