Aedle VK-1 Valkyrie

General Information

VK-1 Classic Edition combine minimalistic and refined design with high-definition custom made titanium transducers. Hand-assembled in France.

Latest reviews

Pros: DESIGN, Premium build, Dark sound sig.
Cons: Comfort, Dark sound sig.
Copy-pasted from my post:
Hey eveyone! Zero Decibels here for a review of the Aedle VK-1, a headphone that, in my opinion, is one of the best premium portable headphone out there, and THE BEST sounding on-ear headphone out there. I got mine from my local headphone store, but because they ran out of these headphones, I got the ex-demo version, for half the price. Don't worry, they're still 99% same as the new versions, the only thing I think is different is the right earcup rattle if they're shaking (doesn't have any impact to the sound and the build though).Let's get started!
As usual, I will divide this review into 4 sections; Design, Build Quality, Comfort, and Sound Quality
Design (6/5)
WOW!!!! BEST DESIGN I'VE EVER SEEN IN A HEADPHONE, EVER! These are made in France, so no wonder they'll look awesome. Words couldn't describe how handsome these look. No pics cuz I'm too lazy, but even if I did, the pictures wouldn't even describe how good these look. My suggestion? Go to your nearest headphone store, look for these headphones, and stare in awe, cuz they're THAT awesome-looking.
Build Quality (5/5)
Hmm... Lets see here... Handmade from France... Aircraft-grade aluminium for earcups... Real lambskin leather for the earpads... Manganese for the headband... No reason why I wouldn't give 5/5 on these. I would even give 6/5 if the earcups didn't rattle... Probably just because mine is an ex-demo anyways. The fact that it's handmade might make some models slightly different from the others, like my earpads aren't perfectly align, but that imperfection actually makes it more beautiful to me.
Comfort (4/5)---> up from 3.5
The only bad thing about these headphones are the COMFORT. Right out of the box you'll feel that the clamping force is VERY tight. But if you read the manual, you'll see that you could actually stretch the headband so the clamp can weaken. After I stretched mine, they're decent, but not the best. Even then, it takes time to find the sweet spot. Still very good for on-ears, of course, because of the soft leather earpads. I can't compare comfort to other on ears because I don't have much experience with it, but I think it's still really good in terms of staying on your head. In terms of long term wearability (just made up a word LOL) it's still bad considering it's an on ear.
UPDATE, after a while, the comfort definitely improved. Clamping force is getting less and less harsh on the ears and after 2 weeks or so, the headband loosened up and became more comfortable, so I give them a 4/5, up from 3.5/5
Sound Quality (Overall 4.5/5)
Bass (5/5):
When i put these on my head the first time, all I could think about is how deep the bass goes. For on-ear standards, these MUST be the champions on deep bass, because they reach VERY, VERY LOW. The sub-bass is very rumbly and big, and you could feel the bass rumbles in a lot of bass-heavy songs. The mid-bass is big and full, yet not overpowering. I would prefer more mid-bass, but that could make the sound more uneven and thick, so these are enough. Not too much, not to little. Overall, the bass is very deep and full, it's very textured and detailed. Not boomy, and no bleeding. Big bass that doesn't come with any consequences. Not big bass cannons though, so bassheads looking for giant bass should steer clear from these, and get like a V-moda M100 or something.
Mids (5/5): 
VERY, VERY CLEAR. Any instruments will sound awesome, because of the natural sound of these headphones. No bass bleeding, no recession, just pure crystal clear mids. There's a hump in the upper mids, to make female vocals sound sweeter, and I'd say it's a pleasant spike. Makes the vocals sound very sweet (not as sweet as my MDR-1A's though). Actually, the male vocals sound better then the female vocals to my ears, because the overall dark tonality (we'll get to this later) and the full bass that this headphone gives. Overall, the mids are very nicely executed, very full-bodied and natural, not too forward and not recessed. Just right.
Treble (4/5):
The only thing lacking in the sound is the treble. They sound very smooth (too smooth for me), and they lack a lot of high frequency treble. This is a turn-off for trebleheads, but who in the right mind would buy these for the treble? Because of the lacking treble, the overall sound of these headphones are dark, thanks to the big bass and the lacking treble. This sound signature might be a deal-breaker for some, but for me, who listens to mostly lossy sources, a lacking treble isn't so bad. Plus, even though they lack treble, you could still listen to small details if you listen hard enough. EQ is recommended to increase the treble.

Soundstage and Imaging (4.5/5)
Decent in terms of general portable headphones, and very good, maybe the best in terms of on-ears. Not as open as some over-ears, but who's expecting concert-like soundstage on an on-ear? The soundstage is as big as a little room, if you ask me, so it's decent, but not the best. The imaging is very good, even against an over-ear. You could hear where all the instruments and the singers are placed.
Overall (4.5/5)
If you buy these for the sound only, at the retail price, you're going to be disappointed. These aren't the best you could get at this price point for the sound, (although it IS the best sounding on-ear CLOSED headphone I've heard EVAR) , but combine that with the awesome design (Made in France FTW) and the premium build, you'd be sure to get your money worth. If you could get a discount on these, it'll be a perfect steal. The dark, yet clear and detailed sound definitely seduced me though!
Very comprehensive review and I agree with your comments about the sound quality, as it's very good for closed cans. However, I find that the headband starts to press on the top of my large head after 30 minutes or so and become quite painful. Perhaps I need to bend the headband as suggested by the manufacturer?   
Zero Decibels
Zero Decibels
Yep, I also bended the headband until they were comfortable, now they're very comfortable to me. Still, the surface area of the headband that actually makes contact with my head isn't a lot, so after a few hours, like 3-4, there will be discomfort, so that's still a thing. Maybe that's just me bending them the wrong way though
Just sourced a pair of these second hand, they're like new though. I totally agree with the review but aren't they on-ears rather than over-ears?


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