Zen 2.0 & Black Review – You call these earbuds?

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SOULSIK APPROVED :

VENTURE ELECTRONICS ZEN 2.0 BLACK AWARDED AS THE BEST EARBUD

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video review here

INTRODUCTION

 

Because I am a neuroscience major, facts are important to me, so let me start by stating a fact. “earbuds are inferior to headphones in sound quality.” This is what reviewers out there that I respect (and that is only a small minority) believe and have tested. Now I will have so many shouting “snake oil” when I say stuff like the zen 2.0 and black is like headphones. On the other hand, I will have fanboys crush me with dislikes on video reviews of well known brands and it doesn’t take a negative review but just questioning the purpose or practicality of it. But I stand by my reviews. I will not bull shit what I hear. I do what I do because I love music and what it has done for me, I will never lie about music. So when I say “these are amazing, these sound like headphones,” instead of being skeptical and crush me with dislikes because I praised an earbud, try them out and then talk. Because I was just as skeptical as you were going into this.

DISCLAIMER

The zen 2.0 black was purchased by me for a discounted price and zen 2.0 normal was sent to me free of charge for comparison/review. My reviews will stay unbiased. After all, if someone sent you poop to review, will you be happy to give it a good review because it was for free or discounted price?

ABOUT VENTURE ELECTRONICS

This company does something that no other company has ever done and that is to admit that perfection may not be feasible. This is true in many cases but not many companies come out and say it. This company is honest from the root. They also carry the same mindset as us AUDIO-MANIACS “We will never stop striving for perfection.” They do 3 things to strive for perfection:

  1. They want to break the notion of EXPENSIVE = BETTER SOUND. They strive to make great sounding products for best value possible
  2. Creating products that are inexpensive but does not sacrifice build or sound quality
  3. Creating positive and honest relationship with their costumers and fans by creating products that they themselves would be proud to use

With that being said, VE’s presence in the HI-end audio does not fall behind. VE is the first to introduce hi-end earbuds, which is priced for 358usd with premium cardas cable and the first in the world to introduce true balanced portable amp with full spec desktop connector. which is the ra2.0b.

Does this sound like a great company to you? I am normally not impressed with company descriptions but I was inspired by how they kept it so REAL, HONEST, and most importantly shared their PLANS & how they will achieve it with us.

This is the company description that I wrote way back when I first bought their monk plus to review it and until this day, I stand by it.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

zen 2.0 & Black

Style                 Earbuds

Communication           Wired

Connectors           AUX

Vocalism Principle      Dynamic

Plug Type           L Bending

Sensitivity           108dB(1mW)

Frequency Response Range  16-23000Hz

Line Length           1.2m

Resistance           320Ω

Time on market  2015

 

WHERE DO I BUY IT?

You can buy it directly from their website: https://www.veclan.com

TALKING WITH THE OWNER & COSTUMER SERVICE

I deal with a lot of companies but venture electronics have been the most pleasant experience for me. I purchase a lot of things from them and it is also true that they send me a lot of the stuff for review and I am open about it, there is no secrets. But I also have not seen a single complaint about their products and costumer service. Venture electronics is on their way to create their brand name and is very cautious, yet take pride in their work. They also do not send review units like crazy, I had to prove myself as a good reviewer. But as pleasant as Wild Lee is as an individual, he is a no bull shit type of person and so am I. My reviews are all honest and if he ever creates shit, I will tell him he did. Because that is what I believe “respecting” is. Like I said in my Bio, company’s Have a choice to fix it or fuck it.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ZENS

Zen 2.0 Black was first introduced along with runabout 2.0 amps for the perfect matching sound signature they were going for. Zen 2.0 normal was introduced later on to reduce the cost for those who wanted to try out the Zen 2.0. I will be reviewing their top of the line runabout amp, the RA2B soon and not to spoil anything but the zen 2.0 black sound far superior paired up with their own choice of amps than other amps like the Schiit Jotunheim.

BUILD QUALITY

The build quality of both the zen 2.0 and the black is an earbud shell with different cables than the original monk plus or the asura 2.0. The zen 2.0 comes in a descent red cable that gives a signature look to the zen 2.0. It’s bigger brother comes in premium cardas cables with neutrik terminations.

The zen 2.0 black’s cardas cables have a springy nature to them but I found them to be premium to the touch and less problematic than what is claimed by the owner himself.

Also If you are ever worried about breaking your earbuds, because they are earbud build quality, I never broke anything from venture electronics but I believe they have a life time warranty when you buy certain things from them. You are able to reach Wild Lee (owner of venture electronics) on my discord or on facebook. If you are still worried about costumer service, see below.

PRACTIALLY

THE FIT: They fit as well as the monk plus fits. I do not recommend putting foams on these as it muddies the sound a bit. If you are used to foams, then this may make the fit on the zen looser, but they also have other hook style or donut size one that does not cover the hole where the sound is coming out.

SOUND ISOLATION: These are earbuds and they do not have sound isolation as part of the deal but they did seal well in my ears, enough to make them not leak too much sound. However, sound leaking into your earbuds will not be preventable

PAIRING: These are 320 ohms and that is 20 ohms more than the HD650s, which is a headphone. You need an amp to drive them properly. You can drive these with phones or digital audio players quite well but will not sound right…. at all. It will sound lean or muddied.

SUGGESTED USE: Use them at home if you can, or use a portable amp.

SOUND QUALITY

LOWS – Surprisingly I am not able to make a claim that earbuds are not good for bass here. These have bass and to even a bigger surprise, they have tighter bass than most headphone or IEMS. But of course, these do not compare to headphones with actual big bass or even that of the HD650s. They have a bass response closer to a non bassy headphone. Also extended more than I expected. Overall, the sound signature of the zens offer more or less of a warmer sound due to the excellent presence around these frequencies. In summary, Quality bass but lacks in quantity compared to full sized headphones or IEMs. Also another thing to note it that the zen 2.0 black has a cleaner sound overall and thus “seems” like there is more bass impact and control. Drums sound more realistic and natural on the black as well, but I can’t confirm this as I play electrical drum in my basement.

MIDS –  Now I cannot confirm that the drums sound realistic but I have a guitar and saxophone that I can just play a bit to confirm, and I did just that. Zen 2.0 Black sounds like the real instruments rather than notes. More balanced and cleaner than the zen 2.0 normal but both have excellent presentation in this region. Enough to please the most demanding acoustic addicts. The vocals are perfect and wet sounding, a little closer to that of the HD800s vocals. Although HD800s is nothing like the zens, the vocal presentation was more similar to the HD800s than the HD650s. This means more shouty vocal presence for the lack of better words. In conclusion, both female and male vocals sound excellent and most present with echoes/lip smacks.

HIGHS – While listening to 2-pac’s Skandalous, a classic combination of sub bass, bass and cymbals, I was surprised at how well the zen and the black both presented the highs in detail. However the highs are a bit further away and may seem rolled off like the HD650s.

SOUNDSTAGE/IMAGING/SEPARATION: 

  • Soundstage similar in both zens
  • Imaging is better on the zen 2.0 Black
  • Separation is better on the zen 2.0 Black

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I wrote this review after my video review came out. At first, I was hard pressed to this earbud the first award. In fact, I wanted to wait until something more incredible came to give out an award. We did not wanted to award every headphone out there and create the notion that we praise everything as #1. But I will go with my heart on this one. The Zen 2.0 black will be awarded the best earbud until a better earbud replaces its place.

 

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