Time for some (Awful) Travel Technology – featuring the Vido Sound Wireless Headphones with a microphone.
Wait. You’ve pre-judged the review saying they’re awful…
That’s because they are. I’ve listed to cheaper headphones that make these sound like mud in an echo chamber, with a storm constantly raining through it. Just don’t buy these – no matter how rushed or desperate you may be.
Where can I get these if I wish to engage my sadomasochistic side?
Poundland for £6. According to “Good Housekeeping,” Vido products are approved. So they must be good.
On this impression – they’re not.
Aren’t you expecting a lot for £6?
I expect some clarity so I can understand and listen to what is being broadcasted from my phone. Not an echo chamber that converts music into mud and distortion.
Talk me through what they are (the unboxing experience).
They come in a box as per below.
Well, it looks a little premium. Flip the box open, and the earphones and controller are visible.
Opening the box, we head into the cheap plastic territory.
And that’s just the packaging.
The headphones are encased in it, with the charging cable.
Inside the box, we have rolled up the instructions and ear tips. Make sure you’re sat somewhere where the ear tips won’t go flying.
These are “Wireless” headphones in the sense they utilise Bluetooth. In this case, it’s to a central receiver unit, which has wires to the left and right earphones.
Direct user controls – no captive touch controls on these.
But it has regulatory markings.
Whilst the earpieces look metallic, they are – of course – plastic.
And cheap light plastic at that.
Charging this device, it uses classic USB Micro B as to how it uses to get power into it.
USB Micro B. How very 2015.
The headphones come with 4 sets of silicone earbuds tips. I used ones that were applied to the device, which passed a basic shake test when sat in a coffee shop and walking for around an hour with them in place.
Pairing the device with my Apple iPhone 12 Pro was pretty easy – It was a matter of going into the Bluetooth settings and looking for the device. Turning on the device for the first time, it went into search mode and was presented straight away.
At least they can get the pairing experience right.
Volume and distortion
You can drive these at around 30% of an iPhone Bluetooth volume, before 1) they become unbearable and the distortion kicks in hard. Comfortably you can drive them at 20 to 30% volume without them being too muddy. After 40%, distortion is the friend of these speakers.
How muddy are the sounds?
If you want clarity in some headphones, this isn’t the headphone set for you. Vocals are very echoey and the base is overpowered, distorting the entire song. For the audio tests, I streamed from Apple Music (your own choice of audio sources is valid… even Youtube with its crappy compression).
Let’s start with the classic – Noisestorm’s Crab Rave. The base is muddy and I’ve had trouble working out some of the techno beats whilst the highs just aren’t clear.
Moving onto the UK Eurovision Entry – Space Man by Sam Ryder. You have to turn down the volume as Sam’s voice will break these drivers when he goes high.
Another Economy Class and beyond favourite- Keiino’s “Spirit in the Sky” – again, the volume has to be low enough, otherwise, it just distorts. The voices suffer from echoes and distortion, and the instruments are just a hot mess.
Finally, we’ll move on to Jeff Waynes Musical version of War of the Worlds (The New Generation) – The Eve of the War. Oooooh,, dear. Liam Neeson sounds closer to screaming Ankin NO, into echos whilst the orchestra just sounds a mess and the electronics of the band are muted down so badly. It’s embarrassing.
And finally – Hallo Spaceboy by David Bowie and The Pet Shop Boys. Sigh. Full of echos ad mud. Echos and Mud sum this product up in three words.
Comfort and fit
I used these on and off for a few hours and whilst they could be felt as being present, they fitted reasonably with the supplied earbud tips. The controller isn’t annoying (as some might think), with the user interface reasonably understandable to use when walking around a city. There are four sets of tips included for all sorts of earholes for those who prefer larger or smaller designs.
What else can I get for the price?
At the £6 level, not a lot admittedly.
Spend a little more (say £17.99, Aukey have some reasonable headphones from MyMemory. If you’re after instant gratification, spend £20 and get some headphones from Flying Tiger which are a lot more passable and don’t muddy the sound.
What if I prefer the cabled wireless headset?
I’ve primarily used headphones Skullcandy which have this design (in fact, I have a pair of Jib+ which work a lot better than this… and a lot clearer) when I’ve been passing through the airport and promptly losing them a few days after.
You can get them from Skullcandy for £25, or a quick look online shows HMV selling them for £19.99 or less. Agros has them for £14.99.
Are they absolute trash?
Let them stay on the shelf. Both your wallet and ears will thank you.
It should be pretty obvious, but yes. I’ve had aeroplane headphones better than these things.
And that says a lot.
If I was to compare them to awful headphones I’ve had in the past, they have the audio fidelity of the One Singapore dollar headset I brought. And even then, I thought I was being diddled out of one dollar.
£6 is akin to being taken to the cleaners for something that whilst produces sound, but you’ll be wincing a lot when using them to the point that after a few days, you’ll wish you spent a little more on something that will have clarity at least on some levels
If you’re desperate for a pair of wireless earphones, I’m struggling to say they’ll do – at a pinch.
Whilst they work and are a backup set of headphones to have around – I have better options at home. Or anywhere for that matter.
Please – do yourself a favour – skip these headphones. They offer poor quality against the price you’re charged for something like this and certainly not worth the £6 they charge for these.
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