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Velodyne vPulse

Velodyne vPulse Review

Velodyne vPulse
Reviewed Mar 2012

Details: In-ear headset from subwoofer manufacturer Velodyne
MSRP: $119 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $90 from
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 99 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.7′ L-plug with mic & 3-button remote
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges; short bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (10 pairs in 4 sizes), shirt clip, and carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – The design of the vPulse is highly derivative but the earphones are well-built and user-friendly. The flat cable is smooth and tangle-free, with a sturdy feel and nice matte finish. It lacks heavy-duty strain reliefs but includes a cable cinch and shirt clip, both rare among flat-cable models. Some of the plastic parts show molding artifacts, which detracts from the otherwise premium feel of the product. A 3-button apple remote and in-line mic are present on the left side
Isolation (3.5/5) – Very good for a vented, angled-nozzle design
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Low when worn cable-down; nonexistent otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – The vPulse uses an angled-nozzle design for ergonomic fitment. The housings are light and the stock tips are quite decent. Wearing the earphones cord-up is a bit tricky due to the flat cable but the cable cinch and shirt clip help. The vPulse does appreciate a deeper seal for best sound so longer aftermarket tips may be required for some

Sound (7.4/10) – The tagline developed by Velodyne for the vPulse is simply “bring the bass”, a promise the earphones keep in a big way. The bass is deep, reaching down below 30Hz effortlessly and offering pretty good texture all the way down. There is significant sub-bass emphasis but not much of a mid-bass hump, which allows the vPulse to avoid the boomy, bloated sound of mid-bassy sets such as the TFTA 1V and Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE. The bass does tend to linger a bit and there are definitely times when the vPulse is overwhelmingly bassy but for the amount of bass contained, the control is very impressive.

The midrange of the vPulse takes a step back in emphasis compared to the subbass but sounds clear and detailed, giving up just a bit of resolution and crispness to the MEElec CC51, VSonic GR06, and higher-end sets. The laid-back nature is especially apparent next to the Dunu Trident and Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE, both of which try to keep their mids free of bass bleed by pushing them forward. With the vPulse it is instead the lack of mid-bass bloat that keeps the midrange clean, allowing the response to remain more level all the way up. The mids are smooth but a bit on the dry side, reminding me of the HiSound Crystal, and lack some delicacy and refinement, as well a bit of transparency.

At the top the vPulse is again laid-back and not at all bright – the balance is clearly skewed towards the lows. Next to the more v-shaped sound of sets such as the id America Spark and Klipsch S4, the Velodynes come across a bit dull but avoid all harshness and sibilance, delivering a smooth, non-fatiguing sound. They are also more forgiving of lower-bitrate tracks – likely a positive considering the iPhone-wielding target audience of the vPulse.

The presentation of the Velodynes is rather wide but the soundstage doesn’t have great depth or layering, resulting in sound that feels a bit ‘flat’. This is due in part to the somewhat constrained dynamics – the MEElec CC51 and id America Spark, for example, both sound more dynamic and provide more well-rounded – albeit smaller – presentations. The vPulse lacks good on-center feel and separation, and while its sound is more spacious and less closed-in next to cheaper IEMs such as the Dunu Trident, the mediocre dynamics also cause it to sound a bit dull and uninvolving at lower listening volumes.

THL Recommended Badge 2014Value (8.5/10) – The first in-ear earphone from the bass experts at Velodyne, the vPulse does a good job of combining user-friendliness and functionality in a single package. While the design is derivative in many ways, the vPulse has a lot going for it – tangle-resistant cables, low microphonics, comfortable angled-nozzle earpieces, and a 3-button remote are all standard features. The sound combines solid bass rumble and depth with slightly subdued – but still clean and detailed – mids and highs. The bass can be a touch overpowering on some tracks but normally remains well-behaved for such a bassy earphone, making the vPulse highly suitable for anyone in search of a reasonably-priced headset with plentiful rumble and power.

Pros: Comfortable and well-designed; deep, powerful bass; good clarity and all-around performance
Cons: Bass can occasionally be overwhelming



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Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.


