Velodyne has a reputation of putting out some of the most cleanest sounding subwoofers on the market.  Velodyne also has several headphone lines that they have released and we have the pleasure of reviewing the vFree headphones.  My expectations were already high since they have a great reputation with their subwoofers, but how did the headphones fair?  Here’s our review:

Build & Comfort
Right out of the box, I was not impressed.  It has a very low quality build and it almost feels like its going to break if you are even the slightest bit aggressive.  The plastic build doesn’t feel sturdy at all and anytime you move the headphones around you hear the headphones screech and crack.  No headphones should make that much noise unless they are broken.   The all black gloss has a attribute of being a fingerprint magnet and this is no different.  These are also extremely light which is a plus considering everything that comes packed into the headphones.

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The button placement is a bit strange too.  They are all placed on the right ear cup and none of the button have some type of indicator as for what they are.  The only ones that do have some type of indicator is the volume up/down buttons, aside for the fact that they are apart from the other buttons (placed on the back side of the right ear cup).  It is really difficult, at first, to locate each button and have the desired action take place, somewhat frustrating at times).

These on-ear headphones could have a different feel depending on how wide your ears are.  I have a pretty big head and my ears semi poke out so these got uncomfortable for me pretty quickly.  I could feel the hard plastic resting on my cartilage and it makes it real unpleasant listening experience.  As for other people in the office, they didn’t have much problems listening to them for long periods of time.  Maybe its just me.

Sound
This is where some of the slack is made up.  I will go ahead and say that they are not very loud, but thats not always a bad thing.  Usually with headphones of this type, if they go too loud the sound quality actually diminishes and you just end up listening to garbage.  You don’t have this problem with these.  They have a very even sound the bass is a bit weak but overall a very balanced sound.  Vocals are clear and the music is well heard but nothing really shines in this department.  Overall a very decent sound but not exactly fulfilling when you put it up against headphones like Jabra Revo or Urbanears Zinken.

As for how well it performs when bluetooth is on, I was actually surprised.  They sound just a slight bit lower in volume but overall the same sound.  I actually found myself using them more with out the cable than with.  It was also surprising how well it handled indoors.  Like most bluetooth headsets, they handle very well but I actually told my girlfriend to go to the other side of the apartment and it was working just fine.  When I was outside, the only time I heard any distortion was in the train stations when trains were coming and going.  For a bluetooth headset, they performed very well in that aspect.

Extra Features
These also have a built in mic and the ability to customize through Velodyne with Velodyne Skins.  You have the option of adding a skin to your vFree headphones, which are about $39.99 each.  Pretty cool if you want to stand out of the crowd but I would have like to see true customization by adding your own picture like something you would see on Gelaskins.

Phone calls were handled pretty well also.  On very few occasions the person on the other side of the line couldn’t hear me but in the similar situations with other headsets, it would’ve resulted the same way.  Nonetheless a very satisfying experience.

Battery life
The battery life is noted to last at least 10 hours of talk time.  On average, it lasted me about 8 hours on complete usage; whether it was phone calls or listening to music, I kept them on and rolling.  This is actually pretty good for bluetooth headphones since I kept them on for complete days just to see how they performed.  The most interesting part is how fast these charge which is noted to be 1.5 hours till 100% charge.  These babies can charge extremely fast, sometimes I wished my cell phone can charge that fast.

Conclusion
Honestly, I’m more disappointed with the price than the actual headset itself.  At $299.99, this price point for these headphones is just too steep.  Aside from bluetooth capability and really quick charge times, I think the package has less to offer when its priced so high.  If you bring the price down, it may be easier to recommend.

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The Velodyne vFree headphones are available now for $299.99 and they come in black, white and silver.  Don’t forget that you can customize them as well for an additional $39.99 per skin set.  For more information on Velodyne products, stay tune to RTV.

Pros

  • Customization is always a plus
  • Awesome charging time
  • Super light build

Cons

  • Plastic doesn’t feel sturdy
  • Very flat sound
  • $299.99?  May burn a hole in your pocket.