Velodyne vPulse review: Velodyne vPulse

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The Good The Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones offer very good sound, highlighted by impressive bass response. They also have a distinct design and have an inline microphone/remote for Apple iOS product users.

The Bad The earphones aren't supercomfortable and may not fit everyone equally well; the inline remote will not function with most non-Apple smartphones.

The Bottom Line While some folks may encounter come comfort issues, the Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones offer excellent sound for the money and will particularly appeal to bass lovers.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 8

Velodyne has made subwoofers for a long time -- and very good ones at that -- but has only more recently got into the headphones game with vPulse, a stylish $99 earphone that comes in black or electric blue and is equipped with an Apple-friendly inline remote/microphone for making cell-phone calls.

As you may expect from a company that makes subwoofers, Velodyne's earphone delivers impressive bass, so you're in for a treat if that's your pleasure, especially at this relatively modest price point. But before I get into their sound, let's talk design.

These are a little larger than your typical earphones and may not be a good fit for certain users. They sit pretty comfortably in your ear thanks to an angled stem (or post), and the aluminum housing doesn't pinch up against the inner ear lobe (this was a bit of a problem with the otherwise excellent Bowers & Wilkins C5s). While they fit me pretty well, I did test them with a few other folks, and the response toward them wasn't universally positive (as far as the fit goes anyway).

As with most in-ear headphones, this model comes with various sizes of single-flange silicon ear tips. But a hat tip goes to Velodyne for including four different sizes in each black and gray, along with one extra set for a total of 10 ear tips. One of the four choices should allow you to get a tight seal. You also get a simple, well-designed zippered carrying case and a clip for attaching the 43.5-inch-long headphone cord to your clothing.

The Velodyne vPulse comes in electric blue or black and has a flat, tangle-resistant cord. Steve Guttenberg

Other pluses: the headphone cord has a flat, linguine-like design that really helps cut down on tangles, and the cord terminates in an L-shaped plug that should outlast a straight plug.

I only used the Velodynes vPulses for 10 days so I can't speak to their long-term durability, though they do seem well-built with a distinctively stylish look. That said, you'll definitely get more mileage out of them if you keep them tucked into that carrying case when not in use.

Made for iPhone
If you're an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (third generation or later) user, the earphones have the aforementioned Apple-friendly integrated microphone with volume controls and a call answer/end button that also doubles as a playback control (one button push to pause, two to skip track forward, and three to skip back).

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