27 Responses

  1. That’s the spirit! If everyone would just tailor their lifestyle to the IEM with the sound they want, recommending stuff would be so much easier 🙂

  2. No no no… thank you.

    Anyway I keep running into this thing… everything is fine but just one thing is not quite right. Something tells me though, it’s either the urge to get new stuff or upgrade-itus. Prolly both. But I determine my end game will have this sound sig, I may just need to learn to be a couch potato.

  3. No earhooks, and they’re kind of a pain to work out with to be honest – the flat cables and overall fit of the earpieces aren’t ideal. I would definitely pick something else for running or gym use – something with a non-flat cable and that natively fits earhook-style. For example a MEE M6 or Shure SE215.

    And thanks – very glad the reviews have been helpful!

  4. Do these come with ear hooks for use when working out or running?
    If not are there ear hooks that work with the vpulse?
    Thank you. And I noticed your reviews are just thoroughly detailed and informative. Just saying.

  5. The MH1C has slightly more linear bass, meaning the mid-bass and sub-bass are more balanced. The Piston 2 has more of a mid-bass hump. This makes it sound slightly bassier in the conventional sense but also results in a touch more bloat. The MH1C is tighter and a hair clearer as a result.

  6. really confused among xiaomi pistons 2, Velodyne vPulse and phillips tx1. Plz suggest better, also looking for VSD1s, but heard that they are not bass heavy….

  7. Yes. The Velodyne has a lot more bass than either of those two, but much less in the way of clarity, detail resolution, tightness, and just overall refinement. Different classes of IEMs for entirely different purposes.

  8. How would you compare this to the DN-1000 and GR07 BE, which have plenty of good bass? Would the Velodyne being bass heavy being a lot more bass, but perhaps more muddy or bad bass?

  9. I wouldn’t bother with Complys unless you just prefer foam to silicone.

    Not sure where to get them in Australia but you can probably contact Velodyne and find out who their authorized distributors are.

  10. Well, it seems that they are actually manufacturing vpulse. Don’t you see its exactly the same? Btw: do you still own the vpulse?

  11. Well, I have had vpulse original and generally liked it. However it got lost when I traveled in Laos, really sad event . For one, I would be interested in something alike, but better, and with more bass and subbass.

    The other concern is that according to one review the second version is not as good as the original. Finally, I can probably buy the eom: – is it the original version?

    Also I cannot sleep with it, as it’s pretty protruding.

  12. This it the original. The review was written in March of 2012. Not sure what the differences are but this a good set per your requirements. The need for an iPhone remote eliminates what few alternative options there might be.

  13. I’m aware that there are two versions of vpulse – the original and the second version. Which one have you been reviewing? Also, it would be nice if you could compare them and let us know the differences.

    And, Could you please advice me for iem that has a very good bass – quantity, quantity and extension, with even more subbass, good sound mids, highs. Prefer bright signature. Remote with mic is a must (for iphone). Small, so that I can put my head ear down on a pillow is desirable.

  14. No worries, I think it’s good to have the links to the answer across all the relevant articles in case others have the same question.

  15. The Wooduo2 gives you slightly better bass and clarity at the expense of being a little less smooth. It’s a better-sounding earphone but lacks some the ergonomics and other niceties of the vPulse, such as the noise-free cable, inline remote, etc.

  16. Hi how is the sound especially bass compared to the HiSoundAudio Wooduo 2. I am very interested between these two.

  17. thanks for your answer, i was investigating little more and in the official page from velodyne there are a part “unauthorized sellers” and there is a list of UNAUTHORIZED ONLINE RETAILERS and “silicon valey deals” is tagged as an unauthorized seller. i’m not saying it is a scam on amazon fron these sellers, but just to concider 🙂

  18. In-ears are generally not very expensive to manufacture so it’s not uncommon to see gradual price drops as the R&D costs are recouped. Velodyne themselves have sold the vPulse for as little as $35.

  19. why there is a big diference betwen the price i mean in amazon is to way cheaper than the MRSP value,
    maybe amazon is selling us fake headphones be carefull with that

  20. The pair of vpulse I got have a TON of bass bloat IMO. The EPH-100 pair that I have has amazingly tight bass and great all around detail. The vpulse was a major disappointment for me.

  21. They have similar bass impact – the vPulse just has a little more deep bass quantity, which doesn’t matter much unless you’re focusing primarily on the sub-bass rumble in your music.

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