Vertere Pulse D-Fi review

A must-audition if you can stretch your budget Tested at £70

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A must-audition if you can stretch your budget


  • +

    Clear vocals

  • +

    punchy bass

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    neat presentation

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    authentic sound


  • -

    It’s rather expensive

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test