Noise canceling over-ear headphone with VTX sound

Otone VTX

Average User Rating:
4/5,
  • From the manufacturers web site...

    Incredible Sound, Engineered to Perfection

    Into the Vortex
    VTXsound’s name and their heritage all comes from their legendary Vortex Drive™ sound technology. VTXsound are the world’s first headphones using this technology, which gives a whole new dimension by intelligently boosting audio whilst turned on.

    An All New Meaning to Comfort
    VTXsound have been designed from the ground up to be comfortable. The design is based on a high grade metal construction, which ensures an amount of flex but also ensures the durability of your headphones, this means that you enjoy the feeling of a perfect fit. VTXsound are also exceptionally lightweight. This is due to the Light Weight Neodymium Speaker Drivers, all this combined means that you no longer have to think about the fact you’re wearing headphones and you might just forget that they’re on.

    No more throwing your phone…
    The inline control within VTXsound’s 3.5mm cable means that you no-longer need to reach for your phone or risk dropping your device on the floor as you can now control you’re experience with just your 3.5mm cable.

    Active Noise Cancellation

    WARNING
    Active Noise Cancellation may cause you not to hear babies crying, construction sites, your boss speaking, people busking, your parents moaning, alien invasions, that guy on the bus, incoming missiles, your partners nagging and that funny goat video...

    Our VTXsound headphones include the latest in audio technology; the active noise cancellation system employed by VTXsound is one of the most advanced in the world. This ensures that whatever you’re listening to, you’ll have distraction free, supremely high fidelity sound.


    Technical Information

    Features
    World's first headphones with Vortex Sound Technology
    Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation of background noise
    40mm Light Weight Neodymium Speaker Drivers
    High Grade Metal Construction
    Inline Remote Control on Gold Plated Audio Cables
    20 Hours Battery Life while using Active Noise Cancellation
    1/4" Professional Jack & Airline Adapter
    Neoprene carry case
    vtxsound-1-1.png

Recent User Reviews

  1. msknight
    4.0/5,
    "Good for the money"
    Pros - Complete package, price/quality ratio, delivers good sound without power to operate.
    Cons - Slightly offset image, tight headband.
    These over the ear phones hit YouTube reviewers in late 2014 and recently they crossed my path for fifty pounds at MorganComputers, which is less than half the original retail price, so I took a punt. The next day I saw them on Amazon for forty. *sigh* As usual, these are made in China but designed and controlled by a Western company, in this case British based Otone. In our modern days of the brand conscious, the UK seems to have a small history of creating headphones that appear and then sink without trace before I even knew they existed. Musical Fidelity did the MF-100 on-ear phones which appeared to follow the same path, coming out to positive reviews but then vanishing off the radar and I only learned of them through a bargain bucket notice. I bagged some for myself, but returned for more as gifts for my friends, before they finally dropped off the edge. It looks like the Otone units may be going the same way. But the question is... are they worth grabbing for this low price?

    Don't let the appearance of batteries fool you. They are cabled. The bats can be inserted for either the straightforward noise cancelling, or the VTX bass boosting function. The right cup has the switch and left has the cable. This is standard in my experience, but I wanted to check. The labelling isn't obvious at first, until you look inside and just above the cups.

    Exactly what Vortex Sound is, I haven’t got a clue. At first I wondered if it was anything to do with Aureal, who had Vortex on their sound cards in the 90’s, (for those interested - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureal_Vortex ) but it appears not. I could also find little detail on the web site. Indeed, the most common reference was to a group of 25 small magnetic cards that play a central role in, “Life Alignment.” Yeah... right... er...

    My initial research turned up little more than the usual YouTube reviews, thanking Otone for the free review unit, one of whom commented on the colour of the LED so you could see what feature was active... but omitted to mention that they are on the rear of the right cup, so you won't actually see the LED unless you've got eyes in the back of your head, or have the kind of ego that has mirrors on your walls and ceiling. I also encountered a four star review from none other than, “The Mirror,” which I took with a heap of salt when it started talking about the metal headband (it’s plastic) and it described the (sort-of) original price of £119 as, “not cheap by any means.” For completeness, that review is here - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/what-vortex-sound-technology-work-6659051 - so the long story short, there wasn't actually very much in the way of reliable reviews to read, before I took a chance on the phones.

