We live in a noisy world. Often, we wish we could just block it out. Fortunately, we can do it easily, effectively and with even a bit of chic, with Velodyne’s vQuiet Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones .
Design: Designed by artist, Marta Hall, the Velodyne vQuiet headphones (aka “vQ” ) headphones have the same, now nearly iconic teardrop design as the other Velodyne headphones we have tried and reviewed, such as the VTech wired and Velodyne V-Free headphones, but these vQuiets have larger ear cups that have a lot more padding. They are very comfortable for longer wear times. This is important to note, because when you’re wearing headphones for longer period of time, you need comfort as well as something that looks good. The headband adjusts to fit just about any size head, and the earcups even fit over earrings without pain. While the ear cups are large, they fold for a more compact profile to fit into an included fabric travel bag.
Features: Continuing our exploration of the ear cups (for it’s the sound within that you’re purchasing, not the headband they are attached to, the ear cup on one side has the power switch to turn the noise cancelling feature on and off. The other side has the microUSB port to charge its internal battery (used for the noise cancelling feature). The switch lights up to show it is on. The other side has a tiny LED light to show that it is charging and the USB port to charge the headphones. There are also two 3.5mm headset ports –one on each ear cup so you can connect your player to one, and connect another pair of headphones to the other. That way someone else can listen in, avoiding the use of a separate splitter. These are wired headphone wiith controls for forward/back/volume, but the controller is high up on the wire, and the wire could have been made just a bit longer.
Battery: As I mentioned, the battery is an internal one. That means you won’t have to carry bulky AA or AAA batteries with you, and there is a rated runtime of 35 hours with a fast charge time of only 1.5 hour, but if you run out of juice you will still be able to use the headphones, just not with the cancelling function.
Sound and noise cancelling qualities: I have read other reviews of VQuiet and naysayers were not nuts for the sound quality. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but I’ve reviewing enough headphones to know poor quality sound from average sound and the The vQuiets to my ears offer decent quality. I wasn’t disappointed. And when it comes to the “active” noise cancellation, they do a good job. The claim is that they eliminate 90% of all unwanted noise. I can’t quantify this, but they do make your world more peaceful. In an ordinary setting with people talking or extraneous noises, these vQs will nuke noise nicely. On the other hand, if a child is having a complete meltdown in the seat behind you on the airplane, no headphones at any price will totally eliminate that horror. Turn on your vQuiets and turn up the sound to reasonably loud, gulp that proffered drink, and you might make it to your destination without your nerves being too frayed.
Tech Specs: Velodyne vQuiet features 40mm drivers with a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, 105 dB/1 kHz/1 mW sensitivity, and a 90% reduction in ambient noise. In the Box: Velodyne vQuiet Active Noise-canceling Headphones, 4′ 3.5 mm (3/8″) audio cable with inline controls, 1/8″ to 1/4″ plug adapter, Micro USB charging cable, Carrying pouch
Suggested retail price: $299.00
These headphones look good, feel good and when you are stressed out by too much noise, they do good things for your ears and your body and soul. At $300 they are not the most bargain-friendly, but they do the job very well, have the bells and whistles most people, especially “road warriors” are going to want, and they are super-comfortable. And if you want to make a fashion statement, the matte black teardrops are stylish. Also keep in mind that Velodyne is the company that makes the skins for their vFree or vLeve. headphones. While I didn’t see any that fit this particular model, hopefully, Velodyne will offer them for fashionistas who want to make a statement, without saying a word. For more information visit the Velodyne Web Site.