Astrotec Vesna Review: Gateway Drug

  • Small, comfortable shells
  • Great extension on both ends
  • Good value for money

  • Fixed, highly microphonic cable
  • Congestion in busy tracks

Astrotec is a company based in China that specializes on portable audio products like in-ear monitors and earbuds. It was founded in 2002 and the word "Astrotec" was from combining the words "astronomy" and "technology". The Vesna, an in-ear monitor with a bullet type design, is their most recent product. It comes in two variants, with the regular one having a fixed cable, and the Evo variant having an improved, detachable cable. The Vesna currently retails for 20 USD, and was provided to me for free by Astrotec in exchange for this review.

Driver unit: 6 mm dynamic, liquid crystal polymer diaphragm
Impedance: 30 ohms
Sensitivity: 102 dB
Frequency response range: 5 Hz - 22 kHz

Poco X3 paired with FiiO KA3, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The Vesna comes in a pretty small square box. Removing the sleeve will reveal the earphones inserted in a very thick foam and with the cables tied with a velcro strap, and below it is a smaller box that contains a fabric pouch for storage, three pairs of white silicone eartips, and a basic male USB C to female 3.5 mm adapter. As per Astrotec, this is just a simple adapter and does not contain any DAC chip. Underneath the foam there is the instruction manual and a quality control pass certificate.
The shells are made of metal in a very small, bullet type design. The turquoise colored faceplate has this cross design. At the top portion of the shell, the letters L and R are printed to indicate the left and right side respectively. In the dark, there is no way to determine which side is which, so I thought it might have been better if the cross on one side was tilted so that if you touch it, you'll immediately know which side it is. The nozzle has a fine metal mesh filter and a lip to lock eartips in place.
The cable is a basic single core oxygen-free copper cable. This is the type of cable that gets very stiff over time, especially the part of the cable that touches your cheeks while wearing them. It is lightweight, moderately soft and flexible but microphonics is an issue. The noise is loud when the cable gets rubbed, tapped or wiggled. The chin slider is made of hard rubber, while the splitter and 3.5 mm gold plated plug are made of metal.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows are full of impact and have a substantial elevation. Subbass rumbles vigorously with excellent depth, and decay that is longer than average. Midbass also hits strong. It sounds thick and can sometimes get a little too boomy on bass heavy tracks, resulting in some occasions of bass bleed.

Overall, the really small 6 mm driver of the Vesna outputs surprisingly strong bass that is definitely reaching basshead territories. Not only it is strong, it's ability to reach really low frequencies is also impressive. 

The mids are partially upfront, with an average level of clarity. The mids also have an added hint of warmth that causes the male vocals to be thicker and more forward, but renders female vocals to be slightly nasal on some rare occasions.

Overall, the elevation in the lows carries through the mids. Instruments in this section have sufficient articulation but can sometimes feel like they are pinched together.

The highs, just like the lows, are increased in both the quantity and extension. Treble reach is slightly above average as well as the length of the decay. Lower treble has great energy too, giving instruments in this section a more solid attack.

Overall, the Vesna is able to showcase sparkly, vibrant highs. If you are treble sensitive, perhaps the Vesna can become fatiguing for long listening sessions, but it shouldn't be an issue for people without that sensitivity.

Soundstage and Imaging:
This is where we feel the limitations of the small dynamic driver. Stage expansion is slightly below average. There is not much height to the stage, and the width is just barely adequate. Imaging accuracy is good and has sufficient clarity. Instrument separation and layering is good on acoustic tracks but congestion is really noticeable on complex tracks especially in metal and rock genres.

The Vesna is a great option for casual listeners, those who are just starting to go down the rabbit hole of this hobby, or for those who are wanting to add something inexpensive to their collection. One small complaint is that it comes with a fixed, noisy cable. But nevertheless, relative to the price, the build quality and performance the Vesna can give you is definitely something worth considering.

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