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Aedle VK-1 Portable Closed Back Headphone Review

"A great newcomer to the Portable Headphone range – The Aedle VK-1 has real punch with weighty bass and cracking midrange. Not only do they sound exciting, they look it too!"

aedle vk1

Verdict

A great newcomer to the Portable Headphone range – The Aedle VK-1 has real punch with weighty bass and cracking midrange. Not only do they sound exciting, they look it too! They are easy enough to drive off a portable device and are very comfortable. So if your looking for a portable on ear headphone with an exciting sound, great bass and stylish looks then look no further.

Pros

  • Great bass quality
  • Stylish and well built
  • Replaceable cable

Cons

  • Don't isolate as well as other portable headphones
  • No headband padding

Key Features

  • Driver diameter – 40mm
  • Impedance – 32 Ohms
  • Weight – 216 g
  • Replaceable cable (optional smartphone cable – not included)
  • Aluminium driver housing
  • Cable length – 1.3m and 2.4m (both included)
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First Impressions

Everything about these headphones – including the packaging - oozes style. The VK-1's come very well packaged, they even have that 'new shoe' smell. In the box you get a very smart carry bag, two cables (1.3m and 2.4m), a 3.5 to 6.3mm jack adapter, an airline adapter and an Aedle ID card which allows you to 'discover surprises' on their website.

The headphones look great! The aluminium housing and brown leather really compliment each other and they are a perfect portable size - it's obvious that lots of work has gone into designing the Aedle VK-1. The cables supplied are coated and even though they are a little thicker than some other headphones, they are very flexible.

The headband uses a spring steel structure so it's very flexible and tough. To adjust it you just bend it into shape – this gives a very secure fit that will perfectly fit your head.

aedle vk1

Sound Quality

Straight away you pick up on the quality of bass that comes out of the VK-1 – it's punchy without being bloated or overkill. The midrange also stands out, especially snare drum crack. There is probably a slight top end roll off, but with such great quality mids you forget about this very quickly. Overall the sound is exciting and edgy and thanks to the venting on the driver housing there is a great sense of space in the sound.

Listening to Dire Straits – Your Latest Trick, the opening trumpet sounds rich and the cymbal comes in effortlessly in the far left. Once the track gets going there is a snare rim shot that really cuts through and the keyboards add the right amount of emotion, then the vocals come in sitting perfectly on top of the instruments. Once the song is in full swing you can pick out every instrument with ease and enjoy every one of them.

Next up was Slipknot's Duality (obviously). These headphones are made for this track! When the stereo guitars kick in they completely surround you and then the drums... WOW. The snare and kick have real impact and the bat on beer keg sounds as though its being hit right next to you. Metal can sometimes be a tough test for headphones, but these seem to handle it with ease.

Lastly is Break by Jurassic 5 – this one really tests the bass. From the off there's a massive kick drum and snare sample, the kick drum resonates very naturally and the snare has a great ring to it that comes across perfectly on the VK-1. The vocals come in and there is no confusion, everything has its place.

The Aedle VK-1 is rhythmic, edgy and punchy. They have a wide sound for a closed portable headphone and there is no harshness or sibilance.

Summary

The Aedle VK-1 comes into Sennheiser Momentum territory and it definitely gives you something different. They're not as relaxed or controlled – they have more oomph and punch without having a harsh top end. The midrange cuts through more and as they are on ear they won't have the same fit issues that the Momentum has. I would recommend these to anyone who wants a pair of headphones that look great, sound exciting with weighty bass and crisp mids and don't completely cut you off from your surroundings. If you prefer a more neutral sound with top end detail then I would consider the KEF M500 as an alternative.

Score - 9/10

aedle vk1

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
Follow Shaun on Google+
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