Vivanco Aircoustic review

They might look supremely classy, but these wooden buds from Vivanco just don't have the sonic skills for the price Tested at £50.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

We like the wood, but these headphones just don’t have the sonic skills to cut it at this price


  • +

    Nicely made

  • +

    weighty bass

  • +

    open, natural midrange;


  • -

    Thin treble

  • -

    low frequencies lack grip and definition

  • -

    timing is off

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Vivanco claims that different types of wood have distinct sonic characteristics.

Consequently, the company has introduced three new headphones, with each one using a different wooden housing to promote a different flavour of sound.

There's a Cherry Wood model that claims ‘rich vocals' and ‘vivid detail', while the Beech Wood version allegedly favours ‘mellow bass' and ‘pure high notes.'

Wood for warmth
The headphones you see pictured are a third design, made from Black Walnut. Vivanco believes this particular wood helps produce ‘warm bass' and ‘smooth treble.'

Low frequencies certainly sound meaty, but we'd willingly sacrifice an ounce or two of fat for greater control and grip. Spin Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind and the kick drum makes its presence felt, but there's a lack of solidity to each hit.

No match for the best
Edges of bass notes aren't clearly defined and this hinders the timing of these headphones. Moving on to The Pigeon Detectives' I'm Not Sorry, the drum kit's high hat sounds rather splashy and edgy.

Over time this brightness proves to be something of a distraction.

Midrange delivery is more successful, however: the vocals of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sound natural, open and there's a decent amount of detail dug up.

These Aircoustics headphones are a decent idea in theory, but the execution isn't quite there, meaning the class-leaders have the definitive edge at this competitive price point.

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