or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Velodyne vFree Impressions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Velodyne vFree Impressions

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So, a lot of lucky head-fiers on the ball in the Deals Discussion thread were treated to a free set of Velodyne headphones as part of a CES promotion.

 

Velodyne made good on the promise, and cans have been showing up on doorsteps over the last couple of weeks.  Seemingly in a wave from NA West -> East.  Velodyne shipped them from California.

 

In an effort to reduce the chatter regarding impressions, I thought I'd start a thread here.

 

My Velodyne vFree bluetooth headphones showed up yesterday.

 

A lot of the early impressions cited build quality that was not consistent with MSRP, and mediocre sound.

 

for a $299 headphone, the vFree does feel a bit flimsy in hand.  It folds.  and when either side is folded, I'm concerned it could be easily snapped off.  I'm concerned about leaving these within reach of my 2 year old.  

 

That said, after charging them up, and pairing them to my iPad, I wore them for about an hour straight.  

The wear very comfortably, and do not slide around.  Especially since I was wondering around, enjoying the wireless freedom.

 

Other than the intuitive +/-  volume controls in the back of the ear cup, The controls for power, play, pause, skip, etc,  on the exterior of the ear cup are odd shaped cut-outs of the plastic cup itself.  They make a lot of noise when pressed, and they're not easy to find.  Terrible, no.  But, could be a lot better.  At this price point, (yes, mine your free, but yours might not be), if they really wanted to go for the gusto, some touch controls a la Parrot Zik might be nice.  Or, just some simple rubber buttons in a linear layout that are easy to find by the touch.

 

As for sound:

Using Spotify on the iPad2, I just went throught my "starred" playlist waiting for something to grab my attention.  This is not genre specific.

A Jazz tune, of all things made me stop and really listen.   "Time to Send Someone Away" by Marcus Strickland.

Nice clean separation.  The drum kit was really snappy.  I enjoyed it.  

 

I plan to run through more Rock, Jazz, and folk with these tonight to see how they perform when compared to my HD414.  Some informal impressions have classified this, the vFree, as a bass-heavy headphone.   Compared to the M-100, it's not even in the same league.   It's looser, more open, and doesn't have the same technical prowess for electronic drums. 

 

At this price point, I would not have been likely to purchase this headphone.  I'm not sure I would recommend that others do.  However, my expectations were set at rock-bottom for these.  This came from the feedback on the deals thread, combined with the curios nature of the freebie.  Overall, I'm pleased.  Score.  This is a nice addition to my collection.  My wife is already eyeballing them for her own... 

 

 

post #2 of 23

Great idea to start this thread and stop clogging up the Deals thread.   Pretty much agree with everything you have said.   Amazing what low expectations can do huh?   I was really expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality and especially the comfort of the vFree headphones.   Using an equalilzer on my iPhone they are certainly acceptable and combined with the convenience of being Bluetooth I could see getting some decent use out of them.   That is if I can pry them away from my teenage son who has pretty much claimed them for his own.

 

My only real problem with them has been pairing them with my Nexus 7.   Has anyone been successful with this combination?   Can't seem to get the Nexus to recognize or find the vFrees.   Could be something with Android and Kit Kat as I have heard there have been problems with Bluetooth and the latest version of Android.

post #3 of 23

I like em. 

 

$0 headphones made me like them even more. 

 

Having a 3 year old with another on the way makes me like them double more.

 

I was initially against wireless anything, but it's grown on me. Very quickly. Should've used different material for the construction rather than the recycled Fisher Price plastic they threw together. The buttons for skipping tracks worked seamlessly on my Y580p laptop. Cheers Velodyne! 

post #4 of 23

Just got mine today.  Charged them and am listening wired right now.  I usually don't like on-ears but they are pretty comfy.  I also think they sound pretty darn good, at least in wired mode.  I was expecting overwrought base and recessed mids but I think the bass and mids seem fairly well balanced so far.  For just out of the box (and certainly for free), I'm very pleased.

post #5 of 23

A question I had after looking at the manual for the vFree on line.   Did people get a wall charger as well as a USB charger?  I only received the latter.  Manual states what comes in the box and it says both.   Not that I received a box either.   Just a pouch.   Certainly not complaining given the price but leads me to believe perhaps we received refurbs or returned headphones?   No sign of that looking at the headphones themselves though.  In perfect condition.

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcharlie View Post
 

A question I had after looking at the manual for the vFree on line.   Did people get a wall charger as well as a USB charger?  I only received the latter.  Manual states what comes in the box and it says both.   Not that I received a box either.   Just a pouch.   Certainly not complaining given the price but leads me to believe perhaps we received refurbs or returned headphones?   No sign of that looking at the headphones themselves though.  In perfect condition.

 

No wall charger here either. Same scenario as you. Mine wasn't in the best condition.. the paint near the hinges is already flaking off. #runonsentences

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

No wall-wart with mine.

Charged using iPad adapter for speed.  worked off my old kindle charger/wire too, though.

 

My package included the following:

* bubble wrap for the kiddies x2

* pouch

*a little cardboard box containing

       * cable with a 90 degree plug on one end (nice touch)

       * usb charging cable

       * instructions card

* brochure for the "skins"

* vFree, folded on one side

post #8 of 23
Yeah, same items received here. Cosmetically these headphones are pristine, my only complaint about looks being the design for buttons only being on one side. The asymmetrical look will most likely bother some. Yes I own headphones with one sided cable which is also asymmetrical, but I don't count the cable as being part of the headphone.

I noticed immediate comfort issues, which only allowed them to remain on my head a couple minutes. The uneven distribution of clamping force bothered my ears quite quickly, with virtually no pressure at the top of my ears, and my earlobes being pinched.

As far as the quality of the sound, I will have to post another time, which I apologize for because all I've commented on is secondary to its purpose. I'll try to remember to A/B it with Harman Kardon BT, which looks to be fairly equivalent in cost and background. Or maybe Onkyo's new BT headphone, which has a much cheaper cost.
post #9 of 23
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I got mine a few hours ago, charged it up and now I'm listening to some old school rap, so far it's pretty good for hip-hop. It's a good headphone for use during chores and stuff when cords get in the way. It's paired it with my Samsung Galaxy Player 5 and using CM11's dsp to eq the bass down a bit and add a little in the highs and it's a pretty fun headphone.

Not bad for a free headphone.

I'm glad I got the silver, no fingerprints for me :normal_smile :.  

This is not a headphone for purist, they will get lost looking for details in the highs, the bass will give them ulcer and the build quality will probably give them nightmares.

 

To thank Velodyne I'm going to buy their $25 white skin so I can pimp it myself. I can't wait to put spinners on mine.

After some time with the vFree it's a pretty good headphone for hip-hop, but it does need to be EQ to sound good.

The bluetooth worked great for me, did some chores around the house, clean up the kid's room and the signal never weakened. 

 

I think the high msrp came from the bluetooth. If Velodyne improved the build, price it around $150, and include a better cable they can convert and/or draw better sales from the beats solo or sol tracks crowd.


Edited by RoMee - 1/30/14 at 5:43am
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saoshyant View Post

I noticed immediate comfort issues, which only allowed them to remain on my head a couple minutes. The uneven distribution of clamping force bothered my ears quite quickly, with virtually no pressure at the top of my ears, and my earlobes being pinched.
 

 

Sit the headband far back on your head and it seems to fall into place. Still not ideal, but moving the headband farther back made it seal a whole lot better for me with a noticeable sound change.

 

Just got mine today, so can't really fully comment.

 

But...initial impression is that they charge pretty fast, getting them to fit is a little weird. The build quality is pretty plasticy and cheap, -- for the $300 MSRP -- although I'm not too worried about these just falling apart for no reason, I of course wouldn't treat them too roughly though. Padding seems pretty soft, but like Saoshyant said, the weight distribution is a little weird and that may cause irritation -- they angle in at the bottom like a sideways C rather than an upside down U :D. Sound wise they have some impact on the bottom end, possibly some issues with bloating and drowning out the top end, also they seem a bit harsh on 'S' sounds -- not really unusual for headphones/earbuds. Buttons are a bit weird shaped, I feel like they may work out though, they are pretty intuitively placed although I could imagine this better. Plastic is also a fingerprint magnet(black)

 

For free they are great, for $300...no way, although I have not used other BT headphones, so take that for what it's worth. And again, I haven't put a lot of listening into these.

post #11 of 23

Mine are currently charging. I popped them on with the cable for about 10 minutes and watched a portion of a cartoon. I have to say first impressions are impressive considering these were free. Not incredible of course; the comfort leaves a bit to be desired and they feel as durable as a paper airplane, but I can't complain about free. Hopefully the bluetooth is decent and I can use these as my cleaning headphones.

 

Some early impressions.

 

As others have said these do have reasonable bass. So they play well to bassy genres and tracks. I enjoyed OceanLab's "Lonely Girl" but I couldn't stand it for some of my favorite live jazz and blues tracks. Listening to "What Plant is This" by The Seatbelts sounded like I was listening to the music with a cup wrapped around my ears. It was muffled, positional queues were completely absent, and there was no energy. Daft Punk's "Within" sounded quite nice. The piano intro was bodied and had a nice decay and I liked how it blended together with the guitar. But in the same song I don't feel the emotion in the vocals. It feels like the vocoder is singing as though it wasn't invested in the song. And I didn't care for them listening to a song from Wicked, it was just flat and blah.

post #12 of 23

They charge from my computer just fine, and fairly quickly, no wall-wart needed. Not very experienced with on ear headphones but I could see how these would not be the best quality. The uneven clamping power is very annoying, but after a little while I forget about it. Cordless is very convenient, i Tried to find other higher quality BT headphones but couldn't really find anything spectacular. Any suggestions? I saw that someone mentioned a hk and onkyo pair in a post up above, ill have to look at those. 

post #13 of 23
Somebody able to make a comparison with mdr-1rbt or something similar?
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashade View Post

Somebody able to make a comparison with mdr-1rbt or something similar?

I don't know how the 1RBT sounds like but if it's anything like the MDR-1R than the vFree isn't on the same level, you're not going to get the same level of detail and quality from the vFree.


Edited by RoMee - 1/30/14 at 6:33am
post #15 of 23

Sounds like my package included the same items as everyone else: phones, drawstring bag, usb wire, 3.5 plug, button diagram and an advert for skins.

 

This is my first experience w/ bluetooth 'phones, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of sound I'm getting when pairing w/ my iPad for 30 mins of video watching and some gaming.  The build doesn't even seem that bad... likely a result of the ultra-low expectations I had from others' reviews.  We'll see how they fare with my less-than-careful kids...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Velodyne vFree Impressions