If you are looking for a pair of headphones with active noise cancellation, and you don’t want to be a Bose-wearing lemming, then you’ll want to check out the Velodyne vQuiet Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones. The vQuiet headphones have a unique look; they offer good sound, and they do an excellent job of blocking out noise. Available now for $299.
The tag line Velodyne uses for the vQuiet headphones is “Tune Out. vQuiet.” It is an appropriate tag line since the active noise cancellation offered by the Velodyne vQuiet headphones offer a 90% reduction in sound. That translates into a significant reduction in the noise that reaches your ears. The result is a quieter environment and, if you are listening to music, a significantly improved audio experience. As Velodyne puts it, “This pure sound allows you to focus on nothing but the music you love.”
The Velodyne vQuiet Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones have a unique look that is anything but commonplace. This “Signature Style” was created by artist Marta Hall. Hall, as it turns out, is the President of Velodyne. In that role she oversees the design and development of new products. The vQuiet is one such product. To my mind she succeeded — the vQuiet headphones have a unique look that impressed me when I first removed them from the box and has only grown on my since. As I point out in the video, Hall might want to consider turning her attention and talents to improving the headphone packaging.
In the Box You Will Find:
4 foot, 3.5 mm (3/8″) audio cable with inline controls
1/8″ to 1/4″ plug adapter
Micro USB charging cable
Since the vQuiet headphones are designed for travel they have a collapsible design that allows them to be folded into a much smaller package that is easier to store or throw in your gear bag whether you are heading out for the day or for a week-long trip. I do wish the headphones came with a hard case so they are truly protected while in your gear bag. Unfortunately, Velodyne only saw fit to include a soft pouch.
Features and Specifications:
- Outstanding sound quality and noise canceling
- Intuitive controls
- Energy efficient design with exceptional battery life
- Collapsible design for easy storage
- Driver size: 40 mm
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 105 dB/1 kHz/1 mW
- Impedance: 32Ω
I appreciate the fact that Velodyne kept the buttons and controls to a minimum. There are, in fact, just three ports and a single button. That is a striking difference when, for example, compared to the button-rich Phiaton CHORD MS 530 headphones. (Read our review.)
The left ear cup has a simple on/off switch that controls whether or not the active noise cancellation is turned on. Beneath that is a 3.5mm input for attaching the included cable.
The right ear cup has a microUSB. Above it is a second 3.5mm port.
I appreciate the fact that, depending on the placement of your audio source, you can connect the cable to either of the two earcups.
Speaking of the cable, it is a heavy, woven proposition that includes an inline microphone and remote. The controller looks and feels a bit less substantial than the cable itself but should hold up over time.
There is one additional control that is deserving of mention in its own right. The Velodyne logo on the left ear cup hides a highly functional, not to mention oh so awesome, “Monitor” button. Press and hold this button and the noise cancellation is bypassed and ambient noise allowed in. It is a terrific way to have a quick exchange with someone without having to first take off the headphones.
All of this leaves open the most important question — How do the Velodyne vQuiet Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones sound, and are they worth the $299 price tag? The short answer is — good and yes. The headphones look great, and the sound is in keeping with their appearance. They are also quite comfortable. I wore the vQuiet headphones for a few hours at a time while prepping this and other reviews and didn’t find much if any discomfort. Yes, these headphones have a unique style and aesthetic but that was not accomplished at the expense of their audio quality and comfort. In a word the Velodyne vQuiet headphones impressed me! If you are in the market for a pair of noise canceling headphones and have about $300 to spend these should be among the option to consider.
What I Like: Comfortable; Good noise cancellation; Sound good; Noise cancellation by-pass button; Fold nicely for storage and packing; Feel sturdy
What Needs Improvement: Terrible unboxing experience; Only a soft pouch included
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample