Is this the right choice? Read On
Sound is a critical part of computing. Appreciating and enjoying multimedia content relies on it. The weight of this rests on the type of headphones you use.
Velodyne’s vFree Bluetooth Wireless Headphones were clearly designed with providing a superior experience. The discerning listener was clearly in mind. The big question is are they able to produce rich sound? When you are dealing with a device that costs $ 299.00, the expectation runs high.
With a nearly 30 year history as makers of extremely high end subwoofers, their reputation and brand indicate that they are more than capable of producing high grade products. Evidence of that commitment begins with appearances.
Aesthetics were obviously in mind with the creation of these headphones. Focus on that area is no doubt inspired by Marta Thoma Hall, President of Velodyne. Her experiences as an exhibiting fine artist have impacted the design of the vFree and her vision of it.
Visually the headphones are definitely coached in the ethos of less is indeed more. Eschewing the garish for the cool and serene, the smooth lines are not disturbed by raised buttons. The controls are flush to the surface. Only the raised buttons on the volume controls interrupt the smooth surface. Located on the side of the tear shaped phone, they are easily accessible. Learning to navigate the controls on the right side of the headphone requires a little time to handle.
Good looks are certainly appreciated. Considering that devices like this are worn, how they appear becomes an issue. While I like the “naked” version, one can personalize the look via skins. At $39.99 each one has a selection to pick from. It is certainly one way to differentiate your apparatus from the crop.
Available in black, silver and white, one element I noticed with my silver ones I reviewed was the lack of fingerprints. The smooth surface simply did not allow them to appear. This is always a good attribute.
Smart looks are augmented by comfort. There is no good in having headphones that feel like you are sporting an elaborate show girl headdress. If they are not comfortable, your enjoyment will be seriously impaired. Fortunately the plastic material that the vFree is constructed from is light weight. That permits hours of listening minus being made uncomfortable.
Appearances and options are selling points. However, they all become mute points if the sound is lacking. When it comes to providing deep bass tones, the vFree has absolutely no problem navigation that spectrum of music. In direct opposition to the idea that the bass must dominate to the detriment of higher tones, these headphones have struck an ideal marriage of delicate higher tones and lower ones.
Boasting a booming thunderous sound can create for the listener the sound the artist intended. When applicable that can be effective. But this is not universally true when a more nuanced approach is needed. That is where the vFree proves itself to be agile.
A wide spectrum of music does not stump these headphones. Classical music lost none of its detail. Blues, Rock and Roll, Progressive, Experimental, Jazz even Opera all were handled adroitly. The sound detail was remarkable.
Noted on the Velodyne web site, the vFree is stated as being compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. But it not confined to that platform. Android is not a problem. What I found intriguing was that my particular smart phone is not top tiere, but that did not prevent great sound from being produced. I was impressed that my humble handset was producing extremely high end sound. This proves that lower end devices can deliver “the goods” when paired with a very good set of headphones.
Bluetooth connectivity was solid. I was able to walk through an average home, walls and all, and I never lost touch with my handset. Pairing to a device was simple and fast.
Phone conversations with the vFree were decent. Callers at the other end of the phone reported no deterioration in sound.
Included with headphones are a 4 foot, 3.5 mm (3/8") audio bypass cable, a Micro USB charging cable and a carrying pouch. The vFree can be collapsed for easy storage and for travel.
Light weight, comfort and a clean appearance makes for a stylish headphone. At the end of the day everything rests on the quality of sound. Fortunately the vFree does well on all fronts. From aesthetics to overall sound quality, all of the essential ingredients that make for a great headphone are here. If you are searching for a premium high end device, the vFree does not disappoint. No matter what musical style you enjoy, this headphone can deliver the goods. You really cannot go wrong here. Does the vFree justify the cost? Factoring in what category this headphone is part of, this is a pretty good deal.
• Outstanding wireless sound quality utilizing apt-X® coding
• Bluetooth® v2.1 connectivity with >30 foot range
• Optional vFree® skins let you add stylish designs to match your mood & fashion
• Intuitive controls
• High-quality microphone for phone & online video games
• Energy efficient design with exceptional battery life
• Collapsible design for easy storage
• Available in 3 stylish colors: Gloss Black, Gloss White & Gloss Silver
• 4 foot, 3.5 mm (3/8") audio bypass cable
• Micro USB charging cable
• Carrying pouch
Driver size: 34 mm
Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 98 dB/1 kHz/1 mW
Frequency range: 2.4Ghz – 2.4835GHz
Transmission range: Up to 10 m (33’)
Power: Lithium-ion polymer battery, 3.7V/430mAh (rechargeable)
Operating temperature: 0 C – 40 C
Supports Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.0, HSP v1.2, HFP v1.6
Supports codecs SBC, AAC, apt-X
100 hours standby
10 hours talk and music
1.5 hours recharge time