If you are following the Chi-Fi audio scene, you must be familiar with Venture Electronics, the famous brand behind the revolutionary Monk Plus earbuds. I called the Monk Plus revolutionary as they changed the way I enjoy my music, at a mere 799 Rs they deliver so much value with excellent comfort and smooth sound tuning. But today, I am not here to discuss any more about the Monk Plus, I am here to share my impressions on their single DD earphones, the VE Bonus IE(also known as VE BIE).
VE BIE comes at a very competitive price range(priced at Rs 2,099) where we expect high-performance without hitting the pocket hard. BIE was originally released back in 2019, now the main questions here are, Is it still worth it in 2021? Is it among the best single DD’s out there at its price point with competition from new IEMs such as Moondrop Quarks and Tanchjim Tanya available at around the same price point? We are gonna find out today in this review, let’s begin with the Technical Specifications of the pair.
1. Driver size: 10mm Dynamic Driver.
2. Impedance: 32Ω.
3. Sensitivity: 115dB.
4. Frequency Range: 17Hz-22kHz.
5. Matte Finished Aluminum Alloy Shells.
6. In-line mic cable with 3.5mm termination.
I bought the VE BIE at retail price from Concept Kart, India for my personal use. If you are based in India and are looking to buy BIE, you can buy it from their store from here. (I am not affiliated neither is the link).
Package & Accessories:-
VE Bonus IE comes packed in its rectangular zipper carry case. It is similar to that of what VE includes with some of its earbuds like the Monk SL. The outside has a denim style blue finish with Venture Electronics branding logo. Inside we have the VE Bonus IE sitting with its cable wrapped around it. The package includes four pairs of silicone tips. I am surprised to see a zipper carry case included at this price point with an IEM. The other two that I currently have with me, Quarks and Tanya just included a carry pouch.
What I Got:-
1. VE Bonus IE.
2. Four pairs of silicone tips.
3. Zipper carry case.
Tank, Built-Like a Tank. Yes, these are the exact thoughts that came into my mind when I first saw the Bonus IE. The shells have a bullet-shaped simple form factor with matte-finished aluminum alloy cavities with non-detachable cable. They are very compact and can be used around easily. With a fully metallic build they offer robust build quality, looks like they can easily take a beating or rough usage. The earpieces have a very light golden tone to them. I am super happy with the build quality of Bonus IE, just non-detachable cable keeps bugging me. I am not good at handling my earphones, usually, damage my earphones by stretching the cable(4-5 earphones with non-detachable cable have died one me due to this reason). Other than that an exceptionally good build with the BIE.
Fit & Noise Isolation:-
Being fully metallic, the earpieces do carry some weight but they are comfortable for long listening sessions due to their compact form factor. I wear them simple cable down way. BIE covers my ear canal completely blocking any chances of outside noise peeking in, very good isolation from the background noises.
I bought the VE Bonus IE with an in-line microphone(only this edition is available here with Concept Kart). The mic quality is very good. There are no complaints if you use it for your office calls. The voice transmission is clean. There is no background noise reduction at this price point.
Before beginning on the sound impression part, I must say the VE Bonus IE is fairly easy to drive earphones. You don’t need any fancy gear to enjoy the best with the Bonus IE. It offers exceptionally good performance straight out of a 3.5mm jack on smartphones too. I used Redmi Note 10 Pro, Redmi Note 9, and there were no issues at all. Obviously, using the pair with better quality hi-res players or USB DAC/AMPs improves its performance with a wider stage and deep punch from the lower end.
Love some bass? VE Bonus IE will satisfy your hunger for good bass with its deep-hitting powerful lower-end response. The pair has a smooth U-shape tuning with an elevated bass response. Bonus IE will take you diving deep into your music with its powerful bass response pretty evident from the track “Why So Serious by Hans Zimmer”, you will notice every single beat dropping hitting deep right into your soul. I would say even the bass heads will satisfy with this punchy performance. For me, It complements my regional Bollywood music well, I love those quick punches complementing the other frequencies very well. The entire lower end sounds emphasized, both the mid-bass and sub-bass regions reach deep depths. “Contact by Daft Punk”, “Yaar Ni Milyaa by Hardy Sandhu”, both show the strengths of Bonus IE.
Despite its powerful lower-end response, Bonus IE has good clarity in the mid-range with clean and rich vocals. Yes, there is an occasional bass bleed into the mid-range but the pair maintains good clarity by taking the lower mids a bit backward(Recessed). Vocals take the front space again with elevation in the upper midrange. Vocals have a warm tone to them that makes them sound very pleasing and musical. I personally find the pair to show a clean vocal response despite being such powerful in the lower end, It shows a mature and professional tuning by VE. Though there is a slight lack of air in the midrange you will still be able to enjoy pop, rock, and other genres with good clarity for vocals.
The Treble region has got a safe in-offensive sound tuning, there is no noticeable sibilance or fatigue. You can listen to the pair for hours without feeling tired at all, thanks to its smooth non-fatiguing treble response. The lower treble region has good details with good extensions too. You will notice cymbal crashes are not splashy or sparkly, rather have a smooth nicely extended presentation. I am thankful for this as I am quite sensitive to harsh treble and peaky/sparkly treble makes me fatigue after short listening sessions only. Though with this safe tuning, the takeaway here is the lack of minute details. Detail retrieval is not the best with the Bonus IE. This is highly noticeable in fast & complex tracks such as “Rockstar by Ali Zafar”, till the song has a smooth and slow presentation the detailing is excellent but as soon as the song picks up speed and multiple instruments are presented at the same time, it becomes difficult to pinpoint or separate each one of them. Though this is just me nitpicking, at its price point couldn’t expect better.
VE Bonus IE soundstage is into the head with good depth. Depths can be felt with deep hitting bass response, though the stage width and height could’ve been slightly better. With this intimate presentation, the experience is immersive. Separation and Imaging are above average for the price point.
VE Bonus IE Vs Tanchjim Tanya:-
Tanya came out earlier this year, housing a single DD configuration. How well does Venture Electronics Bonus IE compare with the Tanchjim Tanya?? Here are my thoughts.
>Build quality of Bonus IE is exceptional, nothing beats that at its price. But Tanya at the same time has lightweight aesthetics, allowing for a more comfortable fit.
>Tanya is a demanding set. To experience it at its best, you need to power it well(Usually takes a portable amp too). Bonus IE can be driven straight off your smartphone.
>Both have non-detachable cable.
>Bonus IE includes a carry case.
>Bass response of Bonus IE is impressive.
>Both IEMs have a similar treble presentation with Tanya being slightly better extended.
>Tanya has a wider stage among the two.
It completely depends on the use case scenario and sound preferences with these two. I prefer Tanya for a natural listening session, while Bonus IE for a fun and engaging session. Both stand good at their own place. Though easy drivability is a big plus in Bonus IE’s favor.
VE Bonus IE vs Moondrop Quarks:-
Quarks is available at a slightly lower price point, tbh exactly half the price of Bonus IE. How well do these two compare? Let’s find out.
>Bonus IE sounds cleaner among the two. Quarks has a slightly grainy texture to its output.
>Build quality-wise, Bonus IE takes many points in its favor with a full metallic build, Quarks have a plastic shell and a sticky cable.
>Quarks are very very comfortable to wear.
>Carry case with the Bonus IE, Carry pouch with the Quarks.
Both in terms of accessories, sound and build Bonus IE looks like a direct upgrade over the Bonus IE. But that comes at around twice its price so that was kind of expected between these two.
Final Conclusion About VE Bonus IE:-
It isn’t a surprise that the VE BIE is an excellent performer. It does everything right, starting with its superb build to excellent sound performance, it does everything perfectly for its price point. I personally loved the fun factor the BIE brings to my music sessions without hitting my pocket. I despite having some high-end stuff, keep the VE BIE as my go-to pair every now and then for a casual and fun listening session. If I have to nitpick some issues with the set, I would say only one and that’s its non-detachable cable. But I heard Venture Electronics has now released a new Bonus IE Pro with a detachable MMCX cable design. It would be a perfect set. I hope Concept Kart will bring the Bonus IE Pro here too!!