I got to try out the VE Asura 2.0s recently, and after loving the VE Monks I thought it would be good to compare the two for those considering an upgrade.
|Asura 2.0||Monk Plus|
|Cable||1.2m 3.5 mm gold-plated right angle jack||1.2m 3.5 mm gold-plated straight jack|
|Response Range||16Hz – 23000Hz||20-20000Hz|
|Weight||Approximately 15g||Approximately 15g|
The build is rather underwhelming given that it’s pretty much the exact same as the monks. I would’ve like to seen a bit nicer of a cable and maybe a nicer body, but the cable is the main disappointment. At the more premium price point it would’ve been nice to get a more premium build.
Given that they’re built the exact same as the monks, they are just as comfortable as the monks. Which is great! They feel very light in your ear while still feeling secure and stable.
Sound isolation is, as expected, not that great. Don’t expect to be going on anywhere in these if you want to hear anything. Even if you plan on using them at a desk, if you have a loud keyboard, you will for sure hear every single keystroke through these.
This is where the Monks differ from the Asura’s by a lot, having over twice the resistance at 150 ohms compared to Monk’s 64. That being said, my google pixel was still able to power them up to an acceptable level.
Sound Quality (Asura Focused)
The Monks were $5 and a bit of a novelty/fun item, as great as they are they could never replace my IEMs , but with the $78 price point of the Asura 2.0 you can definitely hear that these are a more serious and mature earbud. Soundstage extends a bit further with the Asuras and imaging has also been stepped up. They still have the same airy and light sounding vibes as the Monks and a bit more of a neutral sound signature around the mids. Separation is also better which is very important in these, as there is much more in the spotlight now compared to the Monks where it was mostly just mids.
Highs – (9.5/10) – Highs are exceptional and very noticeably improved over the Monks. The Monks’ highs sounded a bit recessed but these were just right for me. With the general improvements in quality of the highs as well as the increased levels, female vocals did a lot better, and I already loved female vocals on the Monks. If I had to chose one word to describe the highs in these it would be “pure”.
Mids – (8/10) – Mids still sound great. They’re a little bit further back and neutral sounding but still full of detail. I actually preferred the some over Asura’s for some acoustic songs, I felt the stronger and warmer mids in the Monks made for a more intimate and immersive experience. With that in mind, the Asura’s mids aren’t worse, just different. Looking at it objectively the Asura’s mids are much more detailed and you can hear a clear difference if you really listen into the vocal tracks, but in overall experience the Monks do sometimes come out on top.
Bass – (7.5/10) – The bass is once fairly laid back just like the Monks, but there is once again a large upgrade in quality. The bass sounds much more refined, where I once described the Monks as having detailed and clear bass, after hearing the Asuras I have to take that all back now. When it gets to the really low lows, the the Asura’s hold up while the Monks start to sound muddy and just kind of bad. The Asura’s still won’t pack a strong punch and have the same problem as the Monks where it can be underwhelming in bass heavy/reliant songs, but in the songs where the monks did well, these will do phenomenally.
The one downside I have with these is that they’re very genre dependent. Genres like rock, metal, edm, and rap just don’t sound good to me. However things like classical, jazz, acoustic, and vocal oriented songs Asura’s do amazingly, in some cases producing the best renditions of songs I’ve ever heard before. If this is what you’re into I can’t recommend these enough.
If you liked the Monks, you’ll love the Asuras, and you can hear where every dollar is going to. If you’ve never heard the Monks and are considering getting these I’d recommend getting a pair of those first to get a feel for how hifi earbuds sound, because it is much much different than an IEM, and it might not be for you. Overall they’re a great earbud and I think they’re worth every dollar they cost as long as you keep them within their domain.