Review: Velodyne vQuiet

Velodyne | Over-Ear Headphones | $ 299.99

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For the past three decades, Velodyne has proved themselves to be very strong in the sub-woofer business.  Although they have sub-woofer roots, Velodyne has recently ventured into the headphone business and have since created a large line of headphones covering: in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones.  The Velodyne vQuiet Headphones are their over-ear active noise canceling entry into this line of audio products.  

Specifications

Driver: 40 mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 105 dB @ 1 mW

In the Box

Audio Cable with Remote and Mic
Carrying Pouch
¼” Adapter
Micro USB Charging Cable

InTheBox

Design

The vQuiet has a very unique design that seems to be distinct to the Velodyne line of on and over ear models of headphones.  The housing designs are shaped like a thinner leaf while the color choice for the vQuiet is matted black.  A circular, glossy, brushed, and blue Velodyne logo is centered on each leaf.  The color scheme of the headphones seem to simply disappear due to the minimalistic nature of the design used.

Design

Design: ★★★★

Audio

The vQuiet does offer active noise canceling that requires that the audio is also processed through the internal amplifier on board.  When using NC, the sound of the headphones becomes less bassy, the midrange also loses a little bit of lushness.  Otherwise, the signature of the headphones is warm and lush.

NC

The low end of the vQuiet is well-balanced overall.  Despite having a strong low-bass focus, the bass never really overpowers anything.  It still offers a firm and distinct punch despite the stronger low-bass focus that allows impacts to be felt.  The bass isn’t tight or fast however.  Going down lower, the sub-bass offers very good performance by offering texturing that is solid overall with subtle fluidity to it.

As we enter the midrange, we do find that the vQuiet does an ample job detailing in the lower midrange.  The sound isn’t aggressive which keeps the signature warm and lush.  Upper midrange clarity isn’t the most striking, and could use a little more presence.  This carries over to vocals as the upper vocals don’t have the energy or power they should.  Instead, they find themselves very inviting with deep lushness that creates a warm feeling.

With most warm signatures, treble does tend to take a slight seat back; it’s no different with the Velodyne vQuiet.  The lower treble isn’t staggering or the strongest anywhere, but it offers a snap that has good presence and decent detailing.  Extension does seem to be lost however.  Going up top, details are definitely there and separation done quite well.  The splashes are audible, but not strong.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The build quality of the vQuiet is actually pretty great overall, there are no real structural deficiencies.  As with any pair of 300 dollar pair of headphones, a case is included with the Velodyne vQuiet.  In this case, it’s a nice carrying pouch that’ll hold the headphones as well as its accessories inside of it with room to spare.  The pouch isn’t that large and will fit in most bags.  The pouch has a nice, suede-like finish to it.

Case

Velodyne uses plastic for the housings of the vQuiet.  The plastic used feels very firm and most likely is thick.  Overall, the matted plastic has a nice finish to it that looks good, but also seems very well built.  The extendable arms on the vQuiet utilize strong metal.  Overall, I feel that the housings are very well built, despite being composed out of plastic.

Housing

Going up the arms leads to the headband.  There is a thin shaft of metal that runs the length of the headband providing a stable skeleton for the headband.  Surrounding the headband is plastic as well as the padding on the underhand side.  It’s strong with a good amount of stiffness.  Like the housings, the headband seems to be well built despite having a plastic exterior.

Headband

Fabric is used by Velodyne on the exterior of the cable that is included with the vQuiet.  This ensures that the cable is strong and resilient while maintaining good flexibility.  With that said, the cable doesn’t tangle easily due to the thickness of the fabric used.  The construction of the cable is well thought out.

On either end of the cable is the same headphone jack.  The only difference between them is that the Velodyne name is silkscreened onto the side that plugs into the device.  Otherwise, the headphones jack is the same jack that employs a lengthy strain relief and is angled at 90 degrees.  Gold plating is also used to ensure that the it’ll resist corrosion.

HeadphoneJack

Build: ★★★★

Comfort

The pads on the Velodyne vQuiet are ovular in shape.  The oval is very long and thin which may stop it from fitting over larger ears.  Other than that, they offer an ample amount of depth and are very comfortable to wear.  The pads swivel up and down, but not left to right to give you one dimension of adjustability overall.  The headphones are relatively light in nature.  Combining that with the soft pads allows users to wear them for hours without discomfort.

Pads

Comfort: ★★★★

Value

The Velodyne vQuiet are priced right at 300 dollars.  They aren’t the cheapest headphones around, but do have some stiff competition in this price range.  V-Moda, Phiaton, Bowers & Wilkins, along with several other brands offer headphones in this price range.  Few of them, however, are an over-ear, active noise canceling model that can offer sound quality comparable to the competition’s.  Additionally, as with most headphones nowadays, a remote and mic is attached to the cable.  With that said, these headphones definitely do have an overall good, maybe great, value.

RemoteMic2

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Velodyne seems to be doing a good job with their headphones; that is if the vQuiet have anything to say about the line.  The sound quality is competitive with the other 300 dollar headphones out there while the active noise canceling does a good job reducing bass.  The design is very unique, yet subtle at the same time.  Overall, the vQuiet is a very good package and should be considered when purchasing headphones.

I’d like to thank Velodyne for the product sample.

Overall Score

★★★★

Velodyne vQuiet

 

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