The Vertere Pulse D-Fi is one of the best-sounding USB cables we’ve heard.
It doesn’t look the part: with its thin body and basic plugs, it resembles something you’d find bundled with a cheap printer. But the folks at Vertere have put their time and energy where it really counts.
Cables can't actively improve a recording's sound, of course, but they can adversely affect it to varying degrees. The key is to make a cable as neutral as possible when it comes to conveying information.
We started the Pulse D-Fi off with the aurally rich assault course that is the Buena Vista Social Club, and it performed with startling clarity.
Start off with Chan Chan and voices sound crisp and clean, while an impressive amount of detail affords the instruments their proper texture. The energy and enthusiasm of the recording is also maintained: skip to the instrumental Pueblo Nuevo and you can feel how much fun Rubén González has as he pounds on the ivory.
The Pulse D-Fi also has amazing control of the information it handles. De Camino A La Vereda demonstrates good organisation, tidy presentation, and impeccable timing.
Introduce Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy OST for a bit of contrast and there’s the same combination of insight, power and control. Fast-forward to Derezzed and the opening beat hammers you with an electrified fist.
£70 is bigger than the average price tag, but then again this is no average product. It does everything that its strongest rivals do, but it’s ahead at every turn.
The Supra USB 2.0 won 2012's Award for best USB cable because it represents great value for money — but if you have cash to spare, the Vertere Pulse D-Fi would win on every level.