Copenhagen review from Lyd & Billede


Copenhagen speaker review from the danish magazine Lyd & Billede. "The sound is amazingly powerful, but also clear, so if you want a portable loudspeaker that rocks, it is a good choice"

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VIFA COPENHAGEN

  • Wireless: AirPlay, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth
  • Inputs: Optical and analog 3.5 mm, USB
  • Battery time: 5 hours

LYD & BiLLEDE SAYS

PLUS: The sound is amazingly powerful, but also clear, so if you want a portable loudspeaker that rocks, it is a good choice.

MINUS: Size, weight and battery lifetime detract from user-friendliness.


 

WIRELESS DANISH DYNAMITE

This is a loudspeaker you simply must hear if you are looking for a portable model with power.

Actually it is not quite accurate to call Vifa Copenhagen a portable loudspeaker. It would be more correct to describe it as “moveable”, as it is bigger and heavier than most portable wireless loudspeakers. The idea is that you should be able to move it round the house as needed, or take it with you out onto the balcony when you want to listen to music out of doors. The integrated battery means it doesn’t need mains power either. You will get at least five or so hours out of it before it has to be recharged.

 

Strictly speaking, looking at the price tag and comparing its features with its nearest competitors, it doesn’t in fact have any obvious competitors. After all, what other loudspeakers in the same price category share Copenhagen’s characteristics? Neither Marshall, Geneva, JBL nor Bang & Olufsen have anything to match it that can be used without being plugged into the mains.

That’s why Vifa Copenhagen is in a class of its own. This is also true when it comes to the sound, but we’ll come back to that. First a bit about its functions.

As a wireless loudspeaker it is of course equipped with Bluetooth, so mobiles and tablets can stream music directly to it. It also has AirPlay, which works via Wi-Fi on all Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

 

NETWORK ACCESS

In addition, it can be connected to a home wireless network. This allows you to stream music to the loudspeaker from multiple devices also connected to the network. Alternatively, you can connect a mobile and the loudspeaker directly via Wi-Fi to bypass the home network.

If none of the components work or you want to save energy, the mobile and loudspeaker can be connected by a standard 3.5 mm mini-jack cable, and iPhones can also play via the loudspeaker’s USB input on the rear.

Vifa Copenhagen is available in six colours, all covered with fabric from textile manufacturer Kvadrat, and the workmanship is, to say the least, beyond reproach. I’m a little bit unsure as to how scratch-resistant the lacquered metal frame is. But apart from that, there is no reason to doubt the quality, which is several notches better than we are used to seeing from most competitor products. With the possible exception of Bang & Olufsen, that is.

While the design is slightly reminiscent of the radios of years gone by, there is no doubt that inside the contents are cutting-edge.

Danish Vifa is a long-standing manufacturer of loudspeaker units with a history dating back 80 years – the firm has a high reputation among connoisseurs and producers of high-end loudspeakers alike. That is in evidence here, as Vifa has not cut any corners with the Copenhagen.

Two 80 mm bass woofers with flat membranes acoustically connected to four passive bass radiators, plus two 50 mm mid-range drivers with aluminium membranes and two 28 mm tweeters give ten drivers in total to pump out the sound.

Perhaps this is the reason for the weight of just under 5 kg. Because the Copenhagen loudspeaker can play that loud!

 

DYNAMIC AND RESONANT

When it is connected via Wi-Fi, you can use Vifa’s app to adjust the balance of the sound based on where it is positioned, as well as select pre-programmed sound settings.

Even without making any adjustments, Copenhagen produces much more volume with greater clarity than you would think. Vifa has succeeded in balancing the sound, which ranges from a deep, almost subterranean bass (OK, so everything is relative) to a crystal-clear treble. You can hear that the loudspeaker has been produced by a manufacturer who has been in the business a long time.

Swedish singer Zara Larsson’s vocals on “Lush Life” flow through the room like silk, and the bass is superbly controlled, at the same time as having depth and power. It sounds beautiful and clear at the same time. The sound can easily fill the room, and you get a really full tone when you turn it up a bit more.

Band of Gold’s “No Way Around” from the album “Band of Gold” gets a big, extravagant sound with amazing depth of tone, and this too has a fullness about it, far greater than the size of the speaker would suggest.

Many tracks later you sense that this is an unusually successful piece of loudspeaker design, with a sound more akin to that of a big loudspeaker than one with a carry-handle running on battery power. Jean Michel Jarre and Boys Noize performing “The Time Machine” can defeat most loudspeakers with their massive bass rhythms, and here I finally managed to catch the Copenhagen loudspeaker out. But only just.

The tone is reduced slightly in the treble, and the sound becomes grainier. But it is still incredibly loud.

 

CONCLUSION

Vifa Copenhagen is a phenomenally high-performing loudspeaker. It is too big to carry in a bag, and battery lifetime will often be too short. But it sounds better than just about all its competitors, with more decibels, a deeper bass and clearer sound than any other portable loudspeaker we have tested.

The fact that it can work via AirPlay and Bluetooth as well as over the home network is a big plus. Add to this the fine workmanship and excellent build quality, and you can understand that this is a loudspeaker which is quite out of the ordinary. It is not cheap but it is without question the best.

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Download the Copenhagen review from Lyd & Billede