Ease of Learning: 4 / 5
Ease of Use: 4.5 / 5
Enjoyment: 4 / 5
Design: 4 / 5
Value for Money: 3.5 / 5
There’s no doubt that wireless is where most devices are going and we’re all the better for it. As we’ve seen recently, the wireless headphones are a growing trend among youngsters looking to show off a bit of street cred among their peers. Wireless earphones, on the other hand, have had two major designs options for manufacturers to choose from, the first being the earbuds and the second features the around-the-head cable. We review the Sudio Vasa Blå.
A few days ago I reviewed the Vasa Blå’s big brother, the Regent, a really good pair of headphones full of style, audio quality and great wireless connectivity. This time around, it’s the turn of the very portable wireless earphones in the form of the Vasa Blå. Once again, Sudio aims to bring style to wireless audio, while still delivering quality audio. So how does the unit fair?
Design and Build
For many wireless earphone manufacturers, the earbud seems almost the default. There may be a great wave to ride on these units, but there’s still a market for the wireless ‘cabled’ pair. For starters, you don’t have the same risk of easily losing one of your earbuds. The cabled version, however, negates some of these fears while still being able to wrap them around your neck when you’re not immediately using them.
Given the sheer volume of earphones on the market today, it would really have to be something great to stand out from the crowd. While most earphones today are focused on providing on-the-go or sports-centric devices rather than being audio devices first, the Vasa Blå does well to stick to being a pair of earphones first, style second, and portability third.
Unboxing the unit is also special. The Vasa Blå has a quite impressive design. The unit I received for review is black with rose gold trimmings. It really does look the part. There are other colour options – white with rose gold, blue with rose gold and pink with rose gold – but I believe the black and rose gold unit looks far superior to the rest. Design-wise, the unit is quite basic, with only the trimmings adding some standout features. I quite like the minimalist look.
The additions to the unit mostly lie on the cabling, with a three-button control box down the right side of the cable. These controls work pretty much as on the Regent; volume controls, play/pause (on/off) buttons. On the left side of the unit, you’ll find another box. This for the microUSB charging port and battery. The cable itself is a thin strip from ear to ear. It certainly looks more the part and stylish than many of the other ‘sporty’ earphones on the market today.
Setup and Comfort
Again, setting up the unit is very similar to that of the Regent, only using the control box on the cable to turn on, pair, turn off, and other functions. In the box, you’ll also find a collection of four alternative pairs of ear tips, owner’s manual, quality assurance card, genuine leather carrying case, metal clip and charging cable. While the unit is fairly straightforward to use, initially I had some difficulty pairing the unit with my Bluetooth source device. I found that the trick was to turn off the earphones and then when turning them back on again, keep the power button down for a few more seconds to launch the pairing cycle and then you’re able to easily connect. Everything after this point was pretty easy to manage and use.
With so many different ear tips to choose from, you’re almost guaranteed to find the correct size for your personal comfort. But while it fits snuggly enough, the weight of the battery and control box on the left and right side of the earphones makes me a bit weary that it would eventually pull itself out and drop to the floor. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened yet, although the fear is always still there. The included metal clip allows users to clip the device to the top of their shirt necks so that if the unit does come lose, it won’t fall to the ground or threaten being lost.
Performance and Battery Life
In terms of the sound quality, the Vasa Blå is really good. The highs and midrange sounds are very good, with particular focus on the highs. While it isn’t quite bad, the bass needs a bit more work. On its own, the bass isn’t half bad, but when you compare it to many of the competition or other audio devices, it would have been great to have a bit more oomph, so to speak. However, the overall sound quality is very good. The Vasa Blå have a closed-back design, which offers some ambient sound isolation. However, these are not noise cancelling units, so you may have to continue your search if that’s what you’re after. Turning the volume to about midway and it quickly drowns out all peripheral sounds.
The battery life is quite good on the Vasa Blå, lasting around 8 hours in total for such a small device. This isn’t the best battery life we’ve seen in wireless earphones, but certainly goes a long way and can easily survive a full day at the office. If, however, it doesn’t make it that far, you can simply use the charging cable and you’re good for another hour or so in just 10 minutes. This is quite impressive. To fully charge the device’s battery, you’ll need roughly two hours in total.
What I like about the Sudio Vasa Blå is that it manages to offer style and class without having to completely redesign the standard pair of earphones, changing only the rose gold trimmings to make it look the part. And it does. The sound quality is also very good overall, although I would have loved to have heard slightly more bass. If you’re in the market for a good looking pair of earphones with good sound to boot, the Sudio Vasa Blå should definitely be on the list.
The Vasa Blå costs around R1,500 from the local Sudio online platform, but once again FoS readers are treated to a discount code. If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of the Sudio Vasa Blå earphones, Fortress of Solitude has partnered with Sudio to give readers a 15% discount with the coupon, FORTRESSOFSOLITUDE15, which can be applied upon checkout. In addition, the company currently offers a free Tote Bag and a tax deduction. Simply follow the link to get your pair today.