Ely comes with a nice-looking premium silver-plated copper custom cable. The cable has 8 SPC 28awg thick conductors with a clear soft shielding. The main part of the cable has a tight square braid, yet the cable is still soft and flexible. Above the split, you have each side with a looser 4 wire braid going to a 2pin connector with a pre-shaped clear heat-shrink earhook.
The cable comes standard with gold-plated 2.5mm OYAIDE balanced connector plug with a nice diamond cut grip. The y-split is small and round, with a matching silver finish like in a plug, and with VE logo and “Made in Germany” printed on the back. Chin-slider is a tight clear rubbery piece. The housing of 2pin connectors is like two small silver bullets with an indent id ring on the left side and the actual 2pin connector designed specifically for non-recessed socket of Ely.
The cable connected to Ely shells was very tight out of the box and it took me a little bit of force to separate it, until a few reconnects later it loosened up when I started my cable rolling which I’m going to cover later after the sound analysis section.
It’s a nice lightweight non-microphonic cable, and my only wish here would have been for a matching 3.5mm and 4.4mm adapters, perhaps something similar to DDHiFi adapters.
Since I’m reviewing universal version of Ely, I didn’t have to go through VE on-line Configurator tool for CIEM models where you can customize the shell color, logo, etc. With universal Ely you get instant gratification of their signature design with a clear transparent shell and a special unique faceplate with a weaving blue line pattern. Ely’s acrylic shell with its lacquer layer finish doesn’t look like a typical generic universal design, and instead looks more like custom model.
The shape of the shell is flat and fits comfortably in the concha area of the ear. Depending on eartips selection which going to control the insertion depth among other things, you can get the shell to sit nearly flush in your concha area. While I never tested Ely demo before, a number of people mentioned that universal Ely shell is nearly identical to their demo of custom model. And that makes sense because the ergonomics of the demo design was intended to give you the sound and the experience of the custom version. And just like with a demo, universal design has a thicker nozzle to use with eartips. Plus, at the tip of the nozzle you will find a replaceable ear-wax mesh screen with extra spares included with accessories.
The clear shell gives you inside look of the driver arrangement where you will find a 3-way tri-hybrid system with 4 drivers on each side: BA (lows), DD (mids), and dual EST (highs). The dual EST driver with a common separate voltage transformer is most likely by Sonion, but in my opinion the most interesting part of the design was the switch between BA and DD. Hybrid models typically have Dynamic driver bass and Balanced Armature mids/highs. Here, VE decided to use BA drivers for lows and DD for mids.
The selection and the tuning of BA bass driver felt almost like listening to a dynamic driver with a speed of BA driver. The natural tonality of dynamic driver mids was shaped with a help of VE’s exclusively designed HALC (high-precision acoustic leveling chamber) which you can see surrounding the DD inside the clear shell. And for course, the vivid presentation of highs was courtesy of dual EST drivers.
I will dive into more intimate sound description details in the next section of the review.