Current testing methodology is v1.2
June 21, 2023
QoA Vesper 2 is a pair of hybrid earphones from the brand Queen of Audio, or QoA for short.
This brand is a sister brand of the accomplished house of Kinera and much like another sub-brand Celest, it has produced many excellent IEMs that are budget-friendly. Some well-regarded sets include the QoA Margarita, QoA Mojito, QoA Gimlet, and the QoA Vesper.
In this review, we’ll look into the QoA Vesper’s second iteration, and having not heard the original unit, we’ll assess sound and value based on the merits of the QoA Vesper 2 on its own.
QoA Vesper 2
Unique Vesper sound with uncanny scalability – perfect for those who love natural and intimate vocals
The QoA Vesper 2 is a hybrid IEM setup in a 1DD+2BA configuration. It has a great bass presentation with good sub-bass extension and a mid-bass that can kick when driven properly. The midrange is natural and full-bodied owing to a rich thickness that’s unique to itself and its predecessor. The treble has some sparkle but dials it down and complements the overall signature.
The standout feature of the Vesper 2, in my opinion, is its scaling ability with higher-powered sources, allowing it to display a rich and intimate vocal presentation while increasing the power of the bass and overall technicalities.
- Driver: 1 Dynamic Driver + 1 Knowles Balanced Armature Driver
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 23Ω
- Sensitivity: 114dB/mw
- Connector: 0.78mm 2pin
- Cable Length: 1.2m (Detachable)
What’s in the Box?
- QoA Vesper 2 earphones
- 2-pin 0.78mm connector, 3.5mm jack 5N silver-plated copper cable
- 6 pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- Zipped carrying case
- User manual and social media card
Stuff I like
- U-shape sound signature
- Tasty sub-bass that’s non-disruptive and a mid-bass that kicks hard
- Thick midrange presentation and a tonality that’s organic and warm
- Scales with better sources
- Good quality cable and well-accessorized for the price
Stuff I like less
- Needs more power to shine
- Not the best resolution and technicalities for the price
Upon unboxing the QoA Versper 2, the first thing that’ll catch your eye is the faceplate. As much as I want to rant and tell you how beautiful it is.
The Vesper 2 impresses with its nuanced hand-painted faceplates suspended in resin. You’ll love how these things look, especially in person. The best thing is that they get better when struck by light. I find that this IEM gives a touch of the artisan feel and veers away from the mass-produced look.
The second notable thing about this IEM would be the sound. The QoA Vesper 2 continues the legacy of the first Vesper’s signature. Of course, not having tested the OG, I can’t comment on the similarities but the Vesper 2 gives you a really good idea of what that might sound like.
The midrange has something of a special sauce and the thickness of it is just satisfying. The timbre on vocals and instruments is natural and lush. I tried it on a phone and it’s somewhat decent, given the volume is bumped up. Better sources gave better results though.
Overall, my impression of the QoA Vesper 2 is that they’re a very pleasant and well-tuned IEM. Deliberations on value, technical prowess, and the probability of me recommending them are yet to be touched upon, so keep reading.
The QoA Versper 2 has a resin faceplate which I like. Working with resin is relatively difficult since it involves the use of intricate techniques and processes to shape, design, and cure the material – all while ensuring they don’t prematurely crack.
With the Vesper 2, QoA has created something really beautiful and bespoke. It also feels sturdy and durable. The cable is also excellent as it’s rigid and elastic enough while remaining lightweight. Plating the cable with opaque silver is also a nice touch as it avoids the oxidation issues associated with using translucent silver.
Overall, this IEM is superb in its build quality and design. I recently brought them to an audio meet and my friends think they’re a real eye candy.
Fit and Comfort
The QoA Vesper 2 is a universal IEM, meaning it’ll fit many users quite well. It’s one of the most, if not the most comfortable, IEMs in my collection by far. The shape is very ergonomic with no major protrusions while the subtle fins on the body help secure the fit.
The isolation is very good with the tip options provided by QoA. All in all, this is a pretty solid section for the Vesper 2 as it gets an excellent score across the board.
Now let’s talk about the sound quality.
The bass shelf on the QoA Vesper 2 is interesting. Instead of forming a huge bump and sloping down the midrange, the bass slowly glides into the midrange.
The threshold between the bass frequencies and the midrange at 300Hz is commonly flat to achieve some cleanliness out of the sound but the QoA Vesper 2 has it slightly just above the line extending until 600Hz.
Don’t get me wrong, most executions end up with mud due to excessive boosting. The area between 300 to 600Hz is only raised to about give or take 3dBs. It isn’t enough to introduce any murkiness but what it does is give the lower midrange a full and satisfying body.
I’m not talking about the lean chicken meat kind of meatiness here; I’m talking about a thick and juicy tomahawk beef steak.
This parallel to food is as accurate as I can describe the tonality of the QoA Vesper 2 compared to something like a Kiwi Ears Cadenza. I find the pinna gain and treble troughs have roughly a 3.5 dB window from the peak of the bass, at which afterward, they’re level. I find it to be a very curious tuning choice with unexpected benefits.
I find that the gain on the mids makes listening on high volumes optimal. The graph looks like the bass cascades through the rest of the frequencies but since it’s fairly level and unlike a tsunami, the obvious inference would be that the midrange and treble are situated at lower SPL levels.
The volume makes it scale but so do better sources and I find that depending on whether you use single-ended or balance, you can have different presentations of the sound.
My first disclaimer with the bass is that it’s not for bass-heads – or is it?
As I mentioned with source scaling, replay is going to depend on whether you use single-ended or balanced. The bass on single-ended gives an extra oomph and slam while running on balanced is different. The bass on balanced kicks and boy does it kick hard.
On both SE and Balanced occasions, the sub-bass of the QoA Vesper 2 isn’t crazy visceral but it reaches a good depth while the mid-bass has improved impact. On a phone source, I’d say the bass is more mild-mannered and while it isn’t too mellow, it plays more of a supporting role.
Depending on your energy levels and mood, you can choose whether it play nice or throw a party. It’s pretty cool if you ask me. It’s like you have dip switches but all you have to do is use more power or not.
The vocals and instruments of the QoA Vesper 2 are front and center with good weight and timbre. Of course, this is with ample power or volume.
The tonality here is very odd but in a good way. There’s some warmth but not to a point where it’s giving that saturated glaze over the mids. It’s somewhat syrupy without the overly warm overtones.
The sound is rich, textured, and breathy. The presentation can be distant or as close up as you want, and you only have to consider the two parameters I mentioned.
Personally, I always try to use beefy sources and the right amount of volume to drive the mids forward.
I listened to some old albums from Billie Eilish and it was kickass. Songs from the “When We All Fall Asleep” album were pretty satisfying to listen to. The amount of layering coupled with the effects did well on the QoA Vesper 2.
The male vocals on “Bury Me” were on point with their note weight, and the somber ballad on “Listen Before I Go’ was emotional and breathed out right. I could go on and on about it but overall, it was just a great listen.
The vocals and instruments are a joy to listen to with the QoA Vesper 2. I feel like the greatest thing about these mids is that you can place them as close to your proverbial concert seat as you want.
The treble is what I first perceive as track-dependent. Other users have mentioned that the upper end sounds somewhat muted and went on to say that they’re friendly with those who are treble-sensitive. Then some people said that the treble can be a bit spicy at times.
At some point, the QoA Vesper 2 carried my sentiments. The cymbals and high hats sounded a little too diffused, missing the usual pang and crash they normally possess.
A little more bite up top might benefit the treble more but seeing as I have sets that can fulfill that role, I don’t think I want to force the set’s treble to be something else.
Tatsuya Kitani’s “Where Our Blue” sounded dynamic and with ample presence in the treble while the instrumentation remained controlled and moderate.
To an extent, the treble is safely tuned but not blunted or filed off. I find it tries to strike a good balance between easy-going and accurate. Airiness is plentiful and I find that songs with a lot of space rendered in them are recreated pretty well with the QoA Vesper 2’s upper end. A
All in all, although the treble kind of hesitates to don a more assertive approach, what it manages to do goes well with everything else in the frequency range.
I don’t contest the statement that the technicalities of the QoA Vesper 2 could be better for the price. There’s no class-leading resolution here nor the widest head stage. It manages to do everything slightly above average.
To boil it down to its simplest form, they may place just a league above the Moondrop Aria and while this may seem underwhelming in today’s landscape, I don’t think it’s bad. It’s not like it’s claiming to have the technicalities of a $100 set but I do think it’s overshadowed by modern competitors like the Truthear Hexa, for example.
If this came out two years ago and somehow I know all the information I have right now, the QoA Versper 2 would’ve been one of my starter IEMs.
In the fast-moving landscape of Chi-Fi sets, value is the supposed king. A measure of technicalities plays a huge role in many shoot-outs but I don’t agree that they take the most precedence in dictating good value.
The overall tuning of the QoA Vesper 2 is undeniably done well and for what it is, I honestly think it’s quite good. The technicalities aren’t that competitive but so what. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything that can replicate its tonality, not to mention its amazing scalability.
This one’s a keeper.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.