Reviews
Vomo XL
Wireless Headset

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 11th, 2015

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It’s always cool to find really great products made in your own backyard. A little while ago, I reviewed Western Leaf’s Frenzy 8Z tablet; and while it may not be unseating iPads or Galaxy Tablets anytime soon, it is a viable alternative for those who may be looking to outfit their kids with a cost-conscious alternative. Alongside with the Frenzy 8Z, Western Leaf also sent us the Vomo XL, a pair of wireless headphones of their own design. After playing with the Frenzy, I figured that the Vomo XL would be a product designed in a similar vein: practicality and decent quality. I certainly wasn’t ready for what these things could do and how great they sounded.

‎The Vomo XL that I received for review came well-packaged in a nice box with a few accessories: a USB-to-microUSB charging cable, the user manual, a soft carrying sack, and an audio cable (3.5mm plugs). The Vomo XL is a nice-looking set of headphones, finished in black with blue accents. The earcups are rectangular faux-leather-covered foam, and fit comfortably on the ears (rather than around them). The pressure from the headband is strong enough to keep the earcups on your ears, but still gentle enough to not feel pervasive. Each of the earcups is also capable of folding in towards the headband, giving the headphones a smaller profile for storage in the included carrying sack. The inner side of the headband is a rubbery coating around a soft foam-like interior, rounding off the comfort factor. The whole headset is quite durable, with the headband itself being able to withstand a fair amount of twisting (so if you get it caught while trying to pull it out of your backpack, it will probably not break).

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Very comfortable earcups – you can easily wear these for hours!

When it comes to the nerve centre of the headset, the right earcup is where it’s at. It houses the microUSB port for charging as well as the 3.5mm jack for non-wireless use. There is also a downward-facing microphone (for voice capture) and an outward-facing microphone (for environmental noise suppression). There are also several pressure-activated controls on the right earcup: volume up/down are located on the top corners of the outside face; skip forward/backward are positioned on the bottom corners; finally, a multi-function button sits in the center of the outer face (power, play/pause, answer/end a call) with an adjacent LED to relay status. Even the volume buttons pull double duty as “+” can be used to reject calls (hold for 2 seconds) and “-” can be used to toggle the mute function (again, hold for 2 seconds). It’s nice to have an interface where all of the buttons super-easy to find.

Wireless connection with a number of different devices was very easy to establish, with barely any breaks in the signal. NFC-enabled devices enjoy the extra simple connectivity, and remove the guesswork that may exist (though there is arguably very little). ‎Pre-existing connections are honoured immediately and without compromise. Incoming phone calls take priority, and will trigger the headset to go into answer mode. Another neat feature of the Vomo XL is multi-point connection ability, which allows it to connect to two Bluetooth devices at once. Want to watch a movie on your tablet but still be able to answer your calls? The Vomo XL will allow you to do that. And as a bonus, if you are using the XL with an iOS device, you’ll be able to check the battery indicator displayed on your device’s screen to see how much juice you have left.

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The control centre of the headset.

‎I was very surprised by the sound quality, considering the relatively light weight of the headphones and the fact that they are wireless. All ranges are well-represented, with a little bit of muffling on the high end and a touch of “oomph” missing from the lowest tones; however, the delivery is still full enough to get your toes a-tappin’. Clarity is good, with almost exceptionally clear and distinct delivery of different sounds from across the spectrum (though that muffling at the high end takes a bit of the sharpness of the peaks – which may be good or bad depending on how much you like treble). Tests with unplugged jazz music and classical orchestra revealed my initial thoughts about the muffling, with the detection of less bass in electronica verifying a slightly limited range. Rock tunes and pop music were handled with aplomb. While it may sound like I am painting a negative picture of the Vomo XL, rest assured they offer a fantastic listening experience – I’m just picky.

Battery life is impressive – probably the most impressive that I have seen from all the headphones that I have tried. Fully charged, the Vomo XL is said to have 1000 hours of standby time, or 40 hours of listening time. During the course of my evaluation (which was a few weeks), I only had to recharge this thing once – which is impressive considering that I used them on my commute on public transit almost daily (which amounts to about an hour a day). As I indicated before, there were barely any skips or breaks in the signal – and when there were it was a low battery charge that was the culprit. In addition, for the record, I also never felt the urge to remove them, as they were very comfortable thanks to their thoughtful design.

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Portability and durability – a great combination!

The microphone on the Vomo XL is very good, and while the noise suppression isn’t in the same league as, say, the Parrot Zik 2.0, it does a great job of isolating the wearer’s speaking voice (plus the Vomo XL runs circles around the Zik 2.0 in terms of battery life). Whether I was recording voice notes or testing them out via my phone, they performed very well – even in crowded areas. Another nice feature for noisy areas is the vocal feedback. When performing basic functions (like powering on or off), a voice lets you know what’s going on. Definitely a nice touch.

The Vomo XL is a very impressive set of headphones. While the pickiest audiophile may point out the muffled highs and the lows that don’t reach deep enough, one can’t deny that for $200 you are getting a very impressive piece of Canadian-made technology. Comfort, durability, ease of use, crazy-long battery life, and great sound quality all add up to a great set of headphones. Honestly, if you’re hankering for a nice set of headphones, but don’t have enough scratch to spring for the Zik 2.0 or the MH40 (if you don’t mind a wired pair), these will do you just fine. Go Canada!

You can check out the Vomo XL on Western Leaf’s website.

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