Current testing methodology is v1.2
11 January 2020
10 x 10 x 5 cm
I’ve been eyeing the VE Bonus IE earphones for some time now. I just haven’t gotten around to grabbing one to test since there have been a lot of newer releases worth checking out from competitor brands.
Venture Electronics, or VE for short, is a company that provides good-quality audio products in different price ranges. They’re famous for the VE Monk – a traditional-looking pair of earphones with surprisingly good performance which was enough to get the Hi-Fi community talking.
One of their products, the Bonus IE, doesn’t shy away from the Monks’ notoriety as it has made a name for itself in the community. In this review, you’ll find out how it performs.
VE Bonus IE
Powerful bass, overall mediocre quality
The Venture Electronics Bonus IE is an affordable set that offers tremendous amounts of sub-bass rumble and decent build quality, all for around $20. It’s one capable pair of IEMs, and it’s worth checking out as it has been a treat using it.
- Driver: 10mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm angled plug/non-detachable
- Frequency: 17-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 115±3db
What’s in the Box?
- Venture Electronics Bonus IE earphones
- 4 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- Clamshell carrying case
- Shirt clip
Stuff I like
- Decently tuned pair
- Budget bass cannon
- Excellent sound quality for the price
Stuff I like less
- Non-detachable cable
- Micro-detail retrieval isn’t the best
I want to mention that the Bonus IE is one of the first two products I got from Venture Electronics, the other being the VE Abigail DAC dongle.
The Bonus IE came in packaging that you won’t normally get with budget IEMs. It came in a clamshell carrying case with the Venture Electronics logo. Overall, the packaging was well executed.
The carrying case is a lot better than the white box we commonly see with IEMs within this price range. I hope other brands implement similar alternatives to their packaging.
Out of the box, the VE Bonus IE has a captivating design with its all-metal bullet-style shell construction and a metallic gray finish. It looks pretty sleek. The cable is non-detachable and there are four pairs of ear tips included.
The build quality of the VE Bonus IE is pretty solid. Its all-metal shell construction looks and feels very sturdy and could probably withstand abuse from day-to-day usage.
One obvious disadvantage lies in its non-detachable cable, which has a rubber-coated exterior similar to those found on traditional earbuds. Although thicker than most cables, they’re still very prone to tangling, which may eventually lead to damage, so you have to be careful with them.
Another thing I don’t like about the Bonus IE is how cheap the silicone ear tips are. Yes, you can swap them out but the nozzle is stubby so it can be a problem getting third-party ear tips to fit.
Fit and Comfort
While being relatively larger compared to the usual size of a bullet-style IEM, the size didn’t affect the weight of the VE Bonus IE so it’s still comfortable to wear even for extended periods.
The larger build also didn’t affect any of the ergonomics of the earphones. However, bullet-style IEMs are notorious for having stability issues when wearing them, and sadly, the VE Bonus IE also suffers from it.
There are times when I have to keep adjusting them, which can be a disadvantage.
I had some doubts regarding the cable since it has similar characteristics to the typical rubber cable that’s notorious for amplifying noise when rubbing against different objects. Surprisingly, the cable has significantly less microphonics and it didn’t reach annoying levels as far as I am concerned.
Lastly, the ear tips feel cheap and are of average quality. I recommend rolling the ear tips to get the best out of the IEM’s performance and comfort.
In terms of how the VE Bonus IE sounded, the bass and the upper frequencies are noticeably elevated but not that much to be considered as a V-shaped IEM. They lean towards a more balanced sound signature.
The Bonus IE sets a solid first impression for such an affordable pair of IEMs.
The bass on the VE Bonus IE packs a serious punch and presents a significant amount of sub-bass rumble but with this comes a few disadvantages. The sub-bass occasionally overpowers other frequencies depending on the type of track that you listen to.
On more bass-demanding genres, the sub-bass becomes much more prominent in the mix providing huge volumes on its rumble. The mid-bass doesn’t disappoint either, being evident in the mix itself; the mid-bass was presented with tight thumps. For the most part, it remained well-balanced with the sub-bass.
Even if the bass can get muddy at times, its tuning stood out for me so I’d like to mention that this is the main highlight of this IEM.
The mids on the VE Bonus IE have similar characteristics to those that you usually find on V-shaped IEMs, with the only difference being that it’s not as recessed.
The mids suffer from many midbass bleed due to the tuning on the bass. The mid-bass bleed can be observed on lower frequencies in the mids.
The upper mid frequencies, however, are decent. It retains detail most of the time, especially when listening to tracks where the bass isn’t demanded much – for example, classical music, acoustic, and folk songs, just to name a few.
The treble on the VE Bonus IE is a lot more prominent than the midrange, which makes for a bassy and balanced sound signature characteristic. The treble has decent extension and excellent sound quality overall.
It has no weird tonality or grittiness, and I didn’t experience any harsh frequencies or rough textures in its presentations. The VE Bonus IE isn’t sibilant, plus it’s non-fatiguing even when listening to sibilance-prone tracks.
Overall, the treble has a good amount of sparkle to how it presents sound in this frequency, although I wouldn’t call it bright in terms of tuning.
I’ve tested the VE Bonus IE on different genres of music to get a proper understanding of how they sound and here are my findings.
- Metal / Rock – High gain tracks didn’t work exceptionally well with the VE Bonus IE since it had tons of rumble that muddied up the sound, especially on distorted parts. The mid-bass bleed was more noticeable when listening to some of the tracks from this genre. Tracks used: I Don’t Love You (My Chemical Romance), All The Small Things (Blink 182), Ignorance (Paramore), Cold (Korn), Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson)
- Pop – The VE Bonus IE made pop tracks much more entertaining and energetic but it also came with a few flaws. The bass bled over to the lower mids, which made it smeared and caused a loss of clarity and detail which wouldn’t work for most listeners. However, if you’re looking for that extra oomph on your tracks, you can rely on the Bonus IE to perform as such. Tracks used: Snooze (SZA), As It Was (Harry Styles), Yours (Maye)
- Hip-hop – The sound signature of the VE Bonus IE performed the best when listening to some hip-hop tracks. It emphasized the low end of the tracks, which made them a lot more aggressive and energetic in presentation. Vocals were also emphasized significantly but there were times when the instruments that sit on the mid frequencies lost some clarity and details. Tracks used: LOVE. (Kendrick Lamar, Zacari), sdp interlude (Travis Scott), I Wonder (Kanye West), Superhero (Metro Boomin & Future)
- R&B / Soul – The tracks were energetic in presentation, with a lot more emphasis on the low end. The VE Bonus IE heavily colored the tracks with its sound signature. When it comes to presenting the bass and treble on the tracks, this IEM did a fantastic job in doing so but when it comes to the mids, where most instruments and vocals sit, this frequency got overpowered by the bass which muddied up their sound. Tracks used: LA FAMA (Rosalia, The Weeknd), Blessed (Daniel Ceasar), Moonlight (Kali Uchis), Traingazing (Sam Wills ft. Honey Mooncie)
The VE Bonus IE is a solid budget performer and a bass cannon, as some users might say. It may be a great performer but with so many newer and better alternatives, it’s tough to recommend it.
While this IEM is worth the try, you can find so many offerings in the current market that can outperform it for roughly the same price.
Still, the VE Bonus IE is one heck of an IEM.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
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.