Testing The Velodyne vPulse
While on a business trip several years ago I made an impulse buy and dropped several hundred dollars on a set of in-ear headphones (aka, “buds”). These earbuds were from a brand I trusted from my years of gigging as a drummer. We’ll refer to these buds as Brand-X , with the X standing for “eXpensive” or “pay eXtra” or “X” as in “multiply what you think they should cost by “X.”
Consequently, this is one of two purchases I never told my wife about. (The other involved a golf club…a used golf club.)
I found the standard iPod headsets adequate for most uses, but while flying frequently for business I noticed that to really hear the music I had to increase the volume to a level that would be uncomfortable in normal circumstances. Like me, I’m sure you’ve been on an aircraft and heard someone’s headset blaring next to you … or maybe even heard it from across the aisle.
My new earbuds brought out the vibrance of the music, from the high range to the mid and the bass sound was impressive. I could listen at a comfortable level and not miss a note. As for the ambiant sound of the jet engines, near silence. In fact, I could sleep undisturbed. I considered making a sign to tell the flight attendants, “Will Wake For Food & Drink.”
I was pleased at my secret investment.
At the same time I always had the nagging guilt that I paid waaaaay more than a reasonable person could justify. The again, I’m a drummer and have an excuse, but … but …
Here’s where you’re gonna thank me because my experience is gonna save you money. Yep, read on.
A friend at Velodyne recently sent me a pair of Velodyne vPulse ear buds and I am very impressed.
I’m not sure how Velodyne does it, but all of the sound qualities I liked about Brand-X are there without the expense. Seriously, I could purchase several vPulse ear bud sets for the same price.
The pluses about vPulse:
- Solid bass with sound quality across the spectrum
- Ambiant noise reduction that was surprisingly good. To test this feature I sat in our living room and I could not hear my wife calling to me while in the same room, nor could I hear our 5 children. (I know, some men have this as an innate ability without earbuds.)
- Volume and Play/Pause controls that work with Apple products
- Flat cord design – I didn’t know why this would be handy until I realized that it prevents tangles – Mikey Likey!
- Multiple earbud sizes and types that come with the product
- Price – seriously, all this at a terrific value
The only drawback from my experience is interestingly similar to the drawback I had with Brand-X. The Brand-X earbuds fit snugly in my inner ear canal and his took a bit of getting used to. I was okay with it until, during a flight, the #&$#* Brand-X earbud separated from the earbud itself and got stuck in my ear! I was more than a little concerned and had to use tweezers to pull it out! I began traveling with a set of tweezers with me because it happened more than once.
With the vPulse, even with the smallest earbuds I can’t seem to fit it into my ear, so I have the opposite problem. On one hand this is okay as I won’t get a bud stuck in my ear, but it’s a challenge on the other hand as they vPulse aren’t snug and tend to fall out easily. I’m gonna chalk this up to human error for now, but let me know if you’ve experienced something similar.
In the end, I rate these a Strong Buy. They perform above-par compared with many earbuds I’ve tried, the manufacturing and style are functional and innovative and they don’t get tangled! vPulse are a fantastic, valuable discovery for this audiophile.