Disclaimer: I own a pair of Asura 2.0 as of writing this review, and was not requested in any way to write this.
Venture Electronics China
I’d previously reviewed the popular VE Zen 2.0, and was amazed by what VE managed to do for an earbud. But while the Zen 2.0 reached mini stardom, the Asura 2.0 seemed to have slipped under the radar.
Earphones that are less hyped tend to be wild cards, which adds to the fun of trying them out. The Moondrop ShiroYuki, for example, turned out amazing despite its deceiving under 15 dollars price tag. As for the Asura 2.0, read on to find out!
As with the Zen 2.0 review, I will just provide a link to Ve’s website for the packaging as it is universal here. Sound impressions will be on this page.
Typical plastic shell like the Zen 2.0. Light on the ears and feels solid enough for daily use, but also feels cheap. The cable is rubber-coated, though depending on the version you can order on VE’s website is silvery-white, not black.
I can’t really complain however, as a metallic build would have no doubt made it heavier and have acoustic effects.
While the Asura doesn’t have the ungodly 320ohms resistance of the Zen 2.0, it still requires substantial power coming in at 150ohms of resistance. So grab a suitable amp or at least a powerful player before hopping in.
The aggression. There is an evident mid-bass push that grabs for attention from the get-go. While it didn’t have the thick slam equivalent to the Zen 2.0, the slams on Asura 2.0 feels closer which contributes to the aggressive stance.
The clarity came in next, with detail pick-ups that are unheard of in the budget (<100) range. All in all, off to a great start.
The mid-bass feels emphasised, with the slams brought close and fast. Sub-bass, on the other hand, felt overshadowed, and while the Asura 2.0 did extend deep, it felt anemic and didn’t have the rumble to present it well.
Personally, I find the Asura 2.0’s bass nimble and detailed with that presentation. Decay is fast, preventing congestion and ensuring the bass remains clean.
There is a very slight overlap with the lower-mids at higher volumes, but otherwise, the Asura 2.0 doesn’t have an issue with bass bleed.
While I find the bass tighter on the Asura 2.0 than the Zen 2.0, I have to say that I find anemic sub-bass troubling, especially with aggressive mid-bass. It is still good in technicalities regardless and performs way above its price point when it comes to the bass.
In terms of tuning, I would say it felt neutral with a slight mid-bass boost.
Asura 2.0 is the embodiment of analytical when it comes to mids. It doesn’t have the immense sound stage of the Zen 2.0, but is still wide regardless with good clarity.
I personally find that Asura 2.0 sounds similar to the Zen 1.0 when it comes to mid-range, though Asura 2.0 has more vibrancy in the upper-mids which Zen 1.0 lacked.
The texture is dry with some aggressiveness. Vocals feel closer and it is easier to perceive positioning than on the Zen 2.0. The detail pick-up is extremely good, and while some micro-details aren’t presented as naturally as I would like them to be, picking them up in the first place with great clarity is a feat of its own.
I do however find that it lacks in emotions at some parts, especially when it comes to powerful feminine vocals, leaving some improvements here to be desired.
As a whole, the Asura 2.0 has an analytic sound with great detail-pick up to complement it. The lack of emotions does hold it back which is quite a pity.
The Asura 2.0 has more headroom than I expected, perhaps even more than the Zen 2.0. There is a nice touch of vibrancy and energy without turning sibilant. Great detail pick-up as always, with a slightly slow decay here.
The treble extends quite a fair bit, which gives makes it noticeably brighter than the Zen 2.0.
I do find the soundstage bottlenecking a little here, which slightly reduces clarity but it is still good nonetheless.
As a whole, well-tuned but lacked a “wow” factor.
The keyword is “detail”. Asura 2.0 sounds analytical but also packs an extremely good detail pick-up speed to match it.
As I really love to hear emotions conveyed in powerful vocals, the Asura 2.0 falls outside of my hit zone. But I could still use it without fatigue for about an hour, which speaks volumes of an earphone that isn’t tuned to my taste.
It may just be coincidental, but I do tend to find earbuds and headphones offering better performances at their price points than many iems. But you do lose out greatly on that isolation (open-backs and earbuds), portability and ease of driving. They may sound great, but the investment needed to bring out the best performance in many of them will result in a much higher actual price point.
Overall Score: 6.6/10
The Asura 2.0 is one of those earphones which simply didn’t get hyped. But it is really good technicality-wise, and the simple packaging helps to keep costs down as well.
If I am to ignore the soft specs, such as fit and size, I would say the Asura 2.0 would give many mid-tiered analytical iems a run for their money. Though you’ll first have to overcome the issue of driving a 150ohms earbud properly.
I believe that this is best suited for critical listening sessions. If you want something for a casual laid-back listening session, then the Asura 2.0 is unlikely to fit the bill unless you pair it with a warmer source. Perhaps give the Zen 2.0 a shot?
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