Ultra-premium accessories and finish, Outstanding seal and noise isolation, Rich yet balanced tuning, Deep soundstage, Punchy and textured bass
Lower separation than most, Larger housings won’t suit all ears
If you enjoy a warm and punchy sound but don’t want to sacrifice balance, the EVE 20 sits within an essentially uncontested niche.
Vision Ears are no stranger to audio, the German company has been hand-making IEMs for almost a decade, with the friendly staff introducing decades more experience from other companies into each design. Admirably, their doors in Cologne are always open for visitors to try their latest models and discuss the ethos behind each one. Lately, the company has been developing their universal portfolio, where previously their focus was more on custom models. The high end Elysium and ERLKÖNIG that previously defined this range now make space for the EVE (Exclusive Vision Ears) series; comprising of a single limited-run model produced and sold during a single year. There is no structure, with each model being unique in its approach, driver count and price point. The EVE 20 is the first to kick off this line-up. In line with its ethos that beauty is found in simplicity, the EVE 20’s 6 balanced armature drivers are arranged in a 3-way bass, mids, highs crossover with a focus on good old fashioned tube and damper tuning. The EVE is outfit in handsome olive/red to harken back to its roots as the “red demo” prototype that initially inspired the EVE line up.
The EVE 20 is available for 1300 EUR incl. German VAT and 1092,44 EUR Internationally excluding tax. You can purchase and read more about the EVE 20 in addition to the direction the company would like to take the EVE series here.
I would like to thank Johannes from Vision Ears very much for his quick communication and his trust in providing me with the VE3.2 and EVE 20 on loan for the purpose of review. The earphones were provided for a 3-week period. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
- Drivers: 2x BA low, 2x BA mid, 2x BA high
- Sensitivity: 120dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance: 20 ohms @ 1kHz
Though the importance of a premium unboxing experience may be debatable to some, Vision Ears really do ensure the user feels pampered and the EVE series takes this to a new level. The outer sleeve has gorgeous debossed metallic print with leading lines teasing the depth and dynamism contained within. The hard box inside has a carbon fibre texture and, further yet, the buyer must peel away a card lid before getting to the goodies. Inside is a gorgeous aluminium carrying case and service kit showcased within their own separate foam inlets. The accessory set is very utilitarian, with a cleaning tool, ¼” adaptor, 3 pairs of replicable wax filters, 5 pairs of Spinfit CP100’s and a Velcro cable tidy.
VE also provide an in-ear cleaning solution in a convenient spray bottle in addition to a microfiber cleaning cloth, an excellent addition for hygiene and to maintain a clean gloss finish. The case, however, impressed me most. From the perfectly uniform anodised finish, laser etched EVE logo to the uber-smooth and satisfying screw-top lid, the experience screams made in Germany. The case is thoughtful too with a rubber interior and fabric lid to protect from drops and scratches. It still isn’t the most portable package that said, so a pouch would have been appreciated.
Vision Ears hand make all of their IEMs in Cologne, Germany and this shows in the superlative end product. You’d be hard pressed to differentiate the EVE 20’s hyper gloss finish and uniform face-plate joins from a 3D printed product, the only telling sign being a very slight undulation to the clear coat suggesting a hand polished over printed product. The deep red and olive colour scheme provides a tasteful complement of colour and awesome contrast to the silver logos. Furthermore, translucent housings offer a glimpse into the acoustic design inside.
The cable is far more standard, utilising a 0.78mm 2-pin connector and bearing a similar design to Noble Audio’s stock cables. It’s a 4-core unit with a square braid, a touch thin above the y-split but very soft and with minimal microphonic noise. The pre-moulded ear guides hug the ears comfortably and aid a stable fit. The lightweight design of the cable makes the IEM easy to wear on the go though the thinner wires are slightly more prone to tangling than most. Nonetheless, this is a perfectly fine experience that only falters when considering that select competitors provide nicer custom cables out of the box around this price range.
Fit & Isolation –
During handling and photographing, I was quite sure that the EVE 20 would not be a comfortable earphone. However, colour me surprised! Though large, the EVE 20 carries its dimensions with great grace and consideration of the outer ear’s natural ergonomics, their experience with custom designs clearly showing here. The housings are large but flat, delivering a very low-profile fit suitable even for sleeping with. They are well-shaped too, likely still a poor choice for smaller-eared listeners that will experience hotspots. However, for my average sized ears, the EVE 20 was comfortable for hours on end. The ear-filling design provides an incredibly stable and locked-in sensation once fit with the appropriate ear tips.
There is higher wearing pressure as a result which can fatigue a little over time, even compared to other fully-sealed monitors. In turn though, fit stability is rock solid, even during running and skipping, certainly sufficient for commute. The sculpted nozzles were well-angled for my ears too, delivering a deep fit depth. Combined with the fully sealed design, the EVE 20 offers superb passive noise isolation with the included Spinfits and foam tips further compound upon this experience. Altogether, the EVE 20 delivers some of the best fit stability and isolation of any universal I’ve tested, making it perfect for frequent travellers and general portable use.