The Vision Ears ELYSIUM is the company’s very first hybrid monitor featuring a dynamic driver for the mids, a BA for the lows, and electrostatic tweeters for the highs. It is priced from €2900.

Disclaimer: The Vision Ears ELYSIUM sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at Vision Ears for giving us this opportunity.

To read more about Vision Ears products we have reviewed on Headfonics click here.

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9.5
9.5
Score

When I did the initial run-through of the Elysium a few months back it was really a second initial opinion as I had heard it the first time around in its universal format at CanJam Singapore 2019. I came away thinking this could well be CIEM of the year material. The First Contact in July did little to change my mind either.

I will come flat out and say there is a lot here in the Elysium sound that hits my own personal preferences to an absolute tee so do bear that in mind. However, I am also contextualizing from listening to a lot of unbelievably competitive hybrid electrostatic creations this year. This review has not been done in complete isolation from the competition.

Who will this sound signature appeal to apart from me? You will have to read on and make up your own mind based on the comparison work on page 3 and the sound summary on page 2. Suffice to say though, our score at the end of this review is the highest we have ever given to a custom monitor and there are good reasons for that.

Vision Ears

Tech Inside

The Elysium is a hybrid monitor with a bit of a twist. The accepted norm for hybrids is usually a dynamic driver for the lows, BA for the mids and highs or electrostatic tweeters for the super highs.

First and foremost. Yes, the Elysium is using a dual electrostatic tweeter for the highs, but for the mids and lows, the driver configuration is reversed. Vision Ears and Oliver Marino have opted for the use of a single BA for the lows and a single dynamic driver for the mids. Yes, the mids you read that right.

More than that, the dynamic driver comes with new tech from VE, their HALC system which is an acronym for High-Precision Acoustic Leveling-Chamber. Of course, this sounds like Hulk and to really reinforce that little homage to the Marvel hero there is a strong element of green in the driver chamber design inside the Elysium showcase transparent design.

Specifications

The Elysium is a 3-way crossover system being used, the impedance is very light at 16.4Ω and the SPL is about midway at 105dB.

The SPL is being pegged back I presume by the electrostatic drivers but it is not unusual to see an e-stats hybrid monitor in the low 100s for SPL. One benefit is the likely lack of sensitivity to low noise floors which proves to be the case on page 3 of this review when we tested it.

Vision Ears online store

The Process

Online Store

Vision Ears’ online configurator is one of their strengths. It is multi-lingual, easy to use and pretty much all the design options are there. You do not have to send a special off-the-menu request for any of their core gallery designs. Everything is neatly labeled, and the price clearly displayed.

The tool is still not quite at the 64 Audio or JH Harvey ‘rotating design’ level but it is logical from design to purchasing, to updates and receiving. It is also a little bit more user-friendly but Vision Ears has a ton of shell designs in its favor and makes the choosing experience a bit more fun.

Before with VE, I had to explain it a little, show them a pic and follow their guidelines via email, chat or whatever. It artificially injected a percentage of possible errors in terms of understanding how the final product should look from both sides.

Now the process is almost completely automated from start to finish as well as throwing in an extensive list of accessories just to completely scare your wallet as you waltz through spending alley.

Design Choices

This time around we went with the core branding design of the Elysium as was shown in CanJam Singapore 2019. There is no code name for the design on their online design tool, its simply called Elysium in the faceplate selector.

You do not have to go for this combination by the way. There are 62 faceplates and 16 shell options in total which is a hell of a lot of choices to create something fairly unique. Just be careful though as the higher value options such as wood carry a 100 EUR additional fee and the Premium plate, the Elysium, is 130 EUR for the pair.

Vision Ears online store

Add-Ons

The Elysium comes jam-packed with excellent accessories and a killer box, (read more on page 2), but just in case you want some other items, they do supply plenty before you check out online.

Personally, I do not think you really need them, especially when the stock cable is such high quality and balanced, to begin with. Thankfully, the pricing is not that high and if you do want something like a spare carry case or adaptor they are all available before you make your order.

Customer Service & Turnaround

Guides & Comms

I did some hunting around and sadly, I could not find any audiologist guide on the latest Vision Ears website. That is a bit unusual and leaves you having to rely on people like me on how to do your impressions properly.

I can say though that a VE dealer will be able to guide you properly but in case you do not have one close at hand and have to send them direct to Vision Ears in Germany the following instructions below are compiled from my previous experience working with VE custom designs.

ear impressions

Ear Impressions

I am not sure yet if they will accept digital STL files as I had my impressions freshly done at CanJam in March by VE themselves. However, once done you do not need to send them new ones for a few years as they can pull from their own digital scans of those impressions you send in.

For those who are first-timers creating their own physical impressions, I recommend an experienced audiologist using a good quality clay with mild expansion properties. Your mouth should be in a closed jaw or relaxed mouth for a proper ear impression up to the second bend of your ear canal.

Once completed throw them in a zip-lock bag with a single scrunched tissue, put some air into the zip-lock then close it so the air remains inside. Then pop it in a small food container and give it to your courier of choice for delivery to Vision Ears.

Click on Page 2 below: Meet the Elysium & Sound Impressions

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15 Responses

  1. Winchester Hammer

    I’ve been “lucky” enough to order and receive number 019 of the universal version of the Elysium. After two days and some 15 hours use, I can report that there seems to be some emperor’s new clothes thing going on here with Vision Ears.

    I have the Shozy/AAW Pola39 as well and it’s absolutely clear to me that the Pola39 is the far superior iem at far less than half the price.

    Where the Pola39 is extremely articulate and detailed, but with a solidity and musicality, the Elysium is relatively flat and lacking in dynamics. It also has an extremely unpleasant and pronounced graininess in the upper mids and lower treble. I wondered if there is something wrong with it, or whether the mesh over the bores is somehow detracting from the performance. I can’t imagine it is. But there is something seriously wrong with this iem and I would caution very much against just going blindly into buying it, like I stupidly did.

    I guess I’ll sell these on to someone who is seduced by the ridiculously lavish unboxing experience and the kudos of owning a Vision Ears iem. I think Headfonics has been taken in here.

    Reply
    • asrael erlkonig

      Funny how my experience is completely opposite to that of yours, extremely detailed and articulate in the Elysium universal but relatively meh on the Pola39, with an overly warm lower-mid range (way less boomy bass than the original Pola but still overly warm and not very well defined) that is killing all the dynamics and headstage. Fairly obvious spikes in the high-mids range, but fairly subdued beyond those spikes and in the high frequencies. Regardless of price or other factors I won’t consider the Pola39 to be in the same league as the Elysium.

      Listened to both on balance with my WM1Z and ZX507, low gain.

      Reply
      • Winchester Hammer

        Sorry. Keep trying to convince myself that the Elysium is worthy of the hype. But nope. Afraid not. Interestingly, since posting this, I have heard about other enthusiasts complaining of a similar problem with the Elysium, who have moved to other options. I appreciate this is a subjective issue, but it’s good to know I’m not alone in my views, or that lockdown has somehow messed with my hearing or worse, my brain. The Pola39 unquestionably has the Elysium beaten for me.

  2. M.

    Hi,
    Very nice review! In the synergy section you mention a very nice DAP pairing for the Elysiums (with a forthcoming review) and I was wondering which one it was!:)
    Thank a lot.

    Reply
      • M.

        Thanks a lot for the quick reply!
        Another question about the pairing of the deathonray DTR1 and Elysiums. I read a reviewer saying to be careful when pairing them as apparently for him the sonion electrostatic drivers weren’t firing with it. Guess you didn’t encounter the same problem did you?

      • M.

        To be fair he said ‘activate’ and not ‘fire’. This is his quote:
        “Do not do the DTR1 and Elysium combo. The tweeters somehow dont activate. Sounds dark and boomy with DTR”.

  3. Feelthesound

    Is this small version of lcd 3 or lcd 4, cause what I care about is emotion with very full bass and very good vocals it’s k if the treble is laidback for me .
    I bought Maze Flagship replace my old lcd 3 cause of the weight .

    Reply
    • Marcus

      It is a BA low-end so I wouldn’t say it has the same timbre and weight of the LCD-3. I think the LCD-4 bass weight is fairly neutral, to be honest. The Empyrean is a lovely headphone and I would say the Elysium is close to this.

      Reply
  4. Ken

    Awesome review! I think this is the highest rated CIEM I’ve seen from you yet. Although taste dictates, can you tell me just the differences between this and the Anole VX?

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Marcus

      Yes, it is the highest to date :) Good spot. The VX is a little more neutral for me, and you can spot the difference in the timbre between them both for the mids, particularly on vocals which is an important part of the presentation for me personally. I think a lot will prefer the VX for its all-round performance and switching tech but sometimes you want someone to do something different and stand out from the crowd. The mids on the Elysium is pure quality for my tastes.

      Reply
  5. Julio

    excellent review dear unfortunate friend that prices are too high; Could you tell me which one is better only in sq (more impressive in details and musicality) between the elisiun and wraith? thanks for your answer

    Reply
    • Marcus

      It is much too early to say since we only had the Wraith a few days and have not yet had time to compare these two specifically. However, the aural memory says the Elysium mids are richer and thicker and the Wraith is cleaner and more forward sounding.

      Reply

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