Velodyne vTrue — Form Over Function
Today, we’ll be looking at the Velodyne vTrue. Most people know Velodyne as a subwoofer company, but they have just recently started dabbling in headphones. How do they sound? Well, I’m going to be upfront before I even start this review. I write a lot of negative reviews here. This is going to be another one of those. But still, read it. It’s a cautionary tale of how expectation bias from advertising can lead to being seriously underwhelmed. This review kind of stings to write because Velodyne has been so nice to me and has allowed me to keep these headphones, but being honest is my prime motive.
The vTrue has gone through two different types of packaging. I happened to get both because my first pair came across a flaw that I’m 99% sure Velodyne has fixed by now because it’s an incredibly simple fix (the plugs’ sleeve came loose, which led to an imbalance of sound because it let out more sound through the new hole than originally designed). The first box is, well, a box. It’s nothing to really talk about. It’s a blue box that shows the vTrue’s. The second box, however, is much more interesting. Pictures show better than words so I’ll just include a picture:
Inside is a small selection of accessories. It comes with two cables (blue, no less. One even has a mic!), a 6.3mm adapter, and a pouch-case. The cables seem rather durable with their cloth sheathing, and the plugs are even color-coded.
The design of the vTrue’s has been, at least from what I’ve seen, quite polarizing. I think the cups look like turtles. Metal turtles. There is a purpose to the strange shape though. Velodyne has realized that to achieve the vTrue’s particular sound signature, a seal must be ensured. So instead of chancing it with circular pads, the shape closes the cup before the jawline, almost ensuring a good seal. I like the idea; I just wish it didn’t look so ridiculous. In addition, the pads…aren’t very comfortable. They don’t have much padding.
I also quite dislike the incredibly thin headband. It’s thin in the sense that it has little padding and hurts after not even half an hour and the fact that it’s so narrow doesn’t allow for much dispersion of pressure.
Since my head is quite large and requires me to extend the vTrue to its largest setting, it just isn’t very comfortable to wear. It’s the reason it’s taken me so long to review them. I almost dread wearing them. My sister on the other hand, loves them. So small-headed people, take note.
Continuing on the design, I love the fact that Velodyne took a chance and make the actual cups (behind the driver) metal. Though the more I think about it, I’d have preferred Velodyne save the money and used plastic cups and add damping material. It’s completely barren inside the cup. Oh, and the sliders…aren’t very good. They have resistance, but the resistance feels like, at some times, it’s ripping part of the foam. And after extended use, the system seems to lose resistance. My first pair is downright loose now.
Continue to next page for sound impressions….