vPulse In-Ear Headphones
- Product Review (submitted on March 2, 2013):
Sound: 5 / 5.
The bass is clear, dynamic, deep, loud and immense, without being overwhelming and tiring. Most headphones with lots of bass have a terrible loudness effect in their sound making them very exhausting to listen to for more than couple of minutes - not these. I can listen to these for the whole day and my ears are not the least bit tired.
Compared to the bass, mids and highs are somewhat quiet and high end rolls off quite early, but sound is very clear and pleasant, with very little to no distortion. Very easy earphones to listen to. For the sound signature, I would call them "musical". They work great with any type of music, but e.g. electronic music really benefits from the great bass response.
Even though the sound is already quite satisfying on low volumes, the louder you go the more these bad boys wake up.
My other favourite earphones around the same price range are Hippo VBs, and in my opinion vPulses wipe the floor with Hippos in every aspect. Especially considering the price, these sound amazing!
Build quality: 3 / 5.
Right earpiece was missing the aluminium logo plate from factory. Like some other buyers, I live in Europe and wanted these desperately enough to order them from an unauthorised seller on eBay US. Alas, no warranty.
I contacted Velodyne as I was willing to purchase the logo as a spare part but unfortunately they are not available.
The paint has already chipped off a bit from edges of left earpiece. I reckon this is because the edge rims seem to be painted instead of anodized.
The gold plating on the plug is so thin that it has already worn off after just less than three months of occassional use.
The clip provided with the headphones is totally useless. Too small, bad shape, slippery plastic, and hardly any spring force.
The iDevice remote buttons are plasticky and flimsy, and almost seem like an afterthought compared to the nice aluminium earpieces, but have kept working so far.
The tangle-free flat cable is great. It gets a bit stiff around freezing temperatures, but is still soft enough not to crack. And the best thing, it really does not tangle! Hardly any memory effect either.
A big plus from providing four sizes of earbuds, two pairs each size. It was easy to find a pair that fits my ears, and I still have a spare pair!
Sound isolation: 4 / 5.
For passive headphones, vPulses isolate external sounds very well, which when combined with the great sound would make them the perfect pair for commuting, if it wouldn't be for…
Microphonics: 1 / 5.
Now this is the only reason why I'm still looking for the perfect headphones for commuting. Microphonics are the WORST I've ever heard on any headphones. The tangle-free cable seems to catch even the slightest rubbing, tapping or movement, which you will hear as a very loud, bassy noises through the earpieces. This makes them almost useless while on the move. You can compensate this by increasing the volume a fair bit, but it will still annoy the hell out of you. This is a real shame, as if it wouldn't be for the microphonics, these headphones would be great for commuting. Now I'm only really happy with them while at home or in the office, sitting still, which kind of defeats the point of having small, portable, great sounding earphones.
Overall: 3 / 5.
If it wouldn't be for the terrible microphonics and average build quality, these earphones would be a killer in every aspect in their price range. A very nice first try from Velodyne though, and I have no doubt that the second generation in-ears from Velodyne will be something the competitors have to look out for.