With three drivers and an ergonomic design, the Clear Tune VS3 brings more to the table than your average in-ear monitor. But with a price of $499, does the sound justify the cost?
Clear Tune VS3 Review
The VS3 comes with a carrying case, six pairs of eartips, a cleaning tool, and a 1/4” stereo adapter plug. There’s also a user manual in the box, though you probably won’t need it.
That’s because these earphones are remarkably simple in appearance and use, even if they rely on intricate drivers. The earpieces sport chrome faceplates and nozzles, while the bulk of the housing is plastic.
A braided 4 ft (1.2 m) cable loops over the top of the ear, eliminating excess cable noise. The whole product feels light yet solid, and the comfort is real.
Frequency Range: 20-16000 Hz
Impedance: 20 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 124 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
As revealed by these specifications, the VS3 offers a fairly standard frequency range (albeit with a slightly short high end). The nominal impedance of 20 ohms migh seem low, but works perfectly with portable players and smartphones. Sound Pressure Level reaches a decent 124 dB, and you should have no problem getting decent volume out of these earphones. Lastly, Total Harmonic Distortion isn’t given by Clear Tune, but I would place it somewhere around <0.3%.
The low end of the Clear Tune VS3 houses decent bass, good detail, and strong control. The resultant sound is lively, articulate, and clean. Despite a whisper of compression in the upper lows, the sound remains impressive. You’d be hard pressed to find better lows at this price.
Great detail and good fidelity jump to the fore here. Without any real compression or distortion, this clean midrange easily compliments the low end. Vocals and instrumentation seem equally balanced and layered.
No headphone is perfect, and the VS3 is no exception. Despite the impressive lows and mids, the highs miss the bar. Sure, there’s some detail in the high end. However, the relatively bright high end has a tendency to devolve into a tinny cacophony, missing nuances while simultaneously drowning tone.
With a decent sense of depth and some placement, the soundstage on the VS3 isn’t going to whisk you away to a musical fantasia. That being said, the sound is still amazing, and it will add plenty of depth to almost any track you throw at it.
Still comfortable after about two hours. Sweet sassy molassey.
The low end may grow on you. At first, I wasn’t that impressed. But cycling through more and more tracks and paying attention to the lows reveals a surprisingly competent low end.
Here’s the straight dope on the VS3: it’s not a boomy-bass earphone endorsed by an adolescent’s favorite rapper. This earphone is a competent monitor with extra attention paid to the lows and mids, but missing a good high end.
For those seeking bumpy bass at the expense of actual detail, skip this model and buy some trash from Beats by Dre. If you need that luscious high end, consider the more expensive Clear Tune VS4 at $499, or the Westone UM Pro30 at $399. While the UM Pro30 will definitely offer more definition in the high end, it will lack much of the detail found in the VS3’s lows.
Of course, if you’re one of those weirdos who really wants to hear detail in the low end – whether you listen to rock, hip-hop, or music that relies heavily on male vocals – the VS3 offers a mesmerizing listening experience.
Delivering detailed lows and mids, the Clear Tune VS3 strikes a unique chord with critical listeners who are sick of the same-old same-old. And while the price of $499 may place this earphone beyond the means of a casual listener, its niche remains uncontested.