    Opening the box reveals the headphones and, tucked in the back, a carrying pouch which contains a small manual, a 3-pin to 3-pin jack cable, a 3-pin to 4-pin jack, (with in-line mic and simple button control,) a 1/8 to 1/4 inch adaptor, something that looks to be something to do with air planes, and a set of AAA batteries. The only thing that was missing was the kitchen sink. It is rated at 32 ohm impedance. Some point is being made of the 40mm dynamic drivers, but exactly what, I couldn't figure.
    20170621_133418.jpg

    At this price point, I matched them against my SkullCandy Grind phones, which can still be had for roughly the same amount of wonga. I also broke out the MF-100 phones which can still be had if you look for them. Although they are on-ear phones, a comparison for quality at this price was something I thought was worth doing, as they all have microphones and button controls.

    Resting on the head, they do feel a little over tight, but not by much. Snug would be a good description, I believe. The padding in the cups is not flat, but appears to have been deliberately shaped. Simply wearing them cancels a good degree of ambient noise and makes the sound of my typing (on a mechanical keyboard) down to about 40% of what it usually sounds like. That's before even engaging anything.

    The Otone delivers on both bass and detail, while the MF-100 couldn't deliver the bass punch, and the Grind didn't quite have the detail. Not surprising as the Grind is built to boost the bass and the over-ear construction of the Otone is likely responsible for much of the same. Early on in the testing, it was apparent that my Otone was slightly biased to the right. The opening to, "Fire It Up," is supposed to be centred.

    The detail of the instruments and vocals was certainly pleasing even at low volume. Sound stage also hung together nicely, despite the slight offset. The bass didn't overload even when it came to Pertubator and Disturbed. The headphones definitely punch above their bargain price.

    The noise cancelling was one feature that I had no other headphone to compare with, because I live in the middle of nowhere, where the most we have to deal with is rowdy kids who are the other side of the double glazing. With the ANC engaged, a hiss was introduced in to the audio, and it actually lost some of the bass and became a little tinny. If you're encountering the kind of external noise that actually requires noise cancellation, however, then you're not likely to notice the hiss, but the loss of bass was disappointing. Knocking the setting on to VTX, the bass was re-introduced and became slightly thicker than when switched off; in my opinion, overly so.

    I don't have ready access to busy air-planes, so I did the next best thing I could. I took them into our server room. The fans may not be as big as a jet engine, but there's plenty more of them !!! I also grabbed the vacuum cleaner and set to work. Long story short is that the noise reduction didn't make that big a difference. It boosted the volume and the external noise was hidden a little, but not a lot. Certainly not the 80% I read some people claiming. However, the cups themselves do a good job of blocking out a chunk of the noise. Personally, I'd run these without the faff of the batteries.

    Conclusion - The headphones are a little tight, but comfortable on the ears once given a little time to settle. They render both respectable bass and detail and, even before engaging noise cancellation, deliver a pleasing portion of isolation which punches the base a little. The body is flexible to the point that the headband can actually be twisted to a degree without snapping, and the included extras make this a complete purchase. The cups are a little large when compared to modern, flatter units, but given the overall aesthetic I wouldn't feel out of place wearing these on a train/underground/coach journey, or on an air plane. I wouldn't use these for relaxed listening at home or work, however; even if the head band did loosen a little. At this price point, I believe they are definitely worth considering for someone on the move in noisy environments where the headphones could possibly get mistreated a little.

    If I was looking to listen in a quiet home/office on a budget this tight, and I wasn't in to bass, then the open back MF-100 would be my choice instead of the Otone. My main complaint against the Grind is that the foam covering, mutes some of the detail. (in comparison to the others)

    Sources....
    • Teac AI-101DA via optical connection
    • USB Box S to Little Dot 1 with Mullard CV131

    Music list...
    • America - The Staves
    • Blood I Bled - The Staves
    • Brokedown (Live From The Strange Manor) - The California Honeydrops
    • Daft Punk - Pentatonix
    • Fire It Up - Disturbed
    • Hello Goodbye - Red Molly
    • Hole In The Sky (Fly And Crawl To You) - RPWL
    • Journey to Red Star (movie) - Eagles Aerial Theme extended
    • Pai Pai (Gone gone) - Tacticos And His Bouzoukis
    • Problem - Pentatonix
    • Rendezvous In Space - Star Fleet
    • The Uncanny Valley - Perturbator
    • White Squall - Stan Rogers
    20170621_131836.jpg 20170621_131849.jpg 20170621_133320.jpg 20170621_134547.jpg 20170621_134734.jpg 20170621_134737_001.jpg 20170621_135338.jpg 20170621_135427.jpg 20170621_135432.jpg
    20170621_181439.jpg 20170621_181506.jpg
    B9Scrambler likes this.

User Comments

To view comments, simply sign up and become a